Saturday, January 5, 2019

And Then There Were Three!

Time to let this cat out of the bag.

We're expecting baby Schweitz number three (on earth // we have one sweet babe in eternity)!



John Paul will be almost 4 and Jude will be just over 2 when new baby arrives. From infertile for 2 years to 3 kiddos in less than 4 years. My heads spins when I try to think about it! I look back in awe of where this journey has taken us. I couldn't have written it better myself, so thanks for that, Man Upstairs!

---

When Jude turned 1, we started to talk and dream about baby 3. I was still a little hesitant, since we were just finally starting to get some good sleep (side note: Jude was not the best sleeper for the first year of his life), and my postpartum anxiety was finally feeling good and managed. But from there, it only took a few more months to really feel ready, and so we decided to give it a whirl.

Wouldn't you know, that first cycle of trying, the emotions of infertility came flooding back. Will it work? Will I need to seek NaPro help? Does that twinge in my ovary mean something? Is my endometriosis back?! Will I need surgery again? Do I feel pregnant? Is that a symptom of pregnancy or PMS? Do I hope or do I despair?!

And that first cycle did not work. I tested early, and I tested several days, and each day just one single line stared back at me on the pregnancy tests. So naturally, I was devastated. I went right back to the dark places of infertility. I tried and tried to not let it take over, but it's crazy how once you've been through it, you can never really trust that your body is healed and knows how to make babies again.

But I pulled myself together and we tried again, and well . . . here we are now, 6.5 months pregnant with the newest little Schweitz babe.

I say all this not to complain. But just to say my heart is still with all my friends who are struggling. I see you. I know your pain and I hate it for you. And I know it can't be easy to hear about the girl who gets pregnant so quickly now, but I promise I have not forgotten you. Please never hesitate to unfollow if all this is just too much. Praying for you, my friends.

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So how did we find out?

Well, I was nearing the end of the cycle and holding out testing as long as possible, but at this point, it was time. I told John I was ready, but that I didn't want him to be with me during the test, because I didn't to let him down if it was negative. I marched upstairs to our master bathroom with Jude in my arms (he was cranky/clingy, so there was no leaving him), and as soon as I got into the room, I ripped open the test. Within seconds of dipping it, it turned positive, and my heart skipped a beat! I know I've been through this positive test thing 4 times now, but it never ceases to amaze me that my body can actually do this correctly!

With great excitement, I yelled down the stairs, "Guess what, John!" And of course he knew. He came running up the stairs and checked out the test with me, and we both giggled and hugged and floated on a cloud.

The only NaPro-y thing we did was supplement with progesterone during post-peak, but other than that, my body did this one on its own. Well, I mean, with the help of the husband, of course. :P

I've been checking my progesterone regularly since, and the numbers have been so good that I haven't needed any supplementation since the positive test! It's certainly been nerve-wracking, especially since I was on progesterone during both John Paul and Jude's pregnancies. But this little babe hasn't needed it and thankfully, all is well!

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At this point, we're pretty far into the pregnancy and I'm feeling exactly as I'd expect to feel at 6.5 months pregnant. I've always wanted to answer these questions, as sort of a time capsule for my pregnancy years, so I hope you don't mind if I indulge.

How far along? 29 weeks
Clothing? Pretty much all maternity at this point. A few sweet friends have let me borrow some of their maternity clothes, so it's been fun switching up the maternity wardrobe a bit this time around.
Stretch marks? No new ones, but I bet I'll add to the old ones here soon. That's exactly what happened around 30-ish weeks last time. During my first pregnancy, stretch marks grew from my laparoscopy scars. During my second pregnancy, stretch marks grew from the old stretch marks. So if that pattern follows, I expect to see my current stretchies grow even longer by the end of this pregnancy. However, I have been better about applying lotion to my belly this pregnancy, so we'll see if that makes any difference whatsoever. I'll report back!
Sleep? Not too bad! Actually, my 3-year-old has become a bad sleeper. Thank you, night terrors. Eep! So sleep is interrupted by that. And I have to get up to pee at least once a night, many nights twice. Throw a random night of pregnancy insomnia into the mix here and there, and that's what my sleep looks like these days. All told, I probably eek out 6-7 solid hours each night. And if I'm really tired the next day, I'll nap when my boys nap. (Yes, they nap at the same time every day. It's glorious.) I will say, those body pillows never did it for me, so I just sleep on my left side most nights, and comfortably so!
Best moment of the week? My boys have been sick, so there have been lots of snuggles and Christmas movies (and Pixar movies) on the couch this week. Can't complain about extra toddler snuggles and fun movies!
Worst moment of the week? My boys have been sick, so they've been extra clingy and whiny. Isn't it funny how the best thing and worst thing from the week can come from the same place? Anyway, I snapped at my boys a time or two, just overwhelmed by the unending whining. Felt pretty bad about that after the fact. I wonder if pregnancy hormones are to blame for my shorter-than-usual fuse?
Miss anything? Mama wants sangria! And a big, meaty deli sandwich!
Movement? Yes! Especially in the evenings.
Symptoms? Reflux, the tiniest bit of morning nausea, exhaustion, pimples, night pee, pressure (but not scary pressure) down low, getting harder to bend over and pick things up . . .
Food cravings? Veggie sub from Subway; sweet, cold drinks; lots of water this week; tuna fish + pasta salad with Wishbone Italian dressing; veggies and dip
Gender? I really go back and forth with this, but am leaning girl this time. I was a lot sicker in the first trimester (throwing up nearly every day for weeks!), so either that means a gender I haven't experienced yet OR just one feisty boy. John Paul constantly says "she" when referring to the baby, but will occasionally tell us he's having another brother. The ultrasound profile looked girly, but also looked a lot like Jude, so who knows? Every day I let myself imagine having another boy or having our first girl, just to prepare for either outcome, and it's a lot of fun to imagine either scenario. A boy would so easily fall in line with our first two, while a girl would switch things up and be a fun new experience. Either way, we'd be thrilled!
Labor signs? None!
Belly button in or out? Barely still in.
Wedding rings on or off? On, but I usually don't have to take them off, even at the very end.
Mood? Normal.
Looking forward to? Meeting this baby and seeing my boys' reactions when he or she arrives! Also, we're getting to the point where my OB appointments are every 2 weeks, and that's just blowing my mind!

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I think this has officially turned into a mommy blog. I don't hate it. :P

Hugs to all of you! Wishing you many blessings on your journey!


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

John Paul Turns 3! With a Train Birthday!

My big kid turned 3 back in May.

What a gift it is to have a 3-year-old!



John Paul Fulton, watching you grow is such a joy. You have become such a chatter box, telling us stories about any and everything, and talking to anyone who will listen. You're favorite story to tell these days is, "When I was a baby, I used to call 'chocolate' 'lala'!" . . . which is entirely untrue, but I love how much you love making up stories about when you were a baby.


You love to explore the world around you, taking in every detail possible. You'll be telling us about something you saw weeks ago, and you'll recall the most random detail about it. It always shocks us and makes us chuckle. 


You still love books, and would curl up on the couch to read with us all day if we had the time. Your favorite books are the ones with vehicles, but you'll even give non-vehicle books a go from time to time.


Your eating habits have remained pretty much the same over the past year. If it were up to you, you'd only eat pasta, grilled cheese, or pizza every meal. We've gotten you to try a handful of less toddler-friendly foods, like tofu and kale and carrots, but you'll only eat them if there's nothing else around. You have quite the sweet tooth, which we don't indulge often, but I do use it to my advantage when I'm trying to get you to cooperate with pictures. (Candy bribery, ftw!) No wonder I have so many great pictures of you!



You have such a big heart and it always warms mine to see your love in action. When Jude gets hurt, you rush to his side to give him a hug and tell him, "It's ok to cry!" When you see a baby, you just want to hang out nearby and talk about how cute and little the baby is. When you wake up in the morning, your favorite thing is to climb into our bed and snuggle for a while. You'll often ask us how our sleep was and tell us that you love us. You're such a snuggly, sweet boy.



You love water! Whether in the bath, or the water table, or just playing in the sink, you gravitate toward anything involving H2O. And so long as we're not actually trying to clean you with it, you are giddy whenever water is around. You especially love cups in water because you get to practice pouring, over and over and over.



You also love to ride your bike. You mastered your tricycle as a 2-year-old and moved onto your balance bike pretty quickly from there. Now you zip around on your green balance bike with the greatest of ease. It always shocks me to see how quickly you can ride, and how much control you maintain. I wonder if it's time for an upgrade to a petal bike? For now, you're having fun also learning how to maneuver a scooter. And man, can you motor on that too!



You LOVE family. When we're not around your grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, you're constantly talking about them. My favorite is when you're enjoying something like a toy or a meal and you stop to say, "Nana would love this!" It's such a blessing to have John's family nearby. And even though my family is far, we FaceTime often and they visit when they can. And it's a good thing, because this boy sure loves his Rhode Island family too!



You are still a pro-sleeper, and we sure do appreciate that. You take one nap, from around 1pm to 3pm, and you sleep through the night from 9pm to 7:30am. You still sleep in your pack n play (lol), but you love it and we're not going to rock that boat if we don't have to. You are, however, welcome to sleep in that big boy bed we bought you (over a year ago!) whenever you're ready. :P We started using the OK to Wake clock a few months ago and it's helped you stay in bed in the mornings until a reasonable time. The clock turns green (at a time we preset) when it's ok to be up, and you have adjusted to it really nicely! Thanks for letting us "sleep in" 'til 7:30am every morning, kiddo.



One huge accomplishment in the past few months has been POTTY TRAINING! We officially have you out of diapers during waking time, and it's so nice! You still haven't learned how to hold while you're napping or overnight sleeping, so we put you in diapers for sleep, and you've managed to hold your poops until you're in that sleep-time diaper. But you pee on the potty like a boss and we love it!



You know, being 3 has its difficulties too. You really don't like it when things don't go your way, or when we have to tell you no. And if your brother tries to get involved when you're concentrating on a toy or task, emotions fly high. But overall, you do make this life pretty easy on us.


Bud, it's a pleasure to be your mom. Thanks for filling our days with love, laughter, and wonder. We couldn't imagine our family without you. Thanks for being you, kiddo!

For John Paul's 3rd birthday, we decided to skip the party and plan a trip instead! We knew he'd LOVE to ride on a Thomas the Train, so I did some internetting and found Thomas was going to be just a few hours away in Chattanooga the day after John Paul's birthday! It was fate! So we planned a long weekend out of it, booking a nice Airbnb apartment just outside of downtown, and filling time with fun activities and yummy restaurant adventures. John Paul's aunt, uncle, and 1-year-old cousin joined in on the fun too!

On our first full day (John Paul's actual birthday) was spent at the Chattanooga Aquarium. And it really was a full day! We started there right after they opened, took an afternoon break for lunch and naps, and then went back to finish exploring. Lots of great pictures to be taken . . .







For dinner, we found a pub near the old Chattanooga choo-choo, so before dinner, we explored the old train and several old train cars. They're not in operation anymore, just on display for tourists and train enthusiasts to enjoy. Some of the old train cars have been converted into shops, and one was even a bar! We didn't stick around for long, but John Paul LOVED this short train adventure.



After dinner, we had cake back at our rental apartment. We just picked it up at Whole Foods when we arrived in town. Birthday boy was thrilled to pick the flavor: strawberry. Easy peasy.



The next day, there were many more train adventures to be had. In the morning, John and the boys got to ride a funicular train 1 mile up the side of a mountain! John Paul loved it so much, he's still talking about it months later. And then in the early evening, we finally got to meet and ride Thomas! John Paul was totally in train heaven. I have this sweet video of him saying (totally unprompted), "Eeeeeee! I'm so happy!" while we road Thomas. It was precious. Oh, and he got his first slush puppie, so he was basically on cloud 9.





^^sporting his Thomas tattoo

Happy 3rd birthday, John Paul! We love you! Can't wait to see where year 4 takes you!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

A Day in the Life, 2018

Just like last year, my Shoot Along photography course challenged us to complete a day-in-the-life photo project. Starting the moment we woke, we were tasked with taking one photo every 10 minutes. Whew! I pretty much stayed on top of it this time around. And now that I have all these pictures of one complete day, I figured it'd be fun to share exactly what goes on in our home over the course of 24 hours with you! A day in the life of our family . . .

March 2, 2018

7:15am
Jude starts making noise. And this is the first we've heard from him since he went to bed around 8:30pm. He slept through the night!! We usually let him play in his crib a bit before I go in to nurse him, mostly to give us some time to come to consciousness. 

7:30am
John Paul is now awake and fussing, so John goes in to get him and bring him into our room for morning snuggles. As soon as John Paul makes it into the room, Jude's really starts to fuss, so I head into his room to nurse him for a while.

7:40am
Jude's done nursing, so I go grab John Paul from our room. John is completely passed out again; he's exhausted from having been on call overnight and answering several phone calls from the hospital in the wee hours of the morning. So I take both boys downstairs with me and we let Daddy sleep in for a little bit longer. He just wants 30 minutes more.

7:45am
It's time to make breakfast! The second I open the fridge, Jude is immediately at my feet, rummaging through all the fridge goodies. John Paul soon joins him.


7:55am
Quick diaper changes.

8:00am
Breakfast is finally on the table. Coconut milk chia seed pudding for all of us. I add homemade granola to mine. The boys eat theirs with strawberries and blackberries. John Paul also gets half of an everything bagel, per his request. I've also prepared a bagel for John when he wakes.



8:05am
Forgot to make the coffee! We drink cold brew basically every morning. So I get back up from the breakfast table, leaving the boys to chow down, and go make two coffees. Cold brew + protein nut milk + agave is our combo of choice.


8:15am
Jude is antsy to get out of his highchair. He makes the best antsy faces. I leave the boys briefly to go wake up John.


8:20am
John joins the breakfast table and adds cream cheese to that toasty bagel. He's using Kite Hill vegan chive cream cheese since we're vegan for Lent.



 8:30am
We all wrap up eating and chatting and John gets ready to head out with Jude. Jude has a quick check-up at the pediatrician to make sure his weight gain is still on track.


8:40am
While John gets Jude changed and ready to go, John Paul asks me to play this little board game he got in his Chick-Fil-A kids' meal last night. It involves picking up paper bones with tongs shaped like a dog. Pretty cute. He loves it.


8:45am
Did I mention that Jude can walk now?! Look at how proud big brother is!


John and Jude rush out the door to make it to their 9am appointment on time.


8:50am
Still playing John Paul's board game. He ends up winning that round. :)


8:55am
We decide to FaceTime my mom, aka Memere! We end up chatting for over an hour, and lots of John Paul activities occur in the meantime.




He brings out his vitamins.


He requires a diaper change. :P

He builds Memere a "garage" for one car.



He goes for a short tricycle ride.


10:30am
John and Jude are home! Jude took a little snooze in the car on the way home, so he'll be able to hold off until after lunch for his nap and the boys will have overlapping naps today. WOOP WOOP! Also, John reports that Jude is gaining weight and back on track. SO MUCH WOOP WOOP!


10:40am
I start working on lunch: vegan lentil tacos. I don't normally make something so fancy, but we're eating out tonight, so I don't mind putting in a little extra work at lunchtime. Btw, have you ever had the lines on a measuring cup fade this much?? Silly, right?


10:45am
The boys play on the floor beside me. They pull apart my pots and pans cupboard, which keeps them happily distracted while I chop all my veggies and get things a cookin'.


10:55am
John decides to take John Paul on a Target adventure while I continue working on lunch. As he picks up John Paul to walk him over to the changing table and get him dressed to go, I snap this goofy upside down grin. Look at that milk mustache from his pomegranate kefir snack!


11:05am
Still working on lunch. It's coming along. Jude is getting antsy again. This time he's bored.


11:10am
So I start sneaking him little snacks and tastes of what I'm chopping. He gets a cheese stick, olives, tomatoes, avocado, and beans. 


11:20am
While I wait for the lentils to finish cooking, I take the free time to send a quick email. We're putting out feelers to local designers and gathering quotes for a kitchen reno. Eep! Jude loves to "help" by banging on the keyboard.


11:25am
Gooby baby still eating his cheese snack.


11:35am
Lentils still simmering, so I start working on a side salad.


11:45am
I decide Jude could use a nursing break, since he hasn't nursed since 7:30am. The recipe is at a good stopping place, so I leave everything heating on the stove and he nurses with me in the family room.

11:55am
Little goob wraps up eating and gets a hold of Daddy's remote control. He hides between the couch and coffee table while he plays.



12:00pm
John and John Paul return from Target with Coco!


12:10pm
Lunch is finally on the table. We have several different version of the same thing. The toddler version is a deconstructed taco with a side of deconstructed salad.



The grown up version is the fully assembled kind. :P

Btw, fritos + catalina dressing is a match made in heaven!


John Paul has mastered the Sign of the Cross after our meal prayer.

12:20pm
John Paul chows down. Om nom nom nom.


Meanwhile, Jude has had enough (might have overdone it on the pre-meal snacking, oops), so he swipes his arm like a windshield wiper and nearly clears off all the contents of his tray. Oyyyy.


12:30pm
No srlsy, he's really had enough. One HUGE yawn and we know it's for sure time to get him down for his nap.


12:35pm
A quick diaper change and then it's up to his bedroom. I get him in his zipadeezip sleep sack and we go straight to nursing.


12:50pm
He's soooo sleepy. He's out within minutes. I let him nurse for a few more as he slumbers sweetly, and read the daily Mass readings to pass the time. Then I gently place him in his crib.



12:55pm
Time to finally get myself dressed! I'm the type that'll go as long as possible before changing into day clothes. Some days I just stay in jammies all day! Not today though. I pick out my Tennessee shirt and pose for a self portrait. Ignore the laundry mess behind me. #reallife


1:00pm
I head back downstairs and John is cleaning the lunch dishes. I change John Paul's diaper and then send the two of them up for an afternoon nap. John gets John Paul down after a few minutes of snuggles and a favorite book.
1:10pm
All three of my boys are down for a nap! I take just a few minutes of this precious silence to get on facebook and see what's been going with the rest of the world.

1:20pm
Still a few lunch dishes left, so I get at it. It'll feel good to have a clean kitchen.


1:30pm
While I clean, I'm watching a new favorite show: Last Man on Earth. Have you seen it?! I've been making my way through all 4 seasons for a few weeks now and I'm almost caught up. It's so hilariously awkward, kinda like a mix of The Office and Flight of the Concords. I love it.


1:40pm
Kitchen is clean, so mama gets to put her feet up. I finish watching an episode of Last Man on Earth and then open blogger to start writing this post. Photography is on hold while I type type type.

3:05pm
John Paul shouts from his bedroom. Nap time is over for him, but Jude is still snoozin'!

3:10pm
John Paul waits patiently in his learning tower as I prepare his snack on the counter. Today's afternoon snack is mush: broken graham crackers and milk, stirred together until mushy. He's obsessed. I add a nectarine on the side to get some fruit in there.


3:15pm
My snack is this edible vegan cookie dough. YUMMMMM!


3:25pm
Still eating his mush. Look at that little chin dimple. <3


3:35pm
Jude finally wakes up! After a 3 hour nap!



3:40pm
I run up to his room to grab him and decide to nurse him for a little while. He eats for about 10 minutes while I scroll Instagram.

3:50pm
We wander over to John Paul's room, right next door, and the boys play while John hangs up some lights I purchased a while back. This will one day be the boys' shared room.





4:05pm
Mischief managed! Marquee lights are hung and we make our way down the stairs.


4:15pm
We decide to play outside for a few minutes to pass the time. It doesn't last long since it's colder than it looks outside.


4:20pm
Jude joins me inside and I unload the dishwasher. John stays outside with John Paul for a few more minutes of play.


4:40pm
All my boys are back inside. John Paul gets into another kitchen cabinet and plays with the funnel. For whatever reason, the boys are especially obsessed with the funnel and the two colanders.


4:50pm
It's time to head to our church for a Lenten fish fry. No, fish is not vegan. We decided earlier in the week it was ok to break our Lenten fast to enjoy fellowship with our church community. 

4:55pm
Our church is right next to our neighborhood, so we walk over. Down the street and up the hill to the fish fry we go!


5:05pm
FISH FRY!! We spend the next hour and a half enjoying good food and the company of great people!




John Paul is a little overwhelmed when we first arrive and has a little meltdown when I ask him if he's going to eat.


The fish is fantastic! We scarf down our food and spend the rest of the time watching all the kiddos runnnn around like crazy. They try to sneak outside about a hundred times, so we have to be on door duty, and continuously stop them from escape.




Look at my beautiful niece/goddaughter, Rosie. <3


And my other goddaughter, Lily! <3 She's obsessed with a Mickey balloon that's stuck up on the ceiling. She keeps screeching and pointing at it. Hilariously cute.


6:35pm
Time to head home! It's family movie night, so we're trying to get back at a reasonable time to watch a good chunk of movie. Tonight's feature: Coco! And we've invited a few friends and family members to join us!


6:55pm
We all settle in, get the movie going, and since Jude didn't eat enough at the fish fry, I nuke him some chicken nuggets. He chows down while watching Coco from his high chair.


7:00pm
John Paul and Rosie snuggle up on the couch. Rosie licks a toy car.


7:15pm
The adults enjoy some bubbly during the Coco viewing. :)


7:30pm
John Paul is GLUED. This is how he watches every movie. I've never seen a toddler with such a long attention span.


7:45pm
Owen enjoys playing with our rainbow stacker toy and catching glimpses of the movie when it's not "too scary." <-- his words.


8:00pm
Still GLUED.


8:10pm
We stop the movie and say goodbye to our friends. It's getting a little too late for all the toddlers, so we don't make it to the end of the movie. John changes Jude's diaper and gets him in his jammies.

8:15pm
Usually we head up for boys' bedtime at 8pm, but it's a special night, so we let it go a little later than normal. Jude loves climbing the stairs on his own. He'll fight himself out of my arms if I forget to put him down to climb.


Halfway up the steps, John Paul has a meltdown because we've forgotten to give him a bedtime snack. We decide to stick with routine, so John brings him back down and gives him a snack.

8:25pm
Jude gets his teeth brushed and then we head into his bedroom and I nurse him to sleep. He's got lots of energy, but after 30 minutes of milkies and snuggles, he finally settles and passes out.


8:55pm
John is wrapping up bedtime routine with John Paul. After the snack, he changed his diaper and got him in his jammies, brushed his teeth, and started reading him a book. I peek into John Paul's room to say goodnight and snap a pic of the cuteness.


9:05pm
John makes his way downstairs after he finishes getting John Paul down for bed. John Paul's pretty easy these days: read a book, say some prayers, put him in his pack n' play, say a long goodnight ("I love you! Sweet Dreams! Sleep well, and dream with the angels!" x 4). He can handle the falling asleep part on his own. 

9:10pm
After a few minutes of clean up, we settle into the family room for our evening screen time. John decides to watch half of a movie, The Foreigner, and I work on this post.


10:10pm
Jude starts crying, so we take it as a sign to wrap up our screen time.

10:20pm
Jude's still crying, so John heads into his room to help him get back to sleep. A 10pm wake-up is pretty rare for Jude, so we're wondering what's bugging him.

10:50pm
John has been rocking Jude this whole time. And he's been out basically the whole time. But John goes to put him gently into his crib and he's wide awake and crying again. So after finishing my bedtime routine (teeth brushed + face routine), I head in to nurse Jude.

11:20pm
Jude is FINALLY out, after 30 minutes of nursing. I put him down and he stays asleep. PHEW!

11:30pm
Lights out for us!

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And that's a wrap! What a day! Thanks for following along. :)

Camera: Nikon D3200
Lens: 35mm


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