Monday, August 29, 2011

Slightly disconnected.

Both of my pregnancies were/have been pretty easy.  Physically easy. Emotionally this prgnancy has been a little difficult.  During this pregnancy both Baby Bear and I have been put on the back burner.  Taking care of Teagan's needs have come first and I feel like they should. She is here and can't care for herself.  So, I (and Josh), have to.  Don't think I resent Teagan for this at all.  I love caring for Teagan.  The fact that I have let me an Baby Bear be put on the back burner has made it hard for me to focus on this pregnancy or Baby Bear at all.  That is my fault. NOT Teagan's.
I just feel so disconnected from Baby Bear.  I feel like  haven't had time to be excited.  I feel like I've barely had time to remember I'm even pregnant.  I don't feel like I know this baby.  With Teagan I knew every movement.  I knew her schedule.  I sang to her. I read to her. I spent hours rubbing my belly and day dreaming about holding her.  By the time I sit down at night I am so exhausted I can barely keep my eyes open. 
The feeling of disconnect scares me.  What if the feeling continues after Baby Bear gets here?  What if I'm not capable of loving nother baby? What if I just go through the motions?  What if I compare Baby Bear to Teagan? Should we have found out if Baby Bear is a boy or girl?  Would that have helped?  Would buying a few "things" specifically for Baby Bear make me feel more connected? Like "ohh, this is for Baby Bear"!  I feel like the emotionally floodgates are fixing to open at any time.  There are anywhere from 4-7 weeks before Baby Bear gets here.  There have been times I have just wished for this pregnancy to be over so I can hold Baby Bear.  So I can pove to Baby Bear that I DO love her/him.  So I can cuddle and nurse and rock.  So I can connect.  I almost feel more pressure to deliver vaginally and naturally.  I feel like that would help me feel with the connection.  I know that sounds kind of crazy but it's how I feel.  I am craving any kind of connection with my Baby. 
Have any of you felt like this? With your first? Second? Third? Was there anything that helped you? I feel so scared and so helpless. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Step Back.

Have you ever just taken a step back and watched? I try to do this on occasion with Josh and Teagan.  When I do I am never disappointed and I always seem to be amazed at what I am looking at.  I have seen my husband change so much over the last few years of us becoming man and wife.  I have seen even more change in him as he has become a father. A daddy.  He has an old soul that comes with a calmness I can only strive for.  He is driven by purpose and a strong need to provide for his family. For me, Teagan and Baby Bear. As Teagan gets older his and her bond get stronger and stronger.  I see a new light in his eyes that never seems to waiver.  It began when he carefully and gently held her for the first time. She was his.  Forever.  With Teagan it is almost as if Josh has a new sense of purpose for his life.  Every bone in my body believes he would go to the ends of the earth and back for her.  I wouldn't want it any other way. 
And Teagan. Oh my sweet Teagan. She loves her daddy with such a sweet innocence that sometimes it's almost surreal.  She knows her daddy's voice, his footsteps and the sound of his car pulling into the garage.  The light in her eyes when she hears the creak of the kitchen door often brings tears to my eyes.  She knows Daddy is home.
As bittersweet as time passing is I still feel a curious anxiety for the time to come.  I anxiously await being able to step back and see just how the bond of father-daughter grows. How their love for each other defies the odds.  No matter what they might be.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Goal: VBAC. The successful kind.

I don't make it a secret that I had a C-section with Teagan.  There is nothing to be ashamed of.  I had an incredibly successful c-section that I recovered marvelously from. Dr. James totally rocked it.  Was it my ideal way to bring our sweet girl into the world? No. Was it necessary? My doctor thought so and I trust my doctor.  We trust my doctors.  The ultimate goal of healthy baby/healthy mommy was met and that is what counts.
This go 'round we are aiming for a VBAC.  The doctors, Josh and I have discussed it and they are all for it as long as this baby is under 8 lbs (even though I have one doc who thinks Baby Bear is going to be a giant).  Also, the fact that I didn't develop gestational diabetes this time is playing in our favor. 
Honestly, I am starting to get a little nervous.  The nervous that started sneaking up around this time with Teagan. The HOLY COW THIS BABY HAS TO COME OUT nervous!!!  When I went into labor with Teagan the thought of a c-section hadn't really crossed my mind.  I did a lot of laboring at home and by the time we got to the hospital I was at 7cm and still going strong.  They say the second baby comes faster and there is a lot to consider with a VBAC so basically at the sign of real labor this time we'll need to head to the hospital.  This stirs a mixture of feelings through me.  I know why I need to get to the hospital quickly and we will but I am anxious about it.  I know the second we get into the room they are going to start hooking me up to everything under the sun to make sure things are going smoothly.  I get that. I really do. Am I excited about it? No. I don't want to be hooked up to a lot of things. I want to be free to labor in my "froggy" position like I did so well with Teagan and I want to be able to walk and shower and do it my way.  I am fearful it won't happen that way because of all the precautions that have to be taken.  Then there is still the possibility of a c-section that will linger until we go into labor.  We will have an ultrasound when I am 36 weeks to see what the size of Baby Bear is estimated to be and then a decision about the c-section will be made.  Until then we are going forward with the VBAC plan. 
Right now, as much as I want a VBAC, I am determined to stay open minded about the whole situation.  Josh and I have discussed it and obviously we are only concerned with the healthy baby/healthy mommy outcome no matter how we get there.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dearest Teagan

Dearest Teagan,
My Sweet Little Bear, these last few weeks have been kind of rough on you.  I was gone for 4 days then we left for a very long road trip to Vermont and we threw your schedule all out of sorts.  Then the week after we got back you got bit at school, pretty hard, twice.  Your world hasn't quite gone back to normal yet.  Since we got back the only time you'll leave my side without protest is at school.  I'm not sure if you are still getting back into a comfortable place, if you are afraid I will leave you for a few days again or if you are really starting to sense whats coming in two months. 
Some things are going to change.  Things I have no power over.  I am going to get more and more tired as these 2 months progress.  So far I think I have been pretty good at not letting this effect how I play or interact with you.  I usually wait to crash after you've gone to bed.  This might change a little but as the weather gets cooler I hope it won't change too much.  My belly is only going to continue to get bigger.  Mommy isn't very tall so Baby Bear has nowhere to go but out!  That means sitting in my lap is going to get a little more difficult.  Just because my belly is getting bigger does not mean there isn't room for you anymore.  It just means we wil have to make some adjustments.  You might just have to sit on the side of my lap instead of the middle.  We will make it work though Kiddo, I promise. 
I just want you to know that your daddy and I will do everything in our power to make sure you don't get lost in the shuffle.  I hope you will never question the fact that we love you.  There will never be a time in your life where we won't love you and try to show it to the best of our ability.  Remember that always. 

Forever & Always,

The Getty Owl Foundation. Auction Day 2!!

Yesterday's piece found here, sold for $102!! How awesome is that!?! If you missed the opportunity to bid there is another opportunity headed your way! How about bidding on this sweet painting done by Natalie.  You can bid on it here.  Don't foget all bids start out at $10!

100% of all proceeds will be going through the Getty Owl Foundation to the Gene Therapy Program at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
Help us fight SMA, the #1 genetic killer of young children. 

Summing up SMA.

August is SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy) Awareness month.  There are a lot of technical medical terms associated with SMA that can quickly get confusing. 
Here are a few things you should know about SMA and then there is an awesome visual aid that has been passed around the internet that really puts things into perspective. 

*SMA is an inherited disease that causes progressive muscle degeneration/weakness. 
*SMA Type 1 is the most severe kind of SMA. Teagan's sweet friend Getty has Type 1.
*SMA is the #1 genetic killer of young children.  It occurs in nearly 1 out of every 6,000 births.
*1 in EVERY 40 people unknowingly carries the gene. No matter their ethnicity.  Their gender.  Their race.
Now, if that alone didn't shock you then let this picture sink into your brain:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Need art for your home?

How about this piece?

The Getty Owl Foundation is having an online art auction. The auction starts on Tuesday, August 23rd until they run out of art which will probably be around August 30th.
All the art sold is either made by a child with SMA or a loving parent of an SMA child.
100% of the money raised is going to the Getty Owl Foundation for the gene therapy program at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
The starting bid of all of the art is $10
2 pieces of art will be up for auction each day.

This piece of art was made by a little girl name Nora.  Nora has SMA Type 1.  She is a little fighting firecracker though who apparently has a nack for painting! Isn't her "Abstract Minnie" piece fantastic?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Normal Car Conversations

This is what a typical conversation is like with Teagan in the mornings on the way to school:

T: Mommy
Me: Yes, Sweetness?
T: Mommmmy
Me: Yes, Sweetness?
T: (louder) Mommy! *giggle*
Me: Yes, Sweetness?
T: (even louder) MOMMY! MOMMY!
Me: I love you!
T: *giggle*
Me: Look, Teagan! Choo-Choo train!
T: CHOO CHOO! CHOO CHOO! Bye-Bye Choo Choo!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

8 weeks to go...

We are in the single digits now when it comes to the countdown to Baby Bear!  It's really hard to believe how fast it's gone by.  In 5 weeks we will be FULL TERM. Really?!? 5 weeks? That means I could be cradling and nursing Baby Bear in 5 weeks.  It seems so surreal that we have almost reached that point.  The point where I need to pack the hospital bag. 

I am doing pretty well with the weight gain with this baby.  Usually I odn't brag on myself but I've tried to do really well this time and it's working.  I have gained right at 20 lbs and it all seems to be in the "proper" areas.  My hips are beginning to take on the "make room for baby" position and so somedays I feel like I look like I've gained more then I really have but the scale doesn't lie! Especially the one at the doctor's office!

I still have only bought 2 pair of maternity jeans.  I bought 2 tanks from Target that were longs and my MIL brought up the straps for me so I can wear them now and later so they count as half maternity even though they aren't.  I am still in the mindset that this will be my last time I need them so I refuse to spend a lot of money on clothes I will only be in for another few weeks.  It has definitely made me more creative when it comes to my wardrobe!

Thankfully I am still sleeping well.  My hips hurt like they did with Teagan but not nearly as bad.  I think that is in part to the weight gain difference.  I am sleeping with a pillow between my knees and that seems to help alleviate some of the pain.  I haven't even had to start the bathroom trips at night yet! I am sure they are coming though...

The only big craving I have had has been pancakes and cereal. I had a pancake craving that lasted about 2 weeks that we finally conquered last night thanks to Josh and IHOP! I have had cereal (usually Frosted Flakes or Honey Smacks) every night for the last few months! I can't go to bed at night without my cereal!

My mood has been on the up and up lately!  My anxiety is decreasing with every week.  It seems like it would be the opposite but once again the Lord's provision is shining through just when we need it.  We have been blessed with such an amazing church community and friends who have offered to throw us a shower for this baby.  We are having a before Baby Bear gets here and then after Baby Bear gets here shower.  We are truly blessed. 

Josh is still building furniture (yes, he is THAT amazing) and has one more coat of paint to put on the nursery walls until they are finished.  We are just worrying with the basics now and then we will tackle the actual decoration part as we learn Baby Bear's personality! I can't wait to dive into that project!!

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Vermont: Day at the Fair

We took Teagan to the Addison County Fair when we went to Vermont.  She loved it! The animals, the food and her first ever tractor pull!

She was beyond adorable and I don't think her eyes went back to normal size until we were well on our way down the road!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Book Review! Woohoo!

I actually had time to finish TWO books on the flight to and from San Diego for BlogHer ´11.

The first book I read on the way there was ¨Raising Jake¨ by Charlie Carillo.

This was actually a fairly good book.  It was a coming of age book for both the father and the son.  The book was a little raw but it was really honest.  I do think there were  a few parenting lines that were crossed but it was pertinent to the story.  The idea that it took this long for a father and son to really talk or get to know each other seems like it would hit home with a lot of people.  I have been fortunate to be close enough to my dad that it didn´t take something hard in each of our lives to learn about each other so I wasn´t really able to relate to that idea.  It was nice to see the relationship between two people grow so rapidly when they were honest with themselves and each other.  
I think as parents we do need to filter some of the things we reveal about ourselves but I still think we need to be honest with our children.  If there is not a base of honesty in our relationships with our children then what is there?

So, yes, I would recommend this book.  It was a pretty quick and easy read because there was never really a lull in the storyline so a few hours or a couple of days and you´ll have one more book checked off your reading list! If you add it to your list first! Happy reading!

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Have you ever felt such an overwhelming peace come over you? The kind where you don't have a doubt in your mind that all will be well regardless of what might happen.  In the last year or so I have been blessed with this peace.  As morbid as this might seem to a lot of people, I am not afraid of death.  The dying part, yes. I'm not the most pain tolerant person. The death part not at all.  I had a dream before I went to BlogHer '11, and flew across the country, that a few years ago would have rocked my world.  I dreamed the plane I was in crashed.  Now, I have been flying quite literally my entire life.  I'm an Air Force brat and we traveled a lot.  I've never been scared of flying and quite honestly never though twice about it.  But, the older I get the more cynical I have become. I even get scared of thunderstorms on occasion.    
In my dream we hit a lot of turbulence and the captain came across the speaker saying we were going to try and conduct an emergency landing so we should all be prepared.  Then the inevitable came across the speaker.  The fact that we were going down seemed to consume the plane.  There were screams and crying and tears all around yet I felt an overwhelming peace.  I was okay with the idea of dying.  I had a pain surge through my body because I knew I would never again see my family on Earth but I knew I would see them again and it gave me peace.  I've memorized their faces and in my mind I was kissing and hugging them.  I just wanted them to have one last I love you, one last goodbye from me so I took a permanent marker, hot pink to be exact, and I wrote this on my arm as we were preparing for the crash: 

PB & LB- I love you forever and always. To the moon & back. Rejoice for me because as much as my heart aches that I won't see you on Earth BB & I will be waiting on you in Heaven.  Mom & Dad- I love you forever.

I was not crying in the dream.  I was actually quite peaceful.  The sole fact that I knew exactly where I was going gave me such a peace.  I am so appreciative that the Lord has given me such a peace in my life that I could never had found on my own.   

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I have been on a blogging sabbatical not quite on purpose.  These last few weeks have been a whirlwind.  First BlogHer '11 and then a family trip to Vermont with the in-laws.  Both trips were fun but there was no rest involved.  I/we went nonstop for both trips and I ended up with a very angry body.  I learned that if your feet start to swell and your back starts to hurt that it means SLOW DOWN your pregnant self. 
I have plenty to blog about and I promise I will. Starting tomorrow.  I still have more BlogHer '11 to tell you about. Plus we just took the trip to VT and I took a ton of pictures! Even a really cute belly picture that a few of you have been asking about along with 32 week pregnancy details. HELLO, there is another baby coming out of me in eight weeks!  And my, my how Teagan has grown! I think she added a few inches while I was gone and while we were in VT! It wasn't just inches she added either! The vocabulary she has developed has been incredible.  I will leave you with this teaser: "Ice ice baby". 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Figuring out that I´m pregnant.

There was so much to see and do and experience at BlogHer11.  At home there is always something to be done. Change diapers, give baths, work, fix dinner, occasionally get a shower in.  My body hasn´t really had time to figure out that it´s pregnant.  Until this weekend when it couldn´t take it anymore.  My body decided to remind me just how pregnant I am.  My body reminded me, at BlogHer11, that in about 10 weeks a baby is coming out of my body.  I learned my lesson the hard way.  A few times. 
Saturday I did a lot of walking and rushing and didn´t get a lot of sleep the night before.  I also was not drinking enough water so my body was a little dehydrated.  I started cramping, getting short of breath and my heart started racing.  I headed toward the medic to get my blood pressure checked.  Luckily it was fine, barely high, but he told me I was over doing it and needed to sit down and take it easy.  So, I did, for a little while.  There were sessions to go to and people to meet and see.  I rested long enough to be okay for a little while.  By the end of the night I was having small contractions. I called Josh, called the nurse and she told me to go to bed and call if they got worse in the hour.  All was well after I laid down. I knew I had over done it. 
Sunday was a different story.  I had no choice but to run around like a chicken with it´s head cut off.  I had to wait forever in line to check in at the airport, the guy tried to send me to flippin´ Washington instead of Charlotte and I literally had to run to my gate.  RUN.  At 30 weeks pregnant.  Carrying 3 bags loaded down with goodies.  That meant no breakfast and a 3 hour flight.  I tried to find one of those little carts to take me but nobody seemed to be manning their´s.  There were just a lot sitting around unmanned.  I started having small contractions that finally went away after boarding the plane.  Then the plane landed late and I had to run across the Houston airport and take the tram to get to my plane on time.  Luckily I had time to grab a sandwich and some juice but that didn´t stop the contractions from starting over again.  Thankfully they subsided once I was able to get on the plane.  But by then I was completely uncomfortable.  My hips and butt and legs were hurting and so sore and there was no moving around or getting comfortable.  The flight home was pretty much miserable.
This last week was a not so gentle reminder that I am very much pregnant.  That I need to slow down.  That it is okay to take a break once in a while.  That there are people around me who will help when I am trying to do it all.  That I need to let myself ask for that help.  And that Baby Bear will be here in less then 10 weeks. Holy flippin' cow. 

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Okay, so I am kind of a closet Biggest Loser, Bob Harper lover.  There. I just came out about it. 
It gets worse. I got to MEET him! Actually, I almost ran into him and got to touch his arm and he said hi to me and I was a babbling idiot that barely got out a ¨hi¨while my eyes took on the ¨crazy eyes¨ look.  (Please read that last sentence incredibly fast and in a hardcore southern accent.)
He was at BlogHer11 and did an early morning yoga class and then ate breakfast with some lucky bloggers.  I was eating breakfast with my Uncle Chuck and my Aunt Lynda. It was a tough call but they are family and hopefully appreciate that I gave up Bob Freakin Harper for them (that was sarcastic- I had a great time with them and an amazing breakfast)!!

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Monday, August 8, 2011

BlogHer11 lessons learned. Part 2.

1) Don't set expectations too high.  There were a couple of bloggers that I wanted to meet while I was there.  A few "top tier" bloggers.  I set my expectations too high for some of them.  I expected them to be just as sweet as they seem on their blogs.  Maybe they are but I wasn't feelin' it.  I'm sure it was nothing personal.  They were there to have fun with their friends like everybody else.  Their intentions for BlogHer were not necessarily to meet and mentor new and inexperienced bloggers.  I did get to meet Beth Anne from Heir to Blair. OH MY GOSH is she exactly like I had imagined.  Just as unfiltered and funny and kind as she seems on her blog.  I will blog about our meeting later on.

2) Stay in the host hotel if at all possible.  This will save you time and hassle.  I didn't stay in the host hotel. I didn't stay in a hotel within walking distance. It was a PAIN in the buhunkus.  I got loaded down in the Expo Hall and needed to drop off all my swag so I had to catch a shuttle to the hotel and back. This kills about 45 minutes of the day at a time and that is only if the shuttle is available at that moment.  Or my pregnant feet needed to prop (per the medic-another story) and I had to plop in a corner of the Convention Center somewhere instead of my room.

3) Be yourself and don't be afraid of it.  I am myself on my blog. I don't try to portray myself as a better mom then I am.  I don't try and make it look like I have an awful life just to get sympathy.  I don't try and be fake.  I decided to be the same at BlogHer11.  There were plenty of people there.  If somebody didn't like me for the person I am then out of 3600 people somebody was bound to befriend me. And they did! I met some wonderful ladies there!

4) Put yourself out there.  I didn't do this as much as I should until the second day.  I should have been a little more direct in introducing myself.  I also didn't "practice" my pitch as much as I should have.  The more people you network with the better. 

5) Work the pregnancy. Because people won't work it for you! In the airport when I was rushing and basically throwing myself into contractions trying not to miss my plane NOBODY cared. That was partially my fault. I didn't ask for help, I just assumed somebody would step up and help the pregnant woman.  I didn't want to look like "that" pregnant woman but I would appreciated some sympathy every now an then. But I take fault for that because I didn't ask and I was always "okay". Shame on me.

6) Remember your water bottle.  There were places to get water in every room.  We were told to bring our water bottles but in the rush of packing I completely forgot.  I think my lack of water intake was partially to blame for the onset of a few contractions.  If I would have had my water bottle it would have been better.

7) Just because I'm not a "top tier" blogger doesn't mean people aren't effected by my words.  I occasionally find myself questioning why I'm really blogging or if my blogging effects anybody.  I eventually realized I blogged because of me and because I like to do it.  When I finally accepted that to myself I got a sweet surprise from a mommy who was at BlogHer11 that I hate I was not able to get up with.  @ramblingstump (Nasreen Stump) tweeted this to me this week: "A little sad I haven't run into 2 mommies who turn my thoughts into words on their blogs- @crunchyvtmommy & @RiCiReid . #Blogher11" Of course I teared up and that really hit me. The right way.  It doesn't matter if I "only" have 72 followers.  I appreciate everybody who comes to my blog to read it and the fact that my words have touched at least one person makes me incredibly happy.

So, there is my sum up of things I learned at BlogHer '11.  There are a few stories I can't wait to tell you all about! I'll give you a teaser of the things to come: Bob Harper, Ricki Lake, sweaty palms, the onsite medic, new friends, give aways and two books!

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Already learning lessons at BlogHer ´11

I have been here in San Diego for about 5 hours and already I have learned a few things.

1) Pack an extra tooth brush because if I would have packed 2 then I would have remembered at least one.

2) Stay at the host hotel.  I am about 2 miles away and feel like I am missing out on so much already even though the official things don´t start until tomorrow.

3) Set up things to do with people I really want to meet up with.  Officially.  Otherwise I´m left sitting in my room ¨resting¨.  Basically that means watching a million episodes of Bones re-runs.  I´m hoping to actually meet and mingle tomorrow.

4) After meeting a fellow blogger in the airport make sure to give them my card. The card with my info on it.  The card I frantically made sure would be in hand by the time I left for San Diego.  

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Monday, August 1, 2011

Teagan Stepped out on a Sunday

Now, I have to admit, I did look pretty cute on Saturday.  Even pregnant. I however, feel most comfortable BEHIND the camera and that is why you rarely see pictures of me even looking cute.  Teagan on the other hand is adorable all the time and doesn't mind being in front of the camera. 
Sunday she picked out, yes she really did, this adorable dress from her closet and we went with it! She had slept pretty funky so her hair turned into crazy hair that didn't want to be tamed but she rocked it anyway!