Friday, December 30, 2016


Happy freaking due date. 
How in the actual hell and I'm still pregnant!?
This is totally uncharted territory for me. 

This morning I went in for my 40 week appointment. 
Still sitting at 3cm/60% effacement and -3 station. 
AKA no change from last week. 

I was super shocked that the past DAYS of contractions haven't done much of anything.
She went ahead and swept my membranes again (didn't hurt as bad this time) and we scheduled my 41 week appointment for next week.

 The only thing my midwife could guarantee (after probing my belly to figure out his position) was that "he is going to be a realllllly good sized boy!"
I hadn't really considered his size but the other kids were 8.11 and 9lbs at 39 weeks so it's possible he could be just as big maybe bigger? 
Idk, i'm not worried. 
My body was built for that crap. 

In the mean time, I've been doing EVERYTHING I can to keep my contractions going every night. 
curb walking
yoga ball bouncing
spicy food
lots and lots and lots of squats
I even pulled out my breast pump one night. 

He's probably just like "chill mom, i'll come when i'm ready."

HONESTLY, i'm pretty relaxed about everything now. 
I'm ok to let him come when he wants to. 
I'm mostly just shocked is all. 
The only thing i'm semi anxious about is that my sister AKA my guaranteed child care is heading back to school on the 2nd soooooooo IDK who can come at the drop of a hat when she leaves. 

It'll all work out right?
That's what I keep telling myself. 
I'd reaaaaaaaaaaaallllly love to snuggle him before the New Year....
I literally never even thought it was possible I'd be welcoming him in January, yet here we are. 


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

39.5 weeks and other crappy stories.

Omg you guys, this baby is totally throwing me for a loop.
Tomorrow will officially be the longest i've EVER been pregnant. 
This past week a LONG and EMOTIONAL rollercoaster. 

I don't think i've cried this much in my entire life. 
It started last Tuesday when I was swiped my debt card to pay for an amazing pedicure I had just received. 
I'm like ok, try again because that's wrong. 
(this has literally never happened before)
Tried not to panic and called David. 
David checks our bank account. 
Turns out our automatic bill pay cleared out two days early because of Holiday. 
aka there is now no money. 
 Of course they won't take payment over the phone so I call my mom out of desperation and she sends my two sisters down to bail me out. 
I'm sitting there in front of the the busy salon, giant and pregnant, trying to hold back hot tears because I'm SO embarrassed.
(the language barrier didn't help either) 
Thirty minutes later I get a txt. 
"we were in a car accident!"
I'm like haha, don't joke with me. 
Get a call from my mom. 
"the girls where in a three car pile-up!!"

I'm sobbing, not knowing if they are ok.
Literally dry heaving at this point. 
Still being held hostage in the nail salon because I have no money to pay. 
I get a call from my Dad saying he can be there in 30-40 min. 
I was A MESS. 
I felt so helpless. 

Dad came and saved the day. 
The girls ended up being OK.
Their car was totaled, it wasn't their fault but no serious injuries. 

I know it wasn't my fault but I felt partially responsible. 
I went home took an anxiety pill to try and calm down. 
Then the intense contractions started for the next 4 hours before I passed out for the night. 

I woke up the next day and my eyes were SO swollen from all the crying. 
I continued to have contractions off and on for the rest of the day. 
That night we got door bell ditched and someone left the most amazing secret santa Christmas box. 
Once again, cue the tears.
This time they were happy and grateful tears but still tears nonetheless. 

Thursday morning I had my 39 week apt where I was 3cm and 60% effaced.
I had the midwife strip my membranes to see if anything would start up. 
It hurt way more than I remember it hurting with the other kids. 
I was feeling hopeful that it would get things going because of all the contraction's I had been having the previous days. 
I called my sister and had her come stay the night just in case. 
I bounced and bounced, and walked my stairs and squatted and danced all night hoping that the contractions would continue to get closer together. 
Woke up the next day. 

Friday morning, two days before Christmas I get a certified letter at the door from our rental company. 
"We will not be renewing your rental contract and you have 30 days to leave the premises."
Merry Christmas to us. 

Seriously, this could not have come at a more inconvenient time. 
We knew our contract was going to be over in Jan, but we were hoping/counting on being able to re-sign month to month until we knew where we were headed to next. 
Turns out the landlords are selling the house. 
So now, we have to figure something out ASAP or we are going to be homeless with 3 toddlers and a newborn. 
I can't even.

If getting ready to bring home a new baby wasn't enough stress.
Now I get to recover from labor and pack/clean my entire house.

We don't know where we are going yet. 

Here's our dilemma-
Dave graduates in Feb.
He's been applying for jobs all over the country so we could be picking up any time if he get's a job. 
(we have a promising second job interview next week that would solve all of our problems if he gets it! PRAYING!!!!)
We can't afford to sign another lease then potentially have to break it if he gets a new job. 
We are looking into short term apartment leases which are $$$$$$$$$ but it may just be what we need to do. 
Even looking into extended stay hotels...
I'm just at the end of my rope with all the uncertainty and what ifs. 

We are literally days away from meeting this baby and I have no idea where we will be in 30 days. 
I'm trying so hard to stay positive and not have a giant emotional breakdown. 

I know something will work out because it always does. 
It's just hard when it feels like you're struggling to stay afloat and your just trying to survive trial after trail. 
All I want to do is nest and snuggle my newborn (who I could've sworn would be here by now...)

Friday-Starting losing my mucus plug. Contractions 8-10 minutes apart for HOURS but never closer together. 
Saturday-Christmas eve- I was just a hopeless mess of a person. I didn't sleep all night the night before, still had contractions, inconsistently but more intense. 

Sunday- Christmas, literally nothing until later that night. It was nice to be able to enjoy the Holiday but it was the first time I was like "I'M SO OVER THIS!!!!"

Monday- once again inconsistent contractions but then they started picking up mid-afternoon. I went on a walk, curb walked and they continued. I thought for sure it was the night. 

Today, not a single freaking one. 
He needs to get here or the this false/pre-labor needs to stop. 
I remember it was like this with Frances' birth which I hope means that this one will be just as quick when the time ACTUALLY comes. 

My due date is Friday the 30th. 
I've not once made it till 40 weeks.
Maybe this time I will. 

I've been asked why not just get induced!?
Well I have lots of reasons....
1. being tired of pregnancy/holidays/end of the year is not a reason to induce. 
2. my induction experience with Remington was AWFUL! I would never "choose" to do that again. 
3. Inductions lead to lots of interventions which make laboring naturally difficult. 
I could go on and on...

My midwives will let me go till 42 weeks if baby is looking good still. 
That's January 13th in case anyone was wondering. 
So we may have a few more weeks to go here. 
(I really hope not but i'm gearing up for that)

So that's where we are at. 
Trying to hang in there.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


^^Trying to get a photo with all the of the babies. HA!

I love this time of year!!
It's still really hard to get into the whole Christmas spirit thing when it's 60-70s outside but we are trying our best. 
Being so heavy with child this season I've felt a little bad that we haven't been able to do all the fun Christmas activities that we'd normally do. 
The kids haven't seen or gotten a photo with Santa, we haven't baked any treats or delivered any cutesy neighbor gifts. No gingerbread houses have been designed or cookies frosted. The only lights we've seen are those on our street. 
Instead we've stayed in and watched Christmas movies on repeat, sipped our weight in hot chocolate and talked about when baby boy will make his arrival. 

Christmas is in FIVE days and I feel like getting this baby here is the only thing on my mind right now. 
My dad asked the kids if they were excited for this week. 
Rem responded, "yes because maybe it will be my baby brothers birthday!!"
These kids don't even care about Santa haha. 

Tonight I'm getting a pedicure with my sister.
It's become a tradition to get my toes done around 38/39 weeks. 
Tomorrow i'm getting adjusted at the chiropractor and Thursday I go in for my 39 week apt!
I'm curious to see if i'm dilated or effaced at all. 
Yesterday I started having some pretty good practice contractions. 
We are all in the midst of fighting off a nasty virus so I think the nausea and hack coughing has really amplified them. 
I can't imagine going through labor feeling like this, or even brining home a baby to a disease infested house. 
I'm trying so hard to stay on top of the cleaning and disinfecting. 
Literally the worst time for everyone to get sick. 

As far as Christmas plans go, we are meeting up with the family for Christmas Eve dinner at a restaurant in Scottsdale. 
It'll be my parents and all my sisters this year! 
It's tradition every year to go out to eat on Christmas eve. 
Christmas morning we will wake up and do stockings, head to Church for an hour and then open all the gifts afterwards! 
Then we are heading over for Christmas Dinner at my parents with all of the family. 

I'm so excited for the kids to open their gifts this year!
We pinched and saved and picked out some awesome things that I think they'll love. 

If the Christmas and baby countdown wasn't exciting enough, David has a few promising job interviews coming up!
We've been praying SO hard for the right opportunity to come along. 
Our housing contract is up Jan 31st and he graduates with his MHA in Feb. 
It would be nice to know what/where the next chapter is for our little family. 
Until then-

^^The closest we got to seeing Santa haha. Fran's faces are my fav. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

38 weeks

Thirty-eight weeks. 
It's feeling really REAL. 
The "pre-birth" jitters/anxiety has hit me hard the past few weeks. 
It's always the last fifteen minutes before I fall asleep, when everything in the house is quiet and I'm trying to shut off my brain. 
The potential scenarios of how everything "could" go down start running through my head and then begin spiraling out of control. 
It's awful. 
My heart races, my chest get tight and every muscle in my body tenses up. 
The images of a delivering a dead baby, or watching myself hemorrhage to death, followed by seeing my children continue to grow up without a mom etc. 
I don't know why my mind even goes there, but it does. 
Thankfully a quick prayer, some deep practice breathing and a chat with David helps clear my head and I can begin to relax and fall asleep. 

Overall it hasn't been as bad as it was with Frances.
but it is there. 

Anxiety is awful. 

At thirty-eight weeks baby boy could make his appearance at anytime!
I think he's dropped a little, and I've been able to feel some bigger movements now. 
Two weeks ago I transferred practices after touring the hospital we thought we'd be delivering at. 
I felt so uneasy after walking through and thankfully I was able to reach out to some other local like-minded mommas who gave some amazing recommendations for a midwife practice on the other side of town. 
I've had two appointments there so far and they have been SO GOOD! 
They deliver at a different hospital that has a birthing center attached so I will be able to get the whole natural birth experience that I want.

Last week I thought my water may have broke. 
I kept feeling like I was peeing myself so we headed over to the new hospital triage to get tested (just in case.)
Turns out it was negative for amniotic fluid.
I've never been more thankful for swamp ass! HA!

Everything is ready for baby boy. 
Our photographer is officially "on-call"
 My sister gets in from Hawaii this weekend (she'll be watching the babies when it all goes down)
My bags are mostly packed and most of the baby clothing has been washed. 
The car seat is out and ready to go too. 
I've been scheduling weekly chiro adjustments to get my body all aligned and ready for labor. 

At my next appointment I'll be getting my membranes swept.
This put me into labor within 24 hours with Olive!
Fran was born 4 days after I had it done. 
I know it wont do anything if he's not ready but he COULD potentially be here this next weekend!
I would love to be home just in time for Christmas and be able to snuggle a newborn. 
I can't wait to hold him and kiss his cheeks!
The kids are starting to ask "when will my baby be our of my belly?"
They are all so excited. 
We are all so ready.

Here's to the final stretch!

38 weeks with Frances, 38 weeks with Olive, 38 weeks with Remington 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Christmas decorations!

^^16 days from my due date!? What the what!?
Every year I try to document our Christmas decorations around our home. 
It's been so fun to look back and see how they've evolved!
We've added new little bits and pieces here and there, but most of them have been with us from way back in 2010 when Dave and I celebrated our first (married) Christmas. 
Since I'm so heavy with child this Christmas season, I've felt a little bad we haven't really done any fun "christmas" activities with the kids. 
Besides the stockings and fluffing up the tree, they were in charge of setting everything else up. Here's what Christmas looks like around our house this year!
I snagged 8 of these stockings last year at Target during their clearance sale. I'm obsessed with them. 
The kids tree! This was our first tree that we got together. 
^^Zoom in and check out the Santa Claus Remi drew, haha! I've been in major nesting mode and sold a bunch of stuff (no more love seat in the toy room.) Our contract is up January 31st and we don't know if we will be resigning so the walls are starting to get a little empty. 
^^The kids love this nativity and re-arrange it daily. 
^^Our first stockings!
We got this artificial tree when I was pregnant with Remi and we were living in Utah! I'd love to upgrade to a bigger/fuller one someday. But for now, this one is perfect. 
^^We are officially done Christmas shopping! Everything has been wrapped and pre-assembled. Both sets of grandparents already sent stuff over too! So we are all set. 
^^That Olive ornament is one of my favs. 
So excited for Christmas this year!!! 
Will baby boy be here beforehand?

Thursday, December 1, 2016

how to prepare for family photos

What should we wear for family photos!?
It's a daunting question and one that I get asked as a photographer ALL THE TIME!
 SO, I decided to document and write a little bit about how I prepared for our own fall family photos and share some tips on how to make the process stress free!

It all started with that ^^ $3 blanket scarf that I found in the dollar Target section back in August! 
I LOVED the cozy Christmas colors and knew instantly that I wanted to build our outfits around it. 

After spending a few afternoons on Pinterest, I decided that I wanted to go for a more dressy feel! 
I had just ordered this pink blush maternity maxi dress (on sale for $25!!) and knew it was the perfect basic.
I felt pretty in it and I thought that the scarf would be a nice layering piece over it. 
From there, I started pulling stuff from David and kids closets and my vision started coming together. 

I made myself a "vision" board to help see everything next to each other. 
(My first time doing this but I loved having it to reference when I was out shopping for certain pieces) 
It took a few months to pull it all together because I had to save up and purchase a few of the pieces one at a time. 
So here's my board!

David already had the black sweater and green pants.
I had the dress and scarf. 
Olive had the off white dress and Remi had the dress shirt and pants. 

I didn't have anything for Frances and I thought the red dress would be a fun pop of color!
I found the one I wanted at Carters. 
The next step was picking out layering pieces and accessories to help pull my vision together. 
I saw the fur vest at Target and in SCREAMED Olive. 
I loved the neutral color and the fur texture. 
Finding suspenders and a bowtie for Remi was the hardest. 
I couldn't find anything in his size! 
The night before we took our photos I hit up Target one more time and found the perfect red bow tie!
We ended up ordering the suspenders on Amazon and they arrived next day. 

One of the afternoons I was scrolling through Pinterest and saw these adorable green/berry crowns! But at $40 per crown I absolutely could NOT swing it. 
I called around some of the local flower shops to get quotes and they were even more expensive for the fresh ones (go figure) 
So I decided to make them instead. 
They were SUPER quick and easy and I LOVED how they turned out!
I was worried about having all of us girls wear them but I think it added the perfect little Christmas touch. 
The night before I made all the kids get in their outfits so I could tweak and adjust as needed. I sent some snap shots to my BFF Kate so I could get another opinion. 
(When in doubt ask for help!)
She helped me make the decision to put Rem in the dark pants instead of the tan. 
I think it was the right choice!
I also made sure to practice doing my makeup and hair a few times so I could have it down perfectly by photo day. That kind of stuff does NOT come naturally to me so I really needed the practice, haha! 

So there you have it! 
Here are my biggest tips on preparing for your own family pics// 

1. Decide on a color palate and if you want to go more casual/dressy. Think about the season, temperature and location of where you will be taking your photos. 
2. First pick something that YOU feel like a million bucks in and then build everyone else's outfits around that. 
3. Use Pinterest for Inspiration! 
4. Use what you have! You don't need to go buy an entire new outfit for everyone. (you can but sometimes that's not feasible financially) 
5. When in doubt ask for a second opinion. Sometimes you need another set of eyeballs to help finalize everything. 
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