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30 October, 2013

Fall Break in Highlands

Two weekends ago I had Sunday off from work, and Evie had Monday and Tuesday off from school.  We had a super busy Saturday and Sunday morning with two photo shoots and baby shower.  Once those were done I packed up Evie and we headed up to Highlands to visit my grandparents.

I hadn't been up for the Fall leaf change since high school (thank you weekend work schedule), so I was ecstatic!  Besides I needed some serious R&R -- fighting a virus, work stress, and growing a human.

We made great time driving up, so Evie and I stopped to watch the sun set.  My only regret? Not digging my real camera out of the trunk. Phone photos don't do it justice!

We had a fabulous time sitting by the fire, playing games, and just visiting with my grandparents. 

On Monday we went to town for an ice cream treat.

And Evie got to go to the Toy Store with Nannie to pick out a birthday gift.  She picked out a mini broom and dust pan.  She carried it up and down every sidewalk in the town sweeping the leaves. 

That night we made tacos and Evie got to be Nannie's special helper. She wore the Hello Kitty apron that I used to wear helping Nannie cook at the cabin when I was just a little older than Evie.

Tuesday morning Evie and I went for a walk down the driveway at the house.  It's a hilly gravel road so we didn't get very far, but we decided to pick up pretty leaves and make a rainbow collage. Okay, we didn't...I did. I needed something to keep me occupied while she collected handfuls of rocks.

 Evie and I both took naps after our walk before we drove down the mountain to meet Eric for after work dinner and snuggles.

Such a relaxing fun weekend away!

29 October, 2013

Bump Watch - Week 15

How far along? 15w1d 

How big is baby? Measuring 4 inches crown to rump.  That's bigger than my palm and smaller than Eric's. Or according to the baby apps, it's the size of an apple

Total weight gain? I gained 2 pound these two weeks putting me at -0.5 for net weight loss/gain this pregnancy. By this point with Evie I'd gained 10-12 pounds.

Maternity clothes? Mostly. They just look better, at least the fitted shirts do. The more flowy shirts still look ridiculous. I have a few pairs of jeans I can still wear with a hair-tie and belly band.

Stretch marks? Nothing new, whew!

Belly button? It looks so goofy.  And way earlier this pregnancy 

Exercise: I've been slacking the last week or so with it being so cold, but still trying to get in a few walks during the week

Sleep: Most nights have been really good now that I've laid off the caffeine  However, I've still had a few nights where I wake up around 3 and am up for about 1-2 hours trying to get comfortable

Movement: YES! Friday night I felt a big kick. Well big for an almost 15 week fetus, but I felt it nonetheless. I've had little bumps every day since. So excited for more!

Food cravings: Nothing really strong or strange, but I've been wanting sour cream (when appropriate) more than usual.  And I've wanted a glass of cold milk most nights.

Food aversions: Foods that are super salty, like fast food, chips, etc. As soon as I think about it I get a little queasy. 

What I miss: Wearing belts with my jeans that still "fit"

What I am looking forward to: Oh my gosh, I cannot wait to have a new baby in footie pajamas to snuggle with. A few more weeks until we find out the sex of the baby. Can. Not. Wait! Also, looking forward to picking out a girls name, if need be.  We have a boys name that we both LOVE!

Milestones: Second trimester, baby! Felt the baby kick.  Heard the heart beat on an at-home doppler.  And Eric heard baby's heart beat for the first time.

Say What? Getting asked if we'll find out the sex of the baby this time.  And same with Evie, mixed opinions/reactions. I know it's fun both ways, and we're confident in our decision.

Sweet moments: Having Eric and Evie listen to the doppler. I LOVED seeing Eric's face the first time.
Evie also likes to say, "Hi" to the baby. She picks up my shirt, sometimes kisses my belly, and then puts her finger in my belly button and says, "tickle tickle tickle".  She doesn't really understand that there is a baby in there thought.

Make room for baby:  We finally got the guest room cleaned out. Which means our room is now full of crap we need to finish organizing.  I need to paint the room, but I've been reading about how dangerous it is to paint walls in a not well ventilated area. I need to borrow a big fan from my parents and maybe just do a wall at a time.

Oh, and THIS: 

I've been super hungry. It was like boom - second trimester - FEED ME! I had a huge plate of Moe's nachos and an hour later I was starving.

I've cut back on caffeine and it's really helped my anxiety and blood pressure, which were the goals. I talked to my midwife and spiritual director about medication for anxiety and we all agreed to keep trying natural methods to prevent and reduce it, so far, so good. 

MY FACE. So many zits.

Compared to Evie:  Feeling healthier, less bloated, less weight gain, fewer sinus issues.  Basically, a low grain, low sugar, low sodium diet does a body good! Read my pregnancy with Evie weeks 15,16,17 here

24 October, 2013

A Day at the Pumpkin Patch

A couple weekends ago we found ourselves with an empty Saturday.  Seriously, this never happens.  I've been wanting to go to a corn maze (without middle school kids on a youth group trip, that is) and do the quintessential Fall outing since Evie was old enough this year.

Our friends Greg and Alyshia were already planning a trip to Jaemor Farms the same day, so we decided to meet up with them!

Evie calls their kids Geg (Greg) and A-ree-a (Maria), or if she's in a hurry, "Margarita"

It was game day in the Fall, and we did as any good Southern family does - dress it coordinating game-day attire.

Evie was a bit apprehensive at first about the uneven terrain, but quickly got the hang of the corn maze.

Keeping up with Greg was tough work and Evie needed a little shoulder ride from Daddy.

But she made it across the finish line!

We had bought the family-fun day ticket package, or something like that, so we had access to the Farm Slide

And apple cannon. Which the girls were not too sure of

It was such a hot day!  Evie needed to sit out for a bit while the Koerner kids went on the pumpkin train ride.

 Next up was the hayride, sans hay.  It was a little dumb, but the kids had fun and it gave us some time to sit down in the shade while seeing the entirety of the farm.
Second to last stop was the pumpkin patch.  Evie helped us pick out a few pumpkins for our family.

Before the day at the farm was complete, we went inside for caramel apples and yummy treats before we went to Helen for Octoberfest and lunch.

We all agreed the kids had fun and we can't wait to go back next year, hopefully on a cooler day since we'll each have a new infant in tow!

17 October, 2013

Bump Watch - Week 13

It's that time!  Last pregnancy I did the updates every week until part way through the second trimester and then every two weeks. I am just going to start with every two weeks unless something super exciting happens!

How far along?  13.5 weeks

How big is baby? 2.5-3 inches, about the size of a tangerine or peach

Total weight gain? Down about 2 pounds. I'd been down 4 but I gained two this last week. Must be the cheesecake and nachos I've been eating.

Maternity clothes? I could still squeeze in my regular "fat" jeans, but they just not that comfortable by the end of the work day. I wear leggings as pants at home, but maternity jeans out and about.

Stretch marks? nothing new this pregnancy

Belly button? it feels like it's stretching thin

Exercise:  trying to go for a few walks a week, even if it's just around the block. I'm hoping to start a prenatal yoga class in December

Sleep:  Insomnia is a beast.  So are middle of the night panic attacks. Minimal potty breaks at night though! So far no leg cramps either.

Movement:  None yet.  Looking forward to this sooooo much!!!!

Food cravings: Woke up from a nap on Sunday craving Bagel Bites and Apple Jacks. Hello, Second Trimester

Food aversions: Nothing consistent. Some nights I can't do pork or beef, but thats been rare.

What I miss: Sleeping through the night!

What I am looking forward to: Labor. Okay, I know that sounds weird. But I am already SO ready to have this baby!!!

Milestones: I can feel a bump forming when I lay on my stomach.  I am stretching out those sleep-on-your-stomach nights as long as possible!

Say What? Most people keep telling me I'm "in for it" with this one. Thanks.

Sweet moments: Listening to Eric talk on the phone to Joey about the baby and pregnancy :)  I love what great dads they are!

Make room for baby: Time to start sorting through the junk in Evie's new room. I want to see what baby gear is actually ours, what needs to be returned to it's loaner, and what we might be interested in having for this baby since we doubled our living space and are now on two floors!

Oh, and THIS: My face is a MESS. Seriously. My face looks like a tweenager.  And migraines. I've had two that have completely rendered me useless for the night, and most of the next day.

Compared to my pregnancy with Evie: Much less swollen. Fewer food aversions. Less weight gain. Read week 13 here.

11 October, 2013

So, I'm Pregnant Again....

I went to write down some critical dates for this post and realized that this poor child is already getting second-child syndrome. Which, of course, I swore I wouldn't get. Sorry, little one.

I knew I was pregnant even before I could take a pregnancy test. I was already battling insomnia, which has been my main symptom this pregnancy.  I stalked the internet to figure out which pregnancy tests were the most accurate the earliest and bought a few of them. As soon as I could take them I did, and they were positive and more positive each day. Whoohoo!

(One week of these tripod pictures and cute memories written on top. Nope. You're getting bathroom pictures again! I'm not even sorry)

Is it bad that I don't even remember how I told Eric about this pregnancy?  It must have been nonchalant because I know my heart wasn't ready to be super excited after our miscarriage back in the spring.

The first few weeks were normal pregnancy things: loss of appetite, random sudden food aversions, insomnia, sore breasts, etc.

I called the midwife almost immediately for my first visit. I was hoping to do the full blood work so they could track my hormones, but I did nothing more than step on a scale, pee in a cup and talk to the midwife and nurse practitioner. 

I had very little questions for them since I'd just been in a few months before for the same visit.  They said everything looked normal and not to be afraid to call. They know how hard (emotionally) it is to be pregnant after a miscarriage and my emotional and mental wellbeing is a priority for them.

Before I left I scheduled an 8 week dating ultrasound.

It must have been 10 years before that ultrasound came around. We'd lost the previous baby at 8.5 weeks, just days before the dating ultrasound. So in a sense I felt jinxed and overly anxious.  But the baby looks great and measured exactly as to when I calculated.

 Telling the Family

After the ultrasound came back healthy and I heard that sweet little heartbeat we decided to tell our family!

We emailed a picture of the ultrasound to my parents with the caption "We need another Easter Basket this year"

We told my siblings by texting them a picture of my new purse that I got for my birthday, and then a picture of the ultra sound with the caption "Look what I got Eric for his!"

We told Eric's parents over dinner in the middle of conversation over transitioning Evie out of her highchair -- Eric pipped up "Because we need it for the new baby"

And he told his sister over the phone with a simple call.
How Is The Pregnancy Going?

So far so good!  Honestly, I can't complain.  And somedays I forget I'm pregnant -- and then five seconds later I find myself gagging over something, mostly bathroom smells or the dirty dishwasher. I've had occasional food aversions, and no major cravings.  Mild acne. That's about it!

My only two major complains so far have been really sore breasts and insomnia about every other night.  And my tailbone are is starting to ache.  The chiropractor said my hips are relaxing just as they should be.

How are things different that with Evie?

I'm not as tired as I was with Evie.  While I was working two jobs while pregnant with her, this time I have one job and a two year old. You'd still think this time would be worse.  No leg cramps.  I think those are the only comparable symptoms as this point in the pregnancy.

I've also not had nearly the spotting like I did with Evie. Thank you, God!  I also don't have that super strong pregnancy nose that I had with both Evie and my second pregnancy.

At this point with Evie I had gained 4 pounds. This pregnancy, I've lost 4. What?

What, if anything, are you doing a differently this pregnancy: ?
  • taking a specific regimen of vitamins instead of prenatal vitamins: Bs, folate, D3 and topical magnesium 
  • eating little to no processed foods, no soda and sweets only as a true treat, doing 80/20 with grains (all of this is consistent with the life style changes we made as a family this year)
  • walking 2-4 times a week
  • taking care of myself a little better early on, like accepting help and making sure I rest every day
  • keeping a close watch on my weight, blood pressure, anxiety and depression

What, if anything, are you going to do differently with this baby?
  • I already know I will try to baby wear more in those early months. I'm looking at getting a ring sling made, or a Moby wrap
  • Work much harder at breastfeeding; exclusive pumping and chasing a two year old aren't my idea of fun
  • Aim for a sleep / feed schedule a little earlier than 4 months, even if it just means a fixed bed time, but obviously not get crazy about it.
  • I'm sure we'll revisit this as we get closer to the due date and Evie is a few months older. So much can happen and change in our lives!!

10 October, 2013

Happy 4th Anniversary!

This year has been a true test, but I know more than ever God has the perfect man by my side. 

 Eric had surgery just days after my busiest work month of the year. We also closed on our first house and moved in while he was on post surgery bed rest and a toddler with a 103 fever.

We celebrated my sister's wedding the day after we found out I was pregnant with baby Albert.
But we lost our sweet baby, and clung to each other for dear life.

 We traveled to NYC as this year's destination of choice for our annual vacation.  It was nice to spend a few nights/days just the two of us (and Rosemary!).
We welcomed Eric's first nephew into the world, and said good-bye to both of his Uncle Jims.
And we're more than thrilled to celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary with another baby on the way.

It's been a roller coaster year, and I couldn't imagine anyone but this guy standing by my side through it all.  Thank you for loving me through it all, Eric.  I can't wait for many more years with you!

For our actual anniversary we made plans to go to JCT Kitchen, a local gourmet southern restaurant after celebrating a friend's engagement down the block.  By the time we sat down for dinner I had a full blown migraine. When our dinner arrived I was so sick from the migraine to even eat, so we had our server box up our dinner to go.  I was home and in bed by 8:30 with Eric bringing me cool rags and water.  Not exactly how we intended our date night to end.

I woke up to 4 beautiful flower arrangements around the down stairs. When or how exactly they arrived, I have no idea.  I realized later this afternoon than flowers are the traditional gift for the fourth anniversary.  Four arrangements was the PERFECT gift!

Year One - Paper - Dinner Groupon
Year Two -  China / Cotton - I honestly cannot remember
Year Three - Crystal - a Waterford vase from our Ireland trip

We're looking forward to taco night at home with our sweet girl for our first family dinner in about a week.  Life doesn't get much better :)

Anniversaries:  Engagement Day  | One | Two | Three |

07 October, 2013

So excited to announce....

Just hit the twelve week mark today.  After our loss this spring, I'm finally breathing a little easier with this pregnancy.

  Pregnancy updates and pictures coming soon :)

04 October, 2013

Taking a Sabbath

Friday is my sabbath in a sense. Every other day of the week is go-go-go, including Sundays because I work for the Church.  I am a part-time employee so I take Tuesday and Friday off.  Tuesdays are full of doctors appointments or play group or play dates. But Friday, Friday is my sacred day.  

No alarm clock. No agenda.

Evie and I get to sleep in and do whatever we want.

I make sure the day is about us and taking it slow.

Today I woke up at 6:00, 30 minutes before I usually do during the week (why God, why?) but I laid in bed reading until 8:00am.  Evie had no sign of waking (okay, thank you God!).  She was exhausted from a busy week of school.

I dragged myself out of bed, threw on some workout clothes and put my hair in a pony tail + headband for a dead sexy look.

What to do today?

I decided that Evie and I both needed some fresh air and Vitamin D straight from the source.  A nice long walk it would be.

A co-worker gave me a $31 gift card to Starbucks for my 31st birthday.  There is a Starbucks within walking distance from our house.  The perfect Fall morning destination.

About 8:30 Evie woke up. I put her in an equally awesome outfit (purple shorts with an americana hair bow, her choice) and threw her in the jogger.

Scratch that. She put her blanket in the jogger and insisted on pushing “blankie. stroller. mommy. Evie do it.”

Okay.  Whatever. I huffed to myself.

And this was the start of a much needed realization.

I was frustrated with my almost-two-year-old because she wanted to put her blanket in the stroller and push it, while I wanted my breakfast sandwich and yesterday.

But why?  Seriously?  We had nothing to do today.  Why was I rushing this creative, learning moment for her?  Because I wanted a cup of coffee?  Seriously, Elizabeth, get over yourself.

So I let her alternate pushing the stroller and running down the sidewalk. When we got to the main road to leave the neighborhood, I insisted she ride in the stroller.  Off we went.  No timeline and it was fabulous.

We got to the coffee shop and it was slammed. The manager (a friend of mine) kept apologizing for the wait.

Again, it hit me, why was I so anxiously waiting for my coffee?  It’s just coffee.

Finally our drinks and sandwiches were up.  My intention was to enjoy them on our walk to Kohls and Michaels, but I thought… “Let’s sit here and eat”

So we did.  We sat on the patio for almost an hour.  I sipped my latte.  Evie meticulously ate her sandwich.

We just sat.  We soaked it all in.  The fall leaves, the cooling weather, the puppies sticking out of car windows in the drive thru line.

For the first time in what seems like months, I just sat and enjoyed my daughter’s company.

So this is it.  This is what the sabbath was made for.  Rest. Family. Time in God’s creation. She and I took in easy.  Because really, why did I feel the need to rush?  We had no where to be, nothing to do.

We wandered through some nearby shops.  We perused the clearance racks and stacked our coupons (birthday gift and t shirt for $2.38? yes, please). And on the way home I let Evie pick up leaves in the neighborhood while practicing her colors (everything is still “a geen one”)

I needed this morning more than I knew.  It reminded me how precious time is and how there really is nothing more important in this life than spending time with our family.

God gave us the sabbath every seventh day for us to do this.  But how often do we all blow through it?  Home improvement projects, grocery store runs, and maybe, if we’re lucky, a quick family dinner.

After today I want to cherish my Fridays, my sabbath,  by taking them slow and easy, with intentional time spent just with Evie -- no agenda, no place to be, nothing to rush through.  

01 October, 2013

On turning 31

Twenty eight and thirty one.  Those are the years that stand out to me as "older sister years".  As in, everyone's older sister is 28 or 31.

Until I turned 28. And now 31.

I feel like all my career idols were this age, and now I'm that age and I certainly don't feel as though I should be idolized! Ha!

In fact, I think this year I am more aware than ever that I know very little and I am greatly in need of fine tuning in all areas of my life.

I am learning to be okay with asking for help.  And to confident in dishing out a little advice now and again.

There are many days when I feel like I've accomplished little to nothing in life, but then I realize it's only because I have had more-or-less the same career for 9 years and there is no room for advancement at my current place of employment.

But when I look at other areas of my life, I am so proud of the choices I've made and things I've learned (many, the hard way)!  I'm married to an incredible man who makes me want to be a better person. We paid off 50k+ of debt in two years. Bought a house with 18% down.  Gave birth to a beautiful, well adjusted little girl.  Admitted to an eating disorder and working to over come it. Discovered new talents and spent intentional time developing them. Traveled for pleasure and for mission work.  Purposefully changed my prayer life for the better and regret not doing it sooner. And the list goes on....

So while at first, turning 31 seemed like something I was too young to do, at second glance I am proud of my age, my accomplishments and my future.

What does a 31 year old do to ring in the "new year"?

The day before my birthday I had to work, but my Confirmation class didn't disappoint. They brought me a Birthday Princess button and sang happy birthday.  Nothing like bringing in 31 with 85 10th graders singing to you!

I spent the eve of my birthday with my husband, daughter, and both sets of our parents out on my parents boat.  The parents prepared a delicious dinner and we cruised around the lake enjoying dinner, wine and the sunset.  It was absolutely perfect.

(I'm clearly not very good at selfies)

Monday was my actual birthday.  I had a (free!) massage scheduled but it fell though last minute so I ended up putting in a full, but needed, day in the office.  My mom came in to keep me company as the office-volunteer-of-the-year and help get some work done for me.

Evie and I had a typical afternoon.  Eric came home early. We had a simple dinner and I opened my two presents from them.  Eric got me a new top of the line camera memory card (yay!) and Evie made some Christmas ornaments with her hand prints.  Eric had given me the immersion blender we'd both accidentally bought for me for my birthday over a month ago.  We keep birthday gifts simple around here.

After dinner we met up with my parents for some frozen yogurt (I don't do cake!)

It was a hit!

Super low key birthday filled with all my favorite things and my favorite people!