baby bump #2: week 39

Dear baby,

We made it. And by "it" I mean past the kidney stones [I think! Three down...]. After last week, though I'm very tired and sore, I know I can carry you around for however much longer is necessary. However, I do think this will probably be the last "bump letter" I get to write you. Which seems so crazy to me. This pregnancy has FLOWN by. There have been moments of struggle and discomfort and even pain, and it was definitely not as easy as my last, but man-oh-man it sure went fast.

When I think about last summer, when your dad and I were just dreaming of you and praying for you, this day seemed so far away. And then those two lines showed up, and we rejoiced because they meant YOU were in the making. And then there was a month or two of being silent about you, our little secret, until we heard your heartbeat and broke out the news so everyone could share in our excitement. And then the months I waited for a "baby bump" to really show up, and then sharing your first kicks and movements. And then we found out you were a girl, and began praying for your special traits. And then it was Christmas and New Years and family visiting and snow and then, all of a sudden, it was spring. A spring that meant your impending arrival. And here we are, fully ready, fully formed…waiting.

I remember saying this last time, but it's so true: I feel like a ticking time bomb. I am so aware of all of your movements, and am hyper-aware of anything my body is feeling. We will make it to the hospital! I think it's funny, but your dad is all in favor of my water breaking: he says it's just the "iconic labor story" and we need to have one. I think you and your sister have already talked and are conspiring against me, though. When I was pregnant with her I was certain she would be an April baby, as her due date was March 28th. But then she came early. So when I found out your due date was May 3, I thought again that you would for sure be an April baby. I am writing this on April 30th, and I believe you have both made me out to be a liar.

Oh sweet daughter, I'm so excited to meet you. I am really looking forward to holding you in my arms for that very first time, because now I know just how incredibly awesome it is. Yes, Blythe made me a mom, but you will make me a different kind of mom, and our journey together will be different and beautiful in its own way.

I pray for your arrival. I pray for your first days. I pray we click in ways neither of us can imagine right now. I pray you are pure. I pray you are patient. I pray you are passionate and devoted. I pray you are a woman of integrity. I pray your dad and I will know how to best love you. I pray we will know how to best serve you and discipline you. I pray that you find our home to be filled with deep joy and peace. And I pray, baby girl, that the hands that raise and influence you are the hands of Christ, and that you grow more and more in His love and mercy and grace as your days stretch out.

So very soon, my little one.

Love, Mom

Black and white: 39 weeks with Blythe. I took the picture but didn't have a chance to write the letter. She came two days after this picture. 
Color: 39 weeks with baby girl #2. I think I'm relatively the same size, but that she is a little lower/has dropped. 

I still can't believe people think I don't look full term! I look at these and I see BABY! 

Also, for those of you wanting to know, we will post stats and NAME to the blog as soon as we can from the hospital, as it will be one of the quickest ways to "tell the masses." So if we are "radio silent" everywhere else, you may want to check back here.

Final guesses on her name?

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a farewell of sorts

A couple months ago I wrote about how Blythe will soon no longer be an only child; how my time with just her is nearing an end. I think every pregnant mother of one goes through this pondering. 

I remember feeling similar things when my pregnancy with Blythe was drawing closed-- knowing that the "honeymoon phase" was over, that BrentandKels would no longer be just two, and knowing that our time together was about to significantly change forever. One of my cousins told me she cried on the way to the hospital with her first, not due to the pain from her contractions, but because she was grieving letting go of it just being her and her husband.  

But then two became three, and that third little person? She wasn't an imposition. She didn't make our marriage less. She made everything about our marriage more and more and more. Loving her has made me love Brent in ways I couldn't have without her. 

And as I am days away from my due date, I'm mainly occupied with thoughts of anticipation to meet my new girl, and trusting that our family of four will fall into place, just as our family of three did.

But as I feel the days of "just three" dwindling, I have lingered longer at night when I sneak in to Blythe's room and plant kisses all over her dreaming cheeks. I whisper that I love her, and whisper prayers of gratitude over how breathtakingly perfect she is to me. 

And then I whisper a prayer that my heart will just keep right on growing. 
And as I sneak back through the twilight of my quiet house, I know it will
I know my heart will expand.
I know my love will grow.
Because I know the One who is making this baby inside of me is also making my family on the outside. 
And just like last time, this little girl is going to make our family more and more and more.
Loving her is going to allow us to love Blythe, and each other, in ways we couldn't without her. 
I know it will. 
And I can hardly wait. 

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I used to do book reviews

First, thanks for all the love you showed me after my last post and my bout with kidney stones. Gross. They are no fun and I wish them upon no one, ever. The good news it, I passed the sucka' the night before last and threw a mini party and wanted to name it, as I was so happy. Yesterday and today have been so much better. 

It has been awhile since I've written about books I've been reading. Like, August? September? [Here is my link to all things books]. Clearly I've read since then. Actually, I'll probably leave out stuff [Like I'm pretty sure I read "The Lovely Bones" in this time period- weird book. Vaguely remember it, so I'm not including it] because I don't even remember what all I've read, but here we go:
Towards the end of summer I took a lot of recommendations and tried to branch out a bit with my reading: 

The Cutting Season
By Attica Locke

This is the story of a modern day plantation owner, who runs and operates Belle Vie as a tourist spot/museum. However, when she discovers a dead body on the grounds one morning, the story delves into her past connections with the place, and all the secrets it has covered up for generations. 

This book was okay. The writing wasn't terrible, but it wasn't fantastic. Parts of the story were intriguing, or a little suspenseful, but overall I felt like it was fairly predictable and I knew where it was going. It was a quick, kind of mindless read though, and sometimes those are nice. 

Seating Arrangements
Maggie Shipstead

Winn is preparing for the wedding weekend of his oldest daughter on the New England Island of Waskeke. Over the course of three days, the reader learns of infidelities and misbehaviors, as well as family history that is revealing of the characters current personalities and situations. 

This book. Holy smokes. I wasn't expecting it to be as, umm, descriptive? Open? Scandalous? As it was. It was interesting, in that I clearly know nothing about wealthy, Northeasterners who have places "on the island," and that side of it was kind of fascinating. However, there weren't any characters I could really root for…at all. They were all kind of awful people. Kind of very awful people. But I thought the writing was pretty great, and it was sort of like watching a train wreck and I just couldn't look away. I think most people would be offended by some [read: MOST] of the content of this book, but it was definitely different than what I usually read. [It also helped when I found out the author of this book was only TWENY-EIGHT! Holy smokes. I need to get in gear. ] I know this was all a little vague, but if you're thinking about reading it, just email me and I'll give you a little more detail. 

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me
By Mindy Kaling 

If you don't know who Mindy Kaling is, then you probably wouldn't appreciate this book. However, I read it in about two days and it was stinkin' hilarious [she says in the introduction to not be impressed with yourself for finishing the book quickly, "Look at the cover- it's mostly pink."]. I was actually expecting it to be a bit more raunchy than it was [there were only one or two things]. Overall it was a quick, easy read, and I didn't want to put it down because it made me laugh so much. By the end of it you really feel like you and Mindy should be best friends. If sarcastic, dry humor is your thing, you'll enjoy this. And I should say, there are only a handful of authors who have made me laugh OUT LOUD-- the kind of laughter that you just can't suppress. Kaling is now one of them. [I think Bill Bryson ranks up there for having done it most often though]. 

Operating Instructions
By Anne Lamott

This book is simply the published journal of Lamott's first year with her son, Sam. This has been a book I've wanted to read for a very long time. I truly think Lamott is a fantastic writer, but I know she is not for everyone. She is extremely liberal [and more so in this book than any others of hers that I have read… the "I hate Republicans" tirade gets a little old], she does swear, she is an ex-alcoholic/drug addict, but somewhere in the midst of her addictions and crazy life, she found Jesus. And He is a part of her stories too-- along with her therapist and crazy ex-drug addict friends, and lovers etc. Like I said, she's not for everyone, but I can't help but love her different perspective on who Jesus is.

This book is at times hilarious, and at times hard to read [she's raising Sam by herself and is very honest about the difficulties]. However, it's a journal. I think for most of us if we wrote down our truest feelings over the course of the year [especially when raising a newborn], they may sound a lot like this if we allowed ourselves to be vulnerable and honest.

Here are a few snippets, so you get an idea of her writing:
“So how on earth can I bring a child into the world, knowing that such sorrow lies ahead, that it is such a large part of what it means to be human?
I'm not sure. That's my answer: I'm not sure.” 

“Forgiveness is having given up all hope of having had a better past.” 

“...one of the worst things about being a parent, for me, is the self-discovery, the being face to face with one's secret insanity and brokenness and rage.” 

“Oh, but my stomach, she is like a waterbed covered in flannel. When I lie on my side in bed, my stomach lies politely beside me, like a puppy.” 

“All these people keep waxing sentimental about how fabulously well I am doing as a mother, how competent I am, but I feel inside like when you're first learning to put nail polish on your right hand with your left. You can do it, but it doesn't look all that great around the cuticles.” 

The Book Thief
By Markus Zusak

THIS BOOK! This book.
This was actually a re-read for me. As C.S. Lewis once said, "You can't truly love a book and only read it once." [Last time I read it I wrote this]. Or something like that. Undoubtedly one of my favorite books of all time, and I do NOT say that lightly.

It takes place in Nazi Germany and is narrated by Death. At first this is difficult to "get into", but as the story progresses it really works. The story follows Leisel, a young girl who can't resist the lure of books after her adoptive "papa" teaches her to read. It is a story about the power of words in a dark place; about the beauty and darkness of humans. And rarely will you read a book that is this well written-- that will make you want to re-read the same paragraph five times, even though you just want to get on with the story and know what happens next. I found a quote from Anne Fodiman that says, "If you truly love a book, you should sleep with it, write in it, read aloud from it, and fill its pages with muffin crumbs." I believe I did all those things with this book…and I believe I will do them all again in the near future. This book will make you think, it will make you question, and, if you're like me, will make you appreciate the beauty of the written word again. Someday when I am back in a classroom I WILL teach this book.

Another reviewer on the goodreads.com website captured it well: "I give this 5 stars, BUT there is a disclaimer: If you want a fast read, this book is not for you. If you only like happy endings, this book is not for you. If you don't like experimental fiction, this book is not for you. If you love to read and if you love to care about the characters you read about and if you love to eat words like they're ice cream and if you love to have your heart broken and mended on the same page, this book is for you." I couldn't agree more.

I want to put up snippets of his writing too but there is too much--far too many options of beautiful writing.

And yes, there is a movie now. The movie is actually fairly well done, and captures the essence of the story and bits of the beauty of the characters. But PLEASE read the book. PLEASE. I beg you. There is SO much more that the movie just doesn't have TIME to tell. 

Anne of Green Gables
Anne of Avonlea
By: L.M. Montgomery 

The story of the spunky, red-headed orphan girl who is adopted by the Cuthberts on Prince Edward Island. If you're like me, you know who Anne Shirley is, even if you've never read the books. Even Brent remembered scenes from the show that his sister used to watch. I used to love the show and the characters, but had never picked up the books. I thought now would be a good time. They are so sweet. I think that is the best way to describe them. They are fairly quick reads, but take you back to such a simpler time… a time I would go back to in a heartbeat! The "scrapes" that Anne gets herself into are funny and lighthearted, the relationships she makes are beautiful, and these books just make you feel good. I enjoyed Anne's dialogue, even though it may not be super realistic. I'm glad I read them, and will read the next ones in the series when I can download them [for free from the library] :).

And the Mountains Echoed
By: Khaled Hosseini

This is another book I was very excited to read, as I really enjoyed Hosseini's first books: The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. I knew it would be good writing and a great story, no matter what. And on those fronts it certainly didn't disappoint. I honestly had no idea what the book was going to be about, but just knew I wanted to read it because he wrote it [every author's dream, no?].

I don't really know how to give you a "summary", so I stole one off of goodreads.com:
"In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most. 

Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos—the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page."

The chapters are very long-- I would deem them more "sections"-- and each section is told by a different narrator. This is hard to do well, it really is. But I think he nailed this part of the book. The thing I appreciated the most about it was that he totally trusted the reader. What I mean by that is that he didn't feel like he had to introduce each character and make it super obvious how they connected to the other characters-- he simply trusts the reader to figure it out and put it together and be an intelligent participant in the story. I appreciated that. There were sections I liked more than others, and the ending was only so-so for me, but overall, it is different enough from other literature out there, and Hosseini is a great storyteller that didn't disappoint. 

Divergent Series [Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant] 
By: Veronica Roth

Yes. I confess. I read these books. I'm not really proud of it either.
First, can I get this out there: they are classified in our library at a 4th/5th grade reading level, so I shouldn't have anticipated much in the way of the writing, but as popular as they've become, I figured there had to be something of substance here.

If you know nothing about them, here it is in brief: This is a trilogy about [another] dystopian society, in which the main character, teenage Tris, must choose between five factions dedicated to a particular virtue. The catch is, once she chooses that faction, that virtue is HER THING. As in, HER ONLY THING for which she will devote the rest of her life. But soon Tris discovers that, gasp!, she has "aptitudes" for more than one trait. And so the story begins.

Tris was only a so-so likable character for me. She appeared brave and courageous, but then had all these issues and insecurities, which I know were meant to be the "depth" that writers strive for their characters to have, but here it just left me wanting to slap her at times. Also, you know how I said Hosseini did such a phenomenal job of "trusting his readers" to be intelligent and catch nuances in the story that helped us along? This book is an example of the complete opposite. I felt like everything was so redundant because Roth just didn't trust us to "get it" the first five times she said it. I also felt like it was incredibly predictable, but had heard many people say they were shocked by the ending, so maybe it's just me.

However, that being said, though I eye-rolled while reading it, I read all three books incredibly fast, annoyed yet unexplainably entertained? It was creative. I just think the three books could have been edited down to about one book, and then revised and revised and revised for a year or two and turned into a little bit better writing. Am I saying don't read them? No. You'll probably like them.

In this case though, I'm kind of excited to see the movie because I think it will be edited down to about right. I think the movies may just be better than the books this time.

I am currently reading:
The Cold Sassy Tree
By: Olive Ann Burns
A recommendation to me since I typically like stories set in the south, this one in the early 1900s.

And next I would like to read:
When Crickets Cry
By: [Charles Martin
My sister read this and said his writing is phenomenal. I could only check it out as an audio book right now, so I'm waiting to get it later.

What about you? Have you read any of these books? Do you agree/disagree with my reviews? 
Also, are there any good books you've read lately that I need to add to my "to read" list that is ever growing? 

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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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