"When a soul recognises the will of God and shows a readiness to submit to it entirely, then God gives Himself to such a soul and renders it most powerful succour under all circumstances." - Rev. Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Good reads and Landon talk

I loved these 2 posts and wanted to share!

5 Ways to Take on Negative Nancy…When She is You - oh, fellow young mothers, read this!

Let's Be Done - because I love a good post about having babies and being open to life. Even when the going gets tough.

And this next part is totally for the grandparents. Just saying.

Landon has been a talkative baby from the beginning - I remember sitting at the table, drinking my coffee, and he would be in his bouncer seat just babbling away. This was before he could even sit up by himself.

Oh my, how this kid has changed!

And now that he's getting close to 2 years old (in June!), his vocabulary is growing big time. His babbling is starting to make more sense. In the few weeks, he's suddenly started saying phrases, and most times it throws me off guard. Did he just say….?!

Here are a few of his new phrases:
  • I'm going downstairs (while Mommy is still getting ready)
  • Here you go!
  • What's that?
  • Is that poo poo? (as he peeks into the toilet as Mommy is using the bathroom…he doesn't know the difference between pee and poop)
  • I don't want to (or some form of that…my favorite. Sigh.)
  • Where is dog? (That's what he calls Marley)
Landon still REFUSES to say the word "baby", although he knows what it means. But we have gotten him to say Chase's name a few times. So stinkin' cute. :)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Photo Friday: slacking this week

It's lunch time now and I totally forgot about posting pictures. And now I'm realizing I was seriously slacking on the picture-taking this week. Let's just blame the fact that I was taking it easy (23 weeks as of yesterday!) ;)
The seafood gumbo at my church on Fridays is soooo good
Landon was hanging with Pops and Mimi at Abbey Fest while Logan and I were on retreat (like half a mile away. funny.). So I technically didn't take this picture.
Sleepy guys
Landon has to be next to Marley 90% of the day. Poor dog.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Five Favorites (vol. 2)

1. Kindle Paperwhite

Y'all, I love this thing. I have not had good luck with Kindles in the past (although I loved them too! My first one froze after a few years and the Kindle Fire I had while pregnant with Landon shattered. Still works but I'd like to keep my fingers intact without shards of glass.). So, I've been waiting patiently for a new one - saved a gift card from Christmas and cashed in all our coins for another gift card. Definitely worth the wait! It's so small and convenient to put in my purse - perfect for waiting rooms, which I'm in often these days - and I totally love the option of the backlight. Yes, it's my favorite Kindle ever. Just saying.

2. Cuisinart Immersion Hand Blender

Okay, seriously…how did I not know this thing existed until recently??  We all love smoothies (seriously, Landon gets SO excited), but our not-so-great bulky blender is a pain to get out and also to clean. I also have a couple soup recipes that are super simple but having to put them in the blender makes them not as simple. Until now! Just stick this little baby straight into the pot instead of having to transfer it into the blender. And I love the cup that comes with it - perfect to make smoothies! Logan is thrilled because this hand blender means less dishes to wash…as opposed to our blender with a million pieces.. Best of all, we got our hand blender for FREE because of the rewards program with Logan's work. Yeahhhh buddy.

3. The Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning

I linked to this in my rant about having lots of babies when I had only read part of it. And now that I've read the whole book, I wanted to share a few thoughts.

We've never used NFP to avoid a pregnancy, but I still thoroughly enjoyed this book and got a lot from it, especially because Logan and I can't have sex while I'm pregnant (yes, it's every bit as terrible as it sounds. Logan should go straight to Heaven). And I know I will reread it over and over throughout the next few years because there's a good chance we will have to use NFP unless Logan and I both want to lose our sanity.

Simcha uses her sense of humor to talk about a very awkward subject, and there is a good bit of sarcasm thrown in too (which I loved because it runs in my family). She certainly doesn't tell you how many babies to have - she just gives you A LOT to think about and I had several epiphanies regarding not only our sex life (to be blunt), but our marriage in general as well.

So, read this book. Seriously.

4. BabyKicks diaper inserts

I know I should just do a Five Favorites about cloth diapering one day, but I just have to say, these are my most favorite inserts ever. They're the most absorbent ones I've tried, are super trim, and can work with pockets or covers. It does take several washings to reach full absorbency (wash separately from your other diapers at first) and they are a bit pricey, but seriously…so worth it. Perfect for overnight. I also tend to use them for the first few hours of the day since that's when Landon wets the most. (I've only used the medium size inserts since Landon was 7 months old and I think they're perfect. The large size would probably be wayyyy too long, in my opinion.)

I mentioned this in a Quick Takes post a few months ago but I want to share it again because I've been thinking about it after our marriage retreat. Logan and I know 3 couples that are going through some not good times in their marriage right now, 2 of which are currently separated (and they are our age! Yikes!). And that is just so scary and depressing! Satan wants to destroy marriages and we cannot let him. Catholic or not, married or not, everybody should listen to this talk. In my opinion :)

Linking up with Hallie!

Monday, March 24, 2014

A weekend retreat

Logan and I went on a marriage retreat this past weekend! And it was so great and perfect and just what we needed. Seriously. Now just consider me Jen, your newest advocate for marriage retreats. Grab your spouse and go on one. Right now.

I've rewritten this a couple times because I have a tendency to get carried away so I will refrain and just leave it at this - Logan and I had a lovely 42 hours where we didn't have to worry about anything - no cooking, no cleaning, no diaper changes, nothing! Just us and a weekend to focus on God and spend time in prayer and celebrating the Sacraments. We were able to talk about some important things and really focus on our relationship and our family life together with no distractions.

22-week belly shot during one of our couple reflection times. The place is beautiful!
If you're in the southeast Louisiana area, totally check out this website to see more about the retreat we went on. The second I saw it, I was like YEP, WE'RE GOING. And as soon as I decided that, God made it happen. For real. God is good like that. So just leave it up to Him! (Super big thanks to my parents for staying with Landon and Marley!)

We're hoping to make this an annual thing because we realized just how important it is to have time away together, especially in such a quiet and prayerful setting. And I seriously can't recommend it enough!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Week 22: I like the glass half full

My body decided to cooperate this week! Yay. I saw Dr. H today, and he said there was plenty of cervix left, and Chase's heartbeat was good (he said it was a girl heartbeat. funny.).

Dr. H isn't concerned about the heart issue (it's a VSD, by the way, for inquiring minds) because it very well could resolve itself after birth. Plus, I'm getting a fetal echo done in a few weeks. And he's not worried about the placenta thing either because if anything, I'm measuring bigger than I should be - which means Chase is growing fine. I did ask what I could do to help my placenta, and he said lying down more. So as soon as Landon understands that concept, we'll be good. Ha. ;)

I had to laugh because Dr. H said Dr. C usually sees the glass as half empty (which is normal for high-risk docs, I'm sure). And thankfully Dr. H sees the glass as half full. That's why I love him.

Basically, he said we're not going to have the same problem as before, with my cervix dilating early and going into preterm labor. Thank goodness.

So yay. Things are good. I have been leaking urine involuntarily, which hasn't happened ever before (sorry, TMI), but Dr. H checked just to make sure it wasn't amniotic fluid. Which it isn't. Whew.

Aaaaand I think that's it. Thank you so much for the prayers!

P.S. Please pray for a dear friend of mine who lost a baby yesterday.

Photo Friday: it's finally spring time

They were really excited about Daddy making blueberry pancakes.

I leave the house for a little while (greatly needed, by the way) and this is my welcoming committee.
We went to a birthday party that was on a parade route for a St. Patrick's Day parade. Didn't stay long (for the parade part), but it was kind of fun (I don't know how I've never been to a parade for St. Patrick's Day until now!)
Landon was helping me set up some free samples I got that I was sharing with friends who were coming over for a play date. He loves to help.
….and then he started doing this. Nice, Landon.
He started laying on his belly to play (and watch movies even) and I think it's pretty cute ;)
Walking to the mailbox is usually our excitement for the day, and I made the mistake of letting Landon walk himself instead of holding him (the kid is getting heavy for this big belly). So of course he refused to go back inside.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Thank God for good daddies

Since today is the feast of St. Joseph, and he is the patron of fathers, I thought I'd dedicate a post to a very special man….the father of my children, Logan.

When I was pregnant with Levi, Logan was always worried about me, even though things were going perfectly (for the first 5 months, anyway). He worries a lot…but mostly about me and our babies. So you can imagine how stressful pregnancy is for him now that we have legitimate concerns.

Although he drives me crazy some days because he doesn't want me doing anything, Logan has been working SO hard. He doesn't exactly like his job at the moment, but he goes to work 5-6 days a week, and he even works on his off days - either at his old job, on his video business, or cleaning the house. Seriously, the man is amazing.

Don't believe me? Here's a before shot of our guest room (which has kind of turned into a dumping ground for clean laundry):

I left the house to visit a friend at the hospital who just had a baby, and when I came back, our guest room looked like this:

Most of the clothes were put away in our room upstairs, and all that was left on the futon were our jackets/sweatshirts and Landon's [folded] clothes in the basket. I love him. So much.

Because Logan has been pushed to the limit these last few months, I've been asking for St. Joseph's intercession a lot. And I have totally seen answers to prayers. One night I was just FED UP with Logan's constant worrying and stressing (sorry, babe, it's true), and although I didn't talk to him that day about it because he was at work, I prayed and journaled about it. Then the next day, Logan randomly told me he decided that for the rest of Lent, he wouldn't tell me what to do or not to do while pregnant.

And the first thing I said (after I picked my jaw up off the ground) was, "Did you read my journal?" To which he responded no, and I had to laugh because it was like my prayer was  answered the next day. Logan said the thought just came to him.

So. Pray for St. Joseph's intercession! He's totally there to help.

And shout out to my daddy, the smartest guy I know, whose birthday is this week!

St. Joseph, pray for us!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

I just need to trust more


I don't know why I feel like being an idiot every time I go to blog now. Maybe it's my way of dealing wigh he stress. And that is supposed to say "with the stress." I can't even type anymore.

So! I'm officially 21 weeks pregnant and will be 22 weeks on Thursday. And for those of you who don't realize, my pregnant body likes to go crazy at 22 weeks. Exactly 22 weeks. I wish I were kidding.

With Levi, wellllllll, it was the unthinkable. And with Landon, my cervix started being stupid again. (I kind of feel bad calling my cervix stupid, because it's not a person and doesn't know any better…but it's stupid. Just like I am for this little bit of randomness within parentheses.)

And now I'm not so sure what to think as the 22-week mark approaches for the 3rd time. Part of me thinks that things will totally be fine, because my cervix has been fine this time, and I'm not having as many contractions anymore, and I already have a bottle of Procardia at the ready if I were to start having real contractions.

But then I think about how life can change so, so quickly. And it makes me wish I could snap my fingers and suddenly be at least 24 weeks pregnant. Because then I would know that Chase would at least have a chance of surviving if I were to deliver early.

Maybe I shouldn't be thinking about that. Because so far, things have gone well (as far as the risk of premature labor, anyway…). But I can't help it. I will always worry about losing another baby because I know too well what that pain feels like.

Now I feel like I'm worrying too much and that I'm not trusting enough. I mean, I do trust that whatever is supposed to happen, will happen. God has shown me over and over that He knows what's best. Buuuuuut I just can't stop thinking about the possibility of losing Chase. The thought just comes to me over and over and I wish I could stop it.

I'm just going to shut up now.

St. Michael, defend us in battle!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Photo Friday: mixing it up a little bit

Landon spent the night at Noanie and Paw Paw's, and this furry one just KNEW she could be the center of attention for once. I got up to use the bathroom and came back to this. All up in my spot.
The car ride to pick up Landon
My attempt to occupy Landon without the  TV…he doesn't actually color, just plays with the darn crayons. Well, at least he's not eating them anymore. ;)

Bedtime shenanigans (totally Logan's doing, not mine)
Another attempt to occupy Landon. I don't remember who gave it to us or where we got it, but you put Cheerios in the empty spaces throughout the book. He actually liked it! Until Marley stole his Cheerios.
I never said anything about our new glass door! Okay, it's actually been in our garage since we bought the house, but we finally installed it. Marley is a big fan.
…well, until she gets left out of the fun.
Oh, a little reading time

This is not staged. Just saying. Landon was watching a movie after lunch and Marley decided to join him. :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sorry for the crazy talk

Well. I was on a roll there for awhile with the 7 Posts in 7 Days link-up and then…my brain went on vacation. Or maybe I've been too engrossed in reading the Hunger Games trilogy. *hangs head in shame*

To be honest, I've been somewhat of a mess the last few days. On Friday, I had my lowest lowest lowest point ever during this pregnancy. Everything just hit me at once - concerns about Chase, a crazy messy house, frustrations about not being able to do anything, Landon's lack of naps, Logan's crazy work schedule, medical bills, you name it. I've had my share of emotional moments the last few months but this one was definitely the hardest.

And I don't know really what else to say about that other than we really, really appreciate the prayers and encouragement (via comments, texts, etc.). Seriously. Thank you all so much.

And ohmygoodness Logan and I are going on a marriage retreat next weekend! It is so, so needed and is coming at the perfect time

I feel like I had a point to this post when I first started typing but now I'm all like jakldfjadhfklsadjfl. So.

Some good things? I'm feeling Chase kick more often - still not as much as Landon (from what I remember), but it's reassuring. One night, Chase was going crazy right before we went to bed so Logan got to feel him kicking a lot for the first time. So fun.

I'm also getting a little more creative with keeping Landon occupied. Of course, I can't think of things we've done at the moment because WHAT THE HECK IS HAPPENING TO MY BRAIN? But yeah. We're trying to rely less on the TV. Some days are easier than others.

Okay, enough crazy talk. Thanks for listening. ;)

"The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack." - Psalm 23:1

Friday, March 7, 2014

Photo Friday: Mardi Gras and Lent edition

Landon had a lot of fun at playgroup last week. King cake, yummy!
He was so excited about going to a parade! And Logan made the bucket, not me. But anyone who knows him won't be surprised at that ;)
Waiting for the parade!

They missed their daddy after a long week of work
How we spent our Mardi Gras Day since it rained all.day.long. It was Logan's first off day in 10 days so we were lazy lazy lazy.
Landon actually spend a good bit of time putting the stickers on the paper over and over. And I only spent a penny on the stickers way back when (seriously! a penny!) so it was perfect. We need more stickers.

Progression of Landon's [extremely late] nap…step 1, cuddle with Marley
Step 2, smother Marley
Step 3, get abandoned by Marley but still stay asleep. Whew.

He took the picture (of Jesus and Mary, oops) out of the frame and decided to take their place
Landon has started climbing in my lap this week and I don't think he realizes that will not be possible soon because of the growing belly. It sure is sweet, though :)
I could watch this boy nap all day. Maybe because it doesn't happen as much as I would like ;)
It's not too often that Marley and I can cuddle because Landon gets jealous and has to join us…which he did here as soon as he realized he was left out!


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