Showing posts with label 2nd Baby. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2nd Baby. Show all posts

Winter First Birthday Party!

 Last weekend was Gwen's first birthday party!  As I've mentioned previously, I went back and forth on themes for a while.  Having a birthday right after Christmas makes it a little tricky to me - I wanted it to be wintery and fit in with the season, but without being Christmas-y.

I finally settled on a "These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things" theme!

For those of you who are not familiar with the song, it's from The Sound Of Music, and you can read the lyrics here.  

I tried to incorporate as many of the things from the song into her party as I could!  We had:

-Brown paper packages tied up with string.

-Whiskers On Kittens, Bright Copper Kettles, and Warm Woolen Mittens candles, from Yankee Candle (which I already happened to have).

-Snowflakes "that stay on my nose and eyelashes" (actually they just hung from our chandelier and her birthday banner).  I made the mosaic snowflakes with Wyatt several weeks ago.

-Sleigh bells, which I strung along with the balloons and spread onto the table for decorations.

-Schnitzel with noodles (otherwise known around here as Chicken Noodle Soup - I was just trying to think of something with noodles in it).

-Crisp Apple Strudel muffins (which I thought were going to be a disaster when the first batch flopped - thank goodness for the mason jars to make them look pretty!  I just baked them straight in the jars).

-The weather even played along and we had a "silver white winter" that will eventually melt into spring!


Overall it was a really fun and easy theme to do, and I'm really happy with the way everything turned out!  

If you have any questions about any specific elements, let me know.  Aside from Gwen's birthday banner, I made the rest of the decorations, invitations, etc.

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We had a really nice time, and Gwen especially enjoyed her birthday cupcake!  It was nice to be able to celebrate our sweet girl with our closest family and friends!


Punch recipe here.

To see cake and present pictures, head on over to my photo blog.

(If you aren't a follower of my private photo blog you'll have to request an invitation here first.)

It Is Not The Same

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If I had to pick one thing to tell moms who are expecting their second baby, I would say don't expect things to be the same with your second baby as they were with your first. 

I think most moms kind of have a handle on the idea that their second baby might be different from the first in a general sense.  They know their children might not have the same sleep habits, eating habits, personality, etc.   But I think one area where this can take moms by surprise is how they feel right after their baby is born (stick with me here).

If you were at all like me, that moment when you met your first child face-to-face lives in your memory as one of the most powerful moments of your life.  Looking at that sweet baby that you carried nine months and realizing that they are all yours - and you are responsible for their little life.  It's exciting.  It's scary.  It's new.  It's overwhelming, that rush of love and emotion that you feel.  I think some moms expect that same exact rush of emotions with the second.

In some ways, it is the same way when you meet your second child for the first time.  It is still one of the most powerful moments in your life.  The love still rushes over you.  But it's not exactly the same.  With the second, you aren't as scared.  With the second, bringing home your baby is no longer an entirely new thought - you've done this before.  You know what you are doing now.  It will be a different mix of emotions.

Will your second baby change you?  Absolutely, but not in exactly the same way as your first.  They'll change you in a different way than any subsequent babies as well.  Every child will be a little different, and that's a good thing.  It keeps you growing.

When you met your first baby, you were a brand-new mom, still trying to figure out what that meant - now you are already a mother.  You are more comfortable with this whole process.  It is different because of it, but it is no less beautiful.  

Don't put expectations on those first moments based on your experience with your first.  Meeting each new baby is a unique and powerful experience in it's own way - appreciate each first moment for what it is without the comparison.   Every time you first lay eyes on your child is indescribably and equally special.  Treasure it.

Me - Postpartum, Round Two

 Stretch marks?  Check.

Stretched out belly skin?  Check.

Linea nigra and baby weight that just won't go completely away?  Check, Check.

Sweet baby to snuggle?  Check, Check, Check!  

And she makes it all worth it!

This week I had my postpartum check up with my doctor, so I thought it would be a good time to write a little post-baby update on me.  If for nothing else than my own records.  I find myself trying to remember where I was at this point after having Wyatt, how much weight I had lost, how I felt, etc., so I thought it would be good to record it after Gwen too.

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Recovery was actually a lot smoother after Gwen than it was with Wyatt - I didn't tear quite as much, and I didn't have all the added complications/yuckiness that comes with pre-eclampsia this time.  I felt pretty much back to normal within a few days of giving birth, which was a huge blessing!

We also got the hang of nursing a lot quicker this time, I think because I knew what was not supposed to happen based on my experience with Wyatt - so instead of letting it get really bad before seeking help, we corrected our issues within the first week, and it's been pretty smooth sailing.  I'm so glad, because with Wyatt we didn't really get the hang of it until he was about a month old, and it added a lot of stress to any outing where I'd have to feed him in public those first few weeks.


Overall, the weight has taken a bit longer to come off this time though.  With Wyatt I do remember that I was back at my pre-pregnancy weight by the two week mark - I haven't kept as close tabs on it this time, but at two weeks I did have a good five pounds to go. I  know that now I am now down to within a couple pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight, which I'm pretty happy with.

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This was me at about two weeks postpartum.  

And for comparison . . .

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This is one of the more flattering pictures of me the day after having Gwen.  

See, it went down pretty fast.  To all you pregnant people - it's normal to leave the hospital looking pregnant!  Don't freak out.  Public service announcement of the day.


I actually feel like I look thicker around the middle now than at two weeks, weirdly enough.  I always feel the best about my post-baby body when I'm two weeks postpartum, for some reason, and it goes downhill from there.  I was reading through some old posts and I have proof that I went through this same thought process with Wyatt.  It's probably just in my head.  My jeans say I'm skinnier now, so I guess that's what counts, right?

I'm feeling a lot more "gushy" this time than I remember feeling with Wyatt, even though according to my records my stomach is measuring an inch smaller than it was with Wyatt at this point.  But I feel chubbier than I remember feeling last time.  Go figure.

I attribute the gushy feeling largely to the fact that this time I'm on Lovenox injections.  Do you all remember that blood clot I had two years ago, after my knee surgery?  Well, because I have a history of deep vein thrombosis now, I have to be on blood thinners postpartum - you are more likely to get blood clots in your legs after having a baby, just because of all the hormonal changes, so I'm on it preventatively.

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Lovenox comes in separate little syringes for each dose, and every night I have to swab off my stomach with some rubbing alcohol, pinch some of my belly fat to the right or left of my belly button, and give myself the injection.  

I end up having a lot of little pinpoint bruises all over my stomach at any specific time, and I firmly believe it makes my skin puffy - which in turn makes my whole stomach  area look puffier, and makes me feel flubbery and chubby.  I remember feeling this same way when I was on the shots the first time, so I'm hoping my stomach skin will shrink back down quicker once I'm no longer pumping fluid into it every 24 hours.  My last shot is today, thank goodness!

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(Yes, that sharps container is way overloaded, which is a no-no - I'm not too worried about a surprise safety inspection at my house though.)

I've been doing workout videos since a couple weeks postpartum, so aside from the puffy skin issue, I feel pretty good.  I've noticed that my knees have started to bother me when I work out though, so I'm going to dial it back a bit and maybe do more low-impact stuff for a little while  - I don't want a repeat of that knee fiasco that happened when Wyatt was 2 months old.  I have been told by my orthopedic surgeon that I have "loose joints" anyway, and pregnancy and postpartum hormones just make your joints even "looser", so I figure I better not push it.

I can fit into most of my pre-pregnancy jeans, except for a few of my "skinniest" pairs - but I'm not worrying about it yet.  I think I'll fit back into it within a couple more months, probably, as long as I don't over-do it on the sugar intake.

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So generally, I'm doing great, and I'm just looking forward to getting off these stupid shots and hopefully letting my stomach skin heal up!  I also went shopping the other week, and bought some new skinny jeans and tops - post-baby shopping trips are so fun!  Nothing else better to make you feel put together than some flattering new outfits (because let's face it, your old clothes just don't fit the same until several months postpartum)!

P.S.  If you haven't voted on my poll in the sidebar, you have three days left!  That is all.

A Big Year - 2012 In Review

As I was writing this recap post I realized how much has changed for our little family in the past year - I look back at the pictures from last January and I can hardly believe how far we've come since then! So here is our year, in a nutshell.


-I was forced into making New Year's resolutions, which I usually don't.

-Wyatt turned 11 months old!

-Wyatt gave his first high-five on the 13th!

-Wyatt's first word ("dog") on the 15th!

-Wyatt said "dada" on the 18th.

-Wyatt danced with me on the 26th - it was so cute.

-Wyatt started to drop his army crawl and crawled on his hands and knees on the 28th.


-Wyatt pulled himself up to his feet on the 4th!

-Derek got a new job that allowed me to drop down to just working Fridays!  

-I opened up a little bit about my fears on trying to get pregnant again. I visited my fertility doctor and started HCG shots for my luteal phase defect.

-Wrote about my experience with homeschooling, which you can read here, here, here, and here.


-I featured the Ucherek's, a missionary family, on my blog!  Missionary features are something I would still like to do more of, so if you are a missionary - shoot me an e-mail!


-Wyatt started drinking through a straw on the 8th and lost another tooth.

-Wrote a post about some disturbing vaccine info I found out about.

-Wrote a series on basic blog designing, which you can read here, here, here, and here.

-Shared Wyatt's one year old and cake smash photos!

-Found a new home for Miss Quincy, which was bittersweet (and I still miss her, by the way).

-On April 29, 2012 I officially found out I was pregnant!  It took 8 months of trying this time, and that positive test was such an answer to prayer!


-Wyatt turned 15 months old!

-I went on a work trip to Las Vegas with my sister.

-We took a weekend trip to visit my grandma and her husband Bill!  We had a lovely time, even though I was pretty queasy most of the trip (thankfully my morning sickness is usually pretty mild).

-I read and shared my thoughts on the Hunger Games.  I had mixed emotions. (Please don't hate me).

-Saw our baby via ultrasound twice!  Started progesterone supplements as well since my levels were low.


-Summer is in full swing!  We went swimming and bought a new car for me (yay!).

-Started a friendship series on the blog, which you can read about here (scroll to the end of the post for a full list of the posts in the series).


-Hosted a giveaway in which you all searched for a hidden pregnancy clue that I shared before the official announcement - you can find the answer here!

-14 and 16 week pregnancy updates. 

-My dear friend Hazel lost her mom and we took a small road trip to the funeral.  I have so many good memories with Hazel and her mom, it was an awful loss, but I know we'll see her again in Heaven.

-My boss took us on a shopping day, which was a ton of fun!

-My computer died, and we bought a Mac.

-My uncle died suddenly in a car crash - it was a hard time for everyone in our family.

-We went on a family picnic.


-Went swimming as a family.

-18 and 20 week pregnancy updates.

-Wyatt turned a year and half old!

-We enjoyed a campfire at my parents house.

-On August 29, 2012 we had an ultrasound and found out we were expecting a sweet baby GIRL!

-On the 29th Wyatt also took three steps all by himself!  It was an exciting day!


-We had a gender reveal party to announce the gender to our family and friends!  You can read about the invitations, the games, and the whole gender reveal party here.

-22 and 24 week pregnancy updates.

-I started going to MOPS, and had a fall craft day with my mom and sister.

-I bought some crayon melts for Wyatt!  This was significant for me, and you can read why here.

-Wyatt took 10 steps all by himself on the 17th!

-Wyatt told me "I love you" spontaneously on the 22nd.


-We went to the corn maze!

-26 and 28  and 30 weeks pregnant!

-I finally got to share the news that my sister is pregnant!

-We went on vacation to visit my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, and we had a lovely time as always!

-I decided all the link-ups and giveaways were getting out of control on the blog, and decided to cut back so I could write more of what I wanted to write.


-We had our maternity pictures taken!

-I shared about Wyatt learning to walk!

-32 and 34 weeks pregnant!

-Wyatt turned 21 months old!

-We celebrated Thanksgiving, and I was so thankful for all of the blessings the Lord gave us this year!

-We found out on Thanksgiving that my sister is expecting a baby BOY!  I finally have permission to share.  It feels good to get that off my chest!

-I finished a blanket for Baby Girl that I started three years ago.


-We went to a Christmas parade with Wyatt.

-36 and 38 weeks pregnant!  A little protein showed up at my 37 week check, so I was hoping she'd come before I had to be induced.

-Finally shared pictures from when Derek went bull riding!

-Shared some pictures of me and Wyatt in the last weeks before his sister arrived.

-Hit my 1000th post (and part two, my 1001st post).

-Finished the kid's room and shared pictures.

-Welcomed our daughter on the 27th!! You can read her birth story here.

-Celebrated Derek's birthday in the hospital!

-Celebrated New Year's Eve at home with Wyatt and Gwendolyn!

It's been such a big year for our family - we've been through a couple job changes, Wyatt has grown so much since last January (it kind of blows my mind to think about it), and our family has grown to four members!   We feel so blessed, and I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for us in 2013!

Expecting This Christmas


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It's the Eve of Christmas today.  I've been ready for Christmas for a few weeks now, but somehow it still seems to have snuck up on me.  I think it's because I've been so distracted the last few weeks with getting ready not only for Christmas, but for baby.  

The whole last month can be summed up in one word for me - expectancy.  Will she come early like Wyatt?  Will I be able to make it to that party next week, or will I be having a baby?  In the back of my mind is always the thought that she could come any time.


All of my energies have been focused on getting every task that arises done as soon as possible, because if that day was the day, I wanted everything to be ready.  I wanted to be prepared.

These last few days especially, as her due date has been drawing closer and closer, I've been watching for any sign that she might be coming soon - is that a contraction, or is she just pushing out the side of my belly again?  Is that back pain getting worse?  When will she come?

This whole month we've also been doing a Scripture advent calendar for Wyatt each night that his sweet aunt and uncle put together for him.  And last night, after we read the scraps of paper, divided up the chocolate, and opened Wyatt's last advent present, I started thinking about expectancy again, but this time about the expectancy that preceded Christ's birth.

The Jews knew he was coming. For hundreds of years they read prophesies in the Scriptures about his birth. How must it have felt for Mary and Joseph to know that every prophesy, every hope and longing for His coming, was on the brink of being fulfilled through that tiny human baby (that probably stuck his arms and legs out the side of Mary's belly too)?  That all those who had been watching for Him would soon see Him come, just as God said He would?

I'm not sure everyone understood then that He had come not to defeat the Romans, but to defeat something far more damaging to the people God loves - our sin.  That he came to live, and then die to pay for the sin of the world, and then to rise again that we might live.  

That wasn't what some of them expected, but God had His plan.  Still, regardless of what they knew or didn't know about His purpose here then, to have waited for the Messiah so long and then to have Him come must have been something so special.

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It's nowhere close to the same type of expectancy, but somehow waiting for our little lady to arrive has made me think about it more.  I think about how excited I'll be when all these little aches and pains culminate into something that I can actually identify as labor.  I think about how wonderful it'll be to see her little face after all the waiting.  

And I think how thrilling it must have been, after generations of waiting, to know that the Messiah was finally here.  That must have been the most amazing type of expectancy to have fulfilled for those who had been watching for Him.

It's not quite finished yet though.  Jesus is coming again - not as a baby, but to catch us up with Him in the clouds, and to establish His kingdom on earth!  There is plenty of controversy about how and when all the events in the end times will happen, but the bottom line is, we know He's coming back.

Are we waiting for Him now with the same kind of expectancy?  Are we watching for the signs that He's coming soon?  Are we making sure everything in our hearts and lives are ready for Him?

Tomorrow, as I think about the first time He came, I want to remember to watch for Him still.   I want to be ready for Him, and I want to experience that full measure of joy when He finally comes again, because I was watching for Him and expecting Him all along. 

Just like the waiting for anything makes it so much sweeter to receive it, for those who are waiting, and watching, and longing for His coming again, it will be a thrill beyond anything else to hear that trumpet sound and know that He is here.   

To wrap it up, this song kept playing in my head as I wrote this - it's not technically a Christmas song, but it fits - because what a glorious day it will be when He comes again!  


One day when Heaven was filled with His praises 
One day when sin was as black as could be 
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin 
Dwelt among men, my example is He. 

One day they led Him up Calvary's mountain 
One day they nailed Him to die on a tree 
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected 
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He.

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer 
One day the stone rolled away from the door 
Then He arose, over death He had conquered 
Now He's ascended, my Lord evermore.

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming,
  One day the skies with His glory will shine;
Wonderful day, my beloved ones bringing;
  Glorious Savior, this Jesus is mine!

Living, He loved me 

Dying, He saved me 
Buried, He carried my sins far away 
Rising, He justified freely forever 
One day He's coming 
Oh glorious day!

-J. Wilbur Chapman

Merry Christmas, Friends! Praying you may have the joy of knowing and waiting for Him too!

The Kid's Room Reveal

When we found out we were pregnant we decided that we were going to have Wyatt and the new baby share a room.  We have two bedrooms downstairs in our house - our bedroom and the nursery.  I feel like Wyatt is still pretty little to be upstairs by himself (I just don't want him that far away from me), so we tossed around different options and decided it would be best to just have the kiddos share a room until Wyatt is a little bigger.

Since we found out we're having a baby girl, we repainted and the room is basically split into Wyatt's side and her side.  I'm finally getting around to sharing a few pictures!  So here it is - the kid's room!


Little Sister's Side

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Big Brother's Side

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The Whole Room

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(Some sort of name art will probably go on that back wall above her crib once we know what her name is, along with a few more wall flowers maybe . . .)

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(Right now we just have Wyatt's name meaning hanging above the dresser, I'll add a frame with her name after she comes!)


And that's it!  I wasn't sure how I was going to do a room for both a boy and a girl, but I like the way it turned out.  It'll be nice to have both my babies close to me at night for a couple more years!

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