Monday, February 28, 2011

Still averaging about 3-4 weeks ahead in showing than I was with Isaac. For comparison, 22w1d vs almost 22w with Isaac.

And clothed.

Cardi from F21, Motherhood Maternity top, $10 H&M jeans [love]

From my weekly email:
At 11 inches the length of a spaghetti squash and almost 1 pound, your baby is starting to look like a miniature newborn. His lips, eyelids, and eyebrows are becoming more distinct, and he's even developing tiny tooth buds beneath his gums. His eyes have formed, but his irises (the colored part of the eye) still lack pigment. If you could see inside your womb, you'd be able to spot the fine hair (lanugo) that covers his body and the deep wrinkles on his skin, which he'll sport until he adds a padding of fat to fill them in. Inside his belly, his pancreas — essential for the production of some important hormones — is developing steadily.

How far along?:
How big is baby?:
The size of a papaya [for the next month], 11+ inches.
Weight gain/loss?:
At least 8lbs, since that was 2 weeks ago.
Stretch marks?:
None, thankfully.
Maternity clothes?:
Pants yes. Only 2 pairs of pre-pregnancy jeans still fit.
Holy Hannah are my dreams intense!
Food cravings?:
Turkey burger and salad bar at Ruby Tuesday!
Snips, snails and puppy dog tails.
A little stronger every day.
Belly button?:
Aside from the damage inflicted by Isaac, unchanged.
What are you looking forward to this week?:
The end of February. It was a horribly trying month.

This pregnancy is just flying by. I've always heard this and expected it to with having a toddler and less time to just dwell on the pregnancy, but I still wasn't prepared for how much more quickly time would progress.

Adding to this time warp, I'm having some difficulty really imagining Baby Love separately from Isaac. I'm sure I would have still struggled, even if he weren't our 2nd son, but when envisioning the future I catch myself reliving moments with Isaac, almost Isaac #1 and Isaac #2 and I just know it won't be so.

I really want to decide on a name to help alleviate this a bit, but in the back of my mind I wonder if it would all be for naught, if in meeting Baby Love we would have the intense notion that the name didn't suit him, just as we did before deciding on Isaac.

How Your Husband Can Lose Points

Friday, February 25, 2011

I'm not feeling very confident in my self esteem this pregnancy. With Isaac I was active up until and well after conception. Heck, I even played soccer a few times while pregnant with him. I ran until I was almost 6 months pregnant and I was working both a full and part time job [waitressing]. I stayed on my feet and I felt great.

I also watched what I ate. Not in the dieting sense, but in the laying-a-foundation-for-my-child sense. I had a routine and I stuck to it, packing the same snacks daily and eating them at basically the same time, literally every day. I gained just under 30lbs and I was very happy with my pregnancy. I really think that all of these factors aligned themselves well for my recovery. I never did see my pre-pregnancy weight on the scale again, but my clothes fit and I was relatively happy with what I saw in the mirror and I view that as success.

With this pregnancy though, almost none of the above is true.

I was not active before Baby Love's positive pregnancy test. Sure there was a few week stint into Insanity, but that was about it.

I have continued this inactivity. Tony has been reffing so much hockey lately that I don't have the opportunity to get on the treadmill, nor do I want to when he's home, because he's finally home! I know that these are excuses and I should just make it work or get up early, but I haven't been able to bring myself to follow through.

As for my eating, it was derailed early on with my much more severe morning sickness. Unlike the mild queasiness I experienced with Isaac, the only way to get through this time was to eat. Carbs, specifically. And it's been a really hard adjustment getting my portion control, well controlled.

I'm not saying all this to throw up my hands in the air and declare that I'm "eating for two" from here on out, but rather expressing my frustration at my own lack of willpower and vocalizing my need for change.

You would think that after expressing all of the above to my wonderful husband, that he would have the decency to not suggest 20 minutes later a need to go get ice cream! When I finally told him he could do as he liked, but that I would not be getting any because of my aforementioned struggle to regain some self control he continued his plan to get Dairy Queen! Now I know that I should have just said, "No, if I can't have ice cream, you can't have ice cream," but what husband to a pregnant wife would actually get ice cream to eat in front of said pregnant wife?!

Apparently my husband.

But I remained strong and held out, which actually still felt like losing.

What We're Eating

Thursday, February 24, 2011

So while we still subscribe to e-mealz, it's definitely been a different story in our kitchen since I've been pregnant. I love fresh foods and can't stand most pre-packaged goods, which seem to be worked with frequency into the Aldi meal plan. Due to this for the past few months, I've been winging it. Basically Tony and I agree to 2-3 meals and head out to the store. Unfortunately, even when meal planning, we are not seeing the same savings that we were when solely relying on e-mealz.

That said, I wanted to share some of the fantastic meals we've had recently. Almost all recipes were taken from SkinnyTaste.

Mexican Slow Cooked Carnitas
I must say that I was incredibly nervous to take on this recipe, but it turned out amazing. I don't think that I trimmed enough fat, so I would definitely be more vigilant in that regard the next time I make it. It was so worth the effort!

Chicken Wild Rice Soup
Our family doesn't do mushrooms, so while this technically is a Chicken Shiitake and Wild Rice Soup we'll never eat it that way! Don't worry though, this soup is amazing, even with a title ingredient omitted! Tony's parents both make great soups and I tried to forewarn him that this would not compare to his Mom's soup . . . until he tasted it and actually said that it did! It's a new family staple and skinny, so you don't have the guilt of eating this soup at a restaurant laden with fat and cream.

Turkey Zucchini Burgers

A variation of this burger has been eaten in our house for the past couple years, but if you're scared to try incorporating veggies into dinner items this is a great recipe to start with! I could eat this at least once a week.

Spinach Tortellini en Brodo
Surprisingly Tony looooved this soup. I thought it was great, but he raved about it and had no problem eating it for lunch in 5 consecutive days. This may be a testament to our marriage, but in years past I've had a hard time getting Tony to eat leftovers for 2 consecutive days, let alone 5!

The only non-SkinnyTaste recipe, this was a new one that we tried last night. It was the first time I'd made something from Budget Bytes, but it surely won't be the last!

Raspberry Chipotle BBQ Sauce
Rasp Chipotle BBQ Chix above 2
Porkchops were much cheaper than chicken this week, so we decided to try out the above sauce over baked chops. And after enjoying them last night, I can only imagine what I will all slather up with this sauce! While there is a bit of prep work, 45 minutes of cooking into the sauce, it was definitely worth the wait!

Thrilled to have another . . .

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I honestly get to have another baby boy? I don't know if my heart can take the sweetness if he's anything like his big brother Isaac.


I really thought that this was going to be my last consistent bump picture in the wellness room, but I am amazingly relieved to say that I have survived our company's workforce reduction. There aren't too many details that I can provide, but please pray for my co-workers who were not as fortunate and those who may have to wait until Friday to find out their status.

21w2d with Baby Love vs almost 21w with Isaac.

And clothed.
AE cardi, ON shirt, ON scarf and ON maternity jeans.

From my weekly email: Your baby now weighs about three-quarters of a pound and is approximately 10 1/2 inches long — the length of a carrot. You may soon feel like she's practicing martial arts as her initial fluttering movements turn into full-fledged kicks and nudges. You may also discover a pattern to her activity as you get to know her better. In other developments, your baby's eyebrows and lids are present now

How far along?: 21w2d
How big is baby?: The size of a banana, 10.5 inches.
Weight gain/loss?: Found out last week that I was at an 8 lb increase based on the scale at the MW.
Stretch marks?: None, thankfully.
Maternity clothes?: Starting to work them into my wardrobe. Although I never wore maternity tops with Isaac, only bottoms.
Sleep?: Broken up by leg cramps.
Food cravings?: Love chilled pineapple and mandarin oranges.
Gender?: We're having another boy!
Movement?: A little stronger every day.
Belly button?: Aside from the damage inflicted by Isaac, unchanged.
What are you looking forward to this week?: Just hanging out with my family.

I still have a job. For the time being I will still be taking maternity leave! I'm so excited about this.

Josiah's Due Date

Monday, February 21, 2011

Today, we woke up to quite a bit of snow and I made the decision to work from home, just as my boss had told me she would be doing the previous night. There was some trepidation in making the decision, but we have been told so many times now that the lay off decisions have already been made that I really don't think my choice to work from home today will have any bearing on the decision.

It felt right to stay home today, with Isaac and with Tony also working from home. Today was Josiah's estimated due date.

I just can't even imagine what would have all transpired in these last few months or how stressed out I would have been in hearing about the upcoming layoffs. Now that we have Baby Love, I also can't imagine not being at this point in my pregnancy expecting another son.

There has certainly been sadness, but not to the depth that I prepared for. Just a few minutes of tears and wistfulness. That seems to make me all the more upset, that I'm not more hurt by the monumental loss we suffered. My Mom sent the most beautiful bouquet and that certainly sent me over the edge.

Josiah we will always miss you.

Back to Happier Times

Friday, February 18, 2011

On Sunday, Tony and I celebrated Valentine's Day after our great time spent with friends in the morning. There have been a lot of posts lately about how contrived Vday is and there were quite a few facebook statuses denouncing the celebration because everyone should be loving their spouses authentically everyday.

Well, in our real life, that doesn't happen very often.

Tony is very much more outspoken in his affirmation for me, a regular conversation will close with Tony saying "I miss you." to which I reply "Uh huh." We haven't gone on a date . . . since August? I think that was it, to celebrate our 4 year anniversary and still trying to heal from losing Josiah. Our romantic encounters are when Tony does the diapers for me and I make coffee in the morning for him. The opportunity to love on each other on Sunday, was refreshing for both of us and we both needed it. So judge all you want, but Tony and I went all out.

And by all out, we both got cards and I bought Tony a small bag of Jelly Belly Sizzling Cinnamon beans.

He in turn, got down on one knee.

Hand behind his back and explained his gift.

He said it wasn't a bouquet of flowers.

But it was from a boy's heart.

And that's exactly what it looked like too, a red heart made out of legos.

It was perfect. Now, only to take it away from Isaac.

My little cheeseball.

Love this picture of my boys so much!

And with that we dropped Isaac off at my inlaws and were on the way to Red Lobster. It first was my idea, but then I changed my mind, by that point though Tony had his heart set on it and since our plans to skate outside on the rink were derailed by the warm weather, we decided to see it through. That was, until I elbowed my way through the lobby at 5:30pm to find out that the wait time was over an hour long! I hadn't eaten since our brunch in the morning, so there was no way this pregnant gal could wait that long! I could see Tony's desire to stay at Red Lobster as I was making the phone call, but connecting with Brasa and hearing that there was no wait confirmed it, complete change of plans. And with that we were on our way to Grand Ave, to have the winter version of this date.

It was, so good. Like, how could we forget, so good! The best part was that we were able to get almost everything we wanted and we still paid the same amount that we would have by going the 2 for $30 route we'd planned on at Red Lobster!

And there we laid out our plan for the future. Drawing it is the easy part.

All in all Sunday, was a fantastic day spent with so many of my loves, but especially these two.

And this one man.

Workforce Reduction

Thursday, February 17, 2011

[found via, credit]

So here's the deal. God blessed us with one of the most amazing days that I have ever experienced on Tuesday. In short succession, the devil tried to steal my joy.

While out of the office on Tuesday, a company wide email was distributed informing us that there would be a workforce reduction.

Employees will be laid off next week, between Tuesday and Friday.

And here I am, pregnant again facing employment uncertainty.

At first in hearing the news I was jaded, completely untouched. We are resilient after all. Our God provides for us.

But when I called Tony, the why's started to creep in.

Why again are we facing this?

Very quickly I shot them down though and replaced my why's with how's.

How will we face this? How will God get us through? How will it be different this time?

The above image is a lot more cavalier than I actually can say that I feel, but my faith is steady, even when my flesh is weak. I know that God will use our family and situation for His glory, which doesn't guarantee the absence of potential suffering. It does however mean that He is always in control.

Please pray for myself and my coworkers during this uncertain time. We have been informed that the decisions have already been made, but that they will not be communicated until next week.

ps:: this might be on repeat today. Can you believe how much has changed in 5 months?

Better than Christmas!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Awhile back I got it in my head that I wanted to do something special to celebrate knowing Baby Love was healthy and to discover whether our future had any pink to come. Once it was in my head, of course it began to take hold in Tony's imagination as well, but we just couldn't quite agree or pull the trigger. I completely understood Tony's anxiety regarding trusting someone other than the ultrasound technician to deliver the details to us. It was a lot to consider when it was perfectly safe to see the baby's parts on the ultrasound while the technician confirmed what we already saw, just like we did with Isaac.

Finally though, Tony consented to having a small cake made. I'm sure you've seen or have heard of this idea, to have the sex unknown to the parents but written in an envelope. This envelope is then given to the baker who whips up a cake with either pink or blue layers, but nondescript frosting. The sex isn't known then until the couple cuts into the cake. We thought we would just do this at home, our little family of 3 1/2 and at least it would give me something to take a picture of!

For a few weeks after we had agreed to do this, I just couldn't shake the nagging thought that we could do something different. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the cake idea, but it's just been done. I'm sure this largely stems from the fact that it's the dead of winter and I haven't had the opportunity to be very creative recently, so I just kept digging at it like a problem that needed solving. Pink and Blue. Pink and Blue. What items could give us this combination? I don't even recall anything triggering it, but it was clear as day: blueberries and strawberries. Logically on pancakes, because our appointment was bright and early in the morning.

When Tony consented to this idea, the hunt was on. What local diner would be able to accommodate this request? Unfortunately so many restaurants only seasonally use strawberries and I was growing more and more apprehensive as my search list dwindled, until finally the Highland Grill! My eyes immediately spotted their Strawberry French Toast on their online menu and I quickly called to confirm it's availability. We. were. set.

But I didn't even know how sweet it would be. I called Gina to dish on my idea once the strawberries were found and she offered me something that I'll cherish forever, for her to photograph the reveal. It's so funny to me how quickly Tony has acclimated to our photographed life, because I can still remember his hesitation doing a photo session after we were married. Why? He kept asking? We aren't engaged. We aren't pregnant. No one does this. But we do, and without hesitation he happily agreed to have Gina tag along.

The final setting of the stage were the Blueberry Baby Boy and Strawberry Baby Girl photos that I used on the blog on Monday. And with that, there was nothing left to do but wait. And suddenly the busyness and the planning gave way to fear. Everyone kept asking if we were excited and boy were we, but I clung to that excitement with all of my being, because if I didn't ride that sense of impending joy I knew that my anxiety would overcome me. Because I knew we were going back there. The extra wide door that we pass every time we have an appointment at the hospital. The same ultrasound room that we found out that we lost our little February love. That same little one who very well could have been born this week, with a due date of February 21st. And that my friends is a lot to think about in close proximity to desperately wanting to hear that your Baby Love is healthy.

Yesterday morning I was up like a, I don't know, no comparison seems to adequately describe, because I honestly haven't been this excited for Christmas in years. I quickly text Gina "Better than Christmas!" with details on our game plan to meet at the Highland Grill close to 10:00am. We left the house at 7:09am. Exactly 9 minutes after we'd wanted to, but still on track to drop Isaac off at my in-laws before hightailing it to the hospital. Traffic was dicey, but we made it at exactly 8:02am. I'm not one to squabble over 2 minutes, the day was already off to a beautiful start.

And then, there it was, the extra wide door. No sooner than I sat down, there she was, Joan the ultrasound technician. Calling me back through the portal. I hadn't eaten the M&M's I took from Isaac's Valentine's Day candy to encourage Baby Love to move seemed to be my only logical thought. All of my body went rigid as I passed through the doorframe, wishing Tony hadn't run back to the car for the envelope that I forgot. I really needed to be holding his hand in that moment. Very quickly though I was in position on the exam table and was having almost uncomfortably warm gel squeezed onto my belly. Joan was a fast talker and a fast mover, so thankfully without much time for sad thoughts Tony and I were looking at Baby Love on the screen.

And it was beautiful. I can't really elaborate. There's no need to say more. It was just beautiful to be with our baby and bask in knowing Baby Love was healthy for almost a full hour. Joan tried diligently at the end to have Baby Love turn so that she could give us a profile shot, but it was just not to be so. Honestly, she seemed to care more than we did. She could have insulted Baby Love at that point, but having already said that baby was healthy, we still would have been glowing!

In quick fashion she tidied up our envelope, in which I'd placed a Blueberry Baby Boy and Strawberry Baby Girl photo, by tossing the picture not applicable and with that we were on our way to my appointment with the midwife. My blood pressure and weight gain were still "gorgeous," she took note that I still wasn't in maternity jeans, but called me out on my "cheater jeans" because I bought them in a larger size. Our only question of the day was regarding her opinion and hospital policy towards birth photography and my day just continued to get better! Birth photography has been cleared! And on that note, we basically skipped to the car to pick up Isaac and fly low to the Highland Grill. Just as we approached Tony made the comment that he hoped we didn't get a "brain dead server."

And finally, we were there. With Gina, one of my dearest friends. And it was happening. I had a healthy baby. A healthy baby who we were now going to know the sex of. Blueberries or Strawberries?

Gina had already prepped the waitress that we were going to be doing photos and just like I'd hoped the place was deserted at 10:30am, just between the breakfast and lunch crowd. I approached our waitress and asked if she was ready for our hoopla. I began by saying I was 20w pregnant, she immediately cried out "I'm a doula!" And with that I started tearing up, just as she readily did as well. We were just so blessed. I mean, are you kidding me, out of all of the servers, we had a doula to help in our special reveal. She. was. amazing and over the moon excited to participate! After I explained the envelope and what they would be looking at we sat down for a few pictures.

Isaac had me absolutely convinced with his persuasive and consistent answering of "Sister, girl, girl name" and finally strawberries! I really prepared my heart for a daughter.

Isaac wasn't into guessing though. He just thoroughly enjoyed eating ripe berries! But really, who can blame him?

One last set of pictures . . .

And suddenly, it was time.

They were blueberries! Blueberries! Blueberries!

Brothers. My son gets to have a brother. I get to have sons. Tony gets to be a role model for another little boy.

They were really blueberries. And with that I had to cry and laugh and kiss with my husband, all while Isaac happily munched on any blueberry he could get his hands on.

And with that, as Gina so perfectly put it on her blog post, we celebrated, with more pictures. :)

We're basically goofy excited at this point.

Everyone has asked if I guessed blue, had a premonition, had a change of clothes for pink or if I just straight up looked at the card, but if you know me, you know that even if they had been strawberry pancakes, I'd still have been wearing blue!

And with that, the phone calls were made to Grandpa's, Grandma's and of course, my brother. I can only wonder if he will again be Uncle Wee Wee.

God has blessed us.

Sometimes I wonder why, but there is no doubt of His hand in our life and the blessings He continues to bestow. This day will forever be ingrained in my mind and I will cherish it forever. Gina, you have no idea how grateful I am for your gifts and friendship. I will be thankful for both till the end of time.

Tony and I are going to have another boy. Another describes a sense of knowing and yet, the only knowledge I have is that we don't know how much sweeter life can get.

ps:: Gina's post [same images, as they are her's] can be found here. Be warned Kleenex should be on the ready.


Monday, February 14, 2011

I kind of feel like starting everyone of these posts with "Holy crap." It's something I say a lot and it's certainly the most applicable expression to this pregnancy.

Holy crap.

I'm halfway through this pregnancy.

That means we start counting down now.

20w1d with Baby Love vs almost 20w with Isaac.
[check out that bellay]

And clothed.
$10 H&M jeans, $12.50 H&M belt, Old Navy shirt and cardi.

From my weekly email: You're at the halfway mark — congratulations! Your baby weighs about 10 1/2 ounces now. He's also around 6 1/2 inches long from head to bottom and about 10 inches from head to heel — the length of a banana. (The way your baby is measured changes now.) He's swallowing more these days, which is good practice for his digestive system. He's also producing meconium, a black, sticky by-product of digestion. This gooey substance will accumulate in his bowels, and you'll see it in his first soiled diaper (although some babies pass meconium in the womb or during delivery).

How far along?: 20w1d
How big is baby?: The size of a cantalope, 6.5 inches.
Weight gain/loss?: I'll find out tomorrow. Gulp.
Stretch marks?: None, thankfully.
Maternity clothes?: Keeping them at bay, but I did buy the above jeans in a larger size to get me through.
Sleep?: I had my first girl dream last night.
Food cravings?: A nice salad!
Gender?: Tomorrow! Tomorrow! We find out tomorrow! Did you vote?
Movement?: A little stronger every day.
Belly button?: Aside from the damage inflicted by Isaac, unchanged.
What are you looking forward to this week?: Seeing a healthy Baby Love bouncing around on the screen tomorrow.

People keep stating that today is like the day before Christmas and at first I agreed, but honestly, I haven't been this excited for Christmas in years! I don't know how I'm going to sleep tonight. I'm sure it will come to me though. Pregnancy fatigue is no joke when you have Isaac keeping you up at night!

Less than 24 Hours

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Until we will have confirmation that Baby Love is healthy and progressing. Our appointment is bright and early at 8:00am tomorrow, Tuesday morning. After that, there will be a short delay until we find out whether we will be preparing for a new brother or sister!

I know I have the vote poll up on the right and I love that over 200 of you have voted and overwhelmingly so for a sweet sister, but if you'd like to attach your name to your guess . . . please indulge me.

Baby boy or baby girl?

Additionally, happy Valentine's Day from my two favorite boys. Tony prefaced his gift by saying they weren't flowers, but that it was straight from a boy's heart. I couldn't agree more and I doubt I would have appreciated flowers as much!
ps:: it's a heart. He designed it out of legos. :)

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