"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

Friday, June 24, 2016

When your friends take you out to dinner and you end up in labor

Yep, it's true. Of course there's more to the story but that will come at a later date when I write the birth story (hopefully not in almost 2 years like with Chase). Here are a few cell phone pics for now!
Why yes, I was having contractions every 5 minutes or so but that didn't stop my crazy friends from taking pictures of the group before leaving the restaurant.
Here he is! Aaron Joseph born June 23rd, weighing 6 lbs 14 oz. He is seriously so perfect, y'all. I know every mother says it but seriously. I mean it.
 Logan has taken a picture like this with all the boys!
Landon is a super proud big brother...and Chase isn't sure what he thinks yet. I'll keep you posted.
But in the meantime I'll be doing lots of this! Thank you so, so much for all of your prayers through this pregnancy. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

How we've survived these past 8 months

Alternatively titled: making a survival season a tad bit easier.

I hesitate calling this a survival season, because life could very well get even harder once Aaron is outside of my belly as opposed to inside my belly. Plus, this pregnancy has been easier than the last 2, partially because I've had less doctor appointments and scares, and partially because I've learned a lot over the years.

One thing that has been the same for all pregnancies, though, is the fact that I can't do nearly as much as I can when I'm not pregnant (if you're new here, I have an incompetent cervix...and a very irritable uterus). But somehow we've survived, and I'm still sane! I cannot say the same happened the last 2  times.

Here are some things we did that made life easier these past several months, and maybe they'll be helpful for you too! Whether you're in a survival season or just a slightly busier season than usual.

1. Focus on the basics.

Dishes and laundry, y'all. As long as you keep up with those 2 chores, everything else seems manageable! No, our bathrooms have not been cleaned every week and our floors have certainly not been mopped every month (far, FAR from it).

I told myself that the one thing I would keep up with is laundry....and I have! Logan took over dishes for the most part since that requires more standing. But we also help each other out because dishes and laundry are never-ending, and really, they're the 2 things that keep a household running relatively smoothly.
Flashback to when I was pregnant with Chase...why yes, all of this laundry was clean. And not put away. But that hasn't even gotten close to happening this time!

2. Share meal planning.

Food is obviously important, and I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the best at meal planning. It's even worse when I'm pregnant, because I can't just hop to the store whenever I so please because shopping trips usually bring on the contractions. So, Logan and I have been planning meals together, which has made alllll the difference. This is one thing we go over every Sunday when we have our weekly marriage meeting that I mentioned in this post.

3. Get rid of stuff.

Granted, this is something that should be done before a survival season, and I'm so glad I did some major decluttering last year. It hasn't been nearly as hard to keep the house relatively clean this go-round because we just don't have as much stuff - even with an extra kid!

I will admit that I've continued to get rid of stuff while pregnant, little by little. If something causes more stress (which is something we don't need right now), it's GONE. And I don't even feel bad about it.

4. Use modern conveniences to your advantage.

Gosh, I just love when things arrive at my doorstep! Especially in seasons like these when I don't leave the house too often. Thanks to Amazon Subscribe & Save, we have yet to run out of toilet paper or diapers (or anything, really), and it makes grocery shopping so much easier  - especially since Logan does most of it right now - because all we usually need is food. Everything else is shipped straight to our door! We've also been getting Blue Apron deliveries once or twice a month, which is nice because the meals are always healthy with lots of veggies (helpful on weeks we can't get to the store for produce)...and Logan can cook the meals himself if I'm not feeling up to it.

5. Remember it's temporary.

While it totally stinks having a completely different way of life when I'm pregnant, I have to say I am thankful it just lasts 8-9 months. Sure, it still takes a few months after delivery to get things completely back to normal, but knowing there is an end in sight - and that 9 months is just a blip of time in the big picture - gives us something to look forward to. Plus, we get a cute baby at the end! Best thing ever.

6. A better prayer routine.

My prayer routine was pretty nonexistent while pregnant with Landon (goodness, it was SO hard to pray while on bedrest for some reason), and I'm not sure it was much better with Chase. So I learned from that and actually stuck with a prayer routine this time around! I'm still doing what I said in my rule of life post, and my daily Rosary has probably been the biggest game changer - especially now that I haven't missed a day in months! But I already wrote about what I love about the Rosary and ways you can foster a love for the Rosary. Let's just leave it at this: persevere in prayer and you'll be able to persevere in anything else.

I know I'm forgetting things (pregnancy brain), so what would you add to the list? I'd love to know!

Oh! P.S! Dr. H could not get my cerclage out again (UGHHH) which really shouldn't surprise me at this point, but...apparently I never learn. I suppose it's for the best, though, and I'm just focusing on the fact that Aaron will at least be here by next week! Thank you for the prayers. :)

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Some weekend randomness

Hey! I finally remembered to (have Logan) take a picture to link up with Rosie for My Sunday Best!
Bump: 37 weeks
Shirt: Destination Maternity (AKA one of the 2 shirts that still fit that are appropriate for Mass, *sigh*)
Skirt: Stein Mart (not maternity but stretchy and sooo comfy)
Flip flops: Old Navy because I don't care

We went to Vigil Mass because Logan is working today (and the picture was taken afterwards), so I look super tired. But this was also the day after having 4 of my friends and 11 other children spend the night at our house because we are crazy. It was crazy fun, though, so there's that. (And they cleaned the house before they left! #winning #bestfriendsever)
Photographic evidence of the craziness. Just preparing for our annual beach trip, ya know? (We were also missing one family here too.)

Aaron will be here in less than 2 weeks (or possibly any day now, really), so we've been stocking the freezer this past week. It's the first time I've been able to do that! I'm pretty excited and hoping it will make postpartuming like a boss much easier. I'm still having contractions and all but many days I think I'll make it another week or two.

If you could say a tiny prayer that my appointment on Tuesday goes well, I would really appreciate it. Like I said in my last post, my doctor is attempting to take out my cerclage and I really hope he can because my cervix really hurts (sorry if that's TMI but he's referred to the cerclage material as both fishing line and barbed wire, so um, it hurts at the end of pregnancy...especially when contractions are involved). I'm not sure what to expect afterwards - I could go into labor or I could not, and not knowing is a little nerve-wracking. This is my 3rd cerclage but I've never actually had it taken out before a C-section (1 failed attempt and I went into labor before the 2nd attempt). Is my cervix going to dilate immediately? Is my water going to break? Is nothing going to happen as the universe laughs at me?? I'm trying not to have crazy thoughts but you can tell that's going well....

I'm really trying to enjoy these last days with Landon and Chase, and even though they both have their absolutely ridiculous moments that make me CRAZY, I'm finding that most of the time I'm just really enjoying them lately. Lots of cuddling, reading books, and probably more TV watching just this past week than the last 4 months combined. I'm really hoping Aaron stays put until at least Thursday (for several reasons), so I'm still laying down a lot (also because it hurts to stand up), but maybe he'll surprise us and hang out even longer than that. Only time will tell. It is nice to have an end date in sight, though!

Oh, and a very Happy Father's Day to my handsome hubby. :)

St. Joseph, pray for us! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Mini vaca, turtle power, and almost term, baby!

I'm about to get all mommy blogger-ish up in here! You've been warned.

Last week, our little family of 4 decided to take a last-minute vacation before Aaron joins us (soon! so soon!). So we decided to hit up the closest beach touristy town, about an hour away from our hospital. You know, just in case.
They just can't resist a car nap. And Marley is pictured but we definitely dropped her off at a friend's house on the way (thanks again, Katie!!).
2 nights in this surprisingly lovely room with a curtain between the king bed and queen sleeper sofa. Cute kitchenette not pictured.
Bump: 35 weeks 

They look super cute sharing a bed for the first time ever but I should say that Chase was a little too excited about being in a big bed. After an hour of craziness, we finally got him to lay down in the pack'n'play. Maybe next year, little man.
The first morning we did a little swimming....
....and then met friends at the waterpark!
Chase couldn't hang. I didn't mind.
We hit up the outlet mall our last morning but let's be honest, we spent most of the time at the playground area. Landon is sporting his $2 sunglasses we had just bought.
Travel tip: check Groupon! We got 4 cones for the price of 2. The boys were thrilled.

Our last stop was the beach! Chase is all "WTH" because he fell asleep seconds before we got there and Logan carried him (sleeping soundly) to the beach and even laid him on a towel for 10 seconds before he woke up. Sorry, buddy....your big bro really wanted to play in the sand!

It's not the prettiest beach by any means but the boys had a blast!

Just imagine me in a chair, drinking a Chik-fil-a lemonade, with a big umbrella covering almost every inch of my body. I totally have a picture but I'm totally not sharing it because I look so pregnant. We packed a heck of a lot into 48 hours but we also had enough chill time at the hotel and we ate lots of good food so it was still really, really nice. We're already thinking about making it an annual thing! Except adding another day or two.

This past weekend we had a joint birthday party for the boys! Landon turned 4 last week and Chase won't turn 2 until after Aaron is born but there is no way we were waiting until then to celebrate. The boys just love ninja turtles (Logan probably more than the boys, ha), and it actually worked out perfectly because we ordered pizza (which totally goes with the theme!) and it was the easiest party ever. Mainly because of said pizza and the fact that I've found different TMNT things on clearance over the past year. Plus we already have a crapload of TMNT toys and stuffed animals which we used as decoration. (I am not ashamed to admit that I love having themed parties. Love love love.)

 I was totally proud of that Cowabunga banner but the rain (that happened halfway through the party) totally ruined it. Boo.

 We had some time to kill before the party - which has happened approximately NEVER because we're always getting food ready - and my dad caught this gem of my mom and Chase swinging.
 And then my dad decided to take a gangsta selfie of himself and I told him I was totally putting it on the blog so here you go! (I mean what I say, Pops.)

Fun fact: those pictures lined up behind the cake are from a project Logan did in college with ninja turtles (he has a film degree). Somehow we still had them around.
 This was officially the ugliest cake I have ever decorated but it was still yummy. Here's the link to the recipe! I get so many compliments every time I make it, seriously. (I doubled the recipe this time, which was good because it was almost completely gone afterwards!)
Rain = mohawk
Man, my face looks so pregnant. Bump = 36 weeks!

Speaking of bump, I saw Dr. H today! Yesterday I was pretty crampy for most of the day and had to take my contraction medicine. So now my cervix is pretty sore, and I was trying not to be aggravated about the fact that I still have over 2 weeks with this dang cerclage in...especially if I keep having cramping/contractions. Normally a cerclage is taken out at 37 weeks, but with me having a C-section, Dr. H was planning on just waiting until we were in the OR to take it out.

But! Dr. H actually agreed to try to take out my cerclage next week (he didn't want to today because I'm still a couple days shy of 37 weeks)! I think the fact that I'm having cramping and all already and that I went early with Chase makes him nervous. I mean, I for one surely do not want to go into full-blown labor with 2 stitches in my cervix. Ouch.

Hopefully he will be able to get them out without a problem (one stitch was buried with Landon which is why I ended up with a C-section in the first place), and then no telling what will happen from there. I don't mind waiting until the scheduled surgery if those dang stitches are gone, though!

Okay, longest post ever but just imagine me giving you a fist bump if you made it this far. ;) 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Recent Reads {June edition}

Hey, it's been awhile since I've written about books! But it's not because I'm not reading. 

Remember that crazy goal I made of reading 50 books this year?? I've already read 40! I still can't believe it. Before I share the books and my thoughts, I just have to explain how I rate books...

5 Stars = I will probably read again and/or it was life-changing
4 Stars = I enjoyed it a lot and may or may not read it again
3 Stars = I liked it but there was maybe an aspect or two that I didn't like

I have yet to rate a book 1 or 2 Stars, but that would mean I didn't like it or I absolutely hated it (chances are I stopped reading a book if I think it's heading in that direction. Ain't nobody got time for that.) Seriously, though, I did like all of these - just have to say that because I might come across as kind of harsh. I just didn't LOVE all of them.
P.S. Be my friend on Goodreads!

Ok then! Here are some books I've read since May (and many are fiction! My friends who hate nonfiction should be proud of me):

1. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

I listened to this audiobook and it totally sucked me in. The characters are kind of crazy, but I guess that's part of why it was so interesting! Lots of plot twists and all. (There was some cursing, fair warning.) 4 Stars

2. A Spiritual Growth Plan for Your Choleric Child by Connie Rossini

This book was life-changing! Sometimes I don't know what to do with my little choleric Landon and this gave so many good tips and things to think about. I will definitely be referring to this one over the years and can't wait to figure out Chase's temperament so I can read the one that applies to him! (I should say that at the moment she just has the Phlegmatic book out, with plans on releasing Melancholic and Sanguine books too.) 5 Stars

3. When Breathe Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

I read this as my book for May as a bestseller. I did like it, especially the medical aspect of it (Paul was a neurosurgeon) but he got way too philosophical in the middle of the book. But I persevered through my eye rolling and I'm glad, because the epilogue by his wife was lovely. 3 Stars (maybe 3.5)

4. The Abundant Mama's Guide to Savoring Slow: Simplify, Embrace the Chaos and Find an Abundance of Time at Home by Shawn Fink

This was a nice read and you should totally read it if you're trying to slow down in life. I thought the parts about meditation were weird, but other than that, I liked it. 4 Stars

5. When I Found You by Catherine Ryan Hyde

I read this for a book club and was a little disappointed (but maybe it's because there were raving reviews that led to high expectations). It was okay - I did like the whole idea of never giving up on someone but it skipped time too much and I didn't like the ending. (Sometimes I'm a fiction hater, sorry!) But a lot of people love it so maybe don't listen to me. 3 Stars

6. The Art of Losing Yourself by Katie Ganshert

I have mixed feelings about this one. What I didn't love: the main character was a little whiny, the ending was not your typical ending (I can't explain why without ruining it), and I think it was longer than it needed to be. What I did love: I actually could relate to the main character in many ways (yeah, I know I said she was whiny), the story between the sisters, and the idea of accepting God's will even when it wasn't what you planned for yourself. 3 Stars (probably more like 3.5 since I couldn't decide)

7. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

This started off a little slow but the second half was good. It really got me thinking about life, ya know? Like what's really important in the big picture...which is something I've been thinking about a lot lately anyways. 4 Stars

That's 7 books so I'm linking up with Kelly! This month I'm supposed to read a book by a Catholic professor (as part of a challenge with my friends), and I'm looking for an easy read for my very pregnant brain. I'd love any suggestions!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

The good and the bad

Lots of good going on...and some bad. Well, more like super annoying/frustrating rather than bad. Let me break it down for you! Because, well, real blog posts might not happen for a looong time.

Why do I keep saying that? This is a real blog post. I guess I should say "highly intellectual" posts might not happen for awhile. You never know, though. I felt pretty inspired with my post on Monday....

I'll start with the bad!

  • Charley horses, oh my goodness. I didn't get them until I was pregnant with Chase and it was only once or twice. But it seems to be a more frequent occurrence this time around and um, it hurts. I've been limping most of the day today.
  • Insurance companies and hospitals are DUMB. Why do they never have records of me calling a million times? Why can't they just call each other and figure things out instead of me being the middleman? I could go on a long rant about this but I will spare you.
  • Almost 2-year old tantrums. In public.
  • Almost 2-year old tantrums while you're on the phone with dumb insurance companies and hospitals.
  • IT'S SO HOT.

  • Less than a month until we meet Aaron!! I'm sorry if counting down is annoying, but I can't tell you how excited (and nervous) I am. More excited, though, I think?
  • Landon helping with chores. He has seriously been helping me with laundry by moving everything from the washer to the dryer alllll by himself. And he even helps unload the dishwasher when he's motivated enough.
  • The boys staying occupied with playdoh...and me being on the ball by laminating playdoh mats!
  • Logan and I were asked to be godparents again and that sweet baby (gender is a surprise) will be born probably very close to Aaron! And their baptisms will be a week apart!
  • We're venturing out more now that Chase's surgery is done and I'm at a "safer" point in pregnancy. Yay for fun playdates!
  • Some days I really think I might just make it to my c-section date! Craziness.
  • Blue Apron meals cooked solely by Logan. Yum.
  • Ordering pizza for Logan's birthday and having a picnic in the living room.

One more thing! I'm closing my Etsy shop sometimes this month (not sure exactly when, depends on how I'm feeling and all), so until that happens you can get 20% off your order with the code BABYBABY. All the listings I currently have up are ready to ship! No banners, though, sorry. I probably won't open back up until mid-August!


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