Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Baby 3.0: 30 weeks

29 weeks pregnant with Presley, 30 weeks pregnant with Molly, and 30 weeks pregnant with Crosby
Things on the pregnancy front have still been great lately. Though I'm a few weeks into my third trimester I haven't hit the disparity point yet where you're just ready to be done! I feel pretty huge but honestly not horribly so yet. Sleep is weird lately but I'm still able to get a decent amount. (For example, I've been sleeping upright a lot as well as sleeping with my lamp on... both very weird for me.) My energy is still hanging in there. It's super hot outside but thankfully that hasn't been awful... we just haven't spent a whole lot of time outside this summer. I'm dreading the tail end of a pregnancy where you feel like you lack the ability to move comfortably because this time around I've got two little ones to chase around as well.

This is how I REALLY feel when taking these pictures, sometimes.
All that considered, I do feel like I've been pregnant forever this time around. I suppose that goes with the territory of finding out you're pregnant before you miss your period. I'm also very ready to meet Crosby!!!! I know the girls' excitement is especially influencing me to feel this way. The thing I can't wait for is for the girls to come visit us in the hospital and to see them meet Crosby for the first time. My heart is bursting just thinking about it!!!! And maybe even more than that I can't wait to see Tony be one of the first people to ever hold Crosby and to have that special small amount of time where it's just Tony, Crosby, and me. I've already decided that once I hit the 37 week mark I am going to start making eggplant parmesan at least once a week in hopes that the tall tale that it'll help induce labor is rooted in truth.

One of my recent cravings is the Reese's blizzard from Dairy Queen. I can't even tell you the last time we've been to DQ or even the last time I wanted to go there before now! I had a mini Reese's blizzard this weekend and it was exactly everything I dreamed it would be!! It's also pretty awesome to feel just a tiny bit closer to my dad through this somewhat bizarre craving, seeing as he worked for the DQ company for something like 20 years.

In other news... Tony and I went bowling (I'm pretty sure for the first time SINCE BECOMING PARENTS) with some friends last week and had a blast. I forgot how much of a challenge bowling is! I bowled a 100 so I felt pretty accomplished there and I also got to know two of Tony's coworkers' significant others which was so nice! He always seems to work with some of the best people. And I'm absolutely looking forward to going again. We went to the same bowling alley we used to go to just about every weekend when we were younger.

...and no. I don't think I'll ever be able to stop the reminiscing!

And before that we got to meet sweet baby Carter! Our cousins Shelby & Cory brought him into the world just a few weeks ago. Crosby & Carter will both share the same middle name (which makes sense as it's a family middle name) and they'll be about 2.5 months apart in age! It'll be really awesome to see how both boys are as they grow.

Over the weekend we made a short trip to Nashville to celebrate Anne Marie's 4th birthday. We celebrated at McAlister's and the Discovery Center but I think the kids had the most fun just hanging out at the Carrico house.

The two smallest girls
It is surprisingly difficult to orchestrate a photo like this considering they're all on different schedules (eating, sleeping, potty breaks, etc.) and not to mention they're busy bodies going in all directions!
The two biggest girls 
So incredibly sweet seeing this
Goodbye hugging turned to wrestling
It was a lot of fun but it was all jam-packed into a day and a half. It's great to live close enough to be able to do this one a semi-regular basis and I know no one enjoys it as much as the kids do. As hectic as I always think it'll be to get together with so many little kids, it went really smoothly and we all really did have a great time. Not to mention, every time we visit the Carrico's we get some super yummy meals!!!

It also seems like the only time we'll successfully get a family photo anymore these days is when we're all four in the van.

Um, have I mentioned lately how much we love and appreciate this van?!

And I couldn't finish this blog without including a picture from Molly's most recent mess - which was her getting into my mascara and putting it on her face!

That is a face I can't be mad at right there! Hope everybody has a happy week!!!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Honeymoon: Getting Started

I've said it before, but I wish there was a way to chronicle every part of my honeymoon in order to not forget any of the details. It's been over 5 years now and there are so many things - big and small - that have already escaped my memory.

One of the things I don't quite remember is choosing our honeymoon destination.  I do know (thanks blog!) that it was back in February 2011 that we decided on Disney!  I mentioned going going to WDW for our honeymoon in the beginning of our wedding planning and when Tony didn't have a strong response either way, I dropped it.  We threw around all kinds of ideas -- all inclusive resorts out of the country, going on a cruise, road-tripping across the country, going to Hawaii -- but none of it really stuck.  So, three months before our wedding when we still didn't have anything planned, we revisited the topic and it was Tony who threw out Disney.  We talked about it and I wanted to make sure that was something he actually wanted to do and to my surprise, it really was!  Various people tried to push their opinions on us -
"No, you don't want to do Disney for your honeymoon! Save that for a family vacation once you have kids!"

"Do you really want to go on a honeymoon where kids are running around?"
Everyone has their opinion and their intentions might even be in the right place, but when it comes to your life you need to take those suggestions with a grain of salt and go where you and your spouse want to go.

That applies so much to that specific time life - making plans for your wedding/honeymoon during your engagement, the way you start your new life together as newlyweds, if/when you bring kids into your lives, etc. - people are normally well intentioned but in the end, it is YOUR life and you are in the driver seat. It's important to have a village and to have people who have been there to give you insight... because life is hard! It's especially hard if you try to do it on your own. But let me tell you I can't stress enough how important it is to figure out your life together as newlyweds together.
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. {Genesis 2:24}
So as far as a honeymoon goes, the first step is choosing where you want to go. If you're both fairly indecisive people like we were, it might take a while to make up your mind. But definitely try to pick something that both of you will enjoy. I know not all of us like the same things when it comes to taking a vacation - some people like the focus to be on relaxation while others crave adventure - but there is something out there for every couple and every budget!

More about our actual trip next time I get around to writing another honeymoon post! When it comes to planning a Disney trip there is SO much to share.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Nine Pictures of Us {thursday thoughts}

To start out, I am already guilty of skipping a Thursday! But to be honest, with everything going on in the news and around the country around this time last week, the last thing I wanted to do was write a lighthearted blog. Now after a week or more of so much heavy in the news and around us, it feels like exactly the right thing to do.

I thought this particular blog entry would be super easy and fun... and while it did evoke "all the feels" it was SO difficult to choose just nine photos of us. Before getting started I thought nine would be kind-of a lot of photos but now I realize it doesn't do justice in allowing me to accurately show all our history OR delve into much of our present, either.

All of that considered, this was still a ton of fun. I loved going through photos of Tony and I and recalling so many happy, fun memories with my favorite person in this world. These are some of my favorite photos of us over time (though not all of my favorites) and putting these together in one blog entry really shows me how important photo taking is... what if we had let these moments pass without capturing them on film? And how many beautiful, wonderful photos do I have undeveloped these days? It reminds me how important it is to capture moments on camera. And with that, here is a quick(-ish) trip down our memory lane...

{may 2003}
I love this picture so much. This was my first prom with my first love! I was a freshman and Tony was a senior and we were going to prom at my school... so besides his best friend and my older sister, there weren't a TON of people that either of us really knew. It was exciting and awkward and a night full of a million butterflies all night long! Our first dance together happened at prom along to Kid Rock's "Only God Knows Why" which is absolutely hilarious! We had been sitting down at a table talking and hanging out and I told him - "Okay, we are going to dance to the NEXT SONG that is slow that comes on!" because he didn't really want to dance. So of course it was the least romantic song they probably played that night. But it didn't matter. I loved dancing with him. I loved getting all dressed up and spending that night hanging out with him. He was (and still is) the perfect gentleman. He bought me the most beautiful corsage. He picked me up in his Granny's gorgeous car that night and if I remember correctly we ate at O'Charleys beforehand! He looked so incredibly handsome. (He wore a bowtie! SO precious.) We took pictures beforehand at my house and then again at his best friend, Damen's house - which would later become a second home to me over the coming years and Damen's family a second family to me. The reason I like this specific picture from that night is because it is just so... us.

{august 2008}
This picture means a lot to me because it was taken at such a huge changing point in our life. In the two years since I graduated high school I had been enrolled at two different community colleges... one in Illinois and the other in Tennessee - which is where we had currently been living. My credits didn't transfer from my first college to my second but they all would transfer back to my first college. I wasn't happy in Memphis and we both had great opportunities to look forward to in Illinois. It was a huge leap of faith for him - he had never lived outside of Memphis or away from his own friends and family. It was a make or break moment: would we move to Illinois together or would I be moving there by myself? When it came time to talk about it he didn't really bat an eye - he said he would go where I go. So this is us on our last night in Memphis on the cusp of so much change.

{april 2009}
Here we are riding four wheelers around Sullivan Hill in Eudora, Mississippi - one of our happy places! I love, love, LOVE Tony's family and spending time with them was never, ever dull, that's for sure! I'd love going over to his parent's house to have dinner because his mom always made the best food. (Though on this particular night we took the four wheeler to go pick up pizza down the road and it was so much fun!!!) I've always loved this photo of the two of us. This was a place that felt so much like "home" and I always looked forward to visiting here from time to time while we lived in Illinois.

{may 2009}
My first college graduation. This was a special moment and such a happy time. Tony has been so supportive of me from the very beginning. I could have done it without him but it would have been so much more difficult and a whole lot less fun. He encouraged me. He didn't make me feel like a loser when I didn't do well in a class or on an assignment and he didn't judge me when I skipped a class here and there. He read countless papers I wrote, helped me study, and was genuinely proud of me when I succeeded. When I wanted to quit, he talked me out of it every time. My accomplishment is mine but it is his as well. This was such a happy day - his mom and Granny surprised me and showed up for my graduation. I don't know if they ever knew how deeply that touched me.

{november 2009}
This was taken by a stranger on the beach just moments after I accepted Tony's marriage proposal and just about a week after I turned 22. He surprised me on my birthday and told me he was taking me to Anna Maria Island, FL to spend time with my Grandmother!!!! That was the best present of my life! He knew how special my gramma is to me, how sad I was that it had been a while since I had seen her, and that this was such a special place to me and a place I would love to visit alongside him. Plus it was all such a huge surprise! {Reason #14 I love my husband: He LOVES to surprise me! And he really does give the best surprises... even though sometimes I am a pain in the ass when it comes to surprises!!} Before leaving I started to wonder if he was going to propose on the trip and I turned to my cousin to see what she thought. She told me he was worried I'd get my hopes up and that when he didn't propose that it would ruin the trip... he told Breanne he didn't have the money to buy the ring he felt I deserved and that it wasn't going to happen. Not only was that such a sweet, heartfelt reason - but it really showed me how it didn't matter about a proposal, that I had him and that's what was important. We had such a special few days and on our last day of the trip we went to the beach one last time (at his insistence) where we walked the beach, had a snack at a restaurant right there on the sand, and on the walk back to the car he asked if we could sit down for a minute and enjoy it all for a few more minutes. He pulled out a piece of paper and started reading me a poem he wrote where at the end of it he pulled out a ring and asked if I would marry him. All of it from beginning to end was just perfect. And knowing he wanted to spend the rest of forever with me was the best of all.

{december 2009}
This is a photo that a friend of ours took during a photo shoot for our engagement downtown Memphis on Beale Street. I think it might be one of the most beautiful photos I've ever been a part of... I absolutely love it. Memphis is such a great place to be and it's the city where Tony and I grew up, met each other, and fell in love. It's the city we saw countless movies in, went on a million dates together, and made so many memories. I'm so grateful to Nicole for taking this one and I hope she knows just how much this one means to me. Your engagement is usually a short, short time in your life together with your significant other and to have this happy time chronicled in a photo is absolutely priceless.

{may 2011}
Of course I had to include a photo from the happiest day of my life... our wedding day! We had so many mishaps that day and truly none of them mattered to me! We were with our best friends and family members and we were finally GETTING MARRIED!!! My little sister took this photo when we were on the way from the ceremony to the reception. It was an impromptu photo taken just minutes after we became Mr. & Mrs. Duggan and I was on cloud nine. I absolutely love this picture, this moment.

{february 2012}
And exactly nine months from the last photo is this one - the birth of our first child! It is MIND-BLOWING how much our life had changed in that amount of time. It wasn't about us anymore... our life together was now about even more than all of that. It was about raising and loving our kid. It was about breastfeeding. Diaper changes. Sleepless nights and days. Dealing with and surviving postpartum depression. It was about well visits and vaccinations. It was about first steps and first words. It was trying to navigate being a newly married couple while figuring out parenthood and that learning curve was crazy difficult. But like so many before us, we figured it out. We survived. And then we started to thrive again. And having Tony there through labor and delivery... it's another one of those times where I probably COULD have done it without him, but I just sincerely doubt it would have been as successful. It was a horrendously long labor with so many painful roadblocks along the way but this moment right here when they placed this little warm body on top of mine was magical. To see the pride all over his face when he first held Presley is something that could never be replaced for me. The way he stepped up from the very first moments. How he never left my side. So much encouragement from him during labor, while pushing, to keep at breastfeeding, that I was a good mama, etc. It's no mistake we are next to each other in this life and to parent with him just adds such a meaningful layer of our life together.

{june 2014}
Meeting our second baby was thankfully a bit easier than it was the first time around - but of course not without complication. And through all the setbacks this time around (revolving around complications from having an epidural) Tony was an absolute champ. And I truly fell even more in love with him through all of it.

The time together has literally been such a life changer. It's a special thing to look back on and to cherish. It's a little bit insane how much and in what ways our life together has changed over the course of the sixteen years we've known each other. Knowing about it all and living it is all one thing... but reliving it in this capacity it a little strange. There are so many little moments that are easy to overlook or that you forget about once those moments are long gone.

I love sharing life with you, Tony! Thank you for being the father you are to our daughters and for always being my best friend. You deserve the entire world and I hope to give you as much of it as I possibly can. I love you.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Baby 3.0: 27 Weeks

Here we are at the 27 week mark... that means just about 12 weeks left if Crosby shows up on the same timeframe that the girls did. Tony is still betting it'll be September 25th and I hope he's right! Though September 20th would be epic and amazing and I would remember it SO MUCH EASIER! (since the March 20th is our dating anniversary, May 20th our wedding anniversary, & February 20th is Presley's birthday) I'm also kinda hoping for September 30th, too, since June 30th is Molly's birthday.

{Left to Right} 27 weeks along with Presley, Molly, and Crosby
It seems INSANE that there is still THREE entire months left... how is that possible? It already seems like I've been pregnant forever.

Crosby-related things:
  • I've been having these reoccurring feelings/worries/thoughts. The first one is the fear that he's not going to make it home. I'm sure this stems from the fact that I literally cannot believe we are having a boy and I'm having such a hard time picturing what that'll be like... almost to the point where I really don't believe it or that it's all too good to be true. I feel like I've been so fortunate with the littlest blessings in my life that I'm asking for too much at this point. 
  • The second one is that I'm wrecking this life as we know it. Which seems to be such a contrast to the first worry. Now I'm worrying about what life will be like assuming he DOES make it home. We have a good life here! We have routines and we're used to the four of us. Things are challenging enough and they're really good. What were we thinking? Am I about to wreck this life that we have now? If you think about it, inevitably, yes... this life won't be the same at all. And I know that's not automatically a bad thing! When I think about this very same fear before we had Molly and to think how I cannot IMAGINE going through this life without her. So I know it'll likely be the exact same way... but what if he doesn't sleep for the first two years? What if he cries all the time? What if I can't handle being a mother to three young kids? What if I'm crippled by postpartum anxiety or depression or psychosis? So many worries. And I promise I'm not spending too much time in fear - but once I start writing about one worry, they all begin to tumble out.
  • We got the little man's car seat! I'm very excited about this. The one we used for both girls is hot pink and black... and as much as I told myself I would still use it for a boy, I'm sure that was part of the reason for us getting a knew one. The major reason we replaced it though had to do with the clips at the bottom probably being weakened/damaged. I didn't know any better and I used to prop the car seat on top of the shopping basket at the store because it seems secure! Well, I'm telling you, please don't do that. It can damage the clips on the bottom of your car seat and they might not work when you need them to (in a crash). So we decided to err on the safe side and by a new one. And it definitely helps that it is ADORABLE! Molly was especially excited when she saw it and wanted to buckle up her baby doll to practice for Crosby. 
Propping the infant car seat up like this damages the clipping mechanism at the bottom of it that keeps your child safe in a crash! So please set the entire seat in the basket instead!
An example of what NOT to do with your infant carrier!
Crosby's SUPER cute new infant seat along with Molly buckling up her pony!
  • This week Crosby is the size of a fennec fox - minus the tail. And if you've never seen one, they're ADORABLE. Tony & I play Tsum Tsum on our phones (if you don't know about it, download it! If you're anything like us then it'll probably grow on you very quickly!) and yesterday I got a new tsum (when you go to buy a new tsum they choose it for you at random) - Finnick the Fennec Fox from Zootopia! How hilarious is that? I love when little things like that happen.
  • He's been kicking/moving around more lately and I absolutely love it. I can guarantee him to do some moving around a bunch once I'm in bed and relaxing every night.
  • Molly talks about Crosby nearly every day and it melts my heart. I feel like her and Cros are gonna be little buddies! She will come over to me and say, "Crosby. Belly. Kickin'? Feel it?" And she'll either drape herself across my body or hug my belly in hopes to feel Crosby kicking. It is so precious. Both girls kiss my belly and talk about how they can't wait to meet him!
That's about it for what's been going on here these days. The second trimester is a magical time where you don't feel overly huge and you're mostly done with feeling sick... but even still, you're pregnant. And pregnancy isn't always all fun and giggles! I start to get a little stir crazy when I think about how far I've come and yet how far I have left to go. Also a bit terrified of the possibility of having another wet tap this time around - because let's be honest, I'm already sure I will get another epidural! And because I'm a crazy person I am actually looking forward to the thrill of pushing and meeting Mr. Crosby for the first time - even having to go through labor all over again. (Pregnancy and parenthood makes you kinda insane! We'll blame it on the hormones.) If anyone has experience with wet taps or the likelihood of having it happen to you twice, I'm all ears. It's something I plan on asking my doctor about this upcoming week at my next appointment. 

Hope it's a good week for everyone! And happy 4th of July!!!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Ten Things That Make You Happy {thursday thoughts}

We've all made lists like these before and often put things down like music, movies, family, friends... and we're absolutely right to do so but it can get a little vague. So this time, I'll try to be as specific as possible with this list of happy things.

10. Walking hand-in-hand with my husband. It's one of the very simple joys I take for granted so often, or rather, don't take advantage of enough. (Though, to be fair, we're usually holding little hands - or little bodies - instead these days.)

09. Loading/unloading the dishwasher. Which seems like an odd thing to put here but man, it feels good to have a clean and empty sink. It also feels great not having to hand wash all our dishes. It feels super duper great to have a beautiful dishwasher.

08. The HILARIOUS things that come out of my children's mouthes. We went to a local firework show a few nights ago and Presley (my four-year-old) tells me, "Wow! Looks like it's raining corn!" Same child, different day: We have been practicing with her to wipe by herself when using the restroom in preparation for pre-k this Fall.  I told Presley she could wipe by herself and she told me, "I want you to wipe my booty because you're smart and cute." Hilarious!
And today Molly was climbing something she shouldn't be which prompted this conversation:

Me: Molly. Don't climb that.
Molly: Why?
Me: .... (gathering my thoughts/patience on exactly why she shouldn't...)
Molly *under her breath*: Because! I-said-so!

07. Pulling out the box of old notes, cards, and letters from Tony over the last 15+ years. I don't do it very often but whenever I do, it seems like I happen to read something that feels as if it was just recently written... or I read something that affirmed me in just the way I might've needed and not even realized. It makes me so happy to have this kind of history with my husband.

06. Picture frames. Man oh man, I definitely have somewhat of an obsession. I love buying funky, beautiful, different frames and especially love filling them with the perfect photo.

05. Driving our minivan! What in the world did we do without it?! There is SO MUCH extra room and it feels like such a family mobile... like our little home away from home! The kids love it in there and we've already started making great family memories in there. I kinda wish we had gotten a van a while back but everything fell into place when it did and I'm so thankful for the vehicle we have now!

04. When my husband has a day off and I get to sleep in... or rather, I get to lay in bed and NOT have to wake up with the kiddos. I know... I really should be diligent and get up BEFORE my kids do so that I have the much coveted alone time. There are two main reasons I don't do this currently: 1. I love sleep and 2. I'm a little on the superstitious side - I feel like if I get up early then somehow they'll instinctively know and they'll get up early, too! Anyways. I love the day(s) where I don't have to be the one to get the girls up and going in the morning.

03. Watching the various ways my kids love one another. The most recent example happened today at Molly's TWO YEAR (post coming about her being such a big girl ASAP) after she got her vaccination. To say she was upset would be putting it mildly. I held her for a moment and then she asked if Presley would hold her (to make her feel better). Presley didn't think twice and held her so lovingly.

02. Walt Disney World. That place IS my happy place. Whether it's walking down Main Street, the smell on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, eating inside Cinderella's Castle, waking up in the resort knowing you're going to spend the entire day at the happiest place on Earth, watching the Main Street Electrical Street Parade at night, Cast Members making EVERYTHING special, or one of the MILLION other reasons to smile while you're there - being there makes me feel so much joy. And when we're not there we keep that joy alive by visiting the Disney Store as much as possible, watching Disney movies, playing with the girls' Disney buddies, and from time to time we watch the Disney Vacation Planning DVD. I love talking to friends about their upcoming Disney trips and being just as excited for them as I would be for my own trip! Not everybody is going to get the Disney obsession, but let me tell you, it is so much fun when you meet people with whom you can share the joys of this particular addiction! (And I'm SO GRATEFUL to share this with my husband!!!! Reason #13 I love that man.)

01. Cooking. I love it. Mostly. I enjoy the anticipation leading up to taking the first bite. I love the house smelling delicious. I appreciate the concentration it takes in addition to just following specific steps. There isn't a whole heck of a lot of thought that needs to go into it when you're following directions and there is something I specifically enjoy about that. I love making my family food! I recently made cinnamon rolls from scratch for the first time and it was challenging and so fun. I'm still not the best cook/baker but I'm always learning and willing to try and for the most part I get it right. (Definitely not always and I am no gourmet chef!)

And that's it! There is my list of some of the things that make me happy. Like I said a few weeks ago, I miss writing prompts! I haven't taken part in anything like that in a while so I just decided to create a few of my own. So I'll write every Thursday for the next ten weeks on these upcoming topics and I am pretty excited! If you'd like to partake I'd love to read some of your thoughts and will hopefully come up with a link up when/if others are involved.