my verse for this pregnancy

"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:7

I didn't think about it for Shepherd, but when I was pregnant with Major I had a little theme verse that I kept coming back to.  It was:

1 John 4:18
"There is no fear in love. Perfect love drives out fear."

During Major's pregnancy I was nervous about the VBAC and the pain, but that verse grounded me in knowing that my love was greater than my fear, and my Father's love certainly could get me through anything. 

This time, I'm focusing on having peace, a peace that can come over me when I don't expect it or understand it. You guys, I am a total freak about stuff. I want so badly to be someone who is just joyful and happy and enjoys things like a normal person. But anytime I have a big day, even if its something I'm excited about, I am an anxious psycho who can't calm down. I hate waiting for stuff. The anticipation kills me. I can't eat, I'm sweating, I want to vomit. There is no reason for it! So I'm anticipating that the day I go in for the C-section I'll be a nervous wreck, and I don't want to be. I want to be calm and collected. I need a peace that transcends all understanding, because with me that can only come from God. 

Related example: My wedding day was definitely not the best day of my life. I would never want to relive it. I didn't eat literally all day, I was so anxious for everything to get started, I was dry heaving in the sink 10 minutes before the ceremony. Then as soon as it actually started, I was fine. I just cannot handle the waiting. 
Does this look like someone about to have the have the happiest day of her life? No this is someone making everyone around her worried for her future. 

And now that it's actually started I'm happy that I'm no longer waiting and I'm just doing it!

The decision to have a C-section was a hard one and at times I wished he was breech or something just to confirm I was making the right choice. I want to feel peace about it, and really I do, it's just tinged with disappointment. 
The morning of the C-section I just want to wake up and feel calm and excited, not anxious or stressed. 

10 more days to go. This has been the longest pregnancy ever. 
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Lexington favorites

I lived in Lexington for 10 years and it took about that long, but I found favorites for about every doctor you could need. I was thinking about this because I could literally weep over how much I miss Kroger. And knowing they're doing the order online pick up in your car thing now just makes me more depressed. I don't want to say "picky" but I'm very particular about doctors and I don't like to compromise. I thought I'd put together a list of my Lexington favorites in case anyone from Lex is reading this and is interested. 

It's so hard starting all over and testing out different doctors and services trying to find what you like. Here in Utah I am driving 30 minutes for a pediatrician who fits what I want and going to 3 different grocery stores to get all our groceries. I've already had to switch doctors during the pregnancy and I haven't even started looking for a dentist or anything else yet. 

Here is my list of Lexington favorites and I will tell you I'm obsessed with all of them and could cry not getting to go to them. 

Gynecologist : Womankind Midwives
Don't be scared by the term "midwife." You don't have to be a crunchy granola mom to see a midwife!  And you don't have to be pregnant.  You can still go to them for annual exams and what you would go to a gynecologist for.  I had always gone to a gynecologist and when I got pregnant with Major I decided to look into a midwife.  They give you so much more time and attention than I've ever gotten at a traditional gyno.  I interviewed the midwife here before transferring my files and I literally said to Joey "I want a million babies just so she can deliver them." 

Family doctor: Dr Caresse Wesley
I only saw her I think once or twice but I really liked her.  She has a more "natural" approach to medicine, just meaning she recommends diet changes and vitamins before jumping into medications, at least when I saw her.  I love that.  Joey was going to see her too, but then we ended up moving.

Dentist: Dr Pleasant
Joey and I both loved him and his office staff. 

Pediatric dentist: Dr Steckler
Shepherd saw him once before we moved and we were very happy with him.  I'm not someone who needs a fancy office, but his office was really cute and kid friendly.  Also, in a Facebook mom group I'm in, whenever anyone asks for kids dentist recommendations, I've noticed he is an overwhelmingly popular opinion.

Pediatrician: Dr Nancy Bishof
I love her, I love her, I love her.  She was Joey's tennis coach in Lexington and I was a little worried about going to a doctor who was also a family friend.  But I literally could weep that she is not seeing our kids anymore.  I am also not someone who wants a doctor to sugar coat or worry about my feelings or beat around the bush.  I want someone with facts and who will tell me what I need to know.  Nancy always backs up her medical opinion with current research and I love that.  She's told me detailed stories of random studies done and I appreciate that its obvious she is continuing to stay current.  I am also very pro-vaccine and she only accepts patients who are up to date on theirs.  I personally do not want to expose my kids to something that can be prevented.  Yes I realize they are being exposed everywhere in the world, but when I'm taking them in to see their doctor, a lot of times because they are ill and their immune system is down, I don't want to expose them to something that is preventable by vaccines.  Or worse I don't want to take my infant who isn't old enough to be vaccinated yet, and potentially expose him to a kid who isn't vaccinated and may be carrying something.  She is in an office on her own, so there was never a long wait and we never had trouble getting in to see her on short notice.

Again, she is someone that is an overwhelmingly popular choice when people ask for chiropractor recommendations.  I really liked her office and the staff.  She is really knowledgable about chiropractic care during pregnancy and I saw her when I was pregnant with Major.
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37 weeks with Baby #3

I had my 37 week appointment today. It was supposed to be tomorrow but I was just feeling like something was off and stressing myself out thinking he wasn't moving enough so I called this morning and asked if they would go ahead and see me. He was fine and I was fine. They did a non stress test and she said he looked excellent. I acted like a spazz and cried during the exam because I hate them so much, but she said I didn't appear to be dilated. I only have one more appointment next week then the week after that I'll have him!

Hooked up to the non stress test today.  Not having two wild animals to watch is about the least stressed I could be ;)

Notice my fat feet and flip flops in February :(

Last week we went to the hospital where I will deliver to tour the labor and delivery unit. It is so nice! It's brand new, less than 3 years old I believe. There are 10 maternity rooms and when we were there only 2 of them were occupied, so that's nice that it's not crowded. We'll have a view of the mountains. It honestly made me sad because the rooms were so nice and whatever room you give birth in is where you stay. No moving rooms after you have the baby. But I'll obviously deliver in an operating room. It would be such a nice room to labor in though! There are two huge tvs, one that monitors contractions and one to watch. 

I was checked again this pregnancy for cholestasis. My doctor with Shepherd thought I had it too. The main symptom is itching, which I had extremely bad with Shep. This time it is really not that bad but Joey insisted I call my midwife about it. I had blood work done and came back all clear. Itching must just be something that happens to me during pregnancy. 

An update on my conversation I had with the OB about my birth plan. She was great about all of my wishes and hopefully it all goes smoothly the day of delivery. The only thing she flat out said we couldn't do was to delay the cord clamping and have Joey cut the cord. She said because it is a sterile environment and they don't want to compromise that. Not sure how I feel about that but I don't feel like arguing. My #1 thing is being skin to skin in the OR and he not being separated from me, which she was on board with as long as everyone is healthy. 

My feet and calves have swollen up and I look like an elephant. It just came out of nowhere. I hope it doesn't snow again bc the only shoes that fit/I can get on by myself are flip flops. Joey said it looks like I should be on bed rest. 

We still haven't decided on a middle name. I think I should get to choose since I've been pregnant for nearly 30 months of my life now. It's really the least Joey could do. I haven't gotten his coming home outfit embroidered yet because I don't know his initials.

I don't sleep well at all.  I just toss and turn and feel like I can't breathe.

I never felt like this with Shepherd or Major.  I think this far along with them I still felt not ready and like I had stuff I wanted to take care of before they arrived.  This time I literally cannot wait to NOT be pregnant, and any loose ends I don't care about, we'll all survive.

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Everyday 2016 :: 3

Life is pretty boring around here. Less than 3 weeks until the baby is here! (2 weeks + 3 days, not that I'm counting down the minutes days!) About 2 weeks until Rhonda is here and once she's here I'm going to start jumping around trying to go into labor on my own ;) Still set on a C-section but if I were to go into labor on my own at least I'd know he was ready. 

This weekend we got the co-sleeper set up and a little changing station in our bedroom. When he's here we'll move the rocker into our bedroom too. The baby will sleep in our room for the first few months at least. I hope that goes ok. Both Shep and Maj slept in our room too, but the difference was that they also had their own rooms. So when they woke up in the night I always took them to their rooms to change diapers and nurse them back to sleep, then came back to our bedroom. Maybe by the time the baby is ready for his crib Major will be ready to share a room with Shepherd. 
Anyway. A little recap of the last week or so!

February 11:
I wish I'd gotten a picture there, this is on our way home...Joey's coworkers threw us a baby shower. It was at a restaurant called Sweet Tomatoes and we got such nice gifts. 

February 12:
I love when they lay together. 

February 13:
Always wanting to jump off something. 

February 14:
Valentine's Day dinner at Texas Roadhouse. 

February 15:
Shep wanted to see how many balls he could fit in his shirt. 

February 16:
Went to the hospital where I'll deliver for a tour. 

February 17:
Walking to the grocery. I told Shepherd sometimes having a baby in your belly makes you a crazy person because I parked clear on the other side of the parking lot not even near the grocery and we had to walk. 
Also note, Major is wearing Shep's "crocs" he's had for 2 years and is just starting to outgrow. I had crocs in parentheses because they are from Walmart and cost less than $5. But they have held up and for whatever reason both boys are obsessed with them and think they are so comfortable. I went and got some more this weekend. 

February 19:
Working on his sticker book and this is the face he makes when I ask to take his picture. 

February 20:
We met our friend Ginny (who also is Joey's boss) for dinner. Shep is a little obsessed with her. He insisted on sitting next to her and told her all sorts of stories, haha. 

February 21:
Spent the weekend getting together all of the last minute things I'm suddenly remembering I need for a new baby. It literally makes me so happy to sit alone in the Target food court and read a magazine. Also I texted my best friend and told her it's a good thing I have zero shame because I'm pretty sure I just bought the most embarrassing things someone can buy. She was like, "self checkout?" Haha, nope. Having a baby is so pretty...

After a Target run I met Joey and the boys at the neighborhood playground. Today we woke up to snow :(

The moon peeking over the mountains.  I never get over that this is my view, walking out of Walmart, driving down the street, in our front yard.  These mountains are so pretty!

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boys who love their mama

I found these pics on the iPad from back in October. So happy and thankful to be so well loved by these boys. 

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what will my baby look like: round 3

I have had surprisingly good luck with this in the past! 

First, how did they know Shep would be light skinned, blonde hair, blue eyes!?

Now, Major is a little more of a stretch. But if that kid had blonde hair I could see it more. Something about the hair does resemble Major. 

So today I decided to check out Baby #3. 

Here he is:

Or here is another option I used close up pictures. 

Here I put the boys pictures in instead of mine and Joey's.

Can't wait to meet him and see what he looks like!! 
One thing is for sure, I know he'll be precious like his brothers!

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Shepherd right now

 Shepherd right now
3.5 years old. 

Wears 3t clothes, size 7 shoes

Potty trained and sleeping in underwear, although we randomly have accidents at night. I think usually when he's had a lot to drink before bed or didn't pee right before going to sleep. 

Weaned around 3.5 years.

Rear facing until almost 3.5 years. (Because we got a new car and Joey could only figure out how to install it forward facing!)

Transitioned to toddler bed at a little over 3 years old. It has always been my goal for our kids to sleep in cribs as long as possible! Less work for me ;)

Staying in his bed all night has been a struggle. He comes and sneaks into our bed almost every single night. He was doing really well for a few weeks after Joey had the idea to tape a blind bag to his door and he only got it in the morning if he stayed in his bed all night. But then he got sick and we felt sorry for him so we let him sleep with us and now we're back to that. It's a work in progress! I'm REALLY hoping both of our children will be sleeping through the night by the time we add a newborn into the mix but I'm not going to bank on it. 

Shep is a picky eater. He likes what he likes and he's not really interested in trying anything else. It's bizarre though because the things he's staunchly opposed to are things like pizza and spaghetti. His favorite food is a sandwich, he calls them all cheese sandwiches regardless of what meat is on it too. He likes fruit and his preferred snack is pretzels. 

He loves to peel oranges and hard boiled eggs and he is really good at it and very quick. 

He (and Major) refuse to accept that Joey has to go to work 5 days a week. Shepherd seriously asks him every single night "if he gets to stay tomorrow?" He always words things in the most heartbreaking way.  If they wake up after Joey has left for work they are so disappointed and if he leaves after they're awake they stand at the window and wave until he's out of sight. Major will actually block the door and say, "no work!" in his grumpy little voice. Joey says all the time he's going to have to quit his job and we'll just live in the car because it breaks his heart. 

He is OBSESSED with FaceTiming people. Everyday he goes through every single person on both sides of our family and calls them. They spend most of the conversation looking at the ceiling and asking if he's still there, so we are very thankful they are all so patient with him, because it really makes his day. 

Some things he's said:

He is always taking up for his brother. He is a peacemaker.  If Major does something and Shep thinks he's about to get in trouble, he will intervene to try and make me not upset.  Like the other day Major dumped out an entire basket of laundry I had just finished folding and Shepherd immediately says, "That's ok Mom. It was an accident. I will pick it up." And started putting the clothes back in the basket. 

"Dad, let's go get some more cookies, before mom tells us we can't have any more cookies."

We were at this store and the boys were playing in the kids area. Major was technically a little young to be playing, but it wasn't too crowded and we knew he could handle it so we let him play. Well some little boy called Major a baby and Shepherd immediately yelled at him, "My brother is NOT a baby!"

The other day Major kept taking the cushions off the couch and they aren't allowed to do that. I asked him if he wanted to go to time out (Side note: He said "yes." Stinker!) Anyway when I asked him that Shep says, "No, Mom! Major is my best friend!"

Shepherd really likes to talk through the steps of stuff. Like, every.single.step of what is happening. He will break it down for you. This is an example of when I have to exercise very INTENTIONAL parenting and be patient because inside I'm sometimes screaming "Get it out!"

He loves helping me unpack the groceries. "Wow!! You got me bananas! Thank you, Mommy!" 

He can be so manipulative. He'll come up with some request that I'll say no to, just for example, say he asks for gummies for breakfast. I'll repeat it and say, "You want gummies for breakfast?" Then he'll say, "Ok, Mom. That would be a good idea."

Instead of saying "I was just kidding," he says, "I was just being funny." 
And if I ask him to do something he doesn't want to do, sometimes he'll pause and say, "Oh, you were just being funny?"

Once he was watching tv with Joey and two little girls were on the show and Joey asked if Shep thought they were pretty. Shep responded, "No, but their mommies are beautiful."

He calls everyone "kid." The other day I took the iPad away from him. "Hey! Why'd you take my iPad, Kid!?"

He remembers stuff from sooo long ago. A lot of times its stuff that was not even a big deal, I'm surprised he can recall it at all. But if he's talking to you, it always happened yesterday. 
"Remember yesterday when we went to Daddy's work and I got a shot and I cried because it hurt?"
That was back in October when we got our flu shots, but he still talks about it. 

I can always count on him to tell me if Major is doing something he shouldn't be. 
"Mom, Major is doing something dangerous."

He pronounces it "May-jah."

He is so kind and concerned about others. He asks me things like:
"Did you have a good shower?"
And to Major:
"Did you have a good nap?"
My favorite, when he sneaks in our bed, he'll ask me, "Are you comfy, Mommy?"

Shepherd really is just a kind, good natured and easy kid. God kissed him on the lips and sent him straight down from Heaven, because he is an angel. No bias here ;)

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Valentine's Day 2016

7 years ago on Valentine's Day, Joey proposed. 7 years later our celebration looked a little different, but I love my Valentine even more now than I did then. Actually a lot more :) 

Valentine's Day 2009:

(Celebrating the next day)

Valentine's Day 2016:
Valentine's Day celebrations look a lot different with kids. 
I spent the 4 days leading up to V-Day absolutely miserable with the stomach bug, and Shep and Major had it too, so I was sick and taking care of them. Thankfully on Saturday with Joey being home I was able to pretty much stay in bed all day, and by then the boys were feeling better. I was so happy to wake up Sunday feeling pretty back to normal and having my appetite back. 

I made breakfast for everyone and the boys opened their cards from Pappy and Gigi. Shepherd's card included a burping joke which went over really well ;)

We decided instead of getting it to go as we originally planned, to just take the boys and go to Texas Roadhouse. I don't know if it's ever worth it to spend money on dinner you barely get to eat, let alone enjoy...but Shepherd said as we were leaving, "that was so much fun, I want to go there every day." So I guess it is worth it for that! 
However, despite ordering him a kids meal, Major preferred to eat cinnamon butter with his fingers.
So there's that. 

My three Valentines:
Major kept telling me he wanted to sit by Shep and eventually just climbed under the table. He loves his big brother!

This was so funny, Joey took the funniest picture of Major and sent it out in a group text with his own caption:

After the boys were in bed Joey made us our traditional fondue. 

Then we watched the wedding of the century. 
I will literally watch anything The Bachelor puts on tv.

The real TV excitement of the night was the return of The Walking Dead. 
Warning: Spoiler ahead!

So funny:

Whyyyy is this show so good? 
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Everyday 2016 :: 2

Thank God for 3 day weekends! All I will say about these past 2 day is I have dealt with more poop and more vomit than anyone should have to, especially at 35 weeks pregnant.  #stomachbugforeveryone

February 1:
Doing his "school work."

February 2:
He has the best laugh.

Since this is my blog and I can brag if I want to...and I'll take this opportunity to brag on this future Olympian.  He is seriously so coordinated and has this natural athleticism with every sport he's been introduced to.  He also quickly picked up the scooter and balance bike they got for Christmas.  Joey plays tennis, but he had never actually showed Major how to play.  Then Major just picked up a racket, threw the ball in the air and hit it like he was born to.  I cannot wait to see which sport is his favorite.  I hope its a fun one to watch ;)

February 3:
Shepherd requested lunch be served picnic style in his room.

Major has gotten into the worst habit of going to sleep in his bed, but then waking up and wanting to move to the guest room bed.  I guess I could just start him off there, but I'm kind of afraid he's going to fall I'd really like him to break this habit. 

February 5:
Snuggling in mom and dad's bed with Thomas books.  That little book peeking out of the bottom of the picture was for his imaginary friend, "Ryan."  Thats normal right!? Joey and I feel so guilty that he is missing his little Kentucky friends so he's making up new ones.

February 7:
Super Bowl Sunday! They stayed like this eating their dinner and watching commercials for approximately 2 minutes.
Related side story: You know the Doritos commercial where the mom is having the ultrasound and the dad is eating Doritos, then the baby is trying to get the chip then the baby flies out?  Well we saw that commercial and it apparently left a huge impression on Shep. This past Thursday I went to the doctor and while I was gone, Joey said Shepherd came to him in tears.  Joey asked him what was wrong and Shep said, "Are they going to throw chips at Mommy?  At the doctor?" And Joey was so confused like, "Nooo??"" Then Shep said "If they do the baby will shoot right out! It won't be good!" Then Joey put it together and reassured him that the baby was safe and sound and no one was throwing chips at me.  Such a sweet boy!

This was our half-time show.  I cannot tell you how INTO IT Major was.  He was not just dancing along, he was seriously trying to mimic Beyonce's moves. We had to watch it twice for him.  He is so funny.

February 8:
I just thought he was cute sitting there with his little naked butt.  Neither of my kids are fans of clothes.  He has figured out how to use the iPad and loves to play this PBS kids app.

Later that day, they were "riding the train" and reading books.  I love having two little boys so close in age.  They play together so well, especially now that Major is talking.

After that Shepherd built his own train in the kitchen for them to ride.

February 9:
Brother snuggles.

Later that night, we drove to Park City to meet one of our friends for dinner.  It was so good to see a familiar Kentucky face, but I forgot to take any pictures.  I took this one of us walking back to our car.  He was so happy I let him walk instead of being carried.  Perks of a very pregnant mom!

February 10:
Shepherd holding up his Madeline book while we watched the show.  I randomly found this show on On Demand.  I always tell Shepherd this is my favorite book.  
Something I've been thinking about as a mom of all boys, is how we are going to teach our boys about girls.  Not like dating them.  But just how girls are different from them, but strong and brave and they can do all the things boys can do, etc etc.  After I started thinking about it, I realized we don't have a lot of books or shows we watch that have female leads.  Maybe thats just because we gravitate to more "boy" shows and "boy" books.  I'm sure there are strong female books and shows out there, like Sophia the 1st and Doc McStuffins.  My boys just are not into those shows.  It makes me so mad that Skye, the girl dog on Paw Patrol, is either left off of stuff, like for example they have a Paw Patrol shirt without her on it, but every other character is on it.  And I was reading Major a Paw Patrol book today and it had stickers in it...I noticed every other boy Paw Patrol member sticker was the same size, but the sticker of Skye was a lot smaller.  Just something I thought about for the first time recently and am trying to be conscious of and intentional about.

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