Hello October! Everyone’s favorite month. I love this time of year for so many reasons – the nostalgia and all the memories of soccer seasons past, the chilly weather, all the pumpkin spice flavors, the decoration, and of course, all the sweaters! This year will be so much more fun having a toddler to entertain. I’ve been thinking of my fall bucket list and have finally had the chance to put it all down on “paper”. Let’s see how many we can get to before Baby arrives!
1. Go to a pumpkin patch.
2. Decorate our front porch.
3. Complete a corn maze.
4. Find a new pumpkin recipe.
5. Make s’mores on a bonfire.
6. Find a super creative family Halloween costume.
What is Baby G up to? Baby G is trying to crawl out my belly button. I can feel a little booty pressing against the front of my belly pretty much all day. There’s lots of movement going on in there, and I’m starting to feel hiccups, which I remember vividly with Finn.
How am I feeling? I feel good overall. Normal aches and pains are settling in, and sleeping is getting difficult. However I’m in a much better mindset than I was a few weeks ago. I’m starting to nest a bit, which is always an overwhelming feeling since I feel like our house is perpetually unfinished.
What am I wearing? The rainiest summer on record has come to an end and has brought us the rainiest fall ever. I’ve been wearing as many dresses as possible in rotation without having to buy new clothes. I’m also at the point of a complete strip down as soon as I get home and putting on the most oversized shirt I can find on David’s side of the closet.
What am I craving/eating? Anything that won’t give me heartburn, which is everything.
What’s on my mind lately? When I was pregnant with Finn, I found myself envisioning him as a toddler and rarely thought of him as a newborn or about what that stage in life would bring. This time around I’m only focusing on the newborn stage and haven’t really envisioned Baby G any older than that. When I start to think about that timeframe, when Finn and Baby G will be playing together and interacting, I get so excited! I’m just nervous about the lack of sleep, the hormones and the drama with breastfeeding that are inevitable in the first few months postpartum.
What am I looking forward to? Chillier mornings. Finishing up Finn’s room and the nursery. Chili in the crockpot. Lots of pumpkin spice flavors. Pumpkin picking. Apple cider. New sweaters. I love fall.
Best moment of the week? Finn started at a new daycare on Monday. I was so nervous about his transition. Drop-offs are still tough, and they always have been. But when David and I picked him up on Monday he ran over to us with a big smile on his face. He is such a little lover. I can’t believe how much I love that little man.
It always seems to be the case in my life – whenever things start feeling normal, like we’ve got a good routine down, it’s then that change is most inevitable. It’s sort of a running joke between David and I. Maybe we get bored easily, maybe we self-sabotage, maybe we just like to keep things interesting. Regardless of the reason why, since the day we met, we haven’t sat still.
Within a year of dating, we moved in together, adoptedJuneau and we drove cross country to Albuquerque. We left after a few months and lived with my parents for a while in Upstate New York. We spent the next summer in Wilmington, North Carolina before going to Indianapolis for graduate school. We actually stayed put in Indy for two years, but while we were there, changed jobs/career fields several times. We left Indy after I abruptly lost my job (blessing in disguise) and spent the summer apart soul searching/job hunting. David started school and I accepted my current role and we moved to Charlottesville together. A few short months after that we got engaged, were married within the next six months and found out we were pregnant with Finn two months later. We welcomed Finn after nine months. David graduated and started a new job and we decided to buy a house. Before the ink was dry on the contract, we found out we were expecting baby number two and in eight short weeks we will be a family of four.Phew.
I remember feeling invigorated and inspired by this change when we were younger, but now that we are parents, change terrifies me. I like the routine we have now, but the reality of welcoming another baby into our lives is making me pause and wish time would slow down. Right now, Finn is on a pretty awesome schedule, and even on the most mundane days, David and I get a few hours of ‘us’ time every evening after Finn goes to bed. In the last few months, we’ve let the shock of being new parents subside, and have embraced our marriage even more. We’ve always agreed that our marriage comes first – because without the two of us on the same page, our family wouldn’t be able to function the way we want it to. I’ve put together a list of things that have helped us focus on one another, and will hopefully be our guiding light as we approach yet another change in our lives.
1. Be clear about your needs. It’s all about communication, plain and simple. There is never a more important time to be clear with your partner than after kids are in the picture. It’s easy to get distracted. It’s easy to get frustrated. It’s easy to blame one another for not reading the other’s mind. What’s difficult is being open and honest with one another. Get vulnerable. If there is one person on this planet that should accept you for who you are, warts and all, it’s your partner. The best way to do this is when things are calm, when you can be in the moment and as clear as possible.
After Finn was first born I rarely let myself get away for some me time. It started to wear on me and David and I had a conversation about it. It was one of the most honest conversations we’ve ever had and, funny enough, we were both feeling the same way. Now, we make sure each of us get some me time each week.
2. Give each other grace. I’ve certainly let frustration get the best of me over the last two and a half years, and the ugliness is usually directed toward David. I’m in no way proud of this, but I appreciate that David understands that my words are usually unfounded and driven by stress. He usually forgives me within a few minutes, and may tease me about it later on to make light of it. I can’t tell you how much this eases my guilt! Like I said, when you’re married and have children together, your partner is going to see some warts – and I appreciate that David can accept all of me.
3. Get intentional. There was a long stretch after Finn was born where it felt like we were just letting life happen to us. We barely got through the days, and looking back, that time feels like such a blur. We were pretty miserable human beings during that timeframe as well. As soon as we got intentional about Finn’s schedule, and about our schedule, life got a million times better.
We’ve adopted this principal into other aspects of our relationship as well – we felt like we weren’t having meaningful conversation, so we bought this devotional. We felt like we didn’t get enough time just the two of us, so we scheduled a date night each month. We felt like we weren’t saving enough money, so we set up a pretty awesome budget, stick to it, and then tease each other for being so mature! I was getting stressed out about my commute to daycare and work in the morning, so we switched Finn’s daycare to somewhere closer to home. As soon as we started taking control of our life, and being intentional about it, we’ve been on the same page with everything – and ultimately closer as a couple.
4. Create time for each other. This piggy-backs on the whole “get intentional” tip, but deserves it’s own mention. There is nothing more important to David and I than spending time together without Finn around. We love our family dates, but there is something much simpler, and nostalgic, about eating dinner without having to cut up a toddler’s meal first. We’ve been pretty good about going on one date each month, and I always wake up feeling so grateful the next morning. We spend our evenings together watching a show or just talking about our day. We eat dinner together every night, we even grocery shop together. The thing is, I kinda like being around my husband, so we make sure to even make the most mundane tasks a joint effort!
5. Lean into each other, rather than away. I honestly don’t know what I would do without David, and I am sure to let him know that. On those days that he travels or happens to be busy doing something, I count the minutes until his return. I am so grateful for his support and partnership – but even more, I’m grateful for someone to make me laugh, for someone to commiserate with, for another perspective and to have him experience all of this with me!
What are some advice you’d give to keeping marriage a priority after kids?
What is Baby G up to? Baby G is the size of a zucchini and weighing in around 3 pounds. Baby is moving so much, but still not as much as Finn did! I’m hoping this means a calm baby?! Baby is already in the head down position and kicking mama in the ribs pretty much every day. The heartbeat came in around 147 at my appointment last week.
How am I feeling? I’m feeling more like myself lately. The last month or so was rough, emotionally. My hormones were taking over and I either felt incredibly high or incredibly low. I’m feeling much more balanced as of today. My anxiety is still poking through a bit – mainly anxious about real life things like switching Finn’s daycare, labor and delivery, and introducing another member to our family. Oh, and the whole newborn, no sleep thing. Physically, my body is getting tired, but I’m hanging in. I really have enjoyed the physical growth part of pregnancy this time around. I haven’t been as hard on myself with the weight gain knowing that a year from now, I will have my body back as long as I put the work in!
What am I wearing? It’s starting to cool down slightly here, so I’m rotating some sweaters into my wardrobe. However, dresses are really all that fit me right now!
What am I craving/eating? Nothing too specific. I think I’m actually at that point where food just causes heartburn, so I’m not really interested in anything at all.
What’s on my mind lately? As I mentioned above, we are switching Finn’s daycare. He has been at the same place since I went back to work two years ago, but since moving, the drive is adding almost 2 hours to my day. We found a place closer to home, which will be nice for everyone, but I’m really stressed about how Finn will transition to a new school.
What am I looking forward to? Not quite looking forward to it, but Hurricane Florence is supposed to impact our area this weekend, so I’m anxious to just get through the worst of it. I know we will not get nearly the impact the coast will see, so I’m trying to stay positive.
Best moment of the week? My employer recently announced a change in the parental leave policy – 8 weeks, 100% pay. I’m ecstatic, but a little nervous how it will impact me since the change starts while I’m actually out on leave and not beforehand. Regardless, this is a necessary step!
It’s been a while since I’ve written a Life Lately post. These are my favorite types of posts to write – a recap of what my little family has been up to the last few weeks and months. I, like everyone else, cannot believe it’s already September! Life is flying by these days. I stare at Finn on a daily basis and wonder how he got so big! And don’t get me started on this pregnancy. It seems like the weeks are melting away and soon enough it’ll be D-Day!
Overall, we had a wonderful summer. We settled into our new house, took a great vacation, spent a lot of time together as a family and swam as much as we could. With the weather still in the 90s, it’s hard to embrace fall too much. However, I can’t wait to carve pumpkins and go to the corn maze with Finn this year!
We still have a ways to go as far as finishing our house, but I’ve come to peace with the fact that not everything is going to be done by the time Baby G comes. As long as the kids’ bedrooms are completed, I’ll be happy. We’ve made great strides in our living area and dining room. We have a couple small things to finish up there. The outside is at a much better place than it was at the beginning of the summer. We spend a lot of time outdoors and want to put a deck out back, but that’s something we will probably tackle in the spring.
The basement is the real problem spot at this point. Half of our basement is finished, but we have zero furniture for down there. We want this space to be our main living area, with the more formal area upstairs. However, we can’t quite wrap our heads around how we want to style it. We are taking our time and doing our research, but ideally I’d love to have this space completed by the time Baby G comes. With our bedrooms on the main level, I’d like somewhere to escape to where I know I won’t wake up Finn in the middle of the night.
This little boy is growing like a weed. I think he learns a new word every single day, and he will gladly talk your ear off! He is such a sweetheart. Right now he is really into trains, copying everything David does and Kung Fu Panda. He loves to read along with us with every book we read and has recently started to sing, too! He is so smart! I can’t believe how quickly kids pick things up. I’m holding onto every little moment I spend with Finn because I know when Baby G comes in a few months, things will be much different. I’m excited to watch him become a big brother, but I also want him to be my baby forever.
I’ve been toying with the idea of taking formal photography classes for years but always had an excuse. I finally signed up for a five week course at the local community college and I’m super proud of myself. I haven’t done anything for me in a long, long time and this is exactly what I need. Just so you know, I still had every excuse in the book (I’m pregnant, I don’t want to pay for it, I’m going to be awful at photography) but after some convincing that I’m still going to be pregnant and still not know anything about photography, that my work will actually pay for the classes, and that I’ll never know until I try, I decided to just do it. Here’s to hoping that I can fit in the desks with my belly!