Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Its a....

Sweet Healthy Baby!!

Who also happens to be a boy!

This is a happy, happy day.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Bump it Up

So, this is the first pregnancy where I have not been in constant panic-mode. Don't get me wrong, I probably would be, if I didn't have "I am Gracie, hear me roar" well, roaring, at me most of the time. Its a nice change, I will be the first to admit, but in a way its a little weird. I think about this baby, and I love this baby, but he (or she) is not my biggest focus 24/7. Probably a good thing for all involved.

However, since this might be my last pregnancy (according to Parke, there is no "might" about it...but I mean never say never, right?)- I decided I would try to be like those cool, together moms who do weekly updates during their pregnancy. Since this is me we are talking about here, these posts will probably only last a couple of weeks...but I will try.

So, without further ado, here is my 15 week update....

-According to my weekly pregnancy email, the baby is currently the size of an apple. This always gets me wondering, are they talking about big old red delicious apples, or those little tiny sour green things? Because if I can walk around with a big old apple in my stomach and not feel it...I mean, that's kind of an odd thought, isn't it?

- Which brings me to- movement. Not yet, I don't think. I mean there have been a couple of times where I thought I felt a twinge or two, but nothing definite yet. I felt Rip at 17 weeks and Gracie closer to 16, so I am trying to resist the urge to poke at the poor creature until then.

- My lack of poking may also have to do with the fact that I am STILL nauseous. Not all of the time, and not NEARLY as bad as it was in the beginning...but I think this baby already realizes he/she will be competing with a...vivacious...older sibling and wants to make his presence know. On the plus side, my skin and hair are better than they have been in previous pregnancies, so I look green but well-maintained.

- Craving-wise I am all salt, salt, salt. Chips and pickles are a particular favorite at the moment. Absolutely no carbonated drinks. Meals in which I overindulge are met with less than favorable consequences, of which I will spare you the details.

-Note that has not slowed down my weight gain. After little to no gain in my first trimester, the last three weeks have been overachievers. This will probably be my last post on weight gain, as we can all just agree from here on out its pretty much a given.

- Due to aforementioned weight gain and nausea, maternity pants are pretty much a must right now. I can still get away with non-maternity tops, but I am more than ready to "pop" and prove there is actually a baby in here.

- But who is it? Not sure yet! We go on February 25th to find out for the gender. I am still very much leaning towards boy, but would not be totally surprised to be wrong this time around.

I will try to add a picture next time around. Today, I don't like my outfit enough to have it permanently documented. Don't worry, little one, its not that your mother is vain...its just that looking bad never helps anything (or so I've been told).

Until next week! Littlest one, you sure are loved.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Finding the Beautiful

A couple of mamas I know, "heart mamas" (aka some of the most hardcore, awesome mamas) who have "heart babies" (aka pretty much some of the bravest, coolest kids in the world) posted this blog post on their Facebook pages this week. It struck such a cord, I had to repost.

I have some really vivid memories of different times in my past where life seemed so beautiful it almost hurt. One when I was dancing with my baby sister when she was about a year old. Another when I was sitting in the sunroom of my family home, looking out at a bright blue sky. One when I was driving around Clemson University with my best friends, singing at the top of our lungs. Another when I was on my honeymoon, staring up at the stars and thankful for the beginning of a happy life.

And then I had children, and life got so beautiful it almost breaks me sometimes.

My prayer, every single day, is that no more babies have to hurt. Ever. And even when I know that prayer is not likely to come true on this earth, I pray it anyway.

Having lost a baby, I felt a connection to that Heart Mama who wrote the blog post. She is finding the beautiful.

I once read a post by a mother who lost a child, and she said that it hurt her for people to say they appreciated their children more because of her loss. I understand that. I never want someone to feel sorry for us because of Rip, we are very blessed people and don't expect pity. But I also know that I do appreciate my children more because of our loss.

I get up with Gracie at 2am sometimes and just lie there and thank God for the smell of her shampoo. I kiss her cheeks so many times a day I am surprised she doesn't have an imprint of my lips tattooed there.

And I think that must be what all mothers who have had sick babies, or experience loss, must do. We find the beautiful, and maybe even more of it, because of what we face.

Today is Valentine's Day. February is heart awareness month. Please take the time today to say a prayer for all the babies who need them. I, for one, am going to Gracie's first Valentine's party this afternoon. If you see me with tears in my eyes while 20 children run around on a candy high, just ignore me. Finding so much beauty has turned me into a big old crybaby.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

State of Grace

I know that a lot of time and discussion is given to the "Terrible Two's", but I've got to say that, so far, I'm really enjoying this stage. Now, that is certainly not to say that Gracie does not have her moments...she does, she truly does...but even those moments I often find secretly hilarious. Here are a glimpses into life with our two-year-old...

Gracie, though generally a sweet girl, has recently developed a penchant for whacking people (mainly me) in the face, particularly when my face has the misfortune to get too close to hers. And, I mean, I get it...its not that I haven't occasionally felt the urge to belt somebody whose big mug gets in my personal space...but it a practice that is generally frowned upon and sometimes it really hurts. Therefore, Parke and I have tried to implement age-appropriate redirections and punishments. I think maybe we need to re-think our tactics...

Gracie's self-imposed punishment, after yet another "tap" to her mother's face: "Hud" (Hug) "Tiss" (Kiss) "Soddy"( Sorry) "I go to time out"...which she promptly does.

One thing that always kind of cracks me up about kids, at least my kid, is how they perk up like dogs at the sight or sound of ANYTHING you are attempting to eat by yourself. Gracie can hear the opening of a yogurt lid from the opposite side of the house. No sooner has my mouth touched the spoon beforeI hear her, eyes sparkling and already pulling up a chair, "Whazzat?"

The other day I finally thought I found something she would not be interested in,  a salad with a bunch of "stuff" in it. Unfortunately she finished her peanut butter toast early and climbed into my lap for a closer look. Right now she is big on "yikes" and "not yikes", so I had a bad feeling when she reached her grubby little hand right in and grabbed a cherry tomato.

"I YIKE it," she declared.
I told her I did not think she would.
Big bite into cherry tomato, spraying juice into both of our faces and a surprising distance into the kitchen before spitting the offending item back into my salad.
"I NOT yike dat."

Gracie loves to sing. Unfortunately, neither Parke nor I can carry a tune to save our lives, so it is no surprise that her serenades, while beautiful to us, are not really fit for public consumption. This does not give her a moments pause. Her favorite of all time is "Jesus Loves Me"- cute, right? Maybe not so much if you are minding your own business shopping at TJ Maxx and she is on her 12th round of
"JESUS LUBS ME DISS I KNOWWWW, FOR THE BIB-BUL TELLS ME SO". I know, lady shooting me dirty looks, but I'm not gonna be the mom who tells her kid to stop singing about Jesus, okay?

Speaking of Jesus, we have have finally made it back to attending church regularly. Albeit not often for the full sermon, even though several times before entering Gracie cautions Parke and me to "be tw-iet in shursh", the quiet of a two year old only last so long. Last week was a particularly rough Sunday due to the unfortunate soul sitting in front of us. Gracie, to put it mildly, is obsessed with "boo-boo's" and other ailments. Sorry on you if you have the poor judgement to point out any small scratch or cut you may have in her presence. You will be discussing said cut for the next hour and a half, with multiple viewings. Therefore, Parke and I were horrified to see the man in front of us had a "bump" on the back of his neck. Like, could have used Proactiv bump. Sure enough, it wasn't ten minutes before Gracie zeroed in..."UH-OH MAMA- BOO BOO!!!" While we tried to divert her attention, the girl was determined to have a closer look and I am sure the poor man felt toddler cheerio breath on his neck before we finally dragged her out. She is still talking about it a week later.

These are just some of Gracie's latest and greatest. She keeps us laughing, and on our toes, and I wouldn't have it any other way. The state of grace is always changing and I would not change that for the world.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Getting what you need

Thank y'all so much for the sweet words and congratulations! They made the pregnancy feel more real,  and hitting the second trimester has helped as well. Now I have that "special pregnant lady" vibe going, whereas before I had that "really nauseous, please don't eat onions within a mile of me" vibe.

Which leads me to the question every pregnant woman asks at some point- who is this little person swimming around inside of me? I know some women prefer to be surprised. I admire those women greatly. I really, really don't like to be surprised (ironic, given the name of this blog, I know).

With both Rip and Gracie, I had such strong feelings about whether they were male or female. I was right with both...this newest addition has me guessing.

Long before I got pregnant, I dreamed of having a daughter. I have a very good relationship with my own mother, and some of my best memories are of special things and days we have had together. I wanted that bond with my own girl one day.

And then I got pregnant with Rip. And man, I changed my tune quickly. Boy mom seemed suddenly the best idea EVER.

When we lost Rip, and I was waiting to get pregnant again, that was where my mind stayed...boy, boy, boy.

Then I got pregnant with Gracie. Turns out, I got the baby girl I'd been waiting for my whole life.

With this baby, my mind says "he". My first instinct was boy, and I have to say that is what I am still leaning towards...but my body says she (please see afore-mentioned "really nauseous, no onions etc"). I was never sick with Rip, very much so with Gracie.

So here is what I know-

If we have a little boy, he will be the best thing that ever happened to us.

If we have a little girl, she will be the best thing that ever happened to us.

Because sometimes you really do get what you need.