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My Baby Shower

03/30/2015

I woke up the morning of my baby shower and thought, I’ve waited a long time for a baby shower. I don’t deserve a baby shower. It was truly a huge blessing. As soon as she found out I was pregnant, my sweet sister-in-law Ginger asked when she could throw me a baby shower. Four years prior I had organized hers and she has been wanting to return the favor ever since. When we started foster parenting, also about four years ago, some dear friends organized a quick foster-child shower. It was super helpful to us and we were able to collect some kid gear to cover the wide range we were preparing for: birth to age 5, boy or girl, one or two kids. I’m not devaluing that blessing in any way. But after four years of parenting six different little ones, this time it was a bonafide baby shower to celebrate the specific little guy we have the gift of 9 months advance notice to prepare for. Also, it’s the first time we’ve had a child coming that we know is staying so it actually makes sense to own some things rather than just borrow temporarily.

My sister-in-law organized a beautiful tea party with the help of my mom, who hosted at her house. My sister Jessica and niece Iris were able to come down from Pennsylvania and join us. Lots of friends came with kind, thoughtful gifts for our little Isaiah. I’ve so enjoyed opening, washing, folding, sorting, setting up all of his precious little things.

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All of the photos above were taken by my friend Beth Rose. Did you see how many adorable babies came to my baby shower? Isaiah already has a crew of baby friends waiting to meet him.

Alianna had lots of fun with Iris.

 

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I’m so thankful Jessica and Iris could come to visit the weekend of the party. Here we are with my mama.

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Speaking of mamas, both grandmothers spoiled our little guy with tons of presents but these handmade gifts deserve a special moment in the spotlight. My mom, “Grandma,” knitted this adorable gray sweater. She used the same pattern to make a purple sweater for Ali three years ago.

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And Jason’s mom, “Nana,” is a crochet-machine! She made Isaiah a blanket, a little stuffed lamb, a bunch of washcloths and two adorable little pairs of booties. The loafers are so tiny!

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I love, love, love handmade goodies. Those are the things I’ll keep forever. I also registered for gifts through Amazon with some links to Target.com—pretty much the only two places I shop for anything that’s not food or secondhand. A few items I was so thankful to be given that might be of interest to other new or expecting mamas:

Carter’s 2-pk. 44x44inch Cotton Muslin Swaddle Blankets, Blue
I love the Aden and Anais ones but let’s be honest; these are much cheaper! I love the feel of thin, flowy muslin blankets for swaddling, snuggling, spit-up wiping, etc.

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Bumkins Waterproof Starter Bib, Blue Crocs and Turtles, 2-Count
Bumkins brand are my favorite bibs for baby feeding because they’re machine washable or easily rinse/wipe-able and they pack super small in a diaper bag.

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Comfort & Harmony Peanut Air Swaddle
So I know I just said how much I love muslin swaddle blankets but for a good, long, nighttime sleep, I prefer a more secure swaddle wrap. I’ve borrowed velcro wrap style swaddlers from friends before and they’re nice. I inherited a couple of hand-me-downs of those. I’m really excited to try this one though, because it zips up the front with a split zipper (diaper changes without taking the baby all the way out) and snaps at the neck. No busting out of this one! Plus it’s pretty lightweight which will be good since it’ll be summer very soon after Isaiah is born.

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Itzy Ritzy Nursing Happens Infinity Breastfeeding Scarf, Grey Chevron
I fell in love with the idea of a jersey knit infinity scarf and ended up sewing myself a bunch (and soon I’ll have them for sale in my Etsy shop too…) but this one was my first love. I really love the gray and white chevron pattern. I’m not sure I can pull off a scarf in the summer in Nashville—even a lightweight one—but these are small tucked into a diaper bag and surely will be very useful in the fall and winter.

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Tommee Tippee Bottle, 9 Ounce, 3 Count
After using our Playtex VentAire bottles for 4 babies, I’m ready for something new. Our Playtex set, like the popular Dr. Browns have just too many parts to wash. These Tommee Tippee have the vent built into the nipple and the bottle itself is short and ergonomic for adult or child to hold. Most important (for the first time, for me) these are supposedly great for combining with breastfeeding because of the nipple design. I’m super thankful to have this new set.

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All product pics above are from Amazon.com.

I already shared about our new bouncy seat and Moses basket in this post about Finishing Touches to the Nursery.

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36 Week Froggie Update

03/26/2015

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I’m 36 weeks pregnant and just as tired as I ever was at the beginning of my pregnancy, if not more. The most basic human functions of breathing, walking and sleeping are all more challenging. I’m not sleeping well due to hip joint pain, getting up frequently to pee, heartburn and sudden leg cramps that jolt me out of bed faster than anything else. As unfun as all of that sounds (and is), it’s still totally worth it because I’m just in awe of this kid growing inside of me and the amazing transformation my body is capable of going through. And as I’ve said in my past several updates, I’m totally in love with feeling Isaiah’s movements. I love to interact with him. All of the complaints…I’m positive that it’s part of God’s design when it comes to the end of pregnancy that the mother is so mentally and physically done with being pregnant that she is ready to endure whatever it takes to hold her child in her arms. I have four more weeks until my due date (April 21) but dude is considered full term next week at 37 weeks and all the way up until 42 weeks is considered a healthy pregnancy. Lord, I know your timing is perfect and you have Isaiah’s birth date already picked out. I just pray it’s on the early side and if not, that you would give me lots of patience! Speaking of God’s perfect timing, Jason is a touring musician and he just got a new gig, which is a huge answer to prayer, especially as it pertains to income during a time when I’m about to take a big chunk of unpaid time off work. It also means he will be out of town 7 or 8 days in next three weeks. Again, I’m totally trusting that God has got the timing of all of this worked out perfectly so that Jason will be present for Isaiah’s birth. I think Easter would be a great day to have a baby…just putting that out there. I am so excited to deliver our little guy and start into the next season of our lives. Pregnancy has been harder than I expected and more amazing than I expected. I’m ready to be done now. Speaking of done

Isaiah’s room is officially done. There is nothing I’m waiting to finish. The bouncer will end up in the living room once he arrives, not in front of the closet. And we’ll have him sleep in our room in a Moses basket for the first little while so he’s closer for feedings. I love to sit in this room to pray and dream. The other day Jason came in here to open the window and sighed, “Isaiah’s room is so peaceful.” That’s the best compliment I could get on his nursery design.

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Big sister Ali loves to feel her little brother’s hiccups. (I do too!) She’s always asking me if he’s hiccuping and reminding me to tell her whenever he starts.

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The picture below is me giving Ali a bath… I put her in the tub and then I collapse on the nearest couch. “Mommy, I’m done playing. Come wash me!” she calls from the bathroom. “I can’t… I’m stuck on the couch.” Seriously, it feels like I’m pinned down by a small boulder. Thankfully Jason has been jumping in as much as possible to take over my typical mom duties and turns out she likes it better when he does her baths anyway because “you’re more gentle than Mommy.” Win-win. 😉

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And now for some pregnancy memes to explain how I really feel:

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Our bags are mostly packed. The car seat is installed in the van. Arrangements are in place with family and friends to take care of Ali and our animals. We have plans in place with our jobs. My doctor says everything is on track and looks perfect. In summary, here’s the hashtag I’ve been using frequently on Instagram: #imreadywhenyouarebaby.

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He has a name!

03/16/2015

Since I first laid eyes on him as a tiny babe with a flickering heartbeat at my 8-week ultrasound he was Froggie. (Introducing: Froggie.) At Christmas we found out our growing baby is a boy and I started calling him Baby Boy most of the time. His big sister started calling him Baby Donut (and occasionally Baby Pancake). There’s a long story behind that but it has stuck for months now. I really hope she calls him that forever. Now, he has a real name! Jason and I decided about two weeks ago and have been letting our family and friends know. Time to tell the world: Our son’s name is Isaiah Jason.

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Why Isaiah?

It’s been one of my favorite names for years and was Jason-approved since before we decided to become parents. Isaiah was a very influential Biblical prophet. Several of my favorite verses are in Isaiah. This one from Isaiah 43:18-19 has been special to me since we moved to Nashville to pursue our dreams 11 years ago: Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” My favorite band, Needtobreathe, recorded an album last year called Streams in the Wasteland. I’ve been praying this verse about some very specific things in my life since the beginning of this year and I ordered the record album to hang in our son’s nursery as a reminder of God’s faithfulness to make a way where there appears to be no way.

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Another one of my favorite verses that I’ve been praying specifically over our son is Isaiah 40:30-32: “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

And finally, we chose Isaiah because my great-grandfather’s name was Zay and I think it makes a fabulous nickname for Isaiah.

Isaiah means “salvation of the Lord,” and we pray that he will have a passion to bring people to salvation of the Lord. 

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Why Jason?

Isaiah’s middle name is his father’s first name. Jason’s middle name is his father’s first name. Jason’s father’s middle name is his father’s first name. We thought that would be a nice tradition to continue. Jason means “healer.”

I love that his name has ties to both of our families. I can’t wait to see little Isaiah’s face and hold him in my arms. Just a few more weeks!

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32 Week Froggie Update

02/25/2015

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At 32 weeks, It’s starting to feel like my boy is running out of space in my belly. Perhaps he’s been growing faster than my body can stretch or perhaps that’s just what it feels like as he gets tighter and tighter in there until my due date. I can tell his head is down where it’s supposed to be a lot of the time now, which means it’s getting easier to tell where his arms, bum and legs are located, especially when he’s moving. Which is often. It’s neat to look down at my belly and almost be able to visualize the little guy. His nursery is all ready. His coming home outfit is ready and his diaper bag is packed for the hospital. His clothes are washed and waiting in his dresser. Diapers, wipes, bibs, burp cloths are all stocked. We are ready for him. Of course, there will be more nesting to be done in the next 8 weeks… I’d love to have a stockpile of frozen meals and I’m hoping for the inspiration to clean out the pantry. I started packing my own suitcase for the hospital and then realized most of what I need I’ll have to throw in at the last minute (clothes I’m still wearing every week, toiletries, chargers for electronics, snacks, etc.) In a few weeks I’ll wash the infant car seat cover and install it in our van. In some ways, I’m so ready to not be pregnant anymore, and in other ways, it feels like I’ve been pregnant for so long that I can’t imagine not being pregnant. It will be a strange feeling to not be physically connect to my son anymore. More than anything, I’m excited to see and hold my son in my arms, to kiss his little face, and to share him with the rest of my family.

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(28) 30 Week Froggie Update

02/12/2015

Oh man… it’s been 3.5 weeks since I’ve updated my blog. I used to post daily. Now I’m not even sure where to begin again. The past several weeks have been packed full—busy work deadlines, a spontaneous roadie trip on the tour bus with Jason to Texas, my baby shower and visit from out of town family, a weekend retreat in Atlanta with my foster/adoptive mom friends, the reopening of my Etsy shop and my first wedding invitation order in ages, and most of all—growing a baby is tiring! This space has been nudged down the priority list and that makes me sad. I’m back with a 28 Week update on my little Froggie…but thing is, I’m actually 30 weeks now. I did manage to get my 28 week photos so the growth progression here is accurate:

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At 30 weeks I’m feeling…big. My face is getting rounder. Ok, everything is getting rounder. It takes a lot of effort to roll from one side to the other when I’m sleeping, I have to pee every 30 minutes and my back and legs take the brunt of the struggle with aches and cramps (depending on whether I’m standing/walking a lot or sitting a lot). I waddle.

That will be the extent of my complaining. Mostly, it’s awesome. I’m still enjoying food a lot but have to keep the quantity down since my stomach is getting smaller. My baby boy is growing bigger everyday, strong and healthy. Everything has checked out perfectly at my prenatal visits, which just increased to biweekly, including a passed gestational diabetes test last week. My boy moves around a ton and I still think it’s the most fascinating thing ever. He’s mostly still at night, just shifting when I shift. During the day he has several long periods of sleep and several active periods. He hiccups regularly and ever since I read that you can tell where the baby’s head is based on where you feel the hiccups, that’s been a new game we play. He’s starting to move his head down into the position where he’ll be waiting until delivery but he also spends a fair amount of time traverse, too. (That’s lying horizontally across my belly.) I love to interact with him. It’s funny to imagine a baby out of the womb that you just keep poking and pushing on, waiting for him to push back. But while he’s on the inside, that’s the only affectionate touch we get. I love my little son so much already. I’m very excited for his birth and getting to hold him, kiss his little face and rubbing my cheek against his soft hair.

We get asked regularly about his name. I think I’ve already explained that we’re not telling until he’s born but that’s also because we’re not telling until we decide and we probably won’t decide until he’s born. I think we have agreed on a top 3 but it’s too soon to say. I’ve resorted to the fluffy, cuddly nickname of Sonny Bunny when I speak to him.

Ali still refers to him as Donut everyday. If she wants to call her little brother Donut for the rest of his life, it’s fine by me. I’m really excited to see how Ali interacts with him. She hasn’t shown the slightest hint of jealousy, even with the influx of baby gifts, the appointments, and the way it’s limited my interactions with her (when I’m too tired to play or my back is too sore to pick her up). She’s been such a gentle and loving big sister already. She talks to him and rubs my belly. Every night she thanks God for Baby Donut. We talk a lot about what to expect. She’s eager to teach him how to talk and how to play with toys and how to eat real food. I’ve warned her that at first all we need to teach him is that he’s loved by giving him lots of hugs and kisses and meeting his needs with milk and fresh diaper changes. She’s excited to help with feeding and changing too. We had a gift return credit at Target last night so I asked Ali to help me pick out something for baby brother. She picked this hoodie sweatshirt. Then she spotted some purple pants she liked for herself. We were looking through the girls t-shirts and I spotted one with a big glittery donut on it that I just couldn’t resist. She (ok, we all) love donuts around here. I think we should definitely celebrate his birth and their first meeting with a box of Dunkin Donuts. Blueberry cake for me, please.

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68 days til my due date! But who’s counting?

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26 Week Froggie Update

01/13/2015

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Just a short update this week. I’m officially 6 months pregnant! Three more months to go. (26 weeks) Baby Boy has been very active with bigger movements (compared to the little kicks and pops of a few weeks ago). Now it feels like barrel rolls and attempts to crawl. Still a very cool feeling, and often I can see the movements too. I was pretty tired this weekend and had a UTI last week but in general still feeling great and happy. God is good.

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24 Week Froggie Update

01/05/2015

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Last week I crossed the 24-week mark with my pregnancy. Baby Froggie, or BB (for Baby Boy) as I’ve been calling him lately, is busy! He’s moving around so much now. It’s absolutely fascinating and endearing. I love interacting with him. I love to talk to him, speak blessings over him, rub my hand across my growing belly and feeling him move around in response. I just love him so much already! I dealt with a bout of severe back pain for about 2 weeks but I’m happy to say it has resolved now after lots of prayer, chair adjustments, special pillows and (I assume) my back muscles finally catching up after the rapid growth of my front side. All-in-all I’m still feeling great and loving being pregnant. The biggest news since my last update, of course, is that we’re expecting a boy. Jason, Ali and I found out together on Christmas day with a really special reveal. (I’ll post more about that soon.) I’m thrilled to know the little one growing inside my body is a son. Don’t bother asking about names; we’re not telling. 😉 We have a list and a strong top choice but we won’t decide for sure until he is born. Ali thinks his name should be donut so if you ask you might get an answer of Duncan Donut! (Not on the list.)

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