Friday, December 30, 2016

Paige's Birth Story - Part 2

Where I left off, I had pretty much thrown my birth plan out the window and had asked for an epidural. Dr. Campaigne and Ashley {the nurse} told me I had to have 2 bags of fluid before I could get the epidural, but I would get it as soon as possible, so Ashley began the fluids, and I began the longest 50 minutes of my life, ha.

At 2:30 PM, I asked Ashley how long she thought it would be, and she said she guessed a half hour. I knew she really didn't have a clear idea, but I needed something I could focus on. Brent continued to hold my hands, rub my back, be still when I needed to lean and just helped me keep myself together. Ashley and another nurse took turns encouraging me and telling me how good I was doing.

Finally, at 2:55 I had all my fluids, and Ashley let anesthesia know I was ready. She told me if they weren't there in 10 minutes, she'd call again. I asked if we could make it 5. {grin} The epidural man walked in just after 3:00 and started getting ready. I had another contraction and then he started doing his job. He said the next contraction would feel the same, the one after that should be better, and the one after that I shouldn't feel at all. And he was right on the money! Within 10 minutes I felt so much better. We found a good position for me to start out in and just let nature and science do their jobs. I was feeling a lot of pressure/discomfort in my bottom, so Ashley got me the button for the epidural and I was able to give myself a few extra 'nudges'. 

Time is a little hazy in here. I dozed on and off, changed positions a few times to even out the epidural, chatted with Brent and Lindsey {who also napped}. I know for most of everything Smoochie's heart rate was great and tolerated everything from that day really well. A few times there were some funny blips on the monitor but overall I couldn't have asked for better - that was my big concern with all the interventions since Trent didn't handle them well! Dr. Campaigne checked me 2 more times between the epidural and 8:00, and I went to a 6 and 90% effaced to an 8 and 100% effaced {I think this check was about 6:00 or 6:15}. The very first check after the epidural, Dr. C commented on how much better everything felt which was great to hear! At one point, we did turn the Pitocin back on because my contractions weren't as consistent anymore {the Pitocin had been off for probably 6 hours}.

I knew Ashley's shift was over at 7:00, and I was bummed she wouldn't be there to take us to the finish line, but I was glad when I found out Dr. C was on duty that night too. I obviously love Liane {who delivered Drew}, but Dr. C knew the details of the day, so I was glad she'd be there until the end.

My parents had kept Trent and Drew at their house all day, but the plan was for them to spend the night with Brent's parents and my mom to stay in the hospital with me, so my mom got to the hospital about 8:00 after taking the kids to Brent's parents. Within 5 minutes of her getting there, Dr. C was back to check me and said I was ready to push! Yay! She and Melissa {the new nurse who was also great} got everything set-up and we were ready to rock by 8:10.

I pushed through 3 contractions and half of Smoochie's head was out. I was ready to power through and keep pushing but Dr. C made me wait. OMG. That was so intense! I had to moan and breathe deep because I wanted to push SO BAD. On the next contraction, out came a wiggly baby, and Dr. C held Smoochie up, so I could be the first to see {and say} 'It's a girl!' Dr. C is so sweet and actually asked how we wanted it announced - love her.

Smoochie the Moose was here and earned every bit of her nickname and reputation since she weighed 1 ounce shy of 10 pounds! She was covered in meconium and the neonatal team was nervous and wanted her right away, so we had to clamp her cord a little earlier than I liked {although Dr. C went as slowly as possible and told me 'She's fine.' ha}, and her Apgar scores were 8 and 9! The nursing team got her cleaned off and we were able to pretty quickly do skin-to-skin.


Can't get enough of these cheeks!

She was born at 8:19 PM so after being my longest labor and biggest baby, I pushed her out the fastest! Dr. C said I had a big and healthy placenta {which excited me for the number of pills that would net me}.



Brent headed home about 9:30 or so and Mom and I got moved over to the postpartum wing about midnight. 

And that is Paige's debut story! While I didn't end up having a repeat natural birth, Paige's story is definitely her own, and I'm so thrilled she made it here safe and sound. I am honestly a little sad I didn't have the birth I planned, but I know I did what was needed and really the only thing I truly cared about was a safe delivery, and we definitely got that!

I'll post some of the amazing birth photos Lindsey took soon too - totally an amazing thing to have!

Happy birthday, Paige!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Paige's Birth Story - Part 1

**I blogged about a month ago my goals for delivering Smoochie. Let me just start her birth story by saying nothing went according to plan, but we still have a great story for welcoming our family caboose.**

Smoochie's birth was my longest labor, she was our biggest and latest baby. It's so interesting how that worked out - NO ONE expected our day to go the way it did!

So where I left off...I had seen midwife Lisa on Monday, found out I still had a lot of fluid and a large baby, was barely dilated/effaced {2 cm, 50%}, and had my membranes swept. I would go in Wednesday afternoon for a balloon catheter to hopefully help me dilate and efface some more and then Thursday morning, we'd go to the hospital to begin an induction. 

After my sweep, I started cramping and was sore the rest of the day. But nothing was really happening. Tuesday brought more of the same, and by that point, I was just ready for Wednesday to get things going. BUT...Tuesday afternoon, I noticed my mucus plug started coming out. I had read that for 'experienced' moms, this coming out usually meant things were going to begin in the next few hours, and that made me start to get excited.

I went to bed Tuesday night and about 11:45 PM I started having contractions - like so many other nights. I was trying not to get too excited but that combined with the loss of my mucus plug made me think this could be it. I made sure to change positions - yup contractions stuck around - and get up - check check. I started timing contractions and told Brent about 1:15 AM Wednesday morning. They were consistently 3-5 minutes apart and lasting 1 minute or more. They weren't painful, but it was picking up and no matter what I did they stayed. Previously I would have them in bed for an hour but if I went and sat on the couch or walked around, they would stop.



At 2:00 AM, I called the OB. Dr. Campaigne was on call and we agreed I should call my parents and head to the hospital but didn't need to rush. I waited until 2:30 to call my parents because I really wanted to make sure I felt good about what was happening. I think that annoyed Brent a little {like 'are we going or not?'}. I got ready {hey, if I've got the chance why not fix my hair and put on makeup?}, and my parents got to our house about 3:15. I had also called Lindsey, our photographer, and she was going to head to the hospital when we left. 


Last views of Smoochie on the inside!


We got on the road about 3:30 and 10 minutes into the drive I realized I didn't have my wallet {hello insurance card and ID} but was hoping since I had pre-registered, I'd be okay. I had a copy of our insurance card on my phone and woke my mom up {sorry again, Mom!} to take a pic of my ID.

We arrived at the hospital about 4:00 AM. Contractions were still consistent and a little stronger. I knew I was in early labor which only lasted about 2 hours for Drew, and it had already been 4 with Smoochie, so I was really curious what was going on.

Lindsey was already at the hospital and walked in with us as we got up to L&D and got into a room. The nurse asked a bunch of questions, got my IV started, and let me know that Dr. Campaigne was sleeping somewhere in the hospital and would come by when she woke up. I did find out that my previous Group B Strep test was invalid {I had taken at 36 weeks and they are only good for 5 weeks}, so I had to repeat that. I also noticed that the whole time I was talking to the nurse my contractions had spaced out some which was a little upsetting. The nurse told me that since I was 41 weeks, 6 days I got some priority and could choose to stay even if I wasn't dilated very much where they would normally sent someone else home. I told her 'I am not going home without a baby.' It also helped that I was set for an induction in 27 hours! Since it was going to be a while before Dr. Campaigne came down, Brent decided to catch some zzzzz's and Lindsey went on a walk with me around the floor. I told her I really thought because I had SO much fluid, it was really going to take my water breaking to get things going, so I was hoping Dr. C wouldn't take forever to come check me so we could get a plan going.


 Ready for action!

Our morning stayed pretty much consistent - contractions stuck around and I was monitored 20 minutes of every hour while we waited on Dr. C. Brent napped on and off, Lindsey and I chatted and watched TV {I caught the end of 1 Law & Order: SVU episode and then we left it on HGTV the rest of the day}. A new nurse came on shift at 7:00, Ashley, and I LOVED her. 



Dr. C came down about 8:15, and she agreed with my thoughts about my water - labor was never going to progress because Smooch had too much water and couldn't really descend. She checked me, and I was 2-3 cms and 75% effaced - better than Monday's appointment but still not what I wanted! She knew my labor goals, but both she and Brent reminded me that this was already a different labor than Drew's and I probably needed to be flexible given I was going to need interventions to really get things going. Dr. C is extremely supportive of natural labor, but I swear she also has a 6th sense about what is happening and what a laboring mom needs to hear. Then Ashley let her know I had tested positive for GBS with the test I took that morning. Womp, womp - this put a major change into our plans as we were seriously ready to break my water but now needed to get antibiotics in my system. So this led to another intervention...what we decided to do was give me a bag of penicillin and then turn on Pitocin. My contractions just weren't progressing on their own, and we really needed to get them stronger. Penicillin got started about 8:30 AM and our plan was to break my water at 11:30 AM before I got the second bag of penicillin, and I could start Pitocin {on the lowest dose, 1} whenever I wanted. Brent and I decided on 9:30, so I could have it for 2 hours {maybe ramping it up a little if necessary} before my water broke.

I was able to walk the halls a little more with the penicillin, but once we started the Pitocin, I had to stay in the room. I could be monitored with a portable monitor but no more walking the halls. Contractions definitely started picking up but were still not bad. We took Pitocin up to a 2 {milliunits/minute}. Dr. C came back about 11:00 and asked if I was ready to break my water - YES! I wanted to turn the Pitocin off to see if we'd gotten enough in my system to keep the contractions going once my water was broken and Dr. C agreed. She and Ashley put double pads under me because everyone was expecting a gusher. I was now 3-4 cms dilated and 80% effaced. There was definitely SO much water, and there was meconium in it, which I expected given how past due I was. Dr. C sat me up to talk about our next steps and all of the sudden another flood of water came out and pooled at my feet. It was so funny because Dr. C and Ashley were so proud of keeping the water to the 2 pads - um, nope!

I noticed pretty quickly that contractions were picking up and getting painful. We started the second bag of penicillin about 12:00. The next 2 hours I experienced really strong contractions every 3 minutes lasting a minute or more. I felt these hurt as bad as when we left for the hospital with Drew {and remember I was an 8 when I got to the hospital}. I was having to lean on Brent, moan, visualize, take deep breaths, everything with these contractions. I felt nauseous and was shaking through them and just hoped good things were happening - it really seemed like I was going through transition which would be really consistent with Drew's labor. Ashley even started getting everything set up for delivery!

When Dr. C came back a little after 2:00 {3 hours after she broke my water} and checked me, she told me 'I don't believe in good news or bad news, there is just news. But this is not the news you want. You are still 3-4 cms and 80% effaced.' She said based on the way my cervix felt, she wouldn't even say I was in active labor yet. WHAT???

I knew then I was done. I had been up for over 24 hours, had been having contractions for 14 hours {Trent's total labor had been under 12 hours and Drew's 5.5 hours} and was nowhere near where I needed to be. Dr. C started to be very diplomatic reminding me that every labor was different and no one expected this one to take so long, and I looked at her and said 'I want an epidural.' I knew we still had a long way to go, and the only way I could have continued naturally was if I was in transition or further. Did I feel a little bit like a failure? Yeah maybe a little. Was I sad I 'couldn't do it'? Yes - I definitely felt weaker than I wanted to. But I also knew I was barely holding it together and still had so much more ahead of me. I know this was also what Dr. C and Brent thought were best. And with that the hour long wait for the epidural began...

Part 2 coming soon...I am too wordy!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Grow Baby Grow - Paige - 1 Week

Yay! It's time to start documenting the growth of our 3rd wee one. And I promise I am almost done with her birth story - I love documenting my kiddos entries into the world! We were able to escape the hospital after 24 hours, so we've been home since Thursday night and just working to find our new normal and acclimate the kids to Paige and Paige to life on the outside. {grin}

I had to make a deal with the hospital pediatrician that we'd go to Paige's pediatrician the morning after we got released so she could have 1 more glucose test {babies larger than 9 pounds have to have a series of blood tests to make sure they are regulating their blood sugar ok and the last one is at 36 hours, but I SO did not want to still be in the hospital for that one}. So we had an appointment Friday morning, and of course, Paige is doing great!

Using Drew's bear since poor Paige doesn't have her own stuffed animal.

Stats {from 2 day appt}:
Weight: 9 pounds, 7 ounces
Height: 20 inches {interesting given her measurement in the hospital was 21.5" but the nurse at the pedi said when they use a tape measure it's often off, and I watched her measure Paige in the pedi's office, and I agree with 20"}
Head circumference: 14" {hospital had 14.5"}
Diapers: size newborn...but barely
Clothes: size newborn...but barely
Nicknames: Girlfriend, Little Love, Sweet Pea, Chunk a Monk...and of course Smoochie/Smooch {which I think we all say more than Paige, and I jokingly told Brent she would probably never escape it!}

Right now she is sleeping swaddled in the rock 'n play in our room and doing good. She is a quiet sleeper {amazing}, so she stands a chance at not getting kicked out, ha. She might end up in our closet as a mini-nursery since her room is across the house...we shall see. We've been figuring out which swaddles work the best for her - I thought she would love the woombie style, but it seems to still let her hands bother her too much, so we've been using the Sleep sack swaddle and that seems to be much better - she was only up twice on Monday and Tuesday nights! Now I don't think we've lucked out and fully expect lots of crazy nights, but I'll gladly take any night of better sleep that she wants to give me!

Paige nurses like a champ, and I already have a healthy milk supply. My milk coming in wasn't nearly as painful as with Drew, and I think we're doing great! Such a blessing that I haven't had any breastfeeding problems. Just 103 more weeks until I reach my breastfeeding goal {grin}.

Trent and Drew are acclimating really well - for Trent it's kind of been a non-event. He likes holding Paige but can happily go about his business too. Drew is a little more interested but also a little more emotional about everything. Brent and I are working to make sure the big kids get some 1-on-1 time where possible.

Our sweet chunky monkey!

I am doing good too. I started taking all my PPA supplements within hours of Paige's birth and got my placenta on Saturday {'big and healthy', ha}. I do feel flutters of anxiety here and there but so far very minimal. I'm trying to be honest with myself about how I'm feeling so if I need more help I get it right away. Reading back on Drew's 1 week update, I was about in the same boat as I am now, so I don't want to assume I won't have any issues, but I do think I've adjusted better... Physically I feel good too - I only took pain meds for a couple of days {just ibuprofen} and my biggest complaint is my swollen feet!

No promises I won't do this repeatedly...and maybe with all 3 kiddos!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Wishes

Since we will be doing a newborn card ASAP, I didn't create a Christmas card this year for our family. But I did make the one for my parents. So enjoy a Swope Christmas card!

Hope everyone is having a Merry Christmas!!


Friday, December 23, 2016

Welcoming...

Brent and I proudly introduce...our daughter {squeee!}, 

Paige Noelle

December 21, 2016 at 8:19PM
9 pounds, 15 ounces {yes, 1 ounce shy of 10 pounds} and 21.5"

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Movie Review: La La Land

Yay! The upside to going a week past your due date is getting to squeeze in one more Oscar hopeful with your Movie Date. Nothing else is out in our area that is a hopeful nominee, so we'll have to see what comes out in ATX for some January/February baby dates. You know you're in it for the long haul when you're willing to take off work to go to the movies just so Smoochie can come. Right, Allison? {grin} Anyway, last week Allison and I saw La La Land.


Plot: A jazz pianist falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles.

Review: This movie had so much hype around it, I think it would be hard for it to be as good as we hoped it would be. It was a really sweet story {if a little dull}, and it definitely had a nostalgic feel to it with the musical numbers, the costumes, etc. The characters and plot were likable which is always an added bonus. At the same time, it felt a little corny and dull? Ryan and Emma aren't the strongest singers/dancers, so there were a couple of times I was kind of uncomfortable, ha. We both liked it, but Allison liked it more than me. At about the halfway mark, I was underwhelmed for sure and the ending was kind of flat for me. I didn't hate it by any means but didn't love it like all the reviewers seem to. Allison gave it a B+/A-, and I gave it a B. 

Right now I would say my favorite Oscar hopeful is Manchester By the Sea and overall I haven't been very impressed by this crop of contenders - we'll see what the rest of Award season brings!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

It's the Final Countdown!

I'M.STILL.PREGNANT. 41 weeks, 6 days. So what does that mean?

It means I'm getting induced Thursday morning...unless Smoochie decides to come out in the next 24 hours [pause for laughter]. While I'm not excited about being induced, I am beyond ready to get this baby onto the outside!

I had an appointment Monday to repeat the nonstress test and check on my fluid levels and just make sure Smoochie was still doing good. Of course Smoochie is great. The midwife, Lisa, called Smoochie a 'moose'. Good times! My fluid is still A LOT - Lisa said 25 cm is too much, and I have 22 cm. So 'high normal'. I also had a cervical check and asked Lisa to sweep my membranes. I was dilated to 2 cm and 50% effaced. I mean seriously? That's it? But I guess better than nothing? Sigh. I normally wouldn't ask for a membrane sweep, but I'd rather do that than Pitocin!

The plan is I go into my OB Wednesday afternoon for a balloon catheter which will help to open my cervix. Midwife Liane is who's up for that and is the deliverer of the day on Thursday - she's who delivered Drew, so I'm excited about that! A balloon catheter is sometimes enough to start labor but will also hopefully make things more favorable for Pitocin. Then we will go into the hospital Thursday morning to start Pitocin and go from there.

My ultimate goal is still the same - I want to do this as natural as possible, so even if I have Pitocin I do not want an epidural. Will I be upset if I get an epidural? I don't think so. An induction is definitely not my preferred plan, but we are at the point where the integrity of my placenta and safety for Smoochie starts to be questioned, so it's time to come out!

Hopefully soon there will be a picture of a cutie patootie baby {who will likely be a giant - I told my sister she might have to buy a new going home outfit, ha} and the name battle can begin!

Catch you on the flip side, internet friends! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Beauty Shop

Drew never lets me play with her hair. Occasionally, she'll let me put in 1 braid or a ponytail, but usually she just wants it down. So depressing when I always wanted to play with my daughter's hair! BUT this weekend I bribed her to let me try out some different styles.


Mom goals complete!
My french braid skills are rusty, and her hair is SO thin, but I love it.


Silly buns - she wasn't a fan of this.

Top knot - she liked this a little because it was how I had my hair 'fixed'.
41 weeks, 2 days - I'm not doing much 'fixing' of my own hair!

Pigtail braids and a silly brother

 Now if she'd only let me fix her hair like this to leave the house! {grin}


Monday, December 19, 2016

Currently

Current Book

The one book club book I didn't read was Little Bee {It was a pick when I was in the midst of post-partum after Drew, and the subject matter seemed a little rough}, so I am curious what I'll think of this one by the same author...

Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave


Current Song

It's still the Christmas carol show {or Trolls soundtrack if the rugrats get to pick} around here!

Current TV Show

There are so many shows I hope to watch with a newborn sleeping on my chest.
But here's what I've been watching the most lately...


Current Drink

I'm on my second box of this stuff that's supposed to help with labor...
It's definitely not helping me GO INTO labor though.


Current Shame-Inducing Pleasure

My diet looks about like this right now...


Current Outfit

I wish it were a hospital gown {grin}



Current Celebrity Crush

I'm sadly coming up blank here today. My mind is just a little preoccupied right now.

Current Mood

Grumpy, irritable, on the verge of a constant meltdown.
Brent said I was doing good holding it together a couple of days ago, but then I yelled at him several times, so I think he's changed his tune. {grin}

Current Anticipation

This one is pretty self explanatory I'd say. I have an appointment Monday afternoon where I'll repeat the non-stress test and amniotic fluid index and will likely schedule our induction. I so don't want to be induced but we're getting close to that point unfortunately.

Current Film

Allison and I just saw La La Land - review to come later this week.


Current Picture

Do you see that temperature? Baby it's cold outside!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Baby Smoochie: 41 Weeks

Well, I'm officially the most pregnant I've ever been. Ask me if I'm happy about that. {grin} I really thought Thursday was going to be THE DAY. I woke up a little before 6:00 with contractions that kept coming every 3-5 minutes for over 3 hours. My parents came and took the kids to school and Brent stayed home from work. I called my OB and given how fast Drew's labor progressed, they had me come in. Well, let's just say that was a bust of an appointment. Still only about 1 cm dilated and contractions died out. I did have an ultrasound to check a few things - to quote my doc 'You have a lot of amniotic fluid AND a big baby.' She said it'll be quite impressive when my water breaks. So that's something to look forward to. I also had a 30 minute non-stress test that showed Smoochie is doing exactly what he/she is supposed to be doing inside. I go back Monday to repeat all these tests...but let's all hope and pray I don't make it to Monday!


How far along: 41 weeks

Weight gain: We don't need to discuss anything past 40 weeks, right?

Gender: I am seriously so ready to know. I was tempted to ask the doc during the ultrasound - and Brent even joked about trying to get a peak. But she was just checking certain things, so it wasn't really a 'and there's the baby's face' kind of ultrasound.

Pic taken on the way out the door...when I thought I'd be having a baby.

Maternity clothes: Unless it is a dress, it isn't comfortable. Putting on pants of any sort is so uncomfortable!

Movement: Yes! And a lot of it is so painful!

Sleep: I have my set-up down but whether I actually fall asleep easily or not is a different matter. I apparently snore a ton, so B slept on the couch Wednesday night. We both got good sleep which would have been much appreciated if I'd ACTUALLY HAD A BABY THURSDAY.


Symptoms: I am having so many contractions but obviously not enough to do anything. Grrrrrr...

Cravings: I'm not really craving anything specific but am just eating my feelings.

What I miss: Not having every waking thought being consumed with WHEN WILL THIS BABY COME???

The fun non-stress test!

Best moment of the week: I got a prenatal massage earlier in the week that was amazing {except the pressure point stuff he did to stimulate labor...hahahaha}.

Worst moment of the week: Hearing my doc say I still wasn't dilated. She did say it's really common in 2nd and 3rd pregnancies to have a lot of these starts and stops.

Other random stuff: I am really glad Allison and I got to see La La Land! It's also nice that NO MATTER WHAT this weekend will FOR SURE be our last weekend as a family of 4!


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Updates

Disclaimer: I am writing this Wednesday night, so hopefully by the time you are reading this I've had a baby. But let's not get too crazy that this might actually happen. {grin}

  • I am 41 weeks pregnant. That's a tie with Drew for longest pregnancy. I am mostly doing okay - nights are hard because I have trouble sleeping. I feel as good as you could hope at this point and am trying to focus on enjoying my last days of my last pregnancy. I'm also enjoying a lot of chocolate. {grin}
  • The plan at this point is I will go to the doctor on Friday for an ultrasound. If everything is fine, I will go again Monday for a non-stress test and amniotic fluid index. If everything is fine, I would wait until 42 weeks {12/22} and be induced. So at most I have 1 more week. Seems a looooong way away, ha.
  • The upside is Allison and I plan to see La La Land Thursday night when it opens in Austin. If we make it, that would be 6 potential Oscar Best Picture nominees we'd have seen together {Sully, Arrival, Moonlight, Loving, and Manchester By the Sea as the others} and 1 Brent and I rented {Hell or High Water - very good!}. Only a few left to check off with Smoochie in tow!
  • The nursery is complete except for a few things that require knowledge of the gender and us having chosen a name {which we have discussed exactly 0 times}. So I want to share it when it's totally done. However, I wanted to brag on my really talented sister. She made 6 signs for the nursery that all have song lyrics I {or we} have sung to our children. Some are also songs that our mom sang to us. I love having these on the wall. So here's my favorite sign and one of my favorite songs {Moonshadow by Cat Stephens}. Isn't it perfect?
  • I've been on a motivational kick you could say to gear up for another natural childbirth experience. I'm super excited but nervous {like did I rock Drew's delivery because it was so fast and if this one is long will I lose it? type thoughts}. And there's no room in here for self-doubt! I watched a documentary called Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin and The Farm Midwives. Holy crunchiness. I love Ina May and have several of her books, and this was a great documentary...but man did it show a lot of births. Definitely more than I wanted to see at least!!
  • I am trying a ton of natural induction methods - think raspberry leaf tea, walking, jasmine essential oil, evening primrose oil, prenatal massage... I think I've mainly just wasted some time and money because it is a FACT that my babies like it inside!
So that's a quick peak into what is going on around here. Hopefully a birth announcement is just around the corner!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Movie Review: Manchester By the Sea

Allison and I were able to see Manchester By the Sea as a potential {and likely from what I've read} Best Picture nominee. Going into it, I knew very little about it, but the buzz I'd seen online had me excited.


Plot: An uncle is forced to take care of his teenage nephew after the boy's father dies.

Review: See? That plot really gives nothing away, and I'm so glad it doesn't. This movie was incredible. Allison and I both felt the ending wasn't quite what we hoped for {but we're both eternal optimists}, but it was a real ending for the story. Casey Affleck is amazing - at the beginning I couldn't figure out why his character seemed so bored? unaffected? unconnected? - at one point I wondered if he was autistic - and then when I found out his history, it ripped through me. You see him in a totally different {and devastated} light. The entire cast is awesome, and the story is just so heartbreaking with moments of comedy and lightness and love. I'm giving it a solid A and hope it does well this awards season!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Christmas Jams 2016

I love discovering new Christmas songs each season and Pandora is always great for this. I definitely love all the classics, but it's fun to find a few new ones each year to jam to. So here are the new ones for me this year!

Into the Silent Night by For King & Country 
{New to me doesn't always mean new - this CD came out in 2013}


I'll Be Home - Meghan Trainor {2014}


Love is Christmas by Sara Bareilles {2012 and my fave this year!}


The More You Give (The More You'll Have) by Michael Buble {2015}



Baby Boy by For King & Country


Christmas is Coming by Jason Gray {2012}



 White Winter Hymnal by Pentatonix {2014}


What new {to you} songs are you loving this Christmas season?

Monday, December 12, 2016

A Weekend Spent Waiting

Well, I'm still pregnant. Sigh. While this is not the most pregnant I've been, I am so ready to have this baby! So to distract myself from the fact that I'm not busy having a baby, we packed a lot into our weekend.

Trent had his First Reconciliation on Friday evening at church! Leading up to Friday, he was really anxious about it and kept saying he wasn't going to do it. We told him he could write everything down, and that seemed to make him calm down, but when we got there Friday, he said he didn't need his paper, and it went great. When he finished, he said 'It was good. He was nice.' It was special for me because the priest he saw is the priest who was at my childhood church for YEARS and did a lot of my sacraments.

Waiting in line

 This just made me laugh Friday night. She is such a pack rat in bed.
She has a stuffed animal, her ceramic handprint, books, and her hand in a bowl of grapes.

Fort building with Daddy!

A little Home Alone 2 action - they think it is hysterical. I love hearing Trent laugh.

Saturday night, Brent's parents kept the kids so we could go out. We went to a local restaurant and then to get snow cones! Yes, in December. {grin}

Brent doesn't enjoy pictures documenting our lives!

Brent's mom sent pictures of Christmas cookie baking.
Her outfit SLAYS me.

This was our 3rd year to make Gingerbread houses, and I have bought the kits every year from our local grocery store. Well, this year I had to assemble the houses and let them dry for 4 hours - ugh. So I did that Saturday night.

Ready for the kiddos! {10:30 pm no less, ha}

Sunday morning I had contractions for about an hour and a half. I thought this HAD to be it given I was 40 weeks, 3 days. Well, joke was on me - who in the world is PAST DUE and has contractions that die out? THIS GIRL. Ugh. But I did do a load of laundry, pick up the kitchen and living room, and run the dishwasher. So upside?

When we got the kids back, they were so excited to decorate their houses.

My little hams

Finished houses - they are posing with 'mistletoe eyes'.
Love these 2!!!

So that is how we spent what is HOPEFULLY our last weekend as a family of 4.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Baby Smoochie: 40 Weeks!

Well, my due date has come and gone {shocker}, but let's document 40 weeks! 

I had an appointment Tuesday with Dr. Blake. Blood pressure was 127/70 {highest I've had in this pregnancy but still okay}, HR of Smoochie was 120 {lowest of ANY of my pregnancies}, I measured 40 cm, no protein test because the water was cut off {can you believe an OB office where you can't go to the bathroom!!!}. Dr. Blake asked me to remind her how big Trent and Drew were and was visibly relieved when I said their sizes. She said she thinks Smoochie is about 8.5 pounds. Good times. :/ I also stupidly asked for a cervical check - 'maybe dilated to 1 cm' and 'thick and closed' were the highlights of my day said no pregnant woman ever.


How far along: 40 weeks

Weight gain: Holding steady at 39 pounds {and will probably refuse to step on a scale for ANYONE again}


Gender: I am definitely calling the baby 'he' and thinking about Smoochie as a boy. Such a shift from earlier in this pregnancy... My mind is for sure playing games with me. I definitely think this has been such a fun experience.

Maternity clothes: I bought a couple of new long-sleeved shirts at Target that were super long {and 40% off using Cartwheel} because just about nothing covers my belly the whole way.


Movement: Running out of room hasn't stopped this wiggle worm.

Sleep: Such a joke at this point. Brent hates me, ha. Luckily, I'm able to nap on the weekend which is heavenly.


Symptoms: I've had contractions a few times but obviously nothing is happening. My body hates me. Still all the usual suspects - sciatica, restless leg, not sleeping, lightning crotch...

Cravings: Candy


What I miss: Sleep - such a cruel joke because I know I won't get any for a LONG time.

Best moment of the week: My sister finished most of the signs she's making for the nursery, and they are amazing. Going to get them hung up ASAP.

A special treat for 40 weeks!

Worst moment of the week: Probably the {not surprising} lack of progress. I was hoping that since this was my 3rd my body might be cooperating, but I think it's safe to say my body likes to a) grow big babies and b) keep them inside for a long time. HOWEVER, this is also a good thing for which I'm so grateful because it means I have strong, healthy babies. And with Drew I went from nothing to a baby in 5 hours, so really it could be any day now! Trying to focus on the positive...

Other random stuff: Brent found the Reese's cups stuffed with Reese's pieces! I think he loves me! It was soooo good.

Belly button watch: Outie

I weigh the most now, so I find it crazy how much swelling I had with Trent - 
my face looks so much bigger with T!
Bumps seem about the same???

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Pregnancy Jokes

Yay! Today is my due date! And I'm still pregnant! {Um fake enthusiasm much?}

To commemorate the fact that today is my due date...here are a few pregnancy memes I found especially true and hilarious.  Hope you enjoy, and I hope it isn't just me who can relate!

Not that I know what sex is, Mom. ;)

Or roll over...or get off the couch... {grin}

Although if I'm being totally honest, even leggings aren't that comfortable.

Yup, yup, yup, yup. 
I actually asked a stranger at the grocery store to get something off a low shelf for me - 
just so I wouldn't have to bend over.

I think there are more of Brent's shirts in my drawers than in his!