Monday, December 30, 2013

Another Look Back, Part 7

Written 11/4/13

Have I mentioned that I swear this little pumpkin inside of me is a boy?! I just KNOW it is! Nothing out of the ordinary makes me think this- it's just an unwavering feeling.

We actually have our 12 week ultrasound next Monday- and with that we get to do the blood test that confirms boy or girl! ALREADY!!!!!!! Am I ready for this sort of knowledge?!?! Ha!

And I got these bad boys in recently... How cute are they?!?! Perfect for my little elephant lovers!

Almost time to share the news! Eek!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Making Days Brighter

There is something about two happy children, cool temps, and a sunny day that make you feel like a million bucks. 

Especially thankful for these two blessings today! 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Another Look Back, Part 6

Written 10/22/13

I had another ultrasound today. I tell you what, there is NOTHING better than seeing your sweet baby on that screen.

I am 9w5d today. It was probably one of my favorite ultrasounds to date. That teeny tiny baby is so perfectly formed and actually LOOKS like a baby now (goodbye Gummy Bear!). Arms and legs and a pretty normal body. And it has so much room in my uterus. Baby was seriously dancing and wiggling all over! I have NEVER seen anything like this before! I have seen my other babies move and stretch, but this was different. It's like it knew we were watching and was totally performing! Seriously, turning circles and waving arms and legs- it was SO SO cute! Even Dr. M was giggling and said, "Seriously?! This is one of the funniest and cutest ones I've ever seen!" It was hard to get measurements because baby was so wiggly! So fun!

We eventually did get some good measurements and baby is on the big side now- measuring a little over 10 weeks. Heart rate was a solid 166 and everything else was developing nicely!

Other things...

I'm totally loving apples this go round. Each kid has left me craving something different. Jay was watermelons, Charley was bell peppers (which I had never eaten before in my life!), and this one is apples. I just can't get enough of them!

Weight gain? Our scale broke, so I'm pretty sure it's just been a few pounds (like 2-3 so far). Doctor's appointments are showing that, so I'll stick with it! The thing that is amazing to me is how early I'm "showing".. I know it's not real showing, but my tummy is already sticking out some (despite my best efforts to suck it in and hide it under baggy shirts!). I feel confident that those around me who see me often probably know, but we're not quite ready to tell... A few more weeks..

Eating is ok... Like most first trimester girls all I want is starch and cheese- bland bland bland. But I will throw a crazy twist in there every once in a while! I can't eat much at meal time (which is always so disappointing after I cook!). So I'm sticking with several smaller meals a day. I also can't drink too much water at once (even though I'm PARCHED constantly) or else it makes me super sick to my stomach. The only drink that I can have in larger quantities that doesn't make me ill is Gatorade (yellow only). So weird.

No throwing up- just typical terrible nausea on and off all day long. I am super duper beyond exhausted though and all I want in life to lay in bed and sleep (and we all know how successful that is with two toddlers!). So I just try to make it through the morning and get to nap time (which I definitely take every day- I can't make it through without). And once I get a little snooze in then I can make it through the afternoon and crash at bed time.

I'm cooking regularly still, though there have definitely been more nights of takeout recently (and by more I mean maybe one meal every two weeks). I just don't have the energy!

Coffee and caffeine in general are just sounding terrible to me. Anytime I try to drink it, I get so sick after one sip. So this is causing some sweet headaches and major lack of energy. I'll sometimes have a small Dr. Pepper in the afternoon to get me through the day, but even that doesn't usually sound very good.

All in all things are going very well. I'm so thankful to have pregnancy symptoms like this because it reminds me that I'm pregnant and shows me that things are going well.

Until the next update... 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wordless Wednesday (except I'm wordy)

I've never done a Wordless Wednesday. Maybe I have, but it was just so long ago.

I guess technically I have already disqualified for a Wordless Wednesday since I'm talking now. Oh well. Here are some recent pics that I want to have here for my future blog book!

Decorating Our Tree

Tea Party with Daddy

Lunch with Santa at Church

I mean, c'mon. Love these people!

Jay's happy place! 
Huge stuffed animals at Costco. 

 Christmas Sing-a-Long at School!
Charley was a little stunned at the number of kids and parents there!

Jay and his classmates

Ummm, yeah. This girl is a monkey. 

Can you tell which one is the real animal??

My little chef. 
He calls this his muffin man hat. :)

My children and one of their favorite places to play! 

Our elementary school has a football tournament where four teams of dads play each other. 
It's all neighborhood guys and they are divided by areas of the neighborhood. 
We watched Daddy play for the south (we won the first game! Playoff on New Year's Day!). 
It was SO fun to watch Daddy play football again even though it was SO SO cold outside! 

Before Anthony's team Christmas Party. Love!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Holly and Not So Jolly

Ahhh... Another year of meeting Santa has come and gone.

And I worked hard to make this picture taking experience more pleasant than last year. I really talked Santa up this time around. I prepped the kids for sitting on his lap, we talked about how to ask him for presents, we said hi while waiting in line... I thought I was golden. I might have even bribed them with a Memorial Bakery cookie if they just looked at the camera! 

We took pictures before while waiting our turn and giggled and sang and laughed. My mom came with us (a tradition now) and they loved having her there as a safety net. They had their adorable outfits on.. It seemed that we were locked and loaded and ready to go.

 And boy was I wrong...

A close up of the chaos. 

Jay was NOT having sitting on Santa's lap. As soon as we got two feet away Charley started screaming like Santa was a grizzly bear. I mean, we got what we got. Then I whisked Charley off of his lap and Jay followed. As soon as we got to a safe distance Charley asked, "I get my candy cane?" almost at the same time as Jay asked, "Did I look at the camera? Can we go to Memorial Bakery now and get a cookie. I looked Mom!" Oy.

Charley got her candy cane and Jay indeed looked AT the camera. Apparently next year I need to be more specific and request a smile as well.

Char's method of eating cookies... Scrape the icing off with her teeth. 

Oh well, memories were made and I can say with certainty that I will be paying for another year of therapy for terrorizing my children.

In case you needed any additional laughs for the day, here is our history of Santa pictures, beginning when Jay was 4 months old. Enjoy.

Jay 4 months old

Jay 16 months old

Best picture of all (can you guess where Mom was standing?)
Charley 10 months old, Jay 28 months old (2.3 yrs)

Charley 22 months old, Jay 3.3 yrs old

Happy Monday, friends! 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Another Look Back, Part 5

Written 10/8/13

We had our first doctor's appointment today! I was super anxious about it, so I was grateful to have Anthony there with me. Even though this is our third kid, the butterflies are still there and the excitement ever present! Don't you ever forget that, Baby S3!

Luckily we were called back quickly. A little weighing, a little cup-peeing and we were in a room. That monster of an ultrasound machine was in the room (you know, the one with the WAND) just staring at us as we walked in. 

Anthony and I nervously made small talk about Jay and Charley's morning drop off and waited for Dr. M. 

Luckily we didn't have to wait long. After a breast exam and the usual exam (which Anthony quickly popped up by my head like the pro he is), it was ultrasound time. My anxiety shot through the roof and I have no doubt my blood pressure would have been sky high if she would have checked it then. Part of me wanted to shout, "Wait! Don't start yet!" for fear of knowing that something might show up wrong on the machine.  

But she started and right away I saw the most beautiful and perfect beating heart in the middle of my baby. I shouted, "There it is! Look at that beautiful heartbeat!" with tears in my eyes. 

Anthony squeezed my hand so tightly and I knew what that squeeze meant- he was praying. I know his different squeezes now and I knew without a doubt he was thanking God for that precious life inside of me. 

We measured the baby (right on par at 7w5d- exactly what I should be!) and the heart rate (169!). 

She let us watch our baby for a while and I'm so thankful for that. There is just nothing as precious as getting to see your baby for the first time. I love that little gummy bear! We had a perfect view of all the limbs and head and body and sac and everything. 

I remember this moment so vividly with each of my kids. There is something so special about being in a quiet, dark room with the man you love seeing something God used you to create. Tears with each child- each one just as precious and loved as the others. I truly hope I never forget these moments. 

After we finished up we chatted with Dr. M and talked outlook and all that. Anthony asked if we still had to wait until 20 weeks to find out the gender. I pointed to a sign above Dr. M's head that said they do a gender-only ultrasound at 15 weeks now. I was so excited to know we could find out 5 weeks earlier! And then Dr. M interrupted me and said, "Actually, we now offer the very reliable blood test at 12 weeks!" Anthony cheered and laughed and my mouth dropped open! In FOUR short weeks we could find out (with virtual certainty!) what we were having?!? OHMYGOSH!!!! 

So we said our goodbyes and thanked her (she is seriously the most incredible doctor- she was genuinely so excited for us!). She decided she would like us to come back in two weeks for another "peace of mind" check to be certain all is well, then again at 12 weeks for the major screening. 

We left on such a high. It was the perfect start to a much-desired pregnancy. I wanted to spend the rest of the day shouting my good news to all around me. That is the hardest thing about this- waiting. But we will wait, and continue to trust. 

God is so, so good. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


I am pretty confident most of you follow me on some form of social media, but for the few of you who don't, I wanted to let you know that we are having ANOTHER GIRL!!!!!!!!

We are so so thrilled about this news! 

Here's the lowdown...

Back at our 12 week sonogram (the Downs Syndrome screening) they looked at every inch of the baby. When the girl got to the nether regions, she asked if we wanted to know what we were having. "Yes!" we both screamed! She told us it absolutely looked like a girl- she could find no hint at boy parts anywhere. "But isn't this WAY too early to tell?!" I asked. She said it was, and sometimes a boy's parts can be misleading if it's really a girl, but usually it's not the other way around. I was in shock. Like total, absolute SHOCK. I would have sworn on my life it was another boy. I just knew it. I couldn't even process this "turn of events" so I looked over at Anthony who hadn't moved a muscle. Not one. His eyes were huge just staring at the screen. I asked him if he was ok and he just got wider-eyed and nodded yes. Haha! He was NOT ok. He just kept staring at the screen saying, "Ummm, ok. Ok. Ummm."  It was hysterical!

As we left that appointment I made him swear he wouldn't tell a soul. While I appreciated the girl's opinion on the matter, I have had TWO friends who had this same thing happen to them at their 12 (or 15 week) appointment and it ended up wrong! However, both of these friends were told it was a boy first, so the tech's theory was right on.

Anyway, we were getting the Jack and Jill bloodtest to find out the gender anyway that day, so I knew we'd have confirmation either way soon.

The results were supposed to come back in about two weeks. On the 10th day- a Friday- my nurse called. I answered and said hello and she told me who it was and I just blurted out, "PLEASE DON'T TELL ME THE GENDER YET!" She totally started laughing and said for me not to worry. After going over the other results of the test, I asked if she would put it in an envelope for me to pick up that afternoon. I didn't need to be surprised, but I DID want to be with Anthony when we found out for sure. In a devastating turn of events, she told me she was gone for the weekend but I could come up first thing Monday morning. NO WAY! She then offered to call me back and leave it on my voicemail. I decided that was a great idea and hung up.

I had that voicemail on my phone for EIGHT hours before I listened to it!!!!!!!!!!!

My little sister was in town that day and I was just bursting to tell someone that the call had come in. Michelle was leaving that night, and I really wanted her to know. So I let her listen to the voicemail before anyone else! I knew she wouldn't give anything away, and I knew she knew how important waiting was to me. So she went in my bathroom and listened to it. And came out with a smile. I had no clue. No clue. It was virtually impossible for her to give anything away, because we truly didn't care the sex of this baby. We were so thankful to have a baby and a brother for Jay or a sister for Charley was a win either way!

FINALLY that night (after work and a birthday party), Anthony and I listened to the news together!

"Courtney, this is Ellie with Dr. McCloskey. I just wanted to let you know that you are having a GIRL! Congrats, sweetie!"


I mean, I couldn't even handle it. I cried. And then freaked out. Could I raise another girl?! Sweet precious Charley was more than enough at this point! But then I thought about it... A SISTER FOR CHARLEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have always always always talked about how sisters are the greatest gift in the world (see here). They had their maids of honor chosen already. They had a built in best friend forever. They were going to have the BEST life together! And I can't think of a better guy to be the big brother to two little girls. Jay is DEFINITELY the right guy for the job!

We let the news sink in the next few days. For some reason, I just really didn't want to share this news yet. There was just something so special about just us knowing. Anthony eventually opened his big mouth and told my parents we knew- so we had Jay tell them he was having a baby sister. They were SO excited! Mom cried and screamed and Dad chuckled and loved it. Jay was NOT happy though- he wanted a baby brother and was beyond disappointed. He'll learn one day that while the girls entertain each other, he will be king of the roost! We told Anthony's parents the day after over Facetime and they were equally as excited! Such fun!

We waited until Thanksgiving to tell the rest of our siblings/husbands. That was a week after we initially found out! A WEEK we kept it a secret! I can't believe Jay didn't spill the beans. That one's a keeper for sure (and does NOT take after his Daddy! Ha!). My mom has us go around the Thanksgiving table and each person tells what they are thankful for that year. When it got to me, I said I was thankful for my hardworking husband, the opportunity to stay home with my kids, my two beautiful children, and a healthy baby GIRL on the way! Everyone erupted! It was super fun!

So since I've found out the news, I have gotten more excited! Charley and Baby Girl will be just over two years apart. That's two grades. That's PERFECT! I'm so excited they will be so close in age.

I've also shopped too much- and have decided I have a Baby Toms addiction. Yikes!

It is also starting to sink in that when Jay is a senior in high school, we will have a Senior boy, Junior girl, and Freshman girl in the house. Ummm, sleepovers are OUT OF THE QUESTION. Seriously. I'm shipping the opposite sex child to my parents' house where they will safely be away from the opposite sex friends for the night! :)

I also can't stop thinking of the fun memories my girlS (yes there is an S on the end of that!!!) will make together. And truly, I can't think of a better boy to have younger sisters. For now, Jay will be my special boy and I will have my special girls. Too. Perfect.

Toms family!

And PS- After we told our family we waited another two weeks to go public with this knowledge. That is almost a month of us knowing and keeping a secret, people!!!! Woohoo!

Matching sparkle shoes for my GIRLS! Eek! 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Hurricane Demoted to Tropical Storm

I know "Hurricane Charley" gets a bad rap sometimes, but honestly, that is such a small part of her these days.

She has turned into the sweetest, most snuggly, loving little girl. Her personality is just unfolding daily and her precious sense of humor is endearing. Sure, she can throw a mean temper tantrum, but now that we've figured out the "language of Char," we are all better off!

She is talking so much and this has reminded me how much I love this stage! I love that she can express herself and her thoughts. I love that this gives me a teeny glimpse into her precious mind. I love that I am getting to see her personality develop on a daily basis.

She is the epitome of girly-girl. She loves baby dolls (feeding them, changing their diapers, rocking them to sleep, putting them in their beds). She loves jewelry and purses and accessories and has the mindset of "never too many accessories!" She loves having tea parties with anyone that will join her. She loves makeup and makeup brushes and shoes. She loves bows and barrettes. And she loves all things princess- in fact that's what she's told Santa she wants for Christmas. Princesses!

But she also loves climbing, throwing, jumping, doing gymnastics, playing basketball, and watching football with Daddy. She doesn't mind getting dirty and playing with the boys. And she's independent. Boy, she's incredibly independent! Her favorite phrase is, "No mommy! I do it myself!" Ha!

And I don't know WHERE she gets this from- but she LOVES to perform. If she is the center of attention in a room, she can play it up! She will sing and dance and do tricks for everyone. She knows how to work a room and knows when all eyes are on her. Girl loves the spotlight!

She is just my princess and my girl. She loves to hug and give kisses. She probably kisses me one million times a day. And as soon as Daddy gets home from work, she charges him screaming, "Daddy Kisses!"

We are just so enamored with this girl. We love her to pieces and can't imagine our world without her- big brother included. In fact he told me yesterday, "Charley Kate is my best friend!" Love love love.

Sweet Char, we love you so much, pumpkin! You have made our world so much brighter!