Thursday, October 23, 2014

these days

These days are filled to the brim.

They're filled with rain and changing leaves.  Soccer games and melt-yer-heart gummy smiles.  These days are filled with sweet baby snuggles and new adventures in homeschooling.  Dirty diapers and 5 year old boy jokes {you know the ones ;)...}.  They're filled with 4AM feeds and the excitement of the almost-within-our-grasp conclusion to medical school.  These days are filled with sweaters and rain-boots and baby tights.  Ninja moves and living room dance parties.   Pumpkin patches, crackling fires, cups of hot cocoa and the cozy nostalgia bubbling up from holidays past.  Nursing {the breast kind} and nursing {the hospital kind}.  They're filled with brand new giggles {ohhh those giggles!} and an eternal pile of unfolded laundry.  These days are filled with residency interview offers from all corners of the country and the anticipation of our next adventure.  They're filled with daydreams and hard work.  These days are filled with a never ending to-do list and time that flies faster than ever before. 

These days are like ones we've never had before and will never have again.

These are the days.

Monday, August 25, 2014

catching up

These past seven weeks have been a whirlwind and a blur, but somehow it seems this little girl has been a part of our family for all of eternity now.  Currently, we're enjoying some lovely cabin R&R with my family {oh how that grandma and those sisters of mine love to snatch up baby girl}, giving me the beautiful luxury of the use of both of my hands simultaneously.  holy. toledo.  sitting down.  in a chair.  at my computer. NOT swaying back and forth.  focusing on one thing for more than two minutes.  frickin' miraculous I tell ya.  And so, before this magical moment ends, a quick catch up:

Miss Cora is the sweetest little thing in this whole wide world {in my completely unbiased opinion}.  Such a content baby who truly only cries when hungry or tired.  And hallelujah my friends, she is a champ at sleeping!  Jon and I figure that we must have paid our sleeping dues last time around and earned ourselves a good sleeper this time.  Just this past week, she's begun to perfect her absolutely heart melting smiles and coos that keep her daddy, brother, and I wrapped around her tiny perfect fingers.

Mr. Sam,  aka the best and sweetest big brother in this whole wide world {also in my completely unbiased opinion}, has taken on the role of 'brother' like a champ.  Frequently asking to 'pet baby sister' and has an unlimited supply of hugs and kisses for 'Cowa Gwace'.  Another important role continues to be Assesser of All Poopy Diapers, a very important role indeed.  He has grown in leaps and bounds in his independence these past few weeks and takes so much pride in being Mommy's big helper.  Golly, that boy, I didn't think it was possible to love him any more than I already did, and that little fella', well he proved me wrong.

This mama manages to shower 2-3 times per week and due to this has become fast friends with my bottle of dry shampoo.  Most meals are eaten standing up and while trying to tidy up the living room/sweeping the kitchen floor/folding laundry/{insert any household chore here} during the two minutes Miss C tolerates sitting in her swing.  The majority of my time is spent feeding and cuddling my sweet girl on the living room couch while reading library books to my big boy.  Upon recently purchasing my first one piece suit since the age of 12 {seriously, this ol' belly has not been as ambitious in reclaiming it's former glory this second time around}, I had 'be kind to yourself, be kind...' on repeat in my head as walked into the dressing room.  I was mostly successful.

As for Jon, he is officially in his fourth and final year of medical school {!!!!} and as of Friday afternoon, has a full month off.  And so... drum roll please.... we will be taking advantage of our overlapping breaks from work and school to go on a cross country road trip to scope out some potential residency locations.  Be on the lookout for a couple of overzealous parents with a backseat full of crying kids in the neighborhood near you! ;)

p.s.  We also celebrated out 8th wedding anniversary earlier this month with a romantic stay-at-home date filled with roses, schmancy desserts and bubbly...

and a baby who didn't think it was her bedtime quite yet :)

Monday, July 21, 2014

welcome little one

Cora Grace
Arrived 7/7/14 at 7:50 pm
7.0 lbs 19.5 inches
<3 <3 <3

**According to Sam**
-"She's just like a diamond"
-"She's a beauty"
-She said her first word the same evening she was born, which was "grass".
-It is necessary for him to assess her poo at each diaper change.
-He brought a bag of microwave popcorn to the hospital to share with her the night of her birth.
-He insists she will not learn about princesses--super heroes only.

Friday, June 13, 2014

a waiting game

I was perfectly content waiting until July.  It is right around the corner after all.  And even as the every day aches and pain continue to grow and the waddling worsens, I was happy knowing that we had this time.  This one last time as a family of three.  This one last time to sleep until 8:00 a.m..  This one last time to get everything in it's place.  This one last time of calm before the postpartum storm.

And then Monday happened.  Something jostled me from my sleep at 2:00 a.m.  Probably have to pee, again, I thought.  But no, even only half awake, I realized this was different.  A contraction.  And another and another and another.  All consistently 15-20 minutes apart.  Uncomfortable but not terribly so.  And they just kept rolling in.  For hours.  I laid in bed, keeping track, trying not to wake Jon.  When the doctor's office opened later that morning, I called in to report the situation.  At only 35 and 1/2 weeks I was slightly worried that this was too early.  My doctor didn't seem to share the same concern and told me that if it progressed, to head on in to the hospital.

My apprehension quickly turned to excitement.  And I suddenly didn't care that baby girl's clothes were still not stashed neatly in her dresser drawers.  Or that half of the baby equipment still remained covered in dust in the shadows of the storage room.  Or that I still had plans to buy some new pajama pants, as to not be "that mom" in the frumpy old sweatpants at the hospital.  Or that Jon may still have some very important studying to be completed prior to his very important test which happens to be scheduled only one week before the due date.  Because suddenly, all I could think about was finally meeting her. Seeing her sweet little face, holding her in my arms and welcoming her to this big ol' world, I could think of nothing I would rather do.

But then, 8 hours after they began, the contractions began to decrease and become increasingly irregular.  And Jon sighed with relief.  And I did too, but only a little.

Even though I still have 4 weeks before baby is officially done cookin', I can't help but feel that I've been jipped.  Sounds silly, I know.  Blame it on the hormones ;).

It's just a matter of time now, a waiting game.

Friday, May 30, 2014

beauty advice {from a 5 year old}

"Did you paint your eyelashes again?
"With that tiny brush?"
"Oh.  Your eyes look pretty painted."
"Thank you."
"I wish you'd paint them a different color sometime, like red... instead of black all the time."

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

the progression of brotherly love & a few images from last month

It seems that I may have taken an unintentional month long hiatus from this ol' blog.   No worries, baby and I are healthy and growing bigger by the day {yes, both of us...}.  I think part of the absence may have been due to the fact that life has been a little off around here the past couple of months.  Jon's been MIA due to a particularly demanding rotation {i.e. 12+ hour days 6 days a week, poor fella'} while I've simultaneously been going through the exhaustion phase of the third trimester.  Seriously, if there were a nap taking competition, I'm pretty sure I would take the gold.  But now with only about 6 weeks left 'til D-day, I can feel my energy beginning to come back along with the realization that I only have 6 weeks to finish getting ready for this babe's arrival.  Oh my, so much to do!

Sam's been doing his own emotional preparations for baby sister's arrival as well.  Up through a week ago, I was feeling a bit worried about how he has been internalizing the way his life will change, but just within the past several days, it seems that he may finally be turning the corner.

1 month ago:  As I was changing my shirt, he looked at my belly and informed me, "I liked you better when you weren't so puffy."

3 weeks ago:  During night prayers, he put in a special request to the Big Man that baby come out a boy.

2 weeks ago:  He proposed this offer to a friend of ours who recently had a baby boy, "Can we borrow your baby? Because then we could have your baby and you could have our baby."

1 week ago:  "Well, one thing baby sister is good for is that she can be Catwoman for Halloween and I'll be Batman."

4 days ago:  "Why does everyone think Queen Frostine {from Candyland} is so beautiful?  I think baby sister is beautiful."

Sunday, April 27, 2014

a seven month bump

dress: H&M (not maternity),clutch: Kohls, wedges: Franco Sarto

We've been moving right along and a little over a week ago officially entered the third trimester.  This pregnancy has just been flying by so much faster than my first.  Maybe it's because I have a five year old to keep me preoccupied this time, maybe it's due to having been through this experience before and therefore tend to be less focused on the day to day progression, but regardless, here we are, suddenly in the final leg of the race.  I've enjoyed watching this belly grow and Sam is quite impressed by my outie.

Perhaps I just don't remember from last time, but holy shamoly--she is one busy bee in there!  The other morning I awoke at 4:00 AM to baby working on her morning calisthenics.  She also enjoys keeping her tiny bum snuggly pushed against my right rib cage, making it nearly impossible to even bend over to tie my shoes.  Needless to say, things are looking quite graceful around here lately. ;)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

the day superman taught me how rich we truly are

{Pictures from a totally unrelated but beautiful afternoon recently spent at Champoeg State Park}

I was standing at the sink, doing dishes, and Sam was running around the kitchen in his Superman costume.  He was rambling on {per usual} about this & that as I nodded my head, adding in the occasional "mmhmm" as my mind wandered.

"We are?" he asked, his tone was seeking confirmation on a question that I had just apparently unknowingly answered.

"Are we what?" I asked.


I chuckled.  "Oh, no.  We're not rich," I quickly answered.   Silly boy.  Don't you know that our soon to be family of four lives in a two bedroom townhouse?  That we drive two used cars, both of which are nearly 10 years old.  That our student loans currently far outweigh our assets and only continue to grow.  Oh, no.  We are not rich.

"We're not??" he asked with a look of surprise on his face.  "But look at all this food in your pantry.  We don't have that much food back on my planet," he stated, falling back into his Superman alter ego.

His simple observation stopped me dead in my tracks.  While he spoke of Krypton, a fictitious world, I couldn't help but think that those same words could accurately come from the lips of the majority of people on our planet.

My pantry shelves are a constant menace due to the cereal boxes always creeping into the cracker-designated-zone, and the way the pastas and rice just can't seem to help themselves from spilling over into the canned goods space.  You see, those shelves are always overflowing with food.  We always have enough to eat.  Never do I worry that I won't be able to relieve my child's tiniest twinge of hunger.  But it doesn't stop there...

Silly Christine, don't you know that our family lives in a lovely, warm, safe, two bedroom townhouse?  {My, how quickly you have forgotten the family of six in Honduras that shares a single hammock each night, strung across the dirt floor of their one room home.}  Don't you know that you have two, count them, TWO, reliable, comfortable cars by which you can transport your family?  Don't you know that you and your husband have had the opportunity to live in a country where you can choose your future, where you can borrow money to invest in your education?  Don't you know that you are infinitely richer than the majority of the world?  Don't you know that you shouldn't get too caught up in your first world problems or the first world's definition of richness and wealth {and this is not even touching on the non-monetary aspects of richness}?  Silly Christine, can't you see?

"Oh.  Yes, I guess we are rich."

And with that, he smiled at me, having gotten the answer that he already knew, and scampered off into the living room, his red cape whipping at his ankles.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

turnin' thirty & feeling fine

top: c/o Eve of Eden, jeans: H&M Maternity, shoes: DSW, belt: JC Penney, bracelet: H&M

As I sit here this evening on the cusp of my third decade of life, I can't help but feel surprised.  I anticipated experiencing all types of emotions and thoughts as I waved goodbye forever to my twenties, but joy was one emotion that was noticeably missing from the list.  Oh, those sooooo long anticipated twenties.  I remember it like yesterday, just waiting for the day I would officially no longer be considered a teenager.  I was ready to be a full blown adult.  Right at the stroke of midnight.  Bam.  Adulthood.
Oh twenties, even in all of your naivety you were good to me.
You saw me become so many things, but my two most treasured roles being wife & mama.

Tomorrow, during the quiet hustle and bustle of our morning routine, between my cup of coffee and Sam's cereal growing soggy in the bowl as Sesame Street calls softly from the television, those life changing twenties will slip away and a new chapter will begin.  When I'd previously thought about this transition, I figured I'd most certainly feel saddened as my youth was suddenly forced into the shadows of this milestone. The big 3-0.  Sounds daunting.  Heck, I remember when my own mother turned thirty.  Actually, I was Sam's age at the time.  Will he remember my milestone birthday, I wonder?  Considering he can't seem to figure out if I'm turning 17 or 61, chances are slim. ;)

But truth be told, my heart doesn't hold even the smallest sliver of sadness this evening.  Instead, I can't help but feel grateful.  Grateful that I've had the opportunity to see this third decade.  Sure my skin may crinkle in places that used to lay smooth and dimple in places I'd rather it not, but oh my word you guys, how lucky am I?  Thirty precious years that I've been given the opportunity to grow & learn & live & love on this beautiful earth.  Truly a privilege.

I entered my twenties without much purpose or direction.  Tomorrow I enter my thirties with a joyous overflow of both.

To risk sounding like a Hallmark card:  each day, each year, each decade of life on this earth is a gift to be treasured.  And I am lucky enough to have seen thirty full years of it.

Tomorrow I will be 30 and feeling just fine.

How lucky am I?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

a six month bump

shirt: c/o Eve of Eden, jacket: Black Rivet, jeans: H&M Maternity, shoes: JC Penney

This little babe is growing at mach speed I'm pretty sure.  I'm also pretttty sure I know what mach speed is... if only I'd paid more attention in physics. All physics aside, I can't believe we're hitting the 6 month mark already!  Stuff is getting real, my friends.  Real serious belly lotioning, real serious baby kicks, real serious sciatica, real serious ice cream consumption, and a real serious need for some maternity clothes.  The thing is though, that I kinda hate stocking up on maternity clothes because I know that I'll only be wearing them for a few months.  So, I try to stick to selecting a few versatile basics that I intend to wear over and over again.  This striped top from Eve of Eden falls into this category perfectly.  First off, I'm sucker for stripes, so that one was easy.  Second, I love the ruching on the sides which help to enhance my baby bump, making it more obvious that my belly is indeed due to a baby and not just a few too many beers ;).  Thirdly, quality fabric is important in an item you intend to wear frequently and during pregnancy a nice thick knit with lots of stretch that will surely last through many wears and washes & accommodate a growing belly is key.

I know this top will be on high rotation over the next few months, get used to seeing it :)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

and the boy is five

And just like that, in the blink of an eye, my baby boy turned five.

Also, I'm not allowed to call him my baby anymore.

And he doesn't need my cake decorating services any longer either.  Aside from applying the icing & slicing the strawberries {per his request, I might add}, Sam insisted he could do the rest, and indeed he did.  Honestly, I'm pretty certain he has more skill at the age of 5 than I do with a couple of decades of practice under my belt.

Gosh, I love that boy.  and his growing independence.  and his love for all things super hero.  and his dreams to be just like daddy one day--or batman, batman would do too.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

protein packed strawberry vanilla smoothie

We've been in a smoothie kinda mood around here lately and I thought this new favorite was worth sharing. This smoothie makes for an easy & healthy meal replacement on those days you just don't feel like cooking or just a great protein & vitamin packed snack during the day.  With only 5 ingredients it's simple to make and no cutting or chopping needed!  Hallelujah!  Just toss the ingredients all together in the blender and blend until smooth.

Protein Packed Strawberry Vanilla Smoothie
  • 1/2 cup vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup fat free vanilla soy milk
  • 1 TBSP soy protein powder
  • 1 banana
  • 8 strawberries {I use frozen, but fresh would work as well}
**The entire smoothie contains 15 grams protein and only 307 calories.**

Bottoms up!

Monday, March 10, 2014

pregnancy problems #291

Pregnancy is truly miraculous.


I would never argue against that.  But when people say pregnancy is beautiful I am forced to conclude that either they have never experienced pregnancy or never had the pleasure of living with a pregnant woman.  You see, as your womb accommodates the growing wonder inside, the rest of your body decides to throw a full blown, down on the ground, kicking & screaming in isle 4 of the grocery store, temper tantrum about it.  This is particularly true of the gastrointestinal tract.  That ol' GI tract always was a diva.  It starts with nausea and vomiting.  Then come the food aversions and ridiculous cravings.  Soon to follow comes the bloating, constipation, heart burn and gas--from both ends.  Oh yes.  And it's close friend, the urinary tract shares similar sentiments regarding the new developments within the abdominal cavity.  She often likes sharing her complaints in the middle of the night, requiring frequent mad dashes down the dark hall filled with tiny Lego landmines, as you make it to the bathroom just in the nick of time.

Just yesterday, after returning home following a lovely lunch out with friends, my GI tract decided to make her displeasure known in a mighty way.  The look upon my husbands face, it was as if he was trying to pinpoint the exact moment in time at which his beautiful bride had turned into a caveman.  A few years back I would have been horrified, but instead after 7.5 years of marriage and halfway through pregnancy #2, all I could do was laugh.  And laugh I did. Until I peed my pants {not a whole flood  mind you, but enough to make any 90 year old woman with a hankering toward stress incontinence proud}.  Right there in our townhouse parking lot.  With my husband and son looking on.  Which only made me laugh harder.  "What's wrong with mommy?" I heard Sam ask as I ran, still laughing, towards our door.  I laughed all the way to the bathroom and continued laughing until I cried.  And then laughed some more.

And that right there is the truth of pregnancy.

Terribly awkward?  Yes.
Mostly hilarious?  I'd say so.
Miraculous? Absolutely.
Beautiful? I'll let you be the judge.

Monday, March 3, 2014

name suggestions for baby girl, by sam

  • Darth Vader
  • Black Widow
  • Angela
  • Vimi
  • Coca-cola Lady
  • Snorta
  • Saleesha
  • Sinaorp (written on his napkin during breakfast this morning.  "Mommy, what does that spell?" "Oh, we should name our baby that")
  • Joseph

Choices, choices... :)

Friday, February 14, 2014

on behalf of our family...

...Sam would like to announce's a GIRL!!! 

He was so certain that this little baby would be a "brudder", but the idea of a sister seems to be growing on him.  When he referred to her as his "Green Lantern sister" this afternoon {as in the super hero, Green Lantern}, I figured things will be a-okay :).  

We are just over the moon and so excited to meet this little lady!

p.s. Happy Valentine's Day!! <3

Sunday, February 9, 2014

it's hard to say goodbye

even when it's just a pup.
a pup that was a part of our family for 6 years.  I remember the first time I saw her.  New Years Eve 2007, Jon had just gotten home from work and headed straight into the bedroom.  "Hey, come here, I have something to show you," he said.  And there, in the middle of our bed, sat a tiny dachshund puppy with the most ginormous ears you ever did see.  Needless to say, she had me at 'hello'.
I was certain she'd live to be an old, gray, grumpy little lady, probably mostly blind, deaf and decrepit.  I thought we'd get to love her til her hair fell out.  I thought she'd be there at the door when Sam returned from his first day of kindergarten and when Jon graduates medical school.  I pictured her wet little nose oh so verrrrry carefully sniffing out the new little one the day we come home from the hospital.  We had made promises to Sam that if he could just pleasepleaseplease sleep in his own bed throughout the whole night, we'd make sure that Lucy would stay snuggled under the covers with him.  She was very good at detecting those pesky monsters under the bed, you see.

But turns out that none of these things were meant to be.  Our fiercely loyal, food-loving, blanket-burrowing, cuddler passed away this past Friday evening.  The whole nightmare began Tuesday morning with an emergency run to the vet, but little Lu, despite her and our best efforts, just wasn't able to kick it.  Sam has trouble understanding.  He asked me on Saturday morning if she was still dead and tonight during night prayers he asked God to send Lucy back to earth after she was in heaven for a little while.

His favorite song right now is "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds".  He says it makes him feel happy. 
We love you little Lucy Lou and miss you more than you know.

Friday, January 31, 2014

and baby makes four

Under big sweaters and flowy shirts, this little sweet pea has been hiding for the last 17 weeks.  And just within what seems to have been the past few days, Baby decided 'No more!  Enough hiding!'  I'm pretty sure my belly wasn't this big until 25 weeks last time around.  I suppose my abs already knew what they were up against and decided to throw in the towel early.  And my belly button has already raised it's little white flag and surrendered as well.  Sam chalks my growing belly up to too many doughnuts.  He confirmed his suspicions by sniffing my stomach, "Yep, smells like doughnuts." :)

All doughnut jokes aside, we are just so excited for this little one to join our family.  Even having been through this process once before, it still seems a bit surreal.  Although, feeling those tiny flutters for the first time this past weekend made it all so much more real.  We are already in love, Baby.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

big on love

sweater & hat: men's department JC Penney, leggings: Target, coat: Laundry, boots: Hunter, sunglasses: Michael Kors

I'm feeling short on words today, but big on love.  Maybe it's because Valentine's day is right around the corner, maybe it's because I'm just an old sappy sap, maybe it's because I put too much syrup on my pancakes this morning.  Whatever the reason, Jon, this one's for you:

Thank you for loving me, for loving us.  Thank you that despite everything on your plate always pulling you in a million directions at once, you consistently put your family first.  Thank you for working so dang hard each and every day.  Thank you for taking the time to cook breakfast while letting me sleep in.  Thank you for not minding our cluttery kitchen on the days it doesn't make it to the top of my to-do list.  Thank you for understanding that sometimes laying on the bedroom floor with our little boy & a big ol' pile of legos is more important than a never-ending pile of case studies.  Thank you for not caring when I steal bites off your plate.  Thank you for your patience.  Thank you for your selflessness.  Thank you for your love.  

I love you.

p.s.  I hope you know how darn proud of you I am.  each and every day.