Wednesday, October 10, 2012



The day I have been dreading since my water broke at the hospital. 

Back to work.

I knew this day would come.  I knew we couldn't afford to have me stay at home with Cooper forever.  But I honestly secretly hoped that we would find a way.  That our bills would somehow magically diminish.  The love I have for my son from the second he was born cannot be put into words.  How could I leave him all day?  Why would I?

Mark and I went back and forth on this decision.  But I could see our finances causing stress in our marriage.  Causing stress in Mark.  And I hated it.  I hated how he would come home and sign onto our bank account...I would leave the room.  He would get so flustered.  Me going back to work was the right choice in black and white.  However in my grey world of motherhood, it wasn't.  And it killed me.

I wish I could stay home with him.  I wish I didn't have to share him.  Ever.  It sounds so incredibly selfish and almost crazy, right?  But I can't be the only mom to have felt this way. 

But because I love him so much and want to be able to provide him with everything he could ever need I have to go work.  If I ever want to have a penny saved for his future, work it is.  And I was so worried and anxious for today.  Turns out - for no reason!

He smiled when I dropped him.  I smiled when I got to work.  Adults wanted to talk to me!  It was entirely refreshing!  And then I picked him up, and I got the hugest smile from him.  Perfect.

I constantly do this to myself.  I psych myself out about stuff all the time and this happened to be the worst.  I love him more today than I did yesterday, but somehow I was able to leave him and enjoy myself.  All while making money!

I can only hope I continue to feel this way because I think it will work for us.  I think we can do it - and we will.


Well on Sunday, October 7 we had Cooper baptized and it was a fantastic day!  More people showed up than I thought and it was a very heart warming day.

Everyone showed up, Cooper looked adorable and didn't scream through church or his baptism, and the party we had for him at the house afterwards went flawlessly.

It also felt so good to have Eric here for a family event!  I had gotten so used to him not being here that I felt so lucky to have him here.  I hope that I never have to get used to having a family member gone for that long every again :)

People were very generous and thoughtful in bringing such lovely gifts for him, and for traveling all the way here to be a part of his special day.  And I have to felt fantastic to see everybody and NOT have to travel so far to do it :)

Here are my favorite snap shots of the day...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I Can Do It!

That's right folks, it finally feels like I can take care of Cooper, know what he needs, know how to soothe him, and it only took 4 months!  :)

We finally have a schedule.  We eat, play on his activity mat, have tummy time with toys, snuggle with mom, take a nap, then repeat.  It's a great schedule and I LOVE finally knowing what he will need before he needs it - for the most part!

Cooper is growing up to be just the handsomest little guy.  He has likes, dislikes, he laughs, he smiles, he's like a tiny little man.  I love it!

Over the last few weeks Cooper got to meet his Uncle Aaron who flew in from Vegas, tons  of family friends, and his Uncle Eric who officially came home from the army just a few days ago!  I love having family members meet him and showing him off.  I'm one proud mama!

We're gearing up for his Baptism on Sunday and then my awful return to work next week.  I'm dreading leaving him during the day, but know it probably be good for the both of us to take some time away from each other.

Mark continues to love spending more time with Cooper.  He wasn't a HUGE fan of the baby stage.  He really was looking forward to Cooper recognizing him, smiling at him, and hitting those huge milestones.  Cooper is getting there and I can see Mark getting more excited and attached to him every day.  I know every mother wants to have a little girl, but there's something about knowing you gave your husband a son that just melts your heart. 

Other than that we are really just getting back into the swing of things.  I'm getting more comfortable taking him out in public by myself which has really helped with my cabin fever!  And I don't know why I was so nervous to take him out - I went to Walmart yesterday and God Bless this lady.  She had a toddler with her, was pushing her twin newborn babies while pulling her cart full of groceries.  I looked at her and told myself "If she can do it with all those babies, I can do it with my man."

I'm getting so excited for all the new firsts coming up for Cooper.  Stand by for pumpkin patch photos, Halloween photos, Thanksgiving photos, and of course Christmas!  It's all coming up so fast which means he's growing up so fast too.  So with that, I'm going to go lay on the floor next to my son and play with him and his toys.  :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Normal? What's that?

I feel as though there's no more 'normal' left in my life.  Some days we sleep a lot, some days not so much.  Some days we are able to run some errands together, and sometimes Cooper is having none of it and just wants to snuggle.  And it all seems normal to me - and maybe it is - who knows?

I can't believe how big Cooper is getting.  Parenting becomes more rewarding as time goes on.  While it kills me to keep having to put some of his clothes away that he's outgrown, I need to remember it's only because he's reaching new milestones in his life and that's something we should both be so proud of!

Cooper is 12 weeks old today and the last 12 weeks are a blur!  But we get more and more used to our new life every day.  I told Mark last night that I remember right in the last few weeks of being pregnant and the first few months of Cooper's life, I was anxiously waiting for us to feel like "us" again.  And now I do.  And I remember exactly what made me fall in love with him 7 years ago, marry him 2 years ago, and still love him today. 

Last night was our first night giving Cooper rice cereal.  It was messy, it was fun, and he loved it!  He only had a few spoonfuls but fell asleep in his high chair afterwards.  We were giggling and just so surprised at how big he seemed!  He's not just a newborn that eats, sleeps, and poops all day.  He talks back to you, sees lights and patterns, and needs attention.  It's fantastic!

We're hoping a few spoonfuls of cereal at night will help him feel satisfied a bit longer and stop waking up every 2.5 hours to eat.  Because while I'd do anything for him, this momma is tired!

Besides Cooper not much new is in our lives.  We have an exciting few weeks coming up with family members coming to visit, us going to visit them, and Cooper's baptism we sure are to be busy!  But we are all excited for the new memories we get to created with our soon during the next month or so!

Growing Up!

I can't believe I have a 12 week old.  I honestly can't believe it.

Life is different.  Life is exhausting.  Life is perfect.

Cooper had his 2 month appointment a few weeks ago and it went pretty well. 
His stats:
Height - 23.5 inches
Weight - 14 pounds 7 ounces

He is in the 85th percentile for height and 75th percentile for weight.  His head circumference was off the charts!  Apparently he's got a giant noggin.  Who knew?  Oh yeah - me - the one who pushed it out ;)

While he's not really on a schedule, or sleeping through the night, I feel as though we've got a good routine going together.  I feel calm when I'm taking care of him by myself while Mark is at work versus feeling a bit floundered, scared, and anxious.  I trust myself with him and he trusts me back.  It's a great feeling.

I'm also feeling as though Mark and I are finding each other as husband and wife again - not just tag team parents so someone can always be catching up on sleep. 

Because while I may not get make up on everyday, or even put on jeans, the cooing baby in the background will always remain number one.  And I'm more okay with it now more than ever.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Playing Catch Up!

Cooper is now two months old and I just got around to writing his birth story!

The last two months have been insane.  Gone too fast and too slow at the same time. 

I feel as though we've now adjusted great into our new roles as parents.  And it is definitely not without the help of our amazing family and friends.

We've had to travel with Cooper quite a bit - summer is busy!  I've spent a week at my parent's house on two separate occasions due to Mark's work schedule.  I'm glad we are able to do that so our families can bond with him while he is still a baby.

Ruby has adjusted well to having him in the house.  She was a little concerned at first - especially when he would cry - but now it's as if she doesn't even notice him!

I could go into some crazy details about how everything is, but it would take forever.  So here are a few of our favorite moments with him these past few months and I should have an update later this week since he has his 2 month check up in a few days!

He sure is amazing :)

It's A...

It's a Boy!

I couldn't believe it - my baby was here!  And no longer an "it", he was a he and he was perfect.  The 2 1/2 hours of pushing was worth it. 

After the delivery all of the stuff you read about is true!  You don't notice anything else going on.  They left him on my chest for awhile and then took him away to weigh, measure, and clean him up.  I delivered the placenta super easily and they began with stitches for me.  And all that mattered anymore was those 10 fingers and 10 toes.  That's it.

Mark and I used this time to hug and name our precious baby.  Cooper Paul Nightingale was finally here.  All 8 pounds 14.8 ounces and 21 inches of him.

It was hard, it was emotional, it was intense.  It was everything people tell you it is and more.  We still thank God to this day for giving us such a precious and beautiful baby boy to call our own. 


I sneaked into our bedroom and calmly tapped Mark on the shoulder and said "I'm still in can go back to sleep but when I wake you up next you're not going to work, we're going to the hospital!"  He was surprisingly calm and went back to sleep.  I decided this was a good time to shower and get ready.  Anyone who knows me knows that contractions or not, I needed to shower and straighten my hair :)

Showering and getting ready took f.o.r.e.v.e.r.  It's a bit hard to do when you're having contractions!  I had to take lots of breaks in between.  I finished though and that's all that counts!  After I was done with my hair I put my last minute toiletries in our hospital bags and called the hospital.

I described my pains and had to stop and breathe through some of my contractions so she knew it was real labor.  She advised me to take 2 tylenol, drink a huge glass of water, and lay on my left side for an hour.  If that didn't take the contractions away it was time to come in. 

Right after my conversation with the hospital I called my mom and sister.  Their voices were hilarious - they knew EXACTLY what I was calling for since it was 5 am.  I'm glad I called when I did so that they could get to their jobs, wrap up what they had to, and come to Fargo! 

I did the tylenol and water test and only lasted about 30 minutes and the contractions jumped to about 5 minutes apart.  It's time to go.  Mark took Ruby for a walk and loaded up the car while I tried to eat some toast and just relax.  The ride to the hospital I had this electric feeling going through me.  Mark and I looked at each other and just kind of smiled and I knew we were both thinking "this is it!"

Once to the hospital checking in and getting a room was crazy easy.  But I really liked my nurse and was said that after an hour of being there it was shift change!  The next nurse I got was a little different, but equally as nice to me and Mark.  I was getting really nervous about making enough progression so I wouldn't get sent home so we went on lots of walks around the halls, labored in the jacuzzi tub to try and relax for a bit, and bounced on the birthing ball.  They said the doctor would come in in about 1-2 hours to check my progress, but she ended up being stuck in a delivery so I had more time to get there which was nice. 

She finally came in right about 10:00 am and said she liked my contraction pattern and asked if I wanted her to break my water for me.  About 2 seconds after she asked, my water broke on it's own!  That's when it all becomes real - we weren't leaving that hospital without our baby!

Mark then got on the phone with his mom and told her it was safe to drive up.  He then texted my mom and sister and they were already over halfway here - turns out they were too excited!!

Labor was then pretty monotonous for the next 6 hours or so.  Contractions would come, I would breathe through them, and they would go away.  I got stalled at 4 cm and that's when I got hooked up to Pitocin.  Those contractions were the devil!  Blah!  I started feeling nauseated and super tired since I hadn't slept the night before at all so we all decided an epidural would be best to help me relax and get things progressed.  While we waited for the anesthesiologist they gave me some IV pain drugs.  It took the edge off, but it didn't last long.  That's when I knew the epidural was a GREAT choice for me! 

I was more nervous for the epidural than delivery.  A giant needle in my spine - eek!  Mark and Emily did a really good job of calming me down and making it super easy for me.  Plus, since Emily used to work at the hospital she knew the anesthesiologist so listening to them just chatting and being super chill helped too.  It didn't hurt at all and was a crazy feeling once it kicked in.  It only worked on my right side for a few minutes, so he did a little tweaking and I finally felt relaxed.  I was so excited that it also took my nausea away from me, but I didn't know that once you got an epidural you couldn't eat anymore.  I was crazy disappointed about that - but oh well!

Since I was feeling so much more relaxed Roman, Anna, Mom, Emily, and Deb all came in to visit.  It was really nice just to chat and kind of forget about the impending arduous task I had ahead of me.  I kept trying to tell myself just to take it about 30 minutes at a time and that worked great for me.  After awhile they all wanted to eat dinner since it was pretty late so they went to the cafeteria and the nurse came in to check on me. 

I was progressing really well and made it to about 6 cm in about an hour.  About 5 minutes later I felt some pressure so I told her and I was progressing super fast.  I went to 10 cm (complete) in about 5 minutes.  She paged the doctor and Mark texted Emily to hurry and finish her dinner since I would be pushing soon.

It turned out to be a great thing to have both Mark and Emily in the room.  The hospital had TONS of moms in labor and since I had both of them there for me, they were able to take one of my nurses and let her go help another mom.

I started pushing at 9pm.  It was a crazy feeling.  And after about a half an hour I could tell when I needed to push.  I was so unaware that the nurses did sooo much and that they would do so much tracking of me and baby's heartbeat on the computer monitors.  The first hours of pushing was bearable.  The second hour was completely exhausting.  I could feel myself getting weaker.  Everybody kept telling me I was pushing great and they could see the head.  I kept hearing "oh my gosh it has hair."  When we were close to done we asked the doctor not to tell us the sex of the baby so that Mark could instead. 

The baby kept coming down the birth canal and twisting the wrong way so it kept getting stuck under my pubic bone.  It felt like I couldn't push any harder but I wasn't getting anywhere.  After the second hour of pushing I knew I was coming up on the awful words of "c-section" after all this hard work so the doctor asked if we had any oppositions to the vacuum.  She explained it to us and we both though it was a great idea.  Because while I had great labor coaches, if I had to hear "Come on a little harder, you're so close, I can see the head, and the numbers 1-10" one more time I was going to lose it. Emily kept saying I was so close and I still didn't believe it.  But when she pointed out that all the nurses were back in my room, the sterile table was set up, the blankets were ready, and warming lamp was on, I knew it was true!

I finally felt a HUGE contraction and gave it everything I had and I could feel the baby's head come out.  The doctor asked Mark if he wanted to look and he did a small peek, but that was enough for him!  I did one more push and the baby was out!  What an intense feeling.  They put the baby on my chest and Mark and I just started crying.  The nurses started cleaning the baby off right away and that's when I realized I didn't know the sex of the baby yet!  I looked at Mark and said what is it?

And through his tears he said...

Friday, July 6, 2012

39 and counting...

I was so excited to go to my 39 week appointment.  I was a little bummed about still being pregnant since EVERYBODY said I would go early...and here we are...

I was feeling a little nervous about this appointment since my regular OB was on vacation and I had to see somebody new.  I wanted to make sure he knew my history and we were on board with getting this baby to come out!

Turns out he was a VERY nice OB.  He doubled checked all the notes in my file and even did a check to make sure my water hadn't been leaking or anything.  Baby's heartbeat was fantastic and then came time for him to check me.  I was CERTAIN I would be at least 2 cm dilated or something since we were so close.  Then I heard it "You're maybe a full centimeter."  My heart just sank.  Is he serious?  I want to meet my baby now!  He said he would try and strip my membranes and manually stretch our my cervix to help it along.  Painful - yes.  Maybe a guy could warn a lady about that...

I left the appointment feeling pretty deflated.  I know both our families were anxious to hear how the appointment went and if I was progressing at all and it's just hard to call and say "Probably not this week either."  I even cried a little on the phone to my sister.  I just wanted it to be time.  Not because I was entirely sick of being pregnant, but because I didn't want to think about it anymore.  Any pain or twinge or cramp stops you dead in your tracks and you think "What was that?"  You look at the clock and note the time to make sure you don't get another one of those pains in 5 minutes.

Turns out the doctor knew what he was doing...

Contractions started for me while I was making dinner.  I even had to have Mark finish the taco meat while I breathed through some of them.  I wasn't entirely convinced it was real labor so I didn't really mention anything and we went about our evening.  Tacos were delicious and I even made puppy chow for a snack that evening!  We took our daily walk with Ruby and that's when I knew it might be the night - I only made it to the corner :)

Bedtime came around and I told Mark to get some sleep and I'll hang out on the couch.  I wasn't sleeping much through the night anymore anyways, and I was going to be making sure I wasn't in labor all night.  Mark had to go to work the next day and I didn't so me and Ruby set up camp in the living room.  Puppy chow, ice water, and Law & Order SVU marathon. 

It was the perfect set up until about 3 am when the contractions were about 7 minutes apart and hard to breathe through...time to wake up Mark...

Monday, June 11, 2012

My Second Home

Essentia Health feels as though it has officially become  my second home.  These weekly appointments are a lot to take in!

So here's how they've shaken down in the last 3 weeks:

36 weeks:
Full blood work again - gotta love getting pricked in my bad veins.  But this lady only had to try about 4 times.  Go her!  And of course, another urine sample.
Go upstairs and wait.  Get called back, weighed, blood pressure taken, and wait some more for the doctor to come in.  Doctor comes in and we did the Group B Strep test - which I tested negative for -, measured fundal height - 38 - and heartbeat - 147.  Quick ultrasound to make sure baby is head down and it sure was!  Baby and Momma doing great - go home see you next week.

37 weeks:
Urine sample.  Go upstairs and wait.  Get called back, weighed, blood pressure taken, and wait some more for the doctor to come in.  Doctor & med student come in and ask me  tons of questions and check my swelling.  She noticed my belly looked different and wanted to make sure baby had found a good "new" place to hang out and wasn't in any form of distress.  Another ultrasound for us!  Baby was practice breathing, got the hiccups, and did a full somersault for us.  What a ham already!  Fundal height - 39 - heartbeat - 143.  No more questions on my end - see you next week!

38 weeks:
Urine sample.  Go upstairs and wait.  Get called back, weighed, blood pressure taken, and a few more questions from the nurse this time.  Just to make sure we were organized they got Daddy's name, and had me double check my blood type, gestational diabetes results, rhogam administration, group b strep results, the whole 9 yards.  Feels good we are all on the same page!  Wait for doctor to come in.  fundal height - 40 - heartbeat - 135.  Doctor makes sure I know to call or come in when my water breaks, when the cramping because frequent, for any bleeding, or any other questions.  Everything checks out - see you next week if not in labor and delivery before then :)

As you can see - same routine over and over again.  Labs, measurements, any questions, see you later.  Of course hearing the baby's heartbeat every week NEVER gets old, but trying to get your pee in the little cup does!  :)

Work Work Work

Well it's official.  My last day at work was on Friday. 

I can't believe the time is here.  I could continue working, but find myself already glad I'm done.  Dealing with strangers coming up to me and grabbing my stomach daily was ridiculous.  And if I had to hear: "Oh, you're still pregnant", "You must be 2 weeks overdue", "You've been pregnant forever", and of course my favorite "Are you sure there's only one in there?"  I would scream.  What is it about a pregnant lady that makes strangers feel like her health is their business??  Blah some people were pretty obnoxious.

Of course my regulars all knew it was my last day and gave me hugs and wished me, Mark, and our little one many healthy blessings.  These were all followed by "You're coming back, right?"  Gotta love all the 40 something men that love me!  :)

I was finished with work and they bought me lunch.  It was nice to know I was loved there, will be missed, and t hat I have an open invitation back.  But it just made me realize that we're that much closer to baby! 

Although we will never be able to stay away from Granite City.  I'd like to go eat brunch this weekend if the babe hasn't arrived yet and of course I'm under strict orders to bring the babe in as soon as I can to meet everybody!

Here's hoping it's not too much longer :)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Resting and Relaxing

Mark's parents decided to come to Fargo last weekend.  I of course warned them I wouldn't be doing much since nausea has made it's way back into my life and of course walking is more like waddling at this point.

I spent most of the weekend doing my crossword puzzles in the chair with pillows and blankets while the boys found a few small projects to do around the house.  Deb and I got pedicures Saturday morning and stopped at 2 stores for some shopping, met the boys for lunch since they were finished golfing, then headed back home.  That's when I set up camp for most of the day.  I felt bad not feeling good enough to entertain them, but at the same time I warned them that I wouldn't be doing much!

I made dinner Saturday night and everybody just took it easy.  They left fairly early on Sunday since they had a barbecue to attend back home.  Mark and I bummed around for the rest of the day and Mark basked in the glory of not having to go to work the next day.  Ahh Memorial Day! 

We took advantage of Mark being home the next day and finished getting things organized for the baby.  Even washed bedding and decided it was best to change out our expensive WHITE sheets, down comforter, and duvet cover and put on something a little easier to clean for when the baby comes.  I love my bedding, but don't want it to get ruined within the first few days of having the baby here!

We did a little bit of shopping - just bought some treats and bones for Ruby and checked out a few Memorial Day sales.  It feels good to get out of the house when I'm feeling up to it that's for sure.

Then later we met Wyatt and Karin and their kids for ice cream.  It was a nice treat on a hot day!  And all in all I would say it was a successful three day weekend!  Because in reality, we won't have much time to rest and relax in the near future!

Rubber Duckies!

Wow I've been slacking!

The day after Roman's graduation I had a baby shower thrown by my wonderful aunts.  It was gorgeous.  Everything was yellow and orange and had a rubber duckie theme to it.  So adorable.

Of course the food was awesome - candy corn, lemon heads, cheetos, cheese popcorn, cantaloupe, pineapple, and mango were just the snacks!  There was egg bake and french toast, coffee, lemonade, etc.  So fun!

We played fun games - make baby names out of me and Mark's name, guess the price of all these baby items i.e. The Price Is Right, and at the end we had to try and list all the different kinds of rubber duckies that were sitting out the whole day. 

I officially bombed at all the games, but that's what makes it fun!  I kept everybody's baby names since some were SO creative!  And again we were so blessed that after this shower,  we only had to go and get a baby monitor and some medicine for babies.  We are very blessed!

Of course I don't have pictures of these as Mark had all the bags in the car including the camera.  I know my sister took some so I'm hoping the next time she does a photo bomb upload on facebook that I can snag some and throw them on here later.

But the end of the shower was the weirdest part of all.  I hugged my mom and sister goodbye and all they could talk about was "call me when it's time" and "we'll have to see when we can come up and see the baby."  It didn't make much sense to me until I realized that was the last time I would see my family pregnant!  That the next time we would have our sweet little one.  It kind of threw me for a loop - but a good one at that.  Things got very real for me and Mark and our drive back to Fargo.  This baby is coming soon whether we believe it or not - and we couldn't be more thrilled about it!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Caps, Gowns, and Tassles

Oh my goodness.  I finally feel caught up a little bit after our busy weekend!

So last weekend we traveled down to my parent's house.  I have to say that we are so lucky that Ruby is an A+ traveler.  She finds her spot in the back and she lays down and doesn't whine.  It's awesome - especially for 5 hours!  I think she did better than me.  We also got lucky that Mark's boss sent him home due to overtime at noon.  So instead of having to arrive after bedtime, we got there in time for dinner!

It was so nice to see my family and spend some time at the house.  Besides a quick visit last month, we haven't spent a night out there since Christmas.  All the dogs were excited to be around each other and most of all, run run run like crazy!  But soon enough it was Saturday - Roman's big day!

He was very anxious for this day - from thinking they would pronounce his last name wrong, to losing his cap or gown, and of course everybody's fear of tripping on the stage.  It was nice for everyone to get up and have breakfast, coffee, and get ready for such a big day.  You could actually see the relief off of Mom's shoulders that the day was finally here. 

We left the house at the perfect time to avoid traffic and were able to find snacks, drinks, candy, and an air conditioned spot to sit. The only bad thing was that it was VERY hot and humid and once they were allowing people to sit outside and grab a spot, we had to go.  We didn't want to be stuck in bad seats or not even get one at all - which happened to bunches of people!  We had to wait in our seats for an hour before the processional even started.  I didn't think I could do it - but I only had to get up TWICE!  Once before everything started, and once more after the names started being called.  With over 1300 graduates, you have some time before they get to the S's.  I got up from about the F's to the L's.  It's amazing what a fresh water and potty break can do for a 9 month pregnant lady.

We got to see him walking up to the stage and cheer for him when his name was announced.  Afterwards we were able to take some photos and then go out with Anna and her family as well for drinks and appetizers.  Delicious.

Our favorite parts of the day:

After we all got back home we had a bonfire to cook hot dogs and s'mores.  Very tasty!  Unfortunately, it started raining shortly after we all finished eating so back in the house we went.  We played some Mario Party 9 on the Wii for a little before everybody realized how exhausted they all were.  We all traveled downstairs to take our showers and head to bed.  And I have to say - it was the best shower ever!  After sweating, getting back in the A/C, sweating more, and putting on bug spray, we all needed a good hose down.

It was then off to bed - I had another baby shower the next day and needed to get up early.  And Ruby was cashed too - she put herself to bed in a matter of minutes :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Ready to Rock!

After reading all the articles and check lists online, I realized that we needed to pack our hospital bags!!

It was oddly exciting.  At first it seemed overwhelming but once I started making different piles on our bed and seeing what I had before I put it in the bag helped a ton.  I had a for me pile, for baby pile, and for Mark to pack pile.  It turned out pretty well. 

For me I stayed pretty simple - some socks, a nursing bra, a robe, some pajama bottoms, my ipod and dock, and my normal toiletries.  I also put in some other things for nursing and of course extra batteries for the camera.  My last minute things I need to put in the day we go will be my make up and hair care items - obviously I can't go until my due date with those things being packed :)

For Baby was probably the most fun pile.  A cute girl outfit - complete with headband, a manly boy outfit, a couple onesies, one blanket, and a small travel blankie with an animal on it my mom had purchased before she even knew we were pregnant.  I really want that "toy" to become a  nice travel companion for baby.

For Mark was really simple.  He just needed some comfies to sleep in, a change of clothes, and toiletries.  We're lucky to be so close to the hospital that anything he would need more of he can definitely come home and grab it.  He got excited - he got to put the baby's things in his bag.  I think he's starting to feel a little more included now that I need his help a lot more.

It's so crazy to see our bags packed and sitting in the nursery, but I'd definitely rather be safe than sorry.  Plus, it gives me a few weeks to change what I packed or re-organize how I packed it.  I tend to do that a lot :/

The other exciting thing is that the glider and ottoman came for the nursery!  By the Grace of God I caught the UPS man right when I was returning from my doctor's appointment and was super stoked.  I couldn't wait for Mark to get home to assemble it so I could sit in it!  It went together really easily and looks better than I even pictured.  Ruby had tons of sniffing to do at first, but quickly became bored of the whole thing.

The rest of the week will be busy!  Mark is out of town for work and we need to travel home - AGAIN - this weekend.  Roman will be graduating college and I have my last baby shower as well.  It's going to be busy but fun.  It always seems to be a fun weekend when family is involved and I'm sure Roman is excited for his big day on Saturday!  

It's crazy to think that after this weekend we won't be traveling anywhere until the babe gets here AND that I only have 12 shifts left at work.  Things are starting to get real and my anxiety sure shows it!  It's so wonderful that Mark knows just what to do and say to calm me down and make me remember that yes I CAN do this!  :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Finished Product!

I believe I can safely say that our nursery is complete!!!  I can't believe it! 

Well - all but one minor detail.  We saved the space above the crib for something that pertains to the baby's name/gender once I deliver. 

After I did the first 2 loads of laundry before our showers, I had 2 more to do after we returned home.  We spent all last night in the nursery deciding how to organize the drawers, closet, etc.  We finally got a system down and all the clothes put away.  Things have a home in there and it feels so good!

The crib bedding got a bit of a make over as well.  The bedding set we ordered came with more of a terry/fleece sheet.  Thought it might be a little warm for June!  We received some extra sheets at one of our showers and I let Mark pick which one we put on.  So little pastel animals it was :)  Then after much debate - the crib bumpers came off.  I couldn't decide for awhile since so many companies went back and forth on the issue.  But after some research I found that the 3 major baby associations strongly advise against it.  I was a little bummed at first since I felt like the bumpers tied the whole room together - but I'm getting more and more used to them being off.  Plus once the baby gains neck/head control, they need to go back on.  So it was just a good bye for now and I'm totally okay with that.  :)

Of course the best finishes were the things I was able to open at my shower on Sunday.  All of the fabric I sent to Shannon for blankies, changing pad covers, pillows, etc. and every little piece of it is fantastic.  I was so excited to put everything in it's home and step back and see everything come together.  And it is perfect.  The nursery looks just like how I pictured.  All about colors - not specific designs.  

The mobile arm sleeve.  Fits perfectly and definitely didn't cost as much as purchasing one from the bedding set.

A memory board for the wall above the dresser/changing station.  Came with a photo of one of their dogs and everything :)

One of of the four changing pad covers.  I chose the yellow and elephant scheme since Emily loves elephants and I love yellow!

The 2 pillows.  My fave.  They obviously won't stay in the crib.  One will go up on a shelf and the other on our glider/ottoman for comfort!

Some Assembly Required

Of course Mark's job started when we returned from our showers.  We had an SUV packed front to back, top to bottom of baby gear.  I even felt guilty giving Ruby only a few feet of room for the drive back.  Thankfully, she made it :)

While I still had all the receipts in tact, Mark wanted to assemble the big ticket items to make sure all the pieces were included and not damaged in any way. 

First was the pack 'n' play.  Not too hard - if you read the directions.  While I completely understand that Mark can look at something and completely "get" how it all fits together, sometimes the instructions are important.  Had he listened to me,  he wouldn't have had to restart the process multiple times.  But it turned out great, I learned to how to fold up and assemble, and everything worked on it!  Ruby was a little afraid of it at first, but now that it's sitting in our basement and she walks by it, she's completely used to it!

Next was the stroller.  This was a little more complicated.  Mark listened to me and let me read him the instructions while he followed the steps.  This would have worked out perfectly if the instructions contained words and not just really hard to determine diagrams with random "SNAP" and "CLICK" words.  Oh well - it got assembled pretty quickly and correctly :)  I learned how to use the brakes,  check and tighten the wheels, and of course fold it in half.  Super easy to work and I'm so glad we picked this one.  Love it!

The car seat was last.  Of course we didn't need to assemble much, but rather read a ton of safety instructions and learn how to use the little gadgets.  How to tighten the straps easily, adjust the padding as your baby gets bigger, attach it to the stroller safely, and of course attach it to the base  properly in the car.  Mark headed off to the SUV to install the seat.  It seemed more difficult that I ever thought.  Kudos to him for sticking with it and trying multiple approaches until he got it right.  I think I'll still make an appointment to  have it checked for safety - this is our first time and we're not sure if we did it properly.  And of course why mess with your baby's safety!

It was a fun night together - envisioning putting our baby in all this stuff.  And of course watching Mark do what he does best!  Because if I would have had to do it by myself, I probably wouldn't have any hair left on my head :)

Showered With Love

Well folks one of the big weekends has come to an end.  And it was fantastic.

Friday after work it was  time to load up the big car and hit the road.  Again.  The drive went well - no check engine lights this time  and Mark and I were able to laugh and chat the whole way.  The 200 miles went pretty fast!

We got to Mark's parent's house, unpacked, and I was just about ready to hit the hay.  The next few days were going to take it out of me. 

Saturday was my shower that my lovely girlfriends threw for me.  It was everything I could have ever wanted.  Perfect company, delicious food, funny chats, and of course everyone was so generous with their gifts.  I loved being able to see my mom and sister again as well.  I absolutely love having a group of friends that  even if we go years without seeing each other, we get together and it's like we're 16 all over again. :)  Here are some highlights of my wonderful Saturday:

It was sad to see the day go, but I'll always remember this awesome day!

Then it was onto Sunday!  Mark's entire family came over and were definitely spoiled at this shower as well.  It was more of an open house style which took the pressure off a bit.  Especially when it was time to open presents.  It was a ton of fun because it was all couples.  My dad was able to come, Michael came, and almost all of Mark's uncles, cousins, etc.  It was nice to see all of our family members stay so excited about the baby!  Here are a few more highlights:

As you can see we got TONS of baby gear.  From big things, to little things, to hand made things.  We really enjoyed everything and everyone who did this all for our little one. 

Not many people have this many family and friends to make sure their baby is dressed in style and never has to play with the same toy in a day :)  We truly are blessed in so many ways. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Two Favorite Things

The time has come.  Things really need to start happening.  After our last ultra sound that put the baby due on June 10 instead of the 23, things got a little more real.  And it's kind of freaking me out a bit.  I mean back when I was about 18-20 weeks pregnant I felt like I was dreaming of this time.  And now it's here and it's like I find a reason to procrastinate it some more.  It's so unlike me!

But once we got back from our trip home we realized it was time.  Then it finally came to me - this is my favorite thing.  I get to re-organize all my crazy and incessant lists, AND cross things off of them.  It's quite perfect.  I wasn't planning on doing anything until next week, but realized I should take advantage of the moments I'm feeling good.  Because I become more and more nauseated and tired with each passing day.

The big thing was to either cross off the baby items we have off of my lists - which of course are sub categorized by For The Baby, For Mom, For The Nursery, etc.  I got a good system down.  Each category got it's own page, and if I purchased the item I just crossed it off, and if I registered for it, I put an "R" next to it.  Of course the real fun comes after I have 2 showers this weekend when I can cross reference my list with our master registry list I printed off .  I love organization!!

I never thought we had that much stuff and I was starting to feel anxious about the baby's arrival.  Mark kept disagreeing with me and he was right.  I wasn't planning on washing any clothes until Monday after the 2 showers.  Boy am I glad I didn't wait.  We had a heaping laundry basket just full of clothes.  We also had some blankies, burp rags, bibs, etc.  I'm so glad I got this chunk done.  And it also made me feel a bit better that we might *actually* be a bit more prepared than I think!

Nobody likes laundry.  Especially me.  But there's just something about little baby laundry that took the sting out of it a little bit.  Of course until it was time to fold :)

We washed, dried, and folded and just put everything back in the basket.  Because of course I'm still struggling on how I want to organize the clothes in the closet/dresser/storage etc.  Part of me really wants my mom to come up and help with that - she's good at it and obviously has done it successfully 4 times!  I'm guessing once we get more things this weekend, it will be easier to decide where things should go.

But once I started organizing it started not to be so scary.  And I'm glad I did it because for the moment - nothing needs to be done in the nursery.  And that's a great feeling!


Our trip home last weekend was interesting to say the least.  We jinxed ourselves.

We were getting close to home and both Mark and I were just raving about how we love our Honda.  It's reliable, it's cute, it never has issues, and if something ever does come up, Honda takes care of it for no charge.  Amazing.


The check engine light comes on and the car won't down shift.  Perfect.  I trust Mark with cars - he is very smart about them just like my dad.  He got us home and we were low on oil  After a battery of questions and code checking, Mark fixed it enough to get us home safely.  And with NO engine light on!  Yay!  Turns out the last time Mark changed the oil he wrote down the mileage for his truck.  Poor Honda was just thirsty for some oil.  Problem solved - thank goodness :)

But I was able to keep my mind off of the car since the weekend was so busy.  Mamma Mia with Mom, Emily, Anna, Julie, Stacy, Colleen, and Nicko.  Downtown was fabulous.  Everyone looked like they were enjoying their drinks, appetizers and dinner was fantastic, and of course the company of family is always perfect.  The show started and it was better than I imagined it to be.  Hilarious, fun, loud, singing, dancing, everything you would want out of a show.  The only bad part was that it was only 2 hours long.  I think we all could have sat there for at least 2 more.

The next morning Mark and I went down to Mom and Dad's.  Dad wanted us to hang out in his barn for awhile and we had a blast.  Roman came out and we had lunch, snacks, drinks (juice for me), and played cards out in Dad's shop.  His little malt shop sure has come a long way!  Here are a few of the highlights:

 After cards Mark and I returned to Deb and Dave's for dinner with some of their family friends and more cards.  It was a nice time, but I was beat by the end of the day. 

The next morning we did some shopping, hung out, had some lunch, and left to come back to Fargo around 3.  It felt very good to be home after such a busy weekend.  We both crashed into bed pretty early - even Ruby.  But of course, weekends with family are worth it for sure.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I've always considered myself to be a pretty lucky person.  I usually win at the casino, pull tabs, etc.  I remember my dad even saying to me last Christmas when we were playing a family game "Have Kellie roll the die - she's really lucky."

I spend a lot of time thinking my luck will run out some day.  Then I realize I work hard for what I have and maybe what I think is lucky, I should sometimes feel I deserve. 

This pregnancy is no different.  I used to think I was so lucky.  My first trimester was a breeze.  I hardly felt sick and even lost weight :)  Fast forward 31 weeks and we have had absolutely zero complications.  Lucky.

Then I remembered I paid my dues.  I had to lose a baby to realize how badly I wanted one.  I had to feel miserable and have a very dark time in my life and my marriage.  I paid my dues.  I deserve this healthy baby and to feel wonderful carrying it.

Now  I think some of my luck is changing.  Baby is still healthy and moving and kicking all the time, which of course is fantastic.  But now is the time I do not feel well.

Nausea hits me like a ton of bricks at random times.  Fatigue has all of a sudden stricken me like no other force.  And insomnia has kicked in full force.  In the last few weeks I have become very thankful for Netflix.  What else would be entertaining on television from 4-7 am?

The baby has also found a way to rest what I believe is a foot right in my upper right rib cage.  That dull ache I can deal with - easily.  But the nerve it's sitting on and pinching which is making the top of my belly tingle and feel like it's "falling asleep" 24 hours a day has me just about losing my mind.  I constantly am trying to change positions, lay down, stand up, walk, rest, and none of it helps.  I also asked my doctor about it and she says "Sounds you're just one of the unlucky ones."

There it is folks.  Someone told me I was unlucky.

But that's okay.  Because as I type this and stare at the computer screen, my stomach is moving.  And that, to me, is very lucky.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Golden Question

I figured once I was pregnant people would be interested in our due date, if I was having a boy or a girl, if we had names figured out, if we were nervous, etc.  What I didn't expect was the overwhelming amount of what I dubbed "The Golden Question"


At first I thought it was so sweet.  People making sure everything was okay with me and that I was feeling healthy throughout the pregnancy.

Then it became redundant, but I still thought it was nice and respectful of people to ask.  And I reminded myself that I was very lucky to be able to answer that question with "really great" or "fantastic" or even "no complaints".  And that reminder pushed me through.

Now that I'm almost 32 weeks pregnant (Maybe almost 35 depending on how much this baby decides to keep growing) it's getting harder and harder to not say the truth.

*I'm sick of peeing all the time
*I'm hungry a lot, but feel like barfing after everything I try and eat
*My rib cage is killing me
*My back constantly hurts
*I can't sleep for more than 2 hours at a time and I'm so tired
*I miss beer
And the best one:
*I can't even tie my own shoes, how do you think I'm feeling?

But of course people don't ask me the question to hear the *real* truth so I suck it up, put a smile on my face and a hand on my what seems way too giant belly, and say

"I'm feeling really well thank you so much for caring"

Blah.  Just earlier this week I hit my point.  My breaking point of not really wanting to be pregnant anymore.  Sure the kicks and movements are fun, but the rest I could really really really do without.  Then I think about not being pregnant anymore and I feel a little guilty for wanting to wish it all away.  I just need to remember to tell myself that it's only for a limited time in my life that I will be blessed enough to bear children and I shouldn't take it for granted.  I can't promise to be perfect and not get frustrated with the fact that I can't paint my toenails or take a deep breath, but I can promise to try and remind myself I'm part of a miracle and not everybody can say that.  I need to be thankful, appreciative, and excited that my body allowed me this gift. 

I can do it.  I know I can.  And I will forever be thankful for this miracle.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Sneak Peek!

This week I had my 30 week appointment for me and baby.  Everything was fine - weight, blood pressure, and heart beat.  Until she went to measure me and we were measuring at 34 weeks!  Eek!  She scheduled an ultrasound for me and we had that today.

It was so heart warming to see the baby on the screen again.  The tech was really nice and gentle.  She retook all the measurements of baby and made sure she pointed out exactly what she was measuring.  We immediately told her that we didn't know what gender the baby was and she was very respectful.  Turns out baby had it's legs underneath it's butt so she never even got a shot of it either :)  That made me very happy!

Baby turned out to be measuring just about 2 weeks ahead of schedule and the ultrasound machine gave a due date of June 10.  Our original being June 23.  Baby weighs 4 lb. 4 oz. and perfectly healthy! 

She tried to get a few 3D images for us, but by the end baby was not cooperating and was hugged up to the placenta so we couldn't get a shot of the face.  Doesn't bother me - I was just glad she tried for us!

My doctor just called and said she was very happy with our results.  Placenta, fluid levels, and baby all look perfect.  Turns out baby is just long and not as heavy to match the length.  The weight came back in the 74th percentile so she is going to keep our original due date, but made a note in my file to make sure we keep an eye on measurements and around the first of June to make sure baby isn't too big.  Then we will talk about inductions/weight size/date changes at that point. 

I was freaked out a bit this week because of this, but Mark was wonderful.  He made sure to be by my side during the ultrasound and as soon as the baby popped up on the screen  he got a smile on his face.

While pregnancy is no easy task to take on, I can't believe how fast it's going.  31 weeks tomorrow.  I remember being excited to hit double digit weeks and see our baby was now the size of a lime.  Now I'm afraid to see how big :)

Tonight starts our first night of child birth class so I hope we come home with tons of information.  I'm sure that will be an entirely new post when I get around to it! 

With all that said - here are the 2 salvageable images from our appointment today.  Everybody say hello to Baby Nightingale!