Sunday, January 4, 2015

from three to four (and one in our hearts)...

I am so late in writing this! New Years Resolution is to get better at this. Maybe change it up a bit, add some fun stuff? Who knows. Let's see what the new year brings us.

As everyone already knows, I am very excited to announce that another little Fitz will be joining this family at the end of March. It almost seemed unreal, the whole experience. To lose a baby and, exactly one month later, find out you are expecting again, it doesn't feel like real life. We can only sum it up to, God is good.

I never had a cycle between the miscarriage and the pregnancy, so I had no idea where to start. I took an ovulation test daily, but never got my hopes up because when I found out I was pregnant with Parker, I never had a positive one. This time around, I actually got a positive one. Then, when I estimated I should start my cycle, I started testing like a crazy person. I can't take those tests that are just lines. I need one that tells me that I am pregnant or not, my poor husband probably hated the test expense! Oh well, he loves why we are doing it, so it doesn't matter at the end of the day.

This time around, I decided to surprise Eric. I have found out so early the past two pregnancies and this one was no different. So, if I took a test in the AM, it was positive, but my PM test would be negative. So I sent him a photo of the negative one. Mean? Maybe. But it made the surprise so much better. I went with an 80's prom theme and decorated the entrance of the house. I even unplugged the garage door so he had to go to the front, ha ha! Poor guy. I bet sometimes he just sits and thinks "what did i get myself into marrying this lady?!" but we are pretty lucky to have each other. with overly pink and blue  and gold decor, this man walked in to justin bieber's 'baby' song blasting and parker and i were dancing for him.

it was fun to surprise eric. i feel like he never gets surprises and that he really deserved this one. such happy news and such happy delivery of the news. this husband of mine definitely deserves it. we love you so, eric keith! i cannot tell you how blessed we feel to have this sweet baby trusted to our little family. from the moment we found out about you, we loved you. we prayed for you. we cannot wait to meet you, sweet little one.

Friday, September 5, 2014

miscarriage… two months later.

shortly before my miscarriage, i bought this perfect rattle for little baby fitz. i have a deep love for the state of arizona. it is my home and always will be. i will never leave this state! it is only fitting that i instill this in my babies from day one so they never leave me. they can go to asu and find a career here, then start a family right down the road from me. i received it in the mail a few days after the loss. i just opened it and cried. it is an odd feeling having something so small and meant for happiness, crush you like you are nothing.

i still feel overwhelmed sometimes. people have already forgotten, parker will never truly know, but it still hits me hard. i am good though. i am happy! i just have those moments. it is a mama thing. while this affects everyone that you are close to, it does not affect any one like  the one going through it. you are the only one that knew the baby. maybe i was never able to feel his/her kicks, but the baby had me craving sweets and the baby made me need to nap when parker napped. i was just so tired! and i will remember that. it was the opposite of parker. parker had me craving beef. any form. just give me beef. it was how i knew he was a boy. with my sweets craving, i thought girl, girl, girl. i will never know. i have come to terms with that though. i never thought i would, but we are made to persevere, right?

then there is what happens afterward. when do we start trying again? medically, some suggest two months. others say that you can try as soon as your hormones are okay. the big thing is mentally. they say wait until you know you are ready. well, we want our family to grow (a lot!) and another baby would be the biggest blessing, but can i handle the anxiety that comes with the first few months, so soon after losing one? you cannot feel the baby, so unless I buy a doppler, I won't know if my baby is okay. if i do buy one, i cannot hear the heart beat with an at home doppler until about 9 weeks, right? for roughly the 5 1/2 weeks, i wouldn't know. that kills me. it makes me scared.

but faith conquers all. when we are ready, i will not let fear conquer me. i will not let fear hold me back and hold me down. i will have faith in God's plan for this family and i will trust. maybe my anxiety will be through the roof, but i will still have faith.

and faith conquers all.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

traveling with toddlers

those words probably send some people shaking in their boots. toddlers, by nature, are hyper little godzillas. they enjoy running, roaring, stomping, and destroying things. locking them in their car seat for 5 plus hours? nope. no way. i will skip that five star hotel and ocean breeze to save myself the headache.


we make the trip super easy. how do you do that? there are a few simple things: food, having one person back there with the baby, and timing.

seriously though, food solves everything at this age. blueberries, grapes, animal crackers. all of that adds up to a happy godzilla. kind of like that snickers commercial! when parker gets food, he goes back to that sweet little toddler.

the person is important. it could be the mom or the dad, but i think it is best when the person doing the entertaining is not the disciplinary. the toddler needs an exciting face to be entertained with. uncle trevor to the rescue! he can share his watch, supply the food, have full baby babble conversations for hours, and just be fun. some kids enjoy iPads and movie, but parker doesn't like it. he needs some form of entertainment and what is better than his uncle?

timing. i am one of those go with the flow mom's. we aren't on a strict schedule. he might nap once a day and he usually goes to bed around 10. it works. we work. i am sure that when baby number two comes along, i will be forced to be on a schedule. so picking a time to leave was tough. we decided to make sure he did not nap at all and leave at 4. it worked out fairly well. he slept for quite some time!

really…. this is me just wanting to show you all our sweet family vacation. when i say family, i mean, faaaammiiillllyyyyy! not just my little family of three, but my parents, brothers, and one sister and her family. this makes for the best vacations ever.

Friday, July 11, 2014

my 'real' real life // when heartbreak happens

my social media is filled with sunshine and rainbows. it spews fun colors and sweet, loving photos. i hate when people say these photos are not their 'real' life, so they post a messy house and crying babies with the hashtag #myrealreallife. you know what? a messy house and crying baby is still a happy time. my house is messy, not because i don't want to clean, but because parker is pulling every toy out of the playroom to make a giant show for only five minutes and laugh the whole time. my house is messy because instead of cleaning, i am choosing to blow bubbles outback or swim. my focus of my 'real' real life will never be the mess in the background, it will be my baby and family, front and center. it will never be the moments he is crying, because those times are just blips. sometimes, believe it or not, those crying moments are not all sad. when he is crying to get to me or he is wanting his daddy to come home, he may be upset, but i know that he is doing it because he loves us so much. i will never remember the tears of fits though. what you see is #myrealreallife, what you see is front and center of my life.

what do you do when your 'real' real life crumbles a little? i can't post a photo saying 'hey guys, my life just exploded a little bit and i am in bed crying.' so i post a different aspect of my 'real' real life.

instead, on the day my 'real' real life crumbled, i posted a photo of my son pretending to be sailing with a peg arm. that was also my 'real' real life, the light through the pain. my front and center.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Dear Parker (Half Birthday!)

Dear Monkey Baby,

Oh my sweet baby! Happy, happy half birthday! Be prepared. Mama goes BIG on birthdays and half birthdays. Cake, presents and all. My mama made every birthday so special and I want to continue the tradition. We'd come home to a fully decorated front yard and even more inside. We'd have a huge family party (isn't everything huge when you are one of five kids) and we were the center of attention all day long. Yep, that is your future.
|| Learning to 'show food' ||
More to read...

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

My Mommy Must Have Gadgets

We all know I shop a lot. I shop more than your average human. It is no surprise that when I found out my little man was coming, I went into shopping overload. I stocked up on everything, big and small! Here are a few of my favorite things:

1. Maxi Cosi AP Infant Car Seat
This carseat is so light and airy. It fit my small baby perfectly from day one. It fits 5 - 22 pounds and it basically molds to the baby's body. It is always hard to see a sleeping baby with their head hunched over uncomfortably. We never had that with this seat. Twenty-two pounds is heavy. Parker just barely hit it at 16 months. You can use it for so long!
Recommendation: get extra bases for every car you plan to be in for the next year or so. I got one for my car, Eric's, and my mom's. Don't wait until after you have the baby! It is hard and time consuming to use the seatbelt and not as safe as using the base.

2. Bugaboo Cameleon
This bad boy is a little pricey, but worth every penny. The Bugaboo Cameleon comes with the seat and a bassinet! That bassinet worked miracles. He loved it. We went on walks and he just stayed nice and cozy, without any straps all over him. When I would cook, I would just lay him in there and stare while cooking. Yep. I did a lot of staring. I guess that was my first three months with him. Staring and kissing. You can add a kick board that you place on the back and your older babe can stand on it. PS They have an awesome warranty. I accidentally broke the bottom basket and all they needed was a photo and they sent me a brand new one immediately! I was shocked. 
Recommendation: if you are going to have kids close together, get the Bugaboo Donkey. It extends to  a two seater, but when you just have one, you get a nice little storage basket!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Tough decision: Vaccinations

When I got pregnant, one of the first things I thought of was whooping cough. Isn't that weird? A little boy I watched at church had it and it was so upsetting to see him suffer (not to mention the fact that they brought him around others). He couldn't speak, he was always coughing, and I could hear him breathing from across the room. I never really questioned vaccinations. I had them. My siblings had them. We are all well! So why the outrage?

But, guys, seriously, how convincing is Jenny McCarthy? Okay, low blow, I know. To her credit, she did start college focusing on nursing. Honestly though, I started researching vaccinations like a lunatic. I read the pro's, the con's, the in-betweens. I read the stories of children suffering from the diseases vaccinations prevent. I read the heartbreaking story of sweet baby boy, too young to get vaccinated for whooping cough, pass away because another child did not have his shot. I read the stories of autism post-vaccinations. Getting these life saving vaccinations, falling ill, and waking up a different child. They all hurt my heart. But you know what? At the end of the day I have to do what is best for my baby and my family. I have to follow my mommy instinct.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Breastfeeding… from a person who didn't think she'd do it.

I never thought I'd nurse. I thought it was weird and a burden (WHOA. I KNOW). Modern technology and all those formulas boasting about how amazing they are conned me… until I became pregnant. The first time I really started to consider it, I was just like 'whatever. I will do it for a few weeks.' After that, I thought I'd reward myself for every month I did it. If I made it a month, I'd buy myself that handbag I have been wanting. Three months and those Loubs Kim Kardashian was wearing in People Magazine would be on these feet. Six months, you better believe Eric is buying me Chanel. Well, I didn't get myself any of those gifts for making it to those goals. I got something so much greater.

I am not going to lie. I absolutely, positively hated breastfeeding in the beginning. Did you know your nipples can crack? Or that you can get so full and a milk duct can clog that you have actual pain and have to massage it out? I didn't. Parker so did not want to nurse. He had a small mouth and that made it hard. He lost too much weight too quickly (despite nursing him like 18 hours of the day) and I had to supplement with formula. At that point, a week in, I was ready to call it quits. I am already giving him formula, why do both? Why sit for over an hour, uncomfortable, when I will be giving him formula at the end any way? Man, I had my eye on the prize though! New things for me.

Dear Parker (One Year)

Dear sweetest one year old,
A year! Seriously! I have spent a full year blessed beyond belief with you. From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I loved you. I loved you with every fiber of my being. I anticipated this love being powerful because I watched my own mama and I saw how very much she loved all five of us. She forgave things others wouldn’t forgive, she sacrificed everything for us. It is so different when it happens to you. When you came into this world, I could do nothing but cry tears of joy and kiss your perfect little hands, feet, tummy, and head. I remember that moment so perfectly because it was the moment my world shifted. My everything, the reason I breathe, was a funny looking 6 pound 7 ounce, curious, purple baby with no name. Your head was so misshaped from dropping so early. You barely had any hair. You were so very tiny. You were the opposite of what my dreams had shown me. I thought you’d look just like me, but you looked just like daddy. It was better than my dreams.

You are a (almost) walking, (almost) talking man. During your 12th month, you developed a deep love for the outdoors. Despite the cold, you will walk anywhere we let you go. You want to splash in the water and crunch all the leaves. You are the quickest crawler! I am jogging behind you all the time! I can almost always find you in the piano room when we are down stairs and the drum room when we are up! The stairs are not even an issue any more. You just go up or down as needed (don’t worry, folks, I am always right behind him).

We got to celebrate your first Christmas. It was just as amazing as I had hoped. You had the patience to open your own presents and, like most babies, you preferred the paper and boxes, but nothing got your attention more than tissue paper. You loved the tissue paper and pulling it out of the bags. We would stuff it right back in the bags for you. Much like Thanksgiving, you ate E V E R Y T H I N G in sight. People fed you things left and right and you would steal right from other’s plates. You aren’t too concerned with playing with your cousins yet, but that will change. Christmas will be so different once you all play together. I cannot wait! I know you are the only boy, but, be patient, let them put make up on you and play with babies with them. They will return the favor. You were kind of a booger with the Christmas tree, but it was brand new to you so it was very easy to be patient with. A good portion of my ornaments are broken, but you had fun so I do not mind.

A year with you has been more than I ever thought I deserved. I cannot believe that your tiny little spirit chose us. You chose me. You are all I ever prayed for. I have always wanted to be a mama, but being your mama has been beyond my wildest dreams. You are the easiest baby. I had to wake you up for feedings in the middle of the night. What baby does that? You aren’t a fit thrower. You are a cuddler and a kisser. You pet my face while you nurse. You giggle at everything and want to learn anything you can.

I love you forever, Parker Ericson. 

*Disclaimer: I swear this was written around his actual birthday! I just forgot to post it. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Dear Parker (Our Eleventh Month)

Dear Padawan,
I cannot wait to sit and watch all the Star Wars movies with your to teach you what a Padawan is. Right now, you still look at me confused when I try to get your attention by calling you that instead of Parker. My baby, I cannot believe how old you are.

Your eleventh month was a month of zoos and exploring. You went to the Phoenix Zoo or Wildlife World Zoo every weekend and enjoyed it more and more each time. The monkeys were your biggest fans. How could they not be? You are their size and just stare and smile the whole time. They will walk right up to you and stare at you. It is a hilarious sight. You also got to play with so many animals! Giraffes, turtles, stingrays, camels, deer, and pigmy goats. The best part of every trip is the carousal ride at the end. You take it very serious. You hold on for dear life, but smile and wave. You are getting too big.

I wish I have more photos from Thanksgiving, but there are priorities and I cannot take photos and have a fork and knife in each hand. You sure did enjoy it though. You ate everything on your plate and managed to snag some dessert off of everyone’s plate. Those eyes and that goofy, five tooth smile can get people to give you anything. We went with the baby led weaning method for you, so you’ve been eating solids for about six months and the mushy food was never your thing. My point to this is, you’ve become a master eater. I occasionally get a look or two from other mothers at restaurants, or even your grandma and grandpa say something for my lack of cutting things up, but you handle your food. You do not stuff your face until you have no more room in your mouth. When I give you a small cube of cheese, you take perfectly portioned bites until it is gone. Thank you, love, for being responsible since birth. It is really quite cute to see you with a whole carrot (I mean the whole, nearly foot long carrot) and your little nibbles at the end.

You took your first real steps. Honestly, we thought you’d be walking at nine months, considering you were crawling at 3.5. You are a speed demon when it comes to crawling, so you just drop to your knees and crawl to where you need to be. I am always buying you jeans. That is the only reason I want you to walk. You’ve ruined your light grey skinnies, tan cords, and half a dozen denim jeans.  Other than that, please, please, take your time walking. It seems so much safer to have you so close to the ground.

We were able to take you to play with snow! You were a little hesitant, but, ultimately, you did enjoy it. It was daddy and I throwing little snowballs, and you trying hard to figure out what it was and then eat it. You got to do a lot of things you loved that day! You sat on daddy’s shoulders and he danced around, you slept during the boring stuff, and then you got to hang out with all of your cousins to put together grandma’s giant Christmas town.

 I can’t believe my next post will be rounding out my first year of being blessed with you. It is insane. This month you also loved wagon rides, sloppy kisses, spaghetti, your cousins, your puppies, walking with walkers, pots and pans, the rose garden, and anything that makes music. I love you to the moon and back, Parkman.