Archives for posts with tag: mom

One worry I had even before getting pregnant with Alexander was “How could I ever love another baby as much as I love Jackson?” It was one reason I was hesitant to even try for another baby. I just wasn’t sure how it was possible. Even after finding out I was having another baby, I was slightly worried. Jackson has been my whole world for 3 & 1/2 years. How is there room in my heart for more love like that? I know other moms who have had the same concern, so I know I am not alone in that thinking.

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I am here to say that it is entirely possible. I have discovered that your heart just doubles its love storage. It simply opens up more space without even trying to. That baby left my body and in the space that was left over my heart took the opportunity to expand. I easily feel the same way about Alexander that I did about Jackson the moment I saw him. Pure, simple, astounding, overwhelming love. I would move mountains for both of these boys. At the same exact time if I had to.

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Reading a book to my sweethearts

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I also have more love for Jackson. I swoon every time I see him melt over Alexander. Let me just tell you what he decided to call Alex all on his own: Sunshine Face. That is what he calls his baby brother. I sometimes call Jackson that and on his own he just decided that would be his nickname for his baby brother. I about died of love when I heard him say it for the first time. A 3 & 1/2 year old using a nickname like that for his little brother. I thought to myself “I am doing something right here.” He wants to help me with everything. If I need the binky, he is there to find it. If I need a diaper, he will get one. Or any other number of small things I need help with, he is there to lend a hand.

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Watching my husband be a parent to two children has also made me love him more. He is my partner in crime. We work together and we divide and conquer. It has only been a week! Somehow, we effortlessly slipped into this rhythm. There was no laid out plan of who does what when. We just flow together and handle all that has been laid before us over this week. One night Jackson helped me cook dinner while Jason hung out with Alex. Last night I snuggled with Alex while Jason and Jackson made caramel apples together. Earlier in the day all four of us hung out in bed watching Jackson’s shows. Jason even drove to two different stores in the middle of the night and in the middle of a storm to find gas drops for Alex. He had awful gas on night and was so upset and in so much pain, we had to do something right then.

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When you look at all of this, it is safe to say maybe my heart more than doubled. It also squeezed out some more space in the Jason and Jackson spots. Everybody got some more room.

And me? I am feel very confident as a mom. I am feeling that even with the challenges that we have faced this week (there have been a few concerning Alex’s health. Jackson has had a couple of jealously moments, which is totally normal!) that I can and will do whatever it takes for all of my boys. Last night after getting Jackson in bed Alexander was hungry. Jason was holding him as I moved around the house trying to get things in order. I had to pee, I wanted to change into a nursing tank, I had to gather my boppy, water, etc. Jason was whispering to Alex, “Mommy will be ready soon. She is very busy. Lots to do here. She is almost ready. She is a busy lady.” It was true. Getting two kids situated for the night while healing from delivery is a busy time! It was nice to hear him appreciate that.

My first photo with both boys!

My first photo with both boys!

My belly is much smaller these days but my heart is much bigger. I will take that trade off any day!

I am a bookworm. I have been since before I learned how to read. I have vivid memories of my mom reading to me when I was a little girl. After learning how to read, I couldn’t put books down. I would spend hours in the library deciding on which books to check out next. It was always torture that I could only take a few at a time. My grandma would take me to the library with her and we would spend hours? there. To me it seemed like hours. I am not sure how long it was in actual time. As a child though, I was in that magical wonderful place for what seemed like an eternity. In college I spent a lot of time studying in the library. If I had time in between classes I would head there to read, study, work on things, or just be there.

I have worked to pass that on to Jackson and soon Alexander. Their book collection is extensive. I even have a book box where I add new books all the time and Jackson gets to pick a new book rather often. Last night I decided to grab two new books that I wanted to read to him. One of them is titled If I Could Keep You Little.

I bought this book a while ago. I read it in the store and cried. The premise is a mom who would love to keep her child little but knows she would then miss out on all the great things they did as they grew. I think this is my number one struggle as a mom. The idea that one day my boys will leave the nest. That one day I will have to let them go play outside in the big world without my hand a few inches away. I try to not be a total helicopter parent. I don’t hover constantly, especially in our home. I let Jackson play on his own. But outside, in the big scary world? He is only 3 & 1/2. I am not ready to let him wander. I don’t have to be ready quite yet, but one day I will.

The tantrums and arguing back can be hard. The bad days where we all don’t seem to sync up can be rough. But that is not the hardest part for me. With those moments I have about a 2 second rebound rate. I never feel defeated or that it drags out to the next day or even the next moment. Sometimes I can reset with just 20 minutes. It is the letting go that I know I will struggle with more and more as my boys grow.

Having a new baby on the way 4 years after we were expecting Jackson has proved that. I have seen now how much I have let go over the past 3 & 1/2 years. Much to my surprise. Things changed a little every single day. I do it, but it doesn’t mean that it was easy. To be honest, I usually still feed Jackson dinner. He can do it. He prefers me to help him. Much to my husband’s eye rolls. But one day he won’t want mommy to scoop his food and feed him. I will probably be trying to convince him to sit down and eat with us! Those are the kinds of things I think about. While I am saying “But Jackson, you are a big boy, you can feed yourself, right? You do it at breakfast and lunch!” In my head I am just perfectly fine with scooping that pasta into his mouth for him.

I made it through the book this time without crying. I didn’t even choke up when I read it to him. I even was able to point out similarities in his life and watched a big smile beam across his sweet soft face. My lap has less room these days. My belly is getting big. Less than 2 months to go until I have two boys squirming for space. But each day we cuddle on Jackson’s old rocking chair and we read books. We adjust every day to that growing belly. I suppose that is what parenting is. Every day you adjust to the changes just a touch. You have to wiggle something over to make room for something new and different. Some new skill, ability, task, thought, need, or want. Sometimes it happens without you even realizing it. When did my belly get so round? When did Jackson have to learn to sit differently on my lap? It wasn’t in one fell swoop. We grew together.

How I long to keep my boys little. Even looking back on infant photos of Jackson, which I have done more and more lately, I wonder, how did he grow into this boy? As we tucked him in and he had to show me one last fancy trick before being snuggled under his blankets I just watched his face. The book fresh in my mind. He used to be this squishy little infant, with a personality, but certainly not this specific personality. When did he grow into this little boy and leave that squishy infant behind? When did I stop using onesies? When did my world revolve around themed tshirts and pajamas? Spiderman adorned my sweetheart from head to toe last night. No more sweet baby blue footie pjs for him. He used to fit into all the clothing I have purchased for Alexander. Now, you couldn’t get a foot in some of those.

But, like that book tells me, if I kept him in those, I would miss out on him calling to me as I left “Mommy one more hug and kiss. Hugs and kisses are my favorite.” They are mine too sweet boy, whether you’re a newborn or a grown man. They will always be my favorite, in every stage you pass through.

Our growing family

Our growing family

Today it is pushing 90 degrees where I live. I am not complaining! After the terrible, long, brutal, 50 below 0 winter we had, I welcome the sunshine and warmth on my face! But being pregnant in summer is far different than being pregnant in winter. Jackson is a February baby. I was in the nitty gritty of pregnancy in much cooler weather with him. This time I get the joy of a summer pregnancy. Both have their perks I think and both have their challenges.

I wanted to share some summer (and not necessarily summer) pregnancy essentials that I am obsessed with.

1. I used this with my first pregnancy and I escaped stretch mark free! I swore by it, I swear by it, and I share it with most new preggos I know. Bella B Tummy Honey Butter.
photo 3 (1)It always soothes an itchy belly for me. I usually use it twice a day. It can be a bit greasy feeling initially but the way I see it is, it soothes the itching and I was stretch mark free. So far I am as well. Greasiness is a small price to pay for both of those! You can find it on their site or Amazon. I am a fiend for ordering it from there. This is my current tub and I have two or three more stored in a cabinet. Just watch the price on Amazon. I have sometimes noticed it to be priced higher than their retail price.

2. My Gap Maternity jean shorts. I have two pairs that I love. They are so comfortable. They are the same pair but different dyes of jean. Unfortunately it appears that the darker wash I own is no longer anywhere on their site!

photo 4I am wearing the lighter wash in this photo. I was 16 weeks here. I am a few days into 24 weeks now and I am comfortable wearing them today. They are still loose but comfy! I also like that they are a panel at the waist and not a full panel. I wore full panel shorts one hot day recently. We walked to the park. That was a mistake. I was so hot, sweaty, and itchy that as soon as I walked in the door off they came. Never again!

3. Three goes hand in hand with the above photo. I am obsessed with any kind of ribbed tank. The one above is also from Gap. One of their Essential Tanks. I also have the white one I linked to. I am again wearing this tank today at 24 weeks and it is still way comfy and fitting. I have ribbed tanks from A Pea in the Pod too.

IMG_5657This was Memorial Day. Also, note the shorts 😉 These kinds of tops are just so comfy and keep me cool. Plus they show off my shoulders and arms. They are fitted so I don’t feel overly billowy. Tank tops are just a must have summer pregnancy staple for me.

4. Be Maternity BeBand. I know I said I hate full panels, and that is true, unless I am running! I need the belly support. I have found that two of these or one with a full panel maternity running capri keep me supported enough to not have any ligament pain in my low abs during runs. I have 4 of these. Two white and two black. Not that colors matter for me because I wear them under a fitness top. I have tried another band, a more elaborate one but right now, at this stage, it was more cumbersome than helpful. Perhaps as I get bigger in the next 3 months I will be switching. But for now, these rock my running world.

5. Pacifica Kona Coffee Sugar Scrub. This stuff smells so good I could almost eat it in the shower! Ha! Just kidding but really it smells fantastic, if the smell of coffee doesn’t bother you. I find it amazing.photo 2 (2)

This product leaves my skin so fresh and smooth. It is the last thing I use in the shower. I go through it quickly because I use it all over my body. So, it can be a bit of a splurge. But it is so relaxing and refreshing to start my day with this. I initially found it at Ulta. I have also ordered it directly from Pacifica. I also have read that Target carries this brand. I keep forgetting to look for it when I am there, so I cannot confirm or deny if they have this specifically.  Like I said, it is a splurge that it is worth it for my pregnant self.

6. On the same brand note, I am loving their Coconut Crushed Pearl shimmer lotion.photo 4 (1)

It gives a nice sparkle to your skin. It is also very moisturizing. I was playing in the pool with my husband yesterday and he kept trying to grab my arms and legs. I was swimming away. Each time I was able to slip right from his hands. I bragged about how I can get away because of all my lotion! Ha! It leaves me glowing and moisturized. It smells lovely as well!

7. Ok, this is the last Pacifica product…..for now! Indian Coconut Nectar hand cream is a must for bedtime for me. I put it on every night.photo 1 (2)

I will also use it in the morning after getting ready and before I put on my rings. It keeps my hands soft and smelling lovely. I wash my hands so much between a 3 year old who is potty trained, but sometimes needs help, and the washing of the dishes or cleaning in general, that they get dry even in summer. I also have the Tuscan Blood Orange. It smells lovely too!

8. This is by far my favorite foot lotion, pregnant or not! I have been using it for years. It feels especially nice before bed after a long day. H2O Softening Mint Foot Rub.photo 5 (1)

It is cooling and moisturizing. I will usually sit with my feet up on a pillow in bed for a few moments after and the cooling feeling is so refreshing. That is especially important as a pregnant lady in the summer! I usually buy it at Ulta, but you can also order it directly from H2O or go to one of their stores.

9. A reusable water bottle of your choice. I am on the go so much with the little man. I have an assortment of water bottles I can fill and take with me. Especially if we are walking to the park. You have to stay hydrated while pregnant and even more so in the summer heat.

10. Pilates/yoga/birth ball. Ahhhh!! Again, one of your choice. I love to do pelvic tilts and circles on mine at the end of a workout. It is also a great way to stretch. I am planning a medication free labor/delivery and I will be bringing it to the hospital as a birth ball as well. It is so versatile. It is not just for pregnancy either. It can easily be used for anytime workouts! I have had mine for a few years. I love it.

11. A good swimsuit of your choice. I have played around with a one piece and several tankinis. I was so miserable in them! I always felt puffier than I am sure I appear to everyone else. I am just a bikini kind of gal. I love them for swimming. I feel so much more free in the water when I wear one. photo (6)

I actually found a non maternity top that fits me nicely. On the clearance rack at target. I am normally a small but I bought a medium for my much larger chest (two freakin cup sizes!) Those bottoms are maternity bottoms from Target as well. I happened to buy them to go with the aforementioned tankini tops. A bikini during pregnancy may not make you feel more comfortable, and that is fine! That is why you just need to find one that makes you feel sexy and beautiful. Getting in the pool while pregnant, any time of the year, is so wonderful. You feel weightless. You can float on your belly! You can get in a workout. You can cool off. It can even help with water retention. I usually have to pee a ton by the time I get out of our pool. So if you don’t have one, check your local Y or gym for a prenatal swim class. I did that with my first pregnancy. This one, we have an indoor pool so I lucked out. I just train myself in there.

Do you have any pregnancy essentials? Anything you could not live without during your maternity time? 

 

I am officially over 3 months pregnant. The start of my second trimester is just a handful of days away. I still feel that this pregnancy is so very different than my pregnancy with Jack. I hear that is common if not almost entirely expected. My emotions about it are far different as well. I forget about being pregnant more often this time. I am assuming it is because I have a 3 year old to keep me entirely occupied this time around. I had nothing to keep me quite so occupied last time.

I am still not sure how I will love another human being as much as I love Jack. I got a surge of that emotion as we were just walking through our hallway. We were chatting. I ruffled his hair and said “You know what? I love you so so so much!” I do. I really do. And as the words left my mouth, I thought in my head, “How could I possibly love any other child as much????” I am told that I will. That it will be just as easy to fall in love with this one as it was with Jack. I hope so.

3 months

3 months

I guess part of the thing is, this still doesn’t feel real to me. I understand in my brain this is happening but I can’t grasp that this is my new reality. Maybe it is because I haven’t felt the flutters or any kicks yet? Maybe it goes back to being so distracted with the current human that entirely fills my heart? I am certain I accepted the reality as soon as the stick said positive with Jack. Again, I had no distractions then.

We should be finding out the sex of the baby in the next week. We took the panorama test last week. Along with some genetic tests, it includes the sex of the baby. I am hoping that will help to solidify the actuality of this. We will have a he or she growing. A name.

I have also started to feel a touch better. So that is really exciting. My energy levels are way up! Much to Jack’s happiness. I haven’t heard him ask me to “not be cranky anymore mommy” in a week or two. The first trimester was very rough on me. Much rougher than Jack’s 1st trimester! My whole pregnancy was a breeze with him. This one, again, is much different.

My guess for the sex? A girl. It isn’t because I am dying to have a girl. As a matter of fact I have always wanted a second boy. I have said that since shortly after Jack was born. But, I had a gut feeling with Jack that he was a boy. I have a gut feeling that despite the fact I have always wanted two boys, this one is a girl. My husband also is thinking girl. He also doesn’t have a strong preference either way. So we shall see soon.

Jack is still beyond excited! He talks about his little brother or sister every day. He asks a million questions. He tells us about what his plans are with the baby. That really makes my heart grow. Those are the brief moments where I feel this might actually be happening. When I watch his face light up with excitement over having a sibling to love, play, and yes, fight with. (Not that he knows that will happen just yet, but let’s be honest, it will) His guess? It literally changes every time he is asked! The other week he said “boy” And when asked what the boy would be named he said “Jackson” Ha! Yesterday he said “girl” and her name would be “alex” Alex is our boy name. He is too cute. He is listening to what we are talking about though. The specifics just get a little jumbled. My sweet boy!

 

I am sitting here on my couch, sipping my coffee, listening to Christmas tunes, and reflecting on the past year. Mostly thinking about the difference between last Christmas and this current one. They have both been very happy and wonderful. I thought last year was the biggest Christmas of my life, Jack’s 1st Christmas! But I have to confess that this year has blown last year out of the water. I know there is a lot of focus and importance placed on that 1st Christmas, but I think this year is even better.

Jack won’t remember a thing from last year. Not one second. He couldn’t open gifts. He couldn’t enjoy much Christmas food. I was still nursing. He has just sort of started sleeping through the night, but it wasn’t like it is now. He was not walking or talking very much. A couple times he got frustrated with the whole gift opening process. I was hosting both days. I was exhausted, swamped, and Jack really did not know what was going on. We had a wonderful time. I was excited for Christmas morning. I took videos and photos galore. I threw all of my energies into it, like I did this year. BUT this year there is a twinkle in his eye. He talks about Santa. He can actually open all of his gifts. He knows what a gift is! He knows what snowmen, elves, snowflakes, trees, lights, and candy canes are. He begged us to go play in the snow the other day.

He insists that Santa, Ho Ho, will knocky on the door, when brings Jack’s toys. Yes he says, door, knocky, Ho-ho! It makes me laugh. I have been telling him that I think Santa will be sneakier than that.

I am so excited for Christmas morning that this past week has been dragging. I am done wrapping every single gift. I really have nothing left to do for Christmas. I have to go get some food this morning, but that is it! I cannot wait for tomorrow morning. As a matter of fact I gave him one of his gifts last night. I really wanted to open it and play with it.

It is so different than last year. I see this joy in his face when he talks about all of the Christmas things. He gets excited. He wants to play with all of the ornaments on the Christmas tree. You know what, I let him. We have had a couple casualties, but mostly he only gets the shatter proof ones. I know that I am probably awful for thinking his 2nd Christmas is way cooler than his 1st, but hands down, it is. Seeing the Christmas joy in your child’s face and eyes makes such a huge difference. I imagine Christmas from here on out will be similar to this. Maybe each year topping the last. As he comprehends the world more and more.

Christmas in my house was always magical. Always. My mom went out of her way to decorate our home and our tree. I remember coming down in the morning to huge piles of gifts. Were they always super huge? Probably not, but to a child, any pile looks big. My mom always did the best with what we had for Christmas. I do not remember a non magical Christmas. Filled with lights, a tree, Christmas cheer, family parties, Christmas songs, and warm love. I have distinct memories of just the Christmas lights on in the evening as we all hung out, watching Tv or whatever. To this day I still love having only the glow of Christmas lights filling a room. I told my mom this year my passion for making Christmas so magical for Jack comes from what she always did for us. She told me it made her cry happy tears. I know now why she did it all. I thought I knew last year, but I didn’t truly understand until I saw his little face light up when I told him noises from the chimney/fireplace were Santa doing a practice run. He said HO HO! And the next time it made noise, he shouted HO HO again, all on his own. If you ask him who is coming in a couple days, well one day now, he will say “Ho Ho!” Can I stress enough how much he is into Santa? I know i keep mentioning it, but it is so cute I can’t even handle it.

Here is a look at last year and this year. Well, this year not exactly, since I cannot post Christmas photos I have not taken, but it is close enough, since Christmas starts the day after Thanksgiving in this house. This year it started the day before because we were going out of town.

Last year Christmas Eve

Last year Christmas Eve

My love and me on Christmas Eve last year

My love and me on Christmas Eve last year

I took this the other day. This is one of his wonderment faces!

I took this the other day. This is one of his wonderment faces!

Loves the tree, lights, and ornaments

Loves the tree, lights, and ornaments

This was from celebrating Christmas with my inlaws last weekend. They went to SC this year to visit my sister inlaw. So we celebrated early

This was from celebrating Christmas with my inlaws last weekend. They went to SC this year to visit my sister inlaw. So we celebrated early

Merry Bearsmas. This was also our Christmas card photo!

Merry Bearsmas. This was also our Christmas card photo!

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas Eve and Day! I hope both days are filled with love, family, joy, happiness, excitement, magic, and just peace. I hope you get an opportunity to see the wonderment in a child’s face that I know I will be completely absorbed in over these next two days. Merry Christmas!!!! Also, feel free to share your thoughts on Christmas getting more awesome as your child grows. I hope I am not the only mom who thinks the 2nd is way cooler than the 1st! 😉

Well I suppose I have to write this update. I avoided it yesterday. It was Mother’s Day and I was exhausted. I had other things to do.

I ran my race yesterday morning. My mom arrived just before 7am. We headed over. My boys showed up shortly before the start time. Jack looked tired and hadn’t eaten breakfast yet. But he wasn’t screaming his head off. He was a good little fan! Jason woke him up to bring him over.

I ran it. I gave it my all. I decided to not use my app that updates you on your average mile time. On Saturday I had a crappy run and I think when I heard the first average, which by normal means wasn’t slow but still felt too slow for my liking, I got really psyched out. I didn’t want to get that negativity in my head. I did have my Polar heart rate monitor on though, so I could roughly check up on my time if I chose to and was ready for it.

There were a lot of hills. A LOT. Now there are a few beauties on my normal running route but there were several more on this course and they were not little quick hills. That isn’t an excuse but I just wasn’t as prepared as I wish I would have been.

I ran the whole thing, as I expected. No walking. That was really a given though. I can’t remember the last time I walked during a 3 mile run.

I was able to really sprint the last .2 mile and cross the finish line in a nice 26:22. That was about 30 seconds under last year’s 3rd place! WHAT?!?!?I did it, right?

No, other than making my time goal, I didn’t place. As I stated in my last post I had to give it my all and leave the rest up to circumstance. Circumstance won this year. I came in 6th in my age group. There were 72 women in my age group and I came in 6th. In the grand scheme of things that is not bad at all. But it wasn’t what I wanted. I would have died if I had a 28 minute 5k like Saturday morning. I am finding solace in that. This was also my fastest race result ever! That is a personal best!

I also had a fantastic 2nd Mother’s Day! It was really great. I got to see my boys just before I sprinted across the finish line. They were there cheering me on! Jack fed me blueberries as we sat around waiting to hear about the awards. I was able to check my results before the announced the awards so I knew what was or rather wasn’t coming. But I decided to stick around and see the awards given. So we hung out. Jack met some dogs. It was a nice morning. We came home I got ready and we all hung out outside.

Jackson tried my salsa for the first time! Salsa and tortilla chips. It is spicy. But he loved it!

My hubby grilled me lunch. Filet Mignon, red, green, and orange peppers (a fave of mine!), and a red potato. After lunch I took a nap! Then we spent the rest of the day just lounging around the living room watching movies and playing.

The boys gave me a pepper set and a rub set from Dean and Deluca! I used one rub on my steak yesterday. Yummmmy! I am big into pepper so that was right up my alley. There are all sorts of different peppers I haven’t heard of in it. I can’t wait to use it in some of the homemade seasonings I make.

The next race I have is the Dirty Girl Mud Run on June 30th. I am on a team for that so I doubt I will be worrying about time. I mean it would be kind of a jerk move to ditch all of my teammates just to try to be the best! haha I think I will take it easy on that one, have fun, get filthy, and take some ridiculous photos! 🙂 I am running it with my aunt and a couple of girlfriends I haven’t seen in a very long time. I would rather catch up with them and have a silly time. I think it will feel nice to just enjoy myself.

My boy and me on our 2nd Mother’s Day! He looks annoyed because as you can see, I interrupted his chalk time. But it was Mother’s Day and what else did he expect? Moms get to be extra annoying that day and you have to give into our whims. haha!