Friday, December 23, 2016

3 weeks in....

My last post was I'll keep this one more positive!  Life is busy, but we are getting into a routine, and honestly, I am doing much better than I thought I would do during this dreaded phase.  Don't get me wrong, I am not dreading life right now at all, but newborn stage is hard.  it's unpredictable and chaotic at times, and I don't like either of those things:)

Stats for the Talley's after 3 weeks-

Brent - Brent took a whole week off to help us, but had to jump right in the week after.  His presence at home was invaluable - helping me, taking care of the house, running errands, playing with Emma....the list goes on.  I couldn't have done it alone.  Especially given the fact that I really was not physically well until about 2 weeks in.  I could barely walk around or run more than one small errand a day.  It was torture and really messed with me.  Brent took up my slack and "mommed" like a champion!  We are so grateful for him.
Brent also did this under an enormous amount of stress at work, and with some health issues on his side of the family!

Emma - Emma had a few days of being pretty annoying (in my opinion).  Oops - guess I'm not supposed to say that, but the girl got on my last nerve a lot at the beginning, which was really tough for me emotionally.  I in evidently felt horrible about feeling like that, and cried a lot.  I lamented the huge change that had occurred in her life, and it tore me apart.  She has been great though, helping a lot, being very affectionate, and for the most part - a good listener.  I think the change in schedule (Brent being home for a week, school being out, holidays...) also has her a bit "off."  We haven't roamed out as much, which doesn't help, so we are trying to get out when we can.  She seems so old and grown to me, and I am trying hard not to push her aside when Merritt needs me, or make her feel inferior in any way.  I never, ever want her to feel like second best.  Ahhh..cue the tears:)  I know she will love me even more for giving her a sister, but man....I miss the days when it was just us two:(

Getting out - We are living life as normal as possible.  You almost have to with a second child.  I have done drop off and pickup successfully at preschool, taken both kids on several errands, and even managed a quick date with Brent.  I have showered almost every day, and I do get dressed whenever we leave the house.  I've had several people comment about that - and I'm not saying I'm too good to go out without makeup or with sweats on, but I feel better and that helps my mood.  Lord knows, that helps!!

Sleep - Brent and I have been taking turns at night.  Neither of us sleep during the day - people that say that are crazy.  You try sleeping with a 4.5 year old in the house.  I have some reserve milk that Brent heats up for Merritt if she wakes up between 9pm and 1am.  That first shift is his, then I take over.  She was not sleeping well in her rib at all...actually not sleeping anywhere well during the night hours.  She would grunt and squeak and rustle all night.  She only slept if we were holding her on our chest.  I actually got pretty good at sleeping like that:)  The doctor mentioned it was gas and reflux, so we started giving her some probiotic drops daily.  I don't think they helped a ton, but I'll do anything.  She was obviously in pain during these incidents, and any sign of passing gas or pooping gave her immediate relief.  The last 2 nights have been much better and we are hoping we have turned a corner.  Last night, she slept from 8:30-1:30 in her crib!  Then she ate once and went down again in the crib until about 6:15am.  I actually got to sleep the whole night in my own bed....what?!?!?!  Brent is a master swaddler and I think it is he now has to do it every night, so we don't break the cycle.

Nursing - Merritt is a much better nurser than Emma was.  I think it is a blessing and a curse.  Gosh, I do not love it.  I mean, I love what I am doing, just hate being so tied down all the time, having to pump or feed, wear specific clothes, and all the other details I will spare the blog:)  I do love that it is FREE, and I love that it is going well and I'm not fighting it.  The doctor said her reflux had nothing to do with my diet and was probably tied to her immature digestive system.  Plus, babies that are Group B positive have more gas...which makes sense.  Either way, she loves the "boobie juice" as we all call it around here.  But I am glad to be able to give her a bottle for Brent and Emma to help.  I think it was hard for Brent not be involved at first. 

Merritt - I bet you thought I had forgotten about her!  Ha!  She is really a delightful baby.  She is laid back like her sister.  She is not into car rides yet, but we are hoping this changes.  She is gaining weight rapidly....she was 8 pounds 9 ounces earlier this week...and probably close to 9 pounds today if not over.  She is wearing newborn or 0-3 months clothing, and still in newborn diapers.  She does like a paci in the car, but is not addicted yet.  She poops ALL THE TIME.  The girl cannot have a feeding without pooping - and it is loud.  Like it sounds like we may need to have the carpets cleaned, that's how messy it could be.  But it never is, thankfully.  She did not like the wedge we got for her crib, but since we figured out swaddling, we think that will do the trick for sleeping.  She loves to be cuddled on your chest, and will sleep like that forever.  She has had a few baths, and really doesn't mind them.  She does hate getting lotion put on and changing clothes.  Her hair is a hot mess....she has 2 cowlicks and honestly I have no idea what to do with them.  She sort of has a mohawk...which may be interesting as we get older!

Life in general - We feel much better as we end this third week!  We are not travelling for Christmas and are looking forward to some time together as a family, as settling into our new normal.  I am feeling much more like myself - emotionally and physically.  I don't cry as much at all (man, I was worried for myself at the beginning!), and I am currently wearing some pre-pregnancy jeans, which makes this mushy body mama feel a lot better right now:)  I am managing really good on little sleep, and embracing it.  I have tried hard to have a positive attitude the whole time, because I know life could be soooo much worse.  I know the pain and heartache and loss that is out there, and I am grateful everyday for what I have.  I may be tired and delirious and stressed, but I have a beautiful, healthy family.  I have a God that loves me and pours Himself into my life through the people He has surrounded me with, daily.  Merry Christmas, indeed!  Here's hoping you experience that same sense of Love in the next few days as we celebrate Jesus' birth.

11 days in...

I started this post almost 2 weeks ago....and am just now getting to it to finish.  I will preface it by saying that life is much, much easier, but it is slow going.... :)

I have been meaning to blog, but somehow every time I sit down (which is a lot with a newborn), I manage to not have my laptop.  I'm finally in the house alone (well...Merritt is asleep and the cat is sitting next to me....but it's quiet, for now), and I have a second to breathe.  That's sort of how it feels -like taking a deep breath.  The last 11 days have been a whirlwind - mixed with intense gratefulness, joy, pain, and sadness.  Having a newborn is tough - really tough.  And when you add an energetic 4.5 year old and the loss of a pet, it's been an unbearable week and a half.
I'll start with Swerve, our beloved brother cat (Sunflower is his sister), that we had to lay to rest Thursday.  He had gone downhill quickly - especially when we were in the hospital having merritt and the first few days at home.  When we took him to the vet, he had stopped eating and was barely moving around.  We had tried all different options for food, but nothing worked.  Lab tests revealed kidney failure (probably chronic kidney disease), and possible cancer.  It was such a struggle to hear and also to have to make some sort of decision.  We could spend thousands trying to diagnose what he had, with a very high probability that it was incurable (according to the vet), or we could get some fluids in him, and let him feel a little better for a day and let him go with some dignity.  Swerve has always been our sweetest cat with Emma - always letting her play with him, torture him, etc...  He was extremely loving and had such a great personality.  I had rescued him and his sister 11 years ago from the lake, and was supposed to find a home for them since Brent and I were getting married a few months later and already had a dog.  I managed to persuade Brent that they needed to be together and stay with us:)  They were part of our original family - you know, when you took pictures of your pets because you didn't have kids yet?!?!?  Saying goodbye to him was like saying goodbye to Daisy all over again, like a part of our early marriage was gone.  In some ways, it is.....we have 2 kids now and life is very, very different.  We are not footloose and fancy free - doing whatever we pleased, whenever, and only having the responsibilities of jobs tying us down.  We miss Swerve terribly, and being in the thick of newborn stage makes it easier AND harder to deal with. 

One last snuggle with him.  He always acted like he hated my forced affection, but I know he really loved it.  I say this because he never tried to escape it, and sometimes even purred while I held him.  Tough guy exterior....but big softie inside:)

Monday, December 5, 2016

My 36th birthday

What a blessing to have spent my birthday with this girl.  I truly treasure the bond we share as mother-daughter, and the precious months we've had together since leaving work.  Thank you, sweet Emma, for bringing so much happiness to my life, and for teaching me the selfless and joyful servitude of motherhood. 

We lunched at our favorite - Jersey Mike's, and got some hugs from Mister Clint.  Then relaxed at Silverspot with candy to see Ruana.  We ended with Shiki Sushi takeout and cupcakes from The Cupcake Bar with my sweet parents.

Miss Merritt Elizabeth Talley

Early last Wednesday morning, the day after my very own birthday, God answered my prayer with a clear sign of labor when my water broke at 2am.  We called my mom, packed a few last minute things, and headed to UNC.  I was only 1cm, but the potossin quickly worked and by noon, I was at 8cm.  I did have a few hours of pushing and resting, as Miss M was "sunnyside up" (face up) and was having a hard time getting past my pelvic bone.  But some resting in odd positions and after 2 hours she had turned.  The delivery nurse had to run and get the doctor fast, and she barely had enough time to get her gown and gloves on.  It was that quick....and painless, thanks to my epidural. 

Merritt Elizabeth Talley
Born November 30, 2016
2:36 pm
7 pounds, 3 ounces

The Talley Family

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Nesting at almost 40 weeks...

**I am finishing this post at the hospital!!  It is currently 5am November 30, and my water broke at home at about 2:30, so Praise God for a clear sign that it's time to go in!  I made it through my birthday and had the most wonderful day with Emma, but I was very uncomfortable for most of it.  I guess the next post will be about baby Merritt's arrival, so keep us in your prayers!!**

This post is dedicated to the hubs...who by God's grace has put up with he most OCD preggo that ever walked the planet.  If it wasn't in it's place, I definitely told him.  I've asked him to do everything from pick up ANYTHING on the floor, go get random items at the store last minute, clean the yard, put up Christmas, build this....paint that...and even put my socks on...because I can't put on my left sock anymore....and I'm sure the right foot will be impossible if we don't have a baby soon.

I've been paranoid about labor - not knowing when to go, not getting there in time for an epidural, and almost just as scary - leaving a dirty, unorganized home.  I've been busy cleaning, rearranging, organizing, and getting rid of.  And feels sooooo good.  But, Brent and Emma...I am so sorry. 

Most of what I have done is boring - like clean out closets, get rid of old clothes, and go through almost all of Emma's clothes and toys.  But I will share some pics of the progress...

I'm no pro excuse the amateur pics.  This is Emma's room.  I really love her room.  I could live in it.  It's cozy and girlie, and so inviting.  It is honestly one of my favorite places.

I found these great floating art frames at Target (and they were buy one, get one free this past weekend)  If you're looking for good art frames, these are great!

This is Merritt's room, and also the room with our spare bed.  But I don't anticipate any overnight company.  I will probably sleep here for a few weeks:)  Brent still needs to add drawer pulls to the changing table, and I need more art work on the wall, especially above her crib.  Oh...and a rug.

I tried to make it a good mix of adult and baby...just because the space is shared for now. 

Meanwhile, Brent has been busy with Christmas outside.....

Brent made this pallet Christmas tree for free (Ace Hardware has free pallets), and we added the colored retro large bulb lights. I love it:)

Brent also made this rustic star for his "castle" (as Emma calls it). 

The wreaths also light up, and hopefully the lights on the bushes will be put up by the end of the week.  Baby or not, Brent is taking off Thursday and Friday, so we are looking forward to either time together or time with a new baby in the family.  Hope everyone is having a great week!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Stepping out of my comfort zone...

Back in the spring, a friend in Raleigh approached me about buying a table at her church's bazaar.  I saw the date - middle of November - and thought, well it's close to my due date, but not that close.
Well....I was was 2 weeks away. 
I also thought, well...I've never done this before but I'm sure I'll spend all summer and early fall preparing and learning and making stock.
Well....I was wrong...I waited and procrastinated and scrambled to the finish like any good college freshman.

This picture was taken on the second day, and I was actually running low on pieces (a good thing, I guess!) 

Emma was an awesome helper and helped me set up the first afternoon!

Couldn't have done it without this rockstar!  The bazaar was only a block away from his store, so he came down A LOT to check in.  He also knew half the customers there, which was a boost for sales:)

The second day was supposed to be way crazier than the first night, but it ended up being manageable!  Some ofother vendors were disappointed (and I understand that if this is your livelihood), but I was relieved!  I got hid HARD the night before and was really, really nervous about the longer day ahead.

I really had a blast doing it, even if it almost sent me into labor (literally).  I met some really awesome people, made some great contacts (more future retail???), and just felt very humbled and honored to be there.  I kept feeling like an amateur, but hey, I put myself out there, people loved my pieces, and I feel good about the work I've done.  When it comes to turning hobbies into small doesn't get much better than that!  Oh...and I made some money...which I immediately wanted to spend on more supplies....but decided not to since I am taking a bit of a break until I see what life is like after the Holiday.  But....if you want anything at all, just let me know and I am happy to see if I can accommodate! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The end of the road....

I am 2 days shy of 39 weeks…..and it has really flown by.  From the first day I found out about this HUGE life changing event (Easter Sunday to be exact), I have gone through a multitude of emotions – anger, sadness, joy, anticipation, excitement, fear, worry………  I honestly can’t believe it has gone by this fast and the time is HERE.  I could give birth at any moment.  Having the baby moved out of breech last week definitely made things more “real.”  I can say that right now, I am feeling better nervous, and trying not to plan or think about it.  With your first pregnancy, you don’t know what to expect and you are so excited.  I haven’t felt that as much now….I do know what childbirth is like and I do remember the first few weeks (and I didn’t particularly enjoy them!).  Throwing in the fact that I have another child already, and I must say that while I am excited about meeting this new life and loving on her, I am not looking forward to going through that again (meaning labor, delivery, the first few nights).  Am I alone here???? 

As I near the end of this journey, I am incredibly grateful for my family and friends.  I don’t think I was a crazy preggo, but I know I sure had my moments.  They stuck by me, supported me, offered all the right words of encouragement and tangible help that I needed at that very moment.  I’ve tried hard to be very aware of my emotions and make sure they were rational.  So as I get to the end of the road here, I wanted to get down some thoughts about this journey...

I am grateful that I took care of myself.  I gained over 45 pounds with Emma, but this has not been the case this time around.  I worked out regularly up until the 8th month, and I was cautious not to “let myself go” when it came to eating.  And it wasn’t hard, I just didn’t crave the same things as the first pregnancy (grapes as opposed to juicy burgers!)  I am definitely smaller in the belly than with Emma and at times, am self-conscious about this.  I wasn't gaining much weight towards the end and this scared me.  The doctors reassured me, and all is fine.  But I still got worried.  I may or may have not splurged a few extra times in the last 3 weeks (Bojangle's, smoothies, more comfort carbs....yummmm - they all felt soooo right!!)

I am grateful for the lesson of living within my means.  Pregnancy really forces you to think about this.  You learn to live with less clothes, without certain foods or activities, to save money (because you’re a one income household now!), and of course – you lose a room to another person, so you MUST learn to clear out and make way!  Getting rid of things I don’t love and only bringing in things I do has been great.  It feels so good to get rid of and simplify.  Our house is small, but it’s perfect and I will be thankful for all of it.  It’s not d├ęcor or space that make the home, but the memories made there.  I am truly looking forward to this and letting go of the fact that we are still in our “starter” home (albeit a nice one).  This contentment has brought me much peace.  And being content is way less stressful than finding, buying, and selling a houseJ
I am grateful that this pregnancy really forced me to focus on my relationship with Emma.  I tried really hard to be present for her, and soak up every moment.  I know our time isn’t ending…but it certainly will change.  It made me very aware of my role as a mother and motivated me to make sure I was doing the best I could do – giving her all I could when I could. 

I am grateful for this opportunity to be a mom.  I have said this before, but I really love staying at home and being just a mom.  I love carpooling, taking Emma to activities, taking care of the house, meeting and making friends with other moms, doing playdates, etc….  I consider them all a privilege.  My time with Emma will come to a point when she is not with me for the majority of the day and she will be off to school.  Then, my influence changes.  I will have to compete with so many other cultural factors for her attention and growth.  I hate that…I really do.  But I have to trust that God has a plan for (and protection over) her.

I am grateful that I have had an easy pregnancy.  Up until the last week and half, I really have no complaints.  Last week was physically challenging – a  lot of soreness from the turning and overdoing it led to some uncomfortable nights that I worried were labor.  I am learning to rest, drink more, and say NOJ  All things I am NOT good at.  I also had to learn how to accept help - from my parents, Brent, friends.  This was hard, and I had to constantly fight feeling needy.

I have no idea what the next 10 days will hold for me, but I am resting assured that
ONE: I have no major commitments going on,
: my house is semi-clean and organized and baby's room is ready,
and THREE: God is in control, so the sooner I let go and trust His timing, the more at peace I will be.  I wasn't made to fret over's beyond my capabilities, so I am fighting my type A and letting the moments pass as they're supposed to.

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Life lately....

I am way behind on some blog posts, and the more I think about it, the more I agree that less is more - so enjoy the short, but sweet version of life these days!!!

Emma's getting very good at selfies....

And loves to snuggle torture Swerve.

Emma asked to take a picture with me, which never happens!!  It's an awful one of me, but I'll take it!

My sweet family surprised me with a birthday dinner last weekend since Merritt is due 2 days away from my actual day.  I felt really special....and any excuse to have salmon and cake, really it's a no brainer!

I am loving the cooler weather - finally!  Nothing beats a walk right around late afternoon when the sun is just setting and the air chills.  We are working on our bike riding skills....a true test in patience for me.

My friend, Brandi, asked for a bump pic, and I haven't really taken any.  So I asked Emma to take this while we were playing outside....not bad for a 4 year old!  (disclaimer - this sweater makes me look huge!)

The Jones' made it to town, so we met up with the Grimes' and had dinner at Top of the Hill for the Duke Caroline game.  What a blast getting to hang out with these friends!

We had a little excitement last week at our 37 week appointment where Merritt was caught red handed in the breech position.  They scheduled an external cephalic version for the very next day at 9am.  I don't want to go into much detail because it was much more intense, traumatic, stressful.... than I'd anticipated.  Let's just say, I am not doing that again.  I basically had to plan for an emergency c-section and was at the hospital for almost 5 hours.  The whole turning of the baby lasted an entirety of 90 seconds....but it was the most uncomfortable 90 seconds ever.  It was a success, so we are hoping Merritt stays head down.  At this point, if she flips back, we just schedule a c-section for next week.  What the what?  Where has 9 months gone??????

We went to Brent's F3 cookout Saturday and enjoyed the most beautiful day outside with friends!

Brent completed the F3D3 - basically torture.  6 days of 2 workouts a day.  As crazy as this is, I am sure am proud of my man and his commitment to this great community of Godly men.  Oh...and I just happen to adore their families too:)

I bribed Emma to wear one of my old dresses......and I can't wait to find a picture of me wearing it to show her.  These 2 pics were taken on a hard day for me - lots of discomfort and soreness from the version, and some hormones thrown in.....

But nothing a smoothie can't help....I may have been 3 times this week....stop's a carrot kale basically a salad, right?

I was stupid and agreed to sell at a church bazaar this week.  At 38 weeks, I must be committed into an insane asylum.  I am ready though, I think.   But not after a lot of tears, meltdowns, and yelling.  I don't think I have nearly enough pieces, but I can't do anything about it now.  My sanity is worth more. I won't ever plan anything for the last month again. EVER.

Here's a small sample of what I'll be selling.  If you're in Raleigh, it's Tuesday night from 6-8 and Wednesday from 10-2 at Hayes Barton United Methodist Church, located in Five Points.  Part of the proceeds go to support the church:)  

That's life...for now.  Prayers that the soreness and discomfort from the version will go away quickly so I can have some normalcy before Merritt gets here!  And for my nerves....I am a hot mess of anxiety these days not knowing that life will be like in the next few weeks!!