My Mamas

I’m sure everyone’s heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child” #true.

I don’t think I’ve ever gotten the chance to fully explain who my village is or, as I call them, My Mamas. Yes, I have people I can count on in real life, but I’ve had these ladies since the beginning.

Let me roll back a little bit. I was on a wedding website when Anthony and I were engaged because I had no clue what I was doing and I was the first one of my friends to get married. Flash forward to September 2015 when Anthony and I decided we wanted to have a baby. I logged back into this website because they had a section in their forum that was for TTC (Trying to Conceive), Babies, Parenting, etc. I figured, I can check this out since once again I’m doing something that I have no clue how to do or what to expect.

Well one of the boards was a due date month group. Once you tested positive, you’d join the month board that you were due and this was your group. I figured this would be really good for me since I didn’t have anybody in my life at the time I could talk to because 1. I hadn’t told a soul we were trying let alone pregnant 2. None of my closest girlfriends were pregnant or had a baby (there were a couple of girls I knew but I wasn’t ready to share with them at this time).

I joined the September 2016 mama group, I wasn’t sure how many of us there would end up being but our finally tally as of today was 37 women total. A Facebook group was created so we could all talk all lot more efficiently than on a website board back and forth.

I had NO idea how close I would get to these ladies! We’re literally, from all over the world. London, Sweden, Chile, Australia, Canada and the United States. We talk literally all day long. It was the most comforting thing as a first time mom and being pregnant that if I was panicking about something I could open my Facebook app and ask a question to my ladies and see what they recommended or thoughts on what was going on.

There were conversations on what car seats we were all buying, plans to breastfeed or not, thoughts on co-sleeping, suggestions for how to sleep better at night while pregnant, I could go on but we talked about everything, nothing has been off limits. Being pregnant was so exciting because I got to be pregnant with so many ladies at one time. We started weekly themed threads, which I will say postpartum have been amazing. Weekly bump pictures, ultrasound photos, etc.

Once our babies started to arrive it was even more amazing. We shared updates from the hospital rooms. #babywatch was like the best thing ever when you’d wake up to pee in the middle of the night and someone announced “MY WATER BROKE” and it followed with a bunch of responses that ranged from: WOOHOO, OMG, *eye emojis* SO MANY EYE EMOJIS. When Kennedy was born I was like, I need to post a picture to my mamas now! I don’t think anybody understood what I meant.

Flash to postpartum, when our babies were here. When we were up for hours upon hours at a time. Babies didn’t want to sleep at night time, babies feeding around the clock, not sleeping, not sure if you’re breastfeeding your baby properly, worried if you’re doing this right…they were right there. It didn’t matter what time it was, someone was more than likely awake, and they were your comfort when you needed it.

These ladies, my mamas, have filled a hole that I have had because I didn’t have any pregnant girlfriends in real life. I didn’t have any close friends that had just had babies or that I felt like I could pour my life story out to without them thinking I’m insane. They know EVERYTHING about me, and yet here we are…it’s May 2017, our oldest babies are going to be 10 months old this month, sweet Blake & Vanessa and our youngest baby just turned 7 months, Roscoe.

I’ve laughed so hard with these ladies when we shared funny photos and stories about things that happened in our lives. My heart has broken with these ladies and I’ve cried for them even though we’re thousands of miles away. I LOVE these ladies and these babies so much, but I love their friendship and what they’ve helped me become by just being there so much more.

I don’t know what I did, or how I got so lucky to fall into this group. They are the most loving, caring, hilarious, and beautiful ladies I’ve ever known.

I’m feeling far more emotional about this today and now because I got to meet one of them today in person and introduce our little ones to each other and it felt so normal. I wasn’t nervous to meet Stephanie because I knew she already knew who I was. Dylan and Kennedy are all set to go to prom in 17 years too.

I can’t explain how many times I thank God for these women. I don’t know where I would be without them. I feel like I’m better equipped to handle motherhood and on days where I feel like I’ve just sucked, they always build me back up.

My mamas, I love you all SO much, I can’t even explain it. You have made me a better woman and helped prepare me and continue to teach me how to be a better mom. I hope you know how much you are appreciated by me! It only seems right with Mother’s Day coming up that I express my gratitude to you all for being my rock and safe place to vent. Thank you for being the greatest ladies I could of ever imagined to do this mom life with. ❤

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“The Working Mom”

I always thought I’d be, “The Working Mom” and I had people ask me ALL the time, “Are you sure?” “You really think you’ll be able to do it?” I always looked at them like they were nuts and thought, duh, that’s what people have to do.

Did I ever think to myself, gosh, staying home would be amazing? Of course I did, but it was merely a thought. My entire pregnancy I figured I would enjoy maternity leave and the one on one time I had with my baby but at its end, I’d be ready to return to the workforce.

Um…I was so incredibly wrong.

As I’ve mentioned Kennedy was 3 weeks early and I was placed on bedrest 2.5 weeks prior to her arrival. I started my actual maternity leave a lot sooner than I anticipated. I remember the second or third night Anthony and I were home with Kennedy and I turned at looked at him and said, “I have absolutely no idea how I’m supposed to go back to work, I have an aching and longing need to be around her 24/7.” I cried immediately because I just wanted to be around her and only her and my little family unit that had gone from 2 to 3 just days earlier. The next morning we both figured I was hormonal and I was just feeling all the emotions that come with being a new mom, which is pretty standard for all.

I got 10.5 weeks of time with my little girl before it was time for me to return to work. I was a mess. I cried the two weeks leading up to my first day of work and was doing everything imaginable to try and slow time down. I woke up at 2:30 AM that Monday and started crying. Anthony took off for work and I was alone waiting for the princess to wake up. I remember sitting in her room drinking my coffee and watching her sleep in her crib and I sobbed and sobbed. She woke up and in typical Kennedy fashion batted her perfectly curled eyelashes at me and smiled her big gummy smile. I stopped crying at that moment because nothing is cuter than that little face.

I dropped her off at daycare (which by the way, Jen, you’re the best and we are so happy you are the one taking care of our little girl) and I held it together until I started driving down the road. I called Anthony and burst into tears and cried the entire way to my office. My co-workers were kind enough to get me a welcome back gift and it was super sweet and appreciated by getting through the day was SO. HARD. The stroke of 3:30 I was out of there and off to pick up my girl.

It’s been exactly 4 months since I’ve returned back to work and it’s the hardest thing I have to do every weekday morning. As someone that’s always been very focused on my education and having a career, I have multiple times been ready to throw it all away to just focus and be with my child. I am longing for the ability to be with her as much as possible but as much as I want that, I have to keep reminding myself that right now in this season, that isn’t in the cards.

So what do you do in this situation? I spend as much quality time with Kennedy as I can. I get up early and get myself fully ready and leave 45 minutes to get her up and ready for the day and spend time with her before we walk out the door. When I get to work, I work and I get all of it done in the office so when the day is over, I walk out the door and go back to mommy mode. I pick Kennedy up and I get 2-2.5 hours of her being awake before it’s bedtime and I make the most of out if as I possibly can. No phone, playtime in her room, reading, bath time, all of that, I literally treasure every possible second. The weekends, oh they are my absolute favorite, more so than ever before. I take that little girl with me EVERYWHERE. I never knew that becoming a mother would change me as much as it has especially with my focus on work and what my heart’s desire is.

I totally understand now how women are torn and have to make decisions like staying home with babies or go back to work. It’s the hardest choice to make and right now in this season my husband (you rock!) and I are trying to figure out what exactly will it take for us to ensure one of us is home more with our daughter. 2017 is going to be an interesting year for us as we work toward a goal of making that a reality. For now I’m just trying to keep it together although some days I have no clue how the heck I’m going to get through! I do actually know though, it’s that cute little one that I pick up each day around 4:00 PM that keeps me going!

I want to say to all moms, working or stay at home, all moms have struggles they have to face in both of these paths and you’re doing an amazing job no matter what struggles you’re facing. We will all get through these things and it’ll be easier if we can lean on each other! Major kudos to my September Mamas, I’m pretty sure I would of fallen off the deep end multiple times without your kind words and support, you guys are EVERYTHING in this motherhood journey!

Your way is the right way

 

Moms. There’s literally a million different kinds of them, but we all want the same thing for our little humans, the best possible everything that life has to offer. You realize it more once you’re staring at your own little one in the face and watching their eyes explore your face that there is literally nothing more in the entire universe that you want, other than to give them everything that you can.

What is giving them the best possible life they could imagine? That answer is different for everybody. I think that’s something that a lot of us could use regular reminding of. No two parents or households are going to operate the same. What works for Kennedy and I won’t work for my best friend and her newborn. Can we talk about what works for us and what doesn’t? Of course! What we shouldn’t do is mommy-shame or bash based on their decisions and choices. There is a small exception to this rule of course like many other things in life but in general, I like to follow the rule of thumb that you just don’t tell someone else how to Mommy.

I say this after I experienced someone telling me that I was harming my daughter by baby wearing her. I did what I often do, packed myself and Kennedy up in the car to head to the grocery store to get food to eat for the week. Saw the same clerks/workers that I often do and some of them recognize me because I go the same day every week and they’re usually working. I’ve always had positive remarks when I’ve worn her in a baby carrier or just some weird looks because, hey, I get it, baby wearing isn’t for everyone. I was at the checkout and bagging my groceries when the woman across from me said something along the lines of, “Look at her, you’re squishing her and she’s all bunched up in there, aww, poor baby.” Cue the steam coming out of my ears and my heart and blood pumping a MILLION miles per hour, yet I could barely let more than a few words escape my mouth. I’m pretty sure I said something along the lines of, “Oh, she’s fine, notice that she’s sleeping peacefully and this is nice and soft.” I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. I was embarrassed. ME. I couldn’t believe someone would make sure a comment.

After being incredibly pissed off the entire drive home and then once I arrived in my kitchen to tell my husband what I happened, I had some time to think to myself about her comments. Was I irritated? Yes. But, I had to step away from the situation and ask myself, why would she make that comment? Maybe she doesn’t know anything or much about baby wearing, maybe she isn’t comfortable doing it because she never was taught how to do it, who knows? But I was allowing her viewpoint on parenting and how to do things get to me. There are millions of women that have to deal with people negatively projecting their opinions on their parenting style and it’s not fair.

I know I’m not perfect and there’s been several times where I’ve seen someone do something with their child that I didn’t agree with or that I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing with Kennedy, but who am I to tell them I think what they’re doing is wrong when it’s just a different way to do it? After dealing with my interaction in the grocery store I decided it isn’t my place to pass judgement on another mom.

I’ve said it once before and I’ll say it again, being a mom is freakin’ hard. But it’s also unbelievable and quite frankly the best job I’ve ever had in the entire world. It should be a joy for all the mommies, not something that they have to second guess because someone might greet them with criticism for their way of getting it done. My hope, as more and more of my girlfriends and their partners start having babies, is that we can empower one another and learn from each other. I have been loving talking pregnancy, babies, and motherhood so much and I’ve found that to be greatly in part to my fellow September Mamas that I’ve been friends with for about a year now (thank God for the internet). 36 different women, all of us with different ways of doing things, but we’ve NEVER bashed each other for how we parent our babies. I couldn’t be more grateful! I’ve learned so much from them and now as more and more of my friends that I see in person regularly become moms, I hope I can take what I’ve learned through these ladies, and share it with more of my friends.

We must stick together mamas! With that being said, I hope to post a fun post next about Kennedy and her newest happenings. Give me a couple weeks and I’ll do a big 6 month update (excuse me while I go cry, how is she 6 months already?)

Love to all! xoxo

August Baby Pt. 2: Words from The Father

What’s up everybody!! As you can tell by the title this is Erin’s husband/Kennedy’s father! Many of you who read this amazing blog already know me but for those of you who don’t I have a name. And that name is (dramatic pause) Anthony. So anti-climactic I know. Feel free to roll your eyes at this point I am a wee bit, a tad if you will, eccentric. But enough about me and more about Kennedy and how she came to be… Through my frames. 

Dear sweet Kennedy was born on Friday August 26th at 8:35 am. She was 7lbs 12 oz, which is freaking huge when you consider she was 3 WEEKS EARLY 😲you might be thinking to yourself, “how nice that she was born on a Friday morning, Erin must’ve gone into labor late Thursday or early Friday.” To quote Lee Corso, “Not so fast my friend!” Had it unfolded that way it would’ve been perfect because of my work schedule. I won’t get into detail about what I do (if you really want to know just ask me playa) but I work over nights on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Again, baby was born Friday… Erin went into labor on Wednesday night 😫 I was at work 😫😫 There I was working away, side bar my route takes me out to Santa Barbara, so I’m only 200 miles from Temecula a quick saunter for a commercial jet 🙃 Anyway, there I was working away when right around 10:30 pm I get a phone call. “Hi wife, I say cheerfully, you going to bed?!” Not even thinking that it’s not the norm for her to call me in the middle of my shift at that hour. She said, in a nutshell “Husbie, my brother is on his way here, I think my water may have broke, I’m going to see what he thinks I should do. I’m not having contractions yet, but I don’t want to take any chances.” “Woah” I said. “This is exciting love, but just relax, you’re not having contractions yet so I have time to finish up, I’m already halfway done, unless you want me to come home now? How about this, call me when you know something from the hospital and we will decide from there.” We said our I love yous and that was that!! HOLY CRAP IM GONNA BE A DADDY. It may come as a surprise but all I have ever wanted is to be a good husband and a good father. I don’t know where it came from but it’s been my dream for as far back as I can remember. Sure I had hoop dreams but I always thought “I don’t care what I do, I just want to be a husband and a father!” The other half of that dream was finally coming true. 

I got another call from Erin around 11:30, again Wednesday night. She would be admitted and would not be going home. Still no contractions. We decided it would be okay for me to finish up and make the journey home from Santa Barbara. For reference I don’t normally get back to Temecula until around 6-7am… I got back to my depot at 4am… I was at Erin’s bedside at 4:07 🏃🏻💨💨 I wasn’t nervous, I was eager, eager to be a dad, eager to see my wife and eager to assist her in whatever way I could. 

It really sucks as a husband seeing your wife in pain and there is basically nothing you can do. I rubbed her feet, stroked her forehead and just sat near her, helpless. Thursday goes by. After hours of pitocin, some insert thing and some other medicine, nothing, no contractions, no dilation. KENNEDY WHAT ARE YOU DOING Please come out so daddy can finally hold you! Friday morning, we lookin n feeling a hot mess, especially my poor wife who had not eaten since Thursday morning and could not get out of bed for anything. Not to shower not to potty nada 😠 HELP HER!!! I kept my cool for her but I wanted to shake every nurse and Doctor I saw because it killed me to see her so miserable. Right around 7:45-8 am Friday morning Dr. Jones                         ( DoctaJones, read like the Asian boy from Indiana Jones) walks in and says “nothing’s working, how bout a c-section?” Before she and my in-laws left the room I already made up my mind, YES!!! The wife agreed, c section it is. she did all she could and we didn’t  want to push (or not push 😏) it anymore because if she got an infection, baby and I would be transported elsewhere and Erin would be leftbehind… Bump that doc, we want the cesarean! 

This is about the time I ascended into Dad mode. I was stoic, the wife needed me to be. I was ushered into the OR, about 15 minutes after her. She was nekket and numb. She puked, I normally have a weak stomach, not today! I grabbed a towel and was catching it. Baby is out, I’m weeping. I cut the cord and put her first diaper on. Erin was bed ridden for the next 24 hours. I got poop on my hand twice, didn’t even flinch! I was, and still am, dadding so hard! Kennedy has changed me!!

Since then we have laughed, cried, had moments of frustration and been so full of love and joy over our lil Kenny Bean. She is perfect, my wife it the toughest human on the planet and I get to be part of their lives. “Why am I so lucky?” I ask myself that everyday. I love my girls, and because of them I am complete. ❤️

August, Baby!

What a week! Most of you reading this already know the news, our baby has arrived! Kennedy Elizabeth was born exactly 3 weeks early on August 26th at 8:35 A.M. and she made us work for her arrival!

I had an interesting pregnancy to say the very least. It was uneventful other than the usual stuff such as heartburn, achy feet, swollen fingers and feet. That started to change at the end of June. I could tell something was off, that my body was working way harder than i thought it should be just to be pregnant. That’s when my doctor’s visits started to become more eventful. My blood pressure started to rise every week until finally at one of my visits my doctor said, “That’s enough of this, you need to go to the hospital to be monitored and you’re done working and on bed rest.” Uh…okay?! This was at 35 weeks, 5 weeks until my due date and I was freaking out! Off to the hospital I went and everything checked out normal. My doctor’s visits went from once every two weeks, to once a week, to twice a week…Anthony said one day as we walked in, “I feel like we freakin live here.” Yes…that’s exactly what it felt like!

I went to my appointment on Monday August 22nd and again, everything checked out fine. That whole bed rest thing was doing it’s job I suppose. Jump forward 2 days to Wednesday, and Anthony made a comment about me not looking well or not 100% myself. I just felt tired but that was about it. I had a friend over to hang out for a bit that evening and that’s it! At about 9:45 I was getting tired so I went to start rounding things up to go to bed when it happened. My water broke. It wasn’t a huge gush like everyone makes it sound like, more like 6 small ones that happened over the course of an hour. Of course Anthony was working this particular night after we jokingly said I wouldn’t go into labor on a night he worked. HA! Silly us…that kiddo of ours probably heard us say that and decided to throw us a curveball.

So who else does one call when they need something…if you know me you know this answer already. KEVIN! Luckily my brother was down the street at a restaurant so he was able to get to me quickly.

I had nothing ready. I thought I had at least 3 more weeks till she arrived so no hospital bag was packed, didn’t pre-register at the hospital, car seat bases weren’t installed, nothing. Oh well, not much I can do about it now!

We got to the hospital shortly before 11 P.M. and I got sent to labor and delivery triage. I knew I wasn’t going to be going home if my water broke so I was curious how things were going to go because on top of it, I didn’t have any contractions. Sure enough, water was confirmed broken and I was off to my little (it was actually HUGE) delivery room. Anthony knew where I was and luckily he was flying through his route so he wasn’t going to miss anything. My mom arrived shortly after I got into my room and my brother took off because he needed to sleep.

They started the pitocin and I thought sweet, I’ll have a baby by tomorrow! Insert another HA! The pitocin lasted all night, roughly 7 hours and it did nothing. I was onto the next induction method, cervidal. I won’t explain how that works, if you’re so inclined you can google it but don’t blame me for what you may read. Just sayin’. The whole point of that medication was to start pitocin again and that labor would begin. Another 7 hours of that…no change. I was onto the last induction method. At this point this was my 3rd nurse of my hospital stay and I looked at her and asked before she got me the medicine, how much longer before we just do a c-section? She said the doctor wanted to try this medicine for at least 2 doses to see if it would work. I mentally was tired, physically was drained and I just laid there and thought to myself, just figure it out already.

I slept from 4 to about 6 that morning and I just wanted to shower. I had barely been allowed to leave my hospital bed and I needed to move around. My parents were both there and Anthony was too, it was shortly before 7 when my doctor and nurse walked in. I knew what was coming. My doctor said, “These medicines aren’t working, your water has been broken for 33 hours, 3 more hours and you’re at risk for an infection, if your baby has an infection, she will be transported and the two of you won’t be able to recover together, do you want to have a c-section…in 35 minutes?” 35 freaking minutes! AH! I looked at my mom and she knew I was in pain. Everyone left the room so Anthony and I could have a minute and I just looked at him and said I don’t think I could physically labor at this point anyway and I don’t want to risk her being in one place and me in another. Decision made, c-section it was.

I was shaking like a leaf because I’ve never had a major surgery, and this was a HUGE deal to me. I remember getting the pain meds and I went numb from the waist down which of course is terrifying! Anthony appeared next to me and I almost started to freak out, I was so, so nervous. They started the surgery and the next thing I know they dropped the top half of the drape to a clear drape so I could see them pull her out of my stomach and the doctor’s first words were, “Oh my gosh look at all of her hair!” This cute screaming little thing with a full head of brown hair was hoisted into the air and Anthony and I just lost it. This was one of the toughest parts for me, laying there while they stitched me back up and Anthony went to go take care of our daughter. He shouted her vitals to me and I could hear him talking to her. I was so anxious to have them bring her to me. Next thing I know I have a nurse placing a baby on my chest and she was so perfect. We stared at each other and she started sucking her thumb while she looked at me. I had 2 full hours of her just laying on me before Anthony took her. Our nurse was incredible and took so many photos of everything for us, it’s like I didn’t miss seeing anything.

I obviously wasn’t planning to have a c-section but in all honesty, in this situation I’m so glad that I did. The recovery was a bit much, like not getting out of bed for 24 hours, but I feel pretty good almost a week later!

Of course I wouldn’t post this without including pictures of this little one!

I want to give major kudos to my husband. He was absolutely incredible during this whole process. He so naturally starting “dadding” as soon as our Kennedy arrived and he had to do everything the first 24 hours with her since I wasn’t allowed to get out of bed. Thanks for being so amazing husband!

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Our first family photo 🙂
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I was so relieved to have her with me and Anthony was so great and keeping me calm.
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Our second family photo!
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She spent a lot of time with mama the first couple of days.
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One of my absolute favorite photos from that day!
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This is my absolute favorite from delivery day. Anthony is a natural at being a dad.
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Going home outfit!

32 Weeks…8 Months…2 Months Left!

We’ve hit another milestone this week. Officially 32 weeks today a.k.a. 8 months pregnant. I honestly, looking back, felt like I was on an unending journey and that these final weeks/months were going to take an eternity to get to. In some ways, it did feel like forever, and in others I feel like I just was at the doctor’s office for the first time. Getting to now has been insane and so many things I didn’t expect to feel or experience.

On one hand, I feel like a champion because I’m growing this little human in my stomach, who is getting so big and so strong with her punches and kicks, and on the other hand I feel defeated and weak because I’ve never had to limit myself physically to the levels that I had.

Last weekend is when it got super real with just how much I needed to slow down. I had a doctor’s appointment on Friday afternoon and I when they took my blood pressure it came back high. It runs in my family, but I know right now is not the best time to have high blood pressure. My doctor told me, no vigorous activities, and I need to take it easy. Like, he said I couldn’t even walk around much outside because it could be risky. My dear husband was present at this appointment and he sprung into husband mode. He is a big believer in juicing, so he told me we’re going to have turmeric and ginger shots from then  on out. I admit I was skeptical, but it’s worked for him so I was on board.

The next two days I just felt defeated. I really lost it on Sunday afternoon when going to church and out to lunch was exhausting and I needed to rest before I could even go to the grocery store. Before we were going to leave I started to cry because every little thing had become difficult for me. Putting clothes on, standing for too long, bending over, trying to reach things on a shelf, even washing the dishes…I’ve already got short arms so having a belly that doesn’t let me get all the way to what I need to reach makes it even harder. I started weeping and I told Anthony that I felt horrible because I feel like I have to be iron woman and tell everyone how “wonderful and fabulous” I feel while being pregnant.

The truth is I don’t feel wonderful and I feel far from fabulous. If you were my parents you would of gotten a much more real/raw response to this topic…I’m keeping it PG here 🙂 Have there been things I’ve enjoyed about being pregnant? 100% absolutely yes. I live for the routine times that I know she’s awake & kicking me, when Anthony gets to feel her move, having my little girlfriend along with me everywhere I go, someone to talk to that just listens and knowing that she’s half of me and half of Anthony. What’s been difficult? Waking up in the morning and trying to get out of bed only to have pelvic pain, my maternity clothes being small already, being kicked so hard in the bladder, stretch marks (literally everywhere), sore legs, sore feet, and just not feeling like myself because I’m sharing a space that I was used to just being mine with someone else…which brings me back to the wonderful part. I’m sharing myself with this little lady in a way I can’t share with anybody else. Cue my tears, I am thankful and I am elated that I am going to be a mom soon and I promise I won’t take it for granted.

I’m looking forward to the next 4 weeks before I begin my maternity leave and I can really prepare for her arrival. I’m nervous because, hello, I’m going to be responsible for a new little life. Overjoyed because I’ve always wanted this and so has Anthony. So while this has been challenging, I know the challenge is just beginning here.

I will also add…I had to visit my doctor again yesterday and good news to report. Blood pressure is back to normal (Thank you Husband) and Kennedy had a growth spurt from one week ago…2 CM belly growth for me! She’s growing and she’s strong. Just gotta stay put a few more weeks little lady! Here’s a bumpdate photo for you:

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Becoming Parents

I can’t believe it, Kennedy and I have made it to 23 weeks and a few days. I thought time was going by fast before, but it’s been going faster than ever now. We’re slowly getting everything ready for her room, but I feel a little behind!

In the last few weeks, Anthony and I (mostly me) have been incredibly emotional when we think about our little one. I’m going to shine a little light on pregnancy hormones for a minute since I’ve brought it up, THEY ARE SO REAL. One minute I can bee feisty and a bit irritated, show me a picture of puppies trying to bark for the first time and I’ll be in a pool of tears. It literally changes at the drop of a hat and I can’t explain it in it’s entirety but puberty’s got nothing on pregnancy hormones.

Since time is going by and September 15th is rapidly approaching, I’ve found myself thinking about being a mom a lot. There’s a lot of worry that floods my thoughts, like how will I handle sleepless nights? What about trying to get ready to go somewhere and it takes 3 times longer than usual and I’m frustrated? Or, when she’s a little bit older, will I discipline her in the right way? There’s about a million other questions that fill in those gaps but I find myself pondering them often. That’s not where most of the emotions come from though.

I’ve never been one to think much about what kind of woman I would be when I was pregnant or what kind of mother I would be. I always pictured myself having kids, but I never put much thought into what kind of mom I would be to those kids. I’ve been digging all kinds of deep trying to figure out what is important to me or what sort of things my parents did that I want to try and implement into my parenting style. When I put myself in those moments, that’s when I get the most emotional. Instant water works because I still can’t wrap my brain fully around the fact that I’m going to be a mom. That’s the part that gets me the most. I know through many people in my family that being able to have a child of your own, is a blessing. The one reason I get the most emotional is because Anthony and I have been chosen to have this little angel, and essentially we had no issues trying to get pregnant, praise God.

The other thing that gets me SO emotional, is my husband. When he and I met at 19 and 20, we REALLY liked each other pretty quickly. Once we had been together for about a year, we started talking about future hopes and dreams. Anthony told me at that time one of his biggest life dreams was to be a Dad. Yes, I swooned then and I still do now thinking about it. When we got married in 2013, we would of had a baby right away if we could. We knew that it wasn’t our time, we had just tied the knot and we had some personal things we needed to work through. I remember when we decided to finally try. It was August of 2015 and our friends, Josh and Janine were just a couple months away from having their son. At that point, the thought of babies, parenting, nesting, ALL OF IT, was the most exciting thing to us. We said, “It’s time!”

Over the last few months, when I look at my husband and his excitement for our daughter, I just melt. Everyday since the beginning of the pregnancy, Anthony talks to my belly. His favorite thing to say to her is, “What are you doing in there little baby?” He’ll lay down and have daily conversations next to her and just in the last few days he’s been able to feel her kick consistently. His whole demeanor has changed and he’s taking this whole parenting and adult thing in stride. He’s helping me so much when I start to fear being a mom because he truly, truly is living out his dream and it’s making me follow him. He’s always been a leader, but I’ve never felt closer to this man and his love for our family.

We may be first time parents but I feel so confident in where we are headed. Anthony is one lucky dad too, his schedule is going to allow him to have TONS of daddy-daughter time, and I’ve never seen him happier. This momma is a bit jealous, but there’s nothing more I’d want for our little lady than plenty of time with both her mom and dad.

The next time I update you guys, I will have more to share regarding how I’m dealing with pregnancy (there are good days and bad!) and what we’re up to in Kennedy’s nursery. Decorating starts this weekend!

 

Time Keeps Ticking

Exactly 5 months from today is our little princess’ due date! Only 5 months away! There are some days this journey feels like it is going by so very slowly and then other days I remember thinking I just found out I was pregnant. Either way you want to look at it, it’s all been so very exciting.

Just a few things that have been happening since I last posted anything. First of all, I mentioned a little princess, yes, it’s a GIRL! We found out 5 weeks ago by doing an early elective ultrasound. We had our parents there and siblings so it was a special time for us. I think my mom yelled louder than anybody in the room when they technician wrote, “It’s a girl!” on the screen. I attempted to upload said video, but I don’t have a premium account so… The only other thing I will add to finding out it was a girl, I was totally shocked. Anybody that knows my family knows we produce boys, and well, Anthony is 1 of 3 boys. I was expecting to have a little man in my belly and when we first saw the ultrasound images, I knew it was a girl along with the technician well before anybody else did. I was so still and in shock, I was basically speechless and kept squeezing Anthony’s hand until the writing appeared on the screen. I am super happy to have little Kennedy Elizabeth dancing around in my belly. Her daddy is already her biggest fan 🙂

I was sick a bit longer that I had indicated on my previous post. I continued to have nausea for a few more weeks and then some other pregnancy symptoms that they just don’t tell you about because it’s literally different for everybody. So many people have asked me, how has it been?! Sometimes I honestly don’t know what to say. I obviously haven’t been miserable but there’s something different everyday. Since I’m over 18 weeks at this point, everything has been a lot easier. Most of the things I’ve been experiencing have either slowed or gone away so I am very thankful to feel relatively normal right now.

If anything there’s been a lot of emotions between Anthony and I. There plenty of moments where we are so overjoyed and we both start speaking to my belly. I’ve cried a lot…about pretty much nothing. It’s kind of funny after the fact but let me tell you, you’d think the world was ending during. Every so often we have the moments of “Holy moly, we’re going to be parents…what does that even look like?!” There’s been many text to my mom to ask if something was “normal” or if she had experienced something similar. It’s been fun seeing things change and transform over time, pretty much daily at this point. I promise on Monday I went to sleep with a sort of bump and when I woke up Tuesday, I had grown overnight. It’s mind blowing! I’m in awe of what the human body can do.

With that being said, I’ve had a lot of friends who recently had babies, are close to their due dates, halfway through their pregnancies or just found out they are pregnant. But I also know that there are a significant number of people that are trying to have babies that are facing challenges in this process so I’ve been trying to be as grateful and thankful for this chance to be a mom. I know my mother was very worried that because I’m her daughter, I could of inherited some of the issues she had when it came to having children. She was completely relieved when I told her I was pregnant and I had no idea she was so worried about my chances, but it’s another reason why I’m so thankful for the stage that I’m in.

I’m sure I’ll have more to share but for now this is what I’ve got for you guys! Here’s a bump photo for you at exactly 18 weeks. 🙂

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Baby Cross…September 2016

So just last week, Anthony and I shared some very exciting news…we’re expecting! Little Cross will be here (hopefully on time) mid-September 🙂

I’ve had a lot of people ask me questions about our pregnancy because I didn’t tell anybody but ONE friend that we were actively trying to have a baby. I didn’t really want to make a big deal out of trying for a few reasons. One, I wasn’t sure how long it was going to take and I wasn’t sure if there were going to be any complications. My sweet parents tried several times before they were successful in having my brother so I wasn’t sure if I was going to experience any of the same struggles but I didn’t want to put anymore pressure on myself. Second, I didn’t want everyone to know what our plans were in terms of trying to have a baby, enough said.

I’ve always known I wanted to have babies, but I’m a “planner” so I always want to “make sure it was the right time”. My sweet husband told me from the very beginning of our relationship, the most important things he wanted in life was to be a good husband and to be a good dad, everything else would come second as long as he was doing the first two things (such a sweetheart). If he would of had it his way, we would of had a baby or two by now! But, after deciding to try and then being successful, we’re both very, very happy that this is the point in our life that we’ve been given this chance to be parents. I don’t think I’ll overload these posts in the coming months with all things pregnancy, but it is the most exciting thing going on in our lives right now.

We will be finding out the gender of the baby, and only 3-4 more weeks until we find out! I felt sick for about 3 weeks but it seems that the nausea has passed (thankfully). I did catch a head cold last week but that’s on it’s way out too (thank goodness!).

Every single day, Anthony and I thank the Lord for this chance and he continues to bless our family, regularly, daily.

Here’s a picture of my bump (bloat is more like it). Right at about 10 weeks. Only 30 more to go 🙂

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Goodbye, 2015.

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I’m about to get super cheesy for a second, it’s the end of the year and what a year it’s been! Done being cheesy.

Now I’ll be real. 2015…you were…a bitch. I’m including the last two months of 2014 in this, so for about 7 months you seriously were a royal jerk. I can’t be made at you about it, it was the result of decisions and choices that were made that proved to be challenges. I won’t even call them set backs either, but I’ll refer to them as “lessons”. They were difficult lessons, definitely not anything that school prepared me for or that my parents could warn you about because I had no idea that I would react to them in the manner that I did. I discovered that I have some anxieties, and they were pretty severe. To the point if I was triggered I was in tears, I couldn’t focus, I just wanted to fix it, right then and there. These were things I couldn’t just fix. They weren’t things that anybody could snap their fingers and magically make better. They were the kinds of things that you either decided to man up and get through it, or let them swallow you whole. I teetered between get swallowed and getting through them a couple of times. I had some great supporters that helped me, I consulted God in prayer, A LOT. I read my Bible, A LOT. I cried a ton and I consulted my parents many, many times. When I FINALLY felt peace in my heart and that I was handling things to the best of my ability and giving the rest to God, life started to change. It changed a LOT.

It all started when I had subconsciously realized that I was tired of what I was doing for work. I knew it in my heart a while back, but I was really feeling a tug to get away from it. I honestly didn’t do a whole lot with that nudge at first but I figured I’d pay more attention to the LinkedIn job postings and see what was even out there. I stumbled across a job posting, it was in Temecula. It was in marketing. It was for an education company. Rewind…anybody that knew me while in middle/high school knows I wanted to be a teacher…back to present time, I was pretty excited about it. I decided to apply online and I honestly forgot about the application. I got an email 10-14 days later from the manager that was hiring for the position and I was surprised. They asked if I could come in later that week and I said, absolutely! I had no idea what to expect. I had been out of a Marketing type position for awhile. I still helped with little things at the job I was at and was the main person writing responses and content for my particular department, but I wasn’t marketing focused at all. I felt pretty darn welcomed the second I walked into the office for my interview and wasn’t nervous (a first!). I think my interview was a grand total of 45 minutes or so. I thought it went great and I got along with both of the people interviewing me and I was ready to wait and see what the next step was. Either a second interview or maybe a job offer, but I felt pretty confident about it. Maybe 3 hours later I got a phone call…and a job offer. I was elated. Did I mention Anthony and I were also notified that the offer on our house went through? It went through that morning…no joke. 2 good things in a day you had to be kidding me right? I cried for like 30 minutes because I couldn’t of dreamed that this is where I was going to be in July 2015 after the ridiclousness that was November 2014-June 2015. I had NO clue what I did to deserve multiple blessings in a day. Prayers again…because God knew how far down the rabbit hole I had been.

We got to move into our home the second week of September! There was a little bit of trouble before move in…the previous owner’s movers broke a water line that caused a flood in our kitchen and dining room. OOPS. She refused to pay for it too…thank goodness for home insurance and our amazing realtor for helping us through it. We were a little mad but got over it quickly because we are going to replace the floors and it could of been a whole heck of a lot worse. We’ve been DIY-ing the crap out of our house ever since and it’s coming together so well. Please refer to my Instagram (reinforces) for the professional decorating skills of my husband. Yes, he’s better at decorating than I am and I don’t care who knows it.

The last two months of this year I think I’ve cried more in tears of thankfulness and in awe of what life is than I have collectively in my entire life. The littlest things set me off. Worship music. Messages at church. Memories. Moments. Looking at my husband. Looking at my dog. Looking at my house. Looking at my job. My car. My health. My parents (You both have been an incredible example of grace. Understanding. Love. Being present. Being role models. Being our stronghold. You’re the greatest parents). My brother. My mother in-law & father in-law (Which we wouldn’t of been able to buy our home if it wasn’t for the two of them. I don’t think I could ever repay the two of you for everything you’ve done for Anthony and I. EVERYTHING you’ve done has taught us lessons, made us grow, helped us grow. I literally can’t say thank you enough and let you both know how much I love you. I’ve got the world’s greatest in-laws). My brother-in-laws. I’m thankful for everything above and everything in between. I’ve never looked at everything around me and felt more blessed.

2016…I won’t say “new year, new me” because it’s not true. Trying to be a new you shouldn’t ever be the goal. Be a BETTER you. Grow in being YOU. This is the vessel you were given, love it, cherish it, nourish it. I hope that 2016 brings great promise and opportunity to all.

A couple of things that I want to do is read more, watch less TV. Get out more and enjoy the outdoors. LOVE all and let go of old negativity. I hope I get the chance to maintain friendships, grow them, and heal old ones.

Happy New Year, everybody!