Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Baby #2: 30 Week Bumpdate

I'm about 75% through pregnancy #2, so I figured it was about time to finally write a bumpdate! 

John and I are so excited to be growing our family with another child, and although I am sure the blogging on this babe won't be nearly as complete as Jack (#secondchildproblems), I want to at least capture as much as I can while still enjoying the documentation.

So with that being said, here's a quick recap and update on baby Pray #2!





Baby basics: Due date? How many weeks along? Gender? Name?

I am 30 weeks pregnant with a due date of March 13, 2018... however, Jack was born a week early, so I'm trying to prepare myself logistically as though I will be delivering a week early with baby #2 too (making baby Pray's birthdate closer to March 6th). I was induced with Jack at 39 weeks and he was a very healthy 8lb 9oz, and honestly, I'm hoping for a similar situation (39 week induction) with baby #2 since everything went so smoothly for us last time. Depending on when baby Pray is born, Jack and baby Pray will be 16-17 months apart (if born on March 13, they will be exactly 16.5 months... only time will tell though!). 

When we found out we were expecting we had a hunch that we were having another little boy, but much to our surprise, we are having a little girl! If I'm going to be honest, it took us a bit to warm up to the idea (since we think Jack is so much fun and would love for him to have a brother close in age), but with time, we really felt like a little girl is the perfect fit for our family!

The sweet baby's name will be Emma Louise Pray (and John has already started calling her Emma-girl and Emmie Lou!) - we love clean, simple names and Louise is my mom's middle name. We agreed very quickly that this would be the perfect fit! If we were having a boy, we we had a lot more thinking ahead of us...!



Finding out: When did you find out you were pregnant? First reactions? Were you trying?

We found out we were expecting in the very beginning of July. We had just returned from Mexico the day earlier, and turns out I was pregnant (and for those who are concerned, both John and I were tested for Zika and negative!). We always knew we wanted to "baby bunch" and are so thankful that God is growing our family for us with kids close in age.

 Although we wanted to have another baby close in age, we weren't sure if we would be able to get pregnant as quickly as we hoped since I was still nursing Jack. So when we found out that I was indeed expecting, we were quite excited!

Jack was such a good and easy first baby, so I am praying that we get another - and I need everyone to be standing in agreement on this one too - all prayers welcome! ;) I think this time around we are extra excited for this baby because now that we have Jack we know what a gift a baby is to us and how much joy they bring. That being said, I haven't forgotten how difficult the first six weeks are - so I'm bracing myself a bit - but know that the days pass quickly (and John will have paternity leave for 4 of those weeks which will be super helpful with Jack being so little!).



Pregnancy: How are you feeling? How have you been feeling?

I am so blessed to have very easy pregnancies. I don't get morning sickness and honestly, other than feeling fatigued every now and then, I can pretty much operate my life as normal... which is a huge blessing considering that I got pregnant while Jack was not quite 8 months old yet. John also makes zero complaints about waking up with Jack in the mornings if I want to sleep in - but really, Jack sleeps from 7PM-7AM, so it leaves me with time to get plenty of sleep (but hey, I'm never opposed to a weekend nap!).

Although I feel totally normal, it is still a bit hard to say for sure how I'm feeling since my "normal" has been a non-stop host for a life the past 24 months (being pregnant with Jack, nursing him, and then immediately going into another pregnancy) - I would be lying if I said I wasn't curious how I would feel if I could just have my body normalize... I feel like I could probably run a marathon every day (just kidding, but you get my point - it is work growing humans!). :) Either way, I have absolutely nothing to complain about and am so thankful for feeling well.

Pregnancy announcement photo copyright of Audrey Nicole Photography


Reactions: How did your family and friends react? Why did you wait so long to share the news?

Everyone has been so excited for us. The majority of reactions we get are one of two things... either "oh my gosh, you are crazy - they are going to be so close in age" (why, indeed they are!) or "I have a sibling close in age and we loved it!" - they are somewhat binary reactions, but all are still rooted in excitement for us!

We told our parents shortly after finding out because we had preexisting plans to see them and wanted to tell them in person, but we didn't tell many of our friends (or share on social media) until after I was 20 weeks pregnant. We wanted to wait until the 20 week anatomy scan to make sure everything was on track because I was not having much movement. It turns out that I have an anterior placenta (explaining the delay in movement) and everything is right on track - praise God for that!

Also, the reality is simply that we were very, very busy and being pregnant was just one of many milestones that we were working through - selling our home, buying a new home, moving from Texas to Minnesota, packing and unpacking everything, Jack turning one, John starting a new job - all within a 1-2 month span of time... it was A LOT so it was easy to let being pregnant fall to the back burner as we had quite a few immediate changes that were occurring!



Baby #1 vs. Baby #2: Differences in pregnancies?

Honestly, there haven't been any major differences between pregnancy #1 and pregnancy #2. I hear all the time about how the second time around is "totally different," but for me, there hasn't been anything too noteworthy. 

The main difference between the two would really just be the movement - Jack was a very active baby (and still is!), but since I have an anterior placenta this time around it isn't apples to apples. But actual movement aside, I definitely feel less/more faint movements this pregnancy.

Although it is not really pregnancy related, and huge difference between baby #1 and baby #2 is the season in which I'm pregnant. With Jack I was pregnant basically a full Texas summer... basically, it was hot, hot, hot. This time around, I'm pregnant basically a whole Minnesota winter... basically, it is cold, cold, cold!! I have had to start over a whole new maternity wardrobe because everything I previously owned consisted of tank tops and dresses!



Updates: What do you have left to do?

Everything! 

We have been using the baby's room for all of Jack's toys, so I need to slowly transition out all of the toys and start putting the room together. I want to keep the baby's room very similar to Jack's room (whites and very, very light grays) so that our house looks cohesive. My parents have already painted the room for us (thank you!) and I just have a few spots on the ceiling that I want to touch up (and maybe put new trim in the room... we will see how much I can convince John to do!).

I also need to go through all of our baby items and wash carseat covers, swings, bassinet sheets, etc. ...and I need to figure out what clothes from Jack are gender neutral enough to reuse for our sweet baby girl! I also have a pile-high of onesies and burp cloths that need some monogramming (priorities, y'all!).

Up until now we have been focused on getting settled in our new home and celebrating the holidays. And now that it is the new year, I am ready to go all-hands-on-deck for baby preparations!




Friday, December 29, 2017

Christmas Festivities

This Christmas (and the week leading up to it) was really one for the books! 

We had snow on Christmas Eve (which was fun for our first Christmas in the north) and had a wonderful time celebrating with family. It is so incredibly nice to be able to spend the holidays with family without having to travel - it's been so long since that has been the case... and now that Jack is a bit older (he turned 14 months on Christmas) he is understanding more and more that Christmas is something special!

Here's a quick peek at our Christmas festivities!

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I'm unsure who loved setting up our Christmas tree more... me or Jack! We used all plastic ornaments, and the sweet boy just loved helping "decorate" and "redecorate" the tree DAILY! I'm pretty sure "Those aren't really berries, Jack!" was said at least ten times a day...



John organized a Christmas date night for us, and we dropped Jack off at my parents house, headed to dinner at The Bachelor Farmer, did a little shopping at Askov Finlayson, and then went to the Guthrie Theater to see A Christmas Carol - it was such a nice evening, and the show was wonderful... I wouldn't mind making it an annual thing (hint, hint, John!). :)





My mom hosted a cookie baking day at her home for my aunts and cousin... and boy, we had tons of delicious cookies! I absolutely love baking so it was fun being able to bake and decorate cookies with other people. I boxed up the cookies and delivered them to our neighbors, John's coworkers, and froze a tray for Christmas morning - and you best believe they all got eaten!






Jack got to go to my parents house for a Christmas sleep over and John and I went to go see the new Star Wars movie. In the morning John woke up early and took the dogs hunting, and oh my, it was so nice waking up as slowly as I wanted... no baby or dogs that needed tending to - it was a wonderful morning moving very slowly and celebrating the holidays.


Christmas Eve we went to my parents house for dinner, gifts, and games. Jack enjoyed opening all of his gifts (slowly...) and loved laying directly on top of boxes - such a ham!! He is such a blessed little boy, and I pray that he grows up knowing the true meaning of Christmas and the gift of life that we have because of it.








Christmas morning my parents and brother headed over to our home for brunch. John smoked a delicious salmon on his Big Green Egg that we had as an appetizer, and we had ham and quiche for our main meal. It was a relaxing morning celebrating Christmas.

Later in the evening we all went to my aunts house for dinner, games, and a white elephant exchange. They live on a lake and had an awesome ice skating rink shoveled on the ice, but it was far too cold for me (although no one else seemed to mind!). We brought Scout and Lily with and they enjoyed being able to run on the frozen lake! It was a wonderful evening with family and closed the day exactly as I had hoped!










Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Life Lately

I have a long backlog of photos to share, but I feel like I'm finally starting to catch up on all that we've been up to. Although November was a month ago, here's a quick peek at all that we were up to!

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Rain, cold, snow... it doesn't matter - John insists that we walk everywhere we go! This is the first time that we have lived in a walkable area (since college), so any time we want to go to breakfast, coffee, the grocery store, etc. John insists we all suit up and walk there. Jack honestly doesn't seem to mind to cold, but his mama would much prefer to be warm. :) But hey, at least it keeps me moving throughout my pregnancy!



Snowy walks to breakfast and coffee at Caribou.


John has taken the dogs hunting in northern Minnesota several times this year, and boy, there is a ton of snow there! Scout lives for hunting so she doesn't even notice the snow (and in fact, I think she much prefers it to the heat), but little Lily gets a little cold and shivery if she gets too cold and wet.



After a long weekend of hunting, these two girls sleep for the next few day - which I absolutely love! The best kind of bird dog is a tired one...


One of my favorite things about our new home is the front windows... and they are one of Jack's favorite things too! That boy could look out the windows and front door all day long - and we have lots of little hand prints to prove it. :)




Jack and I recently made a trip to see John at work and get lunch downtown. Jack had fun exploring the skywalks and getting to say "hi" to all the people who were walking around for lunch!



Eating out with my favorite lunch date (other than his dad, of course).


My mom, aunt and I (and Jack) recently went shopping in Stillwater, and we had a great time exploring all the shops and getting lunch. ...and Jack discovered his love for wrapping paper (just like his mom!).



Saturday, December 23, 2017

Holly Trolley

Jack recently took a trip to meet Santa on the Holly Trolley!

The Holly Trolley is a historic streetcar that rides along Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun and it is totally decked out for the holidays. Santa (and Mrs. Claus) were on board the train and greeted every child individually asking them what they wanted for Christmas. It was super sweet, and we will likely make it a yearly tradition!

When we got to the station we were told the wait would be about an hour and a half long, but it ended up being almost twice that long! Had we known it would be a three hour wait from the beginning, I don't think we would have stayed, but Jack really did awesome - he had to skip his afternoon nap, and he was a total trooper. John's mom and step-dad were in town visiting, and his step-dad kindly waited in line while we walked to the toy store to help keep Jack busy.

Once we got on to the streetcar Jack loved looking out the window and thought Santa was quite interesting. He wasn't scared, but he certainly stared a hole straight through him... and had Santa tried to get too close, I'm sure Jack would have had an issue with him! Since Jack was so young last year we didn't do any sort of Santa activities, so it was fun to start a tradition this year!

Here are a few photos of our time on the Linden Hills Holly Trolley!

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