And Baby Makes 5!

And baby makes Five!

You read that right!

In December, our family of four will turn into five when we welcome our new baby GIRL!  We’ve shared the news with family and very close friends, and I’m pretty sure my kids tell anyone who will listen, but we wanted to wait until all my testing was clear and I was into my second trimester before making a big announcement.  We are beyond thrilled, a bit overwhelmed but mostly counting down the days until we meet the newest addition to our crazy little circus.

And baby makes Five!

This community means so much to me, and I’m excited to share a little bit of our joy with everyone. The blog won’t change. I’ll NEVER be a mommy blogger. Can you imagine? Now, instead of being a working mom to two girls, I’ll be a mom to three, with the unique position of eventually having one kid in high school, one in grade school, and one in preschool.

As a family, we’re genuinely excited about this next chapter. Our lives have changed so much in the last few years, as our girls have grown and we moved into our forever home. I feel like we’re finally settled and happily live a very kid-focused life with our nights and weekends dedicated to school, sports and community activities. I wouldn’t change it for all the free time in the world.

Since I was a kid myself, I always wanted a big family. I grew up close to my brothers and cousins, so to see my girls get the same experience, one where they have built-in friends for life overwhelms me in the best way. Life isn’t perfect, and sometimes things are messy and hard, but I’ve learned over the years that no challenge or hard times can take away your happiness. I couldn’t ask for more and can’t believe our good fortune.

Below are a few common questions I’ve been asked, to give you a little bit of a glimpse into our last four months.

Was this a surprise?

Such a personal question, but it’s the first thing people ask so I might as well answer it.

The answer is yes and no. We always assumed we would have at least one more baby after Ava was born.  But life started to move at turbo speed, and both of our careers began to take off.  About two years ago we talked seriously about trying to have one more.  I even went to my doctor to find out what my realistic timeframe was to have a healthy pregnancy for the baby and me still. Then my endometriosis flared up and turned into chronic pain. I didn’t think my body could endure another C-section and the subsequent recovery.

I closed the door on the idea and acted like I was making the prudent, responsible decision. But I couldn’t help but feel a pang of sadness. I only told my husband that I shared in his desire to have a bigger family but never wanted to complain, considering we have two of the most fantastic kids, how could I possibly ask for more?

The good news is, while I need another C-section, the doctors can take care of the other issues I was having and I should recover nicely.

So this baby feels like she both fell from the sky and was written on my heart all along.

How are you feeling?

Better now, however, my first trimester was the most brutal of all of my pregnancies. I had a little morning sickness, but more than that I had 24-hour nausea. I felt like I was perpetually carsick. I also suffered from unbelievable lightheadedness and fatigue I can barely put into words. It was frustrating since I’m an active person and my life felt like it stalled out.

Thankfully, now that I’m in my second trimester, the nausea has passed, and the fatigue has eased.

My brain has stopped working too. The other day, I poured myself a cup of coffee in the morning and put the pot back in the fridge. Then I spent an hour looking for it. I did stupid stuff like this all the time before I was pregnant but it’s getting a little worse 🙂

Any cravings?

No real cravings. I don’t typically have much of a sweet tooth, but I have enjoyed the occasional scoop of plain chocolate ice cream. When we were in Vegas, all I wanted was sushi and oysters, but we all know that’s a no go. Mostly, I just want to eat small light meals. The challenge is that I have varying aversions to most of the food I usually like.

I tried to eat shrimp the other day and almost died, same when I ordered crab cakes at the shore – I couldn’t touch them when they showed up at the table. If someone makes me a piece of chicken, I can eat it, but I can’t go anywhere near raw chicken.

I go from not hungry at all to Chris Farley “leave me alone I’m starving” in 30 seconds flat. So I’m drinking a lot of smoothies with protein powder and green veggies, whole wheat toast with avocado or almond butter and granola bars. Then I try to pick the most appealing protein of the day to fix dinner around.

Are you still working out?

Very much so. I do strength training twice a week and go to spin class 2 – 3 times a week. I also just started prenatal yoga. There were days in my first few months when it was a struggle to get through, mainly when the fatigue was at it’s worst but I work out at a great place, and the instructors take good care of me, helped me with modifications and encouraged me to go at my own pace.

Some days, all I did was make it to class, came home, showered and worked in bed in between naps. Now that I’m out of the worst part, I feel healthy, strong and extra accomplished when I leave class. I don’t need a nap every day, and sleep well at night. And while the baby is healthy and growing exactly as she should be, I’ve lost a little weight and am toning up quickly.

I had my first baby at 27, and now I’m 38, so my body and metabolism are entirely different. I think it’s important to use this time to take extra good care of myself, take advantage of not drinking for the next few months, eat clean, and maintain my fitness. It’s done wonders for my mental clarity. I had postpartum depression with Maddie, and I know fitness and getting your body moving is essential to feeling good after the baby is born.

Are the girls excited?

Perhaps the best part of this experience so far has been watching the girls excitement. When I was pregnant with Ava, I was chasing after a two year old Maddie. I was exhausted, and generally run down.  But now that the girls are relatively independent, I have the luxury of taking it easy when I need to, and they are taking such good care of me.  It feels like the three of us are even closer than before, and creating a new bond durning such a special time that they will actually remember as they grow up.

Has this changed your renovation plans?

Only in that it’s made me run an even tighter schedule. We are currently converting our detached garage into our office space.  Then are adding main house addition, new kitchen, a few bathrooms and the girl’s bedrooms. I did tweak the plans to include a big mudroom space and made our kitchen island big enough to accommodate five people!

Our contractor told us he was confident with everything being done by early October. Emotionally, I prepared for mid-November. Then I’ll need everyone out of my house. That gives me a month before the baby arrives and a chance to settle in. I won’t share much on the site, but I am giving some updates over on Instagram if you’re as obsessed with home design as I am. 

I know the next six months are going to fly by, so thanks for indulging me for a minute. We’ll have a short week this week to celebrate to 4th of July.

Enjoy the holiday!

Real Life: My Week Was Crap and a Squirrel Broke Into My House

American Red Squirrel

Can we talk about how happy I am for this week to be over? Seriously, the last few days have been bonkers.

On Tuesday morning I gave a little insight into how crazy the 24 hours were after we landed from our luxurious long weekend in Vegas.  But by lunch on Tuesday, all seemed to have gone back to normal. The construction team was hard at work on our garage-to-office conversion, my husband left for a quick overnight work trip, and I was finally getting us unpacked and catching up on work. Totally normal day.

Around dinnertime, I still hadn’t gone to the market, so I started to get ready to take the girls to grab a quick bite. I was in my bedroom, which is on our main floor, off the living area and the girls were in the downstairs playroom.  I heard some commotion in the kitchen and thought it was my youngest, scaling the cabinets for a cookie, as she does. After calling their names a few times with no response, I walked into the kitchen/living room, and that’s when I saw it.

A SQUIRREL.

A SQUIRREL was in my house.

Sitting on a pillow in our front window seat, was a SQUIRREL.

For months, there has been this one aggressive squirrel running around our property. It’s destroyed our heavy duty trash cans, and as my poor old puppy has slowed down and stopped barking at everything, the squirrel has become more brazen, just sort of sitting on our patio taunting us.

As I started to process my predicament, I heard my girls in the playroom screaming, “Mommy there’s a squirrel in the house!”

Noted.

I mean, seriously. Do I need this right now?

Long story short, I was able hide my dog (who can barely walk) in my room and get the rest of us out of the house, but ended up giving the squirrel the run of the place. Of course, I left my handbag and my phone inside. Thank goodness for the best neighbors ever, who after getting a great laugh at my expense, helped me call for help.

For the future: the police are not interested in wildlife removal, nor is Terminix, and one local company said they needed a “site evaluation” before they could set up an appointment. Apparently, a squirrel in the house doesn’t hold a universal sense of urgency.

In the end, my neighbor and his boys went into the house to try to shoo it out. I hate to have to turn in my feminist card, but there was no way I was going into the house. I figure if women give birth, men can remove squirrels. Amazingly, the bugger had chewed another hole and had left.

The squirrel made a mess of my house, ate a bowl of apples in my kitchen, put two holes in our screen and ruined the cushions on my window seat. Such poor manners and so gross. Lauren recommended burning the house down, to make sure the squirrel was definitely out, which seemed reasonable. I opted to wait for Bri to come home to do a thorough investigation. I’ve worked too hard on our reno plans to have to rebuild a house.

Even with the all clear, I packed us up and went to my parents for the night until my husband came home.  Sometimes, you just need to know when to yell, “Uncle!”

There are a massive amount of women who write blogs and share their lives on social media who for some reason want us all to believe that they are gliding through life on a cloud of rainbows. Kitchens and kids are always clean and shiny, and you guys, they are SO HAPPY AND GRATEFUL. Whether it’s a fashion blogger staging an impossibly glamorous life, or a lifestyle mom blogger overselling how oh-so-simple-and-sweet her family life is, I seriously can’t stand it anymore.

This week we lost power, literally stepped in shit (potentially ruining an expensive new rug), had to dumpster dive to find a missing retainer, thought we were going to have to put our beloved old dog down, and had a squirrel break into our house. That’s real life. No rainbows, no unicorns, no perfect blowouts. My nails are chipped, my house is a mess, I still haven’t gone to the market, and I’m hoping, at some point today, my kids take showers.

Even though I’m a smart chick, and know all those perfect online images are contrived, I still have moments of holding myself to an unattainable standard.  Sometimes you need to remind yourself that it’s not real. None of what you see online is real. The truth is real life is messy, sometimes hilariously messy, and far from perfect.