dear little prince

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dear little prince,

we are days away from june. i suppose it is time to kick it into gear and wrap up your room, huh? okay. we are getting closer and closer and things are coming together nicely. i still have some art to hang and bits and bobs to display, and the curtains and rug will be placed soon. but, we are feeling good. we should have everything pretty much done by next weekend. after that, it will just be some bath stuff and a few last minute supplies…and then, we are ready for you! you have diapers and clothes in your drawers too. eep!

in case you need a reminder, we would prefer if you would stay put and keep growing until after june 15. i would feel more settled and that would put you at 39 weeks which is a solid arrival time if you decide to come a tad early.

we visited the midwife this week and i have officially booked out the remaining weekly appointments from now until your due date. sooooo…that’s kind of crazy. you are perfectly positioned and continue to be quite active and filled with attitude. you kicked the midwife a few times and kept moving away from the heart doppler. oh man. already spunky and opinionated. and they also said that i am definitely carrying you “compact”, but that you aren’t exactly teeny-tiny. they guessed that you are right around 6 pounds. and solid and strong, for sure. oh my goodness, i can’t wait to meet you and see what you look like and get to know you better.

okay, little man. we will keep getting things ready for you if you will get yourself ready for us. deal? keep getting bigger and doing those last bits of developing…and we will see you oh-so-soon!

all our love,

mama + papa + elinor

 

preggo comparison

some side-by-side shots to show the bump differences. elinor on the left and ridley on the right. hover over the image to see the pregnancy week.

 

i have tried to let this pregnancy experience stand on its own. be its own thing. but it is only natural to compare one experience to another. i didn’t want to bring any preconceived (ha, punny) notions into this pregnancy. i didn’t want to make myself crazy and obsessive or worried that this or that wasn’t like the other… and so far, so good. but, it has been fun to have a reference this time around. to look back through old blog posts and journal entries and see what was different and what was completely the same. and i do get a kick out of comparing bump shots. remembering what i felt like when that picture was taken. recalling what we were doing and where we were heading. and one thing’s for sure: i make just as many exaggerated expressions now as i did then.

in a lot of ways, this ridley gestation has been incredibly similar to my elinor gestation. not sure how i feel about the word “gestation” by the way. and yet, it has felt so different.

with elinor, i felt like from the moment i saw the + sign on the preggo stick, my body jumped into gear and got going. i immediately spread out and thickened up all over. i was just, bigger. my legs were thicker and my arms and my chest and face and everything. and elinor seemed to pack on her pounds toward the end of the second trimester (as did i) and then kind of chilled for the last couple of months. my bump didn’t do a whole lot of changing in those final weeks.

with ridley, i got more of a slow start. he stayed tucked in there for quite a few weeks. i mean, i could tell i was pregnant but there wasn’t a whole lot going on. my body stayed pretty much the same and then, pop! a tiny bump appeared. my pre-pregnancy clothes fit comfortably with little to no modification necessary. and then in the second trimester, my hips started to spread and the bump grew steadily. but it really hasn’t been until the last few weeks when i felt pregnant-pregnant. and these final weeks have brought a ton of change. he is growing like crazy. the bump definitely grows week to week (if not day to day). i think he has been saving up for a whizbang finish.

with elinor, everything was new and unfamiliar. i didn’t know if it was “just me” or if it was “just pregnancy”. this time, it has been fun to experience sensations and emotions that seem familiar to me.

i was a tad more emotional with elinor. perhaps because it was my first time around. i held things together pretty well but emotions were always there, ready to bubble over. i felt things more deeply than normal. i was more on the sensitive side. more tender and hormonal, i suppose. (thanks female baby growing hormones…estrogen, sheesh.) i remember crying over something totally ridiculous and irrational in the middle of the kitchen. that was fun for ben… the tears flowing from his usually stoic-composed-robot wife. kind of freaked him out a bit. with ridley, there hasn’t been any of that stuff. we’ll see how these final weeks treat me…

last time, i had a bit of melasma. if the sun hit my cheeks for even a moment, my beautiful brown “pregnancy mask” would appear. this time, nothing. but with ridley, i have a full linea nigra on my belly, starting above my bellybutton and extending below. with elinor, i only had a tiny line below my bellybutton. so, this old wives’ tale is definitely ringing true.

with elinor, all i wanted was cheese and dairy. and burgers, they were tasty too. and sushi. with ridley, i have wanted to keep it light and fresh. (or boring, as ben likes to say). the cheese/dairy has not been as prevalent this time around. yes, we have enjoyed our weekly bread nights (with plenty of cheese) and i have indulged with some ice cream and the occasional cheeseburger. BUT, it is not nearly as crazy. i suppose my chocolate obsession is stronger with ridley. so, there’s that! and i am looking forward to ben whipping up some pregnancy pasta, though. that is on the menu for this weekend and i am looking forward to diving into a big bowl of that.

i am so grateful that i have been able to experience pregnancy again. craziness and changes, notwithstanding. it is an honor to be used by God to grow a baby and bring a baby into this world. for me, it gives a deeper understanding of what it means to be an “earthen vessel” for the Lord. allowing Him to use this humble and frail and fallen and imperfect body to do miraculous things. being a willing participant in His work. letting Him mold and shape and fill and pour out and use for His glory and our good. Soli Deo Gloria!

happy birthday, dad!

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just a little snap from our joint birthday celebration with the family…

 

happy birthday, dad!

thank you for meditating on God’s Word. thank you for going to God in prayer. thank you for acting justly and loving kindness and walking humbly with your God. you continue to prove yourself an honorable son, an honest and diligent businessman, a dedicated friend, a kind neighbor, a protective and providing husband, and devoted father…and a doting grandfather.

thank you for seeking wisdom. for striving after God. for obeying. for showing perseverance and long-suffering. for extending grace and mercy. for pursuing holiness. for being forthright and true and loyal. for being agile and adaptable, and moldable by the Lord.

thank you for exhibiting strength of mind and heart and character. for being a man of God and wanting to create a legacy of faith for your family. thank you for your tenderness and boldness. for your generosity of spirit. for your optimism. for your playful spirit – that youthful vigor paired with sophisticated spectacles and a well-seasoned head of hair.

“blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. he is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. in all that he does, he prospers. // psalm 1:1-6

thank you for being an unwavering tree for us, one that is firmly planted and nourished by the life-giving heavenly waters. one that stands firm in spite of the winds of the world. one that is not swayed. one that is deeply rooted in Christ. i pray that you yield an abundance of fruit. that you stay green and vibrant and robust. that God prospers you greatly.

xo.

bébé numéro deux | 36 weeks

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progress & countdown: 36 weeks down & 28 days to go. 9 months pregnant! again, don’t get me started on the whole “pregnancy is nine months” business. i am 9 months now. and not finished yet, folks. 

baby size: the length of a head of romaine lettuce.

food & drink: trying to keep things healthy and light with room for fun meals out and splurges on the weekends and/or special occasions. my appetite is pretty mild throughout the day but by dinnertime i am ready to eat EVERYTHING. baby boy likes a hearty meal to finish his day. there has been lots of kombucha and green juices and fruit and veg. and dinner is whatever sounds tasty. bread and grains have been in heavy rotation. i suppose i am in “carb up” mode for labor. yup, we’ll call it that…

bump stuff: growing like mad. it sure feels like things have doubled in that area in the last few weeks. a solid ball of baby. and man, does he move and stretch like crazy. officially trying to bust his way out, i think. 

highs: seeing the belly grow as baby boy grows.

lows: feeling the belly grow.

new developments: baby is packing on the pounds at the rate of about an ounce a day! yup. i have noticed that. i seem to be greeted by a bigger bump every morning. this is the ridiculous part of pregnancy when the baby just takes over… he now weighs almost 6 pounds and is more than 18.5 inches long. baby is shedding most of the downy hair that covered his body as well as the vernix caseosa (the waxy substance that protects the skin during the nine month bath in amniotic fluid). baby swallows these substances along with other secretions, and they form a tar-like black substance called meconium, which baby passes in his first bowel movements. oh meconium diapers…i remember you well. lovely stuff indeed. at the end of this week, baby will be considered “early term”. and baby is in the head-down position, getting ready for birth!

meaningful moments & hormones & feelings: i am trying to re-read my baby books and re-read my infant elinor journal and make notes to myself as reminders. those early weeks are so hazy and wonderful and bizarre. i wonder how it will feel the second time around? better because i know a bit more about what to expect? not better because i know a bit more about what to expect? which parts will be the same and which will be completely unfamiliar territory? i can’t wait to see what this little guy has in store for us…

superficial stuff: i have been blessed with two healthy and happy and pleasant pregnancies so far. not much fuss. no complications. pretty uneventful. i have had things pretty smooth and easy in the preggo department. BUUUUUT, that doesn’t always go hand-in-hand with the feelings of “oh pregnancy…i want to pregnant forever…i just love what it does to me and what i feel…”. and i know some ladies really truly feel that way, which is a blessing all its own. do i think it is incredible the way God created the female body? YES. do i marvel at how my body grows a baby and changes and accommodates and then births and nourishes? ABSOLUTELY. however, by this point, i am also really looking forward to wrapping things up and moving out of the pregnancy phase and into the birth and newborn and postpartum phase. i remember feeling the exact same way during my pregnancy with elinor too. that last month, man. i know it is such an important month for baby but it makes mama crazy antsy. you know, like…get this show on the road! and not because i am miserable or sick or anything, just because my mentality does a major shift! i am looking forward to giving birth. i am SO excited to meet our little one. i am ready to shift from growing a baby to feeding a baby (breastfeeding junkie). and i am definitely ready to get into our new groove as a family AND get my groove back too. in spite of my best efforts to do everything i can to feel like “me'” during pregnancy, that last month feels a tad out of control. the bump is in charge. but i am going with it. i am embracing it. and i am definitely enjoying the experience because this might-be-could-be-quite-possibly-is my last. so i am trying to savor these final weeks. but hey, i am also ready to sleep on my belly and to have the option of wearing high-waisted pants again!

looking forward to: wearing high-waisted pants again. but seriously, i am looking forward to weekly appointments from here on out (well, i am kind of looking forward to that. i guess it passes the time…but, it seems excessive…but it does mean home stretch!). at this point, i am looking forward to meeting our little man!

a little bit of saturday

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this impromptu excursion to the farmers market brought to you by unseasonably glorious end-of-may-just-about-june weather. no joke, it was such a perfect morning. cool and breezy and sunny. not at all what i expect this late in the game. and so, before we tackled our to-do list and went about our day, we decided to wake elinor a tad earlier than her normal with the wonderful news of “we are going to the market and getting food”. amazing how quickly she popped out of bed…

off to gilbert farmers market for not only the best in local produce but some killer cold brew coffee and our very favorite food truck, uprooted kitchen (yes, again. yes, i am obsessed. and yes, the make breakfast…and it is crazy delish).

we grabbed some tasty iced coffee and strolled the grounds a bit. meeting puppies and bumping into familiar faces and ordering up ALL THE BREAKFAST.

we opted for two bowls filled with a kale salad with crisped sweet potato coins, as a base for the star of the dish: a fresh tempeh breakfast sandwich with avocado and arugula and caramelized onions on a house-baked (truck-baked?) gluten-free naan bun. aaaaaand we also grabbed some dessert because when it is gluten free and vegan, it means it is healthy and so, you go for it.

oh, and because it was the three-year anniversary for uprooted kitchen at the gilbert market (and also because elinor is irresistible and we get the hook-up because of her), we were each given mini peach thumbprint cookies (tiny and even cuter versions of the amazing ones we had at our wednesday night dinner, seen here) to nibble on while we waited for the food. so, that was not too shabby.

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see what i mean about elinor and her irresistibleness? her teeny topknot and those perfectly placed sunnies. she knows how to work it…

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and there’s the aforementioned tasty bowl of goodness. it was so good. in fact, i could really go for another one of those right about now…

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and after we had our fill of the market, we polished off the morning with final sips of coffee and my best friend, the trail mix cookie. nuts and seeds and almond butter and cacao nibs and chocolate. gosh, it is good. and since this was my second one this week (i won’t apologize) i am thinking i might need to start buying these babies in bulk. you never know when you will *need* one…

hurray for saturday. and hurray for a long weekend. happy memorial day, friends!