Sunday, August 31

33 weeks

I am 33 weeks pregnant today. I'm feeling very good- some days I think I'm feeling too good then the little guy kicks the smack out of me and brings me back to reality!

Here's a picture from of a baby at 33 weeks. This is not Luke!

I've got a midwife appointment on Tuesday to have general things checked out. Should be a quick appointment as there's really nothing to discuss right now! I am having way more braxton hicks contractions with this pregnancy- 4 or 5 a day I would say. Which is within the realm of normal, so don't worry. I think part of it is the red raspberry leaf tea I'm drinking daily, which is supposed to help tone my uterus and get it ready to push out a baby. We took some maternity portraits yesterday (the free ones!) so hopefully I'll have some pretty pictures to post later this week. I think it went really well- I think she got some good ones of Beth kissing my belly!

Friday, August 29

Sewing project

My third sewing project- a homemade wetbag for my diaper bag. It's just for me to toss in my diaper bag so when we're out and I need to change Beth's diaper, I have a waterproof/smellproof small bag to put the used diapers in. I just finished- it took me about 30 minutes to figure it out. My first zipper! I'm not sure I chose the right material (probably should have used PUL) but I just cut a waterproof liner for a crib, added a zipper and sewed up the sides. Really I probably shouldn't be as proud of it as I am since it was really simple, but... I am proud! Hopefully it keeps the wetness in... I don't know about smell though. I might try to figure out how to add a pretty cover on it, but I'm not sure if it'll be worth it. I'll try it out first to see how it works.


Tuesday, August 26

She's bossy!

Beth's speech has really taken off lately! Her words still aren't entirely clear to most people but I definitely can understand her when she asks me for something- or rather, tells me to do something. And what has been really humorous about this is watching her boss Finley around. Mostly, it's a clear and demanding "No No!" to Finley when he's sniffing something she thinks he shouldn't be sniffing. Or if I'm cooking dinner in the kitchen and Beth is with me, and Finley walks in, she'll start pushing him and saying "Out!" (this is even funnier considering he weighs at least three times as much as her and she can barely budge him). Ryan and I crack up at it but I guess this means we'll have to start watching what we say around her a little more... Not that we saying anything bad, but Ryan will occasionally lay the smack-talk on Finley...

Beth has also been very into "dipping" her food in the recent weeks. I keep forgetting to blog about it! A few months ago I was trying to coax her into eating something so I gave her a little mustard and showed her how to dip her food. Well, to her this was the greatest thing since mama's milk! She loves mustard, and she loves dipping her food! We'll give her other dips also, like ranch dressing, cream cheese, or yogurt, but by far her favorite is mustard. We've even caught her just spooning plain mustard into her mouth!

She's also been really interested in a baby book we have for her called Angel in the Waters. It's about the baby forming inside of a mommy and how the mommy and daddy take care of the baby after he's born. It's a sweet book, we gave it to Beth when I was still in my first trimester but she's just now getting interested in looking at the beautiful drawings. She absolutely loves babies right now! I can't remember if I've blogged about this or not, but a few weeks ago we went to someone's house to pick something up. The lady had a 3-week-old baby and she let Beth hold him! Beth completely understood that this was a real baby and not a doll, and she admired his belly button and toes and his full head of hair! She did not want to let him go though! And at another friend's house, Beth kept trying to hug a 7-month-old boy. He wasn't as interested as Beth was, and her extreme interest in him probably scared him a little, but she was really upset when I asked her to stop trying to hug him! Ryan and I are positive she's going to be the overly-helpful, overly-interested big sister. I don't anticipate any sort of sibling rivalry or jealousy from her- she really loves babies so much that I think she'll see baby Luke as more of a gift to her than someone to take attention away from her. I am so excited to see her around her new brother!
Meanwhile, this is my view of her now. Usually I don't even see her nose!

Sunday, August 24

My birthday!

Yesterday I turned 26. It wasn't quite as monumental as #25, but it was a really REALLY great birthday!

We started the day with me sleeping in till 9 (how nice!) and then we all went to Borders. I wanted to find a book for Beth about being a big sister but they really didn't have anything I liked- nothing geared toward little kids. We walked around a little and then came back home for lunch and birthday cards. Our car was our present to each other this year but I did get a big bar of Hershey's dark chocolate from Ryan! After we put Beth down I went to a baptism for a friend's new daughter. They used such beautiful symbolism and I hope to be able to incorporate some of that into Luke's baptism in a few months. It was beautiful!
Beth running around a grassy field after our short trip to Borders. Apparently she shouldn't have been on the grass and we were scolded by the security guard!

Me and my girl :-)

Around 4:00, Ryan and I drove into the city for a "night out"- my first night away from Beth. We checked into probably the nicest hotel room I've ever stayed in (thanks Daddy!) just a few blocks away from where we used to live. I think they upgraded us- our room was on the corner and one entire wall was floor-to-ceiling windows! It was fun to go back to that area and see all the changes- and also everything that's stayed the same. Then we went to dinner at Churrascos- a South American cuisine restaurant. I'd been there once before but it was Ryan's first time- BOY was it delicious. It's probably the best food we've eaten in a long time- Ryan even ventured to say it was probably the best steak he's ever had! And no, there was no embarrassing singing to the birthday girl! After dinner we went back to our room to change then headed out to the horse tracks. Unfortunately we got there a little later than we'd hoped and only saw two races- but on the other hand that means we only lost money on two races. ;-) (Though Ryan would probably appreciate me saying that he almost won $60 had his horse been about 12 inches ahead of where he was when he finished.) After the tracks we went to Chilis to sit at the bar and have some drinks. The bartender made me some yummy virgin margaritas!

Dressed pretty for dinner

At the tracks- one of the two races we saw! See the horse all the way to the left (you may have to click to make the pic bigger)? I bet he'd come in 2nd place- therefore I lost!

Self-portrait of us at the horse tracks. We look pretty happy for having just lost $10!

The next day we were planning on going to mass at our old church but decided to go to the new Cathedral instead. The new church was beautiful! During mass they baptized 3 kids and I realized that the two things that can always make me cry are births (I really can't watch a baby born on television without choking up) and baptisms (I cried at the one yesterday too). After mass we drove home and walked in to Beth napping. I can honestly say that there were several times yesterday and this morning that I truly missed my girl- even though I was gone from her for less than 24 hours. I guess attachment parenting works both ways!

A statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. If I remember correctly, this statue was hand-carved for the cathedral out of the same stone that Michaelangelo's David was carved from.

The altar and 12-foot crucifix- very beautiful.

Overall it was an absolutely fantastic birthday! We're so grateful that Ryan's parents could take care of Beth- it's such a blessing to have them nearby and ready to take care of her whenever we ask! On my agenda for my 26th year- have another baby (duh), grow in my love for Christ through being faithful to my commitments, find some freelance writing gigs to make a little moolah, run another 10k, and maybe buy a bedroom furniture set!

Friday, August 22

Birthday pics

We didn't have much of a celebration on Ryan's birthday since Beth was sick that day, so instead we semi-celebrated last night. I made his requested appetizer of spinach and artichoke dip and his requested dessert of oatmeal toffee bars. We were so full after those two things that we decided to make the actual dinner part of meatloaf, potato skins, and summer veggies tonight!

Happy birthday, love!

This is our idea of fun in our household.

Beth, I would say, was back to normal yesterday. She still keeps her finger constantly in her mouth- which would really make you think she's teething again but I can't see anything in her mouth. Due up next are her canines but nothing seems to be attempting to pop through the surface. So I don't know... I'm just hoping she's not developing a finger-sucking habit, I'm not looking forward to breaking a habit like that.

Tomorrow is my birthday and to celebrate (well, we'll be celebrating both of our birthdays) Ryan and I are spending a night away from Beth! We're driving into the city for dinner and a night on the town at the horse tracks and staying at a hotel near where we used to live. Then Sunday morning we'll go to mass at our old church! I'm really excited about this- it'll be my FIRST night away from Beth and probably only night away for many years to come, lol. Really and honestly, I'm probably most excited about sleeping in on Sunday!

Tuesday, August 19


We're going to have a doula for this birth!

I was searching Craigslist one day a couple of weeks ago (because who doesn't like to just surf?!) and found an ad for a woman who is completing her DONA certification and needs to attend some births- for FREE! So I contacted her and Ryan, Beth and I met her on Saturday to get some details and see if we "clicked." Well everything went very well, as it turns out I will be her very first vaginal birth as a trained doula! I'm really excited about this as I've heard wonderful things about having a doula during labor. They're really supposed to help things happen naturally- which would have been excellent in a hospital setting but I'm willing to accept all the help I can get right now! We talked to our midwife and she highly encouraged us to ask her to work with us. So basically during my labor it will be me, Ryan, our doula (her name is Christina) and the midwife. Once I'm ready to push we'll have a nurse there as well.

This is a good overview of what a doula is exactly and what will sort of go on for us.

I also forgot to mention that I had another midwife appointment on Monday. I'm up 18 lbs, still generally healthy, and Luke is now head-down. Hopefully he'll stay that way!

And Beth is feeling better today. She woke up with a 101 at 6:30 am, so I gave her some Motrin. Her fever never came back and although she's been a little cranky and not very hungry, she's acting pretty normal so we didn't bring her in to the pediatrician. Hopefully tomorrow she'll be 100% again!

Birthday week

Happy birthday to my awesome hubby today, your girls love you!
(Yes, he's sitting on Finley.)

On another note, Beth has been incredibly sick today which has made it sort of a challenging day for us. She woke up with a fever and it increased throughout the day, eventually leading to throwing up. Daddy saved the day and came home with some Motrin (we only had Tylenol and apparently Motrin just works better on Beth) and so we had a happy girl for the evening. She was even able to keep a little dinner down. She's in bed now. I called the nurse line today and we agreed that I'd bring her in tomorrow if her fever is still high (up at 103 today!). It's hard to say what could possibly be wrong when her symptoms are fever, lethargy, and a single episode of throwing up. Hopefully she'll wake up in the morning free of any symptoms!

Friday, August 15

The 5 is here!

We bought our new car today! Everything went very smoothly. We're excited, Ryan is giddy like a little girl- it's so cute. We're a Mazda family now!

It's Sunday now and I'm finally updating with photos. Yesterday we had an incredibly busy day so today we were able to clean out the garage so we can fit both cars in now. It's a tight fit but it works better now than it did with the car/truck combination. We drove it around a lot yesterday since we were busy, and I think Beth likes it a lot. She rides higher up now so she can actually see out the side windows and the back window. We didn't hear a peep from her the first couple of trips! And after we got home yesterday she kept asking to go out again, lol. Our car is in our possession now but it's not the way we bought it- they still have to install a couple of extras that we purchased like the tint (limo tint, the darkest legal tint possible, oh yeah) and my remote engine start. Oh I can't tell you how excited I am about the remote engine start- having the car cooling off or warming up by the time I get to it? I am going to be spoiled, I just know it. And have I mentioned it has a moon roof? I'm a cool mommy now! And NO it's not a minivan! It falls in the "hatchback" category, which made it okay for Ryan to drive!

'08 Mazda 5 Touring.

The car doesn't have a name yet... In fact I'm not quite sure of gender yet.

Beth in her seat- obviously we're not going anywhere as she's not strapped in. ;-) But she actually likes getting in her seat now since she can see out the windows!

This is how we do Beth's hair after we've been outside for awhile and she gets all sweaty. Cause it makes us laugh.

Wednesday, August 13

Feeling anxious

As I await the arrival of little Luke... As I hit and pass the 30 week mark of pregnancy... As I can no longer see nor reach my feet... As I feel like I have hardly anything prepared to bring him home... I am feeling anxious.

While my head knows that a baby is a tiny baby who needs only mommy's milk and some warm arms, my heart is looking at all this precious boy baby things that society is telling me I need. I want blue blankets, though the pink ones are perfectly able to keep him warm. I want a fancy new boy-colored sling, though I know the girly one that I use with Beth is also capable of carrying a boy. The only thing I can 100% justify buying brand-new is the car seat, because that's a safety issue and we don't have an infant seat from Beth. Everything else we have will work just fine.

Not only do I want to buy stuff for Luke, but I want to buy for Beth too. I want to buy her pretty new clothes since she's on the verge of outgrowing her size 18-month items, and I want to buy her a couple of exciting new things for when Luke is born. A gift from Luke to her on the day he's born- most likely a new doll and a soft chair. That way she can take care of her new baby while I take care of our new baby. It's nice in theory, at least.

Being pregnant also has changed my body- most obviously in my big belly. I firmly believe that God is trying to tell me to get past my vanity issues as I continue to count the number of fresh spider veins that pop up on my legs. My legs are slightly swollen (not enough for medical concern though), my face is getting fuller, my tummy is stretching... I can't touch my feet and have a hard time putting real shoes on. Forget giving myself a pedicure! And there are other things going on I just cannot mention on a public blog! Sometimes I think my body is just giving up on me.

I am having a good time relaxing now. Beth is sleeping better than ever (still 7 pm to 7:30 am, with a 1.5-2 hour nap) and I am taking advantage of all this "free" time I have because I know it won't last for long. And I am thanking Jesus, believe you me! I know I am lucky!

I can tell that my pregnancy hormones are...alive and well. Although I can't see anything, I think Beth might be cutting a molar or four because her hands are ALWAYS in her mouth and her nose is a little runny, not to mention the non-stop crankiness. It's very trying as a pregnant mama when your little girl wants you to just hold and rock her and you can't fit her on your lap! (We're experimenting with new seating solutions.)

So all these things are on my mind. Things I selfishly want... Pouting over my changing body... Feeling anxious because the "Type A" personality in me just can't wait for things to take their natural course. I like to plan ahead!!! I bet God just laughed and laughed when someone came up with the idea of a "due date"- as in I have a specific day to look forward to when in reality little Luke could come any time he pleases. Hopefully not for a couple more months though- he needs to cook a little longer.

So these are my pregnancy musings while my precious girl naps. I am grateful that God has given me an easy pregnancy with a healthy baby boy I will soon be able to cradle in my arms. I am thankful that my husband loves our family, gets up every day and goes to a job he enjoys. I feel blessed that Bethany is in good health and is exhibiting right-on-cue toddler behaviors. And I thank God for the roof over my head, the food that nourishes us, the friends and family that support us, and the gift of faith to always trust in Him.

Tuesday, August 12

Just in case

If anyone hasn't been fully convinced yet that I've completely gone overboard with cloth diapers, this might be your final clue:

Monday, August 11

Goodbye, sweet truck

We are now a one-car family! We got an offer on Ryan's truck this weekend that we couldn't refuse so we sold it on the spot. We'll be a one-car family for only a couple of weeks, our goal is to have the Mazda 5 by August 25 because that's when Ryan's fall semester starts. So... farewell sweet truck. You were good to us and helped us move lots of heavy stuff many times without giving us too much grief!

And a two cute girls sharing a cup of tea:

Friday, August 8

A diaper sprayer!

We bought this:
To help out with meals like this:
(chickpeas, oatmeal and prunes)

I'll just say it works very well and I'm so happy to have a husband to install it. :-)

Thursday, August 7

Mall pics

Yesterday we went to the mall to get out of the house to play and meet Ryan for a quick lunch. Beth took about 10 minutes to warm up to all the kids on the indoor playground, then jumped right in! I feel so blessed that Ryan is within walking distance from the mall and can meet us there just about anytime!

Warming up- keeping an eye open for rambunctious kids.

This is a look of pure excitement- right when she saw Ryan walking up to meet us!

She is such a daddy's girl!

Mmm...Chick-fila soft serve! She shares with her daddy because I still think baby slobber is gross!

Tuesday, August 5

Waking up happy from a nap

Two solid hours makes for one happy toddler!

Monday, August 4

29 weeks pregnant says Luke is about 15 inches and 2.5 lbs! Looking at some old posts, I think I am physically bigger right now than I was at this time during my pregnancy with Beth, but I still don't feel very big.

We met some friends at Lupe Tortilla (yum) and they had this cute plaster cow outside, I had to take a picture!

Saturday, August 2

Our day

We had a busy day today! My project for the day was getting Beth's old clothes out of her closet and into some plastic containers, and Ryan's project was to wash and wax his truck to make it look pretty for his trade-in value appointment .

We went out this morning and found some plastic bins on sale at Target and got 6- 4 for Beth and 2 for Luke. Luckily I had been organizing her clothes as she's outgrown them- but they've been stored in diaper boxes and plastic containers of various sizes in her closet. Now they're consolidated into 3 pretty boxes, awaiting their trip to the attic until we have another girl to clothe. :-)
Old ugly boxes and pretty new boxes!

While I was going through her clothes I realized I actually had a lot of gender-neutral stuff that Luke can wear, so I pulled that out and have it ready to go in his drawer. His single drawer in Beth's huge dresser, lol. What's awesome is this box is full of clothes that we've been given or I've bought on clearance for him to wear between 3-12 months. I really think he won't need any clothes until he hits 6 months!

Luke's box of clothes. The big diaper box is full of cloth diapers for Luke- he's stocked and ready to go in that department also!

Happy baby in a box, not to be stored in the attic. ;-)

Ryan is at his appointment right now, getting an estimate on his trade-in value of his truck- hopefully it goes well! We're hoping to buy our Mazda 5 toward the beginning of September. One more month! Anyone want to buy a 98 Ford Ranger???

Beth has started "swimming like a fishy" in the bathtub. She throws out all her toys and then lays on her belly and giggles. She likes to put one ear under the water too, I think she's still trying to figure all that out. I still have her in an infant (toddler?) tub from Ikea, so I think I'm hindering her ability to really "swim", lol. I've been contemplating moving her out of this tub and into the big bathtub. I'll need to in a couple of months anyways after Luke is born because we'll need the real tiny infant tub, and there's not enough room for all that in our bathroom!

Fun in the tub!

We're still trying to figure out which cloth diapers will hold it all in at night since Beth tends to be a pretty heavy night wetter. This is our first night to give this combination a try- a hemp pocket diaper stuffed with a cotton insert and a hemp tri-fold, and a wool soaker on top. Hemp is incredibly absorbent (so I hear) and wool is incredibly breathable as well as absorbent. So... we'll see what happens!

And finally, a picture from two days ago. This is my first "sewing" project on my new (well, new to me) sewing machine (it was Ryan's grandmother's machine). I can sew a seam! I cut up the dress I had started making for her a few months ago, mostly because I would have been too embarrassed for her to actually wear it, so here's the fabric now as a sling for Beth instead. It's too long and not deep enough, but for free-handing it I'll call it a success.
Pooh Bear likes his new ride.

Also, today one of my brothers left home to head out of state to discern living at Sacred Heat Apostolic School in the fall. Please keep him and my family in your prayers, as while everyone is elated that he is giving God this chance in his life, it will be a big change to have him gone!

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