And my world has changed…

One week ago today, this happened:

We have stared…

We have cried many happy tears…

We couldn’t be more in love.

My husband became a father and I became a mother.  It has been the most amazing week of my life.  I cannot express with words the love I feel for my son, Evan.  He is amazing in every single way.  He is perfect in every single way.  Each day I thank God that I have him in my life.  I never knew I’d love it this much and each day my heart expands even more for him.

I can’t wait to share my birth story with you… but first I’m still getting to know my little family a bit better.

 

Nursery Love

So something that made time pass super quickly while pregnant was/is preparing for baby.  All the research that goes into products you want to register for, the nursery you dream of having, what outfit you will bring the baby home in and even the baby book… It is all SO important.

Hector and I are very different but we are dedicated to trying to bring Evan up in as calm of an environment as we can.  As far as the decor throughout our home, we try to keep things neutral and calm.  Hector is naturally calm and centered.  I, on the other hand, am not.  So I try to surround myself in as cozy of an environment as I can, and that is what we wanted to accomplish for Evan’s room.

I spent SO MUCH time trying to figure out what I wanted for his room.  Blue walls?  Green?  Did I want a Jungle theme? No. I’m not themey… It was definitely a labor of love to figure this out.  We went with very neutral walls (we didn’t paint!  this was the color of the room when we decided it would become the nursery!) and the bedding… What. a. nightmare. I spent HOURS looking for something that was perfect and naturally couldn’t find ANYTHING I liked.  I ended up at the uber expensive Restoration Hardware Baby.  Well, if we have another baby, we will NOT be ordering from there again.  Although I LOVE the look of their items, the shipping was expensive, the items are CRAZY PRICED for the quality (in my opinion) and even on sale (which is the only way I could buy from there) getting the product to me took OVER A MONTH! I really just wanted simple colors and I did get what I wanted but the price was not worth it.  So, lesson learned and THANK GOODNESS I got it on sale ;-) – overall, I am happy with the look of the crib it should be very cozy for my little angel.

With my non-themey approach you can imagine it was hard to find a mobile.  But as a member of gilt.com (Oh holy addiction) I found this mobile ON SALE.  I’m all about the sales ;-) and I fell in love.  It was SO DIFFERENT and because it isn’t too low to the crib it can stay hanging for well past when he is able to get up and grab things.  When we put his fan on they do move around and it is just awesome to stare at.

Growing up, some of my FONDEST moments were on my father’s boat.  I still day dream about our days at Burnham Harbor.  So as much as I didn’t want a “theme” I do love the sailboat/water idea and so Hector (my little artist) took decorations and items from our shower and made these super personalized BEAUTIFUL pictures for above the crib:

What I love about this is that so many hands touched the paper in those pictures.  Loving hands, my best friend’s hands, my sister’s hands, my mom’s hands and my husband’s hands.  They truly are made with SO MUCH love.

On the glider is something that is also so important.  It is a blanket my mom MADE for Evan.  Literally EVERY stitch of that thing is made with love.  I can’t wait to wrap him in it.  I plan on nursing Evan here a lot, so it will always be close to him. My mom is SO IN LOVE with her grandson and so it means so much to me that he will get to meet her soon!

The writing in the art is the same scripture recited the day of our wedding (it is recited at many weddings) but is special to us and Evan because that is the night our little guy came to be (TMI? Oh well, haha).  We don’t recite scripture, we aren’t that couple but this baby is going to be so LOVED.  The love surrounding his appearance is incredible, almost tangible, by everyone around us and how badly Hector and I want to meet him, can’t even be expressed in words but I’ll wait.. as long as he is happy and healthy, I’ll wait.  He is worth it.

But my dear son, I so look forward to holding you, to kissing you, to staring at you. <3 I love you my son and can’t wait to share this room, and this life, with you. xoxo

Soon <3

Wonderful Weekend, Sans Baby

This weekend was excellent.  It really was. I wrote about my Saturday and today didn’t disappoint either.  I knew it wouldn’t as I got to see and spend time with some of the most important people in my life.

Everyone has been (and continues to be) very helpful and supportive of getting this little guy moving!  So I thought I’d share my day!

Whenever I have an appointment I can’t help but wake up crazy early.  Today I had an 11:00 (yes 11:00 a.m.) acupuncture appointment and I naturally woke up around 5:15 and really didn’t get much sleep between then and 7:00 a.m. when I got up and got moving.  My wonderful punctual husband got my  heart rate up really high before this appointment, but when we got there… It was heavenly.  I kid you not, even the smaller space of the office was calm, smelled amaze and was just what I needed.  I felt instantly relaxed.  The treatment went wonderful and Frank made me feel like this baby WILL come on his time, and that time should be Wednesdayish if not sooner.  Even if Evan doesn’t show by then, it was worth every second and I will definitely continue future treatments with our acupuncturist.  He is amazing, so brilliant, so warm and so kind.  He has been a friend of the family for as long as I have been alive and I trust him so much, so we will see if his treatments help bring baby.

Next, after a stop at the S-Bucks:

Passion tea for me, costly calorie [delicious] craziness for the Hubs.  Was a trip to the pet shop for fish food, filters and some awesome natural allergy free treats for our first baby, Oso.  This was following directly by a trip to get this prego walking, at the mall with her bestie.

Nicole, is an amazing friend of mine.  We were honestly separated at birth.  I couldn’t wait to catch up and get some girl time in.  The day before she said she was going to bring me pineapple and I told her to bring tissue (as I had been a crying nightmare for two days) and SHE DID!! She brought both!  She also gave me this:

A “Hospital Survival Bag” filled with amazing goodies for momma, baby and husband.  She thought of EVERYTHING… Socks, lip balm, lotion, baby outfits, trail mix for daddy and recommendations for daddy to bring pillows and a blanket (courtesy of her own Hubs, and this is mentioning a FEW things this AWESOME bag is filled with).  As the day has gone on I feel even more emotional about how thoughtful this was (tissue included, it might get opened early!).  She is such a great friend and I’m SO blessed.  She even took the time to type out why the items were included.  It is AWESOME.  She also has a son who is an amazing little man, so she has shared some infant goodies with us, including a pool that is already at my mom’s that will be filled and ready to go before he is even here to use it (no seriously, it will be filled with water, ready to go even though all he will be able to do is stare at it).

Hector and I then stopped at the parents house to show off our new goodie bag, and just say hey.  We did some more walking around Target, spent some cash (it is amazing how things add up at Target) and we came home did a mini treatment to get baby out and now we are going to rest rest rest, hoping baby decides to grace us with his presence – I want to share awesome sunsets like this one:

With him.

Hurry baby!  We all REALLY can’t wait to meet you! <3

3rd Party Eviction Notice.

Well hello one day past my due date!

I’m sure you will come and go today, and that is OK but my dear son, can you please come before next Friday?  If you don’t I won’t be seeing you in person that day but via ultrasound and they are going to hook you and I up to a bunch of monitors to check that you aren’t in distress (I know, I know, you aren’t you move in there like a champ but I hear it is standard protocol).  But unfortunately my love, they have given you a “get out by” date and trust me, you and I both want you to come out before then.  ♥

It simply baffles me how a doctor can be so insensitive.  Maybe that is what I get for having a male doctor who has never actually been through labor before.  My appointment on Friday was disappointing in and of it self but some choice words my my doctor made it go from slightly disappointing to making me feel like I was failing at getting my little man to come out, or that my body was simply not getting the message (both things sound like FAIL in my book).  What did I learn at this appointment?  A week from Tuesday I will most likely have a baby in my arms, and if he comes that day it will likely be because they hooked me up to a bunch of monitors and filled me with a bunch of meds.

I really only care about him being healthy, and I know that the stress isn’t just on me but on the baby when they induce.  Don’t get me wrong Evan, I know you are a strong one but I’d really like you do to your own thing ;-). xoxo

The doctor did say is that he is still very high and I mentioned to him that I think he lays at more of an angle (clearly I can tell, as he is in MY BODY) and only when I said this the doctor was like “oh, that could be part of the reason you aren’t progressing.”  I thought to myself what do you mean THAT COULD be part of it?  OF course it is part of it, if his head isn’t putting pressure on my cervix, how is my cervix supposed to know to dilate.  IF I ever go through this pregnancy thing again, I will definately go the midwife route because they would have been more proactive on why my body wasn’t engaging.  I will absolutely still be in the oversight of a OBGYN and deliver in a hospital but the OB doesn’t need to see me every time and tell me “oh you are doing great, any questions, no ok see you in a few weeks” I would like more answers.  With this time around I must say I’m lucky enough to have an old family friend who is an acupuncturist and who informed me there are was to get the baby in proper position.  So this morning, my dear husband and I will see him and hopefully he can help move things along.

Yesterday was filled with a whole lot of Labor inducing things!

Lots of walking! My sister, Nicole, took me to Target, Ulta, and Old Navy, pretty much for the sole purpose of walking.  We talked to very aggressive retail people who couldn’t believe it was my due date (hey thanks!  but that means I’m not waddling, AND I WANT TO BE WADDLING LOL).  I made a Labor Cake (more like a death to your arteries cake and forgot a main ingredient, chocolate chips).  My parents bought pineapple, we walked some more down by the lake and enjoyed eggplant parmigiana and hot wings and then I hopped on their handy tredmill at 10:00 p.m. for some more walking.  After all the eating yesterday, I feel like I gained 12lbs and am feeling slightly sluggish this morning, so as I type I’m bouncing on my exercise ball and eating a banana.  But yesterday was very nice.  I was with family, was able to take in breathtaking views of our city and got to eat food that I NEVER eat and not have to feel very guilty for it.  Win. Win. Win.

The Lake <3

Plus there is always a silver lining to things.   Friday was my last day at work and Thursday was an exciting day because it was the last day I had to DRESS UP for work.  That means no more bella bands, and no more hair ties on all my nice pants and skirts ;-)

39.5 days prego, last day of dressing up for work. Yay!’

Although I may decide to go to work tomorrow (hey, paycheck and no baby?  Or no paycheck and no baby? I’m still weighing it) depending on how I feel.  I was given the OK to wear whatever I am comfortable in and I will be taking advantage of that.  My Bella Band has seen better days.

On today’s agenda:  debate booby tubes vs. bamboob-ease therapy pillows, acupuncture appointment, mall walking with my very best friend, and some sort of SPICY dinner.  Should be a good day.  (It would be an EXCELLENT day if contractions were present at any point.)

xoxoxo

Almost 40 weeks, feeling brave.

Three days shy of 40 weeks and… Nothing new to report.  Literally.  Haha.  I haven’t started waddling, feel no pressure, no weight gain, I haven’t made any progress down there and it looks like I’ll be spending a lot of time with this:

The doc says that it should help Evan move down, that his head it still pretty high.  On a selfish note, I don’t mind his head high, it means I get a decent amount of sleep at night, I feel no pressure and I’m generally comfortable all day long.  However, like the good patient I am I’ll sit and bounce on the ball and catch up on DVR programs (or blogs!).  I’m also going to fit in more walking.  Especially since my last day of work is Friday, this weekend is going to be all about figuring out to get my little guy to drop, the weather in Chicago last week was extremely uncomfortable (like legitimate, record setting heat) so I’m hoping that low 90s seem doable.

Me, totally braver that usual – 39 week belly! I just got done “buttering up” ha

^^^ Is why I said I’m feeling brave.  This is so not Jen like, but it is life and my reality and I’m ready to show it.

What am I preparing this week?  Momma stuff post-partum.  Any suggestions, on new momma (not baby but momma who just pushed out a baby) items that will help with recovery?  Any ideas for super quick and easy (and HEALTHY meals)?  One thing I’m doing for Hector is putting together a grocery list that is very specific so he doesn’t drive me bananas with things I don’t want (i.e., yes I want a watermelon but no I don’t want you to spend 15 dollars on it, thanks) when he goes on his solo trips for fresh produce (a must in our house).  He has tried to be grocery helper in the past and the amount of money he spends, makes me crazy.  I’m a HUGE saver/sale person.  It KILLS me to buy things full price because I can just imagine them going on sale the following week.  So I’m making a fool proof “must haves”, “like to have” (code for is it on sale, a decent price, or do I need to sell an organ for it), and “sale items”.  I can’t see myself having the time to check for sales once little EJV enters the world so I’m hoping this list helps calm his want to please my new momma anxiety and my intense need for certain food items.  The list will help me feel like I’m in control and hopefully keep us from going broke while I’m not working.  When I get done with my lists, maybe I’ll share, to get some feed back ;)

My mom sent me this picture – The toy is from my sister Nicole and the Sunglasses are from her – super sweet huh? He has some shades ;)

Fitness realm:  I have officially suspended my gym membership until I can return to a full workout regimen, per doctor’s orders (I even got a note!).  So that went off via email this am and I cannot help but daydream about my happy place (I’ve always considered the gym my happy place, I LOVE it).  It is weird how you miss things so much when you can’t have them.  But I’m sure I’ll find plenty to do between now and my return the gym.  After all there are still tons of things I can do at home/outside between now and then.  Even though I am trying to be really loose with back-to-workout goals (I’m just going to do what feels right, that is how I do) I plan on returning to running and normal yoga sessions first while gradually increasing my weight lifting once again (it has been killer to lift the same boring weight for the past 30+ weeks) and this can all be done in the comforts of my home, while I figure out my new sidekick.  I’m glad I have the support of my wonderful hubby who knows how important it is for me to fit in this me time once my body has healed from childbirth, he knows a happy Jen = a happy him and probably a happy baby.

Fear:  Other (too eager to tell me what they think I’m doing wrong) moms.  I know this sounds terrible, but I’m afraid of it.  What do I mean?  The moms who look at you and say, “why did you dress him that way?” – “That baby must be freezing” – “Don’t nurse him like that” – “Why did you choose that” – etc.  I could write those questions over and over but it is still beyond me how judgmental people are.  Granted, there will be LOTS of compliments (even if I don’t’ deserve them) I’m sure.  However, I have a feeling new moms always feel they are doing something wrong and don’t need ANYONE to jump down their throat in any way shape or form because they feel their way is better, let the new parent, parent.  Geez. I only bring this up because I have looked at many blogs, new mom boards, pregnancy boards, and breastfeeding boards and I feel like there are more moms that “attack” how you feel you should be doing something than thinking to themselves “I did it differently, but maybe that is what works for them.”

Food:  Lots of snacks!  My tummy gets full so easily so I do lots of little snacks.  LOTS of watermelon, lots of spinach and lots of eggs.  I’m also crazy lazy, so simple is the way to be.

Natural peanut butter (or almond butter) and a banana (or apple, or celery or even a whole grain cracker or two)… a staple snack <3

Excitement:  I’m beyond excited to meet my little dude.  I love you my little guy!!

What I’m doing now?  Smelling the cooking of my awesome hubby, with that, I’m out. xoxo

Family Time on the Fourth

Of course I’m late.  But I did want to share our Fourth!  It was a nice quiet HOT day with family.

My boys and I (Evan at 38 weeks, Oso 2 years) & Hector behind the camera

In between baking out doors for very small amounts of time

Grilling was happening:

Grill master

Jen’s favorite Fourth inspired treats were being made:

Main ingredients? Fresh berries of course :)

Yogurt parfaits

Next time I’ll use greek yogurt as it will separate better but regular yogurt was on sale and right now I’m all about sales.

And of course there were fireworks:

Making the neighbors a little crazy, but the boys had fun <3

Typically our Fourth’s are more eventful but this year we took it easy with myself being well into my 38 week of pregnancy and everyone having to go to work the next day (including yours truly) – but it was perfect.  It was a calm restful belly filling day with family I adore.  But I couldn’t help but daydream about having Evan here and sharing these days with him.  I have a feeling next year we will be seeing a lot of red white and blue and finding our way to some sort of parade but as always I’m super proud to be an American (corny I know).

Enjoying the Little Moments

Yesterday was a lazy day for me.  I hadn’t been able to sleep the night before so my day at work was unusually brutal and I was abnormally crabby afterward.  I spent a few minutes at my parents’ house and picked up my puppy.  I was looking forward to getting home because I knew Hector was waiting there for me, with magical food.  He had texted me earlier in the day and asked if me if I would like it if he picked up some Thai food, on his way home.  Our favorite restaurant of all time was a Thai place that is no longer around, so it had be quite some time since I’ve had any and this change of food pace was very welcomed as cooking in the heat (it has been over 90 degrees outside for just about a week with no near end in sight) was the last thing I wanted to do after a brutal day at the office.  Plus, my sense of smell has come back with vengeance and an air conditioned home doesn’t allow for airing things out so even if I wasn’t the cook, I didn’t want a major food smelly house all night long (the thought of another sleepless night almost brought me to tears).  So I sent him a text message that said I definitely wouldn’t be devastated if he picked up some red curry veggies.  I was really looking forward to getting home to a pretty clean home and not needing to do many dishes.

We had a wonderful little meal followed by a tiny amount of cuddle time, which led to a much needed nap for yours truly.  I woke up sweaty (GROSS) and without my hubby, which made me a little sad.  I picked up a few things around the house and started getting ready for bed.  I was clearly still quite tired and just wanted to hang with my two boys, and that is exactly what we did.

It was perfection.  Oso was wonderfully cuddly and so was my sweet husband.  We joked and laughed and enjoyed my belly’s funny shapes.  Evan really is cozy in there and puts on quite the little show for us.  It was the most wonderful night, just laying around enjoying each other’s company.

I’m hoping to have similar experience tonight and tomorrow with the always festive, this year simple, fourth. This year we are going to go by my mom’s and enjoy some quite (HOT) sunny time together. I’m planning on dressing in something simple and light and getting some much needed vitamin D, some reading time, thank you cards done and eating too much with my awesome family. What am I going to bring?  Some sort of fun (maybe –probably- healthy) side dish and some festive fruit and yogurt parfaits. Do you have any big plans for the Fourth?  I imagined my Fourth this year being super swollen and gross and I’m surprised to say I’m not super swollen although 23lbs+ heavier than usual, I am carrying around a happy healthy 38+ week old boy!