Wednesday, July 30, 2014

32 Weeks (with the baby we didn't think we'd have!)

Today marks week 32 of this pregnancy! My sister came over a couple weeks ago and she helped me sort and hang up all the tiny baby clothes in the closet. Sometimes, I just stop by to take a peek! On the list of things to do in the near future is to take down Belle's old bed and put up the crib. After that, there won't be too many more things to do around the house until baby girl arrives!

Hello baby clothes!

Nothing much has changed in the past few weeks. I feel huge, baby girl has gotten a head start for practicing for the 2032 olympics gymnastics team, and my belly button has become an outie for the first time ever. Instead of the normal pregnancy update form I typically use, I thought I'd go back to the beginning and share the journey and the surprise of finding out we were having another baby!

It's been no secret around here that I had bad case of baby fever practically ever since Belle was born! In February 2013, we stopped taking birth control. I was finishing up my internship and grad school and I just knew that a baby would have been the perfect graduation present!

Only, it never happened. It wasn't only that we weren't getting pregnant, but my cycle wasn't regular and things were just off. We waited several months for my body to readjust to it's own cycle, but nothing changed. Finally, when the initial blood work and other preliminary tests (like an ultrasound of my ovaries) didn't supply any answers, the doctor eventually ordered a 3 hour glucose test. The results-- My glucose levels were fine (yay! no diabetes.) However, the doctor called and told me I was insulin resistant.

The results were shocking. I obviously didn't like the news, but it didn't take long for me to realize that my biggest health concern wasn't the struggle to get pregnant. It didn't take long for something to shift in my mindset and my health became the priority. I mean, when the doctor prescribed the medicine to regulate my insulin, I wasn't taking it so that my body would become fertile again. I took the medicine because I was dead set on doing everything possible to not end up diabetic! Fortunately, we had already made our big change into our whole food diet and so we were already on the right path.

That's not to say it wasn't a devastating blow to my plans to have another baby. The doctor was decently confident the medicine would lead me to getting pregnant eventually, but I was never quite so sure. And honestly, eventually wasn't really what I was hoping for at all. My doctor mentioned the use of fertility drugs with ease even giving us the option to start one right away or to wait and see if the regulating my insulin would work things out on it's own. Fertility drugs just weren't really an option for us. Not when my body wasn't working properly already and I wasn't up for the side effects or the disappointment if things didn't work out.

The time when we could have had a newborn in our arms (if we had conceived right away) came and passed by with major disappointment. And not to mention, the pregnancy announcement from three friends in a single week. When for the first time ever in my life, I was bitter about the news of a sweet new baby, I knew it was time to reach out for support.

It's harder than it sounds and I wasn't sure where to turn. I mean, I wasn't technically infertile... or was I? Plus, I have two kids already-- I shouldn't be sad, I just need to be thankful for the kids I have, right? And I have certainly never experienced the loss of a pregnancy, so is it even fair to be so sad? Would it be too hard on a fellow infertile friend to ever hear that we eventually did become pregnancy? It was really hard to know where it was okay for me to turn for help.

Well, (unfortunately), I knew just the friend to reach out to.... one who I knew would be loving and understanding and more importantly, she's firmly grounded in God's word, which is exactly what I needed. I messaged her to let her know that I had joined the club no one wants to be in, that it's a crappy place to be, and that I have become grumpy and bitter about the news of new pregnancies. As expected, she was so sympathetic and encouraging. Honestly, it felt really good to have someone simply know. But she didn't stop at letting me have a pity party for myself-- she said this:
Amy, all I can say is that through all of this you will, one way or another, come to accept God's providence and plan. And I hope you will recognize in a deeper way what a miracle each child that any women in THE WHOLE WORLD is carrying in her own womb.
Seriously, what a great friend. I took this to heart. And I immediately began praying these things in my life!  And even looking back on it now, it is STILL my prayer for my life!

You obviously know where this story ends up, but there's more in between. I'll be back, hopefully next week, with part 2!


Monday, July 28, 2014

Canoeing and cave exploring

This past weekend, Derek and I traveled down to the Ozarks with my family for a nice weekend getaway. All except my brother, who spent his summer in Africa and is back in Richmond preparing for his second year of med school. He would have thrown off our canoeing numbers anyway. 

Saturday morning, we left the hotel around 8am for a fun day of canoeing down the river. Our 12 mile float took us about 6 hours. We would've had a more relaxing pace if we would have gone on a weekday and didn't have to maneuver around every drunken college student in the state of Missouri the large weekend crowd. We had a great time and every one we came across was pleasant and just as excited as we were to be enjoying the river on a hot July Saturday. 

It nearly killed me to set out on a fun adventure without my phone to take pics. But I certainly wasn't going to risk taking it on the river. The adults paired up and the kids sat in little camp chairs in two of the canoes. We packed water shooters from the Dollar Store, which the kids and my dad enjoyed the most. I would have enjoyed it more if I wasn't collateral damage so often. The water was COLD. 

We made periodic stops, mostly for snacking, wading, water fights. Like I mentioned, the Niangua River is pretty chilly. Jackson and I were the only ones to get fully in the water-- and I was only doing it because we found a log that was perfect for him to climb and jump. His little body was shivering like crazy, but he was having too much fun to care.  

Belle was slow to warm up to being in the canoe, but eventually came around to enjoy it. At one point, she even fell asleep and took a nap on a bed made of life jackets. Both kids loved the opportunity to help paddle and were expert "middle seat drivers." At one point, Belle was pointing out the logs in the river that we DIDN'T hit because the number was smaller than the ones we did. In my defense, it's tricky to paddle with 3 year old on your pregnant lap and to not whack her in the head with every movement. 

In a stream of bad luck, Derek's sandals both broke within the first hour or so of our float. They were older than our marriage, so it wasn't all that devastating, aside from him having to maneuver the canoe at times barefoot. I also wish I could've taken a picture of the pink, too-small flip flops my mom leant him on the way back to our vans. 

We came home after floating to enjoy some BBQ pork sandwiches. Traveling with my mom at a place where there is even a tiny kitchen is fantastic! So much better than eating out for every meal for mediocre food. Due to a booking miscommunication, we ended up with a large cooking space that was wonderful for the kids to have some indoor, air conditioned space to play. We played games, ventured out for ice cream, and just relaxed the rest of the evening.

We had a lazy Sunday morning packing up and getting ready to head home, but before we journeyed out-- we had to explore the small cave on site. Belle didn't have fun-- my Dad told her there were dinosaurs and so she was scared. Jackson had fun exploring, though! 

It was a great weekend to spend together with family! Our family is getting old and spread out enough that we are only all (or mostly) together maybe once to twice a year, so even though canoeing is a rigorous communication activity-- it was great to be together. Most of the time. Well, that's my opinion. You may ask the others and they may or may not agree. :)

It was wonderful to sleep in my own bed last night with my arsenal of pillows to keep me comfy! I'm pretty sure that's our last big adventure before baby girl gets here soon! I think I've begun to push the limits of my 7 month pregnant body. No regrets though! We've had a super fun summer!!!


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Hugs first!

Being three is hard. Especially if you're a younger sibling and you're trying to assert your own independence not only with the parental figures, but from a bossy older brother too.

Being a parent to a three year old is hard. Especially when you're a million months pregnant and the aforementioned three year old avoids potty training at any and all costs.

Fortunately, it's not all tough. I think the most accurate way to describe my precious three year old is this: when she's sweet, she's the sweetest of all sweet things; when she's sour, she's the sourest of all sour things.

Belle and I had a "Girl Party" the other night, which is clearly more fun than a Girls Night Out, which is what I attempted to call our ice cream date. 

Belle is in a pretty strong mommy-phase right now. I can only assume this is because she knows that her life is about to turn crazy in a few months. But this also makes her SUPER affectionate with her actions and words. I'm soaking it up. My favorite is when she stops in the middle of playing and we have this conversation:

Belle: You're Mine!
Me: Well, good! Because you're MINE! 
Belle: For forever?
Me: Of course! 

The best way to keep things sweet in our house is to do our best to conform to the terrorist-type demands and procedures that are really important to her. Such as using a certain brush, keeping certain items in exactly the right place, and most importantly-- her bedtime hug and kiss routine. To ensure a smooth bedtime experience, it's best to follow the proper procedure:

  1. Hugs First!! (She'll say this every time just so you won't forget). This is her giving you a hug. 
  2. She'll give two kisses: one on each cheek. She may or may not perform a "scratchies" test before giving kisses, even if you're not Daddy. 
  3. Tuck her in. 
  4. You may now hug her. (She's laying down at this point)
  5. You give her kisses. You'll ask if she wants 1 or 100 and she'll chose one hundred. You'll kiss her like crazy, she'll giggle. 
  6. Say Goodnight. 
  7. She'll repeat it back.
  8. She'll say, "I love you!" Important: She must be the first I-love-you sayer. 
  9. You need to reply, "I love you, too" The "too" is VERY important. If you say "I love you" first or if you forget the "too" you'll likely get a lecture that includes tears, so PLEASE remember. 
Disruption in any of these events may end up you starting back at step 1 plus the extra task of deescalating the emotional aftermath of messing things up. 

Writing all of this down really makes me chuckle. I'm sure it sounds like I'm exaggerating here, but I promise you I'm not. Isn't she funny? 

Ultimately, the best way I've found to help Belle regulate her emotions are to offer more snuggles, more hugs, and more one-on-one time at the beginning of a meltdown or when I am making her do things she doesn't want to do, like taking naps and eating vegetables. I think it's good for both of us! :)


Sunday, July 20, 2014

y-y-y-yes to v-v-vbs

The kids finished up another week of Vacation Bible School this week. The kids really enjoyed the Agency D3 curriculum at a local church during the week when Derek was down at army training. Jackson has been singing the songs and doing the motions ever since! Another local church was doing the same curriculum this week and I knew the kids would love it. At the young ages of my kiddos, repetition is key and I figured the lessons might sink in a little deeper if they had the same lessons again.

My heart was so happy several times this week as the kids talked about VBS and I'm so thankful for the churches who put on these programs, not only to reach unchurched families of the community, but to offer a chance for "church kids" to grow, too!

The first was on Wednesday morning, when Jackson dug through his piggy bank to give money for the offering. Not only was he so eager to contribute his own money (a dollar bill plus six coins!!!), but he gave an equal quantity to Belle could give an "offbring" too. He gathered and shared coins with Belle for the rest of the week. I was sure to contribute, as well, because I was so proud! :)

Next was Thursday. Our church was putting on a backyard Bible club a few days this week and Jackson had the choice to chose either VBS and this day he went to the park. A friend snapped this picture and shared it with me. My heart melted into a giant puddle. I was so proud to know that Jack volunteered to pray in front of his group. I only wish I could've heard the prayer!

I have caught Belle singing VBS songs this week, which might not sound like much of an accomplishment. But, my sweet little girl can be difficult sometimes... She doesn't really like questions and knows how to shut down further questions pretty quick. When I ask about VBS she "doesn't have fun", the Bible lesson "is boring" and at music time, "I don't like the music, so I don't sing. But the other kids do." The one thing I could get her to talk about was snack time, but that always involved popsicles! So back to the point, catching Belle singing her songs when I wasn't watching made me happy. And believe me... I knew better than to let her know I was watching because it would have stopped REALLY quickly. 

Here's the VBS "performance" from earlier this summer:

That's my little darling in the middle in yellow. Ya know, the one with the scowl. This picture is a little deceiving. She was alternating between the scowl and waving enthusiastically at us. Either way, she did anything BUT participate with her little peers.

Jackson, on the other hand, was a rockstar, which is a far cry from where he was a year ago when he blew spit bubbles instead of singing. He's the tiny one in blue in the middle of the pic. 

Lessons from VBS, as told by Jackson:
  • Jesus healed a blonde man. (eventually, EVENTUALLY I was able to deduce that he meant "blind") 
  • Jesus dying on the cross is a "very complicated" story.
  • Jesus is better than cupcakes. When you have a cupcake and eat it, it's all gone. But Jesus is always there!


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Another T-ball Trophy!

We finished up another season of t-ball this week and Jackson earned another trophy. I know that eventually he'll have to work hard to earn more than just a participation trophy, but it's so fun for now to watch him boast with pride with his growing trophy collection! His favorite thing about this season is that the coach gave them gum whenever they played outfield. Oh, and the time he hit a home run. 

Jackson loves to play ball and watches to practice and play every single day. Derek even spray painted bases on the grass in our back yard at one point this summer. Otherwise, we'll use a ball gloves, trees, branches, miscellaneous toys-- anything than can be a makeshift ball field! Jackson has become very knowledgable about the game itself and can get into a ballgame, even if it's on tv. We've even been reading books lately on the KC Royals and learning about legendary players like George Brett and Bo Jackson. 

Even though the season is over, Jackson is far from putting down hit bat and glove. He desperately wants to make it to a batting cage to practice some machine pitches. Hopefully Derek will be able to take him in the next week or two! 


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

30 weeks

We're getting so close to the end of this pregnancy! My appointments are now every two weeks, more baby things are happening, and baby preparation is in full swing. I figured I'd keep my pregnancy posts in line with the frequency of my appointments.

I don't have a specific 30 week pic, but this is a candid pic my sister took last week-- I feel like I'm enormous! 

How far along?: 30 weeks
How big is your baby?: 3 pounds, and almost 15.5 inches long!
Total weight gain?: 25ish pounds, I think. My weight gain is slowing down from the last two months (thank goodness!) and have only been gaining 1 pound a week for the last few weeks. Hopefully, I don't have too much more to gain in the last 10 weeks! :)
Sex: Baby GIRL! We've seen her twice, so we're pretty confident!
Maternity clothes: All the time and I'm just hoping I can make it through the next few months without needing to bigger maternity clothes. 
Sleep: Over the past week, I have felt the wave of third trimester sleepiness. Thankfully, I sleep pretty soundly at night! 
Symptoms: Some braxton hicks contractions, round ligament pain, and just other as-to-be-expected pregnancy issues. Fortunately, nothing to serious and nothing that is too debilitating.  
Stretch marks: Yes. :( 
Movement: Lots and lots. Especially when I eat a meal that I've been particularly craving, which is humorous to me! Like, she was really having my cravings, too! 
Best moment this week: This is the hardest one. Derek and I had a baby name conversation and so that's worth mentioning. We have ideas, but nothing concrete. My sister came home from seven weeks in East Asia and we also worked really hard to move all of Belle's things to her new shared room, I dressed like a cow, and we bought the remaining baby gear items like a high chair, carseat, and bouncer!
Food cravings: Pancakes. And cereal. 
Labor signs: Nothing real. Thank goodness. 
Belly button in or out: Still depends on if I'm inhaling or exhaling, though it's become more flat than anything.
What I miss: Fitting in bathroom stalls. 
What I'm looking forward to:  Meeting my baby girl! But before that, I'm excited to get her room ready and get all of her little clothes organized. 

Here are pics from last week when we welcomed Laura home!

My kids each drew a picture of them with Aunt Laura and we decorated her room.

The kids were instructed to keep the decorations a surprise. But on the way home, Belle was telling her all about the "party" in her room, but then added at the end, "but it's surprise, so I'm not going to tell you. Nope, I'm not going to tell you!" 


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Cow Appreciation Day: DIY Costumes

Friday was Cow Appreciation Day and we celebrated! Did you even know there was such a thing? Did you miss the celebration? Let me tell you-- you are missing out! The Chick-fil-a cows are by far one of my favorite marketing campaigns (I have an advertising undergrad, so I think about these things) and I find the whole concept of using cows to market a chicken sandwich restaurant quite entertaining. So one day a year, the Chick-fil-a cows host a Cow Appreciation Day for free Chick-fil-a food. I have friends who have participated for years and was determined to make it happen for us this year!

No thanks to my faulty glue gun that left us in quite the cow-costume emergency the night before, we managed to pull off some pretty decent cow costumes worthy of three free meals. Have I mentioned that I am so thankful for great neighbors that I can text and say: "We have a cow emergency! Can I borrow your glue gun?!?" 

It just so happened that this week was time for Jackson to get his allergy shot, which is real close to Chick-fil-a and so we were already going to be on that side of town. And we like to do something fun on shot days and let him choose if the fun thing is first or if it's last. (He always chooses fun thing last!). If the thought of wearing a cow costume in public was awkward enough, just add in a visit to the doctor's office. I told the kids, no mask or tails, but the office staff was highly entertained and the kids were eager to fulfill the request to see the rest of the costume.

There's something a bit ironic about wearing a cow costume as a giant pregnant lady. I certainly FEEL like a big cow most days and so on Friday, I had the pleasure of looking AND feeling like a cow.

I was expecting to see so many more families and little kids as cows, but I surprised to see so many corporate folks on their lunch break with cow attire! Cow costumes ranged from awesome to completely tacky (like an inside out black shirt with ripped up typing paper taped on). I may be biased, but I think ours ended up pretty awesome-- which was pretty much an accident.

The day before, I made a trip to Wal-Mart which long-story-short landed me with some majorly unpleasant braxton hicks contractions, so I spent the rest of the day lying on the couch and drinking water. Though I accomplished nothing of importance that day, I did manage to create our cow costumes.

1) Tails: Braided yarn-- about 12-15 threads thick. 
2) Shirts: White tanks with glued on felt spots. 
3) Masks: Inspired by this post, I used felt and pink construction paper (the one single piece of pink left!). I didn't draw any templates, I just cut. Worked good enough! I tied them on with yarn.

Total cost: $5ish. I stumbled across two random tanks for the kids in the house. They are both a size too small, but they worked! Mine is a nursing tank I unpacked recently that was on it's way to the trash, so no cost there. Felt was $.23 a sheet and I used eight, so almost $2. The yard was $2 or so. And then I just assumed that I used maybe a dollar or so in hot glue. 

The kids shirts were easy peasy. Mine however, presented challenges. Cotton stretches; felt does not. So despite having my spots close together when I glued, they'd be miles apart once I put the shirt on. But the biggest problem is that they'd just come unglued. Every time. So..... I resorted to gluing on the spots with the shirt on. I used a magazine to keep from burning myself and it was the only way it worked to get the spots on my belly. Desperate times call for desperate measures. 

If you dressed up for cow appreciation day, I'd love to see some pics!


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Official roommates & new bunk bed

Jackson and Belle are official the occupants of a new-to-us bunk bed and are sharing a room. 

Tonight makes night number 4 in the bunk beds for the kiddos. The original plan had been to set up the bunk bed a week earlier-- but we thought the room could use some fresh paint. And then we* took everything off the walls and realized there were a lot of holes that needed spackling, and then came sanding, and priming, and painting... and it just kept going and going!  The room is still bare, but the bed is up and put together and Belle has officially moved in**.
* we = me nesting and Derek cooperatively playing along
**By moved in, I mean sleeping in there. Her clothes and stuff haven't been integrated yet, but this is where she's residing!
I love the bed. I'm a fan of perpendicular bunk beds and it has a desk, a book shelf, and even drawers so it's all sorts of functional! 

Having the kids share a room serves a couple purposes beyond the fact that a new baby will be here within the next couple months. I was getting annoyed with the entitlement out of my little people and all the "me, my, mine!" going on. Along with the new room, all toys and possessions (with a few exceptions) have become community property. Lastly, I know that strong sibling bonds can be created by sharing a room and so that's a big bonus, too!

The transition has gone pretty good.The noise level has increased by a million percent. They laugh, wrestle, and play more. They also fight, scream, and cry more. My new favorite thing is to shut their door and say, "figure it out!" and they normally resume playing pretty quickly. Compromise is a challenge, but have quickly learned how to chose bedtime music together in fear of risking no music at all. 

The sleeping challenges are a bit different as it's more of a personality and preference thing, as opposed to learning to share space. Jackson doesn't nap and so he falls to sleep very quickly, while Belle on the other hand can stay up talking to herself for hours. Each night has become a little bit smoother.

Whew! One MAJOR task crossed off the list before baby #3 (who will probably never be named) arrives. I need to move more of Belle's things and then I need to dig out all of the new baby things and set up her nursery. I wish I could have a fairy god mother to make it all happen, but at least we got things started early and don't have to rush too much!

For those of you who have (or have had) kids share room-- What were your room rules? How did you manage the kid who stays up later or the one who wakes up early? Do/Did you kids have a designated personal space? 


Sunday, July 6, 2014

The time Belle got a tic tac stuck up her nose

As most people often do, Derek and I have a fairly predictable seat in the worship service at church and for the past several years, we've been sitting towards the back. It started when Jackson was a baby and I would need to sneak out to feed him during service; the back just allowed me to be more discreet and less distracting. Jackson has started joining us for "big church" and is still learning the concepts of being still and quiet, so the back is the best place for us to be.

Plus, it's super easy for the nursery workers to come find us if they need us, which happens from time to time: crying kids, getting sick, having accidents. Well, today, as church was ending, I got that tap on my shoulder. Visions of a vomiting mess or a bathroom accident flooded my thoughts for a quick five seconds before I was informed of what was going on downstairs.

Belle had a tic tac stuck up her nose.

Upon entering her room in the nursery, I was greeted with, "I stuck a tic tac up my nose. It's stuck!" from my happy little girl. When asked why she did it, "Just because." We tried to have to her blow, but she would only sniff instead, so we opted to come home, consult Dr. Google along with some friends and family to see what we could do about this tic tac. If anything, we learned that we are far from the first to be faced with the same dilemma.

We tried the most suggested tips such as blowing into her mouth, using a bulb syringe, and even squirting a little water to see if it'd dissolve. Nothing worked. And so, we added a quick trip to urgent care this afternoon to get the tic tac removed.

Her charm levels were approaching 100% this afternoon. Everyone was smitten with her as she told them all about her life, her toys, the tic tac. She welcomed the doctor into the room saying, "I stuck a tic tac in my nose. I did it all by myself. We here because my mom and dad don't know how to do it." 

She ended up getting squirted with some medicated nasal spray to open up the airway.... which ended up being enough to loosen it up so it could fall out. Talk about some expensive nasal spray! 

Any annoyance that Derek may have been feeling was minimized with the fact that Belle chose to bring along a Ninja Turtle, correctly named him, and ended up picking a Ninja Turtle sticker instead of a princess one. Priorities! The doctor loved her little personality and told us that she's likely to grow up and become a CEO of some company. I loved hearing that! Often times cute little girls get told they'll grow up to be beautiful and princesses, instead of real career options. It reminded me of the #likeagirl campaign going around the internet and I loved how the doctor chose her words to compliment her in a meaningful way. 

All in all-- we're healthy, a little less poor, but ultimately blessed! I'm a bit more concerned about the poor teenage boy who volunteers in the nursery with his mom-- he's the same one who was closest to Belle when she got sick in the nursery this winter. Hopefully he doesn't quit! And hopefully he won't be too scarred to eventually have kids of his own!


Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July

Happy Independence Day! 

Jackson has been learning about the reason we celebrate Independence Day this week. Earlier this week, he asked Derek, "Daddy, did you fight in the war when we became America?" Haha. We're not THAT old. 

When Belle got dressed this morning, she said, "I'm the American flag!!!" 

My kids were highly anticipating America Day and the day didn't disappoint. Grandpa Forrest invited Jack to spend the day with him to go fishing and other guy stuff while Grandma Linda invited Belle to go shopping and out for ice cream. While the kids were off having fun, Derek and I spent hours and hours sanding, priming, and painting Jack's room. 

We spent the evening with friends and family. The kids played baseball against the Dads (and Grandma Linda) for hours. I was having too much fun watching to get up and take a picture. The kids, even Belle, were actually hitting the pitched balls and it was a decent matchup.

We enjoyed a 360° fireworks display over in Aunt Mary and Uncle Brad's neighborhood. Thanks to some awesome ear protection, Jackson enjoyed fireworks for the first time... which then, of course, made my night more enjoyable! 

It was a great day. So great that both kids actually requested to come home and go to bed, which has never happened before!  We've been having some amazing July temperature lately, too. When was the last time you heard a pregnant woman say that?!? Though the days are warm (not hot) the mornings and evenings are quite cool and I just love being outside-- especially when I need a light jacket. I'd be one happy lady to have this weather the rest of July and August!

Today and everyday, I'm proud to be an American and am so thankful for our freedoms! Happy Birthday America!


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

28 Weeks

How far along?: 28 weeks
How big is your baby?: 2 1/4 pounds, and almost 15 inches long!
Total weight gain?: Uhm... A lot. I pretty much gained as much in the last four weeks as I did in the first twenty weeks combined. My doctor assured me it was normal and that everything is fine and I'm healthy, however, it wasn't until after she picked my jaw off the floor. 
Sex: Baby GIRL! We've seen her twice, so we're pretty confident!
Maternity clothes: Always and forever. Some of my maternity clothes are getting snug, which is pretty much a bummer. But I'm not looking to buy new clothes, so we'll just have to make due. 
Sleep: So far, so good... bathroom trips are annoying, but overall no major complaints. 
Symptoms: Baby girl is still on my sciatic nerve and that's not real fun. It's not debilitating, though, so we're just pushing through. Oh, and I've had ridiculous amounts of sinus drainage for the last 6 months. I'm so over that. 
Stretch marks: Yes. :( I knew they were coming though. I was complaining to my sister-in-law a few weeks ago that my baby belly felt so tight. I just felt so huge and that my body just didn't have anymore room to contain the growing baby inside (even though I still had over three months still to go!). It was almost as if I could literally feel my skin stretching, It was so uncomfortable. Well, the discomfort went away.. but only through the cost of stretch marks. {This probably has to do with the seven pounds I gained in less than one month}. 
Movement: Lots and lots. Derek and I went to see Transformers this weekend and I have never felt this baby so active, ever. She rolled around and wiggled the entire time. Maybe it's a combination of caffeine and the loud noise? Or perhaps she has good taste in men and was all excited because we got to hang out with Mark Wahlberg for almost three hours. :) 
Best moment this month: Hhhm. We've had so many fun lately, but the neatest thing baby wise was when Jackson got to feel the baby move for the first time. He thought it was so cool. We've also gotten to see lots of non-local family and friends over the past several weeks and that's been really nice-- including my college bestie & roommate! And get this-- we're both pregnant with our third and due the same week. So fun! :)
Food cravings: Nothing major! We have been eating a lot of popsicles around here, though.  
Labor signs: Nope!
Belly button in or out: Interestingly enough, it depends on if I take a big breath or not. Innie as I exhale, outie as I inhale. It's like magic! 
What I miss: Emotional regulation. I mean, seriously. I was crying giant alligator tears after an episode of How I Met Your Mother. A SITCOM!!! I think Derek would probably agree with this answer. Poor guy. 
What I'm looking forward to:  Still looking forward to picking out a name. We haven't made much progress than when I mentioned this four weeks ago. We are also in the process of redoing Jackson's room to become a shared room between Jackson and Belle and so I'm looking forward to getting that all finished and them settled in! Also, I am really looking forward to holding this baby. My baby fever is through the roof!

Me and Casie, my college roomie! She lives down in Alabama and is up visiting her family. I am not envious of her having to deal with a summer pregnancy in the heat she has down south. Poor thing! I will be envious, however, if her baby comes first. 

And just a fun comparison: Good-bye midriffs (freshman year, 2003) and hello baby bumps! 



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