Friday, October 31, 2014

[ Finding Me ]

I have been a mum for 16 months and some extra days. I count from the months from when I knew I was pregnant until now because since I found out, I've been changing. I worked at a private Christian college and for the most part enjoyed my job. I enjoyed that it was both predictable yet had enough flexibility that a Type A person would still thrive and find their groove. I loved the people I worked with and learned so much about leaning into relationships and creating community where ever you are, that I am so thankful for my almost-3 years there.

Something changed when I found out I was pregnant. I began to see things a bit differently. Looking more towards the future, who I was becoming and what I would be after I had a baby. I was all about not letting Bitty Baby define me, and the fear that she would define me, was real, tangible and my biggest fear before having her. I wasn't worried about nursing, late nights, or knowing what to do when she was crying. I figured those answers would come as I needed them, or I would call upon the mothers I have in my life to figure out what I should do. I was fearful of who I would be once I no longer worked or had regular interactions with co-workers, friends and just grown-ups in general. I was excited to be a mum, excited for being the one that would have the opportunity to raise a little one to know and experience God's love, but I also wanted to continue to grow as an individual seeking out what God has called me to do.

Fast forward to Beckett Joy being almost 7 months old. This gal rocks my stinkin' socks off. Her personality is spunky, independent and loving. She is going to be fierce. I am so thankful I get to be her mum. She has taught me that I am stronger than I knew. That I have more love than I ever knew was possible. That I have so much more in me than I ever knew.

My fear of being defined by her has become less of a fear and more of a friend that keeps pushing me to discover new abilities and passions. My love for all things web, design, social media & all that wonderful jazz has begun to take shape in a way that I didn't even know was a possibility. I've been given ways to serve my local church and others in my life with what God has gifted me to do. It has made me realized that my fear of being defined by my Bitty Baby was a good thing. It's been a beautiful 7 months of lots of growing as an individiual, a wife and a mum. I love it and would not trade it for the world, even on the worst of days.

Fear can be a beautiful thing when you allow 
God to work through it to discover who you can be. 

And just because she's so dang cute, here's one more... just in case you read this with hopes of seeing Miss B!

Friday, August 8, 2014

[ 4 Months New! ]

Baby girl is 4 months old today! 

She is full of smiles, giggles and a strong desire to be on her independent even though that's pretty much impossible! She just wants to stand, tries so hard to roll over and has such a determination to grab each of her toys. 

I love spending my days with this little gal!

There are challenging moments and days- for sure! But days like today when she is all smiles, makes me remember why I do this. It helps me remember why I choose to spend my days with my little human... to teach, to show, to love, to nurture... and oh how I love it! These past couple weeks she has learned so much from grabbing toys, trying to roll, to learning that she can stand when we hold her up... It just amazes me how quickly she is learning and growing. God made babies to just be amazing and Miss Beckett is not falling short of that by any means!

Her favorite discovery? Her tongue. It's poking out at least 60% of her day!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

[ 6 Weeks & No Redos ]

Baby Girl was 6 weeks on Tuesday.

6 weeks.

In 6 weeks, I've been puked on, pooped on, fallen asleep sitting up, cried out of frustration, cried out of sheer sleepiness and I'd do it all again in a heartbeat.

I love that Baby Girl is smiling when her daddy and I talk to her, or when I get her out of her crib in the morning, or when she's a little milk-drunk. I love that her eyes are an incredible blue, that changed over from her grey color. I love picking out her little clothes. I love watching her and her daddy spend time on the floor, enjoying and getting to know each other. I love the funny little noises she makes when you put in her soother (pacifier).

Still, I'd redo the nights when she slept for 2 hours at a time or cried for 3 hours straight (although, I really like it when she doesn't do that!). I'd redo those not-so-fun times just because I learned what she needed, how she ticks and got to spend time with her, getting to know all of the little things she does.

In 6 weeks, I've learned that she likes to look at contrasting colors, loves being outside and usually falls asleep if you go for a walk outdoors. When she's been screaming for twenty minutes or so, Jay or I switch whoever is holding her and walah! she almost always calms down.

Baby Girl is an amazing little girl. I figured I'd like being a mum. I absolutely love it. There's no other place I'd rather be!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

[ Let's Catch Up! ]

It's been way too long.... 

Life as we know it, will never be the same. Ever. 

We welcome our beautiful girl, Beckett, to our lives on April 8th. You can read her welcome story when she decided to join our family 2 weeks early. She has a beautiful smile, deep amazing eyes, the cutest toes and the funniest sounds.  

In other events, we also made awesome progress on our upstairs remodel project. We have even begun living upstairs as we moved our bedroom upstairs a couple weeks ago. It's so fun to see the progress when it started like this: House Remodel

[ Beckett Joy ]

It's been a 3 months since I've shown up on here. So much has changed in our life! The biggest, most awesome change is Bitty Baby McCoy joining our family. She decided to come 2 weeks early and here's her welcome story...

(note: I wrote this with no corrections, no hitting backspace to reword and just let it all come out)

April 7th, I had my weekly appointment to see how things were coming along with Bitty Baby. The doctor let me know that she could come at any time and I should take it easy that day. Not really understanding that not only Bitty Baby could come at any time, but that I'd actually been in pre-labor since Sunday night, I of course did not listen to the wonderful doctor's advice. I went home, made sure my bag was packed and put up my feet for a little while, but then headed up to our church for my last baby shower. Because, that's what most women choose to do when labor could be imminent. In my defence, I did google where I was at with labor symptoms, etc, but Google said that I could be at this stage for a day or for a week. I shouldn't have trusted the Google.

My baby shower was nice, the ladies were very generous and we got some really neat gifts. I was so uncomfortable the entire time. My lower back killed me and I felt like it was 90 degrees in the room. A number of ladies commented on how tan I looked. Why thank you, I was actually just roasting from heat and not knowing that Bitty Baby was a-coming. I said my thank-yous and was chatting with some girlfriends when all of a sudden it happened. They say that your water won't break in public. They say it won't be a gush (sorry for the yuck!). They say these things. But they were not true. Both happened and apparently the look on my face told my girlfriends exactly what had just taken place.

My friends & family kicked in baby-coming-mode. I exited my own shower very quickly with no good-byes, as my mother-in-law grabbed the car to drive me home. I had made at least 2 good decisions since finding out that baby could come at anytime. 1.) I arranged for my mother-in-law to drive me to the shower. 2.) I arranged with the Hubs that if I called for any reason at all, at any time, that meant I would be in labor. As the car was being pulled up, I called the Hubs. The tone in his voice when he answered knew that this was "Go Time."

At home, the Hubs rushed around, throwing things into his bag which was not at all packed. We loaded up our truck and headed to hospital. I am so thankful that my husband works in a high stress job and has the calm demeanour to remember to call the hospital and let them know that we were coming. On the way to the hospital, my contractions started getting closer together (6-7 minutes) and their intensity was ramping up a little bit. We checked in, went to triage and got checked me out. Yes, I was have contractions. Yes, my water actually broke. Yes, I was dilated to 3.5 cm, 0.5 more than my appointment earlier in the day. Yes, we were going to have this baby.

We were moved to the delivery room and got settled in. Contractions were still coming on strong and I was continue to progress at a good pace. The nurse checked me and I had already progressed to 4cm. My back labor was the most painful part at this point. I had wanted to see how long I could go without drugs. At this point, it had been almost 24 hours since my back labor had started. I hadn't know that's why my back had been hurting the night before. I opted for an epidural and it was wonderful. I could still feel the pressure when I had a contraction, but it was manageable. The nurse recommended I try to sleep for a bit since it was about 11pm and we were in for a potentially long night.

Around 1am, the pain and pressure began to intensify again. I asked Hubs to get the nurse. She checked me again to see how things were progressing. I had dilated to a 10 just two hours! She decided that it was time to begin getting ready for the arrival of Bitty Baby. The room began to change as they pulled out the warming bed for her, the surgical stuff for the doctor and all of the others things that they needed. The nurse told me that it was time to start pushing. Bitty Baby coming 2 weeks early and being my first baby, I had no idea what was going to come next. Mentally, I was not prepared. The first hour of pushing did not go well. I was frustrated and tired. My nurse and Hubs were both amazing, supportive and encouraging the entire time. I am so thankful for a veteran nurse who had been delivering babies for longer than I've been alive. She was incredible and an absolutely God-send. The second hour, I was so tired that I began falling asleep between contractions. I would push for 30-45 seconds, sleep for 2-5 minutes and continued for an hour. Around 2:45am, the doctor came in and told me that she was coming. I was going to get to meet my baby. My sweet baby girl that I'd been waiting to meet for 8.5 months.

The last couple of pushes were awful. But totally worth it. Baby girl came out and started screaming right away. She was put on my chest and as soon as I started talking to her, she began to calm down right away. She weighed 6lbs, 14 oz. and was 18 inches long- a perfectly beautiful baby. She was 100% healthy!

Welcome to the world Bitty Baby Beckett! 
I am so happy to be your mum and love you! 

Monday, February 24, 2014

[ Countdown is on! 8 weeks left! ]

How far along: 32 weeks, exactly. 

Sleep: Less and less, but I have found a system involving 3 pillows & a thin blanket that helps a bit. I take up more bed but the Hubs seems to think a not-tired me is worth it. 

Best moment this week: Either attending our birthing class and trying very hard not to giggle through practicing breathing & labor exercises in the back of the class or when we both realized we are in single digits as we count down to her arrival!

Movement: All I can say is this girl has moves & she ain't afraid to use them. She literally takes my breath away mid-sentence with a swift kick into my ribs and lungs! I noticed it seems a bit more cramped over this past week. 

Miss anything: Regular sized meals. I eat about half and save the rest for an hour later when I know I'll be hungry again. 

Food cravings: At this exact moment, nothing in particular. But grapefruit has been my go to lately. 

Maternity Clothes: oh yes, and the choices continue to narrow down with the ever expanding tummy!

Anything making you queasy or sick: I'm just way more sensitive to smells. If something is too strong, it makes me a bit queasy- even if it's not a "bad" smell. 

Have you started to show yet: Oh ya, we have moved past just showing to the point where you can see my tummy roll and every movement of Bitty Baby. It's actually really cool to see her stretch and move! 

Gender prediction: Hopefully she's still a girl... I bought some headbands this past week and I'm pretty sure the bow would look funny on a little boy. 

Labor signs: The occasional contraction, but nothing regular or concerning. More just startling when I stand up too fast. I can't believe we are down to single digits though (8 weeks!!!) so everytime it makes me pay more attention as I hope it's not early labor. 

Belly button in or out: Definitely neither. It's just flat. 

Happy or Moody most of the time: I wouldn't say moody, but probably a bit more prone to cry. And it's over the dumbest things, being too tired, putting on my boots, picking out which shirt to wear, having a messy house, and the ridiculous list goes on. I can always laugh afterwards, but in the moment I have no self control or ability to think logically. Yes, you may think my poor husband... I do sometimes too. 

Looking forward to: My first baby shower is this next Sunday and I'm so excited! We don't have a lot of baby stuff yet because of the renovations and lack of storage space combined with the inability to set up her nursery yet. So I am excited to get somethings for her! 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

[ House Remodel Update ]

We have been working on renovating our upstairs. When we moved in 3 1/2 years ago, I took a number of pictures so we could remember what we started with. I did the same thing with downstairs and looking back, it's crazy to see the before and after pictures! Here's what we started with:

This will be baby's room. I used to call it the Pink Room. It's a great room in the front of the house with plenty of golden sunshine in the morning. If you've stayed with us before, you've probably stayed in this room as it was a primary guest bedroom.
This will be our Master bedroom. It's right above our dining room and is the same size, which we are excited about! I've always called it the tan room (I was super original and just called them whatever color they had been painted). It looks out to the south over our fire pit and the lower pasture where we can sometimes see wild turkeys walking through. 
This picture is only half of the room, but since it's pretty symmetrical, just imagine the other half looking the exact same. This room (the Blue Room, again, I'm sure you can guess why!) is going to be our Reading Room. In order to get to the back of the house (no previous pics- I can't remember where I stored them!) where we are going to be adding another bathroom, laundry area and office, you would have to walk through this bedroom to get there. So we decided to just make it into another area with a TV, couches and a place to relax. I love the low windows that look out to the North as our giant oak tree towers over that side of the house. Remington loves to sit at these windows and watch for cars to drive by or for Grama & Grampa next door to come home.  
So that's what we had before. Lot's of different colors, plaster and slat board all being held up by thick wallpaper. We had nob and tube wiring that had been chewed through in the past year by some friendly rodent which meant no electricity upstairs. So, obviously when Bitty Baby was starting to grow, we knew that we had to start planning a big renovation project that would hopefully be done before she'd make her grand arrival in the spring.

We invited a bunch of guys (& a girlfriend who is a beast at cleaning up renovating!) for a demo day. We anticipated a full day of tearing out plaster and slat board as we dumped it out of our shoot to a dumpster park below one of the windows. Turns out that our family and friends are incredibly talented at demo and completely tore out the upstairs by 1pm. That included all walls, ceilings and a lot of the clean up.

In the pic below, it's a panoramic while standing in the reading room. The Baby's room is in the far lefthand side, our room is in the middle (with a giant pile of garbage), the bathroom/laundry & office is in the far righthand side of the pic.
We had hoped to find some cool things in the walls, maybe a time capsule or something just as sweet. When we redid some of the walls on the main floor, we found news paper from the 1930s which was really cool to read. I eventually framed quite a bit of it and used it for decoration around the house, trying to keep some of the history. We didn't find anything like that upstairs, but instead learned exactly where the original house was. We knew the house had been added onto, but as the walls were torn down, we discovered that when they added on, they just built right over the existing roof- shingles and all. 
Since that demo day, family and friends have been working up there sometimes 5 nights a week for the past month trying to get everything ready. Electrical needed to be run, ductwork hooked up, plumbing put in and walls/doors changed to fit out layout. The bathroom and office were framed in first. Plumbing for the bathroom (including a bathroom- I cannot wait!) was put in next and then they moved onto electrical.

This is our Master Bedroom, with His and Hers closets on either side of the windows. I'm not only really excited about our own closet spaces but we are also going to put in a window bench to sit and enjoy the beautiful view outside! 
This is the view as if you were standing between the His and Hers closet looking into the rest of our bedroom. Eventually, our bed will be against the big wall and you won't be able to see the Reading Room, but you can see as the guys are working on the electrical and studs for each of the rooms. 
At this point, there's a lot of mess. There's a lot of sweeping, vacuuming and repeating that process. There's a lot of shared meals, brainstorming and saws running loudly upstairs. It's a lot of work for the men that have been putting in long hours to try and get our upstairs ready for this pending arrival of Bitty Baby. There have been stressful times, being pregnant with roller coaster hormones sometimes makes for hard days. But MOST days are happy days as I get to dream about where to hang pictures and set up her crib. I get to pick out colors to splash our walls with. In the next couple weeks, the sheetrock should arrive along with insulation and our rooms are going to begin taking better shape!

Monday, January 13, 2014

[ 26 Weeks & Counting! ]

Sometime this week, I cross the line that takes us into the 3rd trimester. I cross the line that takes us to the next step, a step closer to meeting our baby girl. Over the last couple months, I would think about things like cute outfits, what color to paint the nursery, if I just felt a kick or just gas. But over the past week or so, it's begun to change. Instead of just being in the middle of being pregnant, the end has begun to take shape....

How far along: 26 weeks, 1 day.

Sleep: Some nights are better than others, but it's been quite a few months since I've slept through the whole night. 

Best moment this week: Sitting upstairs with Hubs and dreaming about how we are going to be renovating our upstairs. Demo starts in a week and a half and as the upstairs begins to take shape, we know that the pending arrival of bitty baby girl is just getting that much closer!

Movement: Her kicks are getting stronger, she wakes me up in the morning- trying to motivate me to get out of bed, something that isn't always the easier due to lack of solid sleep.

Miss anything: At this moment, I miss the days before I'd ever have heartburn. Regardless of what I eat, my dear friend heartburn joins me every evening. 

Food cravings: Anything sweet. Tonight, I gave in a bought gummies. Gummies are my weakness- regardless of my pregnant or non-pregnant state- and tonight I caved. Fruit, ice cream and coffee creamer are things I cannot do a day without right now. 

Maternity Clothes: Uh, of course. Since week 13 or so, I've been in maternity pants. They are ah-mazing. This week, I began to realize that my expanding tummy is starting to need more bigger shirts which means new clothes & shopping. Thank goodness for online shops, free shipping and free returns!

Anything making you queasy or sick: I haven't really been sick since week 16. Thank goodness! Sometimes strong smells will make my stomach flip flop, but not enough to make me sick.

Have you started to show yet: Duh. No hiding this baby girl!

Gender prediction: We know it's a girl, even though most people seemed to say that it would be a boy. This mama was right! 

Labor signs: Maybe some light contractions, but that's normal and just means that we really are heading towards the end stretch!

Belly button in or out: a teeny-tiny bit in still, which I am going to cling to for as long as I can.  

Wedding rings on or off: I took them off a couple weeks ago. My fingers haven't been too swollen, but the ring has actually been a tiny bit too small since I got the bands sautered together and I was nervous that if I didn't take if off while I still could, I would have to get it sawed off and that sounds terrible!

Happy or Moody most of the time: We will just say it's probably about halfsies. Getting closer to April and meeting this bitty baby girl means that the pressure to get ready for her eminent arrival is going to creep up faster than we probably realize and this mama finds that stressful at times. Other times, I am just excited to be pregnant, to meet my girl soon, to see my husband as a dad, to choose cute baby outfits and enjoy these last couple months. 

Looking forward to: This week? Official hitting the 3rd trimester, I just can't believe how fast time has gone by! Other upcoming events? Beginning renovations upstairs, which means a nursery & new master bedroom. 
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