To-Do Before Baby

You know your Due Date is quickly approaching when:
a. You have done more loads of laundry than you can count
b. You cannot sleep 
c. You keep checking the front door for packages from Amazon
d. You feel like your next sneeze will send the baby through your birth canal
e. All of the above

If you picked “e” then you are correct, my friend. There’s a laundry list (no pun intended) of things I’d like to accomplish before the baby comes. Notice how I said: “I’d like to…” because really, nothing HAS to get done before the baby arrives. As long as my boobs don’t disappear anytime soon and the hospital sends me home with diapers (for both baby & me), I’m all set. Even the car seat doesn’t technically need to be installed–we can do that one there.

However, it would be icing on the cake if I could accomplish at least some things on my many on-going lists. With my first baby, everything was done weeks and weeks–if not three months–in advance (i.e., hospital bag packed). With more or less than 25 days ’til D-Day {eek!!}, I’m proud of what I’ve checked off thus far:

Wash newborn clothes
Hospital bag packed (ehem... does it count if I have at least written the list?)
Emmalyn’s bag packed (in case we have to send her off somewhere real fast)
Buy baby book
Wash breast pump (find it first…)
Buy new nursing bras
Install car seat (it’s washed and sitting in baby’s room. Good enough.)
Hang up wall art in baby’s room 

Order Big Sister gift from Mommy & Daddy
Get gifts “To & From” sisters (someone suggested the baby *get* Emmalyn a gift, and Emmalyn get the baby a gift. I thought this was a super cute idea)
Stock up on Tucks & pads
Emmalyn’s totally necessary outfit for meeting her new baby sister in the hospital
Deep clean the house
Going Home Outfit, complete with ridiculously cute big bows

You would think I would be stressed with all the “To-Do’s” but I’m not. Not this time around! I know the importance of Letting Things Go. Sometimes you just need to take care of Y-O-U and I refuse to compromise my sanity and health for the sake of a clean house or fancy newborn outfits. For the most part, I’ve been having fun checking things off the list bit-by-bit, especially ordering things off Etsy and Amazon, and decorating Baby Girl’s room. I realize that if I can’t check off something from the list, it’s not the end of the world. That’s what husbands are for…



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Bumpdate: 36 Weeks ~ Baby #2

How far along: 36 weeks… 4 weeks left… 1 week ’til full-term 🙂
Symptoms: Oh how I despise you heartburn, indigestion, & acid reflux… especially in the middle of the night! Also, itchy legs, hip/groin/back pain, tiredness
Total weight gain: 24 pounds… less than what I gained with Emmalyn, so far. I have her to thank, too, because she doesn’t let me sit still.
Gender: girl!
Movement: Somtimes her kicks and punches are so sudden and intense that they can be painful
Sleep: I’ve been applying lavender essential oil to my face and have been meditating before bed and it has helped a lot! It also helps that Emmalyn is finally letting Blake put her to bed, so I can sneak in a little extra downtime like reading watching Dancing with the Stars before I call it a night.
Cravings & Aversions: I’ve had such a sweet tooth for chocolate
What I Miss: Not having to pee every thirty minutes (or less)!
Looking Forward To: Finding out what this new little one will look like!



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Only-Child Expiration

I’ve been pretty emotional lately, thinking about Emmalyn no longer being an only child, and how our moments of just “Emmy-&-Me” are fleeting. Really, just thinking about it now—to type these words—is sending me into basket-case mode. It seems selfish to say I’m “mourning” the loss of her being an only-child, when we are about to welcome such an incredible gift into our family, but that’s how I feel. I never imagined or wanted Emmalyn to be an only-child, and having another baby is a blessed miracle come true, but I can’t help but feel insanely emotional over it. Maybe it’s because I’m an only-child, and I’m losing this ‘piece’ Emmalyn and I share together? I’m not sure…
With more-or-less than five weeks to go until we become a family of four {say, what?!?}, I’m desperately trying to make extra lovey-dovey and exciting memories; and freeze these moments, engraving them deep into my marrow. We even went out for ice cream, which if you know me personally, is a big deal for me because I only let Emmalyn eat ice cream at birthdays. I’m carrying this huge bag of guilt around, and am finding myself becoming a pushover when it comes to my soon-to-be Biggest Girl. I want to do everything I can to make her the happiest she can be in these last few weeks of being an Only Child.
Like the other day… I really didn’t want to walk to the park because my big ‘ole belly makes me feel like I’m carrying around permanent 50-lb. weights, but Emmalyn wanted to and I wanted to make her happy. Taking her to the pool by myself over the weekend was also physically exhausting, but the pure look of giddiness on her face and the sound of her non-stop laughter was simply magical. I traded in my permanent weights for a permanent smile across my own face. It made every ache and pain in my pregnant body 100x worth it.
I’ve almoststopped complaining about laying in her bed (for sometimes up to an hour) while she falls asleep, and instead, sit there in silence, replaying her beautiful smile over and over in my head. I know the moments of catching her in a peaceful slumber are becoming less and less frequent. I try to remember her little idiosyncrasies, like how I have to turn every!single!page! in the book at the end even if there aren’t any words or pictures on these pages. Or how her pillow has to be placed just so in order to lay her little blonde head down. Or how she has to pick out the “right” silverware to eat from. The list goes on and on…
I never want to forget these moments with her. 
For the past three-and-a-half years, Emmalyn has been my life—my “best girl,” as I say to her. And in five weeks, her world will be flipped upside down and she will have to share that title. A part of me is sad for her–to have to give up a part of her time with me to share with her little sister. Some days I’m just not ready. Then there’s the other part of me who couldn’t be more ecstatic to witness my two girls become the best of friends, each other’s maid of honors, and partners in crime (even if that involves lying to me and sneaking behind my back)!

I know she’s a happy child and her love-tank is filled. This is only the beginning of some pretty amazing memories being made, so I know I shouldn’t feel guilty. I know it. I do. But I can’t help it. I find myself terribly teary-eyed throughout the day (damn hormones!) over how incredible my little girl is. 
She’s the light in my life; what makes my world so perfect. She’s the greatest gift I’ve ever been given, and I love her more than anything else in the world.



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Bumpdate: 34 Weeks ~ Baby #2

{34 weeks with a baby gator… how about them apples?!}

How far along: 34 weeks

Symptoms: heartburn, indigestion, itchy skin, major hip/groin pain, tired, back pain

Total weight gain: 17lbs. and counting…?

Gender: girl 🙂

Major jabs to the bladder

It’s getting harder to stay asleep longer, and to find a comfortable position

Cravings & Aversions:
  I smelled someone chewing Big Red gum the other day and wanted some so bad! I don’t know where that came from because I haven’t had that gum since I was a kid! Ha! I didn’t find any at the grocery store today–darnit! The smell of the seafood section at the grocery store makes me want to run in the other direction–gag!

Funny Moments:  When asked about how she felt about her little sister Emmalyn said, “We will be the best girls ever… The baby is in mommy’s belly and is coming in a few minutes.”

Not So Funny Moments: Almost every time I sneeze or cough….

Nesting: It’s interesting, and also frustrating, that one day I will have the energy to “nest” and the next I won’t. 

Best Moments This Week:  Having my in-laws visit us and letting The Hubs and I sleep in. While my body will not let me sleep past 7am anymore, it was still nice to wake up to a quiet house while they took Emmy out for breakfast. (Thank you!!)

What I Miss:
  Running around after Emmy with ease

Looking Forward To:
  Seeing Emmy become a big sister!
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How to Have a Successful Family/Maternity Shoot

Here are my top eight tips on how to have a successful family/maternity shoot:
8. Have your photographer wear a monkey on her head to capture your three year-old’s attention
7. Clone your photographer or sneak her a magical drink to grow an extra set of arms
6. Hire a retired Olympic runner to chase after your wild free-spirited child
5. Bribe! Bribe! Bribe! said free-spirited child with cookies and/or lollipops
4. Allow child to eat sand just so you can sneak in a pretty picture with your husband
3. Imagine the worst possible scenario, like your child throwing The World’s Greatest Tantrum, then be pleasantly surprised when that actually doesn’t happen
2. Pray
1. Just let it be
Does this look like the face of a child who would run wild and free??
 ^ ^ I’m seriously obsessed ^^
Maternity pictures were so much easier the first time around, but I’ll admit they’re so much sweeter the second time around, being able to include “The Big Sister.” 
Have you gotten maternity/family pictures taken? What tips would you add?
Thank you to Danielle Wilkinson Photography… Can’t wait until the newborn shots!
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