Newborn Photos 💕

When Quinn was one week and one day old we had these newborn pictures taken 💕. We will cherish these forever!! Thank you, Rachael, for capturing such a special time for our family.

Friday Favorites! 6/10/22

Happy Friday!! I have had this list of *very random* favorites building for some time now and finally just threw them in a post! So here are some things I have been loving lately :

1. Uproot Cleaner Pro. We tried everything to get Moose hair up from one of our couches where is seemed enmeshed into the fabric. We even hired a professional furniture cleaner, and even they weren’t able to get it up. Enter this handy little inexpensive tool!! Wow, this works so well- we are obsessed and use it all the time!!

2. Grilled Marinated Artichoke Hearts. Where have these been my whole life?! My goodness these are tasty! I put them in eggs, stuffed sweet potatoes, on avocado toast, with antipasto spreads, and the list goes on. Deeeelish.

3. Meteorite. I’m just really enjoying this song lately.

4. Prayers for my Baby Girl book. I received this wonderful book at my shower from a great friend (Thank you again, Dani, if you happen to read this!). It is filled with short but powerful prayers to pray over your daughter. I started one per day when I was pregnant, and I love how it puts words to the desires/hopes I have for my girl in such a beautiful prayer. It has a scripture with each prayer too 💕.

5. Ruggable Rug. This is a long overdue favorite! We got a Ruggable rug as it’s made to be thrown in the washing machine & is stain resistant. Is there a better rug specifically for pets/kids?! It’s amazing!

6. Stay Close. If you’re looking for a great thriller/mystery show that is easy to binge, Stay Close on Netflix meets the ticket. I went through this show so quickly!

7. Educated. I just started this, and it’s probably one of the most well written books I’ve ever read. And the story is just wild, it’s mind blowing it’s true !

8. Waist leash. This is my solution to walking both with Quinn and Moose! It works GREAT & is so comfortable. I am amazed how well it’s working out!

9. Air Fryer. I am so late to the game with this one, but my mom and Pete surprised us with an air fryer while they were here, and I am obsessed. I put anything and everything possible in it! It’s the BEST for reheating leftovers too.

10. Voice memos on iPhone. I have discovered how beneficial these are considering I don’t always have two hands free to text anymore! So helpful!!

What are you loving lately?

<3,

Mackenzie

First two weeks with our girl 💞

Good morning all! How are you doing today? Can you believe we are already pretty well into June?

In this post, I want to make sure to document the details of my first couple weeks with my girl before they escape me. It’s interesting how simultaneously the weeks and days feel like a blur, and yet I have never felt more present in every moment of them. The first two weeks were spent with so much skin to skin, cuddles, tummy time and introducing Quinn to friends and family. I worked hard to make sure that when she arrived, she would get all my attention during maternity leave. Prior to her birth, I pretty much lived and breathed my to-do list every day, so it’s been a bit odd not having one. I love it though, it’s a great change of pace and gives me so much freedom to be present in every moment with her. I thought I was going to do things much more on a schedule/be more regimented, but I have really opted to go with the flow. I just do what feels right for her/listen to her cues.

The first couple weeks, we went to bed around 10 pm. Putting her to sleep was the most anxiety-inducing thing we encountered the first two weeks. Writing this a few weeks in, we have invested in a sleep monitor and feel much more at ease.

During this time, she had some good nights where she slept soundly between feedings and other more challenging nights that we seemed to get no sleep at all. Staying awake during breastfeeding at night is hard too, but I’ve found some sugar free suckers help keep me awake. If I really can’t keep my eyes open, I’ll have DJ supervise us.

DJ took the entire first week off of work and the second he worked from home. This setup worked great and was such a nice way for our family to get adjusted to a new groove. He has helped a ton with Moose and will do absolutely anything I need help with from refilling my water bottle while nursing countless times (breastfeeding makes me so thirsty!!) to jumping out of bed to help soothe her at night. She responds well to his “shushing”.

Overall, having a newborn is what I expected in some ways and different than what I expected in other ways. I thought I would be overwhelmed and in a state of anxiety/panic all the time- but it hasn’t been that way. I have an unexpected sense of peace even in the stressful moments. It’s still hard at times and has not been without its challenges, but caring for her just feels so natural and wow, do I love it. I have never been more sleep deprived in my life which I expected (blaming any typing or grammar errors on that 🤣), but it’s pretty amazing how much you can function on so little sleep when you have to. I also recognize the awesome support I have had in DJ and our family which makes a tremendous difference, and I’m so grateful for them.

I will say Moose as a very young puppy was possibly more overwhelming on the day to day 😅 (although the sleep was a litttle better… which is saying something lol!).

Putting the rambles on hold for a second, I’ll start back to the first couple days home. We went to her first peds appt, also her first outing, on May 10th.

It was a great first appointment! She’d lost weight, which I know is expected at that first appointment, and my milk hadn’t quite come in yet. However, that afternoon my milk came in, and when we returned to the next appt, she had gained so much the staff almost didn’t believe it and reweighed her at the end of the visit, ha! Sitting here at 3 weeks, she went from 6 lb. 7 oz. at birth to 8 lb. 12 oz. Girl LOVES to eat like her momma. And she also gets hangry like her momma 😅.

Speaking of, that afternoon I finally got the Jimmy John’s I was craving through my whole pregnancy!! Load up the deli meat- woot woot! (Meat cravings are still in full effect).

On May 9th, my MIL, Quinn’s Gigi, stopped by with a laundry basket (a literal laundry basket) of AMAZING eats her and Gordie cooked up! We were set for the week with delicious teriyaki salmon, grilled sausages among tons of delicious sides. They spoil us!

We went on her first walk that day. The day was heating up fast, so we only went a very short distance. Plus physically, I couldn’t go far anyway. I absolutely LOVE the travel system stroller we got. I agonized over the stroller decision more than probably anything, and am very happy with our choice. It’s smooth as can be and after the learning curve, has become second nature with the set up.

I want to talk about the physical aspect of postpartum for a second. Is it me, or do people not talk enough about how hard the physical recovery is?! That first week hurt, badly 😅. I actually would take going through labor all over again over the recovery period. At about two weeks I’d say I really turned the corner.

On May 11th, I trimmed Quinn’s nails for the first time. Shocking how long and jagged they were at birth! She did great with it. I thought she’d possibly hate it, but she just let me file away. I can’t believe how quickly they grow back though! I feel like I’m constantly needing to file them.

Oh and of course, one of the most common questions we get is ‘how is Moose adjusting?’. So, the first week, he was certainly unsure of her and just kept his distance. But over the last couple weeks he has really warmed up and now will sniff her a lot/tries to give her kisses and sits all cozied up to her on the couch 🥰. He even dropped a ball in her lap one time as if she could play catch with him, lol.

He’s also sooo gentle with her. DJ and I both feel like the minute we brought her home he matured suddenly. It’s like he all of a sudden knew he was the big brother of the house and no longer the baby. He does get jealous sometimes though, but when we notice that we do try to make sure to give him the attention he’s looking for. The most mom guilt I’ve felt is toward Moose man and worrying he will feel second fiddle, so I’ve tried to be intentional about giving him lots of cuddles and love.

We also have a great set-up for Moose to go to Marie’s on M, W, F during the day to play with his friends and then he’s here with me and the babes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I miss him so much when he’s not here, but this has been really helpful during these early days, and he absolutely LOVES going to Marie’s.

The afternoon of May 10th one of my high school teachers dropped by with Daisy Cake Pops (the best cake pops in existence), candy and an adorable Alumni onesie!

That day Rach also got to meet our sweet pea!

P.S. I realize I started using this Snuggle Me to take her outfit of the day pictures 🙃. We rarely actually keep her in it though because she has some reflux going on.

And that evening Halston drove in for a few days to help us out and meet her niece ❤️.

Having Halston here was extremely helpful- she came at such a perfect time, especially with me not feeling physically 100% yet! We also had a few random things come up that week and she really stepped in to make things flow more smoothly. She even afforded me some extra sleep by taking some early morning shifts between feeds. It made all the difference! Oh, and she made us some homemade jambalaya before she left. All this right before taking her final law school exams. We would never expect her to do all this, but she is one amazing, selfless sister and Aunt. She also soaked up lots and lots of cuddles with Quinn.

May 12th, Quinn met one of her great grandmother’s, Mimi, for the first time. So special ❤️.

That evening we ordered from Piada, our latest go-to.

May 13th we got out for a walk on a beautiful day.

Quinn also got a delivery of gorgeous flowers from her Gigi for her one week birthday 💞

That Saturday, May 14th, we had her newborn shoot done in our home. It was a lifestyle family shoot. I had no idea what to wear given it’s hard to know what even fits right now and since the shoot was all about Quinn I really hadn’t given it any thought – so last minute I ordered a bunch from Target. Hal graciously picked it all up for me and thankfully one of the items fit! I’ve never done the same day outfit buy, but I guess that’s how it goes now, hah!

That evening, Quinn met her Uncle CJ, Aunt Maura and cousins Kate, Jack and Will. Kate was biting at the bit to hold her cousin Quinn as soon as she walked through the door. It was so sweet!!

We put her in the special onesie my sister and Kevin got her for meeting the fam 💕.

Chris and Maura spoiled us with Crumble Cookies- oh. my. goodness. these were good!!!

Sadly Halston left that evening. It was a hard goodbye, but we had lots of wonderful memories and moments just hanging with Quinn and chatting from the time she was here.

May 15th we went for another short walk out on the trail on a gorgeous day.

That afternoon, Quinn met her Grandpa Gordie for the first time and spent some quality time with her Gigi too 🥰.

May 16th, I got out one of her black and white contrast books. Newborns/infants are attracted to contrast, but I was amazed just how mesmerized she was by it!!! I had never seen her focus on anything until this book.

Random- but something I have learned fairly quickly is just how much you can do with only one hand free. I have never used my feet as an extra hand so much before either. I am still working on the making/eating food one handed- I’m already a messy eater and now it’s much worse 🥴. DJ even found a cashew in her diaper one time 🤣. I did start using a carrier when she weighed 8 lbs, around week 3, and it has made a huge difference!

May 17th, Gigi and I took Moose and Quinn out on the trail for a walk. It was the longest walk I had been able to do at that point (about 3 miles!), and the weather was perfection! It was so enjoyable as we just chatted away.

Later that day, Clair came by to meet our sweet pea 🥰

May 19th, I took Quinn on a walk by myself for the first time since I was able to drive again! Leaving the house, I had to leave Moose behind :(. Seeing him sitting at the top of the stairs watching me leave to go on “our” walk without him made me want to cry. I was determined to find a solution to be able to walk them both at the same time, and thankfully I have figured something out! Stay tuned!!

Some other little things about her I just love from these early weeks- she makes these little dinosaur sounding noises when trying to get comfortable or repositioning. It cracks us up- we call them her “dino noises”.

She also makes the cutest little facial expressions – my favorite is where she turns her head to side, raises her eyebrows and puts her mouth in a circle. I’m pretty sure she does it when passing gas 😂. I have to try to get a picture of it.

We call her Houdini because somehow she can get out of basically any swaddle except the Dreamland one.

I love dancing with her too to some quiet music, even though she sleeps through most of our dance parties.

Quinn is also a cuddle bug. She loves nothing more than nuzzling into us. She spends hours just laying on our chests.

And that wraps up week 2! Writing this at the end of week 3, weeks 1-2 were easy relative to #3. I’ll get into that in my next post.

I’m just so stinkin’ grateful every day, and I still can’t believe she’s ours 🥺💕. I’ll treasure these moments, every single one, forever.

<3,

Mackenzie

Postpartum Stay & First Mother’s Day!

Good morning!! I hope you all are having a great week 🙂 It’s 5 AM here, and my girl is sleeping soundly on my shoulder while her milk digests. I figured why not write a post before we both go back to bed (bassinet in her case).

I left off last time heading to the postpartum unit. We arrived to the unit around 4 AM and got settled in. The room was itty bitty and there was barely room to move, but we had all we needed- a bassinet for Quinn, a reclining chair for DJ and bed for me. And my bag full of snacks ;). We tried to get some sleep between the feeds, but I was so wired with adrenaline I found it near impossible to actually fall asleep.

We did have a serious scare that morning around 9 AM. When cuddling with Quinn, she started choking and started turning blue. She wasn’t clearing whatever it was with back slaps or any attempt to get up whatever was causing the choking. Our nurse immediately took her out of the room. I think I can speak for DJ too when I say it was the scariest single moment of our lives- I’ve never known such intense fear. We watched the nurses through the glass to the nursery and when they gave us a thumbs up I felt weak with relief. They deep suctioned her and had found she had a thick piece of mucus lodged in her throat from the amniotic fluid. They said this can happen within the first 48 hours after birth. DJ and I took turns making sure we had an eye on her at every second through that 48 hour window. I thanked God, and still thank Him, over and over that she is ok. The nurses were amazing too – and did not miss a beat. I tell this not to place fear in anyone, but for parents out there to be aware of this in the slight chance it ever happens (I had no idea this was a thing!) and to know where the code button is in your postpartum room.

Immediately after the incident happened, they placed her skin to skin with me, and it felt like all was right in the world. The rest of the day as we shook off the shock, we spent our time cuddling her, announcing her birth to friends and family and keeping up with the pain management post delivery (wowza! The pain that first few days sure was something else!). She also breastfed like a champ all day. I love and treasure the breastfeeding experience so much; I’m grateful it has gone well from the beginning because I recognize that’s not always the case. I also was able to sneak in a shower which felt amazing. It’s kind of incredible what a luxury a shower can feel like in the hospital.

That evening, they offered to do her first bath, called a swaddle immersion bath. She did really well with it! She met one of her great Aunts too!

And back to more cuddles 💕 It does not get better than this. I cherished (and still cherish) every second.

 Saturday, May 7th, was much more relaxed and uneventful (thank goodness). We continued our snuggling, took lots and lots of pictures of her and ordered Door Dash for a couple meals. I still ate my free meals from the hospital too – the breastfeeding hunger is no joke!!

That evening, Quinn met her Poppy and Sissy (one set of her grandparents) for the first time 🥰. Special moments!

Since there was some uncertainty exactly when my water broke and due to the choking episode, they decided to keep us an extra night. I didn’t mind, it really made a huge difference in our confidence by the time we left. The hardest part was being confined to that small room and being soooo sleep deprived. Writing this a few weeks later, the hospital was the most sleep deprived we have been through the whole postpartum period (which is saying something!). At one point I fell asleep talking mid-sentence. I’ve never done that before 😅.

DJ was so unbelievably supportive and helped me with everything. He definitely changed more diapers than I did while we were in there, he always made sure my water bottle was full & my snacks were within reach. I imagined during the postpartum time in the hospital we would watch a lot of shows or read books- but all we really did was stare at our girl pretty much the whole time.

When Sunday May 8th rolled around, it was time for us to be discharged! It was pretty special getting to go home with Quinn on Mother’s Day 🥰. We got our bags packed and put her going home outfit on!

A lot happened between the above picture and the next one. When we got home around noon. We went to see our Moose, let him out and introduce him to Quinn. The dog sitter had told us he was acting a little odd that morning, licking his behind and chasing his tail in circles. We have seen this before and usually something is just irritating his bum. But when we let him out of the crate we immediately knew something was actually wrong. DJ called my dad in law, who dropped everything right away and came over with my step mom in law and sisters. The guys took Moose to the ER and the rest of us stayed here with Quinn. Thankfully Moose was ok, he got some antibiotics and steroids on board and is fully recovered now. What an eventful first day home, eh?

Once they got back, we had lunch all together from Piada (probably my current fave restaurant for quick eats!) and all spent time with Quinn.

That evening, my MIL (Quinn’s Gigi), Renee and her fiancé, Chris, and Quinn’s cousin, Ender, all came by to meet her! 🥰

We FaceTimed my mom and Pete that evening too. We were counting down to when they’d be able to fly into town!

It was a very special day (and thankfully Moose ended up being ok). It was a Mother’s Day I’ll never forget 🥰. I have never felt so secure in a purpose and overjoyed in a role as I do being Quinn’s mom. I am so grateful and love her so much my heart may just explode. I’m also so stinking thankful for my mom and mom in laws- they are the BEST and set the bar pretty darn high for me! We feel so blessed Quinn gets to call them her grandmas 💞❤️.

Thanks for reading !

<3,

Mackenzie

My Labor & Delivery Story!

Hey everyone!!! Oh wow am I ever excited to write these next few posts about our Quinn coming into the world. Thank you all for your sweet welcoming words for her 🥰. It’s crazy we have only been with her almost two weeks and how my heart seems to have expanded to a size I did not know was possible. So many memories and treasured moments in this short time. My favorite two weeks ever!!! I feel like I’m going to be quite rambly (not a word, but I think it works) these next few posts. Our lives have very much changed in the best way since my last recap.

I have my girl sweetly sleeping on me while I write this post on a notepad on my phone.  I think I have maybe written one post on a notepad before so we’ll see how this goes 😅. Mr. Moose is also curled up at my side. Life is good.

So, let’s get to it!

So naturally, it would make sense to recap my labor and delivery first! I actually loved my whole experience beginning to end. People say everyone’s experience is unique, and I couldn’t have predicted or planned how this would go if I had tried. And even though it did not go as I had planned, I reflect so fondly on it.

Oh wait wait wait! I have to back up! *Rewind tape noise*. A couple things happened the week leading up to delivery that I want to make sure to mention too.

On May 2nd, I went to L & D for a second time because I was uncertain if my water had broken, although this time I had no contractions. They did a pretty extensive workup, said it hadn’t yet, so I went home.

On May 4th, my amazing coworkers surprised me with a baby shower. They are the best 😭. I was totally surprised- goodness gracious they spoiled me and my fam!!! It was the sweetest thing.

May 5th is a funny day. So around 2 AM I started having those darn contractions again, very similar to the ones I had the week prior. Thankfully I wasn’t scheduled to work this day. I timed them, and they met most criteria to go to L & D, except they weren’t a full minute in length. I figured these were likely just latent labor contractions again, and I didn’t want to go to L & D unnecessarily for the third time in a week.

Anyway, I had scheduled a mat pad cleaning under the carpet around Moose’s crate (we had such a hard time getting the urine smell up in that area of the living room and realized it was the mat under the carpet that needed cleaned). We also had an electric fence installation scheduled that morning (our solution to the trespooping situation since we can’t build one). I know I probably *should* have cancelled the appts., but I really wanted to get that stinkin’ (quite literally) carpet mat cleaned and fence installed. Plus it was hard to get it all scheduled initially to begin with.

When the electric fence guy answered the door I warned him I was having contractions every 4-5 mins. The look on his face was hilarious. Poor guy probably thought he was going to deliver my baby 🤣. When he was explaining to me about the electric fence box, I had a pretty intense contraction come on and had to sit down. He asked if I was ok with wide eyes, and I just tried to act like it was no big deal and said it would pass soon 😂. I asked him if this was his first time installing a fence for a lady in labor and he said yeah- and then asked me if it was my first time in labor 🤣. The carpet guys came soon after that. It was quite a scene. Me having my contractions every few minutes, the raucous from the fence being installed and our living room in disarray to get that mat cleaned.

I messaged my mom-in-law and asked if she was around in case this was the real deal (I insisted DJ go to work until things progressed because I was still convinced this was latent labor). She came over right away just to hang out and in case things did get more intense since they weren’t subsiding. Once the fence was installed and the carpet was cleaned, we took Moose to camp bow wow since there was no way I was able to walk him that day to get his energy out. Also if we needed to go to the hospital he would be taken care of there. On the way there and back the contractions definitely got more intense, but still not quite a full minute. When we got back we ate lunch (I ate a huge lunch thankfully since, unknowingly, that would be my last meal for a while). I so enjoyed my time chatting and hanging out with my mom-in-law despite the contractions coming in more intense waves.

That afternoon, before getting in the shower, I noticed a trickle of fluid down my leg. No denying it was probably time to go to L & D. I was so grateful my MIL was there. She drove me to the hospital where we met DJ. Sure enough, my water was broken, and I was going to be admitted. The first thing my OB said when he saw us was “Third time’s a charm” lol. Since I was only 1 cm dilated, I had to be induced. With wanting to try to go unmedicated, I realized this may be a little more unrealistic with an induction (not impossible, but I was way more open to an epidural with pit on board). So now the game plan was just go as long as possible without the epidural. We were taken to our L & D room and got settled in.

Seeing the equipment for baby girl SO real!! She was going to be here so soon!

The rooms were nice and spacious, and DJ and I just chatted through contractions, and I even painted my nails early on. The Pitocin was started at 4 pm, and the contractions were manageable for a while. I had some jasmine essential oil on a cotton ball that was very calming and made the room smell glorious (a little went a long way!). The exercise ball in the room also helped tremendously early on. Then after a while we started walking the halls which was the only thing that helped with the pain. That, and DJ massaging me with counter pressure, which he did through every contraction.

I hit a point where I could imagine handling the contractions a few more times, but not a few more hours. I wasn’t dilating as quickly as I’d hoped, so I requested an epidural around 10 pm. The anesthesia team was all held up in the OR, so I ended up getting the epidural until closer to 1030/1045 pm. At this point I started to get the labor shakes and the pain was so tremendous for the last couple contractions I started screaming. The epidural got on board right on time. Wow, I have never experienced such blinding pain before as I did those last few contractions. Also, with the pitocin on board, there was no relief.It felt like there was just one wave coming quickly right after the other. Once I got the epidural, I experienced pure bliss. I am so glad I got it because I truly enjoyed the rest of the labor. And I’m grateful I experienced the contractions to the point I did just to have an idea of what unmedicated labor is like. I would definitely do it this way again!

Quinn did have quite frequent late decelerations toward the end of my labor, which were scary to see (she did end up having a nuchal cord, but, thankfully, it didn’t ultimately cause any complications and she came out crying). Our nurse was absolutely incredible- I can’t rave about her enough- she was very reassuring, confident and helped made sure our baby girl was okay the whole time.

Around 11:45 pm I was fully dilated and ready to start pushing. I pushed until 1:43 AM when on girl was born! I didn’t mind the pushing phase at all and nearly fell asleep between pushes a couple times 🤣. I’m telling ya, that epidural was magic. I avoided using the on demand button for extra doses so the epidural could wear off a little bit for more effective pushing , and I think that did make a difference.

When she finally made her grand entrance, the feeling that we both experienced was like nothing I could ever explain. Greatest moment of my life (besides every subsequent moment with her). I am all teary eyed writing about it now. DJ cut the cord, then Quinn and I did skin to skin immediately. She latched to breastfeed so quickly, and nursed for 50 minutes the first time! It’s so mind-blowing how they just innately know what to do.

One of my favorite parts was watching the way DJ looked at her and doted over her. I knew he’d be an amazing dad, but wow, seeing him be a dad to her is the cutest thing ever.

And would it be a true post around here without a food recap? First meal postpartum- a burger, fries and milkshake post delivery from The Burger Den (thank goodness they were open!). Someone told me food would be the last thing on my mind during labor, and lemme tell ya, I was thinking about my next meal with every one of those pushes 🤣. I was so hungry! The burger combo meal hit the spot and then we were off to our postpartum room.

I’m so grateful for a smooth delivery and, most of all, that Quinn is healthy <3.

I’ll recap the rest of our hospital stay in the next post 🙂

<3,

Mackenzie

 

Maternity Pictures! <3

*This post was written on May 4th* 

Hi, everyone!! I am so excited to share our maternity photos 🙂 I got these done at 34 weeks pregnant, and I’m glad I scheduled them then since I took so long to show. We had the very talented Molly from Molly Watson Photography take them and the absolutely amazing Amaris, a makeup artist and now friend, did my makeup! The melasma on my face is really dark right now in the third trimester, and she worked some serious magic helping cover it up.

I chose to go with an emerald green dress since this will be baby girl’s birthstone color, and a blush pink dress since she’s a girl <3 

Anyway, this shoot was so much fun, memorable and really special. We will treasure these pictures forever 💕.

We cannot wait to meet our girl, our little miracle. 

<3, 

Mackenzie 

Third Trimester Recap!

Hey hey & welcome to the final trimester recap! I feel like I just wrote the second trimester recap yesterday. I am currently writing this 38 weeks pregnant (on May 3rd) because the doctors think there is a high chance our little one is going to make her grand entrance a bit early. As I did for the last two recaps, I will use the Growing You journal for some inspiration for prompts and then sprinkle in other random thoughts here and there 🙂

Three words to describe pregnancy: Wonderful, magical, surreal!

I’m nervous about: Mainly moving into the third trimester I was most nervous for how jam-packed our schedules were and having the energy to keep up with everything. Thankfully it all went well, and I was able to find a little time to rest here and there. I was also nervous about being on my feet all day at work. Fortunately, the swelling was really only noticeable from about week 36 on. Prior to that I didn’t have much at all! I also was unsure we would have everything ready in time (my to-do list had never been so long!).  Writing this now, the only thing left is assembling the portable changing table for the bedroom, but that should be here Thursday. And then we are really all good to go!

After birth, I am probably most nervous about juggling her and Moose at the same time when I’m here by myself. I don’t know how we are going to do walks since Moose sometimes requires two hand control on the leash (especially passing by other dogs!)- add a stroller to the mix is probably not possible. I’m sure we’ll figure something out.

I’m excited about: Everything!! In the third trimester I have been excited to hear baby’s heartbeat at every OB appt., our baby moon, the baby shower, finishing up the nursery and visiting my grandparents while pregnant. I’m also excited the third trimester means I’m that much closer to meeting our girl! It’s been amazing to see my bump grow at such a rapid pace week after week. I’m also weirdly excited to experience labor to see what all the commotion is about? Lol. Well that, and obviously because it will mean we get to meet our girl <3.

I’m grateful for: Where to begin with this? I’ve never felt so much gratitude in my life. Besides just being so deeply and profoundly thankful for our baby girl, I am immensely grateful for our friends, family, coworkers, our managers, random kind strangers and just everyone who has been beyond supportive and caring through this season of life. A dear friend I met through blogging, Kori, just recently had her sweet girl and being able to go through the pregnancy together and now entering this new phase as moms at around the same time has been such a blessing. And of course, DJ. I can’t imagine going through this with anyone else. He has been so patient, gracious, loving, helpful and is the best husband <3. I’d be much more nervous about the actual labor and raising a baby if I didn’t have him- but with him by my side I feel confident we will be just fine. I’m also grateful on a whole I have had an uneventful and healthy pregnancy, for the memories we have made throughout this pregnancy, for our careers being in a nice and steady rhythm & for the fact that we are near so many people we love as we enter into this next phase as parents. Oh and of course, I’m thankful for my Moose <3. And Door Dash.

Food cravings: Chocolate, caramel, milkshakes, chicken sandwiches and fries (I definitely have that first trimester craving for fast food again), savory and sweet combos, Mediterranean cuisine, pizza, bison or beef tacos & CoreLife.

Exercise: I’ve continued to walk a total of about 4 miles a day (this includes all the steps I take, not a direct 4 mile walk). I didn’t know if I’d be able to keep this up, but thankfully I have been able to. I do very light arm workouts with 5-10 lb. weights about 2-3x per week (Gotta make sure I can hold my baby girl!) & core strengthening that is safe for pregnancy a couple times a week. My running has almost entirely transitioned to using the elliptical instead due to the bladder pressure from running- so I do that about three-four times a week, super easy, for 25-30 mins.

Symptoms/how I feel: The third trimester has not been as bad as I anticipated in terms of symptoms. I do understand better what people mean when they say it’s “uncomfortable”. But overall, I feel pretty darn good all things considered! The worst part was the immense fatigue I had from weeks 28 to about 36. Around week 36, the nesting energy really kicked in, and I’ve maintained some energy since then! The nesting thing is REAL- holy moly I have never cleaned/organized so intensely in my life. Other third trimester specific symptoms I have been experiencing are being short of breath, some restless leg syndrome (although I had it in the second, it got way worse in the third tri) & serious heartburn. My melasma on my upper lip has darkened even more – it’s hard to cover up even with makeup now (such a pain in the rear!). Speaking of rear, mine has become entirely non-existent- I just don’t know where it went. Probs will need to do some squats post-pregnancy- LOL. I also have some ankle swelling after a long day at work, but it resolves if I prop my feet for a while. I also noticed the linea nigra on my stomach appear in the third trimester.

How I would describe my sleep: So my third trimester sleep was actually way better than my second trimester! I have been shocked by this. I am definitely more tired when I hit the pillow each night, so maybe I’m just more tired in general, but overall, I’m very happy with my sleep!

Emotions in the third trimester: Nearing the end of the third trimester has been very emotional. I am simultaneously so stinkin’ excited to meet our girl, hold her, look into her eyes, study her every feature, tell her how much we love her face to face… but then I am already missing being pregnant with her. She has been with me, a physical part of me, through pretty much everything since moving back to Ohio. One thing I’m already having a hard time with is returning to work after maternity leave (as much as I love my job!). She started my new job with me, and I usually talk to her on the way to work. The thought of going back there without her makes me so emotional. I also am emotional about Moosey- knowing he is going to inevitably have to deal with a little less attention from me than he’s used to. DJ reassured me he will give him alll the love and make sure he’s ok. At the same time, I can’t wait to see him and baby girl interact together! I also am just so excited for this next chapter while simultaneously nervous knowing nothing will be the same. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m sure there are things I’m missing, I’ll probably come back and edit them in- but I think this about sums it up for now! Still liked the second trimester more from a symptomatic standpoint, but the third trimester really wasn’t so bad! Now the first– we just won’t talk about that 😝.

Thank you to everyone who has been on this journey with us 💕. Y’all are the best, and I’m so grateful for your support!

<3,

Mackenzie

*Photo taken by Molly Watson Photography

Bow Wow Beach, Contractions & All the Emotions!

*This post was written on May 2nd*

Howdyyy! Continuing on recapping the end of April into May. Usually this time of year is known as something called Spring, but Ohio doesn’t play by the rules, and our winter continued with some serious snowfall on April 19th. Can ya believe it?

April 20th, baby girl really kicked out her foot & I was able to capture it in a photo! Isn’t that wild to see?!

April 22nd, I met up with Clair at The Town Tavern in Fairlawn. Neither of us had been before, so we figured it be fun to try out somewhere new together.

We started out with their soft pretzel to share as an appetizer.

For my main meal, I got a build your own bowl, with just about every ingredient option listed. Tons of veggies, corn, shrimp, etc. Oh man oh man was it good. I did not leave a bite behind. 

It was so good to see her & catch up. We talk on the phone pretty much every day, if not every other, but it is just is the best when we can find time to meet in person.

April 23rd, we took Moose out to Oak Hill again. It’s a little further of a drive than the usual bike & hike trail, but it’s usually less crowded, and we don’t have to worry about bikers sneaking up on us.

After our walk, we took Moose for the first time to Bow Wow Beach. This is easily our new favorite place to take him! It’s a beach strictly for dogs. Moose had the absolute time of his life, and it was his first time in the water (besides baths, which he HATES). Running around in the open water was a different story- he was loving every second. It was fun for us too because we don’t actually get to see him interact much with the dogs when he is at his dog daycare, besides the photos we get from Marie & the video stream from Camp Bow Wow. He was so good with all the other pups! Also, it was adorable- he’d play for a while then come running back to us to make sure we were still there and then run back to his friends. Melted my heart! This place is great.

When we got home, I made us some caprese & egg toasts for lunch. I have been on a caprese kick lately- I will make caprese avocado toast or caprese over eggs on toast most days of the week!

Moose was a sleepy sleepy boy that whole afternoon. Bow Wow Beach wore. him. out. He also has been snuggling up to my bump more often & has been even more cuddly in general (which I didn’t know was possible!)- I really think he knows she’s in there!

That afternoon, we knocked out assembling the stroller & getting the car seat bases installed. I was having no patience with the stroller assembly- but thankfully DJ figured it out. It was a relief to have all that done!

We went on a second walk that evening and pretty much had the hike and bike trail to ourselves which was peaceful.

We stopped by Culver’s after- I had some cheese curds & DJ had one of their mixers. Their mixers are amazing!

On April 24th, I met with Rachel at Creekside Restaurant for brunch. I think my taste buds have morphed into DJ’s through this pregnancy- I ordered chicken & waffles for my main meal, and it was HEAVENLY.

Rachel ordered their avocado spud- a stuffed potato with all kinds of delicious fixin’s and eggs!

We have to go back here because there is so much on the menu I want to try.

Last get together before the baby arrives! It was so stinkin’ good to see Rach. We have been both extra busy lately, it’s been tough to find a time to meet, so this worked out beautifully.

Clearly I need some sunshine 😂.

We took Moose back to Bow Wow that afternoon for round 2!

Also, want to see something funny? We noticed once all the snow melted, our grass was so much greener than our neighbors’. I think Moose may have been fertilizing our yard all winter without us realizing, lol. Maybe our neighbor will be asking him to come back over! 😜

April 25th I took Moosey out on another walk. Don’t let his cuteness fool ya- he was a rascal this day! His Dad was getting a play-by-play at work about all his shenanigans.

In all seriousness, people have said how a puppy is great training for a baby, and I totally understand why. I am so grateful to Moose for all he has taught me about myself in such a short period of time. I have identified things I will need to work on as a mom just through raising him. He’s taught me to be more flexible, more patient, to be more in the moment and to treasure each day we have together. I have times where I wish I had been a bit more relaxed and slow to frustration during his early puppy days- as it was only a phase. I look at pictures of him so little, and feel like I blinked and he grew up. I know in some sense it may feel that way with our baby. So because of Moose, I want to be super present and not miss a beat of my baby being a baby, even if that means not checking things off on my to-do list or letting the laundry pile up for a few days. I understand the hard days are going to go by fast, and to cherish each one of them no matter how hard they are. I realize he feeds off my energy, and how important it is to check myself so a bad day doesn’t wear off on those around me, most of all my child. He’s also taught me what it is to have pure joy through caring, nurturing and loving someone totally dependent on you. Seeing him happy makes me so darn happy- I can only imagine that will be magnified with our baby <3. I don’t know that I would have this perspective without Moose. We love that little, not so little, guy so much & are very thankful for him! I know he’ll be the best big brother.

Ok wiping away my dramatic pregnancy tears as I get back to the recapping..

I have started a new breakfast kick with oatmeal, PB & dates. Dates are rumored to have some benefits for labor. I figured why the heck not give it a go, especially because I do find them tasty.

April 26th I got a prenatal massage! I have been saving a birthday gift for the third trimester massage, and it was a great treat :). That evening was an OB appt. But after I NEEDED a burger instead of Corelife. I was so ravenous I didn’t even get a picture- but we got them from BurgerFi. D-E-lish!

Marie sent us this adorable picture of Moose and Captain (her dog) on April 27th. I love that Moose gets so much exposure to little dogs at her place, especially given how big he is (and he’s still growing)- he’s sooo good & knows to be more gentle with small pups. We got to see that at Bow Wow Beach!

That evening we got our car seat bases inspected! All good to go!

April 28th I had a serious craving for Jet’s pizza. Pizza is one of those things I would have thought I’d crave a lot in pregnancy, but I really have only craved it once or twice. I ordered mushroom & pineapple (which again, sounds so gross- but something about this third trimester is making me want all the savory and sweet combinations) & DJ had a meat lovers. I ordered their turbo crust for the first time with garlic, romano cheese and butter- and I don’t think I’ll ever go back to regular! It was a game changer.

That evening, we received a book in the mail from where we stayed for our Babymoon. As part of the Babymoon package, you get the book Good Night Charleston for your baby- but they had them backordered when we were there. We were so excited when this came in & we were surprised how closely the book mirrored everything we did while we were there! Very special.

And here’s a pic of Moose being a cuddle bug with my stomach again.

On Friday, April 29th, I stopped by Krieger’s, a local market, for groceries for the first time. I had never been here before even though it’s super close to where we live. Well, I am kicking myself for not coming here sooner, because I’m obsessed! It has amazing options & great healthy finds that you can’t always find elsewhere. I will be back!

That evening was a wild one! I started having contractions late in the evening as I was falling asleep. I thought they were just intense Braxton Hicks at first, but they started getting closer and closer together and more intense, eventually I couldn’t sleep because of them. I woke DJ up to let him know I thought I may be going into labor. We started timing them, and they were about 10 mins apart, each about 50 seconds to a minute and more intense than the usual Braxton Hicks. A couple hours passed, and baby was not being active at all. I also started shaking- more than usual from just being cold. To be safe, we called my OB and drove to L & D triage around 2 AM. When we got in, and I was hooked up to the monitor, she finally started moving again & the shaking subsided. My contractions continued to get closer together and the resident said on the monitor they were 4-5 mins apart. She said she would monitor me for an hour, and if I didn’t continue to dilate then we would head home, but there was a chance this was the real deal. Woah. The contractions did start subsiding about 30 mins in, and by the hour mark I hadn’t dilated anymore, so we were heading out the door. Basically, they said it was latent labor. They estimated she will be coming earlier than her due date (May 17th), and that she could make her arrival any time in the next couple days to week(s). They advised these types of contractions may continue on and off until then. Thankfully, the contractions continued to subside over the next few days- and writing this now on Monday the 2nd, I haven’t had any since last evening. I just hope I don’t have them when I work this week, because that would be awfully distracting for me and the patients, lol!  Anyway, the whole ordeal was exhausting, a bit nerve-wracking and surprising given I was 37 weeks- but at the end of it, it made me all the more excited to meet our girl. I cannot WAIT!

This picture was after the night in L & D triage. I think Moose could tell we were pretty exhausted. He cuddled right up to me and my stomach <3.

That Saturday, April 30th, we took it super easy. I just lounged on the couch while working on blog posts and did light chores around the house. We did have an electric fence training session in the afternoon. We can’t install an actual fence, so this seemed like the best alternative. So far Moose is doing very well with the training! I love the company we are going with too. This will be great because it’ll give Moose way more space to roam depth wise in our yard while preventing him from going sideways into our neighbors’ yards. One more training to go next week!

I was so extra hungry that day, and for dinner I ordered a feast from Aladdin’s. Eventually I gotta cool it with the Door Dash, but I’m soaking up the pregnancy excuse for now, haha.

On Sunday, May 1st, I was having far fewer contractions and decided to see if I could do a walk with DJ and Moose. I made it 3.5 miles without any contractions, and it felt amazing. We also took Moose to Bow Wow Beach. It was a productive day & now we are really just waiting for baby girl to make her grand entrance!

And I want to leave you with just some things that Moose has been doing that crack us up.

First up, he has decided he wants to face the opposite direction while riding in the car now. To each their own.

He also was walking around our townhouse with his bone like this. That can’t be comfortable how high up in his mouth he has it?! 😂

Like, why? I do not understand. Hahah.

Him and his sleeping also make us laugh so much.

Last, we find it so funny when we give him a bone how wide his eyes always get 😂

Thanks for listening to my rambles! I was definitely in my feels for this one. Maybe next time I write a recap it will be with our baby girl in our arms! Time will tell!

Question for you: 

  • What’s your favorite grocery store?

<3,

Mackenzie

Home & Nursery Tour!

Hi all!! I finally finished up our house and nursery- I wanted to document it and give a little tour. In terms of decoration, I  wanted to do something a little more playful/unique for now, and then maybe transition to something more timeless later on. Thanks for sharing in this exciting time with us! 😊

Living Room 

Kitchen

Dining Room

These three pictures above are ones I took from each of the states we have lived together since being married (minus a short time in Indiana when we finished up undergrad). From left to right: California, Texas and Ohio. 

Guest Room 

And… the Nursery!
Baby blanket below is from her great-grandmother, Mimi <3. 

Of course, we’ll make sure there is nothing in the crib when she actually uses it 🙂 

Thank you for sharing in such an exciting time with our family!

<3, 

Mackenzie