Thursday, May 21, 2015

Eliza May Cirac

On May 1st at 1:18 AM this sweet girl entered the world. exactly 7 days past due, which seemed like an ETERNITY. I was so impatient and excited for her to come that by the 2nd day upon awaiting her arrival, I had a pregnancy zone done on my feet. By the 4th day I had my membranes stripped, which is something I never imagined I would do. By the 6th day, I had my membranes stripped AGAIN, something I REALLY never imagined I would do, and then finally 10 hours later there she was, in all her glory, tiny and wrinkled with that newborn breath- just what you would imagine perfectly new pink insides to smell like: a warm, sweetened, milk tainted version of nothing. perfection.

The night before I woke up around 4 am with contractions. They were pretty intense, about 20 min apart, and I was sure we were on our way. They stayed that way for the next few hours as I fell in and out of sleep but by about 8 am they had pretty much stopped. Chris had gone out to get me breakfast, and by the time he was back, I told him he might as well head into work because baby had changed her mind. I had heard of women having "false labor" but I didn't have so much as a contraction with Amelia until it was actually "go time", so I was pretty taken back when I realized that's what had happened. Apparently some women deal with that for days! I can't even imagine. By this point I almost felt offended that the baby didn't want to come meet us! 
 That day I went in for membrane strip #2, by Deena, who supposedly prides herself in putting women into labor. I went in at 3:30, got home by 4, and was at the hospital by 6:00 PM.
 while I was driving home from my midwife appointment, I had contractions that were so intense I had to pull my car over and breathe through them! I didn't jump to any conclusions because I knew that this often happened after that procedure in particular, but when I got home they became more and more intense. I had talked to my friend Brittany earlier that day, and she had planned on coming by a little later to visit. It kind of all worked out perfectly, because she and Chris arrived at my house about the same time, so Brittany hung out with Mills while Chris got some things together for the hospital. by this time I was kneeling down by the couch, closing my eyes, hardly able to talk through any contractions- I'm so glad Mills had someone to play with! Knowing my daughter, the whole scenario would have been overwhelming. The whole way to the hospital, all I could think about was: what if this is FALSE LABOR??? In an absolute panic. These were no ordinary contractions.
Originally I had wanted to "try" and have a natural birth. No, I do not think women who have natural births are any stronger, or more amazing, or better mothers than women who don't- I just want to experience what millions of women in the past have gone through to birth their beautiful babies (at least once). With Amelia I made it through 12 grueling hours by myself before I was done, and got an epidural, only to have her another 9 hours later. I was hoping that baby number 2 would be a little shorter, and I think it would have been- but let me make it clear, you do not "try" and have a natural birth, or "see how far you get". You either have already decided that you "will" have one, and you do the mental preparation beforehand, or you have no choice. 
By the time I walked through the hospital doors, the only thought on my mind was "where is the man with the needle". 
The nurse took me back into a room and had me undress and put on a blue hospital gown. She checked to how dilated I was. 3. She hooked me up to a monitor and told me she was going to watch my contractions and see how much I dilated in the next hour, before they could admit me, and then left the room. My heart literally sank. I was convinced it was false labor and was having an anxiety attack that they would send me home. It felt like the longest hour of my life. With every contraction I had, I imagined having to go back home and endure the same thing all night long by myself. Finally toward the end of the hour tears welled up in my eyes. When Chris asked what was wrong (oh, nothing... just having a baby) I burst into tears and told him that I didn't know what I would do if they wouldn't admit me, and what if I hadn't dilated enough? and what if they wouldn't induce me until the morning because of policy? because I just couldn't do this at home by myself. 
Like a perfect husband he assured me that they were 100 percent going to admit me and there was no way we were going back home (the perfect wife WOULD have been assured by this- but I'm the kind of wife that asks questions like "but how do you know?" and "how can you even say that???")
Sure enough the nurse came back in and said I had dilated from a 3 to a 5 in one hour and they would take me on back. Angelic choirs flooded my ears. The nurse also mentioned (mid contraction) that my contractions were unusually long. The average contraction usually lasts usually 60, and sometimes up to 90 seconds. Mine were lasting for 3 minutes or longer. I remember this happening with Amelia (some of those contractions lasted up to 7 MINUTES) and thinking it was just a random one time fluke-like thing. No. My body does this.
 When I have a contraction I usually close my eyes and envision myself  (it's really more like a random stick figure) walking up a flight of stairs, getting to the peak, and then walking down the other side (relief). These contractions felt more like the stick figure was walking up the stairs, getting to the peak, and then walking HALFWAY down the other side and just... hanging out there for awhile. I mean ya, I guess if I was stranded in the middle of desert I could naturally birth a baby on 3-7 minute contractions. If I had to. 
Then they were wheeling me into another room, and making me sign things, and it really was the slowest process I have ever witnessed (from the perspective of laboring woman). Chris made a few phone calls to get Amelia situated (My father in law and parents were able to switch off watching her, which we were so grateful for). Finally the anesthesiologist walked through the door. I was praying he would get that needle in me before another contraction came. nope. When the pain was finally gone, I was able to sink into the moment and get excited that our baby was coming!!! Chris and I didn't say much, he just sat next to me and occasionally held my hand, and I knew he was just as elated as I was. We watched the monitor the entire time- making sure we could always hear her heartbeat, wondering what she would be like. 
I stayed at a 7 for a couple hours, and so around 11:30 pm they gave me some pitocin to speed things up. my epidural started wearing off in my right hip, to the point where I had to start breathing through contractions again. It was nothing compared to what I had been going through, and it was nice to be able to feel a little. an hour later I could feel a lot of pressure, and I remember saying to Chris- "Can we get someone in here? this baby is going to come out!". The midwife showed up a few minutes later and said it was time to get this baby delivered! In 3 sets of pushes Eliza was here. 
My sister Madi and I always talk about how our most favorite babies are the ones that look like wrinkled old men, or have garden gnome faces. The second nurse put her on my chest, I looked at her tiny little face, swollen and wrinkled, her small slanted eyes, her smashed nose, and I thought she was the cutest little being that ever existed. My little 7lb, 6 oz, 19.5 inch garden gnome babe. 

That night she slept on my chest and didn't wake up once. She has such a calm and peaceful presence about her, not to mention a perfectly shaped head, as noted by all the nurses and midwives. The name Eliza which means "joyful" is beyond fitting, which is a good thing because we had no backups. We chose "May" for her middle name because she was born in the wee hours of May 1st. Spring and all it represents is such a beautiful time to have a baby. 


Big sister Amelia marched through the doors with my Dad and Patrick the next day. She knew exactly what to do. She requested to get up on the bed, and shimmied her way in between us. We propped her up against the pillow and let her hold the baby. She carefully patted her head, then squished her cheeks against Eliza's and sang her "somewhere over the rainbow". Amelia had been waiting for this day a LONG time. She loves Eliza to pieces- sometimes a little too much. We are working on that. It is obvious Amelia was destined to be a big sister. 

I know everyone says it, but I really wasn't sure how it would feel, or if it would even be possible to love another baby as much as Amelia. The second I laid eyes Eliza the deal was sealed. I think we are capable of giving and having a lot more love than we will ever realize- having children has opened that door a little bit more for me. 
My cousin Eliza (we stole her name) who is currently on a mission in Texas, said it best: "We should get up in the morning, make ourselves look nice, look in the mirror once and get going. That's it. After that one look in the mirror, it is not about ME anymore. It is about THEM, it is about YOU, out there...I promise, that it is through service, through loving others and forgetting ourselves that we are truly happy. The happiness IS there. It always is. Grow that light in others, and that light will reflect back into you."

I've thought about this message over and over the last month. Since I've been home with my both my girls I've had some really hard days. I've cried more than once, and felt like I've given every ounce of myself. I know it won't always be like this. I know they won't always need me so much. It really ends up being a bitter sweet feeling when I think about that. 

Nothing else could teach me how to love more than being a mom to these girls. When I think about it in that perspective, they assist me more than I will ever assist them. 

Welcome to the world sweet Eliza May!!! We love you.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Birthday Amelia!

On April 22nd Amelia turned 3! We put balloons in her room the night before while she was sleeping so she would be surprised in the morning, and hopefully give us a few more minutes of sleep;) When she woke up she ran down the hall, and declared that it was her BIRTHDAY! We gave her a tiny gift that we had waiting by our bed- a magnifying glass (for the girl who thinks she loves, but is actually terrified of, bugs). It kept her pretty occupied inside all morning, until we were able to search for bugs later that afternoon (we can handle potato bugs and box elders so far).

In the afternoon we brought donuts to the park and invited a few friends to come play! By the end Amelia had Capri Sun running down her shirt, sticky sucker hands, and a blue tongue- she also took a 3 hour nap (naps are scarce around here these days) so I'd say it was a success. 

Since we were expecting the baby at any time, we didn't plan a big get together like usual, so we just ordered some pizza, got a little cake, and invited Madi and Arch, Pat, Ry, and Em to come celebrate. 
I bought that little "Happy Birthday" headband when I got the balloons- which she DID NOT want to wear. I bribed her and told her that she had to put it on if she wanted to open her presents (psycho mom) because I couldn't let it go to waste! At least I got one good pic;) 

Above: Amelia listening to the baby's heart beat with her new "Doc Mc Stuffins" doctor gear. Madi is known for giving gifts that every child loves and every parent hates, which makes her pretty popular with the young folk (we eventually hid the "Doc Mc Stuffins theme song" light up Microphone for our sanity).

Amelia on her first BIKE!!!! It was really fun seeing her reaction when she saw her shiny red bike waiting outside. She ran outside as fast as she could and yelled"A bike!!!!" every parents dream come true. Her feet barely reach the pedals though- I think we'll need a few more months.

Note: Archer holding "the mic"
Then we sang and blew out the candles, and Amelia handled it like a boss. The cutest little 3 year old I ever did see. 

It's her party, she can cry if she wants to.


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Amelia Kate

Amelia is turning 3 next week, and I haven't written a single thing about her other than little ditty's here and there throughout my blog. My own mom kept a pretty good journal about me for the first year of my life, and then made up for the other years with about 6 loaded scrapbooks of my life, all in chronological order, and darling detail, which I doubt I will be doing for each of my kids. A part of me is feeling some "mom shame", but to be honest, I have spent the last 3 years trying to get to know and understand this little gal, and I think it's only been recently that I've gotten a handle on understanding her personality, and all of it's beautiful parts. So this post is for her, while she is still my one and only.

Amelia, sometimes when I think about you, I feel as though I have known you forever. Something about your presence makes me feel like I have another adult my age in the room. You are an old soul- serious and contemplative. When you are hamming things up (which is usually hysterical), your timing is oddly on point, and when you scold me (something that comes natural to you) I often feel like I owe you a detailed explanation of sorts. You are deeply caring, extremely structured, and your grandpa Pat calls you "precocious".  Your dad and I adore you.

When you were a little baby, becoming increasingly aware of the world around you, you would do these little crunches or sit ups, trying desperately to lift your head. You would do them so consistently and so often that eventually whoever was watching you would just start to laugh. I don't know what you were trying to achieve, but I remember thinking that you would be a strong personality, and I was right. You are quite the little boss in our house, and very opinionated on how things should be run. You are organized (I could do a whole post on that by itself), and have no problem taking the reigns. You want to help me ALL the time, and when you are not organizing your toys, you are tucking all of your animals and baby's in bed, and setting food next to each one of them. I always find my missing hand towels around the house, covering your beloved toys while they "nap". You are SO excited for your little sister to come, and constantly hug my tummy, and want to look at all of her clothes, and tiny diapers. You are a natural care taker, which is one of the abilities your dad blessed with you, that I already see coming to life.

You talked from a very early age and are extremely good at expressing yourself. You have a keen ability to recognize music and repeat songs that you hear. One of your favorite movies is The Wizard of Ozz, and you hum the musical scores that play at the beginning with out missing a note (naturally, this makes your uncle Patrick and grandpa Pat ecstatic;). With everything going on in that little mind of yours, you were late to walk, and are EXTREMELY cautious with anything physical. I still can't get you to go down a slide without a meltdown. When you were 2 1/2 I tried to take you skiing which ended in disaster, and while I can't help but wonder if you are missing out sometimes, I absolutely adore these parts of you!

When you play with your friends you tend to be fiery, and like to take control; you have a lot of "ideas" on how playtime should go. You have a natural inclination to lash out when you are angry or frustrated (wonder who you got that from;), and like rules to be followed. The nursery leader the other day told us that you refuse to sing the songs if they do any "silly" renditions, because "that's not the way it goes". You can be a hard crowd sometimes- but you are constantly making everyone around you laugh. The other day we asked you:

 "Amelia what is your favorite kind of bird?"
 and you quickly replied:
 "My favorite kind of bird is a pink frog!"

You are also deeply sensitive and kind. When you are not crying out of frustration, you are crying because your feelings have been hurt. You are really aware of the other people around you, and sometimes when someone is mimicking something funny you did, you burst into tears. You are very sensitive to anyone who looks at you in a public place. When this happens you run up to me almost every time and say "mom that boy was looking at me!" which is somehow offensive to you. But if you notice anyone around you crying, or who might have gotten hurt, you are so worried, and think of multiple ways to help until the problem is solved, which usually involves a blanket, or a hug. We usually have to talk it out for awhile afterwards.

You are independent and enjoy playing in your room by yourself, or somewhere quiet. Chaos makes you very upset, as do loud noises. When you were 2 years old we tried to do fireworks with you in the parking lot, and while your friend Olive, who is about 4 months younger than you was having a fabulous time, you were absolutely hysterical. We have talked about this incident multiple times, and I think you are ready to try again this year;) You LOVE animals. you are very interested in rocks, and bugs, and the color pink. You love dresses. I once tried to put a black shirt on you and you said "No! that's YOUR shirt mom". and then cried. You flip any words that are paired, backwards. Such as: case suit, key cars, etc. and we think it's pretty cute.

At night time when we put you down for bed, you usually run quite the circus. But eventually, when you finally lay your head on your pillow and the lights are turned down, you reach up and grab me by the neck and say "That's my girl, mom" and give me a kiss. or 3 or 4. Sometimes you mimic me, and whisper to me that I'm "so cute", or "so good" or "so special". You also like to give dad a hug, pat him on the back and call him your "little guy". 

Being your mom is the best thing that could have ever happened to me. I love you Mills. 


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Easter Sunday 2015

 First off: I love any holiday where I get to wrap up a present of some sort. I am aware that my almost 3 year old daughter wouldn't notice the difference between a basket and a cardboard box (actually, if you know Amelia, that statement may be up for question) but its one of the small creative outlets I allow time for these days. This is also documentation of how good Amelia had it when she was an only child. Live it up kiddo;)

We also surprised her with 5 baby chicks, which was like...the most entertaining thing to watch EVER. Poor little peeps. 
But really, getting your kid a chick on Easter is like one of those parental bucket list things, like a puppy under the Christmas tree... or a car on your 16th birthday? (Nope not happening). So we were like "high five" and put a check on our cool parenting list.
 This counts as good for like the next 10 years right?

 Chris and Amelia, both on cloud 9 <3

* Noteworthy: Chris set up a video camera over the box where our chickies live, which he checks through his phone periodically throughout the day, and sometimes in the night. Pretty much, if he's on his phone, that's what he is looking at. I obviously have to do a prank. 

After watching General Conference, we went to my parents for dinner and an egg hunt:

 Amelia always likes to put her arms around both of our necks, and pull all 3 of us close together until our cheeks touch (she is currently trying to figure out how to get the baby peeps to do this with her). It's one of my most favorite things in the whole world, which is why I love some of the pics below so much!

(It's a hard knock life)

 Somehow Amelia and Archer showed up in matching outfits. it was too good. 
During the hunt Archer kept on giving Amelia his eggs, which she gladly accepted. Also he was barefoot and kept on getting pine-needles in his foot, so he was tiptoeing around, which was the cutest thing ever. 

Amelia on a MISSION:

Below: Hansel and Gretel show off their eggs.

Then we had dinner, and Scott (Madi's BF) got my dad to play some weird game where you try to knock each other over. And my dad kept loosing for a lot of reasons. I'm pretty sure it was some sort underlying gang initiation though- so welcome aboard Scott. You passed. 
Also: I have no idea what Amelia and Archer had for dinner that night, I'm pretty sure Amelia just had some olives off the table, and easter candy from her eggs? And that folks, is indication that the gathering was a success;)

I usually keep spiritual thoughts to myself, but: The last couple years I have become so aware of how easily I  let fear dictate my life. I have always been this way to a degree, but once I had Amelia, the feeling magnified by 1000, and at times seems almost paralyzing, especially when I think about everything I can't control (which is pretty much everything;). During this pregnancy especially, I have had such a high degree of fear and anxiety that something would go wrong with the baby, or that my delivery would have complications, that in January I decided my new years resolution would be "my year of no fear". For the most part I have tried to stop negative thinking, and just push forward any time I start to feel fearful about the future, but there has been nothing that has lifted me more than my relationship with Christ. I have knelt down so many times the last few months, when I have felt overwhelmed and unsure, or when any amount of logic couldn't surpass the negativity, and been completely enveloped in peace. In a book I was reading called "Power Vs. Force" by David R. Hawkins, is a chart on consciousness. At the bottom of the chart is shame, and at the very top of the chart (before "enlightenment") where I thought there would be "love" is actually peace. The concept of the ability to travel through this life with peace even through all the pain we will most likely encounter (which is a theme that travels through both Eastern and Western religion), is so beautiful to me. All throughout Easter Sunday, I just felt such an enormous amount of gratitude that no matter what hardships I have to bear, or grief I experience, there is a source of light I can turn to, that will lift the weight and replace it with peace. There isn't room for fear if we truly believe that. I'm working on always believing it. The faith part is a work in progress. I believe that Christ is real. It's something that every fiber of my being understands, and the more I lean into that, everything falls into place. No amount of words could adequately describe my feelings toward him. He is the Prince of Peace, he is the ultimate healer, and the symbol of mercy and forgiveness. I need every bit of that. My gratitude couldn't ever be enough, but I'm glad that we have one day a year especially set aside to remember his sacrifice.  


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

the longest update

JP Hand Straight sample

WHY can't I keep up on my blog??? I am doing an update of the last 5 months so that I can catch up. after that I will hopefully be able to get some more meaningful posts in, that have been on my mind.

Also: I am no longer wasting time on editing or filtering my photos. Ain't nobody got time for that. especially with an almost 3 year old breathing over your shoulder. 

October: I was still sick up until about the very end of October. So I'll just start there. Although, The throw-ups don't hold much weight though when there is THIS MUCH CUTENESS sitting on your couch<3
My mom found this little pig outfit for Amelia. Classic.

For Halloween Chris and I met up with Madi and my mom and took the kiddos around our neighborhood to trick-or-treat. We probably made it around 2 blocks, before they (aka: Madi) were over it. Two blocks in the tree streets is a cake walk.  To Madi's defense Archer wanted her to hold him the entire time (we all took turns).  Also I should note that on one of the blocks was Grandma Done's old house (spooookyyy) and that made up for pretty much everything (because duh). 
 Then we went home and had chili in orange bread bowls, and I tried to put spooky Edgar Allan Poe music on my doorstep to scare the trick-or treators. 

Grandma Jeanine in her annual witch costume (really wish you could see the bright red wig and cat eye glasses;)

November: Feeling GREAT in November. So great that for Chris' b-day (Nov 6th) I decided I would make him the best home cooked meal you could ask for. I slaved away allll day long (joyfully) and made a cake for Chris (braved a Martha stewart recipe), and a pot roast, rolls and cooked veggies tossed in rosemary and brown sugar. Other than the whip cream frosting which pretty much disintegrated within an hour, the cake was pretty dang good:

During this same time my friend Sadie had her baby, so I thought I'd kill 2 birds with one stone and make a separate roast for her and her family as well. According to my calculations I was supposed to take the roast out at 6 pm, and by this time I had also invited my parents over to celebrate at 7. when I pulled the roasts out of the oven, BEHOLD: 

Burnt to a crisp. Roast jerky. ALL THE HOURS- wasted. I did shed a few tears. I took a fork and scraped a few pieces of roast into a tupperware with some veggies, and rolls, and showed up at Sadie's with my offering. I probably would have been mortified if she wasn't my bff- but we both know these sorts of things happen. Then I called in some pizza. The whole night Chris and my dad kept grabbing forks and jabbing at the roast, eating little pieces, telling me how it good it was. (500 eye rolls). They are cute.
Now that its February, its almost funny.

Thanksgiving: This year we did Thanksgiving in CA with Chris' family. It's always so nice to have a home in sunny CA that we get to visit during the drearier parts of Utah. My in laws have the comfiest most welcoming home. I can tell Chris is totally in his element when he is there, and especially when he is at the beach, which makes me happy. I love these photos of Chris teaching Amelia about the ocean. (I know roughly 5 facts about the Ocean, so it really ends up being lesson for us both). 

We had a great Thanksgiving with the Cirac clan, and I'm kicking myself for not having more pictures. Usually if I'm having a fabulous time, I forget to take them- so it's a good sign. We actually were able to have Thanksgiving with both sides of the family this year, because Chris had to be back for Black Friday and there weren't any early enough flights. I think 2014 topped the charts for the best food I've had on BOTH sides of the fam (this is coming from someone who generally hates Thanksgiving food). Lisa's mashed potatoes, and Aunt Jeanine's cherry pie DOES IT GET ANY BETTER? 

December: the first week of December we found out we were having another GIRL! We were both very happy about this because we wanted Mills to have a little sister she could be close with. At this point having a boy seems a bit foreign, and Chris isn't sold on the idea, but I'm determined to replicate the Braverman family from Parenthood, so I guess we'll eventually need about 2. 

Her profile KILLS me. I just can't even wait to meet her.
 First flocked tree folks! I don't think I'll ever go back unless they become grossly out of style- and for those of you who are thinking "last time I checked they WERE grossly out of style" think again. mid century revival.
 But really it was so magical! Every year I am in a dash to take our tree down and free up the space in our living room, and this year I was so sad to see it go. 

My cute underdressed child. Somehow this always seems to be the case. 

Christmas eve set up 
For Christmas eve we had our traditional cheese soup in bread bowls, and chocolate mousse for dessert, at my house. Grandma Jeanine joined us, and we capped it off with the "bell" tradition- where each of us has one or 2 bells in a specific note (or if you are Archer and Amelia, you have 4) and you try to follow the provided christmas sheet music playing your specific bell at the appropriate time. Just know it sounded like REALLY good. 
After everyone left, Chris and I tidied up, and got to work. Surprising Amelia is pretty much my most favorite thing to do in the world, and so this was by far my favorite part of Christmas. For Christmas this year Lisa and Terry got us an amazing kitchen set from pottery barn to give to Amelia. Chris spent the rest of Christmas eve setting it up, and we talked, and watched Anchorman 2, and I wrapped a few things, and finally it was finished!  
Ta DA!
I literally could not sleep that night because I was SO excited to show Amelia what santa brought her. 

Christmas eve night it finally SNOWED which was so magical. Amelia woke up and didn't even know what to think about her new kitchen set. She was SO pleased, and kept pulling her classic "I'm trying not to smile" face. She immediately went over to the sink and pretended to wash her hands, but was seriously concerned about the lack of soap provided. HA. She is my daughter. She was also so excited to put on her first actual REAL COAT (are we the worst parents?) and snow gear, and was beside herself with all the snow. It was fabulous watching her.

We headed over to my parents to open presents and hang for the rest of the day. Below is my Mom's traditional Christmas breakfast. I mean...

Later that day we went to the movies while my parents watched Amelia. My mom whipped up a little dinner aftewards,  and just like that Christmas was over. I always get really sad on Christmas night when after all the hype through December, Christmas has come and gone. 

I had a great birthday (29) and have a couple really awesome friends (and husband) (and family) who make me feel super loved and appreciated every year, which I in turn, love and appreciate:) And that's pretty much a wrap for December (unless the below picture was taken in December). 

This is Amelia on her first ski adventure. Which was a complete disaster in more ways than one. Amelia did not enjoy skiing. or having skis on her feet for that matter. This isn't really surprising, my child is extremely cautious and ultra aware of her surroundings. Oh, and she's not even 3. She was probably trying to process the boots on her feet, and the skis, and then we were MOVING, and then I was hiking her up a hill, and the whole thing was just much too much. I just love her. It didn't make any of it easy or less frustrating as far as the work involved went (HA). but we tried, and she made her feelings known. We could all take a lesson.
 Besides, I have a hunch if she is anything like me, her detail oriented mind will come in handy one day when she is handling the technique of it all;)
 (because NOT skiing, is not an option in this family).

January: January was just a lot of randomness. 

We went to Mexico for a 5 day vacay with Chris' work. Cancun to be exact. Ryan and Emily were dolls, and watched Mills for 3 days, and my parents the remaining 2. It served as a good baby moon. 

Amelia got some sparkly ruby red slippers from my mom (aka: "grandma gorgeous") to add to her Dorothy get up, given to her from aunt Jeanine, sewed by aunt Diane, and worn by Ariana. Thats some pretty good family history right there. 

This is what a normal day looks like for Mills:

Notice we don't color with the crayons, we just organize them. 

Amelia invited her friend Olive over and they decorated cookies. Just lots and lots and LOTS of sprinkles. 

Part of the V-day card I made for Chris:

Valentines Eve- We set up our traditional hearts that we hang from the ceiling each year (you only have to cut these out ONE time and you are set for years. These are from like 2010). and a little V-day surprise for Mills. Lisa and Terry sent her that cute little chicken puppet which she now props on her bed everyday.

The next day I was finally 30 weeks! And I'm starting to waddle. Which means I'm getting close.

And last but not least: This picture of Mills. It cuts me straight to the heart. I love the kindness in her eyes, and her little half smile. It might be my very favorite of all. <3 <3 <3

I did it. My eyes are blurry. My back aches. 5 months- over and out.

xoxo- Steph