August 2020

August has never really been a month I loved, and to be honest, this year was no different. Like its great. Theres good things about it and good things have happened in it, but for whatever reason, its just not my favorite month. Its so freaking hot and thats not my jam. Its also so close to fall, which is absolutely my jam. So its just this weird in-between month that I don’t adore, but I don’t hate it either. I don’t know. Either way, I’m super excited for September. September never lets me down.

GOOD

  • Flora turned two months old, so she was finally able to be vaccinated! Thats always a sigh of relief for me. Another added protection for my little bundle of joy. It makes this mama happy.
  • We went boating with some of Craig’s family members and it was so nice. All 3 kids were awesome, the weather was beautiful. Being on the water is so refreshing for me.
  • This is stuff I can talk more on later, but some things have been developing in our family that have caused Craig and I to have these really deep conversations, pretty often. It was exciting and it made me feel so much more bonded to him. I love having this guy by my side in life. He makes things so great.
  • We started school this month. Home school. My brain has been all over the place with this decision. I still have some guilt eating me up because I feel like homeschool is going to deprive my boys from social interaction that they really adore. But overall, I feel good about this and I know that for us, its the right decision. Also, kudos to all the parents making these same hard decisions!
  • Speaking of school, Harrison also started Waterford Upstart, an online preschool. He’s loving it and doing really well in it. Its calming to know that if I totally blow it with homeschool, he’s still taken care of because of Upstart.
  • We have re-started potty training with Emmett. I don’t know if this is good or bad. It should be under a separate header called HARD. He’s motivated, but also at the same time, totally not. I don’t want to pressure him to do it if he isn’t ready (learned that the hard way with Harrison), but I also want to keep motivating him! Its tough.
  • I opened my home spa back up! Again, something I was really torn on. BUT its been so, so good to see my old friends/clients again! I’ve missed them.
  • Flora has started smiling, everyone! Best part of August.
  • We took a free day and went to Golden Spike, the Rocket Garden and Hill Aerospace Museum with my mom and one of my sisters. It was loads of fun. It was also very hot and exhausting, but it was so good. I want to take my kids on more outings like this.

NOT-SO-GOOD

  • We got suuuuper close to being in a wreck. Like within inches. It freaked me out. If we would have been hit, it would have all happened right on Emmett and Flora’s side of the car. My mind has traveled to so many scary places because of this dozens of times this month. I’m so grateful we were protected that day. But geez it scared the crap out of me.
  • I got so behind on housework in August. Why? I have no idea. Probably because we were too busy trying to have fun and do exciting things, but still. I should have made more time to take care of my home. I guess there’s a goal for September, huh?
  • I accidentally cut a chunk of my hair off. Luckily it was in the front and I’ve been able to make it mostly look like I’m just growing bangs out or something, but I was still thoroughly ticked about it. I watched my hair fall to the floor and burst into tears. I was cutting a string off of the collar of my shirt and my hair fell forward at the perfect (but not perfect at all) time.
  • My mental health is…well, not what it usually is. Sure, I’m 2.5 months postpartum, but its just messing me up. Like, I’m fine. But my brain is working overtime to keep things level and ‘ok’. Its hard. My anxiety is picking up, I can feel it. I’m starting to get my worried headaches and am getting sleepy and stomach aches are reoccurring – all tell tale signs for me.

HOME

  • My home is messy and chaos, but you know what? Its happy. I love my home, but mostly the people inside of it. My family makes things beautiful, no matter where we are.

Homeschool

Do you know what’s crazy? Just last week, I was 100% sure that Harrison would be going back to his brick and mortar preschool. I was training him to wear his mask for decent periods of time, I was making myself mentally ok with him being in a classroom, I was excited he’d be back around peers, I just knew I’d be sending him to school.

But then early this week I just kept thinking about homeschool. Then, when I’d try to block even the possibility of homeschool from my mind, something would cause it to pop back in. People would post on instagram about their decisions, a news article would show up on my Facebook feed, someone in the family would say something — and all these things kept bringing my mind back to homeschooling Harrison.

I feel lucky that my only kid in school is only in preschool. I feel confident that I can teach preschool level curriculum. I think this decision and these promptings would be so much more difficult if I had kids in higher grades (so lots of respect to you parents that fall in that category). So one day after homeschooling had yet again entered into my mind, I decided to let it in. I decided to toy around with the idea and see how it felt. I wasn’t committing to homeschooling, I was just feeling it out. So I read some stuff about it, got some ideas, looked on Amazon for supplies and talked to Harrison about the option of homeschool.

Guys. It felt really good. The whole time I was embracing homeschool I just felt peaceful. Not that regular school didn’t feel peaceful — but it didn’t feel like this, either. The option of homeschool just felt right and I couldn’t deny that.

Quite truthfully, I feel that whether I sent Harrison to school or kept him home to do school here, both options would be good for him. I’m not against either. But ultimately, one just felt more correct for us, and thats homeschool.

Now that I’ve committed to this path, I’ve been eagerly scouring the internet trying to find the best things for our ‘classroom.’ I’m also excited because I’ve decided to have Emmett ‘come’ to preschool too! I’m actually looking forward to making lesson plans and teaching both my boys. Its going to be a lot and will surely be overwhelming or chaotic at times, but I’m ready for it. I feel good and I feel ready for this. What a crazy time we are living in, right? Never did I think that my parenting would include homeschooling my kids because there is a global pandemic thats giving that option so freely. Just crazy.

I just want to say, that no matter what you choose – homeschool, regular school, distance learning, etc, I applaud you. These are not easy decisions. These are not easy times. We, as parents, try so dang hard to do what’s best for our own kids and that can be so trying and difficult. I know we are all ultimately doing what’s best for our own unique situations. We’ve got this! We are all amazing, no matter what we decide to go with.

With this all being said, if you, too, are choosing to do homeschool – let me know what resources you’re using!! I’d like to start school in the next couple of weeks and am trying to round up all the things I’ll need! Also if you want to bounce ideas off each other, lets do that, too!! And lastly, if you live around me and have kids somewhere around my kids age…play date?? The biggest thing I’m feeling guilt over right now is that Harrison loves socializing with kids around his age, and he won’t be getting that as much, not going to an actual school.

Have a great day! You’re all awesome, strong and wonderful!

The Start of Something New

…it feels so right to be here with you, ohh!

{bonus points for you if you know what thats from}

On Monday I committed myself to something, and I have every intention of staying committed. I started exercising and paying attention to what I’m putting into my body. I am feeling so motivated and empowered and am actually very excited for this journey I’m taking myself on.

I started working out a few weeks ago right around 6 weeks postpartum, but long story short, I just lacked the motivation. I also didn’t feel all the way healed, because while I exercised a lot still hurt and didn’t feel right. So it was a short lived thing. But now I am about 10 weeks postpartum and feelings leaps and bounds better physically and mentally, and I’m ready to do this.

I want to be clear about something though, I’m not doing this to lose weight. I’m not doing it to get my “pre-baby body,” either. I’m doing this to feel good about myself. I’m doing this to do something good for myself. I’m a mom and a wife — so I spent the good majority of my days doing things for others to make them feel good. But I need to do things for myself, too. I need to make sure I’m feeling good, as well. I’m totally a believer that when you’re putting yourself as a priority, you’re a better person all around. I need to do that. However, if I do lose some pounds and tone my body up while on this journey, then awesome – I’ll have worked hard for it, so I’ll be proud of myself. But ultimately, I want to keep my body, my wonderful body, healthy and happy.

I’m excited to start this! I’m excited to feel stronger, feel more confident and get back that body confidence thats so easy to lose when you’ve recently had a baby and all you see is flabby, stretched skin, extra pounds, stretch marks and a tired face. I’m doing this for me – to feel like me, again, and I’m ready!

Do you have a goal? Start today!! Lets reach our goals together! Lets motivate each other! We can do this!!

Birth Story

On June 11th, our little Flora was born at 8:30am after a quick and kind of crazy delivery. She is absolute perfection and has changed our family for the better. Life with her in it is pure magic. Yesterday, she turned two months old (how??) and I have finally finished up her quick birth story for you guys. I think about her delivery a lot. It was not what I planned, but it was really incredible.

Now how about a birth story?

On the evening of June 10th I’d started feeling contractions that were different than the Braxton hicks contractions I’d felt the past few weeks. These ones weren’t super painful or anything, but I could tell they were slowly and surely getting more powerful. Harrison had a soccer game and then we went to my parents house for a while and the whole time I could just tell some things were changing, but I decided not to get my hopes up yet at this point and just tried to continue to be patient.

That evening around 9:30pm I felt like there was another shift in my body. More pain. A little more intensity. But nothing serious, yet. I got some stuff done around the house after putting the boys to bed, then decided to go to bed myself around 10:30 to see if I could sleep off the pain. I could until about 1:30am. I woke up somewhere around 1:30 hurting significantly more. I decided to finally download a contraction timing app and laid there in bed, timing my contractions for a while. They were coming anywhere from every 10-30 minutes, their intensity varying all the while. I texted my sisters just to let them know I may be needing them to come over in the middle of the night, then went back to waiting and timing and breathing.

Finally around 4 I had a contraction that made me shoot up. I couldn’t do it laying down anymore. It was a real, painful and powerful contraction. I woke Craig up in the process and I just remember him rubbing my back. He told me a little while later than when he saw me sit up, he knew this was the real deal. As I stood up, my water also broke (but in the moment I wasn’t sure if it was my water or if I’d wet my pants), but when I went to the restroom and noticed blood – a true labor sign for me – I quickly convinced myself that this was it.

Craig and I got ready, I told my sisters to come over and we arrived to the hospital right at 6 in the morning. I was hooked up to the monitors and checked (I was at a 4, with contractions coming every 1-2 minutes apart) and was told I’d be monitored for an hour to see if I progressed, and if I had enough, I’d be admitted.

I don’t think it was coincidence that my nurse (who we loved) randomly decided to check me at 30 minutes. Turns out, I was progressing fast, so with that, she admitted me a half an hour early! She called for my epidural, I got my IV and things started getting real. I was in a lot of pain by this point and I was also as hot as I have ever felt in my entire life.

The next little while was just waiting for things to continue to move. I kept dilating and kept waiting for my epidural. My doctor came in to say hi and check me and asked where my epidural was and the nurses explained they’d called for it couple of times and it still hadn’t shown up. He told them to call for it again. Not too long afterwards he came back in to check again and we knew that it would be time to push soon. Its a good thing I was hurting so bad and just totally in my own head, otherwise I probably would have gone into panic mode. When I had Harrison, my epidural was only sort of working, and I just remember that hurting – so I didn’t want to have to have a painful delivery again. But I was too busy focusing on surviving each contraction and trying not to burst into flames (seriously, I was SO hot) to think too much of my anesthesiologist not coming very fast – although I sure wished he would have hurried.

Around 8:20 the anesthesiologist finally came in and administered my long-awaited epidural. This one hurt pretty bad. I’m not sure if its just because everything hurt so bad at that point or what, but I just remember so much pain. Also, Craig couldn’t fan me anymore while I got my epidural, so I felt so hot I wanted to scream at people. Immediately after laying back down after getting that taken care of, I was checked.

It was time to push. Now. She was right there. But guess what? I was told my epidural would take at least 15 minutes to start working. I asked my nurse and Craig if there was anything we could do to make it work faster (in hind site, I see thats a silly question, but I was desperate) and she very kindly told me that I could wait for the epidural to start working, but that things were moving and baby sister was coming out.

So I started to push. I can honestly say that delivering a baby with no epidural to help me was the most pain I’ve ever felt and a lot more awful than I’d ever imagined, but at the same time, doing it without an epidural made me feel powerful and strong – something I don’t feel about myself too often. It was really neat to literally feel her every move as she came out of my body. Delivering her head and shoulders were…there are no words. Just ouch, ouch, ouch. But thankfully I only had to push a few times – about five minutes – and she was born.

Everyone noticed that she was a “good sized baby,” or a, “big baby,” immediately (I’ve got that with all my kids now). Craig cut the cord and my perfect little girl, my first daughter, was placed on my chest. There is nothing more magical than those moments.

A while later she was weighed, measured, cleaned and cared for. She weighed 8 pounds, 1 ounce and was 21 and 3/4ths inches, and 100% perfection.

We only stayed in the hospital one night due to Covid, and were able to go home the next day a few hours after noon. Only a couple of hours before we left, we finally named her Flora. The boys were beyond thrilled to meet their little sister. They greeted her so enthusiastically and sweetly, it melted me.

We are so, so happy to have our baby here safe, healthy and happy!

Be the Good

First of all, how great is this t-shirt from Poppy & Dot? I’m in love with the phrase on it. I know my influence on the world, and sometimes even my own little corner of it, is very small – but regardless, I do try really, really hard to be a force for good. To be the good. To be kind. To spread happiness. To be a friend. The world is really chaotic and messy right now, but its comforting for me to remember that there are still good people and good things. I’d just like to remind you — and me — that all you have to do is look for the good and you can still find it. Also, you can be it. Don’t let the darkness of the world dim your unique light. Be the good!!

July 2020

GOOD

  • I feel pretty excited to say that we are in a pretty good rhythm, just a month after having Flora! I could go into lots of detail about this, but I’ll just leave it at that. It feels really good!
  • Harrison and Emmett are dreamboat big brothers. They ADORE their sister. They are so patient and kind with her and they dote on her 24/7. When she screams and cries, they don’t even mind. They give her, her binky all the time. They talk to her in these precious baby voices and they are never far from her. They can’t get enough of her. What makes it even sweeter is that Flora loves them just as much. She is entranced by them and loves to stare at them and she gives them the best smiles.
  • Speaking of that – Flora’s smiles. They deserve their own bullet point because those things are magical.
  • Hamilton is on Disney+ and Craig and I are beyond delighted. Just thrilled. We have been listening to the music non-stop and its the very best.

NOT-SO-GOOD

  • I’m pretty sure Flora has colic. Anywhere between 5 and 10 in the evening she is so unhappy. Nothing can calm her down. She’ll nurse for a while and be ok with it, but then just nothing works. Its so sad. I feel so helpless. From what I’ve read, it doesn’t typically last past 12 weeks old (is this true?) but I just wish that she could feel better even faster. I want my baby happy!! It wears Craig and I out on a nightly basis.
  • The boys hate bedtime. Especially Emmett. We’ve officially entered the phase of them getting out of bed and saying the most random, hilarious things. Heaven help me.
  • The AC in my van broke at the end of the month. My car was so stinkin’ hot, driving in it was torture. We got it fixed this week and it reminded me of how grateful I am for cold air. The price wasn’t necessarily my favorite, but it was absolutely necessary. Getting my kids out of the car and seeing them red in the face and covered in sweat was so sad.

HOME

Ok, real talk. I got behind on home stuff in July. Thats definitely due to having a new baby, but truly we were so bad at Come Follow Me this month and the cleanliness got out of control many times. BUT I have promised myself I’d try really hard to be patient and kind with myself – especially now in this season of life I’m in. We’ll try harder in August and see wha happens!

June 2020

I’m going to go ahead and bet that June will be the best month of all of 2020 for our family. I mean, how do you top the birth of a new, precious baby!? Especially when she’s as perfect, sweet and squishy as Flora! I think between starting the month being very pregnant, tired and just done with pregnancy and then spending the rest of June with a newborn, it’s all felt a little but like a blur. A sleepy, wonderful, magical blur.

GOOD

  • Flora, obviously. You guys, she is perfect. She is beautiful and makes the most adorable squeaky sounds constantly. She loves staring at her brothers and listening to people talk. She is a generally easy baby who sleeps pretty decently and nurses like a champion. She fits into our family seamlessly and honestly I am just so grateful I get to be her mom and that she’s a happy, healthy little girl.
  • I have 3 kids. THREE! That sunk in about a week after having Flora and I’m beaming! All I’ve ever wanted to do is have kids, so being able to grow my family and have another baby be born is just making me feel all the happy feels.
  • Craig had a birthday and Fathers Day! That guy deserves to be celebrated far more than just those two days, but I’m glad that we had those days to celebrate him – even if they were very low key and probably a little boring because we are living the newborn life.
  • I’m still being careful and cautious with social distancing and such, but before Flora was born and a few times afterwards we have been able to spend some time with family and that just feels really good. Especially because coronavirus cases keep on rising so I feel like I may need fo make the decision to be extra careful with my family again.
  • I keep thinking about my doctors and nurses. I’m so thankful for those people and what they do so selflessly for people. For what they did for me. There was one point, ahem, the first time I used the restroom after delivering my baby, that the nurse was helping clean me up, etc, and I just couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for her and what she was doing. Those are good, good people.
  • Harrison started soccer this month and oh my heck, it’s the cutest. He is the happiest little athlete I’ve ever seen. The smile never leaves his face while he plays and he is just so dang happy to be on the field. I love his enthusiasm.

NOT-SO-GOOD

  • For about a week and a half after Flora was born, Harrison and Emmett had a rough time. Not with her, not at all (they super aggressively adore her), but with… everything else? It was really hard. They were easily upset, extra emotional and pretty much never listened and would do a lot of things that otherwise, they knew were naughty. I expected some kind of reaction from them – I mean, they’re 4 and 2 and getting a new little sister is a major life change! It just was harder to navigate than I assumed it would be. But we made it through and I’m proud of us!
  • I didn’t get my epidural in time to deliver my baby. So I had an unmedicated birth. I’ll just leave that there.
  • Having a baby during a pandemic and navigating the extra precautions for germs, social distancing, etc. is rough. Its been a little complicated figuring out how to let family meet the baby without feeling like I’m exposing her to things. Theres a lot of feeling pulled to different sides, but Craig and I are doing our very best to listen to our guts and ultimately do what we believe is best, no matter what people say. That isn’t always easy, but we’re getting better at it. I think.

HOME

Newborns bring the most precious spirit into your home. I swear there are extra angels, extra love and extra spirit in your home when a tiny one is there, and I’m trying to be mindful of soaking it all in because I know this time passes fast. As sleepy as we feel and as tricky as it can be to get used to new schedules and a new life, its just magical. We slacked a little with doing Come Follow Me this month, and I kind of feel like thats justified because – you know – newborn. But we still managed to learn new Book of Mormon stories and did our best not to miss family prayer and opportunities to talk about the gospel.

Baby Sister!

Flora

June 11, 2020

Details and birth story coming soon. For now, just know that we are all doing so, so well. Our hearts are full as full can be. We have already been so blessed by having this sweet little girl in our family! I can’t wait to share more of her with you later. In the meantime, I’ll be soaking up all the newborn snuggles, smells and sounds because this is my heaven on earth!

My ECV Experience

On June 4th, Craig and I went into the hospital to get Baby Sister moved from a breech (head up) position to a head down position. This was so I could have a much better chance at vaginal delivery and a VBAC. It was also because we didn’t want to possibly risk another experience like Emmett’s birth, which was a bit scary (thankfully only for a moment). We had a few different options of how to go about this all, but ultimately, Craig and I felt best and most peaceful about attempting to move her, and now that all is said and done, and she’s still head down, I feel that it was all very worth it and I’m glad we had the procedure done.

My experience with an External Cephalic Version, or ECV, was painful, but good. Here is the quick recap of how that day went.

Early in the morning we went to the hospital and got all registered and situated in a labor and delivery room. I got into a gown and was hooked up to the heart monitor to track Sisters heart, and a contraction monitor, just in case. I was hooked to an IV and then my doctor came in to explain to us what was going to happen. He told us about things that could go wrong and how they would handle those situations. An anesthesiologist came in, also just in case I needed to be whisked away to have an emergency c-section. The anticipation of the procedure about to happen was slightly nerve wracking, but I knew, I truly knew, I was in good, prepared hands.

I was given some muscle relaxer drug that kicked in really fast and made me feel so loopy and a lot more relaxed. It definitely wasn’t anything that muted any pain, but it did help my stomach stay soft and easy to work with. I was also given a shot in the back of my arm (not sure what that was?) and then a few nurses came in, the anesthesiologist stood nearby, Craig stood near by head and my doctor positioned himself beside me and began the ECV.

Overall, the whole procedure took less than ten minutes. It went smoothly and thankfully the baby cooperated with everything going on for the most part. My doctor definitely knew what he was doing and I was grateful to see how often he checked the ultrasound to make sure she was doing ok in there with all this chaos. Right towards the end when she was nearly all the way head down, her head was being a little stubborn and getting into place, and then all the sudden it was like a puzzle piece fitting perfectly where it should, I felt her head pop into the exact spot it was meant to be. I don’t know how to explain it except that all the sudden she just fit really well where she was at. The procedure was not comfortable at all. It hurt really bad. I kept my eyes closed the entire time and just tried to focus on breathing. I got so hot and felt so sweaty. I could feel my feet flexing hard (nurses later commented on that, too) and my hands were squeezing my gown as hard as I could. It was tolerable pain, but it was not fun at all. I was terribly sore the next couple of days and am still sore in one specific spot. It was rough, but thankfully, not long.

When it was all finished, I was monitored for the next hour, as well as sisters heartbeat. We both checked out just fine and were able to be discharged!

I was told to take it easy the next couple of days and be mindful of good fetal movement (which thankfully there was so much of). Now that it is all said and done, I am grateful for the experience. I’d say it was totally worth it and I’d recommend it to someone who was faced with that possibility with a breech baby.

10 Best Things About Pregnancy

I’m just about to have my third child and have officially reached the point of just being done. Every night and every morning, I plead/pray that labor will start within the next few hours, and I’m not going to lie, when it doesn’t, I get pretty bummed. I’m ready. I’m so, so ready. I want this baby out of my belly and into my arms.

As my attitude about being pregnant feels like it’s steadily declining here at the end, I decided this morning that I was going to try my best to change the way I’m viewing it for today at least. Today I want to dwell on all the things I love about pregnancy and the miracle that it is. I want to remember how very fortunate I am to be able to carry children. I want to have the blessing this phase of life is, no matter how uncomfortable or long, at the front of my mind.

So with that being said, here are

The 10 Best Things About Pregnancy (according to me):

1: The Movement. It’s both magical and crazy all at the same time. Admittedly, it’s also a little painful at times too. But to feel all the kicks, rolls, stretches, jabs, hiccups and twitches is something truly phenomenal. That is a real life, living, human baby inside of me growing and wiggling! It’s amazing.

2: The Connection. Before baby is born, no one is connected to her/him like you. It’s this special bond only the two of you have until they make their debut into the world. I love that currently, I’m the only one that really knows my daughters movements or the only one that really has (the tiniest) grasp at what her personality will be.

3: The Belly. I know women have varying opinions on pregnancy bodies and big growing bellies, but I personally adore mine. I really do. I feel most confident in my skin when I’m pregnant and I am dang proud of my giant belly! With my boys I never got stretch marks, but this time around I have a couple small ones and I’m strangely excited about them! I love what my body is doing and the crazy changes I’m going through. It’s a blessing that I’ve wished for since I was a little girl, and to be living it now is a dream come true.

4: The Food. I’ll be honest, not being judged on what you’re eating or how much you’re eating because you’re pregnant? Ah-mazing.

5: The Stories. I could talk pregnancy/birth all day long for the rest of my life. I love creating all these memories that I can share with people. One of my favorite things ever is sitting around with fellow moms and sharing stories about our pregnancies, births, etc. It’s bonding and it’s beautiful and it never ceases to blow my mind just how different each experience can be.

6: The Daydreaming. I love imaging the baby. Who will she/he be? What will their name be? What will they look like? What will their personality be? What will their interests be? Will they be born with hair? Who will they most resemble? It’s thrilling.

7: The Anticipation. Ok, anticipating your babies arrival can also be terrifying or feel excruciatingly long, but when looked at with the right attitude, it’s exhilarating. Waiting to add another little soul into your family is so special and exciting!

8: The Shopping. Buying tiny baby clothes and accessories is the. best. It also helps makes things feel real. Once you get a significant little stack of items for them you’ll find yourself obsessing over them and looking through them frequently.

9: The Attention. I’m just being honest here – you get special attention when you’re pregnant and hey, it’s kinda fun! You’re a tiny bit of a celebrity when you’re walking around with a big bump. People treat you a little kinder. It can be awkward for sure, but it’s also kind of sweet.

10: The Space. My current favorite thing is just starting at the space my daughter will take up once she arrives. Her nursery. Her bassinet in my bedroom. Things like that. She is going to figure out quickly how she fits into this family and fill that space so beautifully and I am beyond thrilled to watch it all take place. I know she’ll change the dynamic in our family and rock our world in the best possible way and seeing her spaces helps me remember that and get SO stinkin’ excited!