June 23, 2017

New Baby Dew

Following up with my last post, the dreaded two week wait didn't end up being positive that month {conceiving in March}.  Unfortunately my lady visitor showed up which was okay because we had literally just started trying that month.  Seeing that negative test, however, made us realize how badly we did want to add another baby to our family.

In April we started trying, for real.  With the help of the Ovia app {not sponsored} we were
successful and on May 1st I got the faintest positive pregnancy test.  I couldn't believe my eyes.  I was in shock, didn't believe it so naturally I took another test and then another and another.  I think I ended up taking 5-7 tests that week, just to be sure ;-).

Telling our friends and family was super fun and we kind of let the news happen organically.  We bought the kids 'Big Sis' and 'Big Bro' tees and just had them wear them whenever we went to a gathering.  Some picked up on it right away, others it took a second.  I really wish I could have taken a video of all the reactions because some were truly shocked while others were more expecting of the news.  I loved telling people this way because the big kids got to be the stars and took some of the attention off me {fun fact: I get super awkward when I am the center of attention}.  Because of all the excitement they got when they wore those shirts, James ONLY wanted to wear his 'Big Bro' shirt for about a month straight.

So fast forward to today.  I am 11 weeks and almost out of the exhausting first trimester.  I am feeling pretty good/normal now but that hasn't been the case thus far.  Almost immediately after I peed on that stick I had a bump.  I started getting really bad headaches every day.  I was exhausted, more so than either time before.  Thankfully Kendall was still in school at that time and James still napped regularly so I was able to lay down and/or nap when I needed to.  Thankfully I've never experienced morning sickness but some days my headaches were so bad it did make me nauseous.

I've maintained my workouts thus far.  My normal routine is to get up and do yoga in the morning before I start my day.  Now that schools out for summer, and my kids seem to fight 24/7, I need something else {mid day} to keep me sane so I've been rotating through some of my old favorites on Beachbody On Demand.  There's also an Active Maternity series with Autumn Calabrese {creator of 21 Day Fix} that I am really enjoying.  Working out throughout a pregnancy is not something I've done in the past and I'm really happy with how much I've kept up with my routine so far.  I will say it's a whole new ballgame, working out in the first trimester.  I am out of breath so quickly, things are already feeling more difficult than they were just a few weeks ago, and I'm already following the modifier for my more challenging workouts.  I know once I hit the second trimester things will even out a bit but right now it's tough.

The kids and Jimmy are SO EXCITED.  The day or so after I told Jimmy the news I remember texting with him and I could feel the happiness radiating through his messages.  I think he's more excited this time than the previous two.  Kendall immediately wanted to start talking about baby names and bedroom arrangements.  The next day she went to school and told 9 friends and her teacher.  Every Thursday she gets so excited to read the weekly update and see what the size of the baby is.  It's so fun having a big kid to share it with this time around.  James, on the other hand, doesn't quite know what's going on.  He will tell you he's going to be a big bro {it's bro, not brother, he will correct you} and he says he wants it to be a boy.  When we talk about a baby in my belly he looks super confused and kind of goes on with his day.

So this baby will be our tie-breaker baby and I'm not sure if we'll find out the gender.  At first I didn't want to find out.  I thought we have one of each and wouldn't it be fun to wait until the end?  Jimmy does not agree that that would be fun, he thinks that is super stressful.  So I have a feeling we'll end up finding out and the more real this pregnancy has become the more I don't think I can wait to find out either.  The general consensus is "it's a girl".  I feel it, everyone who's given their input has said it and the Chinese gender chart says girl {it was right for my two other kids, ha!}.  So we'll see!

I've had two ultrasounds so far.  The first one was just a quick, let's ease your mind, ultrasound.  I was about 8 weeks and the baby just looked like a jellybean in there.  I had another one done this week at 10.5 weeks and it was amazing to see the difference in just two-ish weeks.  There were arms and legs and little eye sockets.  My doctors office now does 3D ultrasounds which was amazing to see this early on.  We took the kids and Kendall was mesmerized by the whole thing, it was really fun to share that with them.  I get another one in two weeks again {yay!} and then I think that's it until the big 20 week anatomy scan.

My due date is January 11 2018.  It still seems so weird to say '2018' because that's NEXT YEAR.  It also feels so weird to have a winter baby seeing as my other two are August babies.  I'm actually really excited about a winter baby!  It will be after the hustle and bustle of the holidays so we will have nothing on the schedule until spring time so we can just hunker down and snuggle in.  I'll have another c-section so the baby's birth day will probably be a few days sooner than that due date but so far he/she is measuring right on track with that date {within 2 days}.

I don't know how often I'll update on this pregnancy {my pregnancy updates with James were sporadic at best} but I want to keep some documentation for selfish reasons.  I want to take a second to thank everyone who has already congratulated us and wished us nothing but happiness so far.  Sharing the news was so exciting and it warms my heart to see how much love we have received.  Thank you, thank you, thank you and I hope you'll follow along on our adventure to a family of five!

June 22, 2017

Maybe Baby?

This post was written April 26 2016.

To be honest, I don't want to hear the "but you said you were one and done" comments.  I know what I said before I was a mom and I apologize.  Yes, I planned on only having one baby and then 2 years later my mind changed.  Then again, after James was born, I swore he was our last.  I even wrote a letter to myself reminding myself how awful and miserable I am when I'm pregnant to ensure it would never happen again.  But guess what?  You never know how your heart is going to change.  You grow up.  You learn a lot through motherhood and, dammit, sometimes you change your mind.

With that being said, I don't think our family is done growing.

There, I said it.

For the past few months it's been heavy on my heart.  I go back and forth over the idea, Jimmy too.  Some days we think the idea of a 3rd Dew drop sounds blissful while other days we think we've got it pretty good with the two we've got.  It is something, however, that is always on our mind and that we talk about regularly.

We've officially started trying last week, on a whim.  It was one of those "stop over-thinking it" and just see what happens type of things so now we wait.  Honestly I feel like I could be pregnant as I type this but, alas, we have the dreaded Two Week Wait.  I literally cannot believe I am even typing these words.

The thought of a third baby scares the shit out of me, truth be told.  Some days I don't feel like I'm a good enough mom to the two we already have so why on earth would we add another to the mix?  We will officially be outnumbered {assuming we do have another}.  Two kids will end up sharing a bedroom.  We have no more baby gear except a handful of toys and an expired infant car seat.  What are we thinking?

I've been feeling like our family isn't complete for quite a few months, actually.  I would venture to say I've had "baby fever" for a year or more at this point but I've let fear get the best of me.  Our friends recently had their 4th and whenever we are together with them {which is a lot} Jimmy holds the baby and looks at me with puppy dog eyes, "can we have another".  If that doesn't give a girl The Fever, I don't know what will.  The same is true for him.  He has wavered just as much as I have but recently he's really clung to the idea of another family member.

Jimmy comes from a big family, he's one of four boys, whereas I am an only child with a relatively small extended family.  I feel as though I am well adjusted, not a brat, and not spoiled so I think I turned out OK despite not having siblings. As I grow older, however, I have really learned the value of a big family.  I watch shows like Parenthood and This Is Us and see these siblings who lean on each other and have these incredible, albeit challenging, relationships.  I watch my husband have the same sort of connections with his brothers.  I see all of my extended in-law family and how fun {and funny} they are and I love spending the holidays with them.  I see the bond my own kids have and all of this makes my heart swell.  I am ready for one more.

The first two pregnancies happened pretty fast once we started trying and, while I was uncomfortable and crabby towards the end, I had pretty easy pregnancies as well.  I am approaching 35 {aka advanced maternal age} so that does leave me a little worried that this time won't happen as quickly.  I know that this is already mapped out for us and it's truly in God's hands so I rest knowing that whatever happens is what is meant to be.  I would be honored to love on another Dew baby, if we are so fortunate.  I think my big kids would love welcoming a little brother or sister and I know my husband would be the most excited.

Here's to the next chapter...

June 21, 2017

10 Things I Love About James

The other day I talked about my 10 things I love about Kendall and so it's only fair that I share the things I love about my second born today.

Even though I have raised them exactly the same and they are siblings, my kids couldn't be more opposite.  Where she is a total rule-follower, he is pushing the limits.  When she is more shy, he is more outgoing.  About the only thing my kids have in common is their green eyes.  So I'm excited to share the things I love about James today.

He is 3.5 {will be 4 in August} currently.  He will be entering his first year of preschool this fall and I couldn't be more excited; trust me when I say, he's ready.  He is the definition of a boy.  He's loud, tough, messy, silly, dangerous and full of energy.  He's also the sweetest boy and my snuggler.  He's starting to lose his babyness but he still has his big pillow cheeks that I kiss way too much.

The things I love about that boy are as follows:
  1. He is always randomly coming up to me and giving me love.  He will kiss me out of nowhere and hug my neck so tight I can't breathe.  He's the one that will come snuggle on the couch and lay with me in bed while he's waking up in the morning.  Such a sweet little guy.
  2. He's a little comedian.  I could write a book of the funny things this kid says and I have no idea where he gets it from.  He always makes us laugh and say, "how does he come up with these things?!".
  3. Right now he talks with a little lisp and I know we will want to correct it as he gets older but right now I think it's so cute!
  4. I love his imagination.  Kendall's never been a big imaginative play kind of kid so this is new to me.  James will take his little Lego guys and build them houses and pretend they are ninjas or Power Rangers.  I love watching him be creative.
  5. James has this little, super blonde patch on the back of his head.  His hair is starting to turn a little auburn as he gets older but there is one spot in the back that stays SUPER blonde.  I don't know if it's a birthmark or what but I hope it never goes away.
  6. He has no problem making friends.  He will walk up and start playing with kids twice his age and most of the time they are totally OK with it.  He can hang with them and while it makes me extremely nervous I also love that he has that confidence.
  7. I love his facial expressions.  When he's excited about something he bites his bottom lip and his eyes get really big.  He has a face for every emotion and will do them all on demand, anytime you ask.
  8. He LOVES his sissy.  He wants her to be included in all the things he does.  When school was still in session, multiple times a week he'd ask to go pick her up early because he missed her.  He still fights with her like crazy but at the end of the day it's nothing but love between those two.
  9. There's nothing he's afraid of.  He will climb the highest point at the playground, go down the biggest slides, jump from anything {including a houseboat last summer...}.  It scares me half to death but I gotta love that no fear attitude.
  10. I love that he still seems like my baby.  He may be almost four but he is still squishy and has those sweet baby cheeks.  He's starting to look more like a boy every day but he still has lots of babyness left in him.  I'll soak it up as long as I can.

May 1, 2017

10 Things I Love About Kendall

It's been a while since I've written any updates on my kiddos. It's been a while since I've written much of anything but we are in such an awesome phase of life right now.   Both kids are more independent as each day passes.  They've finally gotten to the ages where they will actually play together {something I never thought would happen}.  They love each other something fierce and I love watching their relationship.  With that being said I want to share some things I love about each one of them at this age {mainly so I never forget}.

Today we're starting with Kendall.  She is almost 7 {August} and is finishing up 1st grade.  She plays soccer in the fall and does Girl Scouts as her extracurricular activities.  She loves all animals and wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up.  She's the perfect combination of a girly girl and a tomboy.  She would prefer playing outside to playing dress-up.  She loves math and reading {chapter books especially}.  Her favorite color is green, favorite movie is Moana or the new Beauty and the Beast, favorite song is How Far It Goes {from Moana- any version}, favorite food is pizza and if you ask her who her best friend is she'll name of no less than ten people.  She's shaping up to be such a fun, cool, smart little girl and I'm going to try to narrow it down to just 10 reasons why I love her.

1.  Her personality is the type that everyone wants to be around.  Her teachers love her and since she was in preschool they have raved about how well-behaved she is.  When I drop her off at school I see kids running up and hugging her.  Even though she's a bit shy and reserved she's always getting invited to play/be included.  She's just got that infectious positivity that you are drawn to.

2.  She always gives 110%.  There have been many times where she's given a task to do and even though it's completed she keeps going.  Her teacher told me a story of them doing a writing assignment and Kendall had done what was required of her and even when all of the other kids were done she kept writing, putting in her finishing touches.  She is always striving to be better and give it her all {she gets it from her daddy}.

3.  She has a kind heart.  She's always thinking about others.  Like last week we were at a Girl Scouts meeting and she made James one of their treats to bring home for him.  She knew he'd like it and didn't want him feeling left out.  She does that kind of stuff all the time and it makes me feel like I'm doing something right with her.

4.  She's a good artist and loves to create.  I prayed that our kids would get Jimmy's artistic abilities and it looks like she has. She loves to color, draw, write, paint, you name it.  Crafting is her love language and its so fun to watch her imagination when she's making something.  I could dedicate an
entire room in our house just to display her artwork.

5.  Girlfriend has amazing hair!  I have been jealous of her perfect beachy waves for years now.  I constantly tell her that people pay good money to have a head of hair like hers.  She loves it too and hates to get even a trim and, for the most part, likes to wear it down.

6.  I love and admire how brave she is.  She isn't afraid of the things most kids are.  She went zip-lining when she was five with no hesitation.  She doesn't get grossed out by bugs.  She isn't afraid to play in the dirt/mud/sand and get dirty.  She is pretty much always up for anything and I hope she always stays that way.

7.  I could listen to her tell stories all day.  She is so animated and her facial expressions are simply the best.  When she tells a story, especially a more exciting one, she tells it with every ounce of her being.

8.  She is such a good listener, almost too much of a good listener at times ;-). When I tell her she can/can't do something until ______ she does just that.  She can remember conversations we had weeks, even months, ago because she's truly paying attention and listening.

9.  I love her green eyes.  She got them from my mom and my grandma and I love that she managed to get that over my brown or Jimmy's blue eyes.  Green is her favorite color so she absolutely loves having green eyes.  They totally change depending on the day or what she's wearing but there's no doubt that they're staying green.

10.  I love watching her think.  She will sometimes bite her bottom lip and other times she will have her eyes completely rolled back in her head.  Watching her brain work is one of my favorite things to observe.

As most moms could, I could go on for days about the reasons I love her but I'll narrow it down to these ten.  She caught a glimpse of me writing this and I saw her smile as she read the words on the screen.  I hope that one day when she's older she can come back to this and reread it and know just how much I love her.

April 21, 2017

Wonderfully Ordinary

I'm not always a fun mom. In fact I'm not more than I am. I do what's easy vs what's best. I don't cuddle or play with my kids enough. I have very little patience and get annoyed easily. I crave "me time" and get bent out of shape if that gets disrupted because someone can't sleep past 6 am.  I'm not saying this to be self deprecating or for head pats, these are true flaws of mine that have me doing some major reflecting these days.

Lately I'm feeling a pull into a more simplistic lifestyle. I even said to Jimmy, "I just want to be a 'normal' mom". I don't want to be the mom who's so interested in everyone else's lives she can't realize her own is pretty damn good. I want to look my kids in the eyes when they share stories with me. I want to stop worrying about the dishes in the sink and sit down and read a book with my family. I don't want to feel this need to constantly be involved with something (social media, business, blogging, extracurriculars, etc). I want to quit feeling like I constantly have to prove myself (to who?).  I want to be ordinary.

I feel like that word, ordinary, comes with a negative connotation. What's wrong with ordinary?

I've never been a competitive person. I've never had the desire to be/do more. I've always been fine with somewhere in the middle.  I don't have the drive most do and that's OK.  It's just my DNA.  While I believe we are put on this earth to make a difference I don't think that it has to come from a place of more.  What's the saying, sometimes less is more?  For me that couldn't be truer {that's a word, right?}.

I decided I need to pull back on aspects of my life that don't serve me in order to make time for what does.  I want to get back to basics.  Things that I put more effort into than I get out of it have to go.  My fitness coach business has nearly drained me of my motivation so I'm pulling back on that.  I've been dreading my workouts lately so I went back to my love, yoga, and have felt so much more empowered since.  I've been waking up at 5 am to ensure a good hour, hour and a  half, to myself to practice and I can't tell you how much that has changed my life.  My kids wake up to a mom who is fulfilled and pleasant to greet them every morning.  My kids have been more plugged into their tablets than their imaginations so those are gone.  For months Jimmy and I spent our alone time, after the kids are in bed, binge watching ________ but we've traded that for a glass of wine/whiskey on the deck actually having conversations.  Hell even our diets have changed to a more basic way of eating so much so that I'm thinking of starting my first garden.

I feel a little hippie dippy in a way but maybe wonderfully ordinary is a more appropriate term because I am far from a flower child.  I also know that this is a process and I'm not going to magically change overnight.  I can say, however, I've already seen a positive shift in our every day life.  This morning, for example, I was making breakfast, Kendall was reading a book, James was playing with his Power Rangers {always} and I had soft music on in the background-the sun was casting a yellow glow over he kitchen, it was beautiful.  I even sent Jimmy a text, "this morning has been so peaceful".

Kids pick up and respond to the vibe we give them so if we are stressed out, mad, yelling, crazy people {guilty as charged} they become stressed out, mad, yelling, crazy people.  Since I've been more calm with them the tantrums have been few and far between.  They notice that I'm not reacting in a hyper manner and that has made them realize that they don't need to do that in order to get my attention.  They have been more loving towards each other and the fighting has considerably decreased in frequency because I have been more compassionate towards them.  It's a total win/win situation.

I know it's the end of April but in a way it seems like the first of the year for me.  It's not easy to self reflect, especially when you don't like the reflection, but that's where growth comes from.  I feel like I have been renewed and my true New Years Resolution has finally been set in place.  An ordinary lifestyle is the life for me, wonderfully ordinary.

January 20, 2017

Life As A Hunters Wife 2016/17 Edition

Every year my Life As A Hunters Wife posts get more attention than anything else I write all year. Months after writing them I get comments from fellow hunters wives/girlfriends sharing their stories of being  hunting widow.  Some offer encouragement to others but most talk of the awful loneliness they feel from their significant other during hunting season.

I read each comment that comes through and some downright break my heart.  Stories of husbands not attending family functions, missing out on their child's milestones, choosing hunting over a date night, and the list goes on.  I think people get confused about my posts, and maybe that's my fault, but this is NOT the type of hunter my husband is.

Hunting is important to Jimmy the same as working out is important to me.  He loves it, he's good at it, he's passionate about it, and it brings him great joy.  However, he would NEVER miss out on family time to go hunting.  Not only would he never do it because he values family and friends above all else but I would never tolerate such selfishness.

I've learned a lot over the years of being a hunters wife.  I used to get angry and bitter and jealous.  I used to whine or roll my eyes anytime that he left the house before sunrise on a Saturday.  I remember crying on the couch one day when Jimmy got home from hunting and he asked me what was wrong and I couldn't even tell him.  I didn't know why I was crying but after a good heart-to-heart about it I realized it was jealousy.  I didn't have something of my own and I was jealous that Jimmy did.  He encouraged me to find something that I could pour myself into and be passionate about.

Now when he leaves to go hunting I kiss him and wish him good luck.  I pray for him to see a monster buck when he goes out.  The kids and I usually take that time to go visit my parents or have a doughnut breakfast date.  He's usually home by lunch time so then we do something together as a family.

I get lots of comments from friends and family members along the lines of, "I don't know how you do it! I wouldn't put up with that." It's really not a big deal and it's no different than husbands who golf every weekend over the summer or meet their buddies for a beer every Thursday after work.  It's not that big of a deal, honestly.  I think it sends a great message to the kids about patience and determination.  I could never hunt because I would sit out in the cold, on a tiny tree stand seat for one hour and if I didn't see anything I'd be done.  Nope, not for me.

Since I know a lot of "hunting widows" will stumble across this post at some point I want to offer you hope during hunting season.  Take this time to find something YOU really love.  Maybe it's a Soul Cycle class every Saturday morning or you learn a new hobby like crochet or meet a girlfriend for a coffee date.  If you have kids, make this time special where they get to do something with just you that they can look forward to.  Jimmy goes to South Dakota with his dad and brothers every year and that week I always let Kendall sleep in bed with me, something she really looks forward to.  And, above all else, communicate with your man!  Does he know how you feel?  Have you voiced your disapproval of him missing out on things that are important to you?

Hunting season doesn't have to be dreaded.  It can be a time for real growth both individually and as a couple.  Special memories can be made during this season.  If nothing else it can make you really appreciate the time you do spend together.  What's the saying?  Distance makes the heart grow fonder?  And, if nothing else, be thankful that hunting season is only a couple months long 😉.

January 9, 2017

My New Years Resolution

Happy New Year!

Seeing as we are a little over a week into the new year I thought maybe I should start thinking about my resolution/word of the year.  Most of you are probably thinking I should have come up with one by now, it's not like I didn't know this time of year was coming.  It's true, New Years was no surprise, I should have been prepared.

In my defense, I want this year to be GOOD.  I mean real good, ya feel?  I didn't want some arbitrary word that made me feel good in the moment but fizzled out come March {as most resolutions do}.  I also didn't want something generic like, "reduce debt" or "be a better mom" either.  I need more concrete things- a challenge, if you will. I do well with challenges, I've realized.

So this year I'm going to do a little less and a little more because there is more than one area I can improve on and I realize that.  I don't think that resolutions, or any goals, need to be narrowed down to one aspect of life, right?

In 2017 I will do/have/be/say/etc LESS

  • phone time
  • selfishness
  • complaining
  • "no"
  • comparing
  • critical {of myself and others}
  • spending
  • distractions
  • clutter
  • yelling
  • mindless/reality TV
  • empty promises
And I will do/have/be/say/etc MORE
  • reading
  • considerate
  • intentional
  • water
  • personal development 
  • praying
  • saving
  • writing
  • vacations
  • "yes"
  • self love
  • connecting
  • listening
  • inspiring
I think that about covers it 😉.  It looks like 2017 is going to be a good year full of simplifying, awareness, and love.  I think the overall theme, and if I had to pick a specific word for this year, is growth.  I want to come out of 2017 a completely different person than when I started it.

It all starts today.