Sunday, January 29, 2017

My First Baby You'll Always Be

You will always be my first baby. 
The one who made me a Mama.
You will always be the one who taught me how to give more of myself than I thought possible.
The one who pushed me to learn new things.
The one who first heard my heart from the inside and then completely stole it on the outside.
You are the one who renewed my sense of wonder in the every day moments.
Who showed me the miracle of growing a life.
Before you, I had never been happy changing a diaper or sucking boogers out of someone's nose.
Before you, I had never been so enamored with another human's toes.
Before you, I didn't know how it felt to be someone's everything.
You were the first one to call me Mama.
The first one to make me understand God's love for me, his child, in such a profound way.
And while there is another baby coming into my life very soon that will take up part of my heart,
You will always be my first baby.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

7 Things to do Before Bringing Home (ANOTHER) Baby

Date night (aka Treat yo' self): My husband and I don't get out on enough date nights as it is and we only have one child. So we made sure that we planned ahead a date night before bringing home our second baby. We wanted to have time to talk so we chose to go out to eat, walk around our outdoor shopping center and then eat some more! It was fun to relax together and share our excitement and nerves about adding another child to our family.

Get out all the baby gear. With your second kid, you already know you have many of the items you need. You know the swing is in a box somewhere, and the bouncy seat is mostly put together, but make sure you leave time to wash and reassemble these items! I was also very glad to do this in advance because you can go ahead and put these items out so your other little one can become familiar with the new gear. My 2 year old has been very interested in the new gear we have set out. Each time we set out something new I have talked with him about what the baby will be using it for. ("This is the baby's swing. He can sit in it while we play cars." "This is the baby's carseat. He will get to sit with you in the back seat so you have a buddy now when we go to the store!" ETC.)

Pack your hospital bags. That means one for you and one for your husband who you will probably have to force to pack, but the last thing I would want to do while having contractions is tell my husband what he needs to bring. I would also recommend putting together a little comfort bag for your first baby. (Books about the new baby, a book with your voice recording, ultrasound pictures, Big Bro or Sis outfit, etc.)

Buy a Present from baby to big bro or sis. We plan on having Aiden meet his brother at the hospital and we want to make the transition as smooth as possible so we bought a gift that we can give him from his baby brother. He loves cars so we bought him a car carrying case with a built in racing ramp and we bought a few new cars for him to put in it. We are hoping that 1.) He will love it and 2.) He can play with it at the hospital as an added bonus.

Prep some freezer meals. Here are a few Tried and True freezer Meals I made the first time around. Or if you're just too tired to make your own, buy some. Trader Joe's freezer meals are pretty healthy, inexpensive and delicious so I stocked up on some of those to have on hand as well.

Clean. No one wants to bring a fresh newborn home to a dirty house so make sure the areas baby will be in (especially where they will be sleeping) are clean. Your pregnant self may be cursing as you are bending over scrubbing things, but you will be glad you did it when you come home to a clean space. And honestly, if you don't have the energy to clean, ask for help!

Make a Plan for childcare if you have to leave the house quickly. This seems obvious right? But when you have another person to care for, you have to plan ahead to help things go as smoothly as possible for them as their little world is about to be rocked. Things like planning ahead some meals they can eat, having the car seat already installed in the car of who is watching them, writing a note about their routines, etc. can make a BIG difference for your little one who will already be missing you.

What other things did you make sure to do before bringing home your babies?

Thursday, January 19, 2017

My Word for 2017

So many words were swirling around in my head as I thought about what I wanted my word of 2017 to be. I have chosen a word on the crest of each new year for the past 4 years and each word has played a powerful part in shaping my year. Last year I chose courage and my year brought about many trials where I had to choose to be courageous. So I know the word I choose has the ability to shape my whole year.

I already know this year will bring changes as we welcome Alder in just a few weeks and become a family of 4. I know it will be a joy, but also a struggle as I learn to juggle everything while also being a Mama to two little people. I am also in a new position at work where there are things I just don't know yet. So while I contemplated my word this year simply being survive, that just didn't seem right because I want to do more than that.

So my word for 2017 is FIGHT.

Fight for joy in the everyday moments of motherhood

Fight against my fear of inadequacy

Fight my desire to compare with others

Fight my urge to spend money on things I don't need (part time status=budget time people)

Fight to strengthen my marriage

Fight to put God first and make time in a crazy season to spend in His word

See this article for more reasons I felt this word was perfect for me this year.

My word for 2016 was  COURAGE
My word for 2015 was DWELL
My word for 2014 was HOPE
My word for 2013 was THANKFUL

Monday, January 16, 2017

"But I'm Not Wearing the Right Shoes for that" {And Other Phrases Toddlers Don't Care About}

The other day my two year old and I went to the library for what I thought was a quick outing. When we were walking out to the parking lot he spotted the park across the street and looked at me with those big brown eyes and said, "Park please, Mama." It was cold out and I had on gray suede flats with no socks. I also did not have gloves or a hat. When the words, "But I'm not wearing the right shoes for that..." came out of my mouth I realized that those words meant absolutely nothing to my toddler. To him he saw the park right across the street and probably thought to himself, Mom and I can walk over there and play right now. Easy peasy. So I chose to take him to the park despite that I was freezing and ended up getting mud all over my suede shoes. It was totally worth it to see him smiling and laughing as we played.  

But this made me think of some other phrases I say to my toddler that mean absolutely nothing to him...

But you ate that yesterday and loved it.

I didn't have time to go the grocery and get more _________.

Your favorite shirt/toy is dirty and in the wash.

We already watched that movie 1,000 times. 

I'm too tired to __________.

But you're not dressed to do that.

I'm 37 weeks pregnant, I can't sit like that.

But we don't have time to ___________.

You haven't taken a bath in 3 days, you need one now.

What phrases do you find yourself saying to the toddler in your life and then realizing, wait, this means absolutely nothing to them!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Pregnancy Files 2 {The Bump Week 37}

I'm officially full term! I still can't believe how quickly this pregnancy has gone (I say that now, but by the end of this week I'll probably be asking myself whyyyy is this pregnancy dragging out so long. Haha.) It has been an extra crazy season and so I'm hoping to just soak up these next few weeks or days or however long I have to be pregnant. I have been nesting like a crazy mama bird and have all the tiny baby clothes washed and all the bottles sterilized. We are ready for you Alder (at least as much as we can be...)

Best Moment this Month: My sweet coworkers threw me a baby shower. I got lots of diapers per my request and each of them wrote a blessing for Alder and prayed it over him. Cue the waterworks. I was a hot mess by the end, but felt so incredibly blessed by their words for Alder.

We have also been busy celebrating birthdays. My husband turned 33 this week and it was fun to imagine how different things will look for his birthday next year with a 3 year old and an almost 1 year old!

Food cravings: Thanks to the holidays I am still craving sweets...mostly my Mom's sugar cookies. I've made several batches of sugar cookies since Christmas...Aiden has requested them too so it isn't just me, just sayin'.

Movement: Although I know Alder has to be running out of room in there, he is still a busy little guy and is almost always moving. His favorite spot to kick is right under my ribcage, thanks little guy.

Symptoms: This month has been a little tougher on me physically. I'm tired all the time and sitting is just not comfortable anymore. I still feel good overall and people are always commenting how small I look for being so close to my due date, but I'm definitely feeling ready to have this baby!

Nursery: So much progress! My sister in law completed a mountain accent wall and it is amazzzzzing! Drew spent his entire Christmas break slaving away in the nursery God bless him. He assembled the crib and dresser along with an entire IKEA storage unit in the closet. The curtains, crib sheets and changing pad are all out and I'm finally feeling like I can go into Alder's nursery and just sit.

Letter for Baby:
Dear Alder,
You will be making your debut soon and I am getting so anxious for you to just be there. I'm looking forward to holding you for the first time and staring into your eyes adoringly. I can't wait to smell your baby smell, kiss your little toes and cry tears of joy at how perfect you are. You are so loved already and I know you will fit in perfectly to our family. I love thinking about how in these final weeks, God is finishing up His little touches on you and preparing you to physically enter this world. I know you will arrive at the perfect time and that we will be ready with open arms and hearts to welcome you into the world.
Your Mama

Week 16 Bumpdate
                Week 22 Bumpdate
                                                                                                                                            Week 30 Bumpdate

See my 37 week post with Aiden here.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Holding On, Letting Go {Honest thoughts on preparing to have TWO kids}

It's January, which means this is the month that we will most likely become a family of FOUR! I know every Mama battles many different emotions as she is on the verge of welcoming her second born and I am no exception.

I am feeling every range of emotion as I prepare to make room in my heart and in my mind for another child. I have absolutely no doubt that I will love Alder immensely and that I will adore watching him and Aiden become buddies, but when I look into my firstborns eyes I can only help feel I am betraying him a little.

For 2 years, he has been my focus. His every need has been put before mine.

My face is the first one he sees when he wakes up and the last one he sees before he falls asleep.

I know exactly what to do to help him feel better when he is sad and know what to say to make him laugh one of his big belly laughs.

I can decipher his funny little phrases and I know what he wants before he asks for it.

Right now, I can drop what I'm doing and bake cookies when he requests it.

I can pick him up and hold him for a nap when he isn't feeling well.

I can bring him in to bed with me to snuggle for a few extra minutes when we are both not quite ready to start the day yet.

I can hold him on my lap and read book after book as he requests them.

And his little world is about to be rocked. Just typing that I feel guilty and my eyes fill with tears.

But I know I'm not the first Mom to go through this and Aiden is not the first child who has to learn to share his parents. I know that this will be a hard season of learning to balance, but I also know it will have many joy filled moments. There will be a day when Aiden won't remember life before Alder. I also pray that there will be a day that he will thank me for giving him his best friend.

So for now I am praying for Aiden's heart. That he will continue to feel so very loved and that he will embrace his role as big brother. That we will learn what works for us and that I will be able to both hold on tightly to this sweet time and let it go.

And now I'm going to go hold Aiden and rock in the corner as I cry...haha. 
But really, that's where I'll be. 
Mom life at it's finest.