Thursday, April 30, 2015

I Love...

Still no sign of Finn making his arrival, but I am being patient.  Instead of just waiting for baby, I have been keeping up my normal routine with Liam.  I am so focused on him in these final days!  I want this time of just the two of us to last forever; yet, I can't wait for the arrival of baby brother either!  It's hard to wrap my head around it all, so many emotions.  So while Liam remains my number one focus for another few days, here are some of the things I am just loving about my sweet sweet boy!


I love...

...how he tells Charlie to "stop snoring" whenever he is purring.

...when he strokes my hair (especially when it's curled) to find a bit of comfort.

...his love of music & dancing.
Current favorites: Uptown Funk, Sugar, & Thinking Out Loud

...the toddler conversations he has with friends.
Most recently a discussion about nap time:
L: Is it not time for you to go home yet.
Q: I have to take a nap.
L: Yeah, I have to take a nap too.

...his imaginative play.
It usually involves cooking of some sort or trucks stuck in the mud.



Each day with him is incredible.  
I love my boy and cannot believe I'm lucky enough to have another here soon!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Day in the Life

Today is Thursday, April 23rd, 2015.  
Conor & I are both 29.  Liam is 2.75 years old.  I am 38 weeks pregnant.

6:30 - I wake up and am unable to go back to sleep, so I catch up on some news & blogs on my phone.  I never get out of bed until Liam wakes up.  I try to enjoy the calm & quiet of the morning right from the coziness of my Snoogle!

7:00 - Liam wakes up, and lucky for us both, Conor is still home & in bed too (this is not usual)!  We all snuggle, tickle, & blow raspberries!

7:05 - Boys are out of bed.  I let Liam play with Conor while he gets ready for work and stay in bed until I absolutely have to get up!

7:30 - Conor leaves for work, so Liam comes back to bed for more snuggles.  He has been in no hurry to get up these days and instead gives endless snuggles.  I am loving our mornings lately.


7:40 - We are up.  It's straight to the kitchen to make a fresh juice & breakfast.  Liam loves helping with the juicer.  Today we make a carrot ginger juice (one of the only ways this boy consumes veggies) that he gobbles right up.  He also requests a banana and fried egg.  Just granola with blueberries for me, along with a hot cup of tea!

8:25 - Breakfast is finished.  I head to my bathroom to get ready for the day, while Liam does some puzzles on the floor by my feet.  Once I'm ready, I start getting Liam dressed.  For now, he still lets me pick out his wardrobe.

9:00 - We pack up.  Lots of snacks for whatever the adventure of the morning is.  Today we head to the zoo!

9:05 - In the car right on time.  I try to make a few phone calls (the only chance I really have is while driving) as Liam requests some music and for me to turn it up!

9:30 - We arrive at the zoo in perfect timing!  Today we're meeting lots of friends here.  The highlights include a grizzly bear swimming, a train ride, a carousel ride, & some scuba divers cleaning the polar bear tank!

11:30 - Most of our friends leave, but Liam isn't quite ready to go.  We take the opportunity to share an icecream cone outside and see more animals.

12:35 - Back in the car and driving home.  Liam wants his windows down and music blaring once again.  I oblige since I do not want him falling asleep on the drive home.

1:05 - We are home in time for a late lunch.  I make some "bunny pasta" (Annie's mac & cheese) and cut up strawberries.  While I prepare lunch & clean up the kitchen, Liam drives his many cars all over the place.

1:30 - It's beautiful today, so we eat lunch on the back deck.

1:45 - We're upstairs for nap time.  Liam picks out two books (Road Builders & Thomas & Friends, no surprises here).

2:00 - Lights are out, and both Liam & I fall asleep quickly!

3:55 - I barely wake up and reluctantly check the time on my phone.  I can't believe it's almost 4!  I have a strict no-napping-past-four rule.  I slowly pull myself together while scrolling through my phone.

4:10 - I wake Liam up just as I hear the garage opening.  Conor is home early.  This is definitely not usual.  We typically don't see him until between 5-6.  Liam runs downstairs to greet him.

4:20 - Liam helps Conor with some yard work, while I clean up around the house a bit.  Also, I relax...because when you're 38 weeks pregnant, you're allowed a bit of relaxing!

5:20 - We decide to take Liam on a bike ride (Liam bikes, we walk) before dinner.  He insists upon going to the elementary school that a has a big hill he can glide on his bike down.  Our boy is fast and does not lack confidence.  Check out my instagram for some video action on the bike!  Liam also does a fair amount of climbing and makes it to the top of this structure with minimal assistance!



6:30 - We make it home.  I start cooking dinner while the boys stay outside & play with all the neighbors.

7:30 - Dinner is served.  I made a cheesy garlic pasta topped with grilled herbed chicken.  Plus my favorite salad (baby spinach, strawberries, candied walnuts, & goat cheesed topped with a raspberry vinaigrette)!

7:55 - Bath time for Liam (Conor handles this activity) while I finally get in my shower for the day.

8:45 - We all read two books in Liam's bed.  He of course picks the same two we read for nap time.

9:00 - Lights are out in Liam's room.  We both lay with him until he falls asleep.  He mostly wants me there, but Conor has been joining us so that once Finn is born hopefully Conor can do Liam's bedtime routine without me.

9:15 - We sneak out of Liam's room.  I make a cup of tea and then respond to some emails & blog.
10 - Conor & I snuggle up on the couch and watch The Blacklist.

10:10 -  Liam wakes up screaming which is unusual.  I go upstairs, help him use the potty and resettle him.

10:20 - We finish watching our show, then get ready for bed.

11:30 - Lights out for Conor & I.  This night Liam ends up staying in his own bed until 7am!!!  This is very very rare!

And there my friends is a little glimpse into one of our days!
I know that they will change dramatically once Finn joins our family, 
but I can't wait to embrace it!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

My Blessingway

It may not always show on my blog, but I am a very natural minded parent.  I'm hippie or crunchy or whatever you want to call it.  Some people are really surprised by this, while others who know me closely know that's just "me."  And since living in Salt Lake City, I've met an amazing group of women/mamas who are so similar in their lifestyle choices as well as parenting philosophies.  It has been such an amazing addition to my life!

It has been especially impactful as I prepare for a natural birth.  They not only understand why it's important to me, but have been able to offer me a wealth of support.  Going into this pregnancy, I didn't have near the confidence I do now about having the birth experience that I want.  These women have all shared their birth stories and encouraged me each day as I get closer & closer to delivery!
And then came the biggest, sweetest surprise!  We all planned a little brunch together a few weeks ago, which was our first get together without the toddlers!  An exciting day!  But little did I know that they all had actually planned a Blessingway for me!  A Blessingway (or sometimes called a mother's blessing) is an old navajo tradition where you celebrate the mother-to-be.  Stories are shared, fears are let go of, and confidence & strength are instilled.  It empowers the mother for her journey through birthing & motherhood.  This gathering was such an amazing & impactful experience for me.  I felt completely supported & loved.

Each Blessingway is unique, but I'll share a few of the details from mine!  First, my friend Celka made us all bracelets with different stones & meaning..  Coral is about bringing new life into the world.  Hematite is a heading stone.  Red jasper brings you strength.  Lapis lazuli is for protection.  Red tiger eye is for the vision to see things through to the end.  Turquoise is for having wisdom.  We all have been wearing our "baby Finn" bracelets since the Blessingway, and they will not be removed until he is born.  It is a lovely reminder of the support I have; I smile each time I see the same bracelet upon my friends' wrists!



Next, my friend Gretchen gave everyone a candle which we will all light once I go into labor.  I find much comfort in the thought that each of them will have a candle lit for me while I journey through Finn's birth.  I can't wait to send that text to let them know labor has begun!  Also, my friend Sarah made a CD with a few songs to help me prepare for  & assist during labor.  Everything was so thoughtful!

And lastly, they all wrote down their favorite birth affirmations and put them in an envelope for me to read only once labor begins!  I know their words of encouragement will be such a huge support for me.  I can't wait to read the different affirmations they have written down!  These women make up my mama tribe!  They make me a better woman, but more importantly a better mother.  We are not competitive, but instead build one another up and support each other through some of our parenting struggles.  I cannot imagine my or Liam's life without them!

(the only picture we took that day)

So as I get ready to give birth, my doula had me create a "sacred space" in my house where I can go to relax, think, & prepare.  Here hangs a banner of birth affirmations from my doula as well as a few of the gifts from my Blessingway.  All of these things will help to aid me through childbirth.  While I love my mama tribe, they unfortunately will not physically be with me through labor.  Instead my doula will be that extra support.  Both Conor & I have developed a strong relationship with her and are incredibly grateful to have her.  I am truly looking forward to this experience! 



My body is capable and strong.
My baby knows how to be born.

I am so ready to meet Finn, 
but I know that he will come in perfect timing when he is ready.
For now, we wait!

Monday, April 27, 2015

39 Weeks (Bump #2)

Dress: Stitch Fix

Total Weight Gain: 38 lbs.

Symptoms: For the first time in both of my pregnancies, I'm starting to experience a bit of sciatic nerve pain.  Coupled with some back pain, I'm definitely feeling more & more uncomfortable.   Still in no rush for baby to get here though.

Labor Signs: There have been some subtle signs that labor may be starting soon.  No weight gain this week, baby's heart rate has increased, & my blood pressure is slowly going up.  Absolutely no contractions though, just plenty of Braxton Hicks!  I truly think my body is waiting until my mom is here!

Nursery: Finished!  See all the details here!

Food Cravings/Aversions:  Sweets.  I'm back on a huge sweets kick.  Chocolate & maple bars mostly!

Staying Active?  Oh yes!  Four days this week Liam & I hiked or took long walks!  In the evenings, I can definitely feel how hard I worked during the day.

Cries: Happy mama again!

Worries/Concerns:  I've gone from being very baby focused over the last couple weeks, to more Liam focused.  I have never been away from him for a night, so I'm starting to stress about the possibility that that may happen.  He still very much needs his mama at night!

Looking Forward To:  My mom arriving on Thursday!  Then we can have this baby!  We also might try to sneak in two date nights this week!


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Finn's Nursery

I'm so excited to finally share Finn's nursery with you all!  This is by far my new favorite room in the house!  It came together exactly as I had hoped it would!  I seriously love every single detail.  Well maybe not the monstrosity that is the tan chair...  But let me tell you, that chair is amazing!  It's unbelievably comfortable; perfect for nursing, rocking, soothing, sleeping.  So while it may not be the most aesthetically pleasing piece of furniture, it serves it's purpose!









While I love how Kali captured all the little details, I will say that these pictures don't do the room justice.  The dark blue wall definitely photographed a bit funny (here it looks to have some greenish tones, but that is not the case at al in person)!  It has become my happy place; I can't help but smile each time I walk inside it! I will try to link to as many sources as I can below...

Arrow Wall Decals: Walls Need Love
Feather Dream Catcher: Little HEM Designs
Book Ledges: IKEA
Wooden Arrows: DIY
Changing Pad Cover & Crib Sheet: Cozy by Jess
Diaper Caddy: Jenn D Design
Chop Your Own Wood Print: Custom Design
Accent Wall: Benjamin Moore Kensington Blue
Other Walls: Benjamin Moore Cascade White

I should also mention that while I love putting together a space for the baby, it's really just a space for me!  At least in the early years.  We cosleep, so Finn probably won't be spending many nights in here until he's around 2 years old, especially if he's anything like Liam.  But for me, this space is much more than just a bedroom.  It's my nesting place.  It's where I dreamed of my little boy growing inside of me.  It's where we'll escape to when we need to get away from the craziness of the world.  And when he's ready, it will be Finn's special space that he can call his own.  I hope he loves it as much as I do!
We're ready for you Finn Ryan!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Our Lifestyle Maternity Shoot at Home

I am in love love love with how these photos turned out!  Kali did an amazing job of capturing our growing family at home.  The morning felt cozy & natural.  Liam was in a particularly good mood this day, but we still used the aid of some chocolate chips to keep him interested, happy, & smiling!  As you all know I love being pregnant and am quite enamored with the pregnant body, so maternity photos are a must.  I always want to be able to remember this time in my life, especially these final weeks!  So here is a complete photo overload because I couldn't help but share every single one of my favorites!















Photography: Kali Poulsen Photography
Bed: Crate & Barrel
My Dress: Nordstrom
Headband: Willow Crowns

And a big thanks to Jana for recommending our photographer!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Bees (Or Bugs) Game

Saturday night we took Liam to his very first baseball game!  We obviously thought that his first visit to the stadium would be Safeco Field in Seattle to watch the Mariners play, but that will have to wait. Perhaps we will save that experience for his first MLB game.  Instead, we watched the Salt Lake City Bees play in the minor leagues!  Liam was somewhat enamored with the bee mascot, but kept calling him a bug..  So apparently we were at a "bugs" game!  We were joined by some friends whose little boy is just a year younger than Liam.  They are quickly becoming some of the best of friends; I see many games of catch in their future!


We bought general admission tickets, so we could stake out a nice little spot of grass in the outfield.      Peanuts & sunflower seeds all around!  There were train rides (yep, a train at the stadium), "rollies" down the grassy hill, & dance moves galore whenever one of Liam's current jams came on the speakers!  Once he got a bit of the crazy out, he was excited to sit on our laps and actually watch the game.


We talked about the pile of dirt (pitchers mound) and the guy wearing the helmet with the bat.  I love Liam's curiosity as he begins to figure out what is going on.  I kept hoping for a homerun, so that Liam would have the opportunity to see a ball come flying all the way over the fence!  Well just that happened!!!  I ducked for cover while Conor tossed his (almost empty) beer down & feverishly staked out a spot to catch the ball!  No other man, woman, or small child even stood a chance.  This dad was going to make sure he got a homerun ball for his son!  I so wish I had captured the whole thing on video!


Liam was thrilled to have his first baseball; he wanted to play catch with it right away!  His catching skills are still lacking a bit, but his arm is improving.  Perhaps we have a future pitcher on our hands! Then he wanted to play catch with the players on the field, so we hastily put the ball away so Liam wouldn't throw it back on the field.  I don't think he is ready for the minor's quite yet!


Overall the night was a huge success!
It was exactly the kind of Saturday night I was hoping for.  
A special time to be our little family of three and just focus on Liam before the baby is here.
I'm truly enjoying every last minute that it is just us!

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