A huge thank you and a virtual hug

I want to say a HUGE thank you to all of you mama friends of mine who left a comment on my last blog post, on my Facebook page, or sent me a private message with ENCOURAGEMENT and helpful advice. I just love it when women can encourage other women – that’s what we’re supposed to do! I think there’s so much judging that goes on amongst us, especially with motherhood (but heck, with life in general), and it’s so refreshing to have dozens of women send notes that say YOU CAN DO THIS.

You girls rock. We’re all on the same team.

So thank you. If you were here I’d give you a hug (which is saying a lot because I’m not a hugger). So instead, just trust that I appreciate you, and I know I will be referring back to some of your handy tips in a few weeks when Baby Girl is here and our little family is figuring this whole thing out for ourselves.

I have this verse posted next to my computer at work, and I think it’s perfect for this, as well as motherhood in general. I can’t tell you how excited I am, but I also feel like I’m standing on the edge of a high diving board, afraid to let go of the rails and just JUMP. I know I’ll be fine when I do, but I also don’t know what to expect on the way down.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” –John 14:27

Here goes nothing…

Breastfeeding – am I the only one who is overwhelmed?

To my mama friends out there in blog land – I have one question: Breastfeeding – how did you do it?

We took a breastfeeding class on Saturday, and I must say that it was pretty overwhelming. I already knew it was going to be challenging, and probably painful at times, and that I wouldn’t get much sleep. But my goodness, you hear all of it at once and it makes me wonder how women have done this since the beginning of time!

Between the leaking and engorgement and keeping baby off a bottle (but making sure she’ll take a bottle) and pumping (but not too much pumping), not to mention washing the pump parts and heating the milk and storing the milk and not poisoning the baby with milk that’s been sitting out too long and not leaking in public and holding baby in the correct “football hold” position and keeping my supply just right and … AND… AND…!!!!

So for you expert moms out there – please send some encouragement and (positive) advice my way! You know at 37 weeks pregnant, I don’t need ANYTHING to send me over the edge – so please keep your horror stories to yourself! (although I do love a good laugh – so if you’re determined to tell a horror story, it had better be crazy funny)

Here’s what scares me:

1. We’re pretty gung-ho about trying to get baby on a schedule (aka – Baby Wise). I realize not everybody is a fan, but according to what I learned in class, it seems nearly impossible to have a baby who sleeps through the night AND have my body produce enough milk during the day. Have any of you managed it?

2. Working moms – how did you manage pumping every 2-3 hours at work? (I’m going back to work at around 9 weeks.)  My schedule is different every single day (besides the fact that when you’re putting on an event, you can’t exactly pump in the middle of it) and I just can’t figure out how I’m going to swing that. 

3. Working moms – did you end up supplementing with formula just to survive? I don’t want to – but do you have any other secrets for survival? Or if you supplemented, feel free to tell me I’m not a horrible mom…

Any other misc. tips you can send my way (or encouragement – heck, just lie to me if you need to) would be greatly appreciated! I know that I’m not the first – or last – new mom to give breastfeeding a try. I’m in good company.

And one thing I know – baby girl is never going to go hungry, regardless of whether or not I figure this thing out. And she will be loved. And I’ve never heard of someone ending up in therapy because their mom couldn’t figure out the whole breastfeeding thing. So there’s that.

Weekend recap: A fancy night out, a trip to the ER, and twinkle lights

Oh my blog friends, what a weekend! It was one of those that takes you the rest of the week to recover from. Here’s a recap of our adventures – you’ll see what I mean:

Friday night I surprised Mr. Right with a fabulous First Father’s Day Date to our favorite gourmet restaurant, and showered him with a new car stereo for his 10-year-old car (he needed one badly). It had all the makings to be one of our best nights in a long time, until I took my first bite of dinner and got struck with a tidal wave of nausea (yea for lingering stomach bug at 36 weeks pregnant) and little Miss Wrenn moved into some weird position that had me almost barreled over in pain. Silly girl.

We managed to make it through dinner without me getting physically ill, packed up my almost untouched food and headed home (after a small detour to get some gelato, of course – Mr. Right knows how to cheer a girl up). We ended the night with me in bed, hugging a body pillow trying to coax Baby Girl back to a less painful position, and Mr. Right on the couch with an ice pack in severe pain from his bike injury. It was not the most romantic First Father’s Day, to say the least.

Saturday we headed to the hospital for an all day childbirth/breastfeeding class. After ten hours of learning about the beauty – and horror – of childbirth, and me still feeling nauseous and unable to eat much, we headed home for what we hoped would be a quiet, peaceful night. (note: Breastfeeding is so intimidating! It deserves its own post where I desperately need some advice from you seasoned mamas out there. Stay tuned.)

Instead, an hour later we ended up BACK at the hospital, this time in the ER to have Mr. Right’s bicycle wreck injuries checked out. They had gotten much, much worse, and when we showed our childbirth nurse the bruise on his leg (bruise doesn’t really describe it – it’s like you took purple paint and painted several square feet of his left hip/thigh, from hip bone to knee), even the nurse said we should get it checked out.


(I tried to snag a pic of all three of us in the ER. Sadly this isn’t even Wrenn’s first ER visit.)

I’m not sure if you should be proud when you have an injury so bad that you can actually shock the ER doctor, but we did just that. Every nurse who saw it just gasped. It was THAT bad. Thankfully, we got FAST, wonderful care (I work at a great hospital with some really great people), and Mr. Right’s injuries checked out fine, which means I will sleep much better (because you know I’d been up all night googling his injuries and had been horrified by what I read). Now he’s got some medicine for the pain and should make a full recovery in 6-8 weeks.

In the meantime, if you want to see the gnarliest bruise in the history of the world – call us.

We finally got home at 10:00 p.m. – exhausted, hurting, nauseous, and ready to retreat from the real world for a little while. And we did just that – we spent most of Sunday just resting and recovering emotionally from a stressful week. We did manage to have Mr. Right’s parents over for a wonderfully relaxing Father’s Day dinner (and praise Jesus my nausea was finally gone!), and then Mr. Right and I ended the weekend sitting on our back porch, admiring the pergola he built me and enjoying each other’s company under the twinkle lights.


Finally, we got our romantic evening we’d been hoping for.

A stomach bug, a bike crash, and an oh-my-gosh-they’re-going-to-let-us-have-children?!?! moment

Have I mentioned I’m 36 weeks pregnant? Like, hugely, uncomfortably, waddling pregnant?

Oh, and I’ve had a stomach bug this week. Which stinks anytime, but is especially not fun when you’re 36 weeks and hugely, uncomfortably, waddling pregnant.

Although between you and me, I’ve had it for three days now, and it’s still here, which makes me wonder if it’s not a bug, but a return of morning sickness. Please no. Anything but that. Lord, let it be a stomach bug that’s on its way out!

So I spent Monday home sick from work (my first day off since New Year’s Day – including holidays – I’ve been hoarding vacation/sick days like they’re going out of style to save up for my maternity leave). I’ve eaten nothing but toast, chicken noodle soup, and baked potatoes while chewing ice chips (drinking water? Ick – so gross). Luckily I’m an expert in nauseous eating, having had six months of experience. I should write a book. All you first trimester sick girls out there – call me. I can help.

So imagine me home Tuesday night, having crashed and taken a two-hour nap the moment I got home from a long day at work, finally sort of sitting up and eating chicken noodle soup and feeling absolutely awful. And my phone rings.

It’s my work – and I need to come in for something very important and unexpected. It’s just part of my job, these things happen.

But it’s less fun when those things happen while you’re home feeling (and looking) like death. I mentally started thinking about what clothes I had lying around on the floor of my closet that would look clean enough for me to wear in to work. Oh, and clothes that fit (there are very few that do at this point).

While I was on the phone, Mr. Right called me. He had been in a bike riding accident. Not just any bike riding accident – Mr. Right does the serious bike riding where you wear bike shorts and go fast on city trails and your bike weighs as much as Baby Girl did at 4 weeks gestation (translation – light). Poor Mr. Right went head-first into the concrete trail and skid on his shoulder, elbow, and hip, ripping and bruising the whole side of his body. Poor guy had to jump back on his bike and ride all the way back to his car, which thankfully was only a mile away.

Did I mention I was horribly nauseous, 36 weeks pregnant, and had just gotten an emergency call from work 30 seconds earlier? And now I have a poor, hurt husband with injuries that are yet unknown? Yeah, it was one of those nights.

I met Mr. Right in the driveway, watched him limp out of his car and helped him assess the damage. He’s going to live, although he looks like he’s been in a major bicycle accident, and he has a bruise that’s almost as big as my full-term belly and a limp that any pirate would envy. And there was blood – less blood than there could have been, considering his accident, but blood nonetheless, dripping from his elbow.

After he got cleaned up and we decided that there were no injuries requiring a trip to my ER (heck, I work at a hospital and already had to go), I left Mr. Right on our couch, ran into work, took care of what I needed to take care of, went and bought wound care supplies and a late drive-through dinner for my hurt man, and came home and finished patching him up. 

And then I climbed into bed, a nauseous, exhausted mess, and crashed (no pun intended).

I thanked God that the night wasn’t worse. After all, Mr. Right landed head-first on concrete, cracked his helmet, skidded who knows how long, and has no major, life-threatening injuries to show for it.

And then I thought – holy cow, all this, and we’re about to be parents too?!?! What the heck are we going to do with a BABY?!?!

That subculture called Motherhood

Having a baby is like discovering a whole subculture I previously knew nothing about. It’s like the first time I went running on the Trinity Trails in Fort Worth at 6:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning, and I realized that there are TONS of fitness-crazed people out there running and cycling in the dark ON A SATURDAY MORNING.

They’re crazy. And I wish I had the will power to be one of them.

Having a baby is kind of like discovering that you’re the only person who didn’t know that folks exercise at the crack of dawn on a weekend. I’ve had so many people ask me what brand of stroller I have. (a BOB – which I didn’t realize was a big deal – so thankful for generous in-laws!) What brand of diaper do I prefer? (the free ones our friends have given us) Will I be breastfeeding? (yes) What kinds of bottles are you going to use? (oh crud, I only own one newborn bottle – must remember to buy some on Amazon ASAP) Will we be co-sleeping? (no) Will we have bumpers in our crib? (no) Will I be getting an epidural? (Heck YES)  Who’s my pediatrician? (actually, we’re going with my family doctor, who has treated babies for years)

And the one I hear the most – will we be immunizing?

YES. For many reasons, but this article captures one of the biggest reasons. It’s at least worth checking out.

As for the rest of this motherhood subculture – I freely admit that I have NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING. None. Zip. I know next month I’ll find myself doing things I never expected I’d do (heck, I walked around in a urine-soaked shirt last weekend after my baby nephew, ahem, marked his territory on me – and I didn’t even mind because he’s so cute). All moms had to be newbies at some point, so go ahead and start praying for me now. You know I’m pretty clueless and need those prayers – and patience – more than most!


PS–Don’t forget to go over and enter my contest to predict Baby Wrenn’s arrival date. Contest closes on Friday.

Baby bump pictures & a contest

Who doesn’t love a good baby bump picture? I have been feeling really good lately – other than a few instances where Wrenn turns and gets into some crazy position (ouch!), I actually have more energy and feel better now than I have in a long time. I’m avoiding the Texas heat like the plague (got overheated once – indoors – and was sick for a full 24 hours), and I’m trying to prop up my swollen feet in the evenings, and I’m down to just a few pieces of clothing that still fit, but I still think this third trimester has by far been my best. Praise Jesus for no nausea!

For past baby bump pics, try these and these.




Oh, and I finally broke down and bought one of these – a maternity swimsuit. Trust me when I say that I will NOT be posting any bump pictures in that!

maternity suit

I just started Week 35… we’re in our final month! I think it’s a great time to start making bets – when do you think Baby Girl will make her appearance? Leave your prediction in the comments below, and if you’re the closest, then I’ll send you a free print from my shop! My due date is July 12, but my doctor has said she thinks I could go about two weeks early. Okay… predictions… go!

A promise of what is to come

Dude, this pregnancy thing isn’t for sissies. I spent my afternoon doubled over in pain as Little Miss got into some weird position and wouldn’t move back. When Mr. Right called to check on me, I was on my knees, hugging my office chair, trying to relieve some of the pressure off my belly and will her back into position. My goodness it was glamorous.

It was the second time she’s done this in the past week or so. My doctor thinks maybe she’s flipping or starting to move into position. I hope it means she’s getting ready to come on her own in, say, two weeks. Or three. No sooner, sweet Wrenn, you hear? (I’m 35 weeks tomorrow.) Thankfully every time she eventually moves back to where she belongs, but it leaves me sore the rest of the evening. Thank goodness for a sweet husband who picks up takeout for dinner so I can hug my body pillow on the couch and relax.

In other news…

We finished the nursery. That sound you hear is the Hallelujah Chorus playing in the background. It’s such a relief. I realize Baby Girl doesn’t need a nursery in the beginning, but I needed to get organized and inventory what we had and what we still needed. Plus, I’m assuming that I’ll be recovering and things will be chaotic when she gets home, and I don’t want to have to come home to a mess. And now we don’t have to. Pictures to come SOON. I promise. I’m so happy with how it turned out.

And, Mr. Right has caught the nesting bug. After helping me cross everything off our “Things that have to be done before Wrenn’s arrival” to-do list this weekend, he got a wild hair on Tuesday, one of his rare days off, and built an entire pergola in our backyard. It looks amazing, and we spent last night sitting underneath it, admiring his handiwork. I’m amazed at the things he dreams up and then builds – he is really, really talented, and I love to watch his creativity in motion. I promise, pictures of that to come soon as well.

Oh, and while I’m bragging on Mr. Right – he officiated his first wedding last weekend for some dear friends of ours. It was an adorable outdoor, backyard wedding – something straight out of Sweet Home Alabama. Of course there are no pictures because I was big and swollen and at this point, well, I have no desire to take pictures. But trust me, it was adorable, and my man did an AWESOME job preaching the ceremony. He looked like an old pro – and talk about strange to hear your husband, the man you just exchanged vows with, lead another couple through the same thing. I would have cried if I wasn’t so fascinated watching my feet swell to epic proportions in the outdoor humidity.

Which reminds me… I promise to post some bump pictures. My goodness, just as I crossed all my baby to-do’s off, now I’ve got a whole list of blog to-do’s!


PS–Just a reminder about the prints in my shop. After baby comes I will take a temporary break, so if there’s anything you’re hankering for, pick it up now.

What I wish I had known before I was pregnant


Buy a belly brace. I just got one this week, and my belly feels 10 pounds lighter, my back hurts less, and I’m kicking myself for waiting so long to get one. I borrowed this one from a friend – it’s complicated, but works like a gem.

No matter how horrible your nausea may be – or how long it may last (in my case, 25 weeks), when it finally goes away, you really will forget how bad it was. I went from swearing to Mr. Right that this would be the ONLY baby I ever carry to telling him, “I think I could do this again.” Pregnancy amnesia is a wonderful thing – God sure knew what he was doing.


It’s totally possible for your belly button to be both an innie and an outie at the same time.

Sleeping: Buy a body pillow the day you find out you’re pregnant. Invest in a good one. And buy some good books to read when those bouts of insomnia hit (because they will hit).

The AC is your friend. I’m super cold natured, but during this third trimester, it’s like my internal body temperature has been cranked up 5 or 10 degrees. For the first time ever, I’m freezing out my husband at home, and my car AC has only one setting these days – HIGH. Pregnancy would be a good time to move to Alaska.

It’s possible to get to the point where you never want to wear pants again. Like, I’d rather just wear the nice dress I wore to work when I get home at night than change into workout shorts and a t-shirt. It’s just too much elastic around my middle (not to mention that I’ve outgrown my husband’s t-shirts). I’m in an all-dresses, all the time mode.


You haven’t seen awkward until you try on your postpartum nursing tops while nine months pregnant. Exactly how are you supposed to try on clothes that will fit AFTER you have the baby when you don’t even fit into maternity clothes anymore?

Actually, I lied – if you make it to nine months pregnant, you’ve seen awkward. As has your husband. And your coworkers. And strangers who watch you waddle across the parking lot. I think the most awkward of all is trying to roll yourself off the couch after watching TV – it’s a lot like watching a beetle who is stuck on his back with his legs kicking in the air, unable to right himself. I wish we could afford to install a pulley system in the living room.

There is no better feeling in the world than feeling your baby kick. My favorites are when she kicks me in the middle of a serious meeting. It’s like I have a secret that the rest of the world doesn’t know – there are little arms and legs flailing in my belly and nobody knows but me.


Pickles are the most amazing things in the whole world. Sweet, dill, fried, or fresh – they’re all wonderful.

It’s possible to survive for months at a time on nothing but saltines and baked potatoes, if your morning sickness is strong enough. Trust me, I know. It’s also possible to not be able to stomach a granola bar, but be able to eat Indian food. It’s also possible to eat so much Indian food in a two-week span that you never want to see another chicken tikka masala again.

During pregnancy, there is absolutely ZERO rhyme or reason to what tastes good and what doesn’t. Don’t even try to figure it out, just go with it.

While we’re talking foods – here is what I’ve craved since the morning sickness passed: pickles, salad, carbs of any kind, fruit, salty chips, spicy hot sauce, ice cream, lemonade, cherry limeades, and ice tea.

And here are my food aversions: coffee (my former addiction), hot tea, chicken, steak, brisket, and bananas.


There is a reason why God makes you wait 40 weeks to have your baby. Because I was scared as you-know-what of childbirth for the first few months. And by now, well, I have my game face on, and a BRING IT ON kind of attitude. I am READY to do this. Being pregnant has made me a royal, disheveled mess some of the time, but it has also


The promise of an epidural has also made me brave. Yes, that, too.

34 weeks and counting…

The nesting… it has begun

You all said it would happen. And you were right.

I have started nesting. Says the girl who planted flowers and weeded her flower beds at 6:30 tonight after a full day of work.

I have a to-do list a mile long, and suddenly I have the energy to tackle it. And the NEED to tackle it. This could be dangerous. Or really good, because between you and me, I sort of let some things go around the house while I was so sick. Six months of nausea equals some really, really messy closets. Don’t tell my mom.

So while I’m in clean out mode, I thought I’d do some spring cleaning in the shop. I’m ready to clean out some of my older prints, which means a sale for you. Check it out – I’ve knocked most of my 2012 prints down to just $5, while supplies last. There’s no discount code, I went ahead and just adjusted the price in the shop. Once these prints are gone, they’re going in the Disney Vault forever. I mean, they’ll be discontinued.


Also, just a reminder that this precious little baby stroller quilt is still available in the shop and ready for a good home. If there’s one thing I love better than chevron, it’s polka-dotted fabric.

Mother’s Day Letter to Wrenn

Dear Baby Girl,

Yesterday was my first Mother’s Day… and it was because of you that I got that huge honor. You see, little Wrenn, it is the biggest honor of my life to be your mama. To carry you in my belly. To feel you kick from the inside – it’s like our own little secret that nobody else knows. I treasure those moments and look forward to them every single day.


Baby girl, I prayed for you before I ever met your daddy. I prayed so many nights that God would give me a baby of my own someday. And that someday is here and He has given me you. Once I married your daddy, we prayed together that God would bless us with a baby. Before you were ever here, I longed for you and cried for you and waited and waited and waited for you.


I cannot wait to meet you in two short months. There is so much to do before you arrive, but more than anything I can’t wait for that first moment when I get to see you, and meet you, and hold you against my chest and revel in the joy of being your mama.


Your daddy spoiled me on my first Mother’s Day. I woke up to a gorgeous breakfast – you know your daddy doesn’t just cook – he makes every meal an event. He gave me a body pillow (such a comfort for this tired pregnant body) and a prenatal massage and one of his famously sweet love notes. Your daddy spoils me so, and I know when you get here he will spoil you too.


We spent the rest of the day celebrating with both of your grandmothers, who also can’t wait to meet you. In fact, there are a lot of people counting down until the day they get to meet you. But of all of them, your daddy and I are the most excited. Sixty days left until your due date (July 12). The question is… will we see you before that, or will you make us wait? Honestly, baby girl, whenever you choose to come will be a huge celebration.


Wrenn Olivia – you are loved. You are treasured. You are an answer to prayers. I can’t wait to meet you.

Love, your mama


Thanks to all my blog friends who left me such encouragement on my last post. It meant so much to me. All of these pictures are courtesy of McGowan Images. To see our entire maternity session, click here.