Monday, September 29, 2014


I'm probably going to be posting a lot this coming month about various projects/family outings, so I thought I'd first sneak in a little update about what we've been up to lately. October is always THE MOST CRAZY month of the year for us. I don't know just is. And this year it happens to be the month before a new baby- so it's even more insane.

Anyway. Here's a breakdown of our life :)


The mr. has been busy with work mostly. He entered a really awesome drawing into a contest at the hospital, and if he wins he gets a $25 gift card to Craft Warehouse. Ha. I said, "What are you gonna do with that?" and he said, "I was going to give it to you." So sweet :) He knows the way to my heart for sure.

He also has been taking patients on fly-fishing trips, which he LOVES. This really is his dream job (for the most part..). There are definitely parts of his work that are somewhat awful/disgusting/trying on his patience but he has the passion to truly help these people and improve the quality of their life.

When he comes home he devotes himself 100% to the kids and I. I'll be honest- by the end of the day I'm pretty much worn out and just want a break. I'm so glad that I can look forward to this break every day at 4 pm :) Yesterday he watched the kids while I took a 4 hour nap. It was heaven. He never complains either, probably because in return I make delicious homemade meals and baked goods ;) (sometimes that meal is mac n cheese, but still..)


I've been trying to put a lot of focus these days on getting ready for labor and delivery. I slacked off for a long time because I was just SO sore in my hips and really, really tired. But it seems like I've gotten a surge of energy from who-knows-where...suddenly I'm realizing I'm not as prepared as I thought I'd be. So in my spare time I'm either reading, getting into positions on my birth ball, practicing pain-management with ice cubes, or attempting self-hypnosis. I didn't realize how difficult that last one would is SO hard for me to truly relax and stop my mind from racing back and forth. Jonathan has been a great help- he'll hand me the ice cubes and place them behind my ears and time the fake "contractions" while encouraging me through the pain. It's not super fun but it does help me feel more ready for the big day :)

And then there's everything else. We've searched our garage high and low for the box of newborn and 0-3 baby girl clothes. So as of right now I have NO clothes for baby, which is a little stressful. I refuse to buy a bunch of clothes when I know they are hiding somewhere... :(

It still seems like I have a million projects to get done in the 5 remaining weeks... but honestly I would rather just bounce on my ball. This thing melts my aches away!

Yesterday our Stake had a "Day of Service" followed by the Women's Broadcast. It was a crazy time but wonderful. It definitely got me thinking about finding more time in my life to serve others.

The Primary had their big program a few weeks ago and I was SO proud of our little guy! I love that he loves learning the songs and he sings them ALL the time. He even memorized his part and said it perfectly, with a super serious and concentrated look on his face. haha. He's repeated his part so much in the last month that even Charlotte has it memorized, too.

I am really thankful for the Primary program. I can see his testimony growing a little more every month. He's so eager to know his Savior. 

Talmage still loves cars/trucks, ninjas, superheroes, dinosaurs, and pretty much anything that boys love :) He is REALLY excited to either be Spiderman or Batman for Halloween (or both!). He tells everyone he meets about his new sister coming soon, and that she is growing in mommy's tummy. Some people are like "aww, how sweet" and some (like total strangers) think he's a weirdo for talking to them. haha. One quirky thing he does lately is say "last year" a lot. Like, for example: "Did you make that last year?" or, "Who said the prayer last year?" or, "But I took a nap LAST year!" I keep reminding him the word he's looking for is "yesterday." I have no idea how his timeline got so messed up.

Still, we love our little Talmage. He is so darn sweet, good-natured, and genuine. 


Ohhh my little Charlotte. She is just the sweetest. Both Jonathan and I talk to each other all the time about how we just CAN'T get enough of her and does she really need to grow up??

Everything about this girl is adorable. I don't wanna be one of THOSE moms that says annoying things like that all the time so I'll just say it once- right now. She is the freaking most adorable little girl ever. Her toothy smile, her ringlet-y (and sometimes lioness) hair, her little words and phrases, and just her overall personality make me want to squeeze her little body and kiss her face constantly. Sure, she's a sassy pants...but even that is cute. I think that as the time approaches for another gal in our family, I realize more and more just how special Charlotte is and that no one will ever take her place. We will love the new sis just as much but C will never be "our other daughter". She is one of a kind :)

And yes, she has chosen to be Cinderella this year for Halloween. However much I love making costumes, it's just NOT gonna happen this year. And sometimes you just gotta let your boy be a superhero and your daughter be a princess, for heaven's sake. As a bonus, her "Cinderwella-lala" dress is so so darling on her.  I just about died.

Charlotte loves Sophia the first, Doc McStuffins, all things princess-y, cats and kittens, and playing with her kitchen and dishes. She brings me "breakfast" every day (just a bunch of fake fruit and such) and rubs my belly as I pretend to eat. Like Talmage, she's very aware of the baby in there and though she's too much a busy-body to sit quietly and feel the baby's movements, sometimes it happens while she's on my lap reading and she thinks it is the MOST amazing thing ever. I love those moments.

These two are READY for baby to come. I've been cherishing every week with them knowing this time with just the two of them is precious and won't last long. They are best friends- I hope that all three of our kids will be the best of friends as time goes on.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Charlotte's big girl room

When we found out we were having another girl, I walked into C's room a few days later and tried to imagine two little beds in there for two little girlies...her room is not huge, and there was no way it was gonna happen unless I did some serious re-arranging.

We actually aren't planning on having the girls in the room together right away. I've always preferred to have my babies sleep close to me for the first 5-6 months, whether in our bed or a bed close to ours. We are preparing a "nursery area" in our bedroom for baby girl but it's not quite done yet. I have to tackle one room at a time so as not to get overwhelmed!

When baby girl is big enough for a toddler bed (which for us usually happens around 17-18 months) OR when we get tired of her taking up space in our room and we feel it safe to have them together, then the two sisters will share a bedroom. But in the meantime, C gets the room all to herself.

It seemed like the perfect time to add some "big girl" elements- mostly to give Charlotte a space that would match her growing personality.
(Plus the whole nesting concept is completely taking me over...I feel like EVERY room needs updated before baby arrives!)

Charlotte LOVES babies. And so...all over her room were baby strollers, a baby bed, baby highchair, baby clothes, etc. There was a dresser taking up lots of space along the wall, and tons of her old nursery decor everywhere. But the thing taking up the most space? THAT DARN CRIB! :) I have a love/hate relationship with our crib...I loved it when we bought it, but the paint has been chewed on/chipped and I hate using it as a day bed. It's just so big and dark and well...ugly. haha.

Before I go into it all, I want to note that anytime we "re-decorate" we try to spend as LITTLE money as possible. I know I'm not alone in this :) Usually I just move stuff around, re-purpose things I don't like, and try to craft/sew any new elements instead of purchasing them from a store (which, let's be honest, just don't feel as good to decorate with. I'm a sucker for the home decor isles at Target, but anytime I purchase something instead of making it, it feels pretty meaningless...for those things I could NEVER make myself- I gladly browse for at Target instead!).

This is what I did before the "re-decorating" began:

*Shoved (neatly, of course) all the baby clutter stuff into one half of her closet.
*Moved dresser into other half of the closet, along with all the little hair accessories that were originally hung on the wall.
*Took down the mobile hanging from the ceiling, nursery art on the wall, tissue poms above her bed, and all the other little thingies I made for her nursery long ago. I did NOT throw any of it away (except the poms and mobile that would not store well)- in fact all the cute little nursery stuff is tucked safely away into storage. I didn't have it in me to trash it.
*Got that stupid crib out right away...Charlotte slept on two stacked mattresses for a few weeks. She thought it was awesome.
*Some stuff I didn't even budge- toy storage dresser, bookshelf, play kitchen. Once little sis moves in we'll move the play kitchen to the other side of the room to make room for her bed.

Her room felt pretty empty after that, so first thing I did was hang up some frames. Aside from all the unavoidable pink (...there's just no way around all that pink) the color scheme for her new room is coral, mint, and silver. Yep, silver. I've been noticing gold as being really trendy lately...and while I love how others have used it in their homes, it's just not me. (Maybe someday I'll catch on...I'm just not that bold yet!) I thought, "If gold can look so great, why not silver?" I was hesitant at first, but once we spray painted our Ikea UNG frame a metallic color- I was in LOVE. It feels so elegant and sophisticated, yet whimsical and girly. Yes I did just use all those words to describe a color. :)

There are also a lot of polka dots. Obviously I kinda like them. ha.

Everything on this wall we already had. I kept the plastic frames white and painted the others silver. I filled the frames with polka dot paper because it was easy and cute.

Anyway- she already had some coral and mint elements (and did I mention- a LOT of pink?!). I tried to weed out as much pink as I could, but some stuff had to stay. And that's okay...her room is definitely not all matchy-matchy like something off of Pinterest but it does feels like more of a toddler room than a nursery now.

We didn't get new bedding because her beloved blanket that she's obsessed with wasn't going ANYwhere...and it matches the color scheme, so I just laid on top of her comforter. I did sew a new crib sheet because her other was one was- yep- baby pink. haha. I wanted to make a matching pillow case but again...she would never let me take her minky one away. She is a huge minky fan. I'm convinced this fabric has magical powers- anytime she's upset all I have to do is rub it against her cheeks and wallah- happy girl :)

I opted for a little decorative pillow instead. You can tell I couldn't pick which fabric to use, so there's lots of different ones. I love that Joann's has fabric with silver on it!

I saw this fabric strip garland tutorial all over Pinterest and thought it would be a nice addition to the empty wall space. It really filled the wall perfectly and it's probably my favorite thing in the room. It was so much fun picking out these fabrics!

To incorporate the polka dots a bit more, I got these three art canvasses and painted them a bright coral color, then stuck tons of vinyl silver circles to them to create a "falling confetti" look. I had to wait MANY weeks for this silver vinyl from Silhouette America, but it was worth it!

I made those ruffle curtains a LONG time ago, and I love them! They make the room feel super girly.

When looking for the right rug, I realized that no rugs come in the right color I needed; at least not the shade I was looking for. When I stumbled upon this one from I was elated! I realize its more pink than coral but the cuteness was to die for! Plus, the website was having a 70% off warehouse sale with free shipping- making it a reasonable price instead of hundreds of $ that no one wants to spend on a single rug... Jonathan thought it was funny that I added more pink to her room, but...well, I think it speaks for itself. :) I love love love it.

So that's it for now. I'd like to add a lamp somewhere, but I haven't found the right one yet. I also have in mind a few other things but those will probably wait until Christmas.

Charlotte is right at home in her new "big girl" room. She spends hours in it every day playing with her kitchen, dolls, and toys. But her most favorite thing is reading books on her bed. That's my girl :)

I just love her smile and happy self! She will make the most wonderful older sister to baby coming soon. I only hope she'll be okay having to share her room when the time comes!

Monday, September 15, 2014

why I want birth #3 to be different

I wanted to write out my feelings on this before things start to get real pretty soon. (Only 7 weeks left- yikes!)

With my previous two deliveries, I was induced at the hospital. I made the conscious choice to be induced- even preferred it the second time. I won't go into all the reasons for this, but my husband and I felt that it was the right decision for us each time. I LOVED most parts of getting induced- mainly having a plan and knowing what day I was going to have a baby. I am an anxious, detail-oriented person who doesn't like surprises, so this was the best option for me.

Both times, I was excited and relaxed as I checked into labor and delivery in the morning. Both times, Jonathan and I were all smiles and ready to get the show on the road. Both times, I had 5-6 hour long labors and held beautiful, fresh-out-the-womb babies on my chest after a few fairly painless pushes. Both times were magical and wonderful and amazing, despite having IV's in my wrist and pitocin running through my veins.

I had no idea until after these experiences that getting induced was so looked down on. That it was assumed "lazy" or "impatient" or "untimely and not healthiest for baby". Every time I heard someone warn an expectant mother to do everything in her power to not get induced, I looked down and frowned. Was it really so bad?

No, it was not- not for me. But those were my experiences. I realize that being induced doesn't work so smoothly for everyone... but for others, it is a huge blessing. And I will never agree that it is the "easy way out" option- not at all. It is simply another means to an end.

Often when I'm asked about my labor experiences, I get eye-rolls or chuckles when I say that they were each about 5-6 hours long. As if that length of time did not qualify me for a hard day's work. Um, let me just say...even while being drugged, and numbed, and made "comfortable" with ice chips and flat, starchy pillows- those 5-6 hours were the LONGEST and hardest hours of my life. Getting induced is not all roses and daisies... I have nothing else to compare it to, but what I experienced was definitely NOT FUN. Yes, they were a bit faster than most deliveries- and I'm going to thank my lucky stars for that.

Everyone knows that all women feel things differently. We have different passions and opinions and lifestyles...why then would only ONE way of giving birth be the right way? I can't stand the stereotypes that go into these very personal, individual decisions. We do what we feel is best- and forget the rest.

I don't think that the way in which a woman delivers her child makes her any more superior to other women. I don't think that the way a woman delivers her child makes her any less superior, either... having a baby is HARD WORK- regardless of how you go about it. I've always revered mothers who've undergone C-sections. I cannot imagine how I would deal with that kind of experience and recovery.

Since my second delivery, I've come to realize a lot of things. I read a book called Birthing From Within (recommended by friends and midwife) that helped me to see there were definitely parts about getting induced with pain medications that were NOT comfortable for me and that I'd not been able to let go of. This book is not meant to sway one's birthing decisions one way or another but rather help one see where they are emotionally and mentally in terms of labor and delivery.

As I read it and opened my mind to how I really felt, I realized that there were things I didn't want to re-live (if I didn't have to): having my water broken by a nurse... getting multiple, unsuccessful IV pricks...getting epidurals that only numbed half of my body and having to get more and more drugged up so as to feel it evenly...not knowing where my body was in its natural process...relying on the hospital staff to tell me what to do next...feeling somewhat helpless, unable to move from the bed even to use the bathroom...not having control over my situation, or my body...

These few factors stood out clearly in my mind as unsettling and even haunting- because of how they felt to me. To someone else, it may not have been a big deal. I hadn't fully understood the impact these memories had on me until I identified them as the main source of anxiety with this third pregnancy. It was then that I knew I wanted to try something different- if it was possible to do so.

I still fully support the choice to be induced or to get an epidural (or in many cases- schedule a C-section), and I know that in many cases it is necessary and appropriate. These things affect every individual in an individual way- just because one mom had an unpleasant experience with such and such doesn't mean it didn't turn hell into heaven for another. I know this. I respect it. I don't have any regrets with my first two deliveries because they taught me so many things about myself, and in the end- our babies were healthy and safe.

So for the entirety of this pregnancy, I've had the goal to labor naturally and deliver pain-med free. There are SO many reasons for this decision...
For one, I'm curious. I want to know what it feels like to go into labor on my own, have non-drug induced contractions, and push out a baby without being totally (or mostly) numb.

Two, I want to know for myself that I can do hard things- more specifically, things I never thought that I personally could do. Like I already mentioned- giving birth is hard ANY way you do it- drugs or no. But since having a natural delivery is something that personally seems like a challenge- I know that it's what I need to do. From my therapy sessions earlier this year, it became clear that I needed to believe in myself more than I was.

Three, from what I've read and learned about natural birth- I'm even more encouraged to make it happen. I want to live this experience so badly. I don't make enough personal feels good to have this one so firmly planted in my heart.

I used to tell myself constantly that "I can't...I'm not good enough..I can't commit to anything...I'm not that strong." I'm trying to change my thinking to "I can. I'm more than good. I'm strong and awesome and a WOMAN!" Women are incredible and capable of so much more than they even realize. However, one thing that I loved in the book was the part about knowing your limitations. I know myself well enough to know that I have quite a, I'm still too chicken to have a home birth. I need the security of the hospital, even if I don't really NEED it. I also know that I'm anxious about a number of things and that in order to have a relaxed delivery, I need to "conquer my tigers". There is so much I've been writing down and discussing with Jonathan and expressing through birth art to understand this process and where I stand on it... I'm eager to let go of my fears, practice inner patience, believe in what my body is capable of, and most importantly- TRUST. Trust my instincts, trust my decisions, and trust the Lord. Whether that trust leads me down the path of a natural delivery or not, it is the most important aspect of this process.

This is the next book on my list, but we'll see if I get to finishing it or not... things have been crazy busy around here!

Friday, September 12, 2014

mountain camping: part 3

As we drove down the mountain towards home, we stopped at a place called Salmon Falls for the kids to have some water play. The river was nice and shallow and a lot warmer than the alpine lake we were just at. 

The kids had the time of their lives playing with rocks. Such a simple thing but they could play with rocks for HOURS. I'm seriously considering putting rocks in their bath tub.

I'm really glad I brought these shoes on our trip. We had to walk over so many rocks, uneven surfaces, and down slopes of dirt. Ever since my sprain, I've been terrified of falling again (especially with having next to ZERO balance, thank you pregnancy). I got a couple of good supportive shoes after my pediatric visit many months ago and they've helped my injuries and stability so much. 

When we got home we were all so exhausted- but in a good way. I'm glad we ended summer with a bang :) I'm also really grateful that we can have opportunities like this as a family...a friend and I were talking about this last Sunday. There is just something so wonderfully special about being with your own family unit and strengthening those relationships. We rarely go do stuff with our friends, and it's not because we don't have friends or are anti-social...ha. But we just love being together- our own little unit. We have made so many priceless memories this summer and I look forward to all the ones we have yet to make!