December 31, 2016

Old Fashion Photo Dump

There were so many things I had planned to blog about. We had a great Thanksgiving, I was thrown a surprise baby shower, Taylor and I did a lot of fun things together before baby's arrival, and, most recently, Christmas. But to be honest, I'd rather enjoy time with my family instead of going back and blogging about all of that. Andrew has been on his winter break from grad school since the 9th and it has been so nice having him home to help with Taylor and the new baby. Next week is our last week with him around until it's back to that grad school grind. So instead of blogging, I'm going to get back to my little family and leave you with a good ole' fashion photo dump. 

^Thanksgiving dinner in Boulder City.^

^He somehow acquired someone else's cupcake and I just let him eat it like a good parent.^ 

^Our last family picture as three. Thanks Mimi for snapping these (and the first two pictures).^

^This was one of the many days we were plagued with sickness.^

^Taylor loves chips and salsa.^

^We enjoyed the Mesa Temple Lights with friends and I ran into both Jen and Brooke.^

^I took Taylor to see Santa and ride the carousel at Bass Pro Shop. Literally no reaction to Santa.^

^Taylor is thinking about becoming a fashion blogger.^

^Christmas was extra special this year with a new baby.^

^It was fun to see Taylor actually understand opening presents. He loved unwrapping things.^

^Olive is becoming more and more alert each day. We just love her so.^

It being New Years Eve (plus looking back on some of the pictures from the last year for this photo dump), I keep thinking about how blessed our family has been in 2016. Being a family of four is absolutely wonderful. I'm enjoying every second of it (even the diaper blow-outs and sleepless nights). I can't wait to see what 2017 has in store for us.

December 22, 2016

Olive: A Birth Story

My due date was 12/11/2016. The day passed without any signs of a baby. I was okay with that because my birthday was the next day. I told Andrew if I shared a birthday with my daughter, the two of us would be having a girls trip to Disneyland to celebrate every year. Unfortunately, she didn't come on my birthday either. The next day came and I started to have some real contractions in the morning, but nothing consistent and nothing very strong. That evening the contractions started to pick up again so I decided to go to bed early in case labor really kicked in. I woke up sporadically throughout the night to random contractions, but was always able to go right back to sleep.

At 4 am on 12/14/2016, I woke up to a particularly strong contraction. I decided to stay awake and start timing. They were regular and getting stronger, but I wasn't sure if they were quite close enough or quite strong enough yet. At 6 am, I woke up Andrew so we could start getting everything together. We still had to drop off Taylor with his grandparents and I didn't want to run out of time if things picked up.

We got to the hospital and I was checked in slowly. I mean painfully slow. I don't think the lady at check-in was aware that I was in labor. It was around 7 am when I was finally allowed into triage. I was terrified that I wasn't progressing or far enough along. I did not want to be sent home. A nurse checked me and I was at... 8 centimeters! I couldn't believe it. My contractions were completely different this time around than they were with Taylor. I remember shaking and crying through contractions with Taylor at only 6 cm (that's when I called for the epidural). Here I was at 8 cm, maintaining my composure. Yes, the contractions were painful, but I was able to breathe through them and then immediately snap back into a happy conversation once it was over. I guess that's why I was so unaware of how far into labor I was - I expected it to be the same as it was with Taylor. The nurse was astounded and quickly told me I would be wheeled into my delivery room (they were afraid my water would break and the baby would come sliding out if I walked).


I made sure that it was known that I wanted an epidural before it was too late and I was hooked up with the magical drugs by 8 am. Again, the epidural experience was completely different this time around. I think with Taylor, I was so focused on the contractions that I didn't feel any part of the epidural process. Since I was able to handle contractions a lot better during this labor, I felt every part of the various epidural needles. It was not enjoyable, but worth it once it kicked in.


Once I was nice and comfy, Andrew and I were both able to get a nap in. My nurse checked me again and I hadn't really changed much so it was decided that I would start pitocin. This was about 10:45 and I immediately started feeling the contractions pick up (not the pain, just the feeling of them happening). At this point my water was still intake, so the doctor that was currently in the hospital came in to break it. As soon as that happened I knew it was go time, but my doctor wasn't quite to the hospital yet. The urge to push wasn't too strong so I was able to relax until Dr. T got there around 12:15. Everything was prepped and I got ready to push. This baby was ready to come because it only took a few strong pushes and Olive was out. Just like our last delivery, Dr. T let Andrew pull baby out and set her on my chest. 

It was 12:46 when I saw my perfect Olive for the first time. She looks just like her big brother did as a newborn. Unlike her brother though who just cooed when he entered the world, Olive decided to let us know she was here by screaming. I enjoyed skin-to-skin time while getting stitched up. (Following in the footsteps of her older brother, Olive made her own episiotomy on the way out. Thanks kids!) She was weighed (7lbs 7oz) and measured (20 inches) and passed her newborn screening test. In all regards, she's perfect and we're in love. 


Taylor has taken quite a liking to her as well which we are so grateful for. He always wants to check on baby sister, points out her nose and toes, and gives her fist bumps. Being a family of four is wonderful.

December 15, 2016

Introducing Olive Blake Snow

She kept us waiting for 3 extra days, but she was so worth it. Born on 12/14/16 at 12:46 pm. Olive weighed in at 7lbs 7oz, 20 inches long, and is absolutely perfect in every way.


November 30, 2016

38 Week Bumpdate

We just got back from Thanksgiving in Nevada with all of Andrew's family. My doctor was a little worried about me traveling while full-term, but I successfully made the trip without going into labor. 

It was a great time and I'm so glad we went, but staying in a house full of small children is a breeding ground for germs. As soon as we got home, I got hit hard with one of the worst colds I've had in years. I've lost my voice, my sinus pressure is ridiculous, and I'm coughing up a storm. This would be my third time getting sick in the past four weeks. I think I suddenly became so sickly because I was thinking about how lucky I was that I haven't caught any bugs in so long. Curse you positive thoughts.

via Let Me See You Sparkle at 28 weeks.


The only upside was that Taylor seemed to have avoided the most recent plague. That is until last night. He started coughing around 10:30pm and couldn't seem to stop. He coughed so hard he started to throw up (all over me). So we sat in the bathtub until he calmed down. Once he was cleaned up, he seemed a little better, but still couldn't sleep with all his congestion and coughing. So I decided I would sleep with him sitting up in our big comfy chair. Horrible idea. I probably got about 3 hours of sleep last night which does not sit well with this sick pregnant lady. Poor little Taylor though, this is his fourth cold in four weeks. And now it looks like Andrew is coming down with our hacking cough which is not good timing since he has finals next week. Our house is a plague zone, don't come over.

Now with all that complaining over, I thought I'd do what most likely will be my last bumpdate. As much as I want baby girl here, I'm glad I haven't gone into labor yet. I really want to kick this cold before she gets here.

via Let Me See You Sparkle at 28 weeks.

How far along? 38.5 weeks. Baby is the size of: a ukele. She is most likely at her full birth weight and height. Maternity clothes? I have about three shirts I can wear that comfortably cover my bump. All others I have to continually tug down to cover my ever-growing belly. Sleep? Sleep is okay. Just very frequent bathroom visits with how low this baby is. Movement? Movement from baby is starting to hurt. She thinks her foot can comfortably kick through my uterus wall. Sorry to break it to you darling, but that's not the way you'll be exiting. Weight gain? I've gained about 25-30 pounds this pregnancy although it could be more. I haven't kept track very diligently. Belly button in or out? My belly button kind of just gets flat-ish? A little bit out I guess since you do notice it through my shirt. Stretch marks? None that I can see. But there's a lot of me that I can't see anymore. Haha. Happy or moody? Very happy that it's the Christmas season and that baby will be making her appearance any day now. Looking forward to: getting this little human out of me and getting to see her perfect little face for the first time. Also being able to bend over without feeling like my insides are exploding Doctor report? 4 weeks ago, my doctor checked me and I was 1 cm dilated, 50% effaced, and baby's head was at -1. Dr. T told me I could expect the baby any day. Except that the next week I was the same. And the next week. And, can you believe it, I was the same when I went in yesterday. My doctor told me that as soon as I start contractions I can go to 10 cm very quickly, but he's still surprised that I haven't progressed more (I'm surprised playing a round of bowling last week did absolutely nothing, because it sure felt like that baby was about to fall out). My doctor said we can go ahead and strip my membranes next week if I wanted to speed things along. Depending on how long this sickness lasts, I might do that.

How was your Thanksgiving?
Have you ever had your membranes stripped?
Any tried and true methods to get over a cold while pregnant?

November 28, 2016

25 Days of Christmas: Book Advent Calendar

*This post contains affiliate links. Click here to learn more.*

(I originally posted this last year, but I think it's such a great tradition, I thought I'd share it again this year.)

Ever since I found out I was pregnant, I've been counting down the days until I could share the holiday magic with my little one. Taylor is still a bit too young to understand what's going on, but I can be excited enough for the both of us this year. Since we're still a new little family, Andrew and I have been trying to think up traditions to start.

When I saw a tradition that involved a countdown to Christmas with books I knew it would be part of our family's celebrations. Instead of an advent calendar (or in addition to if you want to go all out), how about unwrapping a new holiday book each day leading up to Christmas. Books are some of my favorite things in the world. Andrew has to constantly remind me that our baby doesn't need more books (I beg to differ). This is the perfect excuse to purchase some more (or use books you already have) (or you can borrow from the library, wrap them up, and then return them after you're finished).

I have a loooong list of books I want. I've put those plus a few others I've rounded up below so you can be inspired for your 25 books of Christmas.


Classic Stories


Did I miss any books that are a must at your house? 
I'll keep updating the list as I find more.

November 18, 2016

A Letter To My First Born

My Dear First Born,

You, poor thing, have had a lingering cough that keeps you up at night. Usually you handle it just fine, but around one this morning you were a little upset after a coughing spell. I decided it would be best for me to check on you and bring you some water. You refused the water and simply wanted me to hold you. I sat with you in our rocking chair far longer than necessary. You took advantage and fell asleep on me. I couldn't help but notice how much you seemed like a newborn again (albeit a very large newborn). Your head was tucked under my chin. Your legs were bent into the frog position. Your little hands were clenching and unclenching involuntarily. And I felt you get heavier and heavier as you slipped deeper into sleep. That has always been one of my favorite feelings in the world - the weight of a sleeping babe on my chest. Eventually I knew I should put you back into your crib. When I stood up, your eyes fluttered opened and looked at me. I stood and bounced you back to sleep. Do you know how long it's been since I was able to bounce you back to sleep? It works great on 6 month olds, but not so well with 19 month toddlers. Yet tonight, you allowed me one last baby moment with you. One last time for me to bounce my sole baby to sleep.

Soon your baby sister will join us and you will have to be a kind and understanding toddler who shares your mama. I hope you don't think I love you any less when I have to divide my time and attention. And I hope you know that we will always have a special bond because you made me into a mama.

via
As I laid you down in your crib, you didn't roll into a new position or readjust yourself like usual. You simply stayed asleep right where I put you, as if you were still my swaddled newborn. I stayed a little longer and stared at your peaceful sleeping face. This over-quoted book popped into my head as I slipped out into the hall: "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always. As long as I'm living, my baby you'll be." 

Thanks you for being my baby one last night. I'll try not to take it as an omen that baby sister will be joining us in the next 24 hours.

November 9, 2016

Fall Maternity Style

*This post is sponsored by JORD watches, but that doesn't affect my love for these gorgeous wood watches.*

As a pregnant woman, I always enjoy reading maternity fashion posts on other blogs. I tend to like the layered look when it comes to dressing the bump. The problem is that I live on the surface of the sun and there's only a small window of time to achieve that style here. If I were to describe my everyday maternity look, I would say it usually involves my husband's shirts and basketball shorts, and trying not to sweat to death. But then I received a gorgeous wood watch in the mail, and it inspired me to actually get dressed.


So I said gosh darn it to the weather and went to a holiday boutique in a layered maternity outfit. The weather was under 90 degrees so I guess I'll call that a win for fall. My friend Hannah came with me to shop and she agreed to take a million photos of me posing awkwardly so I could get a few decent ones to show off my put-together self.


The shirt I'm wearing is my favorite maternity shirt ever. It's from H&M, but seems to be currently out of stock (here's a similar option). My skinny jeans are from PinkBlush and are available here in a different color. My burgundy flats and striped cardigan were picked up from the clearance rack at Target. I love wearing cardigans open over a t-shirt while pregnant. When the weather allows it, you better believe that I'm wearing a cardigan of some sort.

Let's talk about that watch though (which you can find here). 

JORD sells the most gorgeous wood watches for men and women. Yep, wood watches. I love how unique and timeless they are, plus I think it really completes my outfit and helps me look more put together. I'm not the best when it comes to accessorizing, but when I see this beautiful watch, I automatically want to put it on.


Lucky for you, JORD has a giveaway for a $75 e-gift code going on right now (and you get a $20 e-gift code emailed straight to you just for entering) so you can get your very own wood watch (or as a great Christmas gift for someone else)! Go here to enter! The contest will run until 12/4/16 and the codes will expire on 2/28/2017.


What's your favorite fall look?
Does your style change when you're pregnant?
Do you own a JORD wood watch?

November 7, 2016

Taylor Update

I stopped doing monthly Taylor updates when he turned one. I thought I better do at least one more focused solely on Taylor before baby girl comes in and rocks his world.

I have successfully turned Taylor into a book worm. It is the cutest thing to see him sitting in his rocking chair pretending to read his books by himself. There are some disadvantages of creating a book worm though. Namely, reading the same book over and over and over again. He has a few that he never tires of, but I may have a different opinion. I'm planning on doing a post on all our favorite children's books so be on the lookout for that (this is his current favorite).


Taylor is really starting to become talkative. Mostly babbles and nonsense exclamations, but some words are starting to become more regular. His most common words are: yes, no, please, this, car, vroom, book, mom, dad, go, airplane, buh-bye, water, again, outside, boat, cracker, ball, uh-oh, shark, and balloon (some of these are probably only discernible by me). His very first word he ever said was "tickle". 

Taylor loves cars and points out every single one we pass (which is quite often on the freeway).


He also loves animals. I got him this giant (and beautiful) book and within a week, he learned a plethora of animal noises. The ones he has down pat are: dog, cat, duck, tiger/lion, shark, monkey, snake, cow, bird, horse, fish, elephant, pig, rooster, wolf, and owl.

He is a dancing fool and his current jam is Justin Timberlake's "Can't Stop The Feeling".


Taylor is now 19 months as of the third, but at his 18 month appointment he was 34 inches long (93rd percentile) and weighed almost 26 pounds (83rd percentile). He has 11 teeth with more on their way.


I'm so glad I get to be home with this happy, silly, and loving boy every day. I'm excited to see him become a big brother and I'm crossing my fingers he'll love having a baby sister.

November 3, 2016

The Not So Fun Side Of Childbirth

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WhatsInYourBabyBag #CollectiveBias

Let's be real; there's nothing glamorous about labor. Is it empowering? Yes. Is it worth it? Totally. But glamorous? Not so much. I don't think I was really prepared for the whole recovery that comes after birthing a human. If you've pushed a baby out of your nether regions, you know what I'm referring to. I'm talking about tearing (and the stitches that come with that), endless bleeding, hemorrhoids, that darn breastfeeding curve, and wearing those flattering mesh panties as you hobble around to care for your newborn. No amount of research could have prepared me for all that comes with the birth of a child. Thank goodness for cute tiny babies, or no one would go through childbirth.


Thankfully, I've done it once; so I'm a little more aware of what to expect. They say each labor and subsequent recovery period is a bit different, but I feel I'm much more prepared nonetheless. I shared how I'm preparing for baby #2 already, but this post is more on how I'm going to make my postpartum recovery more bearable this time around (and hopefully that will mean bouncing back quicker).

A suggestion I give to everyone is steal from the hospital. No, don't literally steal medical supplies or equipment. What I'm referring to is the fact that they will provide you with some basic items that you will need and you can take them home without feeling bad. This includes the giant mesh panties and maxi pads. Those things are amazing, even if they look awful. If there is a pack of them in your room, put them in your bag to take home. They are way better than wearing a basic pad in regular old underwear when you are bleeding heavily for the next two-four weeks or so. Along with the mesh panties, the hospital provided me with a squirt bottle (called a peribottle) to fill with warm water for cleaning downstairs (again, glamorous), some numbing foam that helps with swelling and discomfort, witch hazel pads, a donut pillow to sit on, and Dermoplast which is a pain relieving spray. You can request things like nipple shields, nipple cream, which you will need if you're breastfeeding, and things as simple as chap stick. The hospital won’t reuse any of these items for another patient, so you are practically throwing them away if you don't stash them away in your bag for home use. (You can also take home diapers, wipes, Vaseline, pacifiers, swaddles, and more for baby, but that's a whole other post.)

I plan on purchasing beforehand all the things that I can’t steal from the hospital at Walmart. I live right across the street from Walmart and it always has everything on my shopping list. Some of the things I've purchased already are Epsom salt for sitz baths (which are definitely necessary), Colace, and Preparation H® Medicated Wipes for those darn hemorrhoids. No one likes to talk about hemorrhoids, but they do happen. I got some on my last go-around and I plan on being prepared this time. Preparation H® Medicated Wipes provide effective hemorrhoid relief, are convenient to use, and soothe as they clean. Also, did you know that 1 out of 3 women get hemorrhoids during pregnancy? If you manage to avoid them during pregnancy, make sure to have Preparation H® Medicated Wipes for Women on hand for post-partum recovery. They are the first and only women's hemorrhoid wipes infused with chamomile, aloe and refreshing cucumber, plus a soothing medication that cools on contact. Make sure to use as directed.


Even though postpartum recovery isn't the best thing ever, you know what is? That sweet newborn phase. A lot of times people will stop by with gifts for baby. While that is sweet, I can guarantee that baby has more than enough (and they're too little to even realize they're getting presents). The person who really deserves a gift is mom. I have a few friends due around the same time as me and I've started making gift baskets. I want to help make those first few weeks as a new mom as wonderful as possible.


Here's some of the fun things I'm including:
Lotion and Chap Stick - Who doesn't love some new lotion and chap stick. It's nice to have on hand, and mom can place it next to the chair she uses most to breastfeed baby.
A Cute Water Bottle/Tumbler - Breastfeeding requires hydration. Mom needs to be drinking water constantly. A nice new water bottle will remind mom to take frequent sips and stay hydrated.
A Good Book - There are lots of idle hours while nursing baby. Sometimes mom gets stuck in a chair with a sleeping newborn on her chest. A good book comes in handy in those situations.
Chocolate - There are going to be days when mom needs some chocolate. I'm going to make sure I provide that.

And here are the necessary items:
Preparation H® Medicated Wipes - We've discussed this already. Mom is gonna need them.
Nursing Pads - There are some really cute ones out there and they come in handy.
Dry Shampoo and Face Wipes - Let's face it - as cute as those newborns are, sometimes they don't give mom a chance to shower. Dry shampoo and face wipes can at least help mom feel a little more put together.


What are some things you love for postpartum recovery?
What items do you give to new moms?

October 6, 2016

Free October 2016 General Conference Printables

I love General Conference! I always feel so uplifted and re-energized to take on life afterwards. Most sessions, I keep my laptop open to take notes. Unfortunately this year, I forgot to save all those notes and they have been lost in the oblivion. I guess that's a good reason to go back and re-read the talks given and take new notes. 

To keep the uplifting messages and feelings going that come from conference, I decided to make some free printables for all you lovelies. Scroll down to the bottom to download them all and click on each quote to read more from that particular talk. 








*For personal and church use only. Please link back to me when sharing around the web.*
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