I figured I better do one last pregnancy post before it's too late. The above picture was taken this morning right at 38.5 weeks. 10 days until I am due! Shouldn't it feel real or close yet?
I had a dr.'s appointment Monday, and because of my past speedy labor situation, she didn't check me because she said even that could put me into labor. The plan is to be induced on my due date if baby is not here yet, or a day or two after. I had the BEST experience being induced with Aubrey, so I'm hoping baby waits until then. I really am nervous for this baby to come even faster than Kate did and end up having to do it without an epidural again. It IS comforting to know I survived it once, so I know I can do it again. (I truly am grateful for quick, uneventful labors, I just would prefer not to feel the ring of fire again. Ever.)
As to be expected, I'm feeling pretty uncomfortable most of the time: lots of contractions, (how the heck am I supposed to know when I'm really in labor if I have contractions ALL day?!) back pain, restless leg syndrome, emotional, rib kicks, heartburn, peeing 3+ times a night (not to mention about every half hour during the day!) I'm a total walking blob of "last week of pregnancy" symptoms, but that's okay. It's just part of the sacrifice of bringing these amazing babies into the world. I'm trying to stay positive and patient - and I know although it's hard to believe right now, I'll miss being pregnant one day!
While I feel like my belly is the biggest of all my pregnancies, somehow I've gained the least amount of weight this time around. I'm up 17 lbs from the start of pregnancy. I'm sure it's because of all the weight I lost in the first trimester due to morning sickness. So glad that ship has sailed! Aubrey and Kate were both a hair above 7.5 lbs, but since I feel so big this time around I'm going to guess this baby is an 8 lb chunker. I'll honestly be surprised if she is the same as my others!
I plan to not do much at all the next ten days - just enjoy my two girls at home getting all of my love and attention with no distractions. I always get so emotional right before I have my babies - before Aubrey I was so worried about how my marriage would change, before Kate I was so worried about how Aubrey would handle my attention being split. This time I'm a little more at ease - the girls have each other now and are both a bit older. (I might be a little overconfident about the transition, but I really feel at peace with how they will do. They are well adjusted kiddos and for that I'm so grateful.)
I've had a few talks with the girls (mostly Aubrey) about changes that will be happening and how I'll need their help sometimes with the new baby. They are both excited to take on the challenge of helping out with their new baby sis. Aubrey got a little emotional when telling her that I'll be at the hospital a couple of days. She said she is worried about me. Sweet angel!
My biggest worry is how Kate will do being bumped up to middle child. She is such a mama's girl and while she acts really excited for her baby sister, she doesn't realize how often the baby needs mama quite yet. HER mama! I pray every night she does okay, and that I can remember to fulfill her needs the best I can. Gosh I love that girl.
So now, we wait! Usually by this point I'm doing everything I possibly can to go into labor, but this time I'm doing nothing of the sort and just enjoying this last short week in this current season of life I'm in - a mom of two! It's been such a sweet chapter in my life - but I know the best is yet to come.
When walking through models during our house search, I remember looking at the kitchen in this particular model and falling in love instantly! Between the island, cabinet space, & pantry, I knew it would work perfectly for our growing family.
When building our last house, we didn't do many upgrades in the kitchen and just chose to get the "free" things it came with. Everything that came with the house were all tan/warm colors, which wasn't my first choice, but it saved us a ton of money at the time. This time we decided to do everything completely opposite - white & bright! We ended up upgrading to white cabinets, white/grey quartz countertops, & white subway tiles. I knew with little kids white was risky, but then I figured - how many opportunities do you get where you get to choose every single detail of your kitchen?! Thankfully my husband was on board with the white - he said it looks like a kitchen you'd find at the temple - Ha!. ;)
I tried to add a farmhouse feel to the kitchen with the faucet, apron-style sink, and pendant lighting. I'm loving how it all came together. (Excuse the non-existent window treatments - apparently shutters take six weeks to make!! It's been interesting having no privacy and I'm pretty sure all our neighbors and a ton of construction workers have seen me in my robe.)
One thing we did ourselves (as in hired our own contractor) was the floors. It ended up saving us about $7,000. (Builders overcharge on everything!) I love how they turned out and I think it gives our super bright kitchen a little needed contrast. The above area is the butler's pantry, which leads to the formal dining room.
You can barely tell in these photos (I tend to overexpose when taking pictures - oops) but the counters have a lot of grey in them. I really wanted to do cararra marble counters, but almost every person I talked to at the design center said I would regret it because it is super porous and can stain easily. We went for quartz and are so glad we did!
The unorganized pantry. Yes we are going to die from Diet Coke. Heaven help us.
^^Just proving that there is SOME color in this kitchen with that blue rug! I have the hardest time committing to colors but I'm loving the blue so far.
I may not be a gourmet chef, (I've been known to burn pop tarts) but it's still my favorite area in the house. The girls love helping me cook in here and I love gathering together as a family at the end of every day and eating and just hanging out. The kitchen is truly the "gathering place" of the home, and there's nothing I love more than spending time with my people.
95% of the time, I think made up fake holidays are completely dumb - but this "National Daughters Day" that I saw popping up everywhere yesterday is one I can get behind. (And perhaps National Donut Day. That one I'm down for too.)
I don't think it's any secret - I love having little girls. I'm told often "You need a boy! They just love their mamas so much!" or "You gotta try for a boy next time!" and of course I know everyone means well and those are natural things to say to someone that is having a third girl, but honestly? I could have a dozen of these beauties! I know I would be ecstatic and love a son just as much, but I truly feel like raising girls is my calling.
(And perhaps dressing them up is my calling too) ;)
While I know I'm "in for it" during the teenage years perhaps, I think I'll be in for a million more amazing experiences ahead. Lunch dates. Phone calls just to talk. Pedicures. Wedding planning. Watching them become mothers. My mom & I are such good friends, and to think I'll have three of those relationships makes my heart soar.
Happy National Daughters Day, my beautiful Aubrey & Kate. (And Baby E too!) I've hit the jackpot with all three of you and can't wait to watch you grow up into incredible women someday, and fall deeper in love with your wonderful, unique personalities.
These past few weeks have been a whirlwind with moving, getting settled, and just being very, very pregnant all the while. I will try to post more about our new home and hopefully some pictures before this baby gets here. For now, I really want to jot these things down about the girls before I'm in newborn land with zero short term memory.
Aubrey turned four and a half on September 4th. This age is a dream! But honestly, I think we just lucked out - she's such a good girl.
Aubrey & Kate got bunk beds and of course she gets the top bunk, since she's got the birthright! She was nervous the first night, and ended up on a mattress on the floor, but worked up her courage since then and sleeps up there every night and loves it.
She is fiercely loyal to her daddy. She is a daddy's girl through and through. She's my little sidekick all day while he's at work, and then once he is home I'm as good as gone. He is her hero and it's pretty heart melting.
Speaking of her daddy, she is a rule follower and super responsible, just like him. Must be an oldest child thing. If I tell her to only watch one show, if another one comes on she will cover her eyes and say, "I can only watch one show Mom said! Come turn it off!!"
Aubrey used to be really weary of growing up, and never wanted to talk about going to school/getting big/etc. She would always say she wants to be "short" forever and didn't want to fit in my clothes - ha! Just recently she has brought up starting school next year and even says she wants to be a mom someday. I was liking the being a kid forever thing, but I'm glad she's coming to terms with reality. :)
Aubrey is EXTREMELY sensitive - she definitely gets this one from Mom! She cries pretty easily about things. On our wedding anniversary we watched our wedding video and she teared up while watching it. She was embarrassed and ran out of the room. Such a sweet little soul she has. The other week Kate fell off a chair and Aubrey bawled her eyes out "My sister is hurt!"
Her new favorite princess as of late is Jasmine.
She is such a good helper to her pathetic pregnant mama. Always going and getting things for me, or picking things up off the floor so I don't have to reach.
She finished swimming lessons this Summer and improved so much! She can go under the water by herself and refuses to wear a life jacket. As long as she has her "gobbles" on she's pretty comfortable in the water. She can swim a few feet with no help - I think next Summer she'll have it down.
We decided to not do preschool after all for a multitude of reasons - she gets lots of social interaction with church/dance/playdates, and loves learning at home with me. I honestly just love having her home all the time. Not sure what I'll do next year when she starts kindergarten. :(
She can be pretty whiny. I don't mind my girls crying when they need mommy, but whining is the worst. It definitely tests my patience!
She is so excited for her baby sister's arrival - I know she will be the biggest help and be so in love with her.
When we are at the store, she will question everything I put in my cart - "Mom, why do you need that? Don't we already have some at home?" etc. She definitely helps me stay within our budget! (Told you she was responsible.)
She LOVES the color "hot pink"!
Basically, she's a complete joy to have in our home and we are so blessed to have her be our oldest to be a good leader and example to her siblings.
Kate turned 2.5 on July 5th.
She is our little sassy girl! Definitely a "two year old" ;)
She always has a blanket on her. She pulls her big comforter off her bed most of the time and just has it on her while she plays. I found her in our master bath tub the other day with about 15 stuffed animals and her comforter in there. Girl loves to be comfortable!
Kate is doing great with the potty still. She'll have an accident about once a week if she's really distracted and we don't remind her. I'm still so proud of her for getting it down so quickly. It's no easy feat!
She does what we call her "crazy dance" and I really need to post a video of it. She holds one finger up in the air and waves it around, has her head tilted back so she's facing the ceiling, with her tongue out. She seriously looks nuts doing it and it makes us all laugh so. so. hard.
She still thinks I'm the greatest thing ever. She cuddles with me every day, randomly tells me "I love you, Mama." and always wants to sit by me. You might have noticed in our family pictures she refused to stand by anyone but me in them. I love my clingy girl! I know someday I won't be so cool to her.
Kate went from being in a crib for 2.5 years straight to a twin bottom bunk bed. She's been a champ! She's fallen out a few times, but falls asleep right there on the floor. Ha! It's sweet listening to the girls talk to each other about all sorts of things before falling asleep each night. I'm really glad we decided to have them share a room.
She's definitely in a defiant/naughty stage. She can be a little bully to her big sis sometimes! She can also have quite the attitude. Heaven help me when this girl is 15.
She also started this lovely nose picking habit, and gets personally offended and cries when we tell her to stop. "But I want to!" she says.
She says "Amen" at the end of books, games, etc.
She is probably the most excited about the new baby coming. She loves feeling my belly move, asking all sorts of questions, and always calls her "Baby E". She never just says her name without "baby" in front of it.
Over the last month Kate has developed a slight rasp to her voice. I already thought her voice was the cutest sound on Earth, (so small and high pitched!) but the bit of rasp just kills me. I love it so much and hope it doesn't go away.
She loves watching play doh/unpackaging toy videos on my phone. I don't get what kids love so much about them, but they sure buy me a few minutes when I need her to chill. :)
She's a professional fake cryer. When we drop her off at nursery at church on Sundays, she will cry but as soon as we walk out the door we can see her immediately start playing through the window.
Kate keeps us on our toes, and keeps us laughing. I'm fully convinced the world is a brighter place with her in it!
Last Wednesday was a huge day for our little Kate. She has been begging to do "balloweena cwass like Aubee" for the whole past year. Most Mondays that I would go and take Aubrey to dance she would cry and cry. I told her if she was potty trained by the time the next dance season started, she could do it. I think it was a huge motivator for her, and thankfully she got the job done!
All morning she was so excited. She loved getting into her leotard, putting on her ballet shoes, and getting to do the "donut bun" that I've done on Aubrey for the past couple years.
Thankfully I found a class for Aubrey that starts right after Kate's class so they can do the same day. With a new baby coming soon I really need my days as simple as possible without running around too much! She has a new teacher this year who she really likes so far, but man do we miss her old one!
She looks so big and beautiful in the above picture. I'm telling you guys, I was just rocking her to sleep as a baby. The OTHER DAY, I swear.
Aubrey was so excited for her little sis and was so sweet with her before her class started - teaching her how to tuck her bows in her shoes, pointing/flexing, and even how to twirl! I just about died watching them together - my little ballerinas!
I have no idea how long either of them will want to do dance, but they love it so much right now and it's so fun to watch them!
Kate did great on her first day - she cried at first after realizing that I don't get to be in the same room, but I slowly snuck out and she forgot all about me. She twirled ribbons, pointed her toes, and got a sticker at the end - I haven't stopped hearing about her day since!
I've always adored Jillian Goulding's work and have been dying to get a session with her the last couple years. Last year we couldn't get our schedules to work, but this year we made it happen and I'm ever so grateful! Our family's life is about to change so much with our new home & then soon after new BABY, Aubrey starting school next year, etc. etc. and I really wanted this "calm before the storm" season of our life to be documented. Jillian worked her magic and gave me images I know I'll love forever.
The first half of our session was a more formal, studio setting. Loved how they turned out!
Warning: There's a TON of pictures in this post. Steve gets my blog printed into a book at the end of each year and I know I'll want to look back on all these, so bear with me ;)
The second part of the session was at Folsom Lake.
Strange as it may seem, the above photo is one of my favorites of the session. Aubrey has about a dozen awkward nervous habits (she definitely gets it from me) and playing with her hands like this is one of them. Love that our photographer thought to take this shot.