Tuesday, September 26, 2017


The news is finally out, and I am finally feeling a few steps up from a sloth. Every single pregnancy during the first trimester, blogging seems like an unthinkable, daunting task. It gets put to the back burner, along with a lot of other things. Survival mode at its finest. When I try to describe to people how I feel during my first trimester(s), the best thing I've come up with is that my soul is sucked right out of me. I don't have a fraction of my usual energy, I don't have the same cravings, the same desires, the same moods. The greatest proof I've been able to find of this is this picture that was taken by Jane. I think it pretty much sums up the first trimester.
But I've realized two times over now that any misery that may accompany a pregnancy is completely irrelevant when compared with the joy and fulfillment that comes with bringing a brand new human into this world and watching them grow into a real, unique and beautiful person. 

So let's rewind a bit because I want to document the beginning of this pregnancy. It was a complete roller coaster. I wanted so badly to be pregnant and there was one small chance that I was that month. Jeff wasn't really on the baby train, but I guess the smallest fraction of him was because, well, it happened. I took a pregnancy test a day before my period was supposed to start. One of those dollar store ones. (NEVER AGAIN!) The positive line was so faint that I was even too embarrassed to take a picture to send to my mom because I was sure she would say I was crazy. But it was more than a completely negative test so I was SO conflicted. I texted jeff and told him I wasn't pregnant, and that if I was, I would be having a miscarriage because in my experience, faint lines equate to miscarriages. I even called the Dr. to see if I could come in and get on Progesterone ASAP. The nurse hotline just said "if you are having a miscarriage you need to go to the hospital." to which I replied "well, I'm not...I just think I will." Oh, I'm sure I sounded (and felt) like a mad woman!

Well I took a few more of those dollar store tests and they were extremely faint 2 more times, until I finally caved and picked up some better tests that provided me with a beautiful, very much EXISTING, second line! That's the first time I felt even a GLIMMER of hope. I still couldn't even get excited. Having 2 miscarriages seriously messes with your pregnancy mentality. But I decided to relish in the fact that in this very moment, I WAS pregnant, and to give that baby all the love and connection that I possibly could, even if that meant being hurt more later on if I did have a miscarriage.
 2 days later I took another test, and the line was darker. That glimmer of hope started shining a little brighter. And I started being so intentional about setting aside time to mentally, and spiritually connect with this baby. Something I've never been as intentional about with other pregnancies. I can't say that it willed that baby to stick, but it sure has created an already special bond between me and this little bean.

I got into the doctor at 6 weeks, which still wasn't soon enough for me! Every single day I felt a roller coaster of emotions. More fear than excitement. But I got to see my baby at 6 weeks, the Dr. put me on progesterone, and told me to come back every 2 weeks. Thank goodness for that. I NEEDED the bi-weekly reassurance that my baby was growing. I would've even loved it weekly but I'm just grateful he must've sensed my fierce worry, and allowed me to come so often. Every appointment I prepared myself for the worse, but every appointment, that deep breath of relief that I was so hoping for came, and I was so grateful. 

During this pregnancy, I've been kind to myself. Which I'm proud of. I realized I had to maintain my  focus on merely keeping my 2 girls happy, and healthy, and taking care of myself. I granted myself a lot of grace, which is unusual for me! I realized my home would not be perfectly clean, that I couldn't use my small amount of energy on working out and be depleted for the rest of the day, that I wouldn't be able to rush in and bring everyone who needs one a meal or a pick-me-up. I realized I'd have to say no to some things. And I also realized that in a few months I could get back to normal. And I have!

My baby is now in the popcorn stage. Which means, growing perfectly and healthily and giving me little happy popcorn popping inside my tummy. Just kinda trudging through this awkward stage where to the average onlooker, I just look chubby. The bump will pop soon enough but my body is definitely changing, as it should! I'm gaining back some energy and kind of feel like superwoman, not gonna lie. I know I'm officially departing first trimester yucky-ness when I can go to the grocery store without wanting to drop dead and give up on everything for the rest of time. 

Jane and Lyla have been rooting me on this whole time! Jane will often tell me to go lay on the couch and then bring me "some water for the baby!" or "an apple for the baby!" She is also quick to remind me "Mom, that candy is probably REALLY bad for your baby." I've actually been good about not eating sugar, but anything else is fair game. Every week the girls are SO excited to look at a picture on babycenter of what my baby looks like, and what fruit it is the size of. And last week was exciting when they learned that the baby is starting to hear what we are saying! Jane has been coming up to my tummy and reciting random facts "hey baby? did you know what colors are in a rainbow....did you know I can count to 10 in german?" etc, and singing songs to the baby. They are so completely thrilled that we will have a baby in our family soon-ish. Although the concept of time is a little rough for them, as expected. 

Now, as for what we have been up to this past 4 months? Jeff was gone for almost the entire first trimester so that meant....a lot of play dates and a lot of playing in the backyard. (My saving grace the past few months!) I'm soooo grateful for all of our good friends here. They made the summer bearable. Traveling has been at a minimum but we still made it to Belgium for a blissful few days with cousins, and Jeff and I even got to sneak away to London. (!!!) (more on that later) My mom and her fiancee came to visit too, and we got to do some fun little trips with them. Also more on that in another post :) I'm grateful for my 2 babies on the outside, and my one baby on the inside. And as ironic as it is, I think the inside baby has sucked more of my energy than the other 2 combined, so it's probably the perfect preparation for having THREE kids. I still stand by my declaration that being pregnant is harder (for me) than having the actual baby to take care of. 

We should find out the gender in a few weeks. I want a boy, because Jeff wants a boy. Oh that poor boy has to put up with sooooo much estrogen already. So we will see, grateful he will have 20+ weeks to mentally prepare for a boy or a girl. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

My Baby is Growing UP!

I was not planning on putting Jane in preschool because I absolutely love teaching her at home, and she loves it too! She soaks it alllll up, and so I was content to keep her home with me as long as possible. Then I started to think of the benefits of putting her into german school, and thought that it might be good for her. I hadn't uttered the words allowed more than twice before a spot in a german school nearby literally fell into my lap with zero effort of my own. (thanks to one of my friends here.) It's usually quite hard to get american kids into german pre-school but since it happened so seemlessly, I had to take that as a sign that it was what was best for her. And we both felt really good about it after visiting. Jane was so thrilled, telling me that she would teach me german! Ha...sad but true.

Her first day came and went. I teared up a bit and felt super uneasy and nervous. I couldn't sleep the night before. Similar anxiety and worry that I had as a child before embarking on something new and scary. Part of me wanted to just wake up that morning and say "jane, nevermind about this school thing. Don't you just want to stay home with mommy?" I truly did, but I also don't want to hold her back the way I sometimes let fear hold me back when I was younger. I think it will be great for her to learn how to thrive in a new, completely unfamiliar environment. And although she will likely forget german after we move, I think learning a language early on does something special to a person's brain that will help them throughout their education.

Dropping her off and driving away, I had the same feeling I get right after I have a baby and the nurses take my baby away to give them shots, bath, etc. It's like a limb is missing, and it feels completely unnatural and wrong and sad. But this is part of motherhood, letting them go to spread their wings. She was beaming when I picked her up and talked a million miles a minute on the way home, and it's been like that everyday since :) Her first words to me the first day were "Mom! I ACTUALLY didn't learn ANY German!" Haha, I think she was expecting to become fluent in a day. It will also be a good lesson in patience ;)
^^ Can't leave out these pictures because they are her go-to camera faces. maybe one day she will learn....haha

I've been so proud of her bravery and resilience. For her, these types of things aren't easy. She isn't naturally outgoing, but she pushes herself. She would come home and tell me the ways she figured out to be kind and friendly to her classmates, even though she can't talk to them. Talking to them, sharing her snacks, and giving the sad boy "the good scissors" because he had "the bad scissors". Haha! I really am proud of my girl, and also soooo glad that she will still let me cuddle her like a baby.
^^ And she lets my mom too ;)

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Army Mom Life

When Jeff told me he would be gone in July (after he was told he could stay) I burst into tears and let myself have a good cry. This is so unlike me since I usually don't even think about him leaving until maybe the day before. I just knew that it would be a long, hard 5-ish months coming ahead and I was scared. I have so many wonderful people in my life who decided to help me carry this burden by praying for me, and I just want to write it down so I never forget- I am feeling those prayers! (Mothers prayers are particularly powerful, I've felt.) Jeff also gave Jane a blessing before he left because she always has a HARD time when he is gone. I just can't come up with any explanation for how happy things have been around here other than prayers, priesthood blessings, and ministering angels lifting burdens, carrying me, and bringing light and love into our home. There has been a special spirit and love that makes me teary to think about. I just can't go another day without writing it down because what an incredible tender mercy. My girls haven't been perfect, but they have been gleaming stars of goodness. True examples. They've offered soft answers and service to me and to each other. I've been tearing up and crying a lot lately over sweet things they say and do. 

Today Jane came over to cuddle me and she said "I love you mommy. SOOOO Much!" and she just smiled and we basked in our loving bond. She said "Mom. you should be crying right now!" I asked why? And she said "Because this is such a beautiful moment!"

I can't make this stuff up. She is a spiritual giant. 

We have been having SO much fun together. I've somehow been able to go of some of the pressures of other outside responsibilities, which I sometimes allow those things to dictate my life and schedule-- but now my focus is to just enjoy my girls. And I have been doing that, immensely. We have had so much fun learning together, playing games, creating things, playing together, singing together, and serving together. 

A few scriptures we've learned lately that have helped us all to remember to speak more kindly to each other:
"pleasant words are as an honeycomb; sweet to the soul and health to the bones" proverbs 16:24
"a soft answer turneth away wrath, but a grievous words stir up anger" proverbs 15:1

Their love is so sweet. 
 Water pouring station. Lyla's face in the picture below is SUCH a jeff face :)
 Bean and cheese burritos & guacamole. Literally on repeat because I made a huge batch of burritos right after jeff left so we would have them for easy dinners. None of us are sick of them yet!
Jane is really doing great with reading. She loves to read to Lyla the ones she has memorized. She has a good amount of books memorized and she memorizes them quick so when we actually read books, it has to be a book she has never read or else she won't be sounding anything out, and just reciting.

 Sunday naps are so heavenly!

While I mowed the lawn, I set up a dirt + soapy water station for the girls so they could give their toys baths. It kept them busy for awhile, still trying to decide if the mess afterwards was worth it ;)
 ^^ whenever lyla does something wrong or I try to discipline her, she bursts into tears and runs into Jane's arms. Jane just hugs her tears away.
Lyla has been waking up at 6 am every morning so I get an hour of alone time with her every morning. I wish it started at 6:30 instead of 6, but I'll take it :)
 Both girls conked out after an afternoon of rock climbing. Mine and their newest favorite hobby. I found some awesome ladies in the area to rock climb with and it's my FAVORITE thing. The girls have a blast climbing on the smaller wall, and cheering me on as I climb. We all love it.
 Jane wrote this card that, according to her, says "People are happy when they obey"
She doesn't quite understand the placement of words when she is writing a sentence. She will just write the words wherever they fit. But I'm always impressed when she whips out something like this all on her own.

The 4th of July is just NOT as cool when you have no family to celebrate with. But we made the most of it with a bunch of 4th of July crafts, a lesson on the real independence day, some youtube videos to go along with it, and Jane and I made a book of American symbols. (statue of liberty, flag, bald eagle, washington monument, white house, lincoln memorial, liberty bell, etc.) She has been happily pointing out these things lately when she has seen them. We also had our neighbors over for a BBQ and then went to the party they were having on base with a bounce house, balloon animals, food booths, and a 3 hour line to get your face painted that we were only smart enough to avoid after waiting for a whole hour.... haha. Jane had a blast though and kept thanking me the next day for taking her! 

 Another one of Jane's letters. This one is for uncle brendon and aunt kacee :)

^^ Jane dressed up for her very first princess birthday party. 
We've been having a lot of play dates too. It's always a fun challenge to try to entertain a bunch of kids with different ages and interests at the same time.


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