And Then There Were 5...

Thursday, November 30, 2017

You guessed it... we are pregnant!  And excited as ever for baby #3.  Even as I sit here and type that, it's weird, awkward, scary and somewhat amazing at the same time.  I don't feel like this is baby #3 since Em and Bennett seem like a package deal.  Wrapping my head around this pregnancy was very different than with the twins.

We didn't plan for the twins, as they were expected to arrive 9 months after our wedding.  Everything about that pregnancy was just "different".  Since we planned this pregnancy and it's definitely only one baby, it all seems very new and somehow foreign.  I started showing around 7 weeks (to myself) and now at 17 weeks, it's no longer, "did Lauren put on some winter weight?"  I have started to feel a little movement and in the ultrasound at 12 weeks, that kid was jumping all over the place.  Must be like moving into a huge new apartment made for two, by yourself.  That or the little babe just knows it needs to practice up for getting away from E&B so it's working on it's moves.

We waited to share this news and chose this as the main outlet because we feel like pregnancy announcements on social media can be so joyous for most people but can also touch the most vulnerable parts of others.  That's a direct quote from my husband Alex.  Please don't mistake our secrecy for un-excitement (if that's even a word).  We are thrilled and so ecstatic for this little one to join our clan.  We just want to remember there are people out there that are struggling to get pregnant, or have had traumatic experiences regarding child bearing and we just are especially sensitive to that.

This pregnancy has had it's many ups and downs so far.  Alex and I had a miscarriage this summer, very early on, within a few weeks of finding out we were pregnant actually.  I won't say I didn't feel inadequate or that I didn't question every thing I ate or did during those two weeks, because I did.  Of course those ugly feelings of guilt come around but thanks to Alex, family and my close friends, we were able to move on, gather ourselves and be able to start trying again.

The first trimester was difficult.  I found out I was pregnant right away (at 4 weeks) and we were so excited.  Nervous, but excited.  The early symptoms started around 5-6 weeks.  Fatigue, round the clock nausea, upset stomach, dizziness, zero appetite, etc.  These guys were the starting line up.  The most frustrating symptom, however, was the dysgeusia, or a the metallic taste in my mouth.  All food sounded bad and tasted horrible.  Nothing sounded good, even water.  I lost like 10 pounds just from not eating and feeling nauseous all day.  I just tried to find things that sounded good and go with them.

When I hit weeks 10-11, I was feeling better.  Now, as I sit at 17 weeks, my biggest pregnancy symptom is being tired.  But I have a feeling it's because of the 2 gremlins I chase around on a daily basis.  We hit another road bump the weekend before Thanksgiving when I woke up with sharp chest pain.  The day before I had some shortness of breath and some pain that I attributed to heartburn, which I had with the twins.  But Saturday night, the pain became paralyzing when I laid down and I knew something was up.  Sunday morning Alex and I went into the Emergency Department to be met with a diagnosis of Pericarditis.  HELLO MEDICAL TERMS, what does that mean?  The Mayo Clinic's definition is the swelling and irritation of the pericardium, the thin, sac-like membrane surrounding your heart.  See their picture below.

Sometimes, fluid can fill up in the space and causes compression on the heart and can create a pericardial effusion.  I had a little bit of that.  My biggest symptoms were sharp pain on inhalation and when laying flat, shortness of breath, and weakness and numbness to my left arm and shoulder.  I was told the cause of this most of the time is viral, but it can also just happen, which is terrifying.  The treatment for me so far has just been ibuprofen around the clock for 3 weeks and next week I will have a repeat ultrasound of my heart.  My cardiologist didn't seem too worried about me and thinks this could just be a one time thing.  But, I'll be seen for checkups for the time being to ensure it's getting better and not worse.

The whole fam came and kept me company in the hospital.. We even took a family nap which was actually glorious.
We ended up having a fantastic Thanksgiving despite our issues.  We traveled to see my family in Indiana.  My cousins all have kiddos around the twins ages making this year the best Thanksgiving yet.  It's so great to see my babies playing with their babies just like we did growing up.  I know that's sappy but it was so special for me and I loved every minute of it.

Cousins: Emmy and Lilly 
Kids table!  

We recreated this cousin photo from back in the day- 
We grew up... and added lots of kids!

Movie time-- aka parent hang time.
We will see how the rest of this pregnancy goes, I am hoping and praying pretty uneventful.  Our technical due date is May 10th.  However, I decided to have a scheduled c-section because of the last delivery.  And I am measuring about a week ahead of where I'm supposed to be.  That being said, I'm going to be ready to see this baby by the end of April!  And we will be finding out the gender and we already have names... so stay tuned y'all.

Since I haven't had a blog in awhile, here's some recent pics from this fall-

Twins first zoo experience (out of the womb)

Buddy.  Loved.  These.  Guys.

We hope everyone is having a great week!  I'm trying to finish my Christmas shopping by this weekend, but one can wish.  I can't believe it's December 1st already.  I'll soon be turning my attention to a 2 year old party for my sweet loves.  Ah what is life.

See you soon!

Lauren, E&B

Things I'm Loving

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Hey guys!

We have been loving fall here in KC and been enjoying parks, libraries and being outside without the fear of being eaten alive by mosquitoes or suffocating in the humid Kansas summer heat.  Fall is when I feel most alive.  I know it's cliché and very basic to say fall is my favorite holiday but pardon my french, I don't give a s***, I'm gonna say it.  I feel alive, rejuvenated, fresh, and the most myself I ever am in fall and with that... comes all good things.

I don't know if this is a new trend that will eventually catch on or if she literally doesn't get it, but she wears her glasses upside down and it makes me so happy she's mine.
Buddy, takin care of sis.  Putting her purse on.  Characters, they are.

Em girl- full of SASS.

I've thought about doing a post like this forever with some current things I'm loving, as a mom and human. And with that....

1. French Vanilla Lattes

Guys.  I'm normally suuuuch a PSL (pumpkin spice latte) girl but this season, it's not my thing.  Haven't had ONE.  Don't get me wrong... I am still loving all things pumpkin BUT this sweet, simple drink is my jam right now.  It's just a vanilla + hazelnut latte.  BUT the barista at Starbs told me to order a French Vanilla latte and it's the same thing.  It's so good.  And so fall-ish.

2.  Toddler Talk

Em and Bennett are talking like, all the time now.  Mini sentences even.  "Dada work" (when Alex leaves for school),  "Mama water" (when I have my water bottle around), "No go downstairs" (when Bennett doesn't want to go in the basement).  And Emmy girl can count!  She can count by herself to 11! After that, she starts over at 8?  It' the cutest dang thing ever.  I think she picked it up from Sesame Street.  Bennett is so good about asking for things and always including Emmy.  We have also hit a stage of biting, and so "sorry" and "I love you" are heard round the clock in our house.  They are pretty good at making up.   I haven't figured out our discipline for that yet.  TBD.

3.  Apple Crisp

This one's easy.  But lately, the craving has been stronger than ever.  We went with our awesome neighbors to an apple orchard and got some apples (and apple cider donuts obvi) and my taste for this sweet goodness overwhelmed our household.  Below is my Aunt Nancy's recipe for an incredibly easy apple crisp that more of a dessert and is best with warm cream or even better: vanilla custard.  It's not the apple crisp you may be used to but it's easy and delish.

4 C. sliced and peeled Granny Smith Apples
1/4 C. water
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt

Topping (You can use any streusel topping)
1 C. sugar
1.3 C. soft butter
3/4 C. sifted flour
Sprinkle of cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350℉.  Arrange the sliced apples in an ungreased 8" square pan.  Mix together the water, cinnamon and salt.  Sprinkle over apples.  Mix the topping with fingers until crumbly.  Spread over the top of apples.  Baked, uncovered for about 40 minutes.

To their HIGHEST delights, they has Wizard of Oz characters at the orchard and I seriously thought they were going to faint when they saw them.

We can't get enough of our neighbors.

Two happy, happy, sugar filled boys.

4.  Disney Movies

I'll say it again: very cliché of this 90's baby to like and want all the disney movies for my kids.  They have seen Toy Story, Ling King, Aristocats, Beauty & the Beast, Bambi and countless more and I'm pleased to say, they are loving it.  Dad, not so much.  Those dang movies are all like $20 online and digital is the way to go nowadays.  Ugh.  So it's been a slow collection of the movies but with the holidays and birthdays approaching, maybe we can add a few.

5.  Coloring Books

We hit up the dollar store recently and I'm so glad we went.  They had disney and sesame street coloring books, crayons, flashcards, and we only got through one section of one aisle!  I know it's mostly kinda junkie stuff BUT the nice thing is that everything is a dollar!  And I don't feel bad if the pages get ripped, or barely colored on, or lost.  Which is nice with two 22 month olds.

6.  The Public Library

We recently discovered how awesome libraries are.  And it used to be a fear of mine to bring my babies there since one of their favorite pastimes was pulling all the books off their bookshelf every day, multiple times a day.  BUT we found a library close to us that caters to little ones as early as 6 months old.  They have a toy kitchen, activity area with coloring books, toys, building blocks, dinosaur action figures (Bennett's jam) and so much more- they even change it with the seasons!  They also have toddler story time on Tuesday's- we haven't been but are planning to go soon!  And best of all?  It's FREE!  Research one close to you!  I'm sure they have activities for tiny humans just like ours.

7.  Spiced Cider Candle from Anthropologie

This one is self explanatory (and not an ad).  But seriously... if you want probably the most potent and beautiful smelling autumn candle, this is it.  Yes it's a $30 candle but I'm here to tell you: if you are a candle person and a fall person, this is your spirit scent and it's worth every single penny.  Per Anthropologie's website, here is the description:  nutmeg, clove and cinnamon are layered over fresh apple and juicy orange notes... I mean COME ON!  Love it.  And the jar is so pretty- can't beat it.

8.  Quilts

Seasonal love.  Alex's sweet Grandma has such a talent for quilt making.  She gave me my first one when I graduated from nursing school and our second for a wedding gift!  I love how cozy they are and after being washed a handful of times, quilts only get better and softer.  She even made tiny quilts for the babes and we used them as tummy time quilts when they were little.  Joan, thank you for your love of quilts and for sharing your talents with our family.

This is the pattern of our quilt for our wedding.  It's my favorite.
9.  Work/ Flexible Schedule

This is a weird love right now... very weird.  BUT I'm feeling thankful for my job.  I recently worked an all night case and it just solidified my love of where I'm at with nursing.  And I'm just super thankful for the time I'm able to spend with my kids.  I know that's not the case with most people, so in this season, I'm counting my blessings.

Our favorite thing to do during the days, if we aren't at the library, is frequent parks.  We've found an AWESOME park that caters to toddlers.  It's a newer, redone park and I think that's why.  There are 2 separate playgrounds, one for ages 2-5 and one for 5+.  Normally when we go to playgrounds, the babies always want to climb to the highest spot and give mom a heart attack from the ground.  I spend most of my time racing up rock walls and slides to get to them and make sure they don't fall.  With this park, I can breathe easier and let them roam and explore without the fear of them getting too high.

My advice?  Research parks online in your area.  Lots of times people will rate them and leave comments about how well they work for certain age groups.  There's also an app: winnie that I found that caters to "modern parents" (whatever that means).  It's basically a community that helps you find kid friendly places to eat, local activities or even the closet changing table to your location.  It's been pretty great to use and I haven't even used the whole app yet!

Everything is low to the ground, and easily accessible for little ones.  

 This particular playground has interactive sound makers too.  Such a huge deal for toddlers who are hands-on (which is basically every toddler ever).

10.  Holiday Books

This is a new love and inspired by my Mom and her friend Nikki.  Growing up, we would have Christmas books that would make their appearance in our home when the decorations came out.  Nikki has been so generous with the babies and bought them books for holidays.  (PSA: books are the best gift you can ever give kids... seriously... their parents will love you).  I've decided that we are going to start collecting books per holiday and I'll put them away with the decor to get them out so the kids can love on them again.

Anyways, hope maybe this list sparks something in you.  Anything.  Working on another post already for the beginning of November!  See you soon!

Lauren, E&B

We went to Alex's school's auction this weekend and the theme was, if you can't tell, Mardi Gras.  Alex was the emcee and he was the hit of the party with that giddup.

I even got a selfie with the Archbishop... he asked ME for one. Such a sweet man.

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