Wednesday, June 29, 2016

All the feelings

So I took this picture and sent it to my family tonight and said "This is what I call "when you look as good as you feel"" - absolutely indicating the following:

A) It has already been a LONG week and somehow it's only Tuesday
B) I'm wondering how in the world this pregnancy has gone SO fast, but yet these last few weeks go SO slow.  Every dang time.
C) I just sat out at 4 year old t-ball in the mild 90 degree heat while attempting to make sure my almost 2 year old doesn't run into the street (she tried to), I don't lose my phone (thank goodness for Find your iPhone alerts) and my varicose veins don't explode from having to walk her around in the stroller to keep her in one place

Let's just say I took this picture and thought to myself immediately - "How in the world did Jimmy and I think it was a good idea to do again and to do it so soon?".  Because I look and feel like a crazy person these days.  No joke.

Work is crazytown (luckily I was able to get a few late nights in when we were staying at my parents house).  Our house still have our stuff everywhere from getting our cabinets and first floor repainted (which by the way...I'm in LOVE with!!).  And the nursery that everyone keeps asking me about?  Ha - this is what it currently looks like:

Baby shower gifts from my awesome work in the crib, painted and sealed (FINALLY) dresser with only half the handles - oh because I didn't measure the top ones - turns out they are closer together than the bottom ones, awesome, the ultimate glider that we love with all the bedding still in the packaging....and then there is the ladder.  Because there is still a vent that needs to be put back on.  Ignore the random Ikea tent - maybe that will get moved in the next 6 weeks?!

But guess what?!  I have no time, no energy, no drive to get it ready.  Because here's what I know being the third time around.  And why I called this post "all the feelings".

I know that right after I took this picture sweet baby in my stomach that I went upstairs and your dad was giving your brother and sister a bath like he always does these days.  They were playing so nice and when I popped in...your big sister Maddie screamed "MOMMY" and gave me the best smile ever.  I know that made my heart skip a beat knowing that she will be screaming your name soon.

As I brushed her hair and she brushed her teeth, I was thinking how it feels like I was just pregnant with her and it's not possible that she is almost 2 and going to be a big sister.  Then your brother, Charlie, he got out of the bath tub and I handed Maddie off to your dad and jumped into bed with Charlie while he brushed his teeth and then hopped in.

Charlie and I watched a little bit of super man, even though it was "super late" because we had the late t-ball game.  And then after we were done, he asked me if he could kiss my belly.  Because sweet baby, he's that kind of big brother - and you will love him.  And then we talked a bit - he told me about how he learned about museums today at school and how Van Gough cut off his ear (I swear - what the heck are they teaching these kids - hahaha!).  He told me his favorite part of t-ball tonight was hitting the ball and getting the medal for his courage.  Then he stopped and told me he was sorry for stepping on my finger earlier with his cleats (this is after I asked him to apologize and he refused to do so at the tie)...he remembered and felt bad.  We said our prayers and he prayed for you and rubbed my stomach.  And then he grabbed my neck with his little arms and told me that he loved me.  And I looked at him thinking how in the world it's almost been 4 years since he was in my stomach just like you are - and I had no idea all these things I could feel as a mom.  Not a clue until he came along.  And how I can't wait to meet you and feel the excitement and joy of hearing your cries and holding you for the first time.

So here's what I can promise you sweet baby of mine.  While your nursery might not be perfect, your clothes might not always match, your food will not always be organic, I'll likely "wipe" off your pacifier a few too many times...I can promise you that I will love you intensely and more than you will ever know.  I promise you when you want to snuggle, I'll be there to snuggle on or with.  When you ask me to stay in your bed for "one more minute" like your brother does, I'll do it and won't regret one second of it.  I'll laugh with you, tell you funny stories, play cars or dolls with you, eat your fake food that you insist on serving me and push you on the swing even when I don't want to.  I promise you that we will all love you so much.  Your dad said he's terrified if you are a girl because of the sassy pants Maddie is turning into - but if you are a baby girl, don't worry - you'll have him wrapped around your finger just like your big sister does (she'll teach you all the tricks).  Maddie is going to be your "mom" no matter what, I just know it.  While Charlie...well he will watch out for you always.  I even tried to "leave" Maddie at school the other day and walk out when she refused to walk out herself - and what did Charlie do?  He went back in to pull her out because he told me "he's not leaving without her".  So yeah, you're pretty lucky to have siblings like these two and a dad like you have.  We may be a bit goofy, but we can't wait to add you to our crew.

And don't worry - someday you'll be big enough to play t-ball.  But in the mean time, I want you to stay my sweet little baby for as long as you can.  Because time just flies and you'll grow up too fast.  I know that for sure.

So as each day passes and I feel you moving down and moving around - I keep getting more and more feelings about your arrival and cannot wait.  I also cannot believe how small baby clothes seem now :)  So bear with me as I remember how to be the infant mom again - how we learn together how to nurse and change diapers and I learn what each of your cries means.  You'll be here soon enough - and I promise my lack of planning and getting things "ready" for you is not because I'm not excited - it's because I'm spending time loving on your sweet siblings (and a little disciplining here and there, let's be honest) just like I'm going to love all over you.

And don't worry - I know you truly are the greatest blessing and every moment of physical miserableness is worth it - I have two other miracles to prove it!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

#BoyMom box swap revealed!

As if we didn't have enough took on, I couldn't help myself but to sign Charlie up for the blogger boy mom swap when I saw it on Sarah's blog.  Because really- who doesn't love a) getting mail and b) surprise mail/package at that!!!??

I was so very excited when I got the email that I was paired up with Stephanie from Run, Knit, Hitched blog. Why?! Well, she and her family also live in Kansas City (really we are right down the highway from each other) and I already "knew" her a bit through following her as a fellow KC blogger. 

She was on top of things and sent me over a great list of things that her son, Jack, is into, as well as a few fun ideas for things that she likes.  I, on the other hand, was a slacker in sending an email back to her with ideas for Charlie and me...but luckily, she knew my sister was getting married around when we were supposed to be doing all this so she was forgiving :)

Anyway- onto the fun reveal!  Side note- my dad has taken it on as his sole job to go get our mail every day at our house. He's the best and also uses it as an excuse to check on our contractor daily with progress reports sent via text to Jimmy and me.  So lucky for us, we had the package that went to our house, hand delivered by him to my parents.  I knew Charlie was going to be so excited!

I told him I had a surprise for him and that was it- he couldn't focus after that! So I took him over to my parents ottoman and we carefully used the scissors to cut open our fun package!

Stephanie had everything wrapped up so cute and designated "Charlie" and "Brittany" and even had a sweet note with KC Royals stickers!  Charlie pulled out the tissue wrapped stuff immediately!

Stephanie and Jack put lots of fun stuff in there for him- including a cup with a "4" on it for his upcoming birthday, some awesome Go Fish cards (sister has commandeered those already and slept with them multiple times- she's an interesting one!), and of course his favorite...GUM! She got him the kids sugar free orbit and it was a hit.

If you cannot see from the picture above, the big hit though? Ninjago Lego "thing". Worst boy mom because I'm not quite sure what it's called but let me tell you- this kid is obsessed with ninjas and anything he was SOOOO excited!  Wanted me to open it immediately and dump all the pieces out and build it for him.

But since Stephanie had put some other fun goodies for mom in the box too (which was so sweet!), I had Charlie open those too.  She got me the cutest little make up type bag that is the perfect size to throw in my purse...AND a gift certificate to try out Black Dog Coffee - which is a local place just down the street that has the best toast (or so I've heard)!  Stephanie had posted a picture of it on IG and I commented on it - so I loved the personal touch.  She's the sweetest!!! :) 

After all the goodies were opened, we dumped all the Legos out and mama got to building.  It was a cool thing that you can pull and it flew in the air.  Of course we had to go outside in Nana and Papa's backyard to do it over and over again.  It was (and still is a huge hit).

...if you cannot tell from his face :)  As for this little sister, Maddie still has the "4" cup and go fish cards in the play shopping cart that she pushes around my parents house (along with my cell phone most days...), but Charlie made sure to eat all the gum and share a bit.

Thank you, so much to Stephanie and Jack for such a fun surprise box and goodies.  Again, we just loved getting the mail to have something fun (and not junk or bills!).  And since we are so close - Stephanie and I are planning to get together at some point likely once the baby comes!

Thanks for hosting Liz, Sarah and Stephanie for hosting!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Father's Day - Love these dads!

Watching my husband become a dad and now almost 4 years into it, enhance his role and job of that with each day that passes and each kid that comes into our lives and calls him "dad" has honestly been one of the greatest joys.  When you meet someone at 19 years old, you obviously have no idea what kind of father they will be....but after getting to know Jimmy a bit, from the very beginning I had no doubt he would take on the role of fatherhood someday quite well.  And boy has he. 
I have loved watching him learn all of the more technical duties fatherhood brings - you know, how to change a diaper, calm a crying baby, calm a crying mama (SO true!), make a bottle, wash the bottle, wash pump parts, pack pump parts, pack diaper bags, and the list could go on and on.  But I have loved even more watching him grow emotionally as a person and dad with our two little ones.   Watching him hold each of them for the first time and slowly but surely fall in love all over again with our adorable little humans that were entrusted to us.  He has taken on the role of disciplinarian more than I have (let's be honest, it might be surprising, but I'm a complete softie) but knows just when he needs to bring on one of his famous playlists and just dance in the family room.  His hugs can fix boo-boos and his jokes can turn crying into laughter.  As Charlie is about ready to turn 4, it's even more fun to watch Jimmy interact with him - teaching him how to throw a ball, swing a bat, swing a golf club, swim, throw a football, kick a soccer ball, etc.  These were the things that Jimmy dreamed about since when we found out Charlie was a boy - so it's even more fun for me to watch him, as I know he's look forward to this for so long!  And miss Maddie.  Well, to say Jimmy was terrified when we found out Maddie was a girl is an understatement.  With four brothers, he told me he knew nothing about girls and was convinced she was going to look exactly like him, be 6 ft 5 in tall and never find a boyfriend (this was all in the sonogram room!!!).  Luckily for all of us, she might have a tall stature, but she's gorgeous and even more fun - she's got him completely wrapped around her finger.  He says he's terrified to have another girl (as we are not finding out what #3 is - only a few more weeks until we know!) mainly because of the attitude that Maddie already gives us all and her strong personality...but I think the truth is, he's not quite sure just how another sweet girl can win over his heart.  Because boy has she.  

No matter what though, Jimmy, in my eyes, is just the greatest dad.  He's just what our family needs and knows what to do to keep us all running.  And we love this guy so much!  

Jimmy with Charlie and Maddie in the hospital.  Seems hard to believe there is going to be a third one of these pictures in just a few weeks!!! (and no, his style doesn't change my friends - guessing he'll have a backwards hat on in #3 as well!)

While Jimmy is our immediate little family's shining star of a dad, Jimmy wouldn't be Jimmy without his own dad!  Red Carter is one of a kind and helped his wife to raise five wonderful boys that have grown into five amazing men.  I love hearing stories about Red when they were little and would go to the softball park to watch him play and then how he was their coach when they were older.  While I didn't know him when he was just a "dad", his role as "Pops" in the Carter family is one that he doesn't take lightly.  With 11 grandkids now, he stays busy watching them play and throwing his own dance parties at his house for the kids.  He encourages them and all of us through his faith and love for God and his family.  We are so very thankful for this guy!

And then there is my dad.  Oh man.  Too many things to say about this guy.  The first thing to say is that I'm so glad he's a fighter.  Looking back at this past year or so and his several battles with skin cancer and the grueling, unsightly treatments he went through with that, as well as find out he had aggressive prostate cancer and immediately knowing he just wanted to eliminate it because that was the best chance of survival, even with some of the not-so-fun things that could happen afterwords.  I'm so glad that he's strong and has a great attitude towards everything.  Never feeling sorry for himself and never letting anything stop him.  He's amazing and the most fun dad and Papa ever.  Tell him about a project you're thinking about?  Now that he's retired, he'll likely show up at your house the next Monday with a game plan and supplies in hand (so watch out what you wish for!).  He's amazing and we love him so so much!!  (not to mention he has welcomed all 4.5 of us with open arms into his house the last week and gotten up with Charlie pretty much every morning at 5:15AM to eat Rice Krispies with him....this guy!)

Happy Father's day to these three amazing men!!!!!   Life is so much better with you all in it!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Kicking off summer birthdays- Barb then and now!

Have I mentioned between Jimmy and I's family we have a TON of summer birthdays!!! Technically, depending on when you say summer actually started- our niece Kenlie and SIL, Shellie, probably kicked this off- they celebrated in May!! Kenlie had an amazing Paris party with her friends that Shellie threw and then Shellie turned the big 4-0 that we got to celebrate with her the Sunday before Memorial Day!

Then in June we have my mom (June 14), Maddie (July 4), Mike, one of Jimmy's brothers (July 9), baby carter #3 (due July 21 but actually date TBD), my dad (July 27), Charlie (July 31), Jimmy's dad (August 3), another brother, Tim (August 7), our new BIL, Casey (August 9), SIL, Lindsay (August 11), Jimmy's parents anniversary (August 23), our niece, Libbie (August 26) and then me (August 28). 

That's a whole lot of birthday-ing from mid-May until the end of August right?!?  But as my own is in August, I'm a fan of summer birthdays- next July will be nuts too (and likely every July to come) with our 3 kiddos all having birthdays!

Anyways, last year, my parents, sister and I were in London for my mom's 60th birthday- this year we are staying at her house for the week while the cabinets at ours get painted. So after kids were in bed (and my mom!), I had some fun hunting through old photos and snapping pictures on the wall of my mom, dad and our family and a few of her friends and family through the years.  I shared these on Facebook, but thought they were too fun not to share on my blog! I absolutely love looking at ones of my parents pre-kids too- anyone else? There are a few I found sprinkled in!!!!

So happy birthday, mom and looking forward to another fun year of adventure - you added another son to the family when Lyndsay got married a few weeks ago and adding another grandkid- so this next year is only going to get more exciting!

Cheers to summer birthday celebrations!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Only 6 weeks left!

How Far Along?   Here we are.  I was 34 weeks along last Thursday- so almost to the 5 week mark until due date.  how is that possible????  Where did this pregnancy go?  However I am SOOO excited to meet this little baby!

Size of Baby: about the size of an butternut squash (17.7 in and 4.63lbs - keep growing!!!!); my stomach is tight and as Charlie reminds me every night "your stomach is getting so big mom!!"

Gender: It's a SURPRISE - I seriously go back and forth in what I think it is! Lately I've been feeling boy but who knows.  Either boy or girl as long as they tell me "I love Mommy" like my baby girl did when I was putting her to bed tonight. Literally melt my heart. 

Weight Gain: getting BIG! Up I think about 30! I think I gained around 40 with my other two so right on track.  I've been working out about 3 mornings a week still with this one so I call that a win and am absolutely not focused on that scale!

Nursery: I have the dresser hardware in my possession.  I picked up an adorable side table from Target this weekend and Hillary showed me the must have touch lamp (now I just want to find it in navy!).  

I need to decide if I'm getting a decal or not...AND I really want to do a hanging peg board over the dresser/changing pad.  We struggled with where all the diaper stuff went with Maddie and I felt like the dresser was always cluttered.  And how awesome is this idea from Pinterest??

However, we were on project "pretty much move out of our first floor" last week after my sisters wedding because our cabinets are getting painted and all the wood and walls downstairs.  I thought we were crazy but since we had to get out of our house for awhile...I'm very thankful we decided to do it before baby because omg we have so much stuff!  But we are excited!


Jimmy- thank you so much for finding the crib hardware. 

Jimmy- please seal the painted dresser (I can't because the fumes are horrible!). 

Movement: loving feeling the movement- one of the things I just love about the end of pregnancy. So much.

Symptoms: when you're just so uncomfortable because your stomach is getting big and you gnaw on tums all day and you run out of breath walking up the stairs.  Oh jeez!!

Sleep:  can we go on vacation and just sleep? Haha. Our kids want to get to bed later and later because of summer! But getting to just lay down on my side makes me happy!

Cravings: Coke slushie from Casey's gas station.  Btw did I mention it's been like 100 degrees and so humid?!?

What I Miss: I did have my first non-alcoholic beer every thanks to my sister in law and it tasted so good!

Best Moment This (these) Week(s): I mean not to get al sentimental but seriously- I'm so thankful to be having another sweet baby and am just praying for their health and the health of my other two miracles.  This momma's heart can't wait to get even bigger.  Watching my sister get married made me very thankful for siblings and so happy that my two have each other just like she and I did for life.  And adding a third is such a blessing!

Panic Moment This Week:  when you realize that not only are you having a baby next month but your other 2 kids also have birthdays and you have nothing planned. Thank goodness I'm a fast decision maker :) done and done for birthday celebration plans in July for kid #1 and #2 - just waiting for when kid #3 will surprise us!

Looking Forward To:  Almost to the one month mark- I need to wrap up baby stuff and work stuff but really whenever the baby is ready to come, I'm game :)

Friday, June 10, 2016

Five new goods for baby #3

I took a nice little two week unanticipated blogging break!  Now I'm back.  With my sister's wedding, pure third trimester exhaustion at night, packing up pretty much our entire first floor and crazy time at work- haven't had any time to blog, which is always a bummer.  I've also not even had time to read people's blogs - so excuse me while I go back to some of my favorites and comment away!  But guess what?!? It's Friday and we don't have much going on this weekend so I'm ready for a break!

As July 21 is beginning to creep up on me...and baby #3 will be here in no time (6 weeks or less - WHAT?!!?!!?), I've been going through a mental list in my head of things that we actually need to buy.  Which, thankfully, is actually not much!!  (one definite perk of having a boy and girl already...having everyone two years the same month)

However, there are a few things I'm in need of.  Here is my short list:

1. Diaper Bag (backpack version for sure)
2. Camera for nursery
3. Nursing cover (combo)
4. New baby carrier
5. New breastpump through insurance

Mamas of multiple babies that already have a bunch of stuff - anything that I'm missing?

So since the list is is what I'm thinking for each of these.

1. Diaper Bag

I said I think I want a backpack.  This is not a necessity for sure (as my Vera Bradley one that I used with Maddie is still in AWESOME shape), but I need some empty hands with these three kids in I'm leaning towards a back pack one so I can be a little more hands/shoulder free (my experience is just that they get so heavy and when I wear on one shoulder it can hurt so bad after holding and carrying around a while).  So which one to choose?

The one I have featured here is the Petunia Pickle bottom one that everyone does seem to rave about - which I think would be great...except for the price point.  I'm guessing this one from Skip Hop would likely be just as good for half the price.  :)  So I'm guessing that is more what we will go with!

2. Camera/Baby Monitor for Nursery

Well, we have had this Motorola baby monitor for 4 years now.  Eek.  I've read lots of articles and reviews saying that most people aren't that lucky.  While it's not perfect (not the clearest picture, can't completely turn the sound off, not so good night vision), it has FOR SURE served its purpose over the last 4 years.  We bought a second camera when we had Maddie and again, it's worked fine.  We could just go out and drop another hundred or so and get a third camera and just scan through like we do now...but I'm worried about the monitor/old cameras might stop working.  We have had to replace the cords many time (Jimmy finds replacements on Amazon)...but since it's not my favorite thing, I've been researching the Nest cameras.  They are A LOT more expensive (well especially when it's X3 kids), but when we eventually stop stalking monitoring our kids, we can for sure put these awesome cameras to use elsewhere in the house - like the playroom, basement, main room, etc.    I have a neighbor that uses 3 in her house (one for her son's room, one for the playroom and then for their main room) and loves it so much.  The only downside I can see is (A) wifi connection - have to have it and hopefully people don't break in and (B) if you are using your iPhone/any device, you have to have the app to view up and can't do anything else.  So I couldn't, you know, scroll through IG and watch my kids at the same time.

Anyone have thoughts, suggestions on this?

3. Nursing cover

So have you seen this super fancy schmancy nursing cover + car seat cover + scarf + cart cover combo?  It's soooo awesome!  I think back to the first nursing cover I had with Charlie with the ring, etc. and love this one for all over coverage.  Plus the fact that you can wear it as a cute scarf and then put it on the car seat.  I love it so much!

4. Baby Carrier
More kids....less hands....increases the need for baby carrying.  We do have an Ergo from Maddie, which I loved but she was born just before the next generation one came out that you can wear them forward facing - so I'm dying to try this one out!

5. New breastpump

While, yes, I got one with both Maddie and Charlie, they both got LOTS of use.  Lots.  Ugh, the sound of the pump is already hunting me.  But after nursing Charlie for 14 months and pumping constantly at work and then with Maddie for 12 months (and dragging the pump to two different countries...), I love that insurance provides a free pump with each birth.  I love it.  Best benefit ever.  I'll likely get the same one because it worked great.  It was so nice last time to have 2 pumps also for one to keep at my house stationary and then one to take back and forth to work.  Amazing!  (PS When I worked at Hallmark with Charlie, the had hospital grade pumps in their mom's rooms!!  So awesome!)

Other things we will for sure need to buy new are some new bottle supplies.
We started out as a Dr. Brown's bottle family and so far, it's worked out well for us.  While I did buy a few new bottles for Maddie - we now have TONS of bottles and parts, but it was nice to just buy new nipples for I'll be going through all the bottle parts and making sure they are in good shape and likely by some new nipples for the bottles in different sizes.  Oh...and for sure a new bottle cleaning brush - those get GROSS with each kid.

Obvious things also...diapers, wipes and some new blankets (we love Aiden and Anias and Charlie still carries his arround in our house after he wakes up in the morning).  Pacifiers maybe too?  Charlie never took one and Maddie didn't at first but then did and it was awesome!

What else?  Any other revolutionary baby items that I need to know about that you recommend?  I feel like I researched everything so much with Charlie, just a bit with Maddie and with this baby it literally hasn't crossed my mind because we have so much baby stuff in the basement.

Also, I completely forgot to send in the hospital pre-registration form (OOPS), as when I got all the paperwork at my first doctor's appointment with this baby, I just threw it in our file cabinet.  Luckily, I was clearing all those out for our cabinet painting this week and found it!  I don't know what I was thinking!!  Oh dear!

Happy Friday and happy happy weekend - if you can drink, please drink a few cold ones for me :)

Linking up with:

Sept Farm | Oh hey Friday!
A. Liz Adventures | Five on Friday
Momfessionals | Friday Favorites