Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Baby 3.0: 34 Weeks + So Long Summer!

34 weeks pregnant and 6 weeks to go until we meet our little man

I'm feeling: Lots of things. Lately I've actually started to feel excited about this being my last pregnancy. I'm looking forward to ditching maternity clothes forever - eventually. I'm glad that once I'm done carrying Crosby that hopefully I'll never see these numbers on the scale again. I'm ready to have my body back to myself for every single one of the perks. Obviously I plan to have a long breastfeeding journey ahead of me so my body won't really be completely mine BUT it'll be a heck of a lot closer. I'm starting to feel more sweet than bitter about this being the end of my bringing children into the world.

I'm still feeling very weird and conflicted about sending Presley to pre-k a couple days a week. (Mostly weepy.) Yet, I'm looking forward to the opportunities for her... I truly am. How is it that just over two years ago she was sitting on my last pregnant belly with me in a little diaper? And now she's ready to start her first school experience. The time has absolutely flown by right past me. I love her and I love getting to know her... I love who she is and who she has become. I love the progress we've made together and the lessons we've both learned along the way. I love her at this age and wouldn't wish to go backwards - but I don't know when I'll be ready for her to be so independent. I suppose the time for me to feel this way is right around the corner and since I'm not there yet nor have I ever been there on my parenting journey thus far I just can't comprehend what that's gonna feel like. With that said, I'm looking forward to meeting her teachers this week and seeing her classroom and a glimpse into all the things that will become part of her new routine later this week. I'm ready to get the ball rolling instead of sitting here in anticipation.

I love our lazy mornings and while we'll still have many more days like this as her program is only two days a week, I know these days are numbered.
Cravings: Cheesy potatoes! They're just so delicious. So if you're heading to our co-ed baby shower this weekend then you'll get a taste of them because I'll be bringing a big batch! I've really been liking the chicken Philly sandwich from Lenny's lately. Other than that, there's nothing specific or repetitive that comes to mind.

Baby's size: Somewhere around 18 inches and 5 pounds! Mostly from here on out it's just putting on baby fat - most of the big developments are already done.

{L to R} 34 weeks pregnant with Presley, Molly, & Crosby

High of the week: Tony having two days off in a row - finally. We met Papa and Grandmommy on Sunday to celebrate Papa's birthday a little early. We had lunch downtown and went to the Bass Pro Pyramid which was all a lot of fun. Then on Monday the four of us went to the zoo. It was a TON of walking but it really was all worth it seeing how much fun the girls had splashing in the water!

Cooling off at the end of our zoo trip in the water 
Getting very sweaty playing on the playground at the zoo
Grandmommy & Papa walking into the Pyramid with the girls 
She cracks me up! 

Low of the week: Probably when Molly slipped and smacked her head into the wall on Friday. She slammed it right into the corner of the outlet and it sounded awful. Couple that with her cries afterward and it just becomes more than I ever like to bear. I hate, hate, hate when my kids are hurting. I also hate that with head injuries you just can never be too sure right away if everything is okay or not.

Just after it happened
But as you can see she doesn't let it get her down

What I'm excited for: I'm so so super excited for our baby shower this weekend! I love celebrating the baby that is about to come into this world. I love getting together with friends and family - especially when it's for happy occasions. I'm also getting SUPER excited for the Fall. I know we don't get much of a true Autumn here in the Midsouth, but I do love what we get. I love that the pumpkin-flavored-everything things are starting to show up on the shelves in the stores!!! I've liked the heat the summer has provided but I'm looking forward to a little less heat and a little more breezes. I'm excited that we've got six weeks (hopefully less!) before we lay our eyes on Crosby and become a family of FIVE!

That's it for this week! It's hard to believe the summer really is wrapping up but the show must go on and there are plenty of things to look forward to!!! 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Baby 3.0: 33 Weeks

33 weeks pregnant with Crosby with about 7 weeks left to go!
I'm feeling: My energy has been in short supply. Sleep is getting a little trickier. My patience have been thinner than usual lately, or at least it has felt that way. I told Presley and Molly earlier this week (after Molly was really testing me in the store) that my patience were so tiny I could barely see them! Tonight at bedtime Presley was playing with her buddies and Tony and she told one of her buddies she couldn't see her patience because they were so small. It was HILARIOUS to hear that come out of her mouth. But overall, I'm still getting around well enough. I'm still feeling pretty good! It's all worth it knowing there is a little human in the making.

Cravings: Pickles. Potatoes. I made potato skins this weekend that really hit the spot! Not a whole lot in the food department that I'm not a fan of these days.

Baby's size: He's already between 17-19 inches long and possibly between 4-6 pounds.

{L to R} 33 weeks with each baby - Presley, Molly, Crosby

High for the week: I loved having lunch with my family and my in-laws today and then going shopping with my girls and mother-in-law! I love good deals and found a puddle jumper for Molly on clearance for just over $8! I also ran into some family friends while out shopping that I haven't seen in several years and it was so wonderful to see them. And as always, I love hanging out with my girls everyday!

Low for the week: Realizing Presley's first day of pre-k is a little over two weeks away. I know it could be all the extra hormones surging through my system right now that's making me feel so incredibly weepy about this moment, but I think it's mostly just me and my feelings regardless of hormone levels. She's my baby. My first baby. I've been with her damn near every moment of her life thus far. I'm her primary caregiver. She's with me when we wake up and I'm with her up until she goes to bed at night. When we decided to send her to preschool I was okay with this - I wanted this for her. I looked up some of the best, most recommended programs in our area that worked into our budget. I thought it might even be really nice to have some time apart... a little more space in my day and maybe a bit less stress. Now? I am falling to pieces over it. To me, this is the beginning of the end of a certain chapter in my life with Presley.  She'll never be staying home with me anymore. It's the start of her not needing me so much anymore and that terrifies me. What is that life like? I haven't lived that part of parenthood before. It's trusting other people (who are strangers to me at this point) to love and cherish and care for Presley the way I would... basically for the rest of her life. I'll lose a little bit more every year.

I know, I know. There are going to be beautiful things. I will get to watch my child grow and flourish and become this amazing version of herself. There will be things she will gain, a little more each year. I know this will mean a little extra time for Molly - and Crosby. I know there will be wonderful things on the horizon for me in regards to this stage for Presley. Right now though, I'm sad about it. And I want to be sad. I don't feel the joy and I don't want to. Oh, and I want to homeschool. But ya know, maybe we'll see how it goes with pre-k first before we jump the gun on anything else.

What I'm excited for: Seeing the doctor again this week. It's always reassuring and also nice to have a moment every few weeks to focus solely on little Crosby. I absolutely love watching the Olympics - especially the US women's indoor volleyball and the US women's beach volleyball! They've been doing so well and it is incredible watching these teams play, so I'm looking forward to more of that. Tony's also got Saturday off this week and I always look forward to a little more time together as a family! I'd also like to put my hospital bag together this week and I am pretty excited about that.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

7 Things About My Family {thursday thoughts}

So, I totally would have posted this sooner - as in a week earlier - but I was having such a hard time coming up with seven INTERESTING things about us. And yes, I know that MIGHT just mean we are not all that interesting! Anyways, here we go. Seven things about the Duggan family...

Our kids stay up pretty late. (They also sleep in late.)
They didn't always but they sure do these days. Tony gets home from work around 6:30pm most days and it's just nice to optimize the time we have together by keeping the kids up a little bit later. Most nights we strive to have them down by 9/9:30 but sometimes it's not until 10pm that we finish bedtime and by that time we're exhausted. It's been nice to be able to do this in some respects (more time together/for the kids and daddy) but it can definitely be stressful. With Presley starting preschool here soon we will move bedtimes up and have more adult time in the evenings which is a bonus! When it comes to the kids getting up in the morning sometimes Presley will sleep until 9am/10am but other days she will randomly wake up around 6am/7am - those days are a little bit more stressful if they've gone to bed late. And I'm honestly not sure how late Molly would sleep if we let her! Most days I wake her up around 11 if she's not already up and then she goes down for a late afternoon nap, too. So my kids get enough sleep, they just tend to stay up a little bit later than most kiddos.

We don't have a dinner table.
This one bothers me because I'd love to have a dinner table. When it came to furnishing our new house I made some hasty decisions and one of them was buying a bar-height table... what was I thinking? We've since sold it and now in our dine-in area of our kitchen we have a couch. (Which usually houses clean laundry.) One of the reasons we haven't gotten a kitchen table yet is because I want a nice one that'll be big enough and one built to last.

Our kids DON'T sleep in our bed.
Though, I suppose we don't have a totally perfect record. I used to fall asleep nursing Molly in the middle of the night when she was a baby WAY more often than I'd like to admit. But those few times aside, our kids don't sleep in our bed. It's mostly because I would probably sleep 0% of the night but honestly my Aunt gave me the advice to start this from day one of having kids and I really liked the advice. We love having children and being a family (rather than just us two) but the kids fill up enough of our house/day/conversations/thoughts/etc. that it is important to us to have one sacred spot for me and Tony at the end of the day.

It's way easier to shower our babies when they're tiny.
I don't know how people bathe newborns but I loathe bath time for little ones. I worry so much about them slipping and swallowing too much water and it's also literally a pain in the back to lean over and do bath time for tiny babies. I'm not a huge fan of bath time in the sink either. So that left us with showering our babies and it's totally worked for us. One of us showers and the other is on standby to take the slippery, clean baby once they're all done. Easy peasy. Anybody else do the same thing?

I make two meals every night.
It might be an unpopular thing to do among parents, but it's just what works for us. I'll make something quick and easy for the kids - and hopefully throw something nutritious in there - while also putting together a separate dinner for me and Tony. The kids like macaroni and cheese, cheese and bean quesadillas, grilled cheese, cheese raviolis, ham and cheese sandwiches, or basically anything with cheese in there! They like sliced up bell peppers, pretty much any fruit - canned or fresh, green beans, corn, black beans, apple sauce, occasionally carrots or celery... just easy things to throw together. It would be so much easier to just make one meal and try to get them eat what we eat but most days I have no fight left in me. Maybe once we get a kitchen table (and the kids are a little older) we will start to eat dinner as a family!

We took our time with potty training.
I worried a lot about potty training and wondered if I should be a bit more forceful with it but it really didn't feel right to thrust it upon her. So I introduced her to the potty. We did a lot of checking it out and sitting on it. She would use it occasionally early in the beginning but we continued to use diapers or pull-ups. Presley felt comfortable peeing on the potty long before she felt comfortable pooping on the potty. I remember feeling so dejected most days while cleaning up poopy pull-ups... it didn't feel like we would EVER have a fully potty trained kid. One of the last days of her pooping in her pull-up I remember just telling her, "Look, we can't keep doing this. You're getting too big for this!" I just said it mostly out of exasperation but very soon after that it all seemed to click for her! It's just like with breastfeeding the first kiddo - we were BOTH on that learning curve and neither one of us knew what we were doing until we just got it. It was easier breastfeeding my second kiddo so I'm hoping since we know what we're doing a little bit more when it comes to potty training that it'll be easier the second time around, too. One great thing about gradually easing into potty training was that we dealt with VERY little accidents! Though, this could just be Presley. She's a pretty neat and tidy kid... especially compared to her little sister. (So we might really actually be screwed this time around when it comes to potty training!)

We're very, very lucky to live so close to family.
It makes celebrations better, it helps in the hardest of times, and the every day support is fantastic. We were fortunate to live near so many of my family members in the Quad Cities and now here near Tony's parents in Memphis. Both girls have been fortunate to have grandmothers in town to be their first babysitters but no one is more lucky in that respect than Tony and I. We're able to go on dates regularly which helps so much in so many aspects. (And while we're away we can trust 100% that our kids are cared for!) It's awesome to have lunch and go shopping with the kids and Grandmommy on her day off or have Grandmommy and Papa over on Sundays. It'll be invaluable to have the extra help and love and care after Crosby is here - for all of us. I'm thankful for the birthdays and holidays and all the special days! I'd love to some day live in Florida or Texas but when it comes to choosing between a dream location or living near family, it'll be very hard to ever choose against living near family.

So there you go - there's a little bit more about us that maybe you didn't know before now! We're absolutely not perfect and are constantly learning as parents and as a couple. There are things I'd love to change about our family and other things I wouldn't want to trade for the world.

And as always, I'd love to hear what people think -- whether it's seven things about your family or responses to what you think about my family.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Baby 3.0: 32 Weeks

32 weeks with Mr. Crosby man... that means 8 weeks or so left!
I am feeling: Let me just say I am getting SO EXCITED to bring this little guy into the world. It's becoming a bit more real every day! I also really, really enjoyed our weekend at home altogether. Tony has every other Saturday off and it is so so so great when he has two days off in a row. You can just tell the girls thrive with him home as well, too. So these days I'm feeling grateful. (Check back in with me after next weekend when Tony has to work Saturday... I might be feeling more frazzled!)

Tony & the girls pretend sleeping this weekend before bedtime
Cravings: I suppose my cravings lately would be Thanksgiving dishes. A few days ago I whipped up some green bean casserole and a few days later it was sweet potato fluff. Last night I made some amazing cheesy potatoes that hit the spot & made me miss our family get togethers every Thanksgiving! I am soooo craving having my body back for just myself - to be able to move with ease and to sleep on my back or belly! I'm craving easy breathing, too.

Baby's size: At 32 weeks gestation, Crosby is about four pounds & 18 inches long! No wonder I feel like I am really, really running out of room for him this week. Also, babies born this week have around a 90% survival rate!

L: 32 weeks with Crosby R: On top, 32 weeks pregnant with Molly and bottom, 32 weeks pregnant with Presley

High for this week: THE OLYMPICS!!!!! Yaaaaay! I've really been enjoying the indoor women's volleyball. It reminds me of watching Ashley play at Germantown and absolutely falling in love with that sport. Swimming and gymnastics have been super exciting to watch as well. I've also been cooking a lot more at home lately and while I'm totally not loving the constant dishes (though it's honestly not my least favorite chore) I have really enjoyed the yummy homemade food and saving money! Some of the dishes I've made recently: Stuffed pepper soup, chicken in coconut mango verde sauce, homemade lasagna, and a paleo chicken spinach stew.

The beginning of tonight's stuffed pepper soup
On deck for the rest of the week will include one of our FAVORITE dishes - coconut chicken curry! I plan on including this meal super soon in a blog about easy meals I plan to make to stock our freezer before the baby comes. I also promised a certain someone (aka, my husband!) that I'd whip up some yummy potato skins for us to eat while watching the Olympics so that'll be coming up here soon, too. Another favorite thing I've been up to this week is crafting various things for our upcoming co-ed baby shower!

Low for this week: The girls' play tent was on top of the guest bed in their playroom and both Presley and Molly were inside the tent hiding from Tony and I (neither of us had a clue this was going on) and somehow the girls and tent all tilted backwards and everyone fell off the bed and got hurt. We heard the screams and cries and that was an awful sound. Both girls were pretty upset and it seems like everything is okay but I hate that you can never be sure if there are any undetected injuries. I hate hate hate hate when my babies get hurt!!!! Another thing that sucks lately is sitting on the floor and then having to get back up... that's becoming increasingly cumbersome. Having to pee in the middle of the night has been no fun. Also having little to no energy throughout the day can be brutal.

What I'm excited about: I'm SO happy we're done looking at hospitals and have picked where I'll be giving birth. Baptist Women's seems like a wonderful place to bring our child into the world and that it'll be a great fit. They encourage baby to stay with mom but also offer a nursery as needed, the hospital was beautiful, the staff was friendly, and I love the separate rooms for birthing and recovery. Though, I would be interested to hear anybody's experience in an all-in-one birth/recovery room. For some reason I just find it comforting to leave the room where I labored and pushed after it's all said and done and time to recover. What do you guys think about all-in-one rooms versus separate labor/delivery and mother/baby rooms?

I don't know about you guys, but when it comes to sharing my thoughts, feelings, and experiences - especially when it comes to these big life moments - I'm very conscious of the balance between keeping it real and sharing my immense gratitude. I am so aware that so many precious couples are struggling with infertility and would absolutely give anything to be pregnant - and yet here I am complaining. I also really desire & strive to keep it real in my writing, though I don't ever want it to come at the expense of another's feelings. Pregnancy (and parenthood), for me, has been anything but glamorous but I have also been very fortunate with relatively good health. I don't ever want to be perceived as anything but grateful and extremely aware of the fact that the little things I am taking for granted or complaining about are directly attached to the big things that someone else is currently praying for. I know how fleeting this life is and more than anything I want to write down every big and little moment that I can so that when these moments pass that I will have something to look back on. And maybe even some day my kiddos will glance at some of the things I've written here.

Thanks for hanging with me through it all.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Molly turning two...

So, it's been a solid month over a month now and I've neglected the post where I talk about how old my youngest is now. It's just a whole lot easier not to document every little thing or really to even take notice of the subtleties between kiddos. Even still, each time I sit down and begin to think about one of my kids to write one of these blogs I enjoy them so much and it gets easier to write the farther I get into it.

When it comes to having two kids, it has really been more of a breeze than I ever thought possible - especially at this current stage. These girls keep each other busy and play so well together that it makes my job easy peasy! (Though I certainly don't know what it would be like at this point with just one.) The most difficult thing these days is running errands with two kids... the un/buckling over and over, the corralling kids throughout the store (I put them in carts as much as possible), and the keeping the whining to a minimum. Thankfully, they do really well with grocery shopping and staying in the cart... though Presley is just getting to be TOO big to do this anymore. (And while I think Presley would do well obeying outside the cart, it would still making shopping an even sloooower experience!) Otherwise, they eat the same things, they like the same things, they pretty much do everything together - so it hasn't made my job more difficult! Presley and Molly are each other's built-in best friend and I can only hope it'll be like this for the rest of their lives.

And now onto Molly as a two year old! Let's start with the practical things that are usually easy to run through. She's in 24 month/2T clothing, size 5 diapers, and I think somewhere between a size 5.5-6 in toddler shoes. She won't keep bows on her head. She's got tons of dark brown hair. I say "tons" but I just mostly mean tons when it comes to my baldy kids!

Here is a little comparison of what Presley looked like at age two!
Molly loves bath time and being independent. She says, "Go walk!" all the time meaning: set me down and let me walk by myself. She's really good about holding hands, though. Another popular phrase of hers is, "No, I do it!" or a real favorite of hers recently is, "Noooo! Mommy!" as in she wants Mommy to be the one to change her diaper, to help her brush her teeth, etc... usually instead of daddy or grandmommy. When she has something in mind to do HER way there is usually not much you can do to talk her out of it.

She sleeps 12-14 hours a night depending on what time we actually get her in bed at night and she also sleeps 2-3 hours at nap time each afternoon. This chickadee loves her sleep!

Some of her favorite foods at the moment are raspberries, green beans, cheese, noodles, and cookies. She isn't a super picky eater but recently she made it clear she didn't really like mango or marshmallows. She really likes spending time at the Children's Museum and having a place to go expend energy at indoors in the summertime is worth every penny. Molly loves to keep up with Presley and when they hold hands it's the sweetest thing ever. Presley is still crazy about her little sister and the feeling is so mutual.

Molly's 6 month, one year, and two year photos
Molly is a super sweet kid and loves to play with other kids. She is definitely in the stranger danger phase when it comes to adults she doesn't know and I can definitely appreciate that. One of her favorite non-family members is her daddy's coworker, Skyler. She just loves him and it's really sweet to watch. Molly also is in love with her Papa Mike (Tony's dad) and absolutely loves spending time with Grandmommy, too.

She loves My Little Pony's and enjoys pretty much anything Presley likes, too! Molly is also SUCH A CHARACTER. I can't even begin to explain this aspect of who she is... but she can be such a charmer and is naturally hilarious with her faces, words, and antics. Once you get to know her - and if she lets you in - she definitely has a larger-than-life personality.

She's freakishly good at kicking a soccer ball and can pretty much dribble it in succession which is crazy to watch. Mol loves to count and can count up until ten and nearly all the way to twenty but she gets confused around 15-16-17. Her favorite song to sing at bedtime is Twinkle Twinkle. She drinks her water pretty good throughout the day but nothing seems to be better than her chocolate milk in the morning (milk with a little bit of chocolate carnation instant breakfast). She still sucks her first finger during nap and bed time and some times when she gets sleepy throughout the day.

Molly gets in to EVERYTHING... much more relentless than Presley ever was when it comes to making messes. If you tell Presley "no" once then she would almost always listen and stop doing whatever it was. Molly, on the other hand, is a little different so we've got to be more vigilant about taking out temptations to make a mess for her.

I couldn't imagine our family without her - she has impacted each of our lives in an irreversible way. I can't wait to see Molly become a big sister... it's something you can absolutely tell she'll be wonderful at and something she is really excited for! The way that she treats my belly and speaks so reverently about Crosby, I can't help but think they are going to be best buddies. It's incredible that Molly is already two years old... the last two years have mercilessly flown by and I'm not entirely sad about that! Happy SUPER LATE birthday to my second baby and here's to many, many more happy years to come with you, baby girl.