Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Pregnancy Update: 31 Weeks

I'm at the happy point in pregnancy where baby doesn't seem too far away, but yet I still feel like I have time to prepare.  I also, overall, feel pretty good.


Last weekend, Jacob and I took our third "babymoon." I'm happy we've kept up this tradition and highly recommend it!! We took advantage of a Southwest flight sale to DC and spent four days/three nights while my parents generously watched Jack and Cora! Everyone (big and small) had a great weekend.

I satisfied the need for some serious quiet and adult time. I love museums and I got my wish to just wander and take my time reading and learning at the Smithsonian's American and Natural History Museums, as well as the International Spy Museum. I was humbled by my pregnant body and how apparently some walking and a lot of standing can cause all kinds of sore muscles and body aches. Jacob took advantage of this and made afternoon solo treks to local breweries while I read, rested and recovered.  We ate a lot and even got to have a leisurely dinner with our friends Janet and Stevie, who moved to DC last summer.

Here are some pictures from each of our babymoons:
26 weeks pregnant with Jack: MIAMI

34 weeks pregnant with Jack: NATCHEZ (with baby #1, you can take two trips!)

32 weeks pregnant with Cora: GREENVILLE and ASHEVILLE

30 weeks pregnant with Luke: WASHINGTON, D.C.

Ahh, nice to be just the 2 (or 2.75) of us for a bit!


My personality type makes me a strong candidate for intense nesting. This go-round started post Christmas as I painstakingly put away every new item in a neat fashion, organizing along the way. I have a multi-page list of projects that seem worthwhile pre-baby, namely cleaning out cabinets, closets and drawers. These really are needed projects and I feel like they won't happen unless they get tackled now. I'm about halfway through and it's great to refind all manner of things we forgot we had! *Note, if you organize and clean your spice drawer, you'll realize you have three full jars of cinnamon.

Next comes the actual preparation for baby: washing Jack's baby clothes, preparing the nursery, etc.

Physically Speaking

My main complaint right now is interrupted sleep due to a baby riding low on my bladder. I'm up usually twice now to pee and it's a great reminder how interrupted REM cycles lead to low energy the next day!

I've had contractions in this pregnancy similar to those I had with Cora's pregnancy. They started at 19 weeks this time. They are less in number (generally 10ish a day) than what I had with her but they are stronger. They feel like the contractions I had the afternoon before she was born, the ones that clued me in to the fact she might actually be coming soon. When only having one here and there, it's not a big deal. I did have one day this week where they started coming regularly. I was going to call the midwife if they hadn't stopped by two hours, but they did stop right around that time. Contractions every 3-4 minutes for 2 hours, that will get you worried for a second!

The absolute best part of pregnancy is getting to watch the baby show every day. Luke always seems to wake up around 1:30 when I'm reading books to Jack and Cora pre-rest. This means they often get to feel or see him move. He moves a lot and makes my belly change shape. We've felt bones and feet, though it can be hard to figure out what we're feeling. His other active time is between 8-10 at night. It'll be interesting to see if we notice this same awake pattern in his first days with us.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Life Lately

December was so busy for our family, but in a great way.  I love the holidays and it has been fun with a now 5 and 2.5 year old to start bringing in our own family traditions.

There were daily holiday books under the tree thanks to a large collection of old/new Christmas/winter books from Jacob's and my childhoods + gifts Jack and Cora have received + secondhand books I've picked up.

Santa Mouse occasionally left presents tied to the tree.

Jack was the star (the actual star) in our church's Christmas pageant. Cora eagerly watched and has plans to be "an angel" next year. And Jack perked up for the rest of the month anytime one of "his" songs came on the radio.

We made and decorated cookies. This was something I loved doing growing up.  Now I wonder, did my parents put our cookies in their own special containers, so as to not actually ingest them?  That may sound horrible but if you'd seen our kids icing them, well...

Celebration in the Oaks

For the first time, we had our own Christmas (one day early) at our house.  Santa visited, the kids were excited and so cute in their little matching PJs, we had breakfast together, and lots of fun opening and playing with presents. 

Then we hit the road to go to Meemaw's house.  There was more fun with family, marred only by Cora getting sick and needing to go to Urgent Care on the 26th.

She then passed her bad cold to Jack.  And then both kids got ear infections to top things off.  But we are (nearly) recovered now and getting back into the swing of things and ready for 2015!

We sing the months of the year song in a special way over here and I think it's helped the kids order time and look ahead during the last few months toward what is to come.

January (point to Mommy as it's my birthday month)
March (point to belly - Luke's month) and
May, June (point to Cora), July and
August (point to Daddy)
September, October, November, and December (point to Jack)
Those are the 12 months of the year.

Whatever month it is we do another hand motion to indicate "now".  Well it's January and nearly halfway gone!  Time is passing!  30 weeks pregnant - this baby is 75% cooked!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

And he shall be called...

Our little baby boy has a name!  It was the first one to be tossed out after we found out we were having a boy and it quickly started to just feel right.

  • When you have Jacob, Courtney, Jack, and Cora, you have to think about whether the new baby needed to follow suit with similar letters...

  • When you are on baby number three, "fitting in" with the other two names is something to consider...

  • But in the end, it pretty much just has to sit right with Mama :)

Jack, Cora, and Luke
So, he shall be called "Baby Luke".  Full name, to be determined! 

  • L for Luke means our names are all Js, Cs, and Ls when you include our last name
  • Jack and Luke = perfect in my book!  And, along with Cora, all classic, 4 letter names!
  • Once Mama was on board with Baby Luke, well, the rest is history.

And this is how Cora (currently and perhaps forever known as "Towa") talks to her little baby brother:

Sunday, December 14, 2014

What you should NEVER say to a pregnant woman. Ever.

You've probably read posts like this before, but apparently not everyone has.  As a pregnant woman who seems to invite comments, let me say, it is NEVER appropriate to speculate on a woman's due date.  Chances are you will be wrong. 

I'm firmly convinced that most people don't know what a full-term, 40-week pregnant woman looks like.  Even if you've been one, apparently you can forget.  Here is a small sampling of what I heard in the last week (between 25 and 26 weeks pregnant.)

"Oh a New Year's baby!"  (only if you count mid-March as the new year)
"Looks like we're having a Christmas baby!"  (No. Not even close.)
"You look like you could go into labor any minute."  (Trust me, this is not what I'd be acting like if I were verging on labor.)
"Have you dropped or is it a boy?" (Can we please refrain from talking about things dropping in my pelvis?")

To the common "Not too much longer, eh?" I generally respond "It's longer than you might think."  Then I smile and walk away.  It's easier to be vague and let the comments roll off.  But depending on the wording, sometimes I end up answering "No, not due until March."  To which I heard this week:

"Well then it must be twins." 

Don't ever tell someone they look like they are having twins.  Why is it even necessary to write this?  Why would you TELL someone they look like they have two babies inside their belly? The few pregnant women who are indeed having twins will probably readily offer that information to you. A bystander doesn't need to "diagnose" twins!  I mean really!

Would you believe the below conversation really happened?

"Actually, I'm not due until March."
"Well then it must be twins."
"No, just one baby."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, I'm sure."
"I mean you're really sure?  They can check for that now, right?"

 That is just so wrong.
26 weeks with big sister Cora

Saturday, December 06, 2014

A Party in Pictures

It is awesome to celebrate someone you love with such nice people!  Today, we celebrated Jack's 5th birthday with his 5th park birthday party.

5 parties, 5 years, 5 different parks.  All in December in New Orleans with a track record of four great 60s/70s weather days and one cold, misty day.  Today was one of the beautiful weather days!

Our invite list has varied some, from mainly our own friends to expanding to friends we've made through our children, to now a large group of these friends + Jack's great Waldorf class community.

A look back:

1st Birthday - he's maintained the great appetite

2nd Birthday - a double ear infection didn't slow him down!

3rd Birthday - it's all fire, all the time - and the fire truck visits the party!

Probably my favorite Mommy-Jack picture of all time

4th Birthday - we started at the NOLA Fire Museum

Our one cold birthday party, but still so much fun thanks to our friends' bounce house!

5th Birthday - it's Officer Jack this year

This kid has some awesome friends and they all had a blast playing together

Jack requested kiwi on his cupcake

A visit from Officer White - he said Jack's party came up in roll call today!

A visit from Captain Hennessey and the Magazine Station's Engine #1

The only thing we forgot to bring was extra clothes for Cora. (Diaper blowout)  In 75 degree weather, it didn't matter!

Thursday, December 04, 2014


Well you know it's going to be a good day when the first thing you hear is...

"Mommy and Daddy - it's time for some birthday snuggles!" as the birthday boy runs into our room to jump into bed with us.

That about sums up Jack at five.  He's just a sweetheart.

I love celebrating this little guy.  His December 3rd birthday tends to fall at a crazy time as we typically travel for Thanksgiving and then come home to the rush of December, but we managed to pack a lot into this week, somewhat successfully (i.e. we (I) didn't get too tired and lose my temper too often).

Birthday eve had us out buying and decorating our Christmas tree, which the kids LOVED!

Birthday morning (post-snuggles) consisted of breakfast in bed and some presents.

Birthday school-day was a fun affair for Jack as he got to wear the birthday crown and cape, enjoyed birthday privileges (line leader and a special story), and got to bring in a special snack. We decided on yogurt with special toppings which Jack picked (kiwi, blackberries, pineapple, chocolate chips, and Craisins.)

Birthday afternoon was a Mommy-Jack affair as he accompanied me for the first time to a midwife appointment.  There, he got to measure my belly and hold the Doppler to hear baby's heartbeat.  Then we hand delivered birthday party invitations to the police and fire stations, hoping that some community heroes might be free this weekend to stop by Jack's birthday party.

Then some play time.  A few new toys make old toys more interesting.

Birthday dinner was pizza at church before choir practice.  Our church was offering pizza to anyone coming to choir or to help decorate for the holidays.  Jack loves his weekly choir practices and play time with friends, so this worked out great.  After sweetly telling a few people it was his birthday, he got a little amped and suddenly yelled out to some newcomers: "Say Happy Birthday to me!"  He's not perfect ;)

Birthday culmination was eating the kiwi-strawberry sorbet that Jacob and Jack had made together earlier and opening the final presents.

And wouldn't you know, Jack, who knew he wasn't actually five until sometime in the evening, called out from his bed "Am I 5 yet?" at exactly 8:38, the moment he was born.  So that got him some extra hugs and kisses.

We love this guy SO MUCH.  He's so smart, so loving, and such an interesting little fellow to spend our days with.

*The bandaid in all the pictures came from our book-loving little guy's excitement at the public library on Monday night, when he tripped and fell head first into the corner of the fish aquarium.  After a lot of blood and some super-caring assistance from our favorite librarian Ms. Jo, I managed to load both kids back into the stroller and walk home.  The cut didn't seem that deep, but since it was SMACK in the middle of his forehead, I wanted confirmation it didn't need some help to heal well, so I took Jack to Urgent Care where he got a good cleaning and a $25 bandaid :)