3.31.2015

A Surprise for Us All

For the first 15 weeks of this pregnancy it was fun to pretend to myself, and everyone else who asked, that I would actually wait until delivery day to discover if M² was a he or a she. After much discussion Scott and I agreed that we would indeed find out. Immediately upon our agreement I knew exactly how to tell our families, and I began planning the fun.

Finding out was so different this time around than with Marcus. This time there was no ultrasound needed to see if there were lady bits or man parts. My doctor simply drew some blood, sent that into a lab, and results were back within a week.

Per my instructions, when the results came in my doctor wrote down the gender on a card and placed that card in a sealed envelope. I was none the wiser on whether we'd be seeing more blue, or have pink pop up in our lives.

Two days after I picked up the sealed envelope we whisked away to Kansas City. Almost immediately after we landed I rushed to a local bakery where I dropped off the sealed envelope. Once I left the shop the bakery discovered our news and placed gender specific frosting into cupcakes.
You see, both sides of our families would be together, at the same time, to celebrate Marcus' birthday. It was the perfect time to make such a fun announcement!
After an agonizing wait through the birthday dinner it was FINALLY time for the cupcakes. Scott and I passed them all out, all the while not a single soul in our group of 22 had a clue what was actually happening.

We sang to Marcus where he took exceptional delight in blowing out his candles.
 
Then it felt like ages before anyone touched their cupcakes. Finally, I heard our friends' little girl say, "Mommy, there's pink inside!"

I looked at Scott, he looked at me, and I think we were both kind of in shock. We were thrilled and terrified, and both of us was expecting to see blue frosting.

I teared up a little bit, took a bite to confirm the pinkness, and then promptly told both grandmas that they needed to get to eating their cupcakes.

My mom took one bite, saw the pink, and squealed with delight. Scott's mom followed suit, and I think I may have seen some mist in both grandmas eyes. Or, perhaps that was just the blur from the tears in my own eyes.

Meanwhile, Marcus had no idea what was going on around him as he enjoyed every sugary bite of his cupcake.
At any rate…

We were thrilled to make M²'s gender announcement while celebrating Marcus' big day, and it was extra special doing so with both our families surrounding us.

3.30.2015

Happy Marcus Monday!

It was just one of those amazing weekends that you didn't want to end.
Happy Monday!

3.27.2015

Week 20 & He or She? Read on to See!

20 weeks - we are half way! 
It just doesn't seem possible to be this far along already.

Cravings // Edamame is pretty much amazing. I polished off a 14 oz bag of those puppies a couple of days ago, and I have zero regrets about it. Cherry tomatoes are still pretty awesome. And pineapple is about the best. thing. ever.

Size of Baby // According to My Pregnancy app, M² is the length of a banana. Or, 6 1/2 inches head to rump, or 10 inches head to heel, and 10 1/2 ounces.  

Symptoms // I certainly have more energy than the first trimester, but I don't mind a nap when Marcus goes down, and come 9:00PM I am totally spent. I've also noticed the round ligament pain is pretty prevalent when I run. I've also noticed I'm pretty susceptible to crying over the most random and ridiculous stuff : tv shows, commercials, the fact that our house seem to always be 1.7 bazillion degrees Fahrenheit.

Movement //  Movement is becoming stronger and more frequent. It won't be too much longer until Scott and Marcus will be able to feel M² moving about. 

Sleep // Falling asleep and staying asleep aren't an issue. It's just I have to find just the right position to fall asleep. And then I have to pray I don't have to wake to pee. I've found once I wake the pregnancy insomnia takes a strong hold.

Clothing // My workout clothes are all still pre-pregnancy. That's not to say they all fit like they did pre-pregnancy… For the most part I'm in maternity pants/shorts, and stretching my non-maternity tops out for as long as possible. Maxi dresses are my go-to when yoga pants aren't necessarily deemed appropriate.

Best Part of the Week/ Looking Forward To… // Last weekend we were fortunate to spend time in Kansas City and Iowa. While home we were able to gather both sides of our families to celebrate Marcus' birthday. During that time together we announced to our families M²'s gender. I'll share just how we made the announcement with our families next week.

However, Marcus couldn't wait to share the good news here, too.
We're having a girl. 
Holy smokes.
WE ARE HAVING A GIRL!!

3.24.2015

What a Difference a Year Makes

The differences on a day to day basis are so subtle. But, looking back on the last 365 days, a lot sure has changed.

3.23.2015

::Three::

Dear Marcus,

As I write this I can't help but allow the tears to stream down my face. It doesn't seem possible that three whole years have passed since you blessed our lives in ways I'm not sure I'll ever be able to fully explain. I blinked and suddenly here you are, no longer a baby, but this amazing little boy who holds my heart so tightly that sometimes it hurts.
You are such a strong-willed little boy. Your fierce determination to do things your way, on your time can be difficult at times. However, I know it is this trait that will lead you to do great and amazing things one day.
Your sweet, snuggly side is second to none. When you crawl into my lap and still fit into me just so melts my heart, even during our most difficult days. And when you ask, "Can I snuggle wiff you?" I simply cannot say no. Or when you say your nightly prayers and follow them with "Night, Mommy. I wuv you," my heart melts into a puddle within my chest.
Three years ago I wasn't sure what the dirt, sand, trucks, trains, and mess would bring our lives. But, life would be simply be incomplete without it.

Our lives are fuller and more perfect because of you.
Happy Third Birthday, Little Man!
I love you to the moon and back. Twice.
~Mommy

3.20.2015

Week 19

First and foremost, I'd like to wish my dad a very Happy Birthday!! We hope your day is full of joy, laughter and love.

Nineteen weeks down!
It seems as if overnight my belly exponentially expanded!

Cravings // I'm always - ALWAYS - hungry. Tomatoes are so, so good right now. I'm hungry for foods with substance: big, fat turkey sandwiches, specifically from a couple of local Italian joints. I also couldn't help but snag a Shamrock Shake this week. My first, and only, of the season. <-- Willpower at its finest right there.

Size of Baby // According to my app M² is the size of an heirloom tomato, or about 8 1/2 ounces and 6 inches long.

Symptoms // The typical mood swings, hot flashes that consume my body, and round ligament pains round out the top three symptoms this week.

Movement //  The movements are there, though still pretty subtle, but they are there. I'm so anxious for those bigger movements to happen.

Sleep // And so the discomfort begins. I feel as if I'm constantly tossing and turning to find just the right spot to get comfy, fall asleep, and stay asleep. I know it's only going to go downhill from here.

Clothing // Most of my non-maternity clothes have been kicked to the curb. The forgiving glory of the stretchy maternity pants is a saving grace (though some of my regular pants can still be MacGyver'd with the old pony tail holder around the button trick). Thank goodness for the extra room in maternity tops because most of my regular tops leave my midriff feeling a little bare, and thanks but no thanks to all of that.

Best Part of the Week/ Looking Forward To… // We have an upcoming trip to the Midwest! For the first time in Marcus' short little life both sides of our families will all be together at the same time to celebrate his third birthday! To say we are excited to get home is an understatement.

Have a great weekend!

3.18.2015

Team Blue or Team Pink // A Quick Poll


Just for fun, we've been asking friends and family to guess whether they think M² is a boy or girl. I'm asking your thoughts, too!

If you would, please cast your vote for team blue or team pink! Simply use the poll below (it will take all of 2 seconds).

Thanks!!
Results will be in by the end of August! ;)

3.17.2015

Sharing the News

In lieu of Saint Patrick's Day I thought I'd FINALLY share how I shared the good, lucky news with Marcus and Scott as to how our family would be growing from three to four.

It's crazy to think I'm almost half way through this journey (WHAT?!!) and have yet to have shared this part of the pregnancy. (I did share the story over on Sweet Turtle Soup about a month ago, but I thought it'd be nice to have it documented here as well.)

Let me first back up a bit, and without going into too much detail, say that getting pregnant with M² did not happen as quickly or easily as with Marcus. I was by no means considered secondary infertile, nor did I experience any major problems. However, there were several months of waiting and wondering if something may possibly be wrong with me this time around. My heart goes out to anyone who is trying, or has tried, with unsuccessful results.

Fast forward to around Christmastime. After months and months of praying there was a glimmer of hope for an M² I went to Target on a whim and picked up a test. I had no clues or indications I was pregnant, I was just hoping the test would come back with a result that we'd been waiting for sometime to see.

The afternoon I picked up the test I came home to find both Scott and Marcus were soundly napping away. I slipped into the bathroom and waited the four agonizing minutes to see if there was one line, or two. To my delight two very faint lines appeared.

For two hours Marcus and Scott snoozed away while I held on to the sweet, sweet news myself. During those two hours I decided I wanted to find a semi-creative way to tell my guys our family was expanding.

That's where our Elf on the Shelf, Teu, came in to play.

Magically, on the day the test came back positive, Teu made a very rare day trip back to the North Pole for an early special delivery from Santa.
When Marcus and Scott woke I pointed out that Teu had something extra that hadn't been with him earlier in the day. 

Marcus was encouraged to take the small gift off the tree and open it. 
 Marcus gladly obliged in the request. 
Inside the package was a note from Santa.
While Marcus didn't really understand what was going on, the expression on Scott's face was truly priceless: disbelief, excitement, joy, and perhaps a bit of terror (?).
And the rest, as they say, is history. 

3.16.2015

Happy Marcus Monday!

Childhood friendship is the most beautiful memory that cannot be replaced.
Happy Monday!

3.13.2015

Week 18

Four and a half months!
The days tend to drag, but I am continually amazed at how fast this pregnancy seems to be going. In just two short weeks we will be half way to the big day. That's just plain crazy to me.

Cravings // Food. All of it. Just give me all the food. I'm always so freaking hungry right now. There may or may not have been an entire container of cherry tomatoes consumed in less than a couple hours. I've also had zero willpower when it comes to those dang Starburst Jelly Beans. Someone stop the madness already!

Size of Baby // According to My Pregnancy App: M² is the size of a bell pepper, or about 5 1/2 inches long and almost 7 ounces.

Movement // The movements are becoming a bit more noticeable. I'm getting really anxious for the day when I can share with Scott and Marcus the feeling of M² doing acrobatics.  

Sleep // If I could just avoid getting up to pee 463 times a night things would be peachy. It would also be awesome if Marcus would just sleep solidly through the night. But alas, neither is the case. It's also become apparent I can no longer comfortably sleep on my back - my preferred sleep position. Things are just too heavy for comfort when I'm on my back.

Clothing // I'd be lying if I said I wasn't more comfortable with the top button of my pants undone. I'd also be lying if I said I tried on a pair of maternity shorts and the stretchy waist was kind of amazing. I'm still wearing my non-maternity clothes, but I have a feeling that won't be lasting much longer.

Best Part of the Week/ Looking Forward To… // There are a few greats going on:
Last Friday I had a regular check up and M²'s strong little heart beat was the most beautiful music to my ears. 
Coffee FINALLY tastes and smells good. Praise the Lord. It had been a solid ten weeks of no morning cup of Joe to get my day jump started. Though I'm savoring my coffee I have significantly cut back on my intake of the liquid black gold.
Pieces of decor and furniture are slowly trickling in for Marcus' nautical inspired room. I'm dying to get everything here, put together, and placed just so.

Have a great weekend!

3.12.2015

Checking the Pearly Whites

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists recommends that when a child gets their first tooth they should have their first dental visit. Whelp, Marcus' first tooth came in well over two years ago. Know when his first dental appointment was? Yesterday.

Whoops.
To be honest, I'm not exactly sure what was holding me back… Aside from the sheer terror of how the whole experience might go down for the little guy. I'd heard stories from friends who had taken their kids to see the dentist, and the situation ended up less than ideal. My fear of the potential for a tantrum and total melt-down was holding me back.

Finally I bit the bullet. After doing a ton of researching (seriously, I spent almost an entire afternoon scouring Yelp, review sites, and calling offices) for a pediatric dentist I found one that I felt comfortable with before I'd even stepped foot into the office.

As we drove to the appointment my stomach was in knots and I was tossing prayers up, pleading for an episode free experience.

The second we arrived I was immediately put at ease. The entire staff was warm, welcoming, and absoultely amazing with Marcus. Kind. Patient. Understanding. Exactly what every little one (and parent) needs when they experience something new and potentially scary.
When it was time for the actual check up I could not believe how smooth the whole process went for us.
Marcus followed every direction given and answered all questions asked of him. I couldn't help but swell with a little pride as Marcus complied with Dr. Nick as teeth were counted, cleaned, flossed, and a treatment applied.
Marcus still has a long way to go with his teeth brushing, but I was so thankful when the doctor suggested several tips and tricks to try and make the teeth brushing process as efficient and effective as possible.
Of course for Marcus the highlights included picking his own tooth bush, having chocolate tooth paste used to clean his teeth, and picking a few treasures from the treasure chest after the exam.
Toy chest!
It's kind of weird to say, but I'm actually looking forward to our next visit.
High fives from Dr. Nick after a successful check up.
Here are a few tips I found helpful for us prior to and during our visit:
1) We talked A LOT about our teeth and the dentist for about a week leading up to the exam.
2) We talked A LOT about brushing our teeth.
3) We tried the best we could to explain what a dentist did and why we need to see them.
4) Doc McStuffins was watched, and I tried to kind of compare her to seeing a dentist.
5) During the visit I was excited about ev.er.y.thing that Marcus experienced. Everything.

Have you taken your little to see the dentist? If so, how was your experience?

3.10.2015

One Pot Sausage, Tomato and Basil Pasta

When I was pregnant with Marcus I planned way in advance and made a whole slew of freezer meals. I mean, I had the time. I wasn't chasing a toddler all over Kingdom Come, so prepping 15 meals was no big deal.

While I know I still have some time before M² arrives, I'm not totally sure I'll find the time to prepare as many meals (if any). So, I've been on the hunt to find tasty, easy meals that I can whip up with an infant and a personified tornado.

Recently I came across this one pot pasta and it immediately went to the When the Baby Comes food list.

It was unbelievably easy to prepare. From start to finish I think the whole meal took 25  minutes to prep and make. Amazing. I need more meals like this in my life.

Did I also mention it's action packed with flavor? And Marcus even ate some of the noodles. Hallelujah!

One Pot Sausage Tomato and Basil Pasta
What You'll Need
1 pound of spaghetti (one box)
1 package sausage of your choice - I went with smoked turkey
1 large onion thinly sliced
3 cups halved grape tomoatoes
2 cups fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
4 garlic cloves thinly sliced
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

How It Comes Together
In a large stock pot over medium-high heat combine spaghetti, sausage, onion, tomatoes, basil, garlic, and 4 1/2 cups water. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Bring pot to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until pasta is cooked through and liquid has reduced, about 8-10 minutes.
Stir in Parmesan and serve immediately.

Viola! That's it! Dinner is ready.
Enjoy!
Recipe inspiration

3.09.2015

Happy Marcus Monday!

…it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have, in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch it we are going back from whence we came.
~JFK
Happy Monday!

3.06.2015

Week 17

Week 17 and rolling right along.

Symptoms // Round ligament pains are in full effect. I've also noticed it's become slightly more difficult to just pop up off the couch, or up off the floor.

Cravings // Can someone please bring me a strawberry shake from In and Out? Pretty please. I'm also consuming cherry tomatoes at an alarming rate - holy moly they're so good. Strawberries, cantaloupe and pineapple are all so delicious. Oh, and Starburst Jelly Beans are kind of like heaven in my mouth right now - damn you Easter candy!

Size of Baby // According to the My Pregnancy App: M² is the size of a turnip, or about 5 ounces and 5 inches long.

Movement // I haven't been feeling the little movements as much as I'd like, but they are there and they are subtle.

Sleep // I sure hope I'm not jinxing anything, but everyone in our house seems to be sleeping pretty well these nights.

Clothing // I have yet to bust out any true maternity clothes, but I've washed all my maternity clothes from the last go around, too bad most are for cold weather. So, I have been ordering a few summer appropriate items. I also had to cave and grab the larger size bras out of my pregnancy clothes stash (not mad about that).

Best Part of the Week/ Looking Forward To… // I have an appointment today to check in on M².  I can't wait to hear that little heart beating away.
Marcus has taken really well to his converted bed, and I'm excited for the arrival of his big boy bed tomorrow. I'm just itching to get his big boy room started, and then turning the focus to the nursery.

Have a great weekend!

3.04.2015

Good Reads

Reading is a pretty big deal in our house. We read every night to Marcus before bed, and when I can sneak in some quiet time I can be found buried in a book.

Lately I've come across a few great reads that I feel compelled to share with my fellow book lovers.

Let's start with what we're reading Marcus these days:
Momma Don't You Worry - Louie Lawent (currently available for $1.29 on Kindle)// A little boy who is almost 6 years old believes he is too old to hold his mommy's hand when he goes out into public. The book illustrates how the little boy works through the situation.
While Marcus isn't 6, he does often think he is too big to hold my hand when we cross the street, are in a parking lot, or in a crowded venue. This cute book full of rhymes really kept his attention and I even caught a few smiles while we were reading. We'll be keeping this one in our rotation for a long time to come.

Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? - Dr. Seuss // A fan favorite in our house. Dr. Seuss never disappoints. The rhymes, the silly sounds, the quirky pictures, it's just as entertaining for Marcus to listen as it is for me to read.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie - Laura Joffe Numeroff // Marcus cannot get enough of the "If You Give a ____ a ____" books. The silly story that start off with a cookie and lead the mouse to fun adventures, and back again to the cookie, have Marcus asking for these books to be read nightly.

Moving along to book recommendations for audiences over the age of 13, and books perfect for your next book club:
 The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern // History, mystery, magic, drama, and love all majestically wound into a book I simply could not put down. Books about magic are not my typical kind of reads, but this one drew me in and wouldn't release me until the last word on the last page was read.
Amazon synapses: The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des RĂªves, and it is only open at night. 

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance.

An Invisible Thread - Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski // This unbelievably beautiful, true story, of how an unlikely relationship forms in New York City between a sales executive and 11-year panhandling boy wrapped me up and held tight until the very end. The pain, sadness, triumph, and love had my emotions all over the spectrum. There were even tears. Real tears.
Amazon synapses: This story tells of the life-long friendship between a busy sales executive and a disadvantaged young boy, and how both of their lives were changed by what began as one small gesture of kindness.

Stopping was never part of the plan...

She was a successful ad sales rep in Manhattan. He was a homeless, eleven-year-old panhandler on the street. He asked for spare change; she kept walking. But then something stopped her in her tracks, and she went back. And she continued to go back, again and again. They met up nearly every week for years and built an unexpected, life-changing friendship that has today spanned almost three decades.

Whatever made me notice him on that street corner so many years ago is clearly something that cannot be extinguished, no matter how relentless the forces aligned against it. Some may call it spirit. Some may call it heart. It drew me to him, as if we were bound by some invisible, unbreakable thread. And whatever it is, it binds us still.


Becoming Us - Amy Daws // I've mentioned before my best friend in all the land is a published author. Her first fiction book, A Broken Us, left me feeling like I knew her characters. It was as if I was in the story, part of the story. I had real feeling about the characters, and when the book was over I was sad to see it end. To my delight Amy has released her second book (it's actually the prequel to A Broken Us)in the London Lover series, Becoming Us, and I am about to dive head first into it. I know the characters will pull me in and I won't be able to shake them until their story concludes. 
If you love yourself some good chick lit I know this one will not disappoint. 
Amazon synapses: The dreaded friend-zone... 
The last place I ever want to be with college basketball God, Jake LaShae. 
I am losing my mind trying to figure out what this gorgeous and confident man wants from me. I need to break through his walls. What is it about me that makes him not go there? What am I lacking? 
When a mind-blowing betrayal knocks the wind out of me, and I think I can't feel any lower...Brody stumbles into my path—barefoot no less, and sexy as hell. His direct and mouth-watering swagger is a breath of fresh air. The feelings this man gives me are like nothing I've ever experienced. 
But Brody has a past. 
A past that makes it nearly impossible for him to trust me and let us become us in whatever capacity that may be. 
Just when Brody and I truly connect, just when I think that finding my soul-mate in college isn't a total joke, Jake comes back into my life…and messes things up…possibly for good.


And there you have it. A few books to add to your littles collection, as well as your own.
Now tell me, what are some other books that I need to add to my ever growing "must read" list?

Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of Momma Don't You Worry in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

3.03.2015

Nautical Inspiration {{Marcus' Big Boy Room}}

The need to get things done around the house is hitting me full force. I can't help it. With Marcus' big boy bed coming at the end of the week, and the fact that we haven't even touched on the idea of a nursery, I'm in full-fledged nesting mode.

It will probably be several weeks until any nursery ideas come together, but Marcus' room is another story. A theme, or look, has been chosen, and I'm ready to make this room happen. 

Here's some of inspiration we're working with.

The bed:
We only have three bedrooms, and when grandparents visit we want them to have a place to stay without having to book a hotel. The full bed will work for two adults, and the twin trundle will be just right for Marcus. May I also add that I love the additional storage beneath the trundle, as well as under the bed (Marcus has already discovered that the under-bed-storage makes for the perfect little fort). There is no such thing as too much storage. 

We have a dresser that was Scott's growing up, so we are going to re-stain that to a color that matches the bed, and I found some hardware that I think will tie in just perfectly.
After a little bit of contemplation the chevron won my heart (shocking). It resembles waves, and I'm just smitten with it. 

The decor and accessories:
Navy and white will be the primary colors with pops of reds and yellows throughout. 
My mom is making the comforter, and I just know it's going to exceed my expectations. 
curtains // oars // mirror // lamp // sailboat
captains wheel // captain:pirate sign // book shelf // anchor with lights // curtain hardware
And there it is. I can't wait to see how it all comes together, and I'm even more exited to share the room when it's completed (let's hope that's sooner rather than later).