Motherhood

Enjoy!

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Hi Friends! Thought I’d give you something sweet to enjoy on this beautiful Friday morning. Don’t you just want to eat him up? Here’s a list of nicknames we seem to use the most for our little Orion…
Dude
Little Dude
Little Man
Bubs
Bubsy boo
lil’ bud
buddy
Boo
Boo Boo
Honey Boo Boo
Boo Boo Bear
Burp Worm (hahaha don’t ask)

Happy Weekend!

The Birth Story of Orion David

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I am not even really sure where to start this. I’m pretty positive that no matter how good you are at writing (which let’s be honest- is not my strong point) you can’t really express in words all that you feel about the birth of your children. I’ll start off by saying that I was very, very scared about Orion’s birth. The weight of what was ahead (you know the whole labor thing) really weighed heavy on me the last few weeks before his birth. I don’t really know why. I love birth! I love the strength, power and beauty behind it all. I trust my body and what it has to do but something about Finley’s birth really had me full of fear of how this one would go down. And especially how I would handle it all. Finley’s birth was such a whirlwind. Going from nothing (no early signs of labor, no beginning contractions, etc..) to everything (hello transition!) and having a baby in 2 hours really had me feeling completely out of control during the whole thing. The only thing that made me feel in control was being at home. In reality though, the whole labor was very much in control but I felt like emotionally, I was alway a few steps behind what was happening. Never really ever being able to ground myself. In the end I was left with a “what the heck just happened?” feeling. I never felt that empowered feeling that I felt after Rowan’s birth. Which is ok. Sometimes labor doesn’t happen how we pictured and really, once our sweet babies are here none of that matters anyways right? However, I spent a lot of time praying that no matter how Orion’s birth was to happen that I would feel confident, in control and full of peace.

I chose to have a home birth again because honestly, I can’t imagine it any other way. I have no judgement on other’s choices but for me (as long as everything is going well with the pregnancy) being at home is the only way I would want to give birth. I love it with every fiber of my being. Like seriously guys! It means so much to me and has brought me so much joy to bring these babies into the world in our own loving space. If it’s ever been something that has peaked your interest, I recommend whole heartily to do some research on it and see if it’s the right fit for you. It’s so magical!

Anyway, on to the little guys birth! I figure since it’s such a personal story between Orion and I would would write out his birth story in a letter to him. I hope one day he will read this and know just how special this day was for me.

Dear Sweet Orion.

Hi Baby. You’re here! You are growing and you are wonderful! What a day we shared together as you came into this world. I hope I can express how much love surrounded you (us) that day! Let’s start the day before you were born. It was a Monday. Just a regular ol’ Monday. Dad was at work, Rowan had school, Finley and I were hanging out like normal. I’ve never had any feelings about when your sisters were going to be born. They both just sort of came. Bam! like that. For some reason though, on that particular Monday I knew you were coming soon. It was 2 days before my due date and normally I go very late but I knew it wasn’t going to be like that this time around. Well, maybe it was just some serious wishing on my part. We went about our day and around lunch time I called your Dad. I asked him to cancel bible study on Tuesday night because I just felt like you would be here. I wasn’t having any contractions or early signs of labor but let’s just call it Mama intuition. We picked Rowan up from school and headed out to meet up with Meme who had just come into town. She always comes right around mommy’s due dates and then just stays and hangs out and takes care of us all. She is such a good Meme!

That night I think we all went to bed thinking that you were going to be born that night. I don’t know why I have this idea that all births happen in the middle of the night. The only activity that happened that night was that Rowan came into our room like 5 times saying her tummy hurt. Which ended in her throwing up all over our bed at 5am. Not a great way to start the day of your birth! But in a way it helped us savor the day. Slowed us down. Kept Rowan home with us from school. She was only sick that one time and then really was fine the rest of the day. I love the pictures we took that morning at home. The light pouring in through the windows. I feel like we all knew it was your day.

I started having mild contractions that morning. They were inconsistent and not too intense, I figured it was just 3rd baby preterm labor that would for sure go away. I think I was trying to not psych myself up too much incase it wasn’t going to lead to anything. It lasted through out the day but never really turned into anything timeable. They would get close but then fizzle out. Mommy way able to take a nap, go for a nice long walk with Daddy and just relax as much as I could at home. Around 3:30 I decided I would call our Midwife Kelly just to let her know. She had told me to keep her in the loop even if I thought it was nothing because of how fast Finley came. She was just finishing up with another birth and then was going to head over and see how I was doing. She got there about 30 mins later and by the time she got there I was pretty sure things were starting for real. I had started to pace. Hahah. Daddy and Meme always say I have this pace thing I do- walk back and forth and keep pushing my hands down or something.

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IMG_4907^^barf bowl. hahaha.

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We had set up the whole sun room like a little birth sanctuary. The pool was inflated, the chaise lounge was out there, there were candles and lights strung up and music all ready to go. Something that was really, really important to me was having some of my favorite bible verses up around the room. A few days prior to you being born I had worked on drawing out some of them and hanging them around the birth pool, so that I could focus on them if things got really tough or out of control feeling during the labor (5 months later they are still hanging up out there- I can’t bring myself to take them down). I was so excited to have a water birth! When kelly came she was like “ok, lets check things out and see where you are at”. As she was checking things out down there, a look came across her face. I thought for sure it was a look of “oh honey, this is just the beginning”. I was waiting for her to say that it was early labor but I still had a while yet to go. She looked at me though and said “I don’t think you are getting in that pool”. I was confused at first. I didn’t know why I couldn’t get in there. It was all blown up ready to go. She then said… “You are fully dilated, this baby is coming!” Haha omgosh. There was not going to be any time to fill and heat the tub. Out the window went that birth plan and we kicked the pool to the side and mentally I switched gears. I thought that would have rattled me. I had really put a lot of hope in the warm water helping me feel grounded in a fast labor. God had another plan though…

Kelly’s assistant had called her right after. She had stopped for coffee (no one had realized it was go time yet) and was calling to see if Kelly wanted anything. I remember Kelly on the phone like “everyone needs to get here now”. Kelly calmly hustled around getting everything ready and I paced and breathed and it quickly, quickly escalated into go time. Contractions were strong but the music was playing and I was praying over the verses I saw around the room. I was still standing, walking around but after awhile the pressure and intensity brought me to my hands and knees. It was a good position. I felt strong, powerful and in control. When a break would come I would lean back into child’s pose, the stretch always felt really good. Your Dad was at my side, holding my hand and whispering prayers and encouragement in my ear. Kelly was at my back at this point rubbing all the right pressure points which helped so much. The room felt light hearted and warm. There was laughter and talking and sounds of your sisters in the other room with Meme. I had struggled with how involved I wanted your sisters to be. Rowan is such a sensitive soul (as I am sure you will find out), she is very aware of people’s emotions so I didn’t want it to be too much for her to see me in labor. It all played out perfectly though. Meme had them in the kitchen which is right next to the sun room. She’d made cupcakes that the girls were decorating for you. As I was pushing, I could hear them giggling and making videos to welcome you to the family. All of us in the other room were laughing at the sweet words they were saying. Mommy couldn’t have felt more in love- being there working hard at bringing you into the world, holding hands with Daddy and hearing your sisters making videos saying they loved you in the other room. My whole world right there.

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Kelly brought 2 assistants with her, both of which I loved so very much. Everyone in the room felt like an extension of our family. Shelby was right there with me and Kristen was my knight in shining armor taking pictures for me. I had been so stressed out about getting a few pictures to remember the moment. You will learn very quickly how much Mommy loves photos. You are going to have a camera in your face most of your life. Just learn to love it kid! I can’t express how much I love the pictures that were taken. I LOVE the one of your sisters peering around the corner for the first time as they came out to see you moments after you arrived. I also love the one of your Dad holding you with wide, teary eyes. Oh my heart! I pushed only a few times and out you popped about 45 mins after kelly had first arrived at the house. You were placed right on my chest and our hearts exploded all over the place. Hahah. Seriously though. What is it about boys? Everyone had told me, but oh man! You are something special little dude. That hour or so after you were born was pretty magical. Everyone helped me up off the floor and onto the chaise lounge and then the midwives and assistants kinda quietly disappeared into the kitchen for awhile so we could spend some alone time together. The girls brought out gifts and kissed your head. I sat there holding you, unable to stop crying over the joy I felt. You came as fast, if not way faster than Finley (but in a way not at all because I was really in labor all day) but you had redeemed so much about birth for me. God had guided that whole day to be a complete answer to prayer. I can honestly not express how wonderful it was.

When I was ready, we headed upstairs so I could take a shower and then we all climbed into bed. We took guesses at how much you weighed as Kelly did your first little exam. I love the picture of us all on the bed. Papa, Meme, Rowan, Finley, Daddy, you and Mommy. It’s like a perfect picture of the love filled chaos that our family just entered into. hahah. Finley also looks like she just got a rose from The Bachelor. Yes, Mommy likes watching The Bachelor don’t judge. Well, that’s pretty much it Orion. You won us over instantly. These past 5 months have been about the craziest, most fun, exhausting moments of my life. You are like a ray of sun- your face lights up whenever someone smiles at you. God has shown me more about who He is and His character and love for us than I ever thought through my pregnancy with you and by naming you Orion. There’s a song called Orion by a band name Ghost Ship- crazy huh? A friend sent it to us after you were born. The words have been hanging heavy with me lately (in the best possible way!)…

I look at the deep dark sky,
mighty throne of the Most High.
I’m aware of my true place,
won’t You come and save me?

Still I know that You are near,
speaking comfort in my ear.
God, I long to see Your face,
won’t You come and save me?

I was answered by my Lord,
“Can You bind Orion’s form
or guide his path?”
I looked up and answered, “No,
but You can, so I will hold
in Your strong hands.”

The hands that own the stars above,
will never let me go.
The one who holds the heavens up,
in Him I put my hope.

Yeah, who am I that You should love,
and bind in Your embrace.
Well, God is this who holds the stars
and guides me in His grace

See? Oh man. So Good. Amos 5:9 says “He who made the Pleiades and Orion, and turns deep darkness into the morning and darkens the day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out on the surface of the earth, the LORD is his name” Nothing is too big for God. He will meet you in every situation, every doubt, every trouble, the good, the bad, whatever. There He is. He created the heavens but he also fearfully and wonderfully made you. There is no limit to His love for you11 I pray daily that you will know that love.

I love you sweet boy!
Mommy

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IMG_5121^^My AMAZING birth team. These ladies are rockstars! So much love for them!!

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SOOOOOOOooooo here is the exciting part! I recorded a podcast with Bryn from The Birth Hour and it just went live today! Good timing. You can pop over there and listen to me talk about all my births and especially Orion’s on the podcast. I promise you will become obsessed with every episode Bryn puts out. Love hearing such empowering stories of ladies from around the world! Go check it out!! If you are new to podcasts this is a helpful page to get started.

Our little Starman…

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*cue David Bowie song.

Guys! How is he 5 months already? I just uploaded his birth photos to flickr. Trying to sit down and finish his birth story as we speak. I started it forever ago. Whoops! I honestly can not express how much joy this little boy brings me. I seriously want to smoother him with kisses. We call him Guy Smiley (you know, from Sesame Street) because well, he smiles ALL.THE.TIME. You just have to look at him and his whole face hinges open like a puppet with this gigantic smile. It’s the best. What’s also the best is seeing just how much his sisters love him. He basically has 3 mothers. Finley rushes out of her room every morning shouting “let me see my baby!!” and Rowan is the only one so far that gets him to laugh hysterically. I think it’s fair to say he is just as smitten with them as they are with him.

Soooo Orion and I were supposed to head up to Vancouver a few weeks ago to visit my sister. Long story short… his passport didn’t come in time and we had to postpone our trip. Isn’t is silly that babies need passports? and even sillier that they can use them for 5 years even if the picture is from when they were weeks old? Can you imagine Rowan going through security like “I swear that’s me!” haha. Anyway, taking a baby passport photo is no joke. They have to be looking at camera, preferably with eyes open, you have to see both ears, they have to be on a white background, their hands can’t be in the photo and neither can yours for that matter as you hold down their hands. Let’s just say we had to take about 100 photos to finally get the one to use. The lady at the passport office did say she thought it was the best baby passport photo she had seen so, I think I might have missed my calling in life. The outtakes were pretty hilarious to look through though. What a cutie he is! We went with photo number 1 up there although, Kev wanted me to try hard for the last photo with the oh so awesome eyebrows.

He is a tall little dude. Long and lean. He’s at 45% for weight. Weighing in at 15lbs of awesomeness and hitting the 98% mark for height. He has 2 teeth already and drools like there is no tomorrow. I don’t think I ever used a bib on the girls. This boy soaks multiple shirts a day. He doesn’t sleep the greatest but we are working on it- hence the 1:16am blog post. A little sleep training is happening in our house tonight and I am distracting myself by typing this. I haven’t meant to be away for so long but life happens I guess. I still love you little blog. One day I’ll get to write more!

He’s rolling all over the place which is not helping with the sleeping. He just keeps rolling all over his crib not sure where/how/ or what direction he wants to finally get comfortable in. It’s got to be tough as a baby when all the sudden you have this new found mobility. Poor guy! But I also don’t want to be nursing him back to sleep every 2 hours when he wakes up all night long. Soooooo here we are.

I am recording a podpost cast with Bryn from The Birth Hour this week and I am so excited. I love talking birth and birth stories! Can’t wait to share with you guys.

I feel like everyone told me before he was born that it isn’t as much fun dressing boys as it is for girls. BUT GUYS!! It is SOOOO fun dressing a little man. I love it. Maybe it’s just the welcome change since Disney princesses have taken over my house but oh it’s just so cute. My favorite places to get things for him are Zara, H&M, Tea Collection, and Baby Gap. Zara for pants and joggers for sure! H&M for cardigans and onesies and Tea Collection for jammies (always look for the ones on sale!).

Ok. So this post was a bit all over the place but I am signing off because I think I am going to give in and go nurse him. Nite, nite. Maybe I’ll be back down here in 2 hours… #halp

My Motherhood is… (current life with 3)

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I wrote a post like this a while back and figured it was time to write another one in this new stage of motherhood. Being a Mom to 3 is beyond what I expected in so many ways. It’s funny how when the next kid pops out you instantly can’t imagine your family with out them. Like they were meant to be there all along. I really love how that works. Orion is our favorite little man and the perfect addition to our family. The moment he was born our hearts exploded with love for that sweet, sweet baby. Oooh we just love him!!

I started the last post with this and wanted to add it here as well… One of my favorite things about motherhood is that as much as it’s a personal journey it’s also so uniting at the same time. We all go through the ups & downs. They may be a bit different for each one of us but I am sure we share so many similarities.

My motherhood with 3…

…is first and foremost giving myself grace in all areas of my life. It’s not all going to get done right now.

…is currently putting aside most hobbies for lack of time. Knowing that it’s just a season.

…is accepting the tv watching for the kids with out guilt. It won’t kill any one and again is just a season.

…is actually letting myself sit and cuddle that sweet baby boy while he sleeps instead of trying to lie him down to get other stuff done. By the third you are fully aware how fast time goes.

…is acknowledging that taking care of the baby is the easy part. It’s the older ones that still take up the most time and energy

…is understanding that baby number 3 has to go with the flow. Haha. Poor boy always getting carted around to school drop off, the library, gymnastics, moms group, etc…

…is being more exhausted than you ever imagined. One tiny baby waking up is nothing compared to 3 children up constantly ALL.THROUGH.THE.NIGHT. #halp

…is letting the oldest spread her wings and be that big helper even if it means cleaning up a bigger mess later for you.

…is also giving grace to everyone in the family. It’s a big adjustment for everyone!

…is finding some wiggle room in the budget to hire a house cleaner for this season of life

…is being so in love with the new family dynamic you don’t even know how to handle it.

…is constantly picking up throughout the day so it doesn’t get out of control.

…is about being a team. Helping everyone see the importance of working together and giving jobs.

…is eating at Panera a lot.

…is swooning over your children as they love on each other and become the sweetest little mommies to their new baby brother

…is being so humbled by the love and generosity of your church family. Oooh the meal train!

…is having throw up on your brand new sweater.

…is making the most of even the smallest moments with your older ones to make sure they feel special and loved.

…is lots of kisses

…is your heart growing in ways you didn’t know it could

…is tears over being overwhelmed at everything

…is tears over how much you love everything about your family

…is tears over just how fast it goes

…is tears over every worship song you hear about God’s love

…is tears over having to do those damn tongue and lip exercises on your baby

…is tears over pretty much anything at any moment because #hormones

…is memorizing scripture on God’s promises for moments that seem too overwhelming

…is falling asleep surrounded by piles of clean and dirty laundry and not even caring or moving it

…is googling the most ridiculous things at all hours of the night while nursing

…is ordering things on amazon prime at 3:27am

…is all the hallelujahs for a baby that just slept 11-7am!!

…is multiple trips to Dr. Saddness (what I’ve nicknamed him) for the baby’s tongue and lip tie

…is accepting your post baby body

…is for all the hilarious boobie talk with your older ones as you nurse the baby a bajillion times a day.

…is for falling even deeper in love with your husband as he takes care of everything and everyone.

…is for missing my mom when she is gone

…is feeling like the transition to 3 really has been overall pretty smooth (don’t get me wrong it’s tough for sure!) but makes me think could we handle 4?

…is being so freakin’ excited for all that is to come as a family of 5.

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Introducing: Orion David Richardson!!

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YOU GUYS!!! He’s here!!! It’s taken me a bit of time to actually get on the computer and post this, but if you’ve been following along on Instagram you know he came 3 weeks ago on the beautiful day of October 6th. He was born at home at 5:27pm, weighted in at 9 lbs 6oz. and was 22 inches long. He was a day early even! Woot! Woot! I can’t wait to share his birth story with you guys but today I wanted to share the story behind his name. We named him Orion David Richardson. He’s the very first son (duh!) and grandson on both sides of our family. David is Kev’s middle name and I love that my 2 boys now share that in common. Kev’s middle name is after his Grandfather. I never got to meet him but Kev has lots of wonderful memories and loved him very much. He sounds like such a good man and I wish I had gotten to know him. I am proud that Orion gets to carry on his legacy.

As far as his first name, I knew when we found out we were having a boy I wanted to name him after my Dad somehow. Not in the traditional sense by just giving him my Dad’s name, but by something with deeper meaning and maybe a little more abstract in reference. You see, my Dad is a pretty special guy. Next to Kev, he’s my favorite guy and probably the smartest one at that. My Dad has always been in love with astronomy, telescopes and space exploration. For most of my childhood there were telescopes in abundance at our house. At school I was know as “the girl with the observatory in her backyard”. I’m not talking dinky, little observatories either… like real legit ones that my Dad built himself. He not only built the observatories, but built and machined almost all of the parts for the actual telescopes as well. Because of his love of for astronomy he instilled in us a sense of wonder, to dream big and to follow our passions full force. He taught us to have an appreciation for the extreme beauty in the skies and the awe of God’s creation. Kev has this memory that he told me well after the fact, that on one of our early dates we were out sitting by this reservoir and I said to him something along the lines of “doesn’t the sky look huge tonight?” He said he looked up and noticed that the sky did indeed look big that night. He told me that he knew right then and there that I was special (haha mushy I know). He said he’d never dated someone who would have noticed something like that. Aww what a guy to remember something like that, huh? Love him. Anyway back to my Dad… His observatory is called Heaven’s Glory Observatory after Psalm 19:1. I love that my Dad works amongst some of the smartest men and women in the science and engineering fields yet has never felt the need to question his faith. If anything it has only grown stronger- science does not need to be separate from God. He is such an awesome example of a strong man of God.

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My dad is a super talented astrophotographer (all astronomy pictures in this post are by my Dad)! When we started to come up with names we couldn’t get our minds off Orion, which is actually his favorite constellation. It was perfect!! It was everything we wanted in a name for our sweet little boy. Something to represent my Dad but also express the beauty of God’s creation and especially in creating this new life. Did you know that Orion is actually mentioned in the bible a handful of times? How cool is that? My favorite is…

He who made the Pleiades and Orion,
who turns midnight into dawn
and darkens day into night,
who calls for the waters of the sea
and pours them out over the face of the landβ€”
the Lord is his name.
Amos 5:8




orioncolor05^^M42/NGC1777 Emission/Reflection Nebula region in Orion (photo by my Dad)

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Untitled^^My Dad and his new grandson. All the heart eye emojis please!!

ic434color21RGB^^Horsehead and Flame Nebula Region in Orion (photo by my Dad)

m78LRGB03^^M78 Reflection Nebula region in Orion (photo by my Dad)

dome&family^^Oh boy! Look how cool I was in 8th grade!

observatory01^^Observatory in my parents backyard

Thanks for letting me gush on my Dad and my new baby boy for bit!
and thanks for all the love and congratulations- you guys are the best. THE BEST I TELL YA!!!
xoxox

4:30am Stream of Consciousness…

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Well it’s 4:30am and I’m up again for another “restless, I can’t sleep, get this baby out of me” kind of night. What better way to pass the time and take my mind off the fact that I am not sleeping and super uncomfortable then to sit at the computer when all is quiet and totally word dump into a post. I’m sure it’ll be random about all kinds of things going on. You ready? Alright, let’s do this…

1. Pregnancy. Oooooh if I am honest with you I do not like being pregnant. It’s a very real struggle for me. I know I need to keep things in perspective because there are millions of women struggling with loss and infertility and those totally trump silly feelings about actually being pregnant but the feelings are real nonetheless (if you are one of those women, I pray for you, I hear you, you are not unnoticed. If you want, please roll your eyes at this part and skip over. I totally get it). I think it’s the loss of control of your own body that really does me in. It’s very weird to feel like a stranger in your own body for so many months. The little person inside takes over and you’re left with weight gain you don’t want, sleepless nights, exhaustion, discomfort, weird appetite aversions, swollen everything and the handful or other super pleasant (not) side effects. I feel like I handled them all better with my other pregnancies but this time around it’s just been plain difficult. Is it age? Is it the fact that there are small children I am trying to keep up with? I don’t know but this pregnancy has been tough. At the beginning, I was really struggling with the weight gain. I know it’s so trivial but it was so frustrating to be eating so healthy, working out quite a lot and just keep seeing the weight come on. I’ve come to terms with it a bit. Excepting my body just needs the weight I guess. I don’t understand it but I am trusting it as best as I can. I am just not someone who gains like 20 pounds. I am at 37 pounds with 4.5 weeks to go. I am proud of my body and the work it has done, don’t get me wrong. Birthing a baby is quite a superhero feat but still. It can be difficult. Am I alone? Do you love being pregnant? Do you struggle? I have friends that love every glorious minute and I love that about them. There are moments I love but I am just really looking at the finish line.

2. It’s my birthday today! I am 33. Ahhh!!! I have so, so enjoyed being 30 so far. They’ve been my most favorite years so far but I will be honest and say 33 sounds quite legit as an adult. hahaha I still picture myself as a 24 year old. Yesterday especially, I was on the eve of my birthday, had kindergarten orientation, Rowan’s first soccer practice (that I pulled up to in our minivan), and had a midwife appointment for our 3rd baby. Ummm, hello? How did I get here?? Aren’t we still newly married, running around Hawaii without a care in the world? I LOVE everything about this stage of life. I really do, but it was one of those weird surreal moments like “what? this is just blowing my mind today”. Anyway, Happy Birthday to me!

3. Change, Change, Change. Our house feels a bit chaotic lately. I feel like we are lifting up the house, shaking it all around and waiting for it all to settle again. Nothing’s bad but there is a heck of a lot of transitions going on around here. I feel like everyone is feeling them too. Especially sweet, sensitive Rowan. Poor girl. 1. Finley is pretty much potty trained- but we’re still in the “we need to find a potty every 2 seconds when we go somewhere” phase. Bending down almost 36 weeks pregnant in every public restroom from Target to the gas station has been super fun. There is no room for being a germaphobe. Like literally no room… picture a toddler, a huge pregnant women and your above average size 4 year old all in a single stall together. Are you laughing yet? You should be. We are like a circus side show act everytime we walk into a bathroom 2. We’ve moved Finley from her crib and her room into Rowan’s room to share the bunk bed with her. Bedtime has been such a dream since. Sarcasm. 3. KINDERGARTEN!!! is starting on Wednesday (hold me). 4. This baby is coming soooooooon! 5. All September activities are starting up again (dance, gymnastics, Mom’s group, soccer, etc…) how does one keep up with all the schedules, emails, etc… I need a secretary for my life please.

4. Raise the roof (heck yes, I just said raise the roof) for time away with your husband. Kev and I just got back from 5 days away in Florida together. We were hoping to head up to Nova Scotia but decided for something more relaxing and laid back and just headed to my parents house down there on the coast. The girls went and spent some time with both are parents out in Massachusetts. We had such a wonderful time. We had no agenda, no plans, nothing. We read, we ate out a ton, we took naps, we lounged around, we went to the bookstore, we went to the beach, it was glorious! It’s always hard leaving your kids. I totally get it but I can not say how important it is enough to get some time away (every year if you can) with your spouse. It doesn’t have to be fancy or far away- just something. You realize once you’re there how much you missed just connecting with each other away from everything else. Of course there is lots of talk about the kids- it’s natural but then you start joking and talking about everything else you fell in love with over. So grateful for the time away. Boy, I sure love Kev. What a good man he is!

5. So I got this comment the other day on the Target/Stride Rite post along the lines of “how dare you pimp your children out for something you would never buy” sort of thing and it totally made me laugh. I don’t ever feel the need to justify what I do here on the blog. Maybe years ago I did, but not now. However this comment was just so funny to me I feel like I wanted to write a little something about it. Why are some people always so offended by a sponsored post? Out of all the stupid PR emails that hit my inbox, I rarely say yes to any of them. I chose very careful who I work with and who I don’t. Free stuff is very rarely worth my time and energy. I stated very clearly that it was a sponsored post. I wasn’t hiding it. I never in that post wrote that they were my personal favorite shoes or even cute for that matter (although I do think Rowan looks adorable in that post). I wrote very honestly. Were the shoes my taste? maybe not but they’re still very well made shoes and I accepted that sponsored post because I love my daughter. I knew Rowan would die over getting the chance to pick out her own shoes and get her very own post. I don’t force my kids to always wear everything that’s my taste just for blog pictures sake or for some fake image I want to keep up. Yes, they’re little and I still have a say but I love letting Rowan express herself. She has her very own opinions and thoughts on what she thinks looks good and that just happens to be pink and purple sparkly shoes. She put those shoes on and said she thought she could run faster than ever before and has worn them nonstop since. That’s what matters to me. The end (drops mic, walks off stage).

5. I finished the baby’s room! It’s so freakin’ cute. I can’t wait to share with you guys. I just want to make a few little stuffed animal things and then I’ll take some pictures and show you. It’s the cleanest, most put together room in our house right now and some days I just sit on the floor in there and take a few deep breathes away from all the crazy. hahahaha

6. I picked up my birth pool yesterday! Oh boy! Home birth #2 here we come!

7. I just want to say a big ol’ thank you to all you wonderful readers. Some are new and some are like old friends now reading since before Rowan was even born. Thanks for sticking around with me. It really means so much and your support and encouragement never goes unnoticed. I am so very grateful for all of you!

8. I’ve fizzled out. I think all my thoughts have been drained, I am feeling empty on what to say now… Here ends the random middle of the night post.

Outfits Above:
Black dress: Stitch Fix Maternity (similar)
Birks: Nordstorm
White Top: LOFT (on sale!! non maternity!)
Jeans: Stitch Fix Maternity (similar)
Sandals: H&M (similar)

Dating Your Kids and Favorite Rowan Things.

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Do you date your kids? Hahahah- that sounds kind of funny, but do you? Kev and I try to make it a point to go on dates with the girls. Life is busy and it doesn’t happen a ton but at least every month we try to go out with Rowan or Finley individually and then switch kids the next month. The girls love it! They always look forward to it- I also use it as a gauge as to how the girls are doing attention wise. I know if Rowan starts asking for it- it means she definitely needs the dedicated one and one time. Not that you can’t give that to them at home but this is just a little extra special. In the summer the New York City Ballet always comes to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center for a week of performances. It’s something I look forward to every year! I get so excited to bring Rowan but also to get to see Justin Peck’s newest ballet. Ooh it’s always so beautiful, I just love him! Anyway, Rowan is always more interested in getting dressed up and doing all the activities they have for the kids than seeing the actual ballet but that’s ok with me. She’s 4 right? I can’t expect her to sit the entire performance. On family nights at SPAC they have all kinds of fun things for the kids. They had some of the ballerinas (and male ballet dancer? he’s not called a ballerina is he?) come out and teach the kids some of the steps from the ballet and talk a little about how they got started in their careers. There was balloon animals, free ice cream, photo booth, instruments you could try playing, and lots more. It was a great night to spend with my sweet little Rowan.

I had a mini break down in the car the other day when I was driving. It totally hit me she is starting kindergarten in a few weeks. Ahhh!! It wasn’t so much the kindergarten that was making me cry- I mean she is just going for like 2.5 hours every morning- more the idea that this is the start of her not being with me most of the day, all year long for…like… ever (insert all the crying here). She has always been with me. My little buddy. My sidekick. Then all the sudden she is just gone for 18 years of her life. I know that is being dramatic but Waaaaa! It makes me feel so sad. Now don’t get me wrong, most days I am ready to ship her off somewhere (I kid, I kid) but even on the toughest of days I wouldn’t change her being with me. We are taking each year as it comes with school. We loved home schooling last year but we just felt like this year with the new baby coming maybe it wasn’t a good idea. Who knows though, maybe the school she is going to will be such a great fit we won’t home school anymore. I don’t know. It just feel like such a big change this year.

Rowan at 4 years 10 months:

1. calls funerals sad parties
2. loves to give run hugs
3. tries to put air quotes around words when she talks- hasn’t quite figured out the appropriate use but it sure is funny when she does it
4. jumped off high dive at the pool
5. only likes peanut butter on her sandwiches
6. comes up with the best, most creative drawings ever
7. everyday wants to be something new when she grows up (latest as of the last 3 days: zoo keeper, model, hockey player)
8. best big sister in the world
9. loves to retell the plot from movies to people who haven’t seen them yet. Current favorites… Big Hero 6 and the new Annie
10. belts out Tomorrow from Annie in the car when she thinks no one is looking
11. has a very particular, super nervous laugh she does when she is actually scared but trying to pretend it’s really fun (Like petting animals and swimming in the middle of the lake)
12. says underwhener instead of underwear
13. loves to come into our bed in the morning and fall back asleep cuddled up to me super close
14. LOVES and I mean LOOOOOOOVES to go out to eat. I think she suggests it about 2 times every day.
15. always wants someone to play with
16. learned to swim in 2 swim lessons
17. Rowan is super excitable. We’ve noticed when she is doing something especially fun for her she act this certain way that Kev and I call “captain papa”. We call it that because the first time we noticed it she was on my Dad’s boat in FL walking around shouting “Aye, Aye Captain Papa”. It’s this very sweet, over the top, making silly jokes, talking nonstop, everything makes her giggle in almost a fake kind of way sort of thing. I don’t even know how to describe it and I think it’s only something Kev and I would really pick up on but we love it to pieces and I also love the little inside joke Kev and I have about it now. What a doll she is!

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Hi, I'm Jen!

Welcome to my personal lifestyle blog. It features topics such as motherhood, family life, fashion, cooking, and all sorts of adventures. I hope you enjoy what you find!

Jen Loves Kev
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