Tuesday, July 28, 2015

38 weeks. THIRTY.EIGHT.WEEKS.

38 is reeeeally close to 40, in case you didn't know. So let's squeeze one last update in here before this little girl arrives.


Due date: Drumroll please.....brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.....August 11! Surprised? Although I gotta tell you, I am crossing my fingers, toes, and especially legs that this baby does not come on August 11. My dear firstborn starts Kindergarten (wipe a tear!) on the 12th, so there's all kinds of Meet-the-Teacher/Orientation/First Day nonsense on the 10th-12th. And don't even make me think about the crazy emotions that would be involved if these two very emotional events happened within a day or two of each other. Shudder. 

Weight gain: Blegh. Right around 37 pounds. I'm definitely on track to gain more with this baby than any other. The good (?) news is I've been swelling a lot more this time than with my others, so let's chalk it up to swelling and say that it'll go away soon after delivery, mmmmkay? 

Baby size: Come on, baby tracker app! Don't let me down! Baby is the size of a....spaghetti squash! Yay for a food I've actually eaten! Even if I don't like it! Huzzah!

Sleep: Sleep has been kinda bad lately. Remember our old friend SPD? Well he is back with a vengeance and this time he's attacking in the night. It's weird to think that something like laying down could actually make something worse, but...wow. Rolling over in bed is pretty much equivalent to torture. It hurts something fierce. And it's just one of those super fun pregnancy things that you can't really do much about! So....awesome!

Aches/pains: See above. But also, my back has finally decided to join the party. And it hurts when I sit or stand for more than three minutes at a time. So, if you do the math, you'll notice that I can't stand, sit, or lie down without being in a good amount of pain. Seriously, though -- am I being punk'd?

Cravings: Not really much of anything. I'm trying to drown myself in water and it honestly takes away my appetite. I haven't really had any "Dallin jump out of bed and go get this NOW" sort of craving, but maybe I need to make that happen in the next few days because really, when else are you allowed to do that?

Baby prep: A new category for this last update, mostly because it's all I can think about nowadays. I've been able to get quite a bit done but it seems like there's always more to do. Mostly, though, I'd say we're ready to go. She certainly has enough clothes! And holycowguys, they're all so cute and little! 

Random: I'm still on that emotional roller coaster. I go from super excited and "I can do this!" to super freaked out and "WOW I CAN'T DO THIS" more often than I care to admit. 

Also, if I haven't mentioned this before, I've got the BEST teammate I could ask for in Dallin. He has been amazingly helpful with housework and kid stuff when he gets home. He lets me cry at him and he tells me I'm beautiful. He encourages me to eat ice cream on bad days and he reminds me to drink water and exercise because he knows how much I want to want to do those things. He's a superhero. For reals. I don't know what I'd do without him in my corner.

And I'd say that's a wrap! Stay tuned for a possibly sappy post about pregnancy, because I just have all the feelings lately. 

Thank you for being a friend!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Ever have one of those days...

...when you have the ambition but not the focus?

...when you have the to-do list that you just can't seem to get done?

...when all you can think about is getting your house ready for a new baby (#nesting) but you've been contracting every 5 minutes for a while now and it's just sucking the energy out of you?

...when your three-year-old tells you your bum is probably too big for the toilet?

...when you simultaneously feel ravenously hungry but also sick to your stomach (just enough that you can't think of anything that you actually want to eat)?

...when your feet and your hands are still swelling despite all the water you've been forcing yourself to drink (reminder: you hate drinking water)?

...when your kids yell for you until you waddle painfully come downstairs and all they wanted was for you to move the box of Cheerios? Like, just move it to the other side of the table?

...when you cry actual, streaming down your cheeks tears for all of the following reasons:

  • you ate the last piece of chocolate -- the LAST PIECE OF CHOCOLATE (other than the chocolate chips, but the chocolate chips just aren't cutting it lately)
  • you're too hot to wear a sweatshirt and a sweatshirt sounds incredibly comfortable
  • you finally settle on wearing a comfy Mickey Mouse shirt and it just makes you miss Disneyland so freaking much
  • you read "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" to your kids at bedtime and the line "Will there be enough room?" makes you think about how there can't possibly be enough room in your home, heart, or washing machine for another baby, and yet here she comes!
  • you have to pee. Again.
  • no reason at all. Seriously.
(Side confession: I have no idea how to punctuate any of the above. It's all one big question...but where does the question mark go? Let's put it here: ?. There.)

...when you see an Instagram post by a complete stranger whom you totally admire, and even though she's talking about hard stuff she's going through, it makes you feel like you could never possibly be that cool/successful/impactful?

...when the above sends you into a "What am I doing with my life?" sort of downward spiral, and the answer you come up with is "I'm having kids. I'm being a mom." and you know that that should make you feel better, but right now it just kind of doesn't? And then that makes you feel guilty?


This all sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? These are reasons to laugh/plan/rest/think/grow, not dissolve into a hopeless puddle with a nose that's too stuffed up to even blow properly.

Add to all this the fact that my big goal right now is positivity, and the whole thing becomes particularly laughable, because #fail. Or, to be slightly more positive about it, #failfortoday. 

I guess the thing is, some days are just like this. Some days just send your common sense packing and your hormones to the Tower of Terror and your kids to bed as early as possible.

But that day is over. That day was yesterday. Today, I had a cupcake for breakfast (bless you, Jenna). Today, I'm going to wear a dress and get my hair colored. And I'm buying some chocolate. And I'm going to try my hardest to drink a blasted gallon of water (20 oz down as I'm writing this!). And I'm going to exercise. And I'm going to hug my babies when they wake up, and plan on saying "I love you" to each of them, maybe more than once. And hopefully I'm going to take a minute to just sit and rest my hand on this beautiful belly and think about my little girl in there and about how, if I just calm down and think about it, there really is enough room for her everywhere. 

Yes, today will be one of those days.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Stitch Fix Maternity - July 2015

Whoa, another Stitch Fix already?!

I'm sure you know all about Stitch Fix by now. But here's a quick rundown of how it works:

{about stitch fix}

Stitch Fix is an online styling/shopping service. For a $20 fee, they send you five clothing or accessory pieces that a personal stylist has chosen just for you, based on your style profile, special notes to your stylist, and even your Pinterest boards. When you receive your box, you can choose to buy as many of the items as you want, and then return what you don't want in your return bag (postage is prepaid!). Your $20 styling fee applies to anything you purchase, and if you love everything, you get a 25% discount on your entire box!

So basically, it's a ton of fun. You can choose to receive just one box (no subscription required!), or you can subscribe to receive boxes every 2-3 weeks, monthly, every other month, or quarterly. Basically, when you need a fix, you can get one. That sounds weird, but whatever.

Stitch Fix also offers petite and maternity options now, and if you haven't heard, I'm pregnant. So yay!


{my maternity stitch fix - july 2015}

This is my fifth maternity Stitch Fix! (read about my others hereherehere, and here if you want. Quite the trip down memory lane! P.S. I ended up keeping the blue dolman top from last month, even though popular opinion favored the green. Sorry guys; I trust you...I just had to go with my gut!).

I was apprehensive about this box for a couple reasons. The first is that the arrival of this box kind of snuck up on me, and by the time I went to the Stitch Fix site to put in a monthly note for my stylist, the box was already in the works! So I didn't get to make any special requests. The other reason I was nervous is that I'm so close to the end of this pregnancy (5 WEEKS, PEOPLE. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.) and I'm hesitant to buy any new clothes at this point, whether maternity or not. The exception is good nursing tops...but I didn't get to put that in my note to my stylist (see point 1). So I feel like this box may be doomed to failure before it's even opened!

But let's decide that together, shall we? Without further ado, my July box:


Loveappella Maternity Augusta Maternity Dress ($68)

first impressions: Well, I'm a sucker for a striped dress! The biggest question marks here are (1) length and (2) how maternity-ish it looks (since the end is so near!)

on me:



thoughts: Well...that didn't go so well. It's not horrible...it's super soft and comfortable, and it's not terribly clingy. I don't think it looks too blatantly maternity, either. But...it's too short! If it was a couple inches longer, this would probably be a keeper. As it is, I can't walk around without showing too much leg (for my LDS garments, that is). RETURN. 


Mavi Freida Maternity Regular Length Jean ($98)

first impressions: Womp womp. Sorry, but the time to buy maternity jeans has passed. I needed these three boxes ago, but I don't need them now! 

thoughts: I tried on the pants anyway (no pics though, obviously), and I've gotta say: I might be in trouble with Stitch Fix when I actually need to buy jeans. Both of the pairs they've sent me -- even though I've returned both of them -- have fit well and have been high quality. Biggest complaint about these jeans in particular (in case any of you are looking for maternity jeans to request in a box), is that the panel was ridiculously big. I mean, my belly ain't no small thing nowadays, and I think this panel would have stretched over all three of my girls if I had wanted it to (if you know what I mean...). RETURN. 


Loveappella Maternity Shanna Lace Detail Maternity Knit Top ($48)

first impressions: Oh, hello shirt that is everything I love in life. Casual comfort with a touch of class? Navy blue? Sign me the heck up.

on me:




thoughts: Okay, this one might be a heartbreaker. I love love heart-eye emoji love the style of this shirt. But remember those garments I mentioned above? Well, this (unlined) lace would show off those things pretty darn obviously without an undershirt. (Side note: it would definitely show off anything other than a strapless bra, too, so keep that in mind). So I threw on an undershirt to see how that would look, and there's quite the gap there (see bottom pic), so it looks a little silly. And yeah, I tried an ivory undershirt also. It still looked silly. Also, this is technically a maternity shirt, complete with the tell-tale ruching at the bottom. But gosh dang it, I'd probably wear it anyway! It's the lace problem that is really holding me up here. UNDECIDED. 


Daniel Rainn Minal V-Neck 3/4 Sleeve Solid Blouse ($68)

first impressions: 3/4 sleeve is good: even though it's warm outside (#understatement), I'd still feel okay about wearing this on date nights or to church, and obviously once it cools down a bit. Buttons on front could be good for nursing! Also, pricey. 

on me:





thoughts: I feel like this shirt looks good from afar, and then you get up close and all you can see are the wrinkles and the occasional peek-a-boo inside my shirt from the buttons being just slightly too loose. Oh, and those buttons are NOT nursing friendly. They are little metal cone-shaped buttons, and they are very hard to unfasten and fasten. No bueno. But pretty color, eh? RETURN. 


Daniel Rainn Bilson Pleated Blouse ($68)

first impressions: The print is one of those vintage-y prints that you can't decide if it belongs in your grandma's closet (to stay) or on a wannabe-stylin' momma. Other than that, it looks cute!

on me:




thoughts: Yes, my biggest question mark here is the print. This top would actually work very well for nursing, since it has normal buttons down the front. It's also NOT a maternity top, so yay for that. The fabric is lightweight, but not super breathable, so it's probably either strictly a "night out" shirt or a "wait until Fall" shirt, both of which I'm okay with. So what do you think about the print? UNDECIDED.


{verdict}

I'm struggling a bit with this box. I think it was very much "my style." I mean, a comfy dress, dat navy/lace top, a pretty colored top with a little edge, comfy jeans, and a little femininity to balance it all out. That sounds like my wardrobe in a nutshell. But obviously, each piece had something holding me back from really falling in love. I think of all the pieces, the floral top is most likely to get good wear, but can I pull off the print?

And thus ends my relationship with Stitch Fix maternity! I'm thinking I'll request all non-maternity pieces for my next fix, since you know, the baby will probably get here before the box does! Think they have anything that's spit-up repellant? Or maybe scented, to cover up the fact that I won't have showered in 3-5 days, but who's counting?

Scented clothing. Brilliant. You heard it here first, folks!

Disclosure: Links to Stitch Fix are referral links that reward me if someone happens to sign up through them! Yay!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Trying new things: June 2015

Every time I write one of these, I want to start the post by saying "It's that time of the month again!"

And then I'm like..."Nope, can't say that. I'm pregnant!"

And then I'm like..."Dude, even if you weren't pregnant, you couldn't say that."

And then I'm like..."True."

And thus was born the most awkward blog post opening of all time.

But seriously, I do this every month. I have this weird love of trying new products, and I love talking about them! Especially if I end up loving them -- but also if I don't end up loving them, because then it'll save you a bad buy, right? Of course right.

So take a look at the things I tried in June. Hopefully my thoughts are helpful to someone out there!

(Oh, and just so you know, I'm not nearly cool enough to use affiliate links or receive free products to review. We're just friends here, talking about some cool shtuff!)


OxiClean White Revive Laundry Stain Remover 
We can get some pretty intense clothing stains around these parts. Parker alone has a tendency to get anything and everything on his clothes. 

I've tried a few different stain removing products, and most of them were pretty meh. They made some difference, but nothing huge, and the stains were usually still there. I also tried the dawn/baking soda/hydrogen peroxide concoction that so many people seem to swear by, and it faded the shirt terribly.

I originally tried this OxiClean product to use with my exclusively white loads to keep them from getting dingy (or, you know, dingy-er). And I'm happy with how it does that, honest. It also has a super clean, fresh smell that I kind of love (and most smells aren't my friends nowadays). But I decided to really put this to the test with this shirt of Parker's:


Guys, I don't even know what was on there. There's the obvious giant red splotches, but there's also brown smears at the bottom, and some weird bluish-black substance near the top. Oh, and did I mention that the shirt sat like this for literally weeks in my laundry room, waiting for me to tackle its stains? Yeah, this was a toughie. 

Except...it wasn't! Wanting to give the OxiClean its best chance, I soaked the shirt in it for about 4 hours. I used quite a bit of it (I threw some cleaning rags and towels in there so it wasn't a total waste of product and water), but I kept it in cold water since I didn't want the shirt to shrink. (Oh and I threw in one of these in case the red on the shirt decided to get rebellious). Well, after soaking and then washing normally...


  
Stains be gone! I honestly couldn't believe how well this worked. I got right up to the shirt and seriously cannot see a single trace of any of the various stains that plagued it previously. Not only that, but the red sleeves weren't faded at all. At all!

So obviously, I recommend this stuff. I got it at Walmart but have seen it at Target also. I'm sure it's pretty much everywhere. 


Next, let's talk about LUSH foot products -- Volcano foot mask, Stepping Stone foot scrub, and Fair Trade foot lotion.

My feet have been in baaaad shape lately. Tired, dry, rough, blegh. I don't get pedicures very often (ain't no-mama got time for that) and adding pregnancy into the mix certainly didn't help matters.

LUSH is kind of a love-hate thing for me. There are a couple products that I can't live without -- this shampoo and this face mask are regular buys -- but I've also tried a few things that I've found overpriced and not super effective. I also can't use their ever-popular bath bombs or bath melts because they tend to irritate my usually-not-sensitive skin.

The last time I went into a LUSH store to get a new face mask, I brought up my foot concerns to an employee and was immediately led to this line (their workers are super passionate about pretty much every product in the store. They will try like heck to upsell you and their passion actually makes them annoyingly good at it, darn them. Don't say I didn't warn you!). I ended up buying the smaller size of the Volcano foot mask ($13.50) and a Stepping Stone ($4.50), and I got a generous sample of the Fair Trade lotion (they are usually great about giving out samples, especially if you're buying something else!).

The verdicts:

 
The foot mask wasn't exactly easy or convenient to use (although my big belly might have had something to do with that). You're supposed to wrap your feet in plastic wrap immediately after applying to keep it from drying out super fast. Then you sit for several minutes while it works its magic. I'll also say that this is not a "a little goes a long way" type thing. It has a super thick, clay-like consistency that doesn't spread well. The small jar only last me for two uses. Despite the downsides, though, I'd definitely say it's an effective product. My feet felt tingly in the best way possible, and much smoother and more "refreshed." I also felt the effects for a while; much longer than even with a good pedicure.


I had high hopes for this little scrubber, especially since it was the cheapest of the bunch and potentially the best buy. But I'd say I was ultimately disappointed. It was difficult to use; it essentially dissolved the second you tried to use it. And it wasn't super "scrubby" once it dissolved, so it really didn't do much beyond leaving my bathtub looking like Elphaba had melted in there. Maybe if you used a brush or something to scrub this in, it would work better. I will say that I used some on my elbows and it left them actually feeling smoother. So maybe it will work on feet that aren't in as bad of shape as mine.


Go figure that my favorite of the three products would be the one that I didn't actually buy! I've got to go back for more of this stuff. It's cooling, softening, and has a nice consistency that is kind of whipped and light, although it sinks in well. You don't need very much; I'd imagine that the jar will last a while. It also smells yummy -- pepperminty with a tiny hint of chocolate. This is a good one, folks. My flip flop feet approve!

So if your feet need a little TLC, drop in to a LUSH store and try out a product or two. They will actually do in-store foot treatments, which might help you decide which products work best for you!


Lastly, for something a little different, is a podcast: Spawned.


I started listening to podcasts in earnest when I was pregnant with Parker, and I kind of love them now. Is it just an adult thing to love to listen to talk radio-esque things? I remember giving my dad a hard time about listening to talk radio, but podcasts are kind of the bomb. And they're totally different from lame talk radio, right? (crickets) I love that I can listen to them whenever (cleaning, working, driving, etc.) and that it feels like I'm doing something productive while I'm doing something else productive. #winwin

I have a few podcasts I listen to regularly, including this Disneyland podcast, this happiness podcast, and this motherhood podcast. This particular one, Spawned, is newer -- they're only about 4 episodes in -- but it's so fun and I already get excited when a new episode is released. 

The two hosts have a good energy and chemistry, and their attitude toward parenting is positive, but also just a little bit irreverent, which is totally my jam. They also talk about interesting topics that are a little more universally appealing than many of the other parenting podcasts I've listened to. 

I give this one two thumbs up. Give it a listen, eh?


So there are a few things that I discovered in June! Any of them spark your interest? Anything you've tried lately that you'd recommend? Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Stitch Fix Maternity - June 2015

As always, I was so excited to see that my Stitch Fix box was on its way once again!

Have you heard of Stitch Fix? Probably. But in case you haven't, here's how it works:

{about stitch fix}

Stitch Fix is an online styling/shopping service. For a $20 fee, they send you five clothing or accessory pieces that a personal stylist has chosen just for you, based on your style profile, special notes to your stylist, and even your Pinterest boards. When you receive your box, you can choose to buy as many of the items as you want, and then return what you don't want in your return bag (postage is prepaid!). Your $20 styling fee applies to anything you purchase, and if you love everything, you get a 25% discount on your entire box!

So basically, it's a ton of fun. You can choose to receive just one box (no subscription required!), or you can subscribe to receive boxes every 2-3 weeks, monthly, every other month, or quarterly. Basically, when you need a fix, you can get one. That sounds weird, but whatever.

Stitch Fix also offers petite and maternity options now, and if you haven't heard, I'm pregnant. So yay!


{my maternity stitch fix - june 2015}

This is my fourth maternity Stitch Fix (read about my others herehere, and here, if you want). In general, I've been keeping one or two things from my boxes, but I can't say I've had one that has really blown me away yet. Did that change this month? Well, read on, and you shall see...

Here's what my June box contained:


LA Made Maternity Brentford Maternity Knit Tank ($48)

first impressions: STITCH FIX: WHY DO YOU INSIST ON SENDING ME SLEEVELESS THINGS? I know it sounds weird, but I can ONLY wear sleeveless things when it's cooler outside because I have to layer them. And while it is only supposed to hit 109 tomorrow, I'm not sure that qualifies as cool enough for layering.

on me:






thoughts: If you couldn't tell from the photos, I'm not impressed. Not only is this preeetty much just a basic navy tank top that costs $50, but it also hangs funny below the bump. Oh and did I mention I have to layer it to wear it? RETURN. 


41Hawthorn Queensland Dolman Jersey Top ($48)

first impressions:  This is probably a result of all the gushing I did over the 41Hawthorn dolman top I got (and kept!) last month. I still love that shirt and wear it all.the.time. Two days this week, in fact. And this one -- what a pretty blue!

on me:






thoughts: I'm not gonna lie, I'm a sucker for blues and purples in clothes. I think they work well on me. And like the other top, this one will probably work well for nursing and will transition well into my post-baby wardrobe. I'm mostly sure that this is a keeper, but I'm slightly unsure because the dolman-ness of this top seems a bit extreme. Are the saggy underarms way too much? This one also lacks the exposed zipper in the back, which is my favorite feature on the other one. So, UNDECIDED.


Renee C Kira Printed Maxi Skirt ($58)

first impressions:  I have a hard time swallowing the price, since $25 printed maxis are in no short supply at Target. Also, doubleyou-tee-eff with the crazy prints? Stitch Fix loves a crazy-print maxi, that's for dang sure.

on me:





thoughts: Nothing special, and in fact oddly long. The print is just bad. This is one I just don't really like. RETURN.


Stitch Fix 3-Pack Maternity Cami ($44)

first impressions:  Dang it, I knew I'd get these eventually. It seems like every maternity subscription is bound to get them, at some point. I don't want these. 

on me:

Ummm...honestly, I didn't even try these on.


thoughts: I know not trying something on is like, breaking the cardinal rule of Stitch Fix-ing, but I really just didn't want these! I have no use for them. They feel like perfectly good camis and are actually buttery soft, but even if they were made from actual butter, I wouldn't want them. (Probably.) RETURN.


LA Made Maternity Welling V-Neck Maternity Knit Top ($48)

first impressions: Nice color, nice length. Not much else. 

on me:




thoughts: Nice color, nice length. Not much else. Ha. Apparently my first impression was right on the money with this one. There is a lot to like about it. The color really is pretty, and the fit is fine. I also like the fabric -- it's lightweight, but not see-through. It's also kind of a super light sweater material that would transition great into fall. But it's also rather plain and unexciting. I guess that leaves room to add accessories and stuff, though? I just don't know. UNDECIDED. 




{verdict}

I think of all the boxes I've received, this one has been the most disappointing. Mostly because it was so far off from what I put in my note to my stylist. I've heard that being frank and specific with your stylist is what really makes Stitch Fix successful, but that just didn't work here. My note mentioned a solid white tee, other tops that would transition to after baby, and maybe a sheer floral kimono. So...yeah, not quite. It honestly makes me wonder if their options for maternity clothes are still super limited, you know? I'm thinking I'll keep one of the tops I liked, since my styling fee will apply toward it. Probably not going to pay full price for the other one, though. 

And that's it for my June maternity Stitch Fix review. Any thoughts on which top I should keep?

Disclosure: Links to Stitch Fix are referral links that get me a reward if you're so inclined to sign up through them. You guys are da best! 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

31 weeks

Obviously, a post at 30 weeks would have made more sense, since 30 is like, an even number or something.

But I like to keep you guys guessing. We have to keep this relationship exciting, you know?

And so, while you'll never know how my pregnancy was going at 30 weeks, you do get to know all about how Little Miss and I are doing at 31 weeks. Special!


Due date: August 11! I've never had a due date change with any of my babies, so I guess I shouldn't start now.

Weight gain: When I went to the doctor a week ago, I'd gained 20 pounds. So...maybe a little more than that? I could walk the 20 steps to my bathroom and weigh myself... but, you know, walking.

Baby size: My handy dandy tracker app says that baby girl is now the size of not one, not two, but FOUR navel oranges. I'm honestly slightly confused by this one. Are these navel oranges lined up end to end? Set up two by two? Morphed together into one giant super navel orange? This kinda sorta tells me nothing.

Sleep: I occasionally have a hard time falling asleep (I've been getting the restless leg thing going on recently and yikes!) and I still wake up at least once to pee...but I barely even notice it nowadays because peeing is my life.

Aches/pains: Thankfully, mercifully, my SPD-like symptoms haven't been bothering my lately (throw the salt! Knock the wood! Do all the things!). But I do groan basically every time I stand up, as gravity attacks. I'm also getting the occasional jab of round ligament pain, which usually is bad enough to leave me a bit breathless. Ooh, and the Braxton Hicks have started in earnest. That's always fun.

Cravings: Same as before. Although, it's hard to call those things "cravings" now. It's more like they've made their way into my standard food rotation. I can't really think of anything new that I've seriously craved. 

Random: As if you couldn't tell from the above picture, I'm super crazy ultra tired. I look it and I feel it and it's just rough. Everything just exhausts me. I've been waaaay worse at exercise lately, which probably has something to do with it. 

I'm also an emotional mess. About everything. I cried when I watched this video of a hypothetical race between Secretariat and American Pharoah. I mean, I've never watched a horse race in my life. Horse racing isn't even on my radar. But you guys! So many dreams coming true! (I think...)

Finally, I've been feeling so much anxiety lately. Thinking about all the ways this baby is going to change my life just overwhelms me. I've felt this way, to some extent, before each of my other kids was born, but this time is much worse. I'm still wrapping my head around what I'm truly afraid of and what I'm not ready for, but hopefully I'm able to at least start to address those issues before Baby Girl arrives in 9 (!!!) weeks or so. 

Happy Wednesday, people. Hope it's a good one!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Seeing Maddy See Me

Late last Friday night, my girls were coming home from visiting Dallin's parents in Dallas. They'd been gone for eleven days (the original plan was eight, but the weather in Dallas had other plans).

Their flight was scheduled to land at 1:29 AM, and I had to go pick them up. I decided to just stay up rather than go to bed and wake up. (I mean, really, who likes waking up?) Dallin was away on a scout campout, so I had to get Parker out of bed and loaded into the car. I thought he'd sleep the whole way, but he was actually wide awake and jabbering the whole time. I didn't mind. I was excited.

The girls had been a little disappointed when their original flight home was cancelled. They'd done pretty well on the trip, and they were definitely well cared for, but they are three and five...they were a little homesick. And while I had definitely enjoyed a bit of a mommy break (we even left Parker with my mom for a few days and got a little babymoon to San Diego out of it), I was ready to see my girls.

I pulled up to the airport around 1:30 AM. Being, you know, the middle of the night, I ignored the "No parking at any time" signs and just parked by the curb to wait. After ten or fifteen minutes of knee-bouncing anticipation, I saw my mother-in-law walk out of the airport, carrying a sleeping Charly and pushing an awake Maddy in an umbrella stroller.

I wasn't going to cry. Honest. Even when I saw them, I didn't feel like crying. I was just happy they'd made it and excited to see them.

But then, Maddy saw me.

I know she was tired, and my sweet girl gets super emotional when she's tired...but the emotions on her face when she saw me....I just don't want to forget them.

Her eyes got wide and she looked like she was trying so hard to be excited. She held her arms out towards me. She got the beginnings of a big, open-mouthed smile on her face, but I could tell a sob was right on the edge of it. And then, right before I pulled her into a long awaited hug, she mouthed the word "Mama!" and broke down.

And so, of course, I did too.

She gave me a real, honest to goodness, I-could-hold-on-to-you-forever kind of hug that I'm not sure I've ever gotten from her before. My heart was beating out of my chest, and streaming down my face, and wrapped up in my arms, all at once.

The truth is, I think a lot about how much I love my kids. I worry about them, pray for them, dress and feed them, hurt with them, and try to teach them right from wrong. I want them to be happy and successful and fulfilled and good, because of how much I love them. And as long as I remember to stop and think in the midst of the chaos that is everyday life, or if I happen to have some precious, quiet moment with one of them at some point in the day, it's easy to remember why I put myself through the struggle that is motherhood. It's because I love these little people of mine. I love them like crazy.

But seeing Maddy see me at the airport reminded me of something: they love me like crazy, too. They love me and want me and need me. I'm their mama, and I'm special to them in a way that no one else is.

To be loved in this way is empowering. It really is. It makes me care a little less about what other people think of me. It makes me not only want to be a great mom, it makes me feel like I could really do it. I could be that. In my kids' eyes, I am that.

They don't see my failures and shortcomings  -- the stupid things I say, the talents I don't have, the patience I lose way too often. They see the tickle fights and the songs before bed and the times we play restaurant at lunch. They ask me questions because they think I'm smart. They play with my makeup and clothes because they think I'm pretty. They cry for me when they're hurt because I make them feel better. Me. Can you believe it? Can you believe how lucky I am?

 At some point during my hug with Maddy at the airport, I opened my eyes and actually made eye contact with a stranger walking by. He smiled a bit as he observed our special moment, and I tried as hard as I could to give him a look back that said, "I don't know you, but I hope you have this."

And to you, reading this. I hope you have it, too. Maybe not from a child, maybe not yet. But from somewhere, I hope you feel loved like this. And I hope you cherish it.

And I hope that, from now on, I'll remember to cherish it a little more.