Here we go again…

I am terrible.  I know it.  One thing I have come to realize is that it is so much easier for me to write in times of pain than times I am totally content. So almost five months later, here it goes….

Number Two made her non-dramatic entry to our tiny universe just shy of five months ago.  And everything about her has continued to be wonderfully non-dramatic.  She is going to be the opposite of her sister – low drama, low maintenance, amazingly calm and easy going. Total mama’s girl.

Almost a year ago, we scheduled BK’s arrival. No frills, no crazy panic.  My body completely cooperated and we made it to the date without issue.  After a night of no sleep, thanks to excitement and a rouge mosquito, three AM came fast.  I showered, took one last bump pic, a parent selfie, and loaded our tired asses into the SUV.  We drove to the hospital a little giggly, a little nervous, and a lotta exhausted. Once in the room, we made small talk and cracked jokes with our nurse – gave her advice about an upcoming wedding and answered dozens of personal medical questions. It was pretty calm and easy even though I was starving.


This time around, I had a plan.  It was drastically different than my plan the first time but, in typical “Me” fashion, I had a plan.  Last time, I struggled with waiting “5 to 10 minutes” to get my skin to skin.  I’ll tell you, it was the LONGEST five minutes of my life.  It still pains me to think about it.  There is so much instinct in responding to your baby’s cry and, to be strapped to table for their first cries, is the WORST and most helpless feeling in the world. This time, it was STRAIGHT to mama – no passing go or collecting $200.  None of this baby to the warmer for measurement and crap – I wanted her and wanted her right away.  I made arrangements with the OB, who made arrangements with the pediatric OR nurse.  I made arrangements with the anesthesiologist, who answered my million and one questions about drug choices and options.

The repeat C-section was not my first choice but it was the choice that became the most responsible for me, for us. But I wanted it done my way. I wanted my ‘cheesy’ fresh out of the womb baby.  I wanted her eyes to open and see me.  And my OB obliged.  It worked out perfectly.  She was perfect. I feel that our un-perfect situation perfectly healed my heart. It wasn’t what I wanted two and half years ago.  It wasn’t what I wanted five months ago. But it is what my body needed [my husband needed, my baby needed] to feel like I gave my baby her first hug.  To feel that I was the first voice she heard and the first comfort she felt.

This time I stood up for what I wanted.  I wasn’t afraid to advocate for myself and my baby – during the surgery and during recovery.  It is okay to question protocol and change their set “routine”.  During my most recent visit to the OB, she told me she has used my ‘direct to mama’s skin’ process several times since my surgery.  My OB changed her process because this new way is good – it is healing – it is what mamas like me need to feel involved in our tiny’s grand venture into the world.

Almost three years ago, I wrote “Everyday, I get a little closer to being okay with how things played out. Someone once told me (not sure who) that it is okay to grieve the loss of a “dream birth”. It is okay to feel sadness that things didn’t work out the way it was planned.”  I believed this when I wrote it and still believe it.


Though, now, I believe that THIS is what I needed.

Yes, I have two healthy unbelievable kids. Believe me, not a day goes by that I don’t realize how lucky I am – no matter how they came to be.  But their birth story matters to me. It matters to my heart.  It matters to my soul. And in the end, I feel that both have found peace.



36 Weeks

36 Weeks - 1   36 Weeks - 2

Date: 8/16/16

Cravings: Cheese & ice cream

Bump: This child is living in my right lung.

Latest Project: Painting the crib – almost done!

Nursery Status: After the crib is finished, we just need to put the room back together and hang up all the art work!

Fear: That I don’t know how I am going to handle two kids at the same time.

Excitement: Seeing friends with tiny newborns and knowing how itty-bitty and snuggly you will be. I am really looking forward to babywearing again.  It feels like forever since Hammie was so tiny and curled up on my chest in her wrap.

Complaint: Heartburn. Skin/muscle stretching pain. General fatigue and poor sleep.

36 Weeks - 3  36 Weeks - 4

30 Before 30

Happy ‘belated’ Half Birthday to me! On July 24th, I celebrated the major milestone of being halfway through my 30th year on this planet.  I celebrated almost three decades of life and, also, celebrated my 4th day sans toddler and hubs (thanks hubs, this “outgoing introvert” was desperate for some quality alone time) for the first time since she was born.

Although it is hard to be believe all the changes that have occurred in the past three decades most of the life-altering changes have occurred in the past 5 years. The years haven’t been without their challenges and, this year, I am adding our newest challenge- baby #2.  We are no longer able to double-team our opponent.  It’s now man-to-man coverage. #holyshitwhatdidwedo

Between toddler potty-training and baby preparation, I decided to carve out some time this year to do me – to make time to do fun things that we normally wouldn’t prioritize into our busy lives and scarce weekends. Here is my list – my bucket list –  My 30 before 30.

  1. Have a picnic*
  2. Family themed Halloween costumes
  3. Make cake pops*
  4. Do a shot-ski
  5. Visit Surly*
  6. Sushi from an actual sushi restaurant
  7. Finish painting the kitchen/livingroom/stairway
  8. Family bike ride*
  9. Go to see fireworks*
  10. See the Spring Babies at the Zoo*
  11. Golf date*
  12. Roast marshmallows*
  13. Drink a flirtini
  14. Collect all Sweetland Orchard’s new summer brews
  15. Go to the Red Barn Pizza Farm*
  16. Glam Doll Doughnuts*
  17. Go to a drive-in movie
  18. Visit Schell’s Brewery
  19. Water park
  20. Make homemade ice cream
  21. Minnehaha Falls
  22. White Castle
  23. Color run/walk*
  24. Daytrip to Stillwater*
  25. Make fancy NA drinks for summer vacations
  26. Visit a county fair*
  27. Eat at Cossetta’s
  28. Brit’s Pub rooftop bar*
  29. Eve of Distruction*
  30. Get ice cream from Dairy Delite*

* items that I have already completed.

7 Years

32 Weeks


Date: 7/19/16

Cravings: Anything and everything spicy!

Bump: Yes, and a super high one at that.

Latest Project: Getting puke stains out of baby clothes and working on your nursery – finally!

Nursery Status: Repainting the furniture, making new curtains, and starting the artwork.  It look like more of a nursery and less of a disaster soon, I hope.

Fear: I am going to get pre-eclampsia again, retain a ton of fluid, and be miserable for the last month.

Excitement: Knowing that the end is close and seeing how tiny all the newborn clothes are.

Complaint: Lower back pain and general soreness.  Plus feeling like I am constantly out of breath and moving super slow.

28 Weeks!

28 Weeks - 1   28 Weeks - 2

Date: 6/21/16

Cravings: Nutella

Bump: Oh, yeah

Latest Project: Continuing to organize and throw stuff away (much to Daddy’s dismay). Finishing Big Sister’s room so I can focus on the nursery.

Nursery Status: Began repainting all of the furniture in the nursery.  So far I have only finished an end table but you have to start somewhere!

Fear: How I am going to divide my time between you and your big sister.

Excitement: Asking big sister if she wants a girl baby or a boy baby and her response is “ahhh, a baby!” – every single time!

Complaint: Feeling tired (just look at the pictures).

Because Daddy was feeling left out……

28 Weeks - Daddy

24 Weeks!

Date: 5/24/16

Cravings: 7up & Trader Joe’s Mini Cheese Sandwich Crackers

Bump: Yes.

Latest Project: Papa S is working on cutting out the artwork I drew for you and I am almost finished binding your baby quilt.

Nursery Status: No change.

Fear: That we won’t get everything done in time – I think I had the same fear with your sister the entire time – and that you will come too early.

Excitement: Watching my belly move around and feeling you move EVERY time I eat something.

Complaint: The heartburn has officially started and if you move any higher in my belly I will be able to taste you!

20 Weeks!

20 Weeks - 1 20 Weeks - 2

Date: 4/26/16

Cravings: 7up, Erberts & Gerberts, and Little Debbie Cupcakes (dear lord save me….)

Bump: Yes, if know me, you can definitely see it.  If not, it looks like I had Chipotle for lunch….. yummm, Chipotle….

Latest Project: The artwork for your nursery and we got the kitchen/living room painted.

Nursery Status: I finished making you some cozy flannel sheets but, other than that, nothing. Your sister is breaking it in for you.

Fear: I was very afraid something was wrong but the ultrasound this week made me feel a lot better. Just constantly worried about you growing.

Excitement: Seeing you and making sure everything was growing well at our 20 week ultrasound.

Complaint: I am really feeling pretty good but my lower back is fatigued frequently.

16 Weeks

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Date: 3/29/16

Cravings: Mambas and Crispix

Bump: It is definitely getting there.

Latest Project: Just finished your quilt and dropped it off for the quilter – hopefully you are a boy because daddy said it is “awfully blue”.

Nursery Status: Ummmm, your sister is still sleeping in it and probably will be for a while.  I  have been working on getting her new room cleaned out so – progress – .

Fear: The time is passing so much quicker this time and I feel we have so much to do before you get here.

Excitement: Feeling your tiny kicks for the first time.

Complaint: You are giving me crazy dreams but, other than that, things are pretty great.


Hello BK,

I’m terribly sorry.  Here you are only the size of a lemon and I already feel like you are being treated as the second child. We have known about you for ten weeks already.  It seems like yesterday and yet felt like a lifetime ago. At this point, I had probably already wrote your sister a few notes – I’m sorry.  I don’t love you the same or think about you less, I just don’t have the time to document my feelings.

When we found out about you, we were ecstatic but I was guarded.  This wasn’t my first rodeo and I felt as though you could not have come this easy – something was going to go wrong.  It was a long first trimester but, all along the way, you reminded me that everything was okay.  Granted your reassurance was in the form of nausea and extreme food aversions but I guess I’ll take it. At each ultrasound, I expected bad news and it didn’t come. I still hold my breath and cross my toes, little guy, there is a road ahead of us.

So here we are. Second trimester already.  I feel excited, nervous, anxious. Your daddy and I are so excited to meet you.  Your sister doesn’t really understand the concept of you but, man, she LOVES babies. Get ready to be smothered in her love and literally smothered in her sloppy toddler kisses.

I not quite sure how you will fit into our family yet. It is hard to comprehend how I will find the time and energy to spread myself between the two of you.  I think it will just happen – it will just work but the anxiety is still real.

So keep growing little guy and we will figure it out together. With your daddy and sister’s help, I think we will be okay.  It will probably be chaotic and it definitely won’t be pretty but we got this.

You are already so loved.


Can’t Help Falling In Love With You

The Summer of Everything

This was supposed to be my summer of nothing.  Summer 2012 – we built a house and planned a wedding.  Summer 2013 – we became newly weds and figured out how to deal with major loss.  Summer 2014 – we learned how to be parents and how to love eachother through the parenting. 2015 – was to be our year of recovery; to focus on everything we had built together and enjoy it; to be us – all three of us.

Summer 2015 came at us with a different plan.

With Derek’s work schedule, we were used to carefully prioritizing events and deciding which he would be able to attend and which Hammie & I would take on solo. Full weekends with Daddy were special and only once a month. But as life would have it, Summer 2015 brought a major and unexpected career change for Hubs. Suddenly, we had countless weekends and much more time during the week to spend together.  My “summer of nothing” became a summer of everything.  We had picnics, discovered countless breweries, camped, spent a weekend at Grandma & Grandpa’s, took a week long family trip with Grannie & Grandpa, finished a full marathon on rollerblades, went on LONG walks almost everyday, saw friends get married – and best of all – attended every weekend event as a family. It was amazing.

As blessed as we were with all the fun, every new adventure has growing pains.  It was hard.  It was uncertain. It was adjustment. For the fourth year of our lives, it was hard. Hubs and I used eachother – as punching bags, as sounding boards, as strength, as a place to store our fear, as a reminder of why it is all worth it.

Looking back now, as we recover and rebuild, I see we grew again.  January 7th will mark our fifth year as partners.  I know marrriage isn’t easy for anyone but this relationship has got to be special to survive such major changes in the first half decade. I am proud to say we are survivors. We are fighters.

We are each others lighters.

(ps – if this video doesn’t make you bawl, you aren’t human.)