Thursday, February 14, 2019

Baby #3 // One Huge Bumpdate

The more kids you have, the less time you have to worry about bump pictures and updates. The less you care, too. (Probably because by the third pregnancy, you know what you look/feel like when you're pregnant, so recording/sharing it doesn't feel so momentous.) Heck, I didn't even get a good picture of my bump until the halfway mark! But I still kept record of the pregnancy, so here is a quick summary of each of my trimesters:

FIRST TRIMESTER

Two words: Exhaustion. Hormones.

I know I experienced fatigue in my previous pregnancies, but nothing like what I experienced for about two weeks during the middle of this first trimester. Ooooh man, it was bad. There were several nights where I went to bed right after the kids. Afternoons were spent napping. The moodiness was bad too. I'm glad it died off towards the end of the first trimester.

Those were the main symptoms, aside from some tenderness and noticing that it was harder to breathe when I got active. Occasional headaches. I wanted more water than usual. A few nights were it was very difficult to fall/stay asleep. That's about it.


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SECOND TRIMESTER

I started getting round ligament pain and had to be careful not to move too quickly/suddenly. That faded away after a couple weeks. I started having occasional heartburn, and then all of a sudden I had it almost every night for a week, and then it completely disappeared for the rest of the trimester. Starting around 20 weeks, my calves were always looking for opportunities to spaz out on me (charley horses) but I always managed to prevent them from seizing up.

I pretty much stopped shedding hair, which made my hair feel thicker than usual. It took me a bit longer to feel movement from the baby than with my previous pregnancies. It wasn't until 18 weeks that I started feeling definite, regular movements. Before then, I couldn't quite tell if I was feeling movement or just gas or something. By 21/22 weeks I could feel hiccups... so cute!

My belly didn't "pop" until around 25 weeks. Before then, people couldn't really tell I was pregnant unless I was wearing something form-fitting, sticking my tummy out on purpose (like in the picture below), or if I had eaten a rather large meal.

No strange, vivid dreams this time around, or dreams about the baby's gender. Huh. I guess I was too tired to dream! Haha.

The "nesting instinct" hit me hard at the very end of this trimester, too. By the time the third trimester started, I had already gone through all the baby clothes, washed all the newborn/3 month items and folded them away in the baby dresser, washed all blankets and burp cloths, and sorted out shoes and hairbows and such. Aside from installing the car seat and buying diapers, I was all set for that girl to pop out a good 3 months before my due date! It felt good to get all of those things done before the holidays set in.


^^^ Here I am at 20 weeks, the day before we found out the baby was a girl. Aaaannd below is a picture of Nicole and me in our matching pieces, just for kicks and giggles.



THIRD TRIMESTER

The final trimester started out with a bang; it all of a sudden got very hard to fall/stay asleep, not to mention difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position in the first place. Heartburn started again, and my sweet tooth was out of control. Just in time for the holidays, right? My weight gain rates went a little haywire around Thanksgiving. Oops.

I made it to 30 weeks before my belly size started making it difficult to put my shoes on or lean over to pick something up. It was also around this point that I couldn't let Austin sit right in the middle of my lap anymore; there just wasn't room for him. He had to learn to adjust his snuggling techniques, haha.

Between 33-34 weeks I started getting lots of aches and pains. Most notably, there was a week where I always ached sleeping on my left side, but not on my right side. HOWEVER, lying on my right side made my heartburn flare up. Basically, when bedtime arrived I had to choose between heartburn (sleeping on my right side) and the rest of my body aching (sleeping on my left side). I usually went with the heartburn. Fortunately, that phase didn't last.

At 34 weeks my wedding rings started getting tight and my belly button wasn't really an "innie" anymore.

At nearly 35 weeks I discovered that the baby was still breech. I was worried that I'd go in for my 36 week appointment to find that she still hadn't flipped and that we'd have to schedule an ECV to try flipping her manually, but I'm pretty sure she flipped 2 days before my appointment. Cutting it close, little girl!

At that point, braxton hicks contractions happened several times a day. At the 38 1/2 week mark, I had a suuuper salty dinner (nachos) and woke up the next morning to VERY swollen feet. The swelling stayed for the next week, during which I also got a 24-hour stomach bug AND my braxton hicks contractions became more frequent and had a bit of a "bite" to them. Once my sodium levels went back down (a couple days before my due date), the swelling went away and the contractions became less frequent. Then I got another illness right after passing my due date (let's call it a "full body cleanse") and frequent BH contractions came back (we're talking less than 10 minutes apart for HOURS, here) and by that point I was SO done and exhausted. Ah, what a way to finish the pregnancy.

Oh, and my heartburn pretty much disappeared for the final 2 weeks or so. Weird, but I'm not complaining about it!


^^^^Here I am at 38.5 weeks... I think this was the day after the nachos, so my feet were all swollen in those boots. Aaah, swelling. You can FEEL the tops of your feet jiggle with every step you take.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

2018 Year In Review


Better late than never, right? Now that we're over half a month into January...

I've fleshed this year-in-review post out more than past ones because of how MIA I've been this year. Don't worry, I've included plenty of random pictures/screenshots from off my phone for each month, for those of you who just want to scroll through and look at those. ;)

JANUARY

One of the biggest events for us this month was Doug getting Lasik surgery. He came out of the surgery shaking from adrenaline and said that the pain from the clamps that held his eyelids open was the worst pain he's ever felt. He could not touch/rub his eyes for 3 months while they healed (he used Q-tips to gently clean around his eyes) and also had to wear goggles when playing sports so his eyes wouldn't get hit. Now he's glasses-free!

The other notable event in January was purchasing a Nintendo Switch, which led to both Doug and me spending the majority of our free time playing Breath of the Wild. That game suited my tastes PERFECTLY, so I was completely addicted. It was bad. Fortunately, the obsessive gaming only lasted this month (because then I "beat" the game and was able to move on with my life...)

Not much was new with the kids. We visited the kids museum at the mall in SLC. Nicole started Sunbeams at church, and quickly fell in love with it. Austin started climbing (and getting stuck) on things other than the stairs.

 Somebody fell asleep during lunch... only time that's ever happened! Sleepy kid.
 Getting ready to return to dance after winter break.
 Austin kept feeding Nicole bits of his pizza crust, and they thought it was the most hilarious thing.
First day of Sunbeams! I can't believe this was a year ago already...


FEBRUARY

Nicole got her first experience handing out valentines to friends in her dance class. I cut hearts out of pink construction paper, she colored them, and then we attached lollipops to them. Nicole LOVED handing those out!

On the flip side... I was in poor mental/emotional health this month. One of the biggest factors: my hormones actually had a chance to bottom out after weaning Austin, since I didn't get pregnant again right away. Apparently my brain does NOT function very happily without those crazy hormones, so I was rather depressive from February-May. I spent a lot of time sitting on an armchair staring at a wall, obsessing over how nobody wanted to be around me, and being VERY short-tempered with my kids. I was worried on more than one occasion that I might need therapy. In reality, I probably just needed to get my hormone levels checked and treated.

The other factor was potty training. Nicole had constipation issues even before we started potty training, and that made the process SO hard. Now she's completely accident-free (both day and night) but I can't even begin to convey how hard the process has been on all of us. I seriously can't even begin to convey...

Austin was diagnosed with RSV this month, and it progressed to bronchiolitis and really messed up his lungs/breathing. He had to spend a week inhaling meds from a nebulizer to help him breathe (10 minutes hooked up to the nebulizer per dose, several times a day), and then every time he got even the slightest stuffy nose since then (which happened every month or two), a wheezing cough would come with it and we'd have to break out the nebulizer again. He actually came to really appreciate his nebulizer and meds; he knew he'd breathe better after using them.

Man, February just kicked our butts. One fantastic thing, though: my exercise habits were on point this month. At least an hour of moderate/intense exercise, 5 days a week. It helped with the stress.

 Valentine's Day dance party.
 Poor little Austin with his nebulizer.
We had a big snowfall over the 3-day weekend and went sledding with some friends.


MARCH

March was pretty chill. We started introducing Austin to nursery at church this month (he loved it from the get-go). I finally read my first Brandon Sanderson book (Elantris) and immediately proceeded to the Mistborn trilogy, and then the majority of the reading I've done throughout this year has been catching up on all of Sanderson's "Cosmere" books. I got my hair colored for the first time in my life. The weather got warm enough to venture outside with the kids. Doug was so patient with all the stress/low-hormone-induced mental breakdowns I had. (I kid you not, one moment I would be fine, and the next moment something would trigger me and I would be on the armchair by the window, either sitting in the fetal position and staring at the wall, or sobbing hysterically.) Next time I wean a baby, I'll be on the lookout for the hormonal drop-off.

Going on an early spring walk
My new hair


APRIL

This was a crazy month! It kicked off with my birthday, and I attempted to make a cheesecake for the first time in my life. It was gloriously delicious!

Partway through the month, my 3 college-age siblings came to stay with us for a week between semesters, and my mom drove up with my youngest sister to join us for several of those days. Lots of people. Once they were all gone, I had half a day to get towels and sheets washed before my father-in-law arrived to spend a week with us. After two weeks straight of SO many house guests, this introvert was feeling a little drained! Nicole and Austin were in heaven from all the attention they got..

 Siblings playing in the backyard fire pit (using Doug's old hockey sticks)
 My cheesecake!
Playing at a park in Provo Canyon
 We got a pet caterpillar this month! And yes, we did indeed name her Lola.
Kids playing in the water zone at The Museum of Curiosity.


MAY

Doug and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary towards the end of this month. We kept it super chill: Foxtrotting around the cultural hall of our church building, followed by ordering the thickest, largest milkshakes ever at a local joint (seriously... we ordered small milkshakes, and they were HUGE), and going car shopping in anticipation of getting a van down the road.

I know I never **officially** announced this anywhere online, but... I also found out I was pregnant again towards the end of this month. Nicole caught on pretty quickly because Doug and I were too excited about it to avoid speaking about it in front of her. Fortunately, she didn't spill the beans to anyone. Once I got through the initial "first trimester hormone surge" my mood improved dramatically. I don't think I had any more depressive bouts after June.

Visiting the SLC temple
Riding the carousel at the zoo
 Lola was a bit of a late-bloomer butterfly, but she finally came out of her chrysalis!
Poor little chub-chub was so tired that he fell asleep in the car and didn't wake up when I took him out. I got to snuggle him while he slept for a good half an hour, and that's the last time I've ever held my baby boy while he sleeps. Waaaah, he's not a baby anymore!


JUNE

Nicole had her dance concert this month, which she ADORED being part of. You can read about it in this post. Then she had swim lessons the next week, which she kind of hated. Okay, "hate" may be too strong of a word to use, but she wasn't a big fan. I was at the height of first trimester hormones & mood swings at this point, not to mention my relationship with her was a little raw from the ongoing potty training struggle, so I felt very frustrated with her when her friends handled swimming with no issues, while she clung to the teacher half the time. I felt so bad for my attitude that week and spent the whole summer making amends to her for my impatience. I spent more days at the pool than I had in the previous 5 years combined. By the end of the summer she was swimming around like a pro, and I was much more patient with her.

 Got a barbie dream house... right after this picture, Nicole freaked out over not being able to get back out of the garage, hahahaha!
 Ferris wheel at Orem Summerfest!
 Last day of dance class
 Picture day for the dance concert
Nicole's class picture that the studio chose to use... where Nicole isn't smiling, of course! Bahaha, that girl.
Poor kid after being kept awake all night from yet another one of his coughing bouts...

JULY

We discovered that Austin is kind of afraid of fireworks. We also discovered that he can sleep through them just fine, as long as he has some white noise going. Hallelujah for white noise machines!

July was a chill month. Lots of swimming and splash pads. A trip to the ice rink. Staying inside to avoid the heat. At the end of this month, we took a little family vacation to a "dude ranch" with my mom's side of the family. It was actually rather enjoyable! You can read more about that here.

Our favorite local splash pad
 Snow cones at Doug's summer company party
Riding a little train around at Doug's summer company party. There were also bounce houses and a live band and food trucks that we could choose a free food item from, and the kids' favorite attraction: a swing carousel.
Hiking at the dude ranch

AUGUST

At the very last minute, Nicole got accepted into a private preschool that we had been on the waiting list for since springtime. After a whirlwind of getting her officially registered, she started her school experience! And of course, since the universe really *loves* me sometimes, I ended up with some type of stomach bug on her first day of school. That didn't stop me from taking her, but you can bet that I felt gross the whole time I was driving the car. Thank heavens for the valet drop-off service they offer so I didn't have to get out of the car.

Did a couple hikes... one of them being with the kids to Battlecreek Falls, despite poor air quality from all the fires.

Oh, I also became an official member of the "Mom Van" club this month! I have to say, though... I love my van. I reeeeally do. The automatic doors are magical, and I love having so much space to store groceries, strollers, luggage when we travel, etc.

First day of preschool!
 Austin snatched the cereal bag off the counter and dumped it before I could stop him.
Nicole swimming along in the lazy river all by herself!
From our hike to Battlecreek Falls
The van! I love it. Really, I do.


SEPTEMBER

We went to Disneyland again! 2 days in Disneyland, 1 day in California Adventures. It was a love-hate experience, honestly. Partially because I was pregnant and got exhausted SO easily. We'd get the kids settled in bed, and then I'd be out like a light before the 9:30 fireworks even started. I also have the tendency to want to control everything and plan everything out, so I'd go into "grumpy mode" whenever a wrench got thrown in our plans.

Nicole ended up having a melt-down in the park every morning around 9:30 or 10, and another one every afternoon around 3:30. We kept her well fed/watered, so it wasn't a hunger issue... I'm guessing it was because of how exhausted she was! She didn't sleep well the night before we left on the trip, or the first night in the hotel, because she was SO dang excited about going. Add all the walking to that, and you have one ultra-tired preschooler. When she wasn't melting down, though, we enjoyed ourselves. Austin only had one melt-down that I remember (at dinnertime on our last evening). I reeeeally wish we had taken a double stroller instead of the little single umbrella stroller. Lesson learned? Haha.

Nicole's favorite rides were the carousel, Peter Pan's Flight, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Ariel's Undersea Adventure. I'm pretty sure she went on that carousel 6 different times. I couldn't tell you what Austin's favorite ride was; he seemed to enjoy everything equally. I was bummed to miss out on all my favorite "big kid" rides (#pregnancyproblems), but enjoyed the Halloween treats I got my hands on. Doug was a saint and missed all the good rides right alongside me, though he *did* get to take Nicole on Gadget's Go-Coaster.

 Austin was NOT sure about Mickey, haha.
 The kids spent a good hour exploring Pirate Lair on Tom Sawyer Island on day 2, and Nicole was so pumped to find the pirate treasure stash.
Twinning in our matching shirt/dress and some hastily-tried-on rose gold ears.
Poor kid... this was the only nap he got out of all 3 days. He aaaaalmost fell asleep while we were waiting for "Frozen: Live at the Hyperion" to start, but he's got a thing for Elsa, so you'd better believe that he was wide awake the moment the music started.
2 things about this picture. 1) Austin's face. 2) I was right in the middle of that awkward phase where I look chubby rather than pregnant. We'll just blame the tasty Disney treats, m'kay?
Playing at the library. Yes, Nicole is wearing a black-and-pink cape that has the batman insignia on the back.

OCTOBER

This is my favorite month... and I felt like we were dealing with sicknesses for half of it! Nicole got a week-long flu bug during the very first week of the month and had to miss all preschool/dance classes that week. The poor girl was so distraught about having to miss out. She ate barely anything for several days and spent a lot of time sleeping and watching movies.

***Skip the next paragraph if you get squeamish from the mention of blood***

On top of that, I got food poisoning that same week, AND skinned the bottom off one of my toes when I tripped and hit the toe on the step leading up from our garage into our house. Blood everywhere. Nicole had just thrown up right before (in her car seat, yuuuuck) and was sitting in the tub with vomit in her hair while my toe gushed blood into the kitchen sink. I had to wrap the toe up in several paper towels (it was soaked through in a matter of seconds) so that I could hobble over to get my phone and call for help, while making sure Austin didn't come walking through the thick trail of blood I left across the kitchen floor. I kid you not, there were pools of blood, not just drips. Ah, that first week of October was crazy.

***

The rest of the month wasn't so bad. We had a visit from my grandparents partway into the month. We went to Cornbelly's the day before Nicole started throwing up (so we didn't have too much fun because she was dragging her feet that evening, and we didn't know why). We went to Jaker's Pumpkin Patch later in the month, and we had much more fun there because everyone was healthy. We went to the zoo, and made several trips up into Provo Canyon to see all the gorgeous fall colors. We also went to a fun trunk-or-treat activity right down the road from us, and I think we'll make it a yearly tradition. They had a pretty legit little haunted house put together, and Nicole enjoyed it so much that she requested to go through a second time. Atta girl!

We had "Peter Pan" themed family costumes this year. Doug insisted that Captain Hook was too much work/money to put together, so he was Michael instead. He was certainly the warmest out of all of us!

 Walking to Bridal Veil Falls
 Peter, Tink, Wendy, and Michael
 Doug and I decorated a haunted house for a date night. Not bad, considering we busted one of the icing bags open and had to paint that color (black) on with a toothpick!
Austin looking out across the pumpkin patch at Jaker's while waiting for the tractor ride.

NOVEMBER

I got a ridiculously painful sore throat the day before Halloween, and it lasted a whole week! I woke up on November 1st to discover I had completely lost my voice. Doug's company holiday party was the next evening, so I sat at our table barely saying anything to anyone because any time I tried, they could barely hear me. I felt so antisocial, haha! On the upside, the food was amazing, and we got a free concert from country singer Josh Kelley.

My brothers and one of their roommates came to stay with us over Thanksgiving break. I contributed a handful of homemade dishes for our Thanksgiving dinner with Doug's family. Two pies, stuffing, a sweet potato dish, and rolls... holla!

Oh, and Austin finally got upgraded to a "big boy bed"! Doug wanted to get him switched out of the crib before he turned 2, like we did with Nicole, but I dragged my feet because I was afraid the transition would affect his wonderful sleeping habits. I needn't have worried. He still sleeps 11-12 hours per night and takes a 2-3 hour nap almost every afternoon. When he wakes up, he stays in his bed and talks/sings to himself until someone comes in to get him. Yes, you read that correctly. I don't know how long this magic will last, but I'm not complaining.

Doing my civic duty :D
Austin in his "big boy bed"!!!! I actually took this picture just yesterday because I realized I never took one when we switched him to the bed... #secondchildproblems

DECEMBER

Nicole had been counting down to her birthday since, well, forever. Her very first ever birthday party happened on December 1st with a bunch of her little friends. A dozen kids in one house (with only 3 adults to manage it all) was no joke! The girls all had fun making glow-in-the-dark bracelets, decorating Minnie Mouse sugar cookies, eating donuts, and running around like crazy banshees. Well, half of them ran around like banshees while the other half played with Barbies. Guess which group my children were a part of... hahahaha.

The Christmas season is magical with kids. They got excited over every Christmas display they saw. They quickly picked up on lyrics to Christmas songs. We ate lots of yummy treats. Nicole made sure that we did our Advent calendars every morning.

Nicole's preschool had an open-house-style Christmas party for all the family to attend, and it was there that the kids got to meet Santa. We ate the most delicious soups and got to hear Nicole sing some Christmas songs that she had learned in her music workshop. We visited Santa at the mall later in the month, too. Both times, Nicole made sure to let Santa know that she wanted sunglasses and a new book.

Christmas Eve/Day were a hit. Nicole was so pumped about Santa, which made Austin pumped even though he didn't quite know what he was getting pumped for. The kids decorated a couple sugar cookies to put out, we dined on ham and mashed potatoes (per Nicole's request), and Nicole only came sneaking out of her room "to get water" once.

Then she slept in until 8:00 on Christmas morning.

I wasn't expecting her to sleep in! Austin was awake almost a whole hour before her because a coughing bout woke him up, but he chilled in his room (singing, babbling, and playing with his stuffed animals) for a good 40 minutes before I went in to get him. Nicole was out of bed like a flash of lightning once she DID wake up, though, and she pretty much thinks that Christmas is the best thing ever now. She wished me "Merry Christmas" 3 different times as I got her tucked into bed that night. She's already asking how many days there are until the next Christmas. Ooooh, girl, you're going to need a little patience!

 Nicole (at the far end of the table) and her friends!
We did birthday donuts instead of birthday cake!
 Nicole and some of her dance class friends, performing a little Christmas number for the parents.
 Pajamas, messy hair, and ready to go downstairs to see what Santa brought on Christmas morning!
My kids are the type who will poke at the ornaments--and maybe take one off the tree now and then--and then completely leave the presents alone. Neither one of them tried opening a present even once! But they played by/around the tree a lot.
 Eating a Sweet Tooth Fairy treat before heading to the movies to see "The Grinch" for a little mommy-daughter date night.
Meeting Santa at the preschool party. Please note how Austin's face is halfway between smiling and crying. He decided that Santa was a good guy in the end!

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Well, that's that! Right after Christmas, I made a game plan for deep-cleaning the entire house, and to finally finish de-cluttering it. I started immediately, and I'm pretty much done now! Blog post (hopefully) coming soon, since that was one of my bucket list items! (And I began this whole process before the "Marie Kondo Craze" started up, thank you very much. Haha!)

My siblings stayed with us for a few days before they headed up to Rexburg for school, which the kids LOVED. Now we just have about a dozen quiet days left until baby girl arrives! SO excited for newborn snuggles!