baby bump #2: week 38

Dear baby,

Well, girl, it's been a week! A lot has happened since I last wrote you. Last Wednesday I didn't feel too great. My mom and sister both thought I was in denial, and that it was early stages of labor. By three in the morning on Thursday, I was believing them. My entire abdomen was cramping and painful, and I was nauseous. I couldn't sleep. Since my doctor had said to come in with anything consistent, even cramping, I thought it would be best to heed that advice. I could tell it wasn't "the real deal," and the few contractions I was having occasionally definitely weren't much of anything, but thanks to your sister's speedy arrival, we decided it would be best to head in to the hospital just in case it did develop into something. I woke your dad up at about 5, he agreed, and we called your nana and papa. They came over at about 6:30 to stay with Blythe, and we headed out. [A funny story here: your papa, at 6 in the morning while I'm grimacing on the couch, is asking your dad about loans/carrying money/money orders….and THEN when we are finally heading out the door, he corrals me and has to tell me about the dream he was having when I called them. This will all make sense when you get to know your papa]. 

By 8 o'clock we were situated in the triage room-- the exact same room where I progressed from a 2 to a 10 in an hour with your sister. My cramps had subsided and were more like contractions, but my nausea had completely gone away. Again, I could tell it wasn't really labor, but since we were at the hospital, I was more than happy to let it begin. I think the hardest contraction I had came when your dad and I got to laughing about something-- he was in tears and couldn't stop, and I was trying to tell him to quit cause it was kind of hurting to laugh. I love that man, your father. We had a wonderful nurse, who kept assuring me that I did the right thing to come in with my history. They let me stay awhile longer than most "you're-not-really-having-a-baby-you're-just-taking-up-space" patients, and we walked around for an hour to see if it would progress into anything. I was only ever dilated to 2cm. [Which was eerily familiar]. I kept repeating the verse that I want to hold fast to when I am in labor: "Stay your mind on me." [Isaiah 26:3]. Nothing progressed. By noon we knew it was time to go. While we were there I kept praying that things would either pick up and be obvious, or that everything would completely stop. I didn't want to leave and be in some weird limbo and worry that you were going to come and not be close to hospital. My prayers were answered. Everything stopped, minus a few strong Braxton Hicks, and we had lunch with your Nini. We decided to go to our friends' place, Brandon and Courtney's, and take a nap and just make sure nothing else happened before we headed home. We decided it was "all clear", that you were staying put for awhile yet, and headed home around 4. 

I was pretty exhausted on Friday, but was able to rest thanks to Matt and Stacy taking your sister for a bit, and once I had showered and gotten ready for the day, I felt pretty much "back to normal." At least as normal as I can at 38 weeks! I did, however, realize that I was developing what I thought was another UTI. Bummer. It was my third for this pregnancy.  Saturday was beautiful and I got stuff done around the house, enjoyed being outside, spent some time with Paige and Torri who were home for Easter [and hoping you would come while they were here!], and had a pretty good day. I had called in and gotten a prescription for the UTI and started taking the meds, hoping it would relieve some of that discomfort. That night the left side of my back hurt a bit, but I figured I'd just been on my feet too much, put some heat on it, and took a Tylenol pm and went to bed. Sunday was Easter Sunday! I love Easter, baby girl. Your daddy thought it would be a great day for you to come, however, we weren't really planning on it and made plans to go to your Great Grandma Ann's for lunch after church, then head over to Nini and PopPop's for the evening if I wasn't too pooped and Blythe was cooperating. I did tell your dad that I thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and throw our hospital bags in the van before we left for church, since we wouldn't be home for awhile. 

I woke up with that same pain in my back though, on my left side. It wasn't in my lower back, like most back pain I've had lately, and it was mild to intense. I sat down and got ready for church. Took some tylenol. I figured I'd slept on it wrong or that you were just in a funny position. I had your dad take this week's picture, and then we left for church. By the time we got to church in St. Joe, I wasn't feeling very good at all. Your dad dropped me off at the door and I thought maybe going to the bathroom would help. It didn't. Your dad got your sister situated in nursery and I slinked my way into a pew. As the sermon progressed, I couldn't even concentrate because my pain was increasing. I went to the bathroom again, trying to relieve some of the pressure, and again it didn't really help. I came back into the service and kind of slumped over sideways on your dad, taking whatever pressure I could off of my left side. When we sang the last songs I didn't even stand up [and they were some of my favorite songs!]. Immediately when the service was over, I told your dad to just go get Blythe and that we needed to go. On the way home was when it got really bad. I was trying not to cry from the pain, which was sharp and constant. I was praying that I would start contracting, as I felt like that pain would lessen what I was experiencing. I told your dad we should still just go to Grandma's because I may as well be in pain there, rather than at home, but he's a good man and he knew something wasn't right. He called Nana and Papa, and they met us at our house. They would take Blythe to Grandma's and we would figure out what we were going to do. 

At this point I couldn't change my clothes myself, and he had to help me. But I got some heat on my back and got my feet up, and it started feeling a little more manageable. You were moving and groovin' the whole time, so I knew you were doing alright. I checked in with my friend Brandon, who is an MD, and he said I should probably put a call in. So I did. The on-call nurse that day was actually a friend from church, and she said, "Sorry to tell you this since I know you were just in town, but you need to come back and have it checked out." I was NOT looking forward to getting back in the van, baby girl, as the ride home had been pretty miserable. But our bags were already packed, and I brought the heat pack with me and crawled in the very back so I could put my feet up. I just kind of made myself "go to my happy place" for the drive back. 

I limped back into labor and delivery around 2:30, and it felt like we had just left. The first few hours were pretty miserable. They poked and prodded me, drew blood, and some other uncomfortable stuff. I was still 2cm when they checked, but I knew I wasn't in labor. I knew this was something else entirely. They could tell I didn't have a UTI quickly from my labs. Which was strange to me, because it really seemed that was the case on Friday and Saturday. So I had to head off to have an ultrasound done on my kidneys where the pain was radiating from. Besides the ride home from church, the wheelchair ride to and from the ultrasound room was the most painful. I was finally able to get some heat on my back around 5:30 or 6, which helped. At about 7 a nurse came in to hook me up to an IV for a saline drip, drew some more blood, and informed me that I had a kidney stone and that my kidney's were inflamed and that I'd be staying the night. The good news was, the entire time I was hooked up to a fetal monitor and your little heartbeat was pounding throughout the room. It was the comfort I needed in the midst of everything-- to know you were still safe and healthy. 

Some more good news came around 8, when the nurse told me I could have some Percocet. She said I could also have morphine if I needed it. Since I hadn't been allowed to eat anything, I was a little nervous about how my empty stomach would react to that, so I settled for the Percocet and it made me a lot more comfortable. Before trying to sleep, your dad reached over and grabbed my hand and we prayed for you, for the night, and for the pain. Without going into too many crazy details, sweet one, throughout the night they monitored me and were trying to tell if I passed the stone. I went through three IV bags, and didn't get much sleep, but by morning I was feeling a lot better. All night while I was trying to sleep, but would get anxious, I repeated the verse, "The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still." [Exodus 14:14]. Your dad actually slept pretty well. Yes, you see, little one, he never left my side. That is what your daddy is like. 

I took my last pain pill at 8. They said I could eat! This was the news I had really been waiting for-- I was SO hungry! :) By noon my pain was very mild, I declined the next pain pill, and we waited to speak to the urologist. The urologist was great, and he said since I'm 38 weeks we would just try to manage the pain, and then check in with him after I deliver. This sounded like a good plan to me, and also meant we got to break free. At about 2 o'clock, we were able to be discharged, and I was feeling pretty okay. We got some Sonic, happy hour drinks to celebrate and headed back home. I was exhausted and took a nap, then ate leftover Easter dinner, then your dad and I crashed. I slept pretty well, but woke up with some pain in my left back again. I was nervous it was all going to start all over. So I have been taking it easy ever since, and the pain is tolerable, usually mild. 

Oh baby girl, please know you are worth all of this. I won't lie and say it's been a walk in the park, but knowing you're on the other side sure does help. I have learned a lot through this week: you know the saying, "It takes a village to raise a child"? Well, you and I are already experiencing that. And let me tell you, you have some truly wonderful people looking our for your mama, and for YOU, already. I don't know how many offers for help have been extended, meals provided, etc. have already come in. Your dad has obviously been wonderful, but the people he works with have been wonderful in allowing him to be flexible too so that he can be here for us when he needs to be. You grandparents, all of them, have already done so much I'm afraid they'll be too pooped to help when you really do make your appearance! 

And you know what I think is kind of crazy? That the backdrop of this entire weekend was Easter-- the resurrection of our Savior. This couldn't be more fitting. A friend of mine wrote on her blog in reflection of her own Easter and feeling that she'd "failed" to make it special: "The point is I can't, but He can-- and did-- and continues to do…It's Friday evening. And there is hope." It sure has felt like Friday evening around here lately. But there is hope. There is hope of new life coming. What a beautiful, tangible picture you have given me of Easter, sweet girl. I pray that when this is all said and done, and you're in my arms, and we look back and I tell you these stories and you read these letters that you will see His hands at work throughout it all; little touches of His grace in your story.  At church on Easter morning, though I was doubled over in the pew as the congregation worshiped around me, I still sang out to our risen Savior. And as we sang the lines to one of my favorite songs that went, "From life's first cry, 'til final breath, Jesus commands my destiny," tears sprang to my eyes, a lump to my throat, as I thought of you and your little life that is about to unfold. And I thought of the pain I was going through, and that Jesus was ultimately in control. And I thought of the pain that HE went through that has allowed all of this to be worth it. Oh I can't wait to tell you all about Him, baby girl. 

I know this is the longest letter I've written you. Needless to say, this week definitely has made me long to hold you more. I love you. 

Love, Mom 

Comparison: 38 weeks baby two and 38 weeks with Blythe. 
I think it's been very similar [minus all the extra stuff I've gotten to experience this time :)] 
Oh, and, hey! Remember when I had curly hair?

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all grown up

Back in February my friend, Meagan, came up and helped me brainstorm a few ideas for Blythe's "big girl" room. We knew we were going to be moving her to what had been our guest room, and that the nursery would be staying essentially the same for Baby Girl #2. Since I wasn't changing much in the nursery, I wanted to do a little something special for Blythe in her new room. I had some ideas, and Meagan helped me nail down the paint choices and furniture arrangement [which was tricky: We wanted to keep the full size bed for when company comes, but also wanted it against a wall so Blythe didn't/doesn't fall out [thoughtful of us, I know]. The only 'good' wall is up against the kitchen, and I didn't want her there simply for noise sake, so Meagan had the idea to make the bed a "day bed" for now, and then when we don't fear her falling out as much, we can switch it back]. 

Then it was time to get busy. Brent and I were able to get it painted in one afternoon, since the chair rail was already painted. I love the pale aqua we picked for the walls, and knew the coral would pop against it! My aunt had given me a dresser that didn't work in her house, and my grandparents set to work repainting it. My parents recently redid my old high school bedroom, and came up with two extra shelves that my grandpa had made for me back then. So those were painted the coral as well. 

Why am I explaining all this? Let's just look at the pictures [which aren't great…the lighting in that room is awful, but you'll get an idea:)] :

And can we just talk about this headboard for a minute? 
I fell in love with this bright, coral fabric, and thought it would be fun to do a covered headboard. That was the extent of the instructions/ideas I gave my grandma and grandpa and they created this beautiful piece! Right now we have it lengthwise, to create the daybed look, but it will work as a headboard for the top of the bed as well! Love the way it turned out. 

I had fun with this little "gallery wall" as well. I knew I wanted the beautiful canvas that my friend, Micah, had made for Blythe when she was born to be the focal point, and other than that I rummaged for old frames around the house, painted them white, and printed a few things and used some of Blythe's current artwork. It's fun. 
And the other day when Blythe woke up she randomly pointed to it and said, "Mommy do that. Good job, Mommy!" It was funny and out of the blue, since she's been in this room for well over a month now. 

Across from the bed is the vanity that was always in my room growing up. It's a very cool piece of furniture [I didn't get a good shot of this wall or the vanity.] 

We moved the rocker from the nursery into here, because it's the best chair ever, and because I wanted to get another chair anyway, so I figured giving Blythe "her" chair might make the transition easier anyway. My aunt recovered this chair when we were doing the nursery [are you catching on that I have incredibly talented people in my life?!] 
And look at those curtains! Beautiful. They match the headboard and I LOVE them. 

I also moved Blythe's canvases with her character traits on them into her room and they flank the window. Ask her to say "modesty" and "hospitality" for you sometimes-- it's awesome. 

I also wanted to bring in a little more of the coral color, so I quickly painted over some existing canvases I had and slapped up some favorite lyrics from a favorite hymn. 

And obviously the picture collage HAD to be hung up after all it had been through. 

I think the dresser is my favorite piece in the room [the headboard a close second?]. It is absolutely my favorite shade of coral, and I like that we decided to leave the old hardware on it. Not only does it look incredible, but it is huge and functional too. 

Across from the window and dresser is where I decided to hang the shelves. This room is situated kind of funny in our house: it has a door on one side that leads to the hallway [normal], and a door directly across on the other side that leads to the kitchen [kind of not normal]. Blythe loves the two doors and when she wakes up she'll point to which door she wants to go out of, and sometimes halfway there she changes her mind and says, "NO, that one!" and wheels around. Having two options is awesome when you are two. 
Anyway, all that to say, it kind of serves as a hallway of sorts, so we couldn't put any big furniture against that all. The shelves ended up being a good option and her awesome dollhouse sits below them. 

One of my favorite things about putting a "new room" together is getting to decide on all the little finishing touches. I had a budget of $0 for this part, so it was really fun to go shopping around the house and pull out certain things and see how they worked here and there.

Micah painted this awesome canvas, especially for Blythe's new room. It is incredible. 

This is the framed outfit Blythe came home from the hospital in, as well as her cup from Great Grandma Ann, her piggy bank from Great Nini Pat, and two cases that will one day hold her "first tooth" and her "first lock." I have a feeling her first tooth may happen before her first haircut! 

I've had a lot of fun documenting Blythe's life, and these books had been in a closet, so I pulled them out for display. The boots were her first pair from Aunt Lesa [don't worry, she already has another pair], and the little pink piggy from Aunt Beth. 

I took these out of the nursery for her. The canvas I made with lyrics from Shane and Shane's "The One You Need", and look at sweet 4 day old Blythe in the frame!

I wanted to do a mini name-banner for her [the baby has a bigger one just like this, waiting to be hung up in the nursery!]. I found free, pre-made printable letters online and love the way it turned out.

I also wanted to do something a little whimsical in the room, since she is just two. So I borrowed some hole punches and used a sewing machine for the first time ever. I strung the circle garland all around the room and it adds a little color and a fun touch. 

 Blythe transitioned PERFECTLY. Seriously. The best advice we got was from my sister, and she said, "Just act like it's not a big deal. The night you decide to put her in there, just do business as usual and lay her down." That's what we did. She never even questioned it. She never asked to sleep in her crib again.
And she only fell out of bed once. 
The first morning she slept in like usual and when I went in to get here she was up playing with her dollhouse, and had turned off her fan, and had thrown her blankie and paci back in her bed like she knew she was supposed to! What's funny is, that is the ONLY time she has ever gotten out of the bed. We never really "coached" her on it, but I guess she just figured out we want her to stay in there. She's awesome.

I think she kind of likes her new room.

I had a lot of fun [and obviously a lot of help] putting it together and I love the way it turned out!

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come and listen

When Brent and I were preparing to walk down the aisle back in 2008, we knew there would be a lot of decisions: what to wear, how many guests to invite, where to have the wedding etc. etc. Most of these decisions I made when I was about seven [yes, I was that child], but one thing I knew Brent would want some say in was our wedding music.

And then a friend introduced me to the perfect song. So I told him that was what we would walk down the aisle to.

And he liked it too.

So David Crowder's Come and Listen it was. [Listen HERE if you've never heard it]

There was something hauntingly beautiful about it in the music. But the lyrics? Oh the lyrics exactly captured what we wanted our wedding day to be about.

We didn't want it to be about a lot of fanfare. Or a big party. Or having THE best of whatever. 
We wanted it to be about how God was bringing us together--how He had brought us together, and we wanted it to be a place where others would see and experience that great God, who at His very core is Love.

So it made sense to start the ceremony off by walking down the aisle to the words, "Come and listen to what He has done. Come to the water's edge, all you who are thirsty, come. Let me tell you what He has done for me…he has done for you…he has done for us."

On that day, as young and green as we were, we knew we wanted to shout from the rooftops what God had done for us. We knew, entering the vast unknown of marriage, that "great was our God, for He is good" and that we wanted Him to be a part of that day and the rest of our lives.

I've listened to the song many times since then. Many times. Which is why I was kind of taken aback by how emotional I got this past Sunday when we sang it at church. I say "kind of" because, let's be honest I'm a very pregnant woman. But as the music swelled I couldn't help but think of that day, nearly 6 years ago…but also the past 6 years. And as we sang, "Let me tell you what He's done for me…what he's done for us…." I was overwhelmed by the goodness of my God. In the good stuff, in the hard stuff, in the unfilled in stuff-- the goodness of my God.

And here we are, two moves, a house, 4 jobs, manymany friendships, and almost two babies later, and I'm so thankful that 22 year old Kelsey and 22 year old Brent had the forethought to want to tell people to come and listen about how good our God is; that they wanted to start their marriage at the "water's edge" thirsty for God to reveal himself to them. And I am so thankful that that God who was present the day we said "I do," is the God I still know and love this day. And in 25 years I hope I still want others to come and listen.

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baby bump #2: week 37

Dear baby,

The end of a pregnancy is such a weird place to be as it is filled with so many emotions. I am currently feeling: ecstatic- I know that you will be in my arms soon and just knowing I will be holding you and breathing you in leave me beyond excited; terrified- there are still so many unknowns at this point because you aren't in my arms yet. What will delivery be like? Will you stay safe and healthy? Will I stay safe and healthy? sad- there is something bittersweet about this time that I'm not sure I can adequately describe. There is an intimacy and safety in being pregnant with you that is hard to want to relinquish. I also know pretty much what life looks like on a day to day basis right now, and soon I'll have to let that go; overwhelmed: you may very well find this out one day if you have children, but something snaps in a pregnant woman in the last little bit. I sent my sister a text today that said, "I have this great desire to clean everything while simultaneously taking a nap!" There is a very real need to have everything in it's place and the house clean and… just to be in a constant state of preparedness. It's weird; eager- I am so eager for you, my sweet second daughter.

I have definitely "dropped" recently. Again, because I'm one of the lucky-long-torsoed ones we have a lot of space to work with, so I don't look as "dropped" as some people do when the baby is getting ready. But I can sure tell. I also feel like I've really expanded in the past week or so, which would make sense, because you're packing on the pounds/ounces these days. The doctor still says you shouldn't be too big [around 6-7 pounds], which would be lovely. Do we have a deal? :) Our doctor's appointment this week went well. She won't check us for progression for another week, but your heartbeat is still strong and everything is looking good. I expressed some concern about having another/even faster delivery, thinking she would assuage my fears. Instead, she seemed even more concerned than me, saying that second deliveries are nearly always faster and that we need to be prepared. She said she doesn't care how far apart my contractions are, or even if what I'm feeling are contractions-- she said if I feel anything consistently to come in, be it sharp back pain, cramps etc. I was anxious last time about my water breaking in front of my students, but now I'm anxious that if my water breaks we really won't have time to get there! Just hang tight as long as you can, baby girl, in order to give us the best help we can get to ensure the safest arrival possible, okay?!

We had another wonderful shower thrown in our honor by some awesome gals from church. It was such a fun time just to fellowship together and think about your arrival. And they blessed us with some even more wonderful items that will be so good to have once you're here.

With some awesome ladies at our shower
Your ole mama turned 28 this week too. This is about where I thought I'd be when I was this age, but it is still hard to believe that I'm here and that you are so close to joining our family to make us FOUR. Your dad thought it would be awesome if I just went ahead and had you on my birthday like your Aunt Beth did with your cousin, George, but you just weren't quite ready, and that is okay.

A few more weeks? One more week? Only time will tell. My aches tell me you're getting closer, and my heart tells me it's not sure it can handle this much more love! We are so excited.

Love, Mom

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I want to always remember

I want to always remember the way it felt when she hiccuped in my belly.
And the way his embrace feels around my waist.
And sunshine. Always the sunshine.

I want to always remember a few multiplication facts
                        because I just never know when I may need to use them.

I want to alway remember the way she kneaded her bread
and how the butter melted perfectly on its crisp, golden surface.
And the way he said, "Our Father…who art in heaven….

I want to always remember that hallowed is His name.

I want to always remember the look on their faces
            when the final out was called, and State Champs became their title.
And the hugs and tears and applause and exhaustion and exhilaration.

I want to always remember the way she calls me Mommy.
And how her pudgy, dimpled hand fits just so in mine.
                 And her smell. Oh, how I want to remember that smell.

I want to always remember the taste of tea brewed in the sun.
And my mom's cinnamon rolls. And chicken salad.
                 And how she prepares them with selfless giving.

I want to always remember that moment she made me an aunt.
And her sister after her.
And their brother.
              And the beauty of the way family keeps on giving.

I want to always remember the day he said, "I like you."
Finally crashing through our silly flirtations into the land of forever.
              And the way he's never stopped humbly loving me.

I want to always remember the imperfect perfection of sisterhood.
And giggles under covers.
And bike rides until dusk, stone cold hands gripping bars in defiance of the setting sun.

I want to always remember reading books with him under the desk.
     And early morning hunting trips, groggy ears taking in his stories.
And rebounding in the broken driveway until suppertime.

I want to always remember community
          and friendships that transcend friendship.
And loving through the hurt; receiving through the not deserving.

I want to always remember what it was like to trust strangers.
And see the good in others.
                 And have boundaries bigger than my own back yard.

I want to always remember how small I am.
And to walk in others shoes, and be like that lawyer in that old, favorite book of mine.

I want to always remember how easy it is to forget
how very good this life is.

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baby bump 2: week 36

Dear baby,

Whew. These days are flying by and crawling by all at the same time. How is that possible? 

This is such a strange time for me in pregnancy. I definitely feel more physically ready than last time, because things have just been a bit more sore and uncomfortable, and yet I don't want to rush it. I still love being pregnant and knowing that you're so close to me in this intimate way. To share these nine months with you is such an amazing gift, and it will be bittersweet to see it come to an end in a few weeks. 

If you follow your sister's lead, I only have two more bump posts to go before your arrival. I know we are ready for you in very real ways, but the unknowns of getting you here are still outstretched before us. Whenever and however you decide to come, we rest knowing that the God of angel armies is always by our side.

Your dad had a bit of a stomach bug this week. Yikes. Long night for him. He doesn't really complain when he is sick [unlike your momma!], but I could tell he was pretty miserable. I felt awful for him, but I also really didn't want to get it for your sake [and mine], and I really didn't want your sister to get it. So we quarantined him a bit, and then I bleached and scrubbed and cleaned and cleaned. And I think we managed to somehow escape it! God is good! And your dad is feeling much better too! I just kept thinking, "Oh no…I'm gonna go into labor while he's sick and then what?… " But we would have managed. :) 

You are the size of a cantaloupe now! I can tell you're a little more squished up in there. You've been officially growing for 9 months now [I'll let you in on a little secret for when you have your own children: there is no 9 months about pregnancy! It is 40 weeks-- give or take-- and, if you do the math, that's more than 9 months.] It literally seems like yesterday when your dad and I were jumping for joy when we discovered you were on the way. 

I think we have everything ready to go. I still need to put your carseat base in the car, and find all my nursing gear, but other than that…bring it on! There are of course other "nesting" things that I would like to get done before you come, but may just not happen: like power washing the house and cleaning the windows and…etc. etc. :). I am certain you won't care if those don't get accomplished though. 

Soon. Soon. Soon. You'll be in my arms and I'll be smelling your sweet smell and listening to your sweet sounds and whispering sweet dreams and prayers in your tiny little ears. Stay tucked in as long as you need to though. 

Love, Mom

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another confession

Okay. I have something I feel like I need to come clean with:

I absolutely love to vacuum.

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Judge away. But seriously, it's the best. I love just about everything about it. I think, in large part, it has to do with my vacuum-- a sweet Dyson-- which I still love as much as when I first got it and wrote this post.  I was actually vacuuming the other day and thought, "How long have I had this vacuum?" And I remembered that I had purchased it in the spring of 2011. That is how much it has changed my life: I remember the exact timing of my purchase!

Before I bought our Dyson, I always had the mindset that fancy pants vacuums weren't all they are cracked up to be… but I am singing a different tune now, I suppose.

So why do I love vacuuming? Besides the fact that I have an awesome vacuum that does exactly what it's supposed to do?

-I love the monotony of it. I don't have to think about it, I just have to keep pushing it. I can let my mind wander. It's a very methodical thing that requires no method.

-I love the smell of it. I don't know about you, but I think vacuums have a smell. It is probably the smell of dirt and dust, which we all know is really dead skin [we all know that, right? I'm not breaking any new, disgusting ground for you, am I?], but there is something about it. I think this has something to do with my childhood and the power of scent: we always kept our vacuum [a very heavy KIRBY] in a little coat closet in our entryway. This coat closet was awesome, It had a tiny little window. And tons of stuff to hide behind while playing hide and seek. And it always smelled like the vacuum. And I loved it. [You won't have to ask people who know me too many questions to learn that I have a weird sense of smell, so if you go sniff your vacuum and are repulsed, I apologize.]

- I love that it takes a fairly small amount of time, but leaves me feeling like I've accomplished something and that the house is much cleaner. If I only have 15 minutes, I can easily bust out the vacuum and clean the living room, dining room, entryway, and hallway. Probably 10 minutes. Boom. Done. Clean. Beautiful.

- I love that in order to vacuum, I have to pick up the floor a bit. I'm not a huge fan of crap laying everywhere. Who is? And since I vacuum frequently, it helps me keep things off the floor. [I vacuum frequently. Probably too frequently. I read once that too much vacuuming isn't great for your carpets…but I ignore that warning. And I vacuum, sometimes 4 times a week. It's a sickness, really.]

- I love that vacuuming allows me to be okay with Blythe making messes. Or people wearing shoes into our house [remember this?]. Honestly, if someone tracks in some leave or Blythe drops a cheerio or two and it gets stepped on, I'm secretly excited I get to bust out the vacuum again.

- I love that when I finish, it always looks like I've cleaned something. There are certain cleaning jobs that make me feel better because I know something is cleaned, but vacuuming leaves those neat little lines in places and you can just tell when a carpet has been freshly cleaned.

- I love emptying out the canister when I'm done and seeing my accomplishments. This goes with the last one. I always make sure when I start a new vacuuming job that my canister is empty. That way, when I finish, I can look and see just how much dirt I picked up! It's a fun reward, no?

Now that you all think I have totally lost my mind, I will leave you with this:
I dream of one day owning either of these two pieces of bad boy cleaning machinery!

One of Dyson's sweet hand held cleaners. Dude. This would change high chair and car seat cleanings, no doubt, but would also probably inspire me to vacuum my baseboards and my couch cush and clean out my car. And WHO KNOWS what else??! Nothing would be safe.

The other product that would revolutionize my life?
One of Dyson's newest products. It's a vacuum, but look at how tiny and sleek and light this thing is? Oh and did I mention there is no cord? This could be busted out quickly for a small job I need, or I could keep it propped up in my kitchen corner to do a quick one-over under the table after meals [did I mention these vacuums can be switched from carpet to hard surface with the click of a button? Cause they totally can]. My aunt just got one of these and it's awesome.
all google images-- and this is Dyson the man. 

And there you have it. I love to vacuum. My secret is out. And I would rather have new cleaning products than diamonds? What is wrong with me?

Also, I feel like I should clarify that I am not being paid to endorse Dyson. I just love my vacuum that much.

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baby bump 2: week 35

Comparison at 23 and 35 weeks.
Oh what a difference 12 weeks [and a few Oreo balls!] can make for a pregnant lady.

I'm thinking,  "Is this the same shirt?! It can't be! I look too different."
Also, to be fair about the hair situation, I took this at about 9:30 at night. 

Dear baby,

We did it! We are in the "safe to arrive" zone!

I can sure tell you are running out of room in there. I apologize I don't have more space for you, but it's only a sign that it's nearing time to let me hold you in my arms.

Everything went very well at our appointment this week. You are for sure head down…way head down actually…we measured a little "small" and then when Dr. C checked she realized that you were further down than she originally thought. You should more than likely stay this way until it's time to deliver. Thank you. I didn't want to have to stand on my head or something to try to get you to flip! Your dad and I can't help but laugh because there is some part of you that is nearly always sticking out my right side. Your feet? Not sure. It makes carrying your sister on that hip pretty darn near impossible though! :)

I wrote your name on a couple of things this week. It definitely makes it seem more real, and gives you more of an identity for us. There are so many great names out there, but we hope you'll grow into the one we have picked for you and appreciate the meaning and story behind it.

We also pre-registered this week at the hospital! What?! We are officially in the system, they know the gist of our preferences [we had to say, "Sure!" when they asked if they could give you a pacifier, or "Of course!" when they signed off on your vaccines]. They asked how many people would be in the room during your delivery, and the plan is just your dad and me. That was our plan last time too, and little did we know it was to be our only option!

Oh my word, sweet girl, we love you so much already and we are definitely getting some ants in the pants to meet you. Obviously I'm cool with you waiting five more weeks, or so, and have a few things left I'd like to get ready, but if you surprise us now it will be okay! Your sister said she will read you some books and sing you songs when you get here, so you're in for a treat there.

We love you. So much.

Love, Mom

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