Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Hey, Hi, Hello!

Its been awhile since I've written in this little blog of mine. Over the last couple months I've missed blogging, but between feedings, diaper changes, and an active four-year-old, I put blogging on the back burner. The last couple weeks I've been itching to return to blogging. Especially after getting together with a few sweet blog friends (Alyson, Julie, & Karri) and realizing if it wasn't for blogging, I wouldn't have met them!

I feel like blogging can be weird, sharing your thoughts, feelings, and photos openly with everyone, half the time I wonder if people really care, and the other half I'm left feeling a little narcissistic. Usually I try to keep this blog of mine a secret from friends and family, although I think they have all figured it out haha. As silly as blogging seems sometimes, I do love it! So now that we are settling into a routine, and I am fitting in a little bit of "me" time here and there, I want to use it doing something I enjoy...blogging.

So what better way to return to blogging than after a long holiday weekend. Here is a look (picture overload) into our 4th of July weekend:

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Will you stick around so we can catch up on the last few months?

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Friday, April 26, 2013

First Week as a Family of Four

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It's hard to believe it has already been a week since we became a family of four, but at the same time it feels like Aviana has always been a part of our family. As much as I daydreamed and imagined what life would be like once Avi arrived, it could never measure up to how great reality is, my heart feels so full! I've never been so happy in my whole life. If anything has ever felt right, it's being the momma of these two.

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Of course, like anything new in life, it takes sometime to fully adjust. E loves being a big brother and helping with Avi. He will grab wipes or burp cloths when we ask him to. He has been good about sharing the attention and we have made a strong effort to give him some one-on-one time with the both of us.

This is my husbands first time taking care of a newborn. He was deployed for the first two months of E's life. It's been amazing to go through this stage with him this time. He has quickly gone from nervous to natural. Plus, he's pretty good at changing diapers ;)

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As far as sleep goes, the first two days in the hospital were rough. Avi did not like the hospital crib, at all! Every time we set her down, just as we were about to fall asleep, she would wake back up. Literally every ten minutes she was up. She would only sleep in someones arms, which meant we got no sleep because the hospital bans anyone from sleeping with their baby (for safety measures).

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Avi's sleeping habits completely changed when we brought her home from the hospital. She sleeps so much now! I was concerned that she was sleeping too much and asked her pediatrician if that was okay ha! She assured me everything was normal. Some people just luck out with amazing sleepers, we're not complaining ;)

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Recovering from my csection has been going great. So great that I was able to leave the hospital a whole day early. Although I can tell a difference in my recovery this time around, my body isn't as young haha. I'm only 25, but with my first csection I was 20, and honestly, 5 years makes a difference! I am a lot more sore this time and I've had to take my medicine more than I did the first time. I've also had so much swelling from the waste down. I didn't have this post pregnancy swelling the first time, and let me tell ya, it's miserable! However, I still feel blessed that there were no major complications with the surgery and I am thankful to be recovering as quickly as I am.

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Avi's stats:

Weight: She was born at 7 lbs, 7 oz but quickly lost weight, down to 7 lbs, 3 oz just a few hours after birth, then down to 6 lbs, 13 oz a day later. By the time we left the hospital Avi was down to 6 lbs, 8 oz which was concerning to our pediatrician. Babies are expected to lose weight after birth, but shouldn't lose more than 10%. Since her pediatrician was concerned we had to make after hour appointments to check her weight over the weekend. Once my breast milk came in though, she started to gain and her weight spiked back up.

Feeding: Avi is doing an amazing job with breastfeeding. She eats every 2-3 hours during the day and every 4 hrs at night. E wasn't such a good breast feeder and by two months we found out he had a milk protein allergy. I am really hoping and praying Avi doesn't develop the same allergy. So far there are no signs. 

First:
Smile: We got to see Avi's first smile this week! Of course the smiles are only during her naps but they still melt my heart :)

Shopping experience: Just four days postpartum we made our first trip to Target. Avi's closet was stocked with spring clothing (who was expecting snow in mid April??) so we had to stop and pick up some warmer things for her. My girl is already a great shopping buddy hehe.

Family walk: We only made it to the corner and back, but it was her first official family walk, one of many!

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Passionate Heart

Today I am pleased to introduce you to a sweet friend of mine, L of All Glorious Within. I had the pleasure of meeting L at the Influence Conference last year and this girl has such a caring and passionate heart!

She has launched a purpose project in hopes of helping raise money for orphans in Africa. I ask that you would please read this post and help L fulfill her goal, whether that is by donating money or sharing her project through social media. Any little bit can help L reach her goal!


Hey Friends! 
I am so thankful to Lisa for allowing me to come and greet you all here in this space of hers and to share with you something the Lord has placed on my heart. 

Following my senior year of high school, the Lord orchestrated in an incredible way a trip to Africa which was totally unexpected. You can read the details here
Since then, the Lord has been laying things related to that trip even more specifically on my heart. Changing me to love like He loves in many ways.
Breaking my heart for those who feel unloved.

Giving me a heart specifically for orphans, adoption and Africa.
You'll have to watch this space to see what He continues to do with those heart stirrings. 
I have no idea what the future will hold and what the Lord has planned for us specifically yet. 
I am hoping doors will open for us to pursue foreign adoption at some point.
Maybe even heading to Africa long-term should that be what He calls us to.
But for now, while waiting on further leading, I feel His particular burden to care for orphans where I am now, even if unable to adopt at this point in life.

To make it a priority to take action. Even if that doesn't require packing a suitcase and heading halfway around the world.



'Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.'
James 1:27

The way I felt the Lord laying on my heart to care for orphans was through an organization called the Mocha Club. They are an incredible organisation with existing long term projects in Ghana, Kenya and Zimbabwe who work to provide for orphans and vulnerable children.
So this month I am partnering with them in doing something called a purpose project. I raise a specific amount of money for their orphan care projects, then should I meet my goal....I do a project so that my fundraising has a purpose. 

The Goal: Raise $750 for orphan projects ongoing in Ghana, Kenya and Zimbabwe 
(This will provide care for 3 orphans for a year) 
My Project:  Once the money is raised, I will be running a 5K race aiming to beat my high school record of 26mins. 
(I have started training!)



How can You help?

I am looking specifically for people to partner with me financially. 




I realize money is tight for so many people right now. Myself included. But any donation NO MATTER HOW SMALL helps achieve this goal of working together to change the lives of three orphans.
I opted to give up a Starbucks latte a few times this month and instead donate to the project. (So even $5 will help!)
I can't do this without your help, friend. =) 
I am so happy to have



I would also love it if you would share about this project through social media! 
Please tweet or post to fb so that others may hear about this project!  


Thanks so much for reading, sharing, donating, however you are able to help! 
I am so thankful for each of you! 

Much Love! 
L

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Introducing Aviana Rose

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One week ago we welcomed our baby girl into the world! 

April 10, 2013 at 3:48 pm 
7 pounds, 7 ounces and 18.5 inches 

We are completely in love with her and have been soaking in every moment :)

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Monday, April 8, 2013

Baby Update: 38 weeks

Last week I shared our birth plan and I want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers! Means a lot to have your support :)

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How far along? 38w6d

Total weight gain: Umm... 40 pounds and I am happy to say that that should be my final weigh in as baby Avi will be here this week! I can't even tell you how much I a dieing to get out on a run ;)

Baby is the size of a: watermelon 19 to 22 in, 7 lbs

Gender: Girl :)

Movement: It seems like she is running out of room because her movements have slowed down the last couple days. I still feel her hiccup and a foot jabbing out every now and then, but space is getting tight!

Labor signs: She is still head down and very low in my pelvis. At 39 weeks E flipped into the breech position, so hopefully she doesn't follow in her brother's foot steps. I've been having cramping and bh on and off, so hopefully she is planning her big arrival soon because she only has 2 days left to come out or we are coming to get her ;)

Maternity clothes? Yoga pants and tees. There's nothing cute about the last weeks of pregnancy. I am so swollen I don't even have shoes that fit!

Stretch marks? No new ones

Food cravings/aversions: Nothing in particular. Crushed ice is my only "craving" which my husband makes fun of me for
 
Anything making you queasy or sick: I started to get waves of nausea again

Wedding rings on or off? Sadly off. I had to take them off last week and it feels weird without them. I've had so much swelling the last couple weeks

Best moments this week: The blessing I had through our church was a great moment this week. It was so great to have women of the church pray over baby A and to be able to do it with my friend Tess, who is also expecting.
My husband and I also had a little afternoon movie date last week and it was nice to spend some one-on-one time together since it will probably be the last one for awhile.

Looking forward to: The big day! I can not wait to hold you, Aviana! We are all ready for you!

Other baby updates:
36 weeks
35 weeks
34 weeks

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Birth Plan

Since we are so close to the end of this pregnancy, I thought I would share our birth plans. I actually feel like this pregnancy has flown by, up until this last month, it must be the anticipation of meeting her! Now I am feeling very anxious and impatient to just hold her in my arms. Looking forward to that moment has also been bring a lot of stress about her birth.

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With my pregnancy with E, he flipped into the breech position at 39 weeks, so I had a c-section. This time around I had the option to have a repeat csection or a vbac. Early on in this pregnancy we decided to have a repeat csection and had an appointment set up for April 10th. However, when we started to think about it in detail, we started to doubt our decision. A repeat c-section would mean a longer hospital stay and a longer recovery process. Both of which I feel will hinder my job as a mom. I don't want to spend extra days in the hospital away from E, and I don't want to spend the first few weeks recovering from surgery.

At this point, we still have the csection appointment setup, but we are leaning toward a vbac. I would love to just go into labor on my own and have a healthy delivery, but of course there is no guarantees.  A milion thoughts have ran through my head about this delivery. "What if I go into labor and I'm not able to deliver and need a c-section anyways? What if I go into labor and it's too much for me to handle? What if I have a csection and the recovery isn't as smooth as last time? What if, what if, what if?"

Now we are down to crunch time, 6 days left until our set csection date. Although I know I can cancel the c-section and wait it out, my husband and I made the decision to go ahead with the c-section if I don't go into labor on my own before that date. This is something we have prayed about over and over. It something that has weighed heavily on our hearts for so long. I know a lot of people have strong views on vbacs (believe me, I've heard them all), but that is the decision we have made.

We've prayed about it and I am finally feeling at peace knowing that things will happen the way they are intended to. Either way, c-section or vbac, it's all in God's hands. The most important thing is that he has entrusted us with this precious gift, and in the end it doesn't matter which way she comes out, we will be blessed and our hearts will be full!

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Life Lately

Life lately has been busy and exhausting, but in a good way!

We are up to the last week of pregnancy. Just 8 days until we get to meet our baby girl! We've been trying to get all our last minute things together like pack the hospital bag, set up the infant gear, wash all the baby clothes. While packing the hospital bag, I realized that we didn't have much newborn outfits, so last week I made a Target run to pick up some onesies and sleepers. Newborn outfits are so tiny, it's hard to believe babies are that small! I remember thinking E was so small and fragile and he was a 8.5 pound baby! My doctor thinks Aviana will be around 7 pounds, so we will see. Our fridge and pantry are stocked up on food and our house has been scrubbed from top to bottom so we are all set for her arrival. Any day would be good to come, Aviana hint hint ;)

Ethan was on spring break last week, so I took the week off of blogging. It was nice to spend some quality time with him. Next week he starts soccer and after that t-ball. He sure has grown up right before our eyes. It makes me sad, but happy at the same time. This age is a fun one!

It seems like spring has finally sprung around here just in time for Easter. Although the temperatures aren't where we would like them to be, the sun has been shining and the snow has been melting, that alone surely makes a difference.

We had a wonderful Easter this year. Saturday, we attended church, went out to breakfast, and then went to an annual Easter event that our local greenery holds for children. Sunday, the Easter bunny made a stop by our house and left E with an awesome basket filled with goodies and even hid some eggs around the house for the little guy to find. E was so excited when he woke up. We made a turkey dinner, which almost didn't happen because when I woke up in the morning to put the turkey in the oven, it was still frozen! Thankfully, Wal-mart had a few frozen-to-oven turkeys left, which was so simple I think I will buy those for now on. Since Alyson and her family just moved to Wisconsin, we invited them over for dinner and had a good time spending the afternoon with them. Our boys had so much fun sword fighting and egg hunting. By the end of the day my feet were so swollen they hurt so we spent the rest of the night snuggling in bed and watching movies. It was nice!

Here are some photos from the last week:

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