Out with the old...

In just a few hours we will all say farewell to 2011. Some of us are out all dolled up, sipping on drinks, some of us are staying home or going to a friends house. Derrick and I just went out for an early dinner and left the kids with Grandmama and Papa. Now we are home, sweatpants are on, and the celebration with the kids is about to commence. Right now D has the kids and I am sparing a few moments to reflect on 2011.

2011 was an amazing year for our family. We had so much fun and had so many blessings. Some of my top highlights include:

Of course the number one highlight is the birth of Max just 11 days ago. And in a close second place would be April 15th. The day the word PREGNANT stared up at me. We could not be happier to have spent the majority of 2011 growing and then having Max. What a perfect addition he is!

Of course this year also brought in an abundance of weddings and celebrations. A new nephew was welcomed! A fantastic BFCO, mini road trips and LOTS OF RUNNING! I am so proud of myself for accomplishing my original goal of running eight 5ks and then adding in two 10ks as well. We celebrated a 10 year reunion, reconnected with old friends, made some new ones and learned that some will be there through the thick and thin. I flew down to FL to meet a bunch of amazing women for the first time. D completed the Tough Mudder and Ella started school.

Things sure were kept busy but fun. It truly was a fantastic year. I can not wait to see what 2012 holds for us but I do know that whatever it brings my perfect little family will embrace it all together!

Happy New Year to you all. May 2012 find you in good spirits and bring lots of love and laughter.

Birth Journey

Since the loves of my life are curled up together on the couch, while Princess Pie reads stories to "our baby", and I have some time between nursing sessions I thought now would be a good time to get the story of Max's birth journey down.

It truly was an absolutely beautiful birth. It wasn't exactly like I pictured it happening but when all was said and done it was PERFECT for me, for D and for Max.

Saturday the 17th I came home from the Brown Family Christmas Party having some pretty intense contractions. I really thought this was it. Nope, it wasn't the contractions kept me up all night but died out around 4am. So, no sleep and no baby. Sunday was quiet the only thing going on was that our Princess Pie was sick. Pretty sick. Her and D made a big bed under the Christmas tree and sent me up stairs to keep from getting whatever she had that was making her throw up. I went to bed nervous that Ella was so sick and not paying attention to the baby at all. I woke Monday to D still home to take care of Ella and I realized it had been a VERY long time since I last felt Sprout move. Off to the see the midwife and be hooked up to yet another NST. While I was at the office the midwife offered to swipe my membranes. I used to be completely against any sort of jump start like this but I consented and it was done. I left ran some errands and came home to nap (under orders to do so!).

Monday night at about 5:30 I had my first contraction. A stop in my tracks and breath contraction. I took notice but didn't think anything of it. At 9 I realized that this was perhaps probably really it and called my parents to come get Ella for a sleep over. At 9:45 I made a call to the midwife to let her know they had been 5 minutes apart and lasting a minute for the last hour or so. She advised us to come in since it was baby number two. We packed up the car and headed out. Now, anyone who has ever driven to the hospital during intense contractions will tell you car rides and labor = NO FUN!!! That 20 minute ride was the longest ride ever.

We got to the hospital got hooked up and checked and want to know what? They sent me home. Yep, 3 cm wasn't enough to deem me in labor and I was sent home with early/false labor discharge papers. I believe that being sent home was what put me in a mentality that held me back in the vision I had for my birth. I was discouraged and mad and went through another 20 minute car ride, that was super uncomfortable. We got home at 11:45 or so and I went upstairs to try to sleep. But couldn't since contractions were now coming every 3 or so minutes and I could not get my head into the game. I just kept telling D that it hurt it hurt it hurt. I threw all of my hypnobirthing lessons out the window and could not get focused. I was focusing on the wrong things and not breathing. In my head I was already "failing" since I was only at 3 cm. At 12:30 am D packed me and my delirious self back into the car. Oh gosh was THAT ride something else. I tried to remember what to do but I couldn't I was begging, BEGGING for him to help and insisting I wanted an epi.

When we got back to the hospital, I was admitted and put directly into the water birth room. At least, this part of my plan was going the way I had envisioned! I was checked, yep still 3 cm, no change. At 4:40 I was checked and you guessed it 3 cm, still no change. At this point the nurses, D and myself all thought, ok MOST women's second babies are different but this was not looking to be my case. So they asked if I wanted therapeutic sleep, a shot of morphine to force my body to rest in between the every 2 minute contractions, in order to gear up for another long labor. I surrendered. I didn't know what else to do. This was NOT what I thought I had wanted but at that moment thinking I had only been at it for really about 7 hours and at that point with Ella I still had 49 more hours to go, I took the shot.

The shot did NOT help me sleep. But the shot gave my brain the turn around switch that I needed. I was able to refocus myself and get back into the game. As Derrick layed behind me pressing on my back (back labor and I are long time friends) I was able to start visualizing what I had practiced. I used my breathing and counting to focus on breaths that opened during each contraction and in between I visualized having made it one more level up the mountain. My baby was waiting at the top but I just had to take it one step at a time to meet them. At 6:00 I was checked again and holy moly I was at 8cm! My water had broke and I was progressing quickly. At this point the morphine had worn off. I could tell by the difference in the way each contraction was feeling on my body. At 7:am the midwife came in to check me. I was at a 10 and ready to push. I asked for the tub to be filled first. She said no. I insisted, she said no. I demanded and at this time I had a parade of about 6 nurses in to ask me questions. What I didn't realize was that they all had thought I was still looped out on morphine. D tried to explain to them that I was hypnobirthing and was in the zone. I was breathing and not making a noise. Finally, after me telling one nurse to leave for breaking my concentration, they realized ok maybe it is ok for her to be in the tub. The tub was filled (half way only since the midwife was not fully on board with this) and I got in at 7:15ish. The water was seriously HEAVEN. It felt so so so good!!! The pain was gone, the back labor vanished and I just swayed side to side breathing. The midwife looked at me and said your baby is right there you can meet it if you want. At 7:21 am I gave one test push, at 7:30 I pushed two more times. He came out at 7:32 am and just looked up at me. He was layed on my chest and I fell in love with the second man of my life.

The last few hours of my birth were fast and intense but full of so much calm and peace. Yes, I had some sort of drug but the hypnobirthing worked too! It was amazing to actually birth the baby in this process at the end. I wish I had been able to get my brain to click into the pattern sooner but I didn't and it is ok. I had the PERFECT birth for me at this time. This is what I did to get my son here and I loved every second of it.

Maxwell was born at 7:32 am on December 20th. The entire labor from very first contraction to very first breath was 14 hours, only about 5 of those hours were spent in active labor. He weighed almost 8 pounds (my HUGE baby!!!) and was just over 20 inches long. He came out calm, inquisitive and a pro at nursing. We stayed in the hospital for 2 nights, making it a first family sleepover when Ella joined us on night number 2. His first weekend home was full of Christmas celebrations and lots of traveling back and forth from one event to the next. He took it all in stride.

His sister adores him and is so sweet. She watches out for him to be awake and will alert me that he is and ask to kiss him. She reads to him, sings to him and loves on him in the most gentle and adorable way.

His dad is amazing. The diaper changing, the awe in his eyes at having a son and the way he takes care of us all just floors me. I knew D was an awesome dad and has been for the last 3 years but I think I am in for learning just how awesome he can be.

And me? Yes, I followed the advice of never marrying a man unless I wanted to raise a son just like him. And I can't wait. With D as a role model Max is going to grow into the most dear little boy ever. He definitely has stolen my heart just like his Daddy has.

My family is complete and I am loving every second of these precious first moments.

Christmas came early!

Good morning Blog World! As the world slowly awakes for the day, I find myself completely in love with another man. A little guy who we decided to name Maxwell Derrick. My hubby is across the room snoring and Max is snuggled up on my chest and I am content. Max was born yesterday after an absolutely beautiful birth and labor. Once home and I have the time I will fill you all in and tell my gorgeous birth story.

But for now as I prepare to nurse my little guy I will leave you all with the quick facts :0)

Maxwell Derrick was born at 7:32 am on December 20th. Labor was super quick, well compared to Ella's 56 hour marathon. He was born after 14 hours from the start ofthe very first contraction to his very first breath. It was only 5.5 of those hours I spent in active labor and of that 11 minutes were spent pushing. Max is my big baby tipping the scales at a pound and a half more than his sister did. He weighed in at 7 pounds 13 ounces and is 20.5 inches long. He's a big boy all right! I am in love and in awe over my little man.

Once Princess Pie gets here this afternoon I will be complete :0)

MORE THOUGHTS!!!

By the way I wanted to add that there is NOTHING nothing wrong with using medications or having a c-section or any of the likes. Babies need to get here healthy and be delivered to mom's who are happy and content and no matter how you get your baby here it doesn't matter. All I was trying to say was that we should be careful with our word choices and not put fear into the process. Each women is different, each baby is different, each birth journey is going to be different. None is better than the other. After all the end hope is a happy and a healthy baby and that means mom needs to get it here with whatever makes HER feel the most comfortable :0)

Word Choice

So obviously as the days tick by I am becoming increasingly aware that the process of labor and birth is almost upon me. So of course the thoughts of the event are taking front and center stage in my thought process. It is hard to forget for even a second that it is about to happen. I mean the shear size of my belly that I am sporting is enough to jog the thoughts, add in all the texts, emails, calls, facebook posts and concerned "How are you feeling" comments and its BAM right there in my face.

So here is what I am thinking:

Being an American women I have grown up hearing stories of the horrendous pain, intolerable pain, the just plain horribleness of this journey into the world. The first time around I would sit in the teachers room eating lunch while the unsolicited comments rolled in or even just standing in the line at the grocery store women found the need to tell me about the most horrible thing that ever happened to them. Once I let it be known I planned to have Ella with no drugs whatsoever the comments of how I would be begging BEGGING for an epi followed at the end of each horrendous birth story. Even MEN would say NO WAY YOU ARE GOING TO GET AN EPI, THERE IS NO WAY YOU CAN DO IT!

Well, guess what folks? I did it, I labored with no meds and I brought my baby girl into the world without feeling the ring of fire or being scared for life. Was it uncomfortable, well it wasn't a vacation. But it was something more. During each contraction I knew it was bringing me closer to her, that my body was working the way it should be. After 18 months of TTC and thinking my body was so flawed it was nice to know that it was working just fine, thank you very much.

And this time? This time I learned something new. I learned during our Hypnobirthing classes that it was ME that caused the 56 hour labor marathon for Ella. Why you ask? Well here in the states women LOVE to outdo one another with the gruesome details of labor and delivery. They love to tell each women just how much of a traumatic event unfolded for them. What do these stories do? They put a stigma on birth. They condition each one of us to FEAR birth. It is something that is a medical procedure that requires medication to get through. We have turned birth into a procedure and not a natural journey.

Each birth story told that focuses on the pain of the event and not the natural beauty emphasizes the fear women carry. Think about it. Women in other countries literally stop working, go to the side of a field and have a baby and then return to work with no one knowing. Other mammals lay quietly in their dens and let nature take its course. So why do we choose to use words such as pain, fear, hurt to accompany what is a natural process? I mean I admit there are times when a birth isn't going right and yes it gets complicated and things need medical attention. But if we were just careful with our stories, with our word choices, women wouldn't fear this blessed event as much and be able to bring their babies into the world without the doubt and fear leading them. I labored for 56 hours because I listened to those birth stories. I was AFRAID to push, I was AFRAID the ring of fire as it is called would be too much. I was AFRAID that I would need to drugs to get through it all. I stopped my body with that fear. Because of it my body held back. It took FOREVER for it to get the job done because I was too afraid to let it do what it naturally does.

This time around, am I nervous? Um yes but not about the pain or discomfort. I am nervous because of anxiety that I have about things going badly. But I am wiping these thoughts from my brain. I have let them go, I have burned them in the fire. They have been replaced with the thoughts of having this baby in a calm, peaceful environment. Where we will work together and labor together because yes it is work to meet each other on the other side of it all. I am going to surrender my body to its own devices and try to keep, NO I WILL KEEP, my head clear. So my drug of choice? Positive affirmations and breathing. It's all I am going to need to get my baby here. And if you want to tell me your birth story, I would love to hear it but let's make it after I have this baby so I can keep my head clear of the American birth story :0)

Now, all that has to happen is baby needs to decide it wants out....like now! or now? How about now? I don't know but I am off to consume more pineapple :0)

privacy?! What's that?

So it is no secret, none at all if you happen to catch a glimpse of me, that I am about to pop. Yes literally pop. I am 38 weeks pregnant and have grown to be the size of a small beer drinking giant. And as the size increases so does my desire to meet Thing 2. I am ready, the bags are packed, the car seat is in, the house stays pretty much, kind of, well sort of clean, and above all the Christmas shopping AND wrapping are done, yes D.O.N.E done! Since Thanksgiving day I have been fighting off contractions and now that I want them they are there but are not getting any more frequent!

So today, before my doctor's appointment I went to the gym. I did lots of walking and lunges and monster walks and squats and well let's just say everything possible there to make baby uncomfortable enough to come out. Then tonight I made D take me out for spicy Thai again and well contractions picked up some but not enough to say I am in labor. Yay!!! Except I forgot how uncomfortable they made you and my back my poor back. So I thought hmmm D is home I can take a bubble bath and enjoy a cup of raspberry leaf tea for 20 mins ALONE!!!!

Yeah RIGHT! The moment I had all my clothes off and was about to step in the tub I hear "Mom can I come in? I can sit in here with you?" Yeah sure, why not. You see its been a long time a LONG time since I have been in a bathroom by myself. In fact, the only time I can use the bathroom by myself is in the dead of the night when even the dog has decided he is too exhausted to follow me.

But you know what? Tonight, my non privacy bubble bath turned into the best part of my day. My back got minimal relief but I just had the best 20 minute conversation with my sweet little girl. She came in to ask how I was feeling and then asked me about my day. She told me about how "it was so so freezing cold on the playground today that it hurt her brain" and that "those boys are still crying at school and I tried to tell them to stop cause school is fun". Then she asked about how my trip to FL was and what I ate and how fast my plane was. By this time I was having so much fun that I was a tad disappointed when D came in and told her it was time to play Pop the Pig before bed. She stood up placed her hand on my head and said "Ok Mom you think you are going to be ok without me? Are you sure? I can stay if you need me too" No baby girl that's ok you can go Mommy will be just fine. And now the little stinker has sneaked back down the stairs and just crawled into my lap and is kissing my cheek and telling me she loves me to the moon and back. I am so in LOVE with her :0)

Now BRING ON THE LABOR!!!! :0)

Birthday Celebrations!

Yesterday my baby girl turned THREE! Yikes where did those three years go? It seems like just yesterday we were at the hospital giving birth to her and now she is a grown up three year old.

Last night the pitter patter of little feet came down the hallway, pausing outside my door. I heard "Mom I just can't sleep can I come in?" I asked her why she was having trouble sleeping, and her answer brought a smile to my face. "Well I just don't have anyone to talk to in my room. No one to tell about my birthday celebrations except my books and bears and they don't talk back." So of course I let that cute little bum crawl up in bed with me. D was down stairs being the awesome, amazing hubby that he is cleaning up and vacuuming for me, since well I just can't do it anymore. And Ella and I lay in bed and she just talked about her special day. "Mom you remember how you surprised me with decorations when I came home from school? Did you know Daddy got my the ballet clothes I have been wanting? Mom did you like how we got to eat ice cream treats and look at Christmas lights? Did you hear my special jingle bell?" It seriously was such a priceless moment. And to top it all off? My sweet baby girl, leaned over and said, thank you Mommy and Daddy, thank you so much for my special day I LOVED it" and gave me the biggest hug.

Yesterday, may have been Ella's birthday day but it was my "Birth" of her day and I couldn't be more blessed with the wonderful gift God blessed us with. I thank Him for her every day at least a dozen times. I love that little girl with every breath I take and I can't wait to add Thing 2 into the mix :0)
I totally slacked yesterday and thought about blogging but didn't actually get the energy to sign and write :0) So todays post is for yesterday AND today. Its the last of my November challenge and I had a lot of fun doing it! I liked blogging every day and I liked focusing on positive things. All too often we tend to fall into slumps and live in a negative pattern. I myself know that I was there in my darkest of TTC months this past year. I really appreciate the friends and family who stayed with me and held my hand until I came back to the bright side :0) Without all of you, I may never have been able to break that pattern.

So two last things that I am thankful for? First I am thankful for my vision. I love that I can wake up every morning and see my baby girls face, and watch her learn and wonder. I love that I can see my husband walking up the driveway after a long day at work. I love that I can see the clouds, and flowers and beauty of all things. One of my biggest fears is not being able to see. Espeicailly not see my little girl grow and I am so thankful that I can!

And lastly, I am just thankful for the opportunitues that have gotten me where I am today. All of the events that have molded me and set me down the path that has led me to this life. I had a great childhood. Money may have been tight or nonexistent but the fun and love was there. It taught me that money really doesn't buy happiness and now I am content to live minimally so that I can have my dream job. It taught me that fun can be made out of anything, so Ella and I (and soon Sprout) will always turn an ordinary day into some sort of adventure, proabaly getting lost in the process. Yes I know this makes me kooky but hey there's more fun in that than being proper all the time. I was never the popular girl but that taught me the value of true, real friendship and has led me to some very awesome relationships.

I love my life, I love where I am and I am so glad that I have chosen the less traveled path :0)

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
and sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
and looked down one as far as I could
to where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
and having perhaps the better claim
because it was grassy and wanted wear;
though as for that, the passing there
had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
in leaves no feet had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
I took the one less travelled by,
and that has made all the difference

Ella-isms

There is no doubt about it. I have the most amazing, intelligent, kind, generous, witty and beautigul little girl ever. I just love spending time with her, being around her and playing all sorts of imaginative things with her. Today I am so thankful for her constant entertainment of Ella-isms.

A bad day, a tired day, a sad day and even a going fantastic happy day can all be made better with one of her out of the blue comments that make me stop, laugh and try to keep a straight face. As the days pass with this pregnancy my days are getting longer and more MORE MMMMMOOOORRRRREEEEEEEE uncomfortable with every passing second, however, with the cheer and enthusiasm of my little girl (I also need to mention the dedication and care of my wonderful husband), I am weathering them quite well.

Here are a few of my favorite recent Ella-isms:

(While I am sitting on the couch flipping through a magazine, she drags her chair over, crosses her leg and holds her pen poised over her notebook)

"So are you having any contractions? Any problems? No, no problems. Ok lets just check in your mouth. OK you're good. Thank you for being such a good patient"

(While driving I ask if she wants a bagel since we both needed some sort of food in the middle of running errands all over the place)

"Yes I would like a bagel. A girl bagel"
(What's a girl bagel?)
"A bagel with no meat. Girls don't eat meat ya know. I am a big girl now and I just don't eat that meaty stuff"

(While packing some of my hospital bag, I threw in my nursing cover)

"Mom what was that?"
(a nursing cover)
"oh ok"
(Derrick thinking I was talking to him, what was that?)
"Dad its a thing Mom needs for breast feeding ok?"

(While preparing dinner, I asked Ella if she wanted tomatoes)

"No I do not like them"
(Trying to get her to try I tell her, her new cousin Nolan likes them)
"Mom Nolan is just a baby you don't know if he likes them yet, you'll have to ask him when he gets bigger"


I really really love that little girl! And I need to start writing more of these funny little conversations down. Just writing tonight's blog and rethinking about them has put a smile on my face and improved my mood!

Thank you little girl for being so awesome, silly and sweet :0)
Thankful today for soup. Soup is good, soup is great. It's a drink and food, having a two for one is great when you just feel like you can't eat anything and when there isn't any room for food anyway. I am a lucky lucky girl and have had three kinds of delicious homemade soup this weekend :0)

House Party

Our house may not be much to look at and we may have only handy me down furniture free finds however it is a house of love and I am thankful for that. D and I got to host our annual nontraditional Thanksgiving day today. I am so glad that we have family to fill the house with laughter and love. We may not have a dream house but we have a dream HOME for sure.

The 5k was successful, the food yummy, the tree lighting fun and the laugher abundant. And yes Sprout continued to let me know that enough was enough with another day of contractions galore, if I stayed on my feet too long. It is looking like I may have to do some serious resting from here on out. Well, after my two parties to attend tomorrow, I may just put myself on light duty before D does it for me. Then next weekend it's Princess Pies big birthday celebration and I am then definitely going to retire and spend some rest time in our HOME!

Contraction stoppers

Today I am thankful, super thankful for having a husband who insists I lay down and for a cousin who spent the morning entertaining Ella while Derrick was at work. Contractions have started and don't stop as long as I am standing or trying to do any of the million things I need to do. I had to spend most of my day taking breaks every 20 minutes to get them to stop. I am so thankful my hubby picks up the slack. Especially since tomorrow we are hosting our annual nontraditional Thanksgiving dinner after a 5k Turkey Trot! I'm hoping tone more active tomorrow. This baby needs to stay put for at least 11 more days :0)

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Today is a day where thanks is given all around and my list of things I am thankful for is a scroll! Some of my top items of course were past blogs this month. But today I am thankful to just see how thankful everyone is. All of the Facebook statuses were so full of positive thoughts today and it made me so happy to see all the upbeat posts from everyone.

Of course the cake, pie and family time didn't hurt today either :0).

Tonight I'm going to bed to the rhythm to Sprout's hiccups in between contraction counts (which have slowed alot thank goodness. Tonight is not a night I want to go into the hospital), so thankful for the life I live. I love my family, in laws and friends. And I am so in love with my little family of 3.5. My husband, baby girl and bean sprout mean the world to me! The journey to becoming a mom was long and hard but I have the best partner by my side. Even though we never thought Thing 2 would be a possibility we are anxiously awaiting it's arrival.

pampering...yes please!!!

I would love to thank Mother Nature for NOT interfering with my much much much needed day of pampering! She may have blew my Kenny dreams but I think she knew if she messed with today too, all hell would break out.

I was lucky enough to have one of my SILs come over late morning to stay with Ella while I went to Portsmouth Community Acupuncture to have Emily work her magic. I am so blessed to have gotten these sessions as a birthday gift. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the relaxation that being poked brings. I got to sit in a comfy chair, in the dim light, in SILENCE! Yes, of course this lead to a nap but hey any sleep at any time right now I will take. I am so looking forward to going again next week. Anyone want to babysit? Oh and local readers I HIGHLY recommend going in for a poke, it really does help with any sort of issue you may be having! (Oh and Emily put a guess in for a girl based on the way I was carrying even though my pulse was a bit stronger on the boy side...)

Next after a quick visit to the midwife, who said things look fine and she does not expect me to even make 39 weeks let alone the full 40, fingers crossed she is right, I got to go sit and indulge in another birthday gift. A spa perdicure!!!! Oh it was pure heaven. My two SILs and my munchkin bum came along and we all have PUUURTTYYYY toesies right now. A nice dinner of mexican followed and now I am home ready to put on the sweats and hit the sack.

I am so thankful that I got a little special treatment today. It could not have come at a better time :0)
I always have so much to be thankful for. Like the M&Ms reminded me yesterday I am lucky even when it comes to the little things. But today after very rough night #186629. Ok actually rough night #3 I was a mess. A MESS this morning. I can barely even function anymore however, I am so thankful for the series of events that unfolded to make me realize I matter and I am loved. First my poor hubby (who was up and dealing with my crying breakdown at 4am) emailed me to let me know he was coming home early. Super early in fact, I just had to meet him at the gate at 10:30 for pick up. I made it there at 10:44. A little late but I was surprised this mornministry a mini sprinkle from my running buddies and good friends! Those two (plus the one who is also preggo but couldn't make it because the poor thing was booked to work a 13 hour day on her feet chatting it up with clients as she cut and styled for the holidays. By the way this news made me thankful I can sit when I need too!), put on a beautiful little breakfast sprinkle. The china was out, the table was gorgeous and thankfully the leftovers were packed for me to take home because the food was super yummy!!! Sprout was sprinkled with diapers and wipes (Cindy I am starting to have a legit pile now!). And the one thing I was on the hunt for was wrapped and waiting. An adorable diaper bag!!!! I am going to pack it for the hossy this weekend!!!

The rest of my day was spent mostly alone since D had Ella outside playing while I folded laundry in silence. I got in a cat nap followed by an hour (and still counting) of quiet sitting, texting and facebooking and doing whatever I want, while Ella naps. I got to text chat with some far away and greatly missed family. I received an an amazing compliment from someone who said they wish they were half the mom I was (but they themselves are amazing!). And I am dreaming up what I want for dinner, Pinterest has way too many good ideas!

So today I am thankful that I kept my sanity (even if, only according to D, it's hanging by a thread). So thread that is keeping me together that has been made stronger by the friends and family who help hold me together, thank you!!! So just in case anyone sees me out and about tomorrow, if I look like hell remember I'm being held together by one strong thread please don't be the knife who breaks me. And Mother Nature I'm telling ya right now. You sent Irene and ruined my Kenny plans do not. I repeat do NOT prevent me from my much needed accupuncture appointment! I need to go see Emily and get poked or I may just lose it!!! Not to mention my much desired pedi appointment tomorrow night!!!!

Peanut M&Ms...

... Yep that is all, enough said, that is what I am thankful for today. On days where I am just so busy and tired and exhausted and tired and tired and tired. It is the little things like a small splurge on a packet of M&Ms that make me stop and smile and remember that I am such a blessed women.

I love how it's the little things that can re center me and put things back into perspective. Plus a little chocolate can turn a girls day completely around :0)
Thankful for the knowledge that in about 6 hours I will be able to fall into my king size bed (which I know I am going to be so thankful for once we officially add one more to the bed for Sarurday morning snuggles). I ache, I'm sore and I am just plain exhausted. Never will a pillow feel so soft even though I have a make shift nest of them to keep me in a seated position. Tonight i will be thankful for every second I get to close my eyes and sleep. If sleep is a 40 minute reprieve tonight or a 2 hour one I am going to welcome anything I can get with open arms.

Bed thank you for being so welcoming and cozy. I love that you just invite me in whenever I come upstairs. You are the best thing made out of fluff in the world!!!

Sprout Sprinkle!

Wow what a beautiful afternoon! D, Princess Pie and myself spent the afternoon surrounded by family and friends who all wanted to welcome sprout into the family! We were so touched to even feel the love from our out of state family members! What a beautifully crafted little get together! The llittle sprinkle was just perfect! Sprout will now be able to have her very own pictures of people celebrating for her baby book. And it was so nice to feel the love and support that will help us bring Sprout into the world.

Thank you thank you thank you to all of you who took time from busy schedules to support us in welcoming this new little bundle. We are so blessed in friends and family that's for sure!!!!

Happy Birthday Song

So today I am thankful for playtime. Ella and I had the best morning and early afternoon just playing and playing. I love watching her come up with scenarios to play. The dialogue she makes up and the imaginative way she makes all her ideas come to life.

I am so thankful that this is what I get to do on a daily basis. And as she played for over an hour with her play dough cake station i got to see just how much she loves me. She made me my favorite strawberry "pupcakes" and lovingly sang me happy birthday and saying I just lie you sweetie. My dear I love you so much. *sigh* what a lucky mommy I am!!!

Oohh I'm a slacker!

Ok I was doing so so so well, and then my sleep deprived gigantic self didn't blog yesterday. So yesterday I was thankful for the prenatal water aerobics class. I can not even explain the relief being in the water brought. I was able to get a full workout in and feel fantastic doing it. My back didn't ache, my belly didn't weigh me down and I was jogging. I realized I miss running even more bu the pool allows me almost be doing it again!!!

Not only did I get a fabulous workout in, I also got some sleep last night! I think the intense activity that brought relief to me back allowed me to fall into bed in pure contented exhaustion last night. So thankful to have the opportunity to belong to a gym that offers this class :0)

Comfy pants

Yep today's blog title says it all. Today I am thankful for my good ole, worn down, from my fat days big, blue sweatpants. After a routine 15 minute check in with the midwife turned into over an hour of being hooked up to the NST, failing it twice and being sent to ultra sound because Thing 2 is a little stinker, they were waiting for me in the closet at home. I have thrown them on, put Princess Butt down for a nap in her fort and curled up in my upright nest in bed. (Which by the way I'm thankful I have finally constructed one at the perfec angle. Since I can now rest and breath at night, leading to little bouts of sleep at last!). I have now been laying quietly, counting kicks punches and bumps, and listening to tiny little snores for almost 2 hours now. I just wish I had some ice cream to add into my perfect little afternoon treat.

So thank you sweat pants for being so warm, worn and comfy for when I need some cozy me time the most!

Silence

Today I am thankful for naptime. I just get to sit here and look at my precious baby sleep so soundly. I love the fact that she is so completely loved and comfortable she can become so vulnerable. I love that sweet Princess Pie and am thankful for her in so many ways. But today I'm thankful to just soak in her beauty listening to the silence of peace.

*sigh* of contentment :0)

So this past weekend I celebrated my birthday, my 25th birthday for all those wondering. It could not have been a more pleasant weekend. I am so thankful that I have such an amazing and kind and thoughtful and patient and caring and funny and considerate and talented and thoughtful and thoughtful and thoughtful husband.

I was pampered and treasured all weekend long by my little family. I awoke Saturday morning to a beautiful handmade card from Ella. (She may have told me she made me a card Thursday night when I arrived home...). It was the cutest little card EVER! Then I was presented with a choice menu for the weekend. I could basically choose whatever I wanted to do, see, eat ANYTHING! I chose to start my day with a bubble bath (complete with "trashy" magazine reading material, D remembered to buy them while he took Ella grocery shopping Friday all by himself!) As I soaked and read about how much JLo weighs and the divorce of Kloe I was super relaxed. A foot rub followed and then we took an excursion to the Hamilton House. A house that I love to explore the grounds of and enjoy the scenery. We played and explored and took pictures and then headed home. D bought me a sandwich from Allards for lunch (BEST sandwiches EVER!) and we had a picnic in the living room. Nap time (for me!!!) followed and he and Ella made my favorite cake, boxed (yes boxed) Strawberry cake and with white frosting and sprinkles. Don't ask but its totally my favorite and I LOVED it! He prepped for dinner (enchiladas!!!) and we had family time. My sister and Joe came over with Rollie Pollie Nolan and had dinner with us. We ended the night curled on the couch watching Bridesmaids. It was AWESOME! Sunday I still got some special treatment, another nap and a special dinner (enchiladas and strawberry cake again!) at my in-laws.

I am a spoiled and treasured and lucky gal. I have the best husband and daughter and family a girl could ever wish for. They made my 29th errrrr I mean 25th birthday super special.

Thank you Cowboy!!! I am looking forward to my acupuncture sessions as well!

Super Dad :0)

Of course my mom was not alone in the raising and supporting me so today's post is for my Dad. I am so thankful that I have a dad that treasures having a Daddy's little princess. I know that my dad will do absolutely anything for me. When we were little I may have used this to my advantages, knowing full well that my mom would have said no to my request. And I may have used this as I got older (think high school) as well, in fact there was an instant when D and I may have disagreed and I refused to get in the car knowing I could get my dad to drive the hour round trip and ride home with him instead. (For the record I did not take advantage of this one and D and I made up and I rode home with him of course).

My dad was been there for me countless times. He is always a phone call away and often stops in to visit on his way by (although it never is directly on his way by he always goes out of his way to stop in). My dad is a big old softy who lets the love he has for his girls and his grandkids shine through. They always say you marry a guy that is like your father and its true. Two of the best men in the entire world stand by me and support me and I love them both very much.

So Dad, thank you for being the most amazing dad a little girl can ask for. Always willing to give up what you have to help us, always answering your phone to take a request, and for being there with endless love and support. You taught me that there are men out there that are kind, considerate, hard working and honest and because of your teachings I found one for myself.

Thank you Dad, I LOVE YOU!

My Mommy :0)

Since I woke up this morning with my party pants on fully ready to celebrate the 4th anniversary of turning 25, I feel that it is only right to spend the day thanking my mom. As I get ready to hit the spa at good ole P Street and then off to any adventure we can think I just want to take a minute to honor the reason I am even here celebrating today.

I am so thankful for my mom. She is the most loving and caring person I know. I love that I can use her as a model in every aspect of my life, as a wife, a mother, a sister and a daughter and even an aunt. She is forever thinking of others and always there with anything we need. I know that I can call on her at anytime and she will just do what I need no questions asked.

So Mom I just want to say thank you! Thank you for loving me, supporting me and guiding me through my life lessons. You have given me not only the gift of life but also the gift of showing me how to make the best of life and be the best person I can be. You are not only my mom but my friend and teacher as well. The only thing I love more than having you as a mom is the thought that my kids get to have you as their grandmother. I love you Mom!!! Happy "birth" day to you. And yes I know 25 (plus 4) years ago you were in labor and I gave you those stretch marks :0)

Scarifice

Today's thankfulness post is a no brainer. I am so thankful for all of the men and women who have served, fought and died for a country that allows us the freedom to be who we are and what we want to be.

I have friends whose husbands serve, who have missed the birth of their children. I have family that has served and I have family who is currently serving and also missed the birth of their beautiful little boy a little over a year ago.

To all of you out there who make the ultimate scarfice I thank you! I thank you for keeping me and my family safe, for allowing us the freedom of our constituition and for putting it all on the line selflessly. You are all heros and need to be aprreciated for such scarifices!

warm and cozies

While yes I am thankful for being literally warm and cozy right now, since I am sitting by the fire, in my yoga pants as the rain comes pouring down outside, it is not the warm and cozy that I am thankful for today.

Today I am thankful for the warm and cozies that are left behind after having a great conversation with a friend. Recently, I have had the opportunity to have the time fly by while talking to someone that I honestly connect with. During a family playdate, while visiting a neighbor or riding in the car with my hubby on the way to birthing class are all occasions in the last few weeks that I had a great conversation with someone.

Today, I also got the privilege of leaving with the warm and cozy feeling in my body. I lost myself in 2 hours of conversation with a friend that I can go months without seeing and pick right up where we left off. I actually could have easily stayed for another two hours and continued but I had to pick up Princess Pie from school. The conversation is always awesome and we just get chatting and nothing stops us. Today, we got to talk pregnancy since we are both expecting babies soon. She is going to be a first time mom and an awesome one at that. I can not wait to see that baby get to look into the eyes of both its adoring parents. It is going to be one lucky little tike! (Which I am casting my vote on it being a girl, guess we will see in April!),

Now tonight after some tea party conversation with my little darling sassafrass, I am fortunate enough to get to go have another conversation over margaritas and mock margaritas with my SIL. I guess since it's my SIL I am even more lucky that we connect so well, not many people can claim that their in-laws are friends too :0)

Privileged!

My husband is such a hard worker. He goes to work every day in order to provide for his family. I know he wishes he were doing something else or could provide more but he works and works hard and for that I am truly thankful. Because of the dedication my husband has to providing for the family I have the extreme pleasure of being a stay at home mom. I love my job!!!

Today for example we hit a baby expo and then had a movie lunch date at a local movie theater. I love being able to do these special things with my Princess Pie. Of course it also means that we go without things like, matching furniture, a tv, vacations or birthday and Christmas presents for each other but I really wouldn't trade my memories for these material things.

I know my husband misses out on alot. He would love to be able to spend a day with Ella and I feel guilty that I am so happy. He is amazing and never grumbles about it. Boy am I super thankful I get to have my dream job!

Thank you Cowboy for not only allowing me to do this but for encouraging it as well :0)

Thankfulness Day 8!

First I am typing from a computer NOT my iPhone today!!! Wahooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok today I am thankful for my health. Especially during this pregnancy. I am so thankful to be told every doctor's visit that my stats are perfect: blood pressure, weight gain, urine sample. There really haven't been any complications and it doesn't hurt a girl's ego to hear every time I go in that I have such a perfect little belly. I should be out strutting how cute I am. Maybe they say that to everyone but hey I'll take it since I am not feeling the prettiest :0)

But seriously I am so thankful to be healthy. I was able to keep up the running and finish the road race series. For the most part I am feeling great. I do have aches and discomfort trying to lay down to sleep at night but thats just Thing 2's position right now. I hope to labor and deliver as easily and perfectly as I carried :0)

Oh hmmm I should probably take a belly shot soon, seeing as it is getting down to the end!

Princess Pie

Ok, we all knew it was coming my blog post about how thankful I am for my little precious first miracle. I am thankful for her in so many ways. She is so imaginative, adorable and just plain brilliant. D and I often joked, after being told in high school that if we ever had kids their IQs would be 60,000, that if she got the best of each of our intelligences she would be unstoppable. And really she is. She outsmarts us both all the time now at 2 I am not sure how we will be outsmarted in future years. My heart glows with pride each moment of the day of this tiny little beat of my heart.

Each day I wish I could capture on video what it's like when it's just the two of us. The antics and the fun that is little girl should be shared but she saves it just for me. I feel honored that she shares the best aide of herself with me. One day soon the public will see the Ella I see and not shy quiet one but for now I treasure the moments I get to witness and I hold them close. Just this morning she got herself ready for a shopping day and I hear her yell up the stairs: "mom I have my own money cam I get a coffee on the way?". As I came down my little princess pie was clutching her dollar bill and looking so hopeful that of course I said yes. She then packed that dollar for her coffee and another one she insisted was for her shopping into her wallet that went into her purse, we were ready. While we were out my perfect little girl took her shopping dollar and bought a rattle for her cousin Nolan. She insisted he needed something more than she did and then proudly handed him the little rattle. Never in my life have I felt so much pride. I could have burst at the seams to see my little girl being so generous!

I love that little girl more than anything I could have ever imagined. She truly is a perfect little soul and I am so thankful to have her in my life. They say good things are always worth the wait and I can say that everything I went through to get this little girl was so worth it!!! I love you to the moon and back!

Ohhh yummmmm!

Today I am thankful for fresh hot out of the oven cinnamon buns. Really enough said :0). Off to eat my fill in them. I guess I have taken the celebration of finishing my race series to an extreme and weight gain will now commence!

PS. I wont have to blog on the iPhone much longer! My lovely sister and brother-in-law gave us a desk top!!!

Role models and fairy tales

34 years ago today my in-laws tied the knot. 3 weeks ago my parents celebrated the 30th anniversary of their wedding union. Growing up I was lucky enough to witness a marriage of love and partnership. I am sure D grew up in this as well considering for the last 11 years object also seen these traits in his parent's marriage. So today, I am thankful that both of us grew up in the security of a good marriage. We witnessed what it was like to have the give and take a marriage needs. The support and love to grow in and the work it takes to well make it work.

The real kicker in this? Both our parents happened to be high school sweethearts as well. It looks like we all found our fairy tale. Thank you Mom and Dad and Ann and Gary for showing us how to live out that fairy tale. For giving us amazing examples to go by and for being there to help us out when we need it :0)

Generosity

Today I am thankful for the generosity of the family and friends that surround me. We have been so blessed lately that I can't even begin to describe the depth. A surprise baby shower in FL, a homecooked meal, and drop in visits. Willingness to take our little princess while we attend hypnobirthing, wood flooring and slate given at no cost to us and just tonight an awesome generator given at my birthday dinner.

Really the amount of love and support we receive in our lives is abundant and so forthcoming. Each and every one of you are a blessing and I am truly thankful that I get to be surrounded by the best friends and family any girl could ask for!

A special thank you for those who squeezed time out tonight to celebrate my birthday with me :0)

Miracles

So not being ableto post and then post yesterday for the day before has totally thrown me off. So I vow to get on track today. Post #1 is for yesterday's thanks and then tonight I will post for today. Alright...

Today I am thankful for the little miracle of life I have growing inside me. The months and months of TTC seem to have faded and all the feelings of sadness, disappointment and anger have been erased. Now, the joy and exciement of feeling this little blessing every day is all that matters. I don't even care that I am carrying an extra 15 pounds, haven't slept in weeks and visit the bathroom 1,456,765 times a night. Not to mention I can't breath and running is now a thing of the past.

I am just about 33 weeks now so the time is windin down. We have been preparing for the arrival of Max/Lucy. The crib is up, hypnobirthing techniques are being mastered and Ella even completed her sibling class last night. We are all so in love with this baby already and can't wait to see and kiss and love it even more.

I am so thankful that I was given the opportunity to carry this baby and soon brIng him/her into the world. I am looking forward to a calm, quiet and drug free birth that bonds us together as a family of four!

100 and soulmates!

This was yesterday's post I tried so hard to get up!

First before I get into the topic of today's thankfulness, I just want to take a minute to recognize this as my 100th post!!! I made it to the hundred club (yes in my mind such a club exists). Go me!!!!

So today?  Today's topic is a mushy one and will probably be sprinkled through the rest of the 30 days as thankfulness as well. Well because today's topic is one of my top blessings of all time. Today?  Today I thankful that I got to marry my soulmate. Me little ole shy country girl was hand picked by prince charming way back in high school. Through out all the "good" advice on how we each needed to live and experience life before being serious we stuck together. We grew together and loved together.

D is such an amazing dad (yes it will probably be the topic of a thankfulness post), a patient husband (yep again another day) and a hard worker (why not add a third day as well).  Just this afternoon I was stopped by a neighbor while checking the mail so she could tell me how hard of a worker he was and how much they appreciate us in the neighborhood.

I am so thankful that of all the girls he chose me!  He really chose me and I could not be happier!

Thank you Cowboy for completing in every way and for loving me endlessly!  (by the way I do have one male reader!  It's the love of my life, supporting me in broadcasting our life to my readers)

November challenge!

November is here! Most look at November as the month of giving thanksgiving. After all we all have so much to be thankful for even if things seem to be piling on us and burying us alive. So while the weather is getting dreary, the scenery not so beautiful and the days all too short, I have decided to keep thing in perspective by doing the November challenge. Each day this month I will blog about a different thing I am thankful for.

As I sit here lots of things are running through my head that I am thankful for. Which one should I pick to start me off? It's a hard decision and for the next 30 days the order of my thankfulness means no importance because obviously some things I am more thankful of than others. So today?

Today I am thankful for family and friends support. Without which I would not be able to accomplish my goals and dreams. I am thankful that I am loved enough that I can always find someone to drop everything and cheer me on in whatever I am doing. This past weekend it happened to be my mom who braved the freezing temps and the obscene trek from the start to the finish line in my last race. On Saturday my mom made sure she and Princess Pie cheered me on at the start and welcomed me with a huge congrats at the finish of my last race in the series. That is right ladies and gentelmen (do I even have any male readers?). I earned my runners jacket! I ran 6 of the series races (two of which were 10ks) to be able to be able to be able to lay claim to the end result of my jacket!

As of now I have run 11 races this year, 8 of them while be pregnant. I'm pretty proud of myself that's for sure!

So to all of you who have cheered me on, or cheered me up as L says. Who have ran with me, encouraged me and supported me, THANK YOU!!! I am truly thankful for each and every one of you!

PS since the computer is broken I will have to use the iPhone as my means to post each day, wish me luck! Oh and I am also thankful I am lucky enough to even have am iPhone!

It's been a LONG time!



I was on a roll, blogging galore (at least for me it was galore) and loving every minute of it. I really really do like writing and getting some of my thoughts out and down even though for most they are just boring tales of a mommy who loves her life. It was all good until the computer crashed and burned and died and went to the graveyard. Not having a computer hasn't been that big of a deal since I am cool enough to have an iPhone. But blogging on the phone was not something I wanted to do and with no pressing thoughts I just let the blog slide.

However, I have missed it like crazy. I missed seeing my little profile and just typing away to clear my mind. So, here I am sitting at my moms in front of her computer in complete bliss. So there is probably lots to update on, I am well into my third trimester, friends all around are popping up preggo and I couldn't be happier, house renovations, hypno birthing, and of course endless Ella stories that leave me rolling with laughter. But my first post after my hiatus? My first post is going to be about friends.

Ever feel like there are certain people that you just instantly connect with? This has happened to me on a few occasions and really that connection is so deep and strong that no matter how many days go by you can always pick up right where you left off. I have a few certain friends from high school that from the first moment I sat down next to them we were joined forever, my neighbor whom I have only been talking to for a little over a year feels like I grew up next door too and now? Now I have a group of fabulous women that a year ago I was calling my Internet Friends. These women started bonding over the birth of our December babies and have never looked back. About 10 months after talking everyday for a couple of years though cyber space we started planning a girls weekend to meet in person.

I was nervous as all get out. Really I had never done anything like this before and have only been out of Maine a few times. But last Friday I found myself boarding a plane and heading to Naples, FL to meet these girls I had shared so much of my life with. And what did I find? I found the friends of a lifetime, exactly like I had pictured them and as easy to be around as anyone of my other friends. Conversation came easy, there was no awkwardness, no feelings of I was mistaken. It was pure enjoyment. These sweet girls even had secretly planned me a baby shower for Friday night. Seriously I got to have a baby shower in Naples, FL? I am super lucky of this I know, friends like these girls don't come around that often. Friends that without a doubt I will be planning another trip to go see, and our daily banter will continue! After all Baby Sprout has some great Cyber Aunties :0)










fall perfection!

Fall is most definetly here!!! I truley love love love this time of year. The smell in the air, the cool nights and mornings, the color changes, the fall flavors, pumpkins, apples, mums you name it and if its a fall thing I love it.

This passed weekend we loaded up the Versa and hit the road for a family fall camping trip. Ella was thrilled that we were tenting it and that it happened to be at a camground a stone's throw away from Storyland!

We set up Friday night in spite of all the rain that was being forecasted for. We figured whats a little rain, we can always go dry out somewhere. But drying out wasn't needed. We spent the night around the campfire, roasting star shaped "marshamelllloooows" and just being together as a family of 3 (with a little kick in the ribs every now and then to remind me we are about to become a family of 4!). D and I talked about how this was Ella's last weekend getaway as an only child and that next year we will be doing this with the addition of a baby and a roof rack carrier for the Versa.

The rain came around midnight and the sound of it on the tent was soothing as I lay thinking things over (yes I am still not sleeping!). Saturday dawned the rain was gone and the sun and some summer temps came out. We hit a pool, went for a hike, found a farm to tour and completely exhausted Ella. When she woke her cousins had arrived and the 4 of them took off like a gang playing on the playground and running while the "big" girls hit the outlets for some shopping.

Sunday was our BIG family day, it was Storyland day!!! Ella is still not completely tall enough but with the right shoes and a hat she passed and she hit all the height requirement rides with a vengence! We spent the day walking around and pretty much closed the park. Little Miss decided to take a nap on the way home (4pm-6pm!) so she was wide awake for the evening. Which was fine since when we got home at 6, I unloaded the car, put everything away, did 2 loads of laundry, cleaned out and organized the coat closet and emptied the playroom of every toy and piece of furniture.

Our "babymoon" weekend was a huge success and we all loved every minute of it. Ella had the time of her life and it makes me sad just a little to think that she will never have times like this again, but I also know how excited she is for her baby brother or sister so it makes me feel a little bit better! Now D is in the process of extreme renovations week, we are living with my parents and our summer of events galore is over :0).... although weekends are not 100% free yet....

Metamorphis....

Change, or evolving into a new thing or pattern can be a good thing. It can be a grand thing. This weekend and first of the week brought about a lot of changes and it started me thinking. Actually, lately all I do is think, it is what happens when sleep evades a person and you are left alone in the wee hours of the night while the house around you is sleeping.

It all started when Ella's caterpillar curled up into its "J" shape and then formed its cocoon. We all know that it will emerge a beautiful butterfly, one of nature's brilliant changes from one stage into the next. As I sat and watched it, while my baby played play dough next to me, I realized how much I have changed in the last few years.

I used to be Type A, I mean you couldn't get any more type A and then add in a little OCD and well you had me. The dishes always had to be done, beds made, floors swept and yada yada yada. You get the picture right? Pretty much an annal retentive bi... I mean bunny. :0) Well now? Now Ella's bed is unmade, there are toys on my floor and I am pretty sure there are lunch dishes in my sink. As for the play dough? I let Ella play with *gasp* TWO colors and goodness gracious I think some of them even got mixed up!!! There may be purple in the white and blue in the yellow...

And you know what? It doesn't bother me! It makes me content to sit and watch her masterpieces come to life. The other day it was snowman building, complete with nose, eyes and a scarf. It makes me happy to know that she is developing and learning while my dishes sit there. I get to spend this time with my baby, everyone knows it goes by way too quickly! And you know what? My blood pressure is probably all the more better for this more lackadaisical attitude. I am ENJOYING life not rushing around trying to make it a perfect life. Don't get me wrong I do clean my house but if I would rather take little miss on a walk around the block first, I do, or if I would rather sit and watch her create, I do that too. After all since I am not sleeping anyway I can do all that stuff when shes asleep for the night.

Other changes that have occurred? Well we welcomed Nolan Joesph into the world on Sunday night and now I get to watch my baby sis enjoy the wonders of motherhood. Ella is in love with him, heck we are all in love with that tiny little wonder of a bean pole!

The wood stove project is about to become full tilt with renovations to the playroom (the room its going in) starting on Monday.

Sprout has reached 26 weeks in gestation!

And on the school front little Miss has embraced it with all her might. She went today with not one tear, gave me a hug and kiss and was off to the morning table for the morning activity. This one made me stop and pause since WOW in one weekend she grew up and doesn't need me as much (insert a few tears here). I picked her up and she has spent the evening teaching us all the songs she now knows....

Of course the weather is changing too, I am so ready to welcome my favorite season! And I am sure there are a billion of other little changes but well I would rather go into the kitchen and chat with Derrick and Ella while they make dinner (thank goodness that hasn't changed! I love having a hubby who likes to take Ella and cook dinner every night!!!) then try to list them all :0)

LIVE LAUGH CHANGE!

Oh and yes speaking of change one last major change, I definitely am sporting a baby bump these days. There is no mistaking I am pregnant. It just came a lot earlier this time than with Ella (another change). Maybe I will be brave enough to post a belly shot soon!

Brag Alert!!!

I am one proud mama tonight!!! I have to say that not only is my daughter super smart and beautiful she is also pretty artistic and did an amazing job with her homework for tomorrow :0) The assignment was to do a self portrait out of crayons, yarn, buttons, and anything else deemed useful in the making of a masterpiece to add to her Me Book at school. I sat Ella down showed her some buttons (she chose 3, two eyes and a nose) some string (she chose green) and then she grabbed the markers. The ONLY part of this project I helped with was squeezing the glue out where she told me and guided me to do so. The results were all her and I am so proud of my little girl. She nailed it. SCORE again for Ella!!!



Take 2!

Today was drop off round two with little princess pie. Ummmm yeah it was sort of a hysterical event. Ella woke up crying and saying "Mommy I love you I don't want to go, I just love you too much". Yep way to break a mom's heart! She also tried so hard to not cry that it broke my heart even more. I hate when she tries to brave it out and wipe the tears away cause she is trying so hard to be a big girl :0/.

I dropped her off and went and sweat it out at the gym for an hour ran a few quick errands and bee lined it back to be in the first round of pick ups today. As I pulled in I saw my blond little princess head bobbing out on the playground *gasp* actually smiling and standing next to other children!!! SCORE Ella! Then Miss Mary informed me that Ella had an excellent day, she calmed down way quicker than Miss Mary thought she would AND chatted it up at the play dough table. *sigh* yep I was a proud mama!!!

Such a good day deserved a special lunch date with none other than Dear Old Dad so we headed to make it happen. Lunch turned into picking Dear Old Dad up and coming home for a whole family snuggle/nap! Really couldn't get much better than having the loves of my life snuggled up next to me. Ella's nap turned into a nap marathon of over 3 hours and D and I got some "nesting" stuff out of the way.

The day wrapped up with a perfect walk to the library where we happened to find a Monarch caterpillar on the way home!!! The caterpillar is now taking up residence in our living room and Princess Pie is excited to see it turn into "a BIG BEAUTIFUL BUTTERFLY!!!!"

Really I love what I do :0)


Fairy Tales

Yesterday marked the end of our wedding attending summer marathon. We attended our 6th and last wedding of this season and I have to say that it went out on a beautiful note. Sitting there in the field where the Bride and Groom spent endless hours walking and talking late at night more then a decade ago, with the never ending blue sky, smell of hay and lemonade in the air and all of the details that made this wedding I was full of happiness and joy. Afterall I was sitting there next to the love of my life.

The ceremony was absolutely perfect, full of tidbits of personal dairy entries and letters long ago written. You could honestly see and feel the love that these two share with each other. As I sat there a bit teary eyed I realized that these two have found and were living their fairy tale.

Words can not even begin to describe this event that the bride obviously had amazing vision to pull off. It was a antique country fair atmosphere. Complete with lemonade stands and a photo both. Bags of kettle corn and yummy BBQ. Apple crisp and even a small fire works show in the middle. It was stunning and beautiful and the perfect day for a wedding. Sort of makes me wish I could plan another wedding just to use some of the ideas.

Speaking of my own wedding though. I still believe that that one was the best wedding on earth by the way (well excfept my wedding photos those I hate and the thought of them makes me want to vomit or punch something) and yesterdays wedding had me thinking an awful lot.

There was something about the wedding yesterday that was similar to ours. A little extra feeling in the air that was unconcious and strong. Then I realized both weddings had a little something extra. They were the weddings of a boy and a girl who had grown up together, matured together and became man and women together. They were the weddings of long time high school sweethearts. Don't get me wrong, I have been to non high school sweetheart weddings that had just as much love but there was this history there. This easiness of having known your better half as a "child" and really that means something to me.

I sat there and held hands with the love of my life. My high school love. We tore up the dance floor, walked under the stars and sat by the marshmellow roasting fires and could not have been any deeper in love with each other. And after 11 years of being together and almost 5 of them being husband and wife I could not love that man he turned out to be anymore if I tried. I do fall in love with him over and over and have grown to love him deeper than I ever thought possible.

Yes I am one of the ones who lives the Fairy Tale, the annoying one who's spouse really truly is my best friend, the one that really never fights for longer than 20 minutes and always makes up with a kiss and a laugh. I am proud of my love I have found. We both are better people and combined our brain power is dangerous, as we are starting to now see in the personality of our little girl. Fairy Tales it seems really do come true :0)

LIVE LAUGH LOVE

Double Feature

As we gear up to attend out last wedding of the season, things most certainly have slowed down. Weekends are almost 100% ours again and the air is turning brisk. I LOVE LOVE LOVE fall its my favorite time of the year. I am having a hard time not being able to head out for a fall day run but with apple picking activities already underway and a fall camping trip scheduled I will deal :0) So I thought I would sneak in two small clips of the love of my life because like fall I am so in love with her. She makes me laugh so hard, so hopefully she can bring a smile to your face too :0)



video
video

deep breath....

The moment, I mean THE moment that a mother holds her baby in her arms, whether that baby was born vaginally, via c-section, born through the adoption process or by surrogate mother, the mother instantly starts holding her heart in her arms.

My heart started beating on the outside of my body on December 6, 2008 and from that moment on I could not imagine ever letting go. I am one of the lucky ones who gets to stay home and watch my heartbeat grow and soar, learn and discover. Sure that choice means that as I sit here my hair is in dire need of salon attention, I am adorned in less than fashionable clothes and the computer I type on is running in dumb down mode that doesn't even support a printer. We never take family vacations, instead we can make a pretty darn good fort getaway right here in our living room that holds mismatched hand me down furniture and 130 year old windows that probably need to be replaced. We have one car and that means on days like tomorrow Ella and I will have to stay home and discover things right here on P Street.

For the last 2 years and 9 months (as of Monday!) I have loved every bit of having my princess pie with me. I have loved having my little side kick through out the day to day routine and in fact would be willing to give up more to continue to make it happen. I think that is why it was so hard today to leave my heart standing in the middle of her classroom with tears streaming down her sweet little face. Blurred by my own tears I made it back down the stairs and out to the car before I could change my mind and scoop her up and just say the hell with it, mommy will home school. When your heart is on the outside of you it often times is just full of joy and wonder and amazement and love. But when your little heartbeat breaks your heart doesn't tear or break it shatters!

I sat in the parking lot of the doctor's office for 15 minutes composing myself to go in and have my 24 week appointment (oh gosh I am going to have to do this again with Thing 2 some day!) and reminding myself that it all will be ok. There will come a day that drop off is a simple back handed wave and a bye mom, then before I know it, its going to be the stay in the car mom so you don't embarrass me. And then oh God it's going to be the mom can you come with me to drop my baby off so I have someone there (Thanks Mom for coming today!). Boy does life speed up when your heart is on the outside.

I just need to remember to breathe deep and take it all in. My baby is grown up now and I need to let her go learn and discover without me. She is so smart I have no doubt she will soak it all in, but in the mean time I guess I need to get out the glue and put myself back together and hope that next Tuesday its a little less heart shattering....

LIVE LAUGH BREATHE!!!!!!!!

Paradise and tears...

It is the eve of my baby girl's first day of preschool. I find myself tearing up and having a really hard time putting on the brave front. I am keeping myself busy tonight so that I can be as occupied as possible but when Ella, fresh from a bath and in cuddly jammies, asked for a book and a snuggle I stopped all and happily squeezed in next to her. As I sat and read the back of my mind just kept thinking how did this happen? How did she get so big and so smart so fast? I know that school is going to be great for her. I know that after a few weeks she is going to love it. But tomorrow morning (as my chicken of a husband heads to work so HE doesn't have to be the bad guy) I am going to smile on the outside and be crying buckets on the inside as I leave my girl alone and nervous at school.

On a brighter and much more pleasant note, I did not have to drop her off yesterday (the real first day) since we were making our way back from the most fantastic family vacation ever. Set on a picturesque Maine island the vacation script could not have been more perfect. We left Saturday morning at 4 am to hit the 10 am ferry and boy it was great! We saw the sunrise on the way up and had blue skies for the ferry over. There was lots of kite flying, morning family snuggles in bed as the cool ocean air breezed through the open window and funny night time routines. There was hiking and fairy house building, picnics at the lake and delicious lobster dinners! We had crackling fires at night while we sat around and played games and ate some more. The deer came out to feed on apples, the butterflies swirled by and the mood was all about relaxation! We love the Isle Au Haut and are so very thankful that we are invited to experience the island life for the long weekend!!!
Hurricane Irene did not bring much action to Maine over the weekend. It was fizzled down to a pretty minor tropical storm by the time it reached us. I was disappointed that we did not see more winds and rain. I was sort of looking forward to actually having some excitement and we were hoping to lose a couple trees while we were at it!

While the storm did nothing but prevent us from being outside and losing power for 12 hours (My parents fared worse they lost a bunch of trees and had the lines ripped from their house so they are in the dark for a week at the least....). It left a lot of time to think and reflect. And yesterday I came to this conclusion:

I have THE MOST beautiful, witty, smart, creative little girl on the face of this planet. She is hilarious to be around, always brings a smirk to my face (even when she is being a bit sassy) and is just absolutely GORGEOUS! There is no one on Earth that even comes close to matching her.

Then it hit me. While I think these things of my daughter my opinion is not shared by all. They think they have the best kid out there. And you know what? They do! We all do. The act of being biased to our children is the best gift that we can give them. By thinking that our children are better than all and can accomplish whatever they set their little minds to, we are setting them up with one of the most important concepts to finagle their way through this obstacle filled world. We are giving them a perpetual cheerleader that has unconditional confidence in them and their abilities. It gives them a boost up, a feeling of worth and meaning.

So do I have the most amazing 2 year old? Absolutely!! Can she do anything, heck ya! She is the best thing ever to appear in this world and for the rest of my life I will be cheering as loud as I can for her. She will do amazing things, of this I am sure! For now though she can entertain like no other. With her big beautiful eyes, crooked smile and endless out of no where chatter she is just PERFECT!!!

So to all you moms out there. No need to hold back. Let the world know who you are cheering for and how awesome they are and that yep in fact they are better than anyone else's kids. Feed them that support that they need in order to believe that yes I can do this, I can make my dreams come true. I will not fail and mom will always be right there beside me waving her pompoms!!!

LIVE LAUGH CHEER!!!!!!

wishy washy...

OK time for some hardcore truth that I am not all too proud of. It is getting closer and closer to arrival time for the baby. Well not THAT close, but close enough to realize that I am over half way there and it IS going to happen in the near future.

Now we chose not to know the sex of this baby. By we I mean I. I just really wanted something different this time around. So far other than the sickness being a little more extreme and the movement a little more felt everything is exactly the same. I am carrying the same, I feel the same, and if it wasn't for longer hair I would look the same.

There is an envelope in my house that will tell me the sex. Everyone around me wants to know. I am the only one preventing anyone from knowing but I just want this to be a surprise I really do.

As I lay awake the last few nights, since sleep is something that has left my life, I just can't help but think I may be making a mistake. Well not a mistake, but am I making the best choice? It is not like I have a preference as to what this baby is, boy or girl, it doesn't matter it will be loved endlessly. But I am afraid to admit I am going to need time to get used to the idea of it being one and not the other. Should I prepare myself now? Will it be ok to find out when I hold the baby? Preparing myself wont take away from that moment will it? Will I feel disappointment if it is one and not the other? I am so so so trying to wrap my head around all of this. And then there is Ella to think of. Is it better to know so we can say she is having a brother or a sister so she can get familiar with it?

Oh boy what your brain comes up with in the wee hours of the night as the rain comes pouring down and Irene makes her way closer and closer... Although now its just a tropical storm for us! YAY and also BOOOOO, I was hoping for some safe storm watching action!!!

LIVE LAUGH THINK!

Oh Irene!!!!!!!!!!

Ok so you know how you always have a list of NEVER EVER EVER will I name my kid that names? Well mine happens to be pretty long long long list considering I have worked with children for the last 11 years. Some names on the list stem from kids I had in rec (in fact one of the boy names I LOVED was thrown out the window because of ONE rec kid...). Some come from the preschool program through out college (ummm this program however, also gave me a name that I LOVE and also love the kid it went with so we may probably use this name for a boy!) and some or most are from the 5 years of being in the school district.

However, I can now add Irene to the list based solely on the fact that Hurricane Irene is ruining my life! Well maybe not my life but most definitely my weekend. All summer I mean ALL summer I have been looking forward to getting me some Kenny glimpses and a little Zac Brown and Billy wouldn't have hurt either. I purchased the most adorable little (I mean LITTLE) jean skirt off a friend. (Thank goodness she has great taste and just had her baby so her maternity clothes were up for grabs). I planned my hair style complete with a cowboy hat and was in search of the perfect boots (can a girl ever have enough boots?!).

All for nothing! NOTHING! Stupid Irene has ruined it all. Sundays show was canceled and moved to Friday. Ummm hello, Friday does NOT work for me. No sitter, not to mention my husband has to work and I am throwing a baby shower for my sister Saturday so I have to be up and at em at the crack of dawn to set up and do last minute things! UGH way to ruin a girls life Irene, just for that I will NEVER EVER EVER name my offspring in your honor. Not that I am too keen on the name Irene anyway but not its def on "the LIST".

LIVE LAUGH SULK!

open the floodgates!!!!!!!

Oh boy my baby is growing up! When did she get so big? So smart? So helpful? We got a letter in the mail today from her teacher. My little princess pie starts school just 2 weeks from today!!! Am I ready for this? Hell to the NO. Is she ready for this? Probably way more than I am!

In two weeks I will be dropping my little girl off to learn even more and become even smarter. What am I going to do with my Tuesday and Thursday mornings? I know the first month of them I will probably just come home and cry and count the minutes until I can pick her up. Then I will develop a routine of errands, gym and cleaning only to have it disrupted when Thing 2 arrives. Then I will have to juggle baby and getting princess pie to school....

Ella is more than grown up enough to handle this new part of her weekly schedule. After all she is waking up in the morning, brushing her own hair, putting her clothes on and doing her teeth all by herself. The little wonder even started doing laundry for me! I now have my very own Laundry Fairy! (click on Laundry Fairy to see the video!) Last night D came into the room and asked if I asked L to do laundry. Ummm no I did not. When I went to investigate I found her humming and doing laundry all by herself!

Not only is she doing laundry she is making lists as well of things we need to do and buy for the baby. Seriously with no encouragement she sat at her desk last night, pulled out some paper and a marker and got to work. Last nights list included buy the baby an Ergo, (which was then crossed off because she decided the baby could just use hers and she would walk) a car seat (that needs to be installed next to hers and Ranger's blanket will just have to be moved, since the baby needs that seat more than the dog) and bottles so she could help feed it.

My baby is growing up so quickly! She is turning into a responsible and respectful little lady and I couldn't be happier but that doesn't stop the tears from streaming down when I think about her getting so big!

Live Laugh SLOW DOWN TIME!

PS Today she informed me that she was not Ella but she was Doctor Ella and that I needed to come in for my appointment and to hold lunch cause she was too busy taking care of people to eat right now.... Really!?! I am constantly amazed with her thought process!

beautiful weather!

Last night it poured and poured and poured some more. I lay in bed watching the streams of water running down the window and listening to the pitter patter of it on the roof and air conditioner. Nights like these I love, I love being there next to my best friend in the dark while the whole house is asleep for the night. The contentment just settles right in and rests me and sleep is not even needed (although I could have done without the 12 trips to the bathroom).

When the rain came to an end the day dawned, bright beautiful and breezy. It is literally a perfect late summer day. Where being outside is enjoyable and craved. L and I took advantage of the weather and agreed to meet some great friends (who we hadn't seen in 4 months!) at a local pond to explore the trails around it. The woods were damp and cool and just plain awesome to be walking through. Ella asked to ride in the Ergo and well I can never resist that little imp so I let her hope on. We took the short walk to the other side and climbed up the hill. On the top we were met with a pretty impressive sight of the pond and a feeling of standing on the top of the world.

The girls stopped and got into exploring after a little snack of trail mix and water. They busily gathered sticks, pine needles, pine cones, acorns, leaves and any other piece of natural item that Mother Nature already discarded to build themselves their own fairy house. The mom's sat there and talked and caught up listening to the girls just interact and truly enjoy each other's company. I got to snuggle Mr. Handsome himself, a 4 month old ball of smiles and pure cuteness, and soak up all the sun.

Towards the end of our rest L fell and reopened her Saturday knee wound. The wound is pretty weepy and bloody and instead of going to have lunch she wanted to just go home. I am hoping the knee heals quickly and leaves no scar (although I have a scar from a knee injury in the exact same place).

I can't wait for our next big adventure with Crystal, Molly and Grady. And I hope this weather sticks around for a few weeks!

Live Laugh SUNSHINE!

Road Trippin'

Friday mid morning we started off. The car loaded down (well not really just 3 bags), the snacks and the water handy and our bladders empty. We were making our way through the winding roads and mountains of NH and VT straight into NY for our 5th wedding celebration of the summer.

The trip started off great. But there was a point there in the middle where I admit my preggo grouchies took over. We were behind Hill Billy Joe traveling on route 9, no way to pass, cars backed up and uncomfortableness (which is probably not a word but well I am using it!) settling in. I admit I snapped at my forever understanding husband and refused to talk for a bit. At one point he commented that our two year old daughter travels better than her mother. Which yes, she definitely did better than me at this point. That girl took a 4 and half hour trip with the ease of a well traveled veteran. She never asked for a potty break, she never complained, whined, or asked to get out of her car seat. She spent her time drawing and reading and looking forward to crossing bridges.

Once we got to NY I realized that going through VT was the best way (I admitted this today on the way home to D because yes he was right and I was wrong...shhhh). The arrival to the big ole city of Albany (which to L is a HUGE city) brought on a ton of excitement. I mean the most fun a little girl could ever ever have. She was awed by the buildings and the traffic and by the "elegator" rides. She took to the difference in lifestyle like a fish to the water and I am pretty sure we are going to lose her one day to the city and she will be my own little city fashionista.

Friday night was a great night to catch up with family and start the wedding weekend. We dined and some of us drank (Ella and I had Shirley Temples, which of course was a HUGE hit with both her and little sprout). We retired early after a swim in the pool and a late night snack delivered by room service. That alone caused Ella quite joy, to get to eat "machoes" with Daddy that the man brought all the way to our room.

Saturday dawned cloudy and gray but dry. We headed out to breakfast where our little princess pie sustained her first ever blood injury when a sidewalk fall skinned both her knees. To her the day was over, she couldn't walk or even eat. The well anticipated wedding dancing in her mind was over, she fell and it was the end of the world. We laid low, skipped some of the festivities and took a swim and then a nap before catching the shuttle.

By the time the shuttle rolled in, our Ella was back and the excitement was pure joy to my heart. Ever feel sometimes you are so in love that you could cry? Yep looking at her little face turned up with wonder and her little voice high and squeaky with excitement as she narrated her experience to us was just pure heaven.

The wedding site was just beautiful situated on the bank of a lake on a bed of green green grass. The vows were perfect for the couple and the reception site just up the hill was simple elegance. We dined on lobster ravioli (Ella got a kick out of the server who had hidden pizza "just" for her) and salad after a sea of passed hors d'oeuvre. It was at this time that the I mean THE most anticipated part of the weekend started.

Ella had been talking about wedding dancing since last month when Derrick and I attended another wedding. When we dropped her off at my parents she asked where we were going. When I replied to a wedding she responded with "will there be dancing?" Ummm yes. "Will you dance with Daddy?" Ummm yep. "Well you know I love wedding dancing too!!! (with a slap to her leg a little disgusted she wasn't invited) I promised her I would take her to a wedding that there would be lots of dancing at and this weekend was THE WEEKEND!

She was a conga starting, booty shaking, getting down Diva! She danced and danced and danced some more. She out danced me and even refused an ice cream sundae to stay on the dance floor! When the little dancer was about to drop and my round ligament pain had me nearly doubled over we caught the shuttle back to the hotel. There we were surprised to see the fire trucks out front and the firemen going in to the hotel. My nephew was BESIDE himself. And demanded to know why they were there. Upon investigation we learned they were there to rescue 11 people out of a stuck elevator. This set his little 4 year old eyes ablaze with excitement which then transferred over to my little 2 year old and the two of them together were beyond calm downable! My nephew calls what happened his "very first rescue" (watching made him part of the crew!) and Ella keeps talking about "The floor to the elegator was gone, it wasn't there. I thought it was there but then it was not there. The men had to go down down down down and and and" and she flusters cause there is so much excitement and can't finish!

We set back out today for the trip home and again we had a seasoned veteran traveler who we had to talk into stopping for lunch...

PHEW! That was a long post, but it was a jam packed weekend of fun and adventure for our little family of 3.5 and I loved every second of it! Even the being stuck behind Hill Billy Joe part!

LIVE LAUGH VROOOOM!

CONGRATS TO ALI AND BRIAN!!!! YOUR WEDDING WAS A BLAST, THANK YOU!!!!