Anticipating November

Two more months left in this year.  What a year it has been!  But, like always, a little look back over the month of October

I didn’t read as many books this month as I hoped I would.  I only completed three books of the seven, and I’m in the middle of two of the other books on my list.  I think part of the reason I didn’t read so many was that I had a big project to complete at the end of this month (which I’m hoping to share with you next week).

I continue to purge throughout the house.  I actually got into the holiday decor that I was hoping to get to earlier in the year.  I also rearranged my kitchen a bit after the purge from last month.  And we have been doing some furniture upgrades in our house, so it’s a bit crowded with older furniture and boxes (because I order to deliver everything).  But once everything is sorted, it’s going to be amazing (and another possible post to share with you soon as well).

Halloween was stormy and rainy, but still so much fun.  We passed out candy at home and had a blast.  Sam had no idea what was going on, but spending time with the neighbors was super special.  We also remembered our daughters on Pregnancy Loss and Remembrance Day.  We didn’t go to a balloon launch like we have the past two years, and instead just spent the evening at home.

Sam is 6 months old this month.  He is such a sweetheart.  He’s still not crawling, but he is mobile.  He loves to roll to places and grabs or explores everything within reach.  And he has begun talking nonstop, still just babble, but it is starting to sound like actual words.  He also plays really well on his own.  He will be talking and laughing on his activity mat.  When I say something, he looks up a bit startled like he was in his own world and forgot I was there.  Signs of an introvert, maybe?

But now on to November.

anticipation

  • Reading and Writing.  So, I’m still going to be reading a few books this month, but considering the holidays are soon here, I’m not going to attempt much.  I’m also going to try the Nanowrimo this year.  I’m not expecting to finish a novel, but I want to get into the creative habit of writing, not just journaling and blogging that I normally do.
  • Upgrades and Purges.  I’m going to try to purge more stuff from the house.  I have quite a bit of momentum right now, so I’m hoping that will continue through the month.  I need to actually bring things to donation centers.  The boxes and bags are starting to pile.  In addition to that, with all the purging, I’m doing a few furniture upgrades (like I mentioned above).  I’m hoping to finish this part of it in the next week or so before the holidays and hosting start happening.  I’ve got a deadline!
  • Thanksgiving.  This holiday is probably the hardest of all the holidays for me.  It’s when my first daughter was stillborn and when my second daughter and my first miscarriage were due.  I don’t know how I’m going to be this month, and being busy with all the projects is probably part of my coping mechanism.  On the other hand, Sam will be eating solids by this holiday, so I’m excited to see what he wants to taste, what he will love and what he won’t.  It will be up and down for sure.

Hope everyone has a great November!

What are you anticipating?

 

 

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Anticipating October

I know these next three months are going to fly by!  With the holidays and family time, I am really excited about the coming end of the year.  But first, a look back on September.

I got so many books this last month, enough to fill my monthly TBR list for several months to come (and I even have more coming in this month, though not quite as many).  I’ve really enjoyed reading a lot this month.  I’ve already shared my reviews on Kathy Khang’s Raise Your Voice as well as the second book of the Archived Series by Victoria Schwab, and I will be sharing more reviews this month from books I read in September.

I have filled a donation box of things from my kitchen.  I have another big pile of clothes to donate as well.  It feels good to purge in the Fall.  I haven’t really worked on the home decor or holiday decor yet, but it’s coming.  I did switch out our duvet cover and the placemats in the kitchen to signify the beginning of Fall.  I really like the little traditions I do each year.

The Walk for Alzheimer’s also happened this past month.  We weren’t there very long, though.  It’s the first year that none of our family finished the walk due to the rain.  At first, it was just a sprinkle, but by the time we got back to the car, it was pouring down rain.  Not really the experience we anticipated, but we hope to continue this tradition for many years to come.  There will be other walks that won’t be so wet.

Sam is 5 months old this month.  He can roll onto his stomach and push himself up.  He’s even very recently started to move around on his stomach but not quite crawling.  It will come soon enough!  He is also babbling quite a bit, but no real words just yet.  I know we are on the cusp of some new developments, and I just wanted to write down this moment before everything really starts to happen.

But now on to October.

anticipation

  • Books, books and more books.  I have seven books in my TBR this month, and I really hope to get to all of them.  I managed to read five books last month which is huge considering at the beginning of the year I could maybe eek out three.  Of course, I also have a few books coming in this month as preorders.
  • Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness.  October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, with the 15th being the actual Remembrance day.  I don’t think we will be participating like we have in years past, but I’m hoping to have a few things here and there to remember our daughters.
  • Halloween.  Technically, we have had a few holidays already with Sam here, but I just feel like Halloween is the first real holiday he will experience and be slightly aware.  He won’t remember it, I know, but he is more aware and that is just fun.

Let’s bring on October!

Anticipating September

I remarked to Michael this past weekend how quickly this year is coming to an end.  Only four more months!  Still, there is so much left to anticipate.  But first, a look back.

The month ended with a week of contemplation over my second daughter.  I attended a memorial for another little girl who passed away.  The memorial was close to my own anniversary which only emphasized the reality of it all.  Losing babies is painful and overwhelmingly so, but I do have hope and take comfort in the fact that there is more beyond this life, and our family will be together again one day.

Sam is now four months old.  I’m completely blown away that I get to watch this little boy grow and learn every day.  We had our first small fever/cold this month.  As much as I didn’t like the fact that he felt crummy, I did slightly enjoy the extra snuggles (I was also a little under the weather so it was a lot of nursing and napping those days).  He has gotten quite a bit more talkative, though only in his own babble language, and Michael and I expect he will be scooting/crawling or sitting up on his own any day now.

Again, I didn’t get very far with the blog organization.  Between Sam and being sick and just life in general, I actually didn’t spend a whole lot of time in front of the computer.  So, I think I’m going to put it on the back burner for a while, maybe try again in a few months or the beginning of next year.

I have, however, been doing a lot of purging, especially in my kitchen.  I’m getting rid of any gadget or item that I haven’t used in 5+ years.  It really feels good to declutter.

anticipation

  • Books, books and more books.  September is National Literacy Month, but it’s also the time when quite a few of my preorders are coming in.  Plus, I have a few other books on order as well.  And I have a challenging TBR (To Be Read) list this month, but last month I completed five books (the most in a long time), so I’m hoping to continue the momentum.
  • Purging and Moving Into Fall.  While I continue my book binge, I also want to continue purging other areas of my home (maybe finish the kitchen!).  One way I do that is I will be packing up my summer clothes and pulling out the fall clothes.  This is the perfect time to go through both sets of clothes and get rid of things that don’t fit or flatter.  I also plan to purge home and holiday decor as well.
  • Walking for Alzheimer’s.  This month, we also plan to fundraise for our Walk to End Alzheimers.  We have been doing this for over 10 years now in honor of my great grandmother and Michael’s dad.  I have a personal goal of $300, but I don’t know if I will actually reach that since I’ve started so late on the fundraising.  We shall see!  I will probably write more about that later this month.

Even though I didn’t get to accomplish everything I anticipated this month, I still feel like I came out alright.  My number one priority that I anticipate each month is to be a mama to my son, so anything extra is just icing.

Anticipating August

The first day of August.  I can’t believe it’s already been three months since we brought our little boy home.  Here’s a look back before we look forward.

We did visit with family during the 4th of July holiday, which I wrote about here.  It was good to see everyone and to introduce our son to his grandfather.  Also, my mom came for a visit one weekend.  It was so nice to see her.  She was here when Sam was born but hasn’t been back until now.  I was excited for Sam to show her all the things he has learned since she has been away.  I look forward to more family visits in the months to come.

We did celebrate a few family birthdays, including my husband.  All my husband wanted to do was work on his aquarium shed in the backyard.  The electricity and A/C have been installed and he’s currently working on lighting.  It’s really neat to see it all coming together.  Perhaps I will convince him to show you some finished pictures once the major parts of the project are complete.

Sam is continuing to grow up.  He can lift himself completely on his tummy now.  He loves playing on his activity mat.  And he has started cooing more consistently, especially on the changing table.  He seems so happy getting his diaper changed, but I mean, who wouldn’t?

While I have been blogging more consistently this month and have a schedule now in place, I haven’t really been able to organize the posts yet.  Instead, I’ve been working on finding a rhythm to my days.  Basically, each day I have a focus and a few things to do.  I might write about this later after I have been working with it for a while.  But I hope to use these rhythms to find time to focus on my blog organization.

So now, a look into August.
anticipation

  • Remembering Our Daughter.  Our second daughter passed away at the end of this month two years ago.  This will be the first death anniversary since our son was born, so I’m warily anticipating this event.
  • Celebrating milestones.  We also have a few birthdays this month as well in our family, which we will be celebrating long distance.  However, if this past month was any indication, I have a feeling that Sam will continue meeting milestones in this coming month as well.
  • Blogging and Organizing.  I did technically say this was a two-month project, so I’m keeping this up here.  Now that I have a little bit of a rhythm and slightly more predictability in my week, I’m hoping I can turn my focus to this project.

Even though I have these projects that I want to work on, I am very much aware that the continual changes the baby brings will be the most important priority.  As I’ve said in months past, if we just get through the month relatively unscathed, I will be happy for sure!

Anticipating July

Happy 4th of July!  The end of the month crept up on me.  I know I say this all the time, but I didn’t even realize that July happens so soon!  Where does the time go?  First, a look back on the month of June.

The blog is back.  I have been slowly writing each week during Sam’s nap times, which end unpredictably so I’m giving myself grace if I don’t get a blog completed (and celebrate when I manage to write two or three in a row!).  I’m trying to get into a rhythm as well, especially with what posts go up on what days.  I haven’t completely settled on it yet, but it’s coming together nicely.

Other things that happened this month include my birthday and a baby shower for Sam.  I really cannot state enough the gratitude I have for my family and my community.  Sam is so, so loved, and I am so honored and humbled to get to be his mom.

He has had some milestones as well.  He now makes eye contact regularly.  And, the best part, he has started smiling, laughing, and cooing.  He loves to play on his activity mat and stare out windows or at windows (he loves the light!).  Breastfeeding is so much easier now and he sleeps pretty well, at least 3 hours at a time at night and a few naps during the day.  He still has his fussy days, but he’s a pretty chill baby most of the time.

And I did manage to go through some of my clothes this past month.  I cleaned out my drawers of very old and worn out clothes, and I have started a pile in the closet of clothes to donate.  Clothes that I haven’t worn in a couple years or that really just don’t fit or flatter me.

My body has changed after Sam, and while I do exercise every day (we take our stroller walks and I do a brief yoga practice while he plays on his activity mat), I’m embracing the body I am in.  It’s not the slim body I had in college.  It’s been on a rollercoaster these last five years, and honestly, it shows.  But that’s okay.  My focus is on getting strong and healthy, not losing weight.  It helps that so many of you have told me that I am looking great (you really encourage this mama!).  But also, I need to find the clothes that are for me, that fit well and that I enjoy wearing.  So, this purge was a letting go of the old and the past and I will be slowly adding pieces that are an embrace of the present me.

So now, a look into July.
anticipation

  • Visiting with Family.  This month, we are going to have our first road trip with the little one.  Michael’s dad, who has Alzheimer’s disease, isn’t able to travel anymore.  We waited until this month so Sam could be a bit older, and I was completely recovered before we made the trek.  We are excited for him to meet his grandson!
  • Celebrating milestones.  We also have a lot of family birthdays this month (including my husband).  But also, Sam continues to grow.  I can’t believe he will be 2 months this month, working towards his 3rd!  It is true that the time flies, but I’m soaking up every minute of it.
  • Blogging and Organizing.  I’m going to continue working on my blog this month.  I really want to organize the posts to make it easier to navigate.  I realize that I write about a couple very different topics, so I want to make it easier to find things without wading through a hodgepodge.  This may be a two-month project (or longer) but I’m hoping to begin really working on it this month.

So we survived June and racing full speed into July.  Again, just like last month, if nothing else gets done but that we get through our days (and nights) relatively unscathed, I will be happy!

Anticipating June

Hello everyone!  It has been one wild and crazy month in our house.  But I thought it only appropriate to look back before looking ahead.

Our son arrived.  It was a pretty straightforward induction and birth.  I’m very grateful for that.  Of course, we are overjoyed and overwhelmed with the arrival of our Sam.  You may notice that we aren’t sharing too many pictures or information about him.  Right now, we are wanting to limit the online exposure of our little one.  This has been a conversation between Michael and me for a while.  In fact, I even wrote a blog post about it during the pregnancy of my first daughter.

Of course, my perspective has changed a bit from that post.  After losing my two girls and getting involved in the pregnancy loss community, I share more than I would have back then.  And I do this on purpose.  I want to provide a window into pregnancy loss, even if it’s not everyone’s experience.  And let those going through it know that they aren’t alone.  It was one of the reasons I made the pregnancy updates purposefully open about my anxiety and struggles during this pregnancy (other than just being a fun way to keep my friends and family in the know).

But Michael and I have chosen for the time being to keep Sam off the internet, especially considering my blog is public.  I’m sure he will make a cameo here and there on my blog, but it will be in a limited capacity.  Everyone has been so understanding about this so far, and I am incredibly grateful.

As far as new rhythms that I anticipated in May, that was quite the understatement.  It sometimes feels like a new rhythm every day, or even every 12 hours.  It’s definitely a challenging adjustment, especially for someone who prefers the planned and predictable, but I have an incredible group of people supporting me and encouraging me daily.  Plus, I have the most incredible husband who has been so patient and sacrificed so much.  Words just can’t describe how amazing he is.

So now, a look into June.
anticipation

  • Getting back to the blog.  It’s going to be a slow comeback.  Maybe a blog post or two a week for a bit.  But I’m excited to get back into it.  I don’t think this will happen this month, but I want to reorganize my blog for easy navigating, maybe change up the About me.  I also am thinking about some things I want to do with social media as well.  I’m definitely anticipating some fun with the blog in the coming months!
  • Celebrating milestones.  This is my birthday month, and I have no idea how I want to celebrate it.  But I know it will involve my two favorite guys.  But in addition to this are the milestones Sam will reach as well.  So far, he can make eye contact pretty regularly and he is getting more neck control each week.  I’m looking forward to seeing what else this little human will accomplish in the following month.
  • Nesting purges.  I don’t know if it’s leftover nesting instincts or the numerous things we have gotten/purchased for the baby, but I have had this overwhelming desire to purge other parts of my house.  Primarily my closet, but also possibly other parts of the house as well.  I don’t know if I will get much done about this during this particular month, but I know I will want to get started at least!

Of course, the main thing I anticipate this month is to continue and complete physical recovery from having the baby and spending time with that baby.  If nothing else gets done but that we survive the month, I will be happy!

Anticipating May

The last month of the Spring season is here, and so many other things I’ve been waiting for.  But first, a look back at April.

The pregnancy has been moving right along this month, thankfully without any more trips to the hospital!  The baby has grown to over 6 pounds, and everything seems to be going well.  My anxiety definitely has heightened, despite the pretty easy month.  But I continue taking it one day at a time.

I did get some reading done this month.  I managed to complete 4 books, which is the most I’ve been able to do all year.  The book binge is still going strong after the slump of March.  It’s been a nice and needed distraction from the anxiety of the pregnancy.  I’ve also been perusing a few pregnancy/baby books in preparation for the impending arrival of the boy.

And I did manage to complete a lot of organizing projects for the baby and the nursery this month, despite my heightened anxiety.  The nursery seems as ready as it’s going to be.  And the registry should be up after the baby arrives for whatever sip and see will be scheduled after his arrival.

Now, onto the month of May!

anticipation

  • The arrival of my son.  We are nearing the actual due date of our boy, which is Mother’s Day, however, I’m pretty sure he’s going to come before then.  My nerves are very raw and there are still some impending concerns and issues that could arise (as with all pregnancies and deliveries).  I’m anticipating (and praying for) a smooth labor and a healthy arrival of this sweet guy.
  • Some time off.  I will be talking about this more in an upcoming video, but the plan is to take a small hiatus this month after the arrival of our son from blogging and social media.  With family coming in and the transitions and chaos of a newborn, I just know taking a break will be beneficial for me.
  • New Rhythms.  I know that no matter how everything will go this month, there will be some definite changes in our life.  And that will probably be the most consistent thing in our life – change.  If I’ve learned anything from my friends, doctors, and family it’s that I should expect to feel lost and hopeless and overwhelmed for quite a while.  But that it all will be worth it.  

I’m still not out of the woods yet.  And I’m, again, cautiously anticipating the arrival of this little boy and this new facet of motherhood.  But I just have to remind myself that I’m not alone in this journey.  Not only do I have amazing doctors, supportive family, and an incredible husband, but I have an all-knowing, all-powerful God by my side every step of the way.