Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

Happy Easter

Love, Kamdyn

Sorry for my silence lately.  I've been adjusting to life with that adorable little bunny above.  I will be back this week with some updates and LOTS of pictures.  Enjoy your Easter with family...I know I will be thanking the Good Lord for all of the blessings in my life!

Happy Easter -

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Dear Katie,

Here's a little insight from your pre-parenthood self just in case you need a little reality check when your days and nights are a constant blur, when your infant is shrieking and you have no idea why, when you are cleaning baby poop out from under your nails - when you have absolutely no idea why on Earth you decided to take on this little adventure.  Read and re-read this until you remember me...your pre-parenthood self.

Tomorrow you will become a mom.  The one job you always dreamed of.  As of tomorrow, every single thing you ever wanted in your life you will have.  You wanted a college degree, a teaching job in your home district that you love, a loving and supportive husband you get to come home to every night, and a baby.  Check, check, check...and as of tomorrow, check.  You worked hard in college, you worked hard to get your job, your marriage has been a work in progress, patience & love...but becoming a mom?  You never knew hard work until you worked for that little girl.  You fought hard for the job of being her mom.  Do not forget that.  Ever.

On this day, the day before you become a mom, you want nothing more than to be holding that baby.  You have dreams about the amazing and remarkable things she is going to do with her life.  You feel as if every second of every day will never be enough to spend with her.  The thought of sharing her with other people makes you cringe because you just want to hog her all the time.  First of all, remember, it takes a village to raise successful kids.  You need help.  Kamdyn needs lots of people who love her in her life.  Even though you might not want to, share your baby with the people who love you and her.  But also use this to remind yourself that you get 18 years with her - after that, it's just bonus time.  When she's an adult, you don't want to wish you'd spent more time with it now.  Stop cleaning, stop working, stop running in circles - snuggle your baby.  Play with your baby.  Watch your baby.  Soak up your baby.

As a teacher and a coach, you see all kinds of kids every single day.  Remember your #1 job.  Your number one job as her mother is to prepare her to be a successful adult who is kind and compassionate.  You want her to be an adult who works hard and is a world-changer.  You don't want her to be unable to make her own decisions, to dress herself, to function without you.  You.Do.NOT.want.that.  Every decision you make serves to get you both closer to that goal.  When you have to remind her for the 100th time to brush her teeth before bed, when you have to show her one more time how to sort her dirty clothes, when you are frustrated beyond belief because she forgot her lunch on the counter - remember your #1 job.  When your heart is breaking because she doesn't make the team, when you want so badly to march into school to fix something for her, when you want to fight her fights - remember your #1 job.  You're not really helping her by doing it for her. Remember the bigger picture.  

Be nice to Kevin.  Not everything is his fault.  Even though you have little patience when you don't get enough sleep - try not to take it out on him.  He's trying his best too.  Let him bathe her, even though he might not do it like you.  Let him put her to sleep even though you really want to, remember how much it melts your heart when he used to put Kaitlyn to sleep.  Try not to lose your mind when he doesn't follow your OCD directions - a little unstructured time will be good for Kamdyn.  Ask him for help, even when you think it might be faster and easier to just do it yourself.  You don't really mean any of that.  You want nothing more than to enjoy this experience with him.  And above all else, remember that after Kamdyn grows up, you will still be married to Kevin.  Keep working on your marriage.  Your priorities are God, Kevin, and then your child.  Keep that in mind.

Do not allow yourself to become someone who forgets me - your pre-parenhood self.  I love to go out to eat with friends, I love reading, I love going to work each day, I love going on dates with Kevin, I love eating dinner with my mom, I love blogging, I love having Sam & Maicey over for sleepovers, I love going to get my nails done, I love going to girls night scrapbooking events, I love coaching, I love "me time".  Even though you're a mom - you still are a wife, a sister, a daughter, a friend, a teacher.  Although being Kamdyn's mommy might become your favorite "I love" on this list - don't forget about all the other parts of that list.  

And lastly, you can do this.  There will be lots of things you don't know.  There will be lots of mistakes you make.  There will be many days that don't quite go as planned.  It's ok.  Children are resilient.  If she's still breathing and in one piece at the end of each day - it's ok.  Most importantly, do not forget that the only person you have to answer to regarding decisions you make for your child is Kevin.  Everyone will have an opinion.  And people will not always agree with yours.  {I know, this isn't making you feel calm right now because you like to please and you're a perfectionist, but keep reading}  As long as you remember your #1 job and you are making decisions that you think push you toward achieving that #1 goal, you are doing your job.  

After all, really the only thing you need in order to be a great parent, you already have.  You've loved this baby since long before you met her.  And you are her mother.  You are her biggest cheerleader, her biggest critic, her sun, her soft place to land, her first are her mom.  And you're perfect for her.  Because you are her mom.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

38 Weeks - our last BUMPdate

Here is the 38 week BUMPdate: 4/9/14
Kamdyn next to her crib!!  :)
and the side-by-side from last week:
I really missed Dan this week.  The lighting in Kamdyn's room is terrible.  The angle of this picture isn't right.  And my phone camera is blurry because it's not bright enough in that room.  Dan - you're amazing.
Kamdyn has really plumped up this week - she weighs almost 7 lbs and is more than 19" long.  She has a firm grasp and her organs are mature and ready for life outside of her kangaroo.

She is the size of a leek this week:

As I'm sitting here blogging this, Julie & Kamdyn are sitting right here.  Kamdyn is wiggling all over the place and I have felt her move more in the last 4 days than I have the past 9 months.  Julie has been staying with us and I have SO enjoyed the ability to have uninterrupted time with her - not to mention being in the same place as my daughter for more than a few hours at a time.  Item #34,849 that most mothers take for granted when they carry their own children.

This is the last BUMPdate I'll be doing.  Next week at this time, I'll be able to blog pictures of my sweet baby girl.  Even as I type that, it's so surreal to me.  This entire process has felt like an eternity and a blink of an eye all at the same time.  I will be taking one more bump picture before she goes into the hospital and I'll be sure to share that next week sometime.

I promise I will blog pictures as soon as I can, but those of you who aren't following me on Instagram or Facebook might want to consider one of those two things because those images will be uploaded before I get a chance to sit down and blog.

Lastly, I'm getting a little teary-eyed as I'm typing this last part because I am so overwhelmed with thankfulness for each and every single one of you.  When we embarked on this journey and I decided to blog my way through it, I never in my wildest dreams imagined that so many people would take interest and fall in love with our story.  I am so honored that so many of you make our little blog a place you curl up on your couches and visit, or check on your phone each morning, or check quick between chores.  There are many of you that I see each and every day, and more of you that I have never met in my life.  Both are equally amazing to me.  Thank you for caring about our little family.  Thank you for praying with and for us.  Thank you for joining us on this crazy, wild, and incredible ride.  You each mean the world to us.

Love -

Thursday, April 3, 2014

37 Weeks

Here is the 37 Week BUMPdate: 4/2/14

A HUGE shout out to Dan for doing such an exceptional job with these belly pics.  This is the last one he will be week I will take one because Julie will be at our house in preparation for delivery!  Dan is the absolute best - he knew about my little battle with OCD and the scrapbook, so he meticulously took each week's picture as close to the same as he could.  It didn't go unnoticed - and her scrapbook is perfectly aligned because of it.  It's the little things, people!
and the side-by-side from last week:

Kamdyn is the size of a swiss chard.  {a what?!}

She is about 6 1/2 lbs and 19 inches long.  She will spend the next two weeks putting the finishing touches on her lungs and brain so she is fully ready for delivery at 39 weeks.  We were fortunate to have one last ultrasound this week and that baby is so smushed in there, it is insane!  The ultrasound tech said she has a little bit of hair and is absolutely perfect!  These first two pictures make her nose look weird and her cheeks look extremely chubby because she kept putting her arm up and scrunching herself up...I am so anxious to compare the real thing in just a couple of weeks!!

This is her forehead, eyes (kind of looking down) and her nose
This is her face pretty scrunched up - I kinda think she's practicing her duck face.  :)
And this eased my fears from the above pictures where her nose was really terrifying...this picture is her perfect little nose with her eyes closed.  I have no idea what the other stuff is under her nose and frankly I'm not sure I want to know.  Ick.
Can you all believe we have ONE more BUMPdate until delivery day?!  As I blogged about earlier this week, a little tiny part of me is feeling a bit sad.  I am SUPER excited, over-the-moon, cannot-wait-to-hold-my-baby.  But I might never get to experience pregnancy again and this might end up being my only baby - so a small part of me just wants to soak up every moment of the next 2 weeks.  And the remaining 97% is just fine with pressing fast forward!  :)

Happy BUMPday, Friends!  :)

Monday, March 31, 2014

You're Gonna Miss This

Tonight was my last dance class before Kamdyn.  The first in a long list of "lasts" - last night was our last Sunday night in our house alone... soon we will be counting the last time we go to the grocery store without either having to find someone to watch our daughter or bringing her with us, or the last time we eat dinner just the two of us without having to find a babysitter, etc.

I have dreamt about this for my entire life.  I have never worked harder to earn any job as I have to earn the job of MOM.  I have never in my life felt more certain that I want something as I am that I want this miracle baby.  And yet, a little tiny piece of me is a little bit sad because nothing will ever be the same.  I hesitate to even type that because I can just hear all of your groans or see your eye rolls - all of you who have read with me as I've gone month after month without getting pregnant, as we mourned that I wouldn't carry my own child, as we've patiently waited for this angel baby to arrive, and mostly all of you who are in the deep, dark valleys of infertility - I hesitate to say anything aside from THANK YOU and how grateful I am to be where I am - and while I am overwhelmed with gratitude and joy for this gift I'm being given - I also feel like I need to share this other little feeling that creeps into my heart as her birthday approaches.

Monday's have traditionally been a night I am extremely busy and frankly don't always look forward to.  I go from teaching, to coaching my high school team, then a quick dinner, and straight to the studio to teach dance until's a long day.  And when I get home, I plop on the couch and watch mindless TV while surfing the internet or doing other tasks that require zero energy or thought.  As I was driving home, I was thinking about how in a couple of weeks I will be responsible for another human being.  Coming home and laying on the couch with Kevin watching TV and reading on our iPads will get a little more complicated.  And it made me a little bit sad.  Not because I don't want with every fiber of my being to be a mom.  Not because I don't love Kamdyn already with every bone in my body.  But because I have loved this phase of my life.  I love coming home and making dinner for just Kevin & I.  I love that he and I can run to the store at 9:00 PM just because we feel like it.  I love that we can go to sleep at 8:30 when we want to.  I love that we can sit and talk for hours on our couch about nothing or everything.  I have loved every day of the life we have built...and while that is not ending - it is changing in ways that I can't even imagine yet.

And while I was thinking of all of this on my way home, the song "You're Gonna Miss This" by Trace Adkins came on the radio.  Tears welled up in my eyes.  That song has always been kind of catchy and I've always liked it and sung along with it - but I got it.

She was staring out that window, of that SUV
Complaining, saying I can't wait to turn 18
She said I'll make my own money, and I'll make my own rules
Mamma put the car in park out there in front of the school
Then she kissed her head and said I was just like you

You're gonna miss this
You're gonna want this back
You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast
These Are Some Good Times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now 
But you're gonna miss this

Before she knows it she's a brand new bride
In a one-bedroom apartment, and her daddy stops by
He tells her It's a nice place
She says It'll do for now
Starts talking about babies and buying a house
Daddy shakes his head and says Baby, just slow down

You're gonna miss this
You're gonna want this back
You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast
These Are Some Good Times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now 
But you're gonna miss this

Five years later there's a plumber workin' on the water heater
Dog's barkin', phone's ringin'
One kid's cryin', one kid's screamin'
She keeps apologizin'
He says They don't bother me. 
I've got 2 babies of my own. 
One's 36, one's 23.
Huh, it's hard to believe, but ...

You're gonna miss this
You're gonna want this back
You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast
These Are Some Good Times
So take a good look around 
You may not know it now 
But you're gonna miss this
You're gonna miss this
Yeah, you're gonna miss this

Today, as tears streamed down my face, I got it.  When people always used to tell me not to wish away the time before I had kids and I would get so pissed off - I got it now.  When my dad used to tell me not to grow up before I had to - I got it now.  When parents of teenagers tell me to enjoy every single sleepless night with my tiny infant - I got it.  I get it.  

So I pledge to continue to remind myself that one day, I will look back and miss whatever phase I'm currently in.  I pledge to work hard to not wish away a solitary moment.  And I pledge to try to enjoy every single good, bad, ugly, awesome, terrifying, incredible part of this wild ride I'm about to begin.

That was what I like to call a "Heart Dump" - all of that was on my heart tonight and I'm glad I got it out.  Perhaps some of you might be able to tell me I haven't completely lost my mind?!  Because I'm currently feeling like I need some affirmation!  Or medication?!  :)

That's all -

Goodnight, friends!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

36 Weeks

I cannot believe we didn't think of this until now!  Every Wednesday I get a new bump picture and today Julie said "Happy BUMPday" and we both cracked up.  

Here's the 36 Week BUMPdate: 3/26/14 -

and the side-by-side:

This week Kamdyn is packing on the weight - at the rate of about 1 ounce per day!!  She now weighs almost 6 lbs and is more than 18.5 inches long.  She's about the size of a head of romaine lettuce.

She is shedding her "fuzz" in preparation for birth and aside from her skull, the rest of her skeleton has hardened and it ready for her grand debut.  Her muscle tone improves each day and she is more and more ready to live outside her kangaroo's pouch each day!!

At this point, we have less than 3 weeks until she arrives.  Actually 18 days, but who's counting?!  Those of you who are following me on Instagram or Facebook know that we put the final touches on her room this last week - the one word that has gotten us to this point in this journey.  I love it so much!

2 more BUMPdates until go time!

Lots of Love -

Thursday, March 20, 2014

35 Weeks

Here is the 35 {gasp} Week BUMPdate: 3/19/14

and the side-by-side:

That looks lots bigger and lots lower if you ask me.  Like L-O-T-S.  Poor Kanga.  :(  Just for kicks, I asked her if she would send me a front view.  It's so strange because I only see her from this one side all the time, so I was just curious.

She is one of those people who even at their most uncomfortable stages of pregnancy is still so adorable.  I just love it!

Kamdyn is tipping the scales at 5 1/4 lbs and over 18 inches long - or about the size of a honeydew melon this week.

She is running out of room in there - just so squished!  Because she doesn't have much room, she isn't likely to be doing complete flips anymore, which is just fine with us because as of her last appointment, she was head down!  ((huge sigh of relief!))  Her kidneys are fully developed now and her liver is able to process some waste product.  Her basic physical development is mostly complete as of now and she will spend the next 4 weeks putting on weight.

And as a special little treat today - we got some ultrasound pictures of little miss this week.

A little kiss for all my people.  :)
Her toes.
And a scrunched up profile.  She's running out of room fast!  But she's so adorable!!
We're on spring break here in Iowa - so I'm enjoying my time relaxing, catching up on some things around home, eating lunch at a leisurely pace, and doing some final preparations for this little diva to come home with us.  25 days to go.  CRAZINESS.

Lots of Love -