30 March 2015

Miss Mara

Just a few recent phone photos of this little lady as she heads towards her fourth birthday!
Three is a challenging age at times but in between the tough spots is this sweet smile and I just love her to pieces. She's a special one for sure.

Hello Third Trimester... Goodbye Feet!

My third trimester has finally arrived ... woo-hoo! 
The final stretch (and the longest stretch) has begun... I am hoping it flies by quickly (riiighhhtt!!!) :) 

I have been horrible about photographing my belly this pregnancy... the girls have way more photos from my pregnancies which each of them. Oh well! I am contemplating having some maternity photos taken in the next few weeks... not because I have any desire to get in front of the camera but because they might be special for my kiddos to look back on. And, this is likely my last pregnancy so it might be fun to do that. Stay tuned! 

I am getting so excited to meet this baby... to hold him and see what he looks like.  We have decided to name him Aiden Sean which we both really love and I think it will fit him perfectly. It means "warm little fire" which I am certain he will be. And having his dad's name as his middle name is so special as his dad is very excited for him and I know these two are going to be pretty tight. 

It's been a long pregnancy. And a much different pregnancy emotionally than any of my others. I am ready to be done... ready to move forward from this phase. I am ready to complete this journey. To put to rest these last two pregnancies. I want to love on this little guy and enjoy my girls and in a way, return to my life. This past year has been an unbelievable mixture of feeling - heartbreak, disbelief, disappointment, chronic sadness, mild depression at times and mixed in with all of that I have felt hopeful and excited and ready to move forward. Hard to fully explain but in the end... it's been a long road and I just pray I have a safe and healthy end to my pregnancy and that with little fanfare or complication, I will get to meet this little one. 

Physically, its been a completely uncomplicated pregnancy which I am grateful for. Other than feeling like the main character in Alien, there isn't too much to report. All the usual pregnancy stuff - normal weight gain, back pain (thank you Sean for the almost nightly back rubs!!!), a little swelling...  and lots of baby movement which I always love and am kind of enamored by. This little guy is riding LOW in my belly, much lower than the girls so I pee about 30 times a day which is pretty neat. ;) Pregnancy is a trip that's for sure but every time, I do feel grateful to experience it and I am going to attempt to just patiently sit tight for the next two months while we wait for this little goose to finish cooking! 

 29 weeks (7 months) along

23 March 2015

Trip to Helena

This post is a little out of order but I wanted to make sure I included it.
I took a quick two-day trip to Helena last month to visit my cousin Rachael and her sweet family.
Rachael had her second baby girl in November and I had not yet met sweet Aubrey so I wanted to do that before I get super busy here in the next few months with my own new baby.

It was a super relaxing and fun couple of days - we spent lots of time visiting and catching up (and shopping and getting lonnnggg pedicures!). I also got to see some of my other family members that live in Helena. I really love Rachael and Bob and I SO wish we lived closer!!

Rach and I (24 weeks pregnant here!)
 Bad selfie... 
My cousin Taylor also lives in Helena and goes to Carroll College - great to have dinner with her and catch up! 

While I was there, I took some family photos for Rachael and Bob... here are a few of my favorites! 
A few shots of my wonderful Aunt Judy and Uncle Bill too - two of my absolute favorite people in our family! 

Life with Cooper

Cooper has been with us now for close to three months!
We have grown to really love him and Sean and I both agree, he is a great dog! It has definitely taken me these past two months to get used to him and the new responsibilities he brings but I feel like I am getting into a good routine with him now. Bringing a dog into the family isn't entirely unlike bringing a baby into the family - shakes things up a bit but then you find your new normal. I am glad we decided to get him before the baby came as I think he will be in a really great place training-wise by June. He is 7 months old now and has gained 10 lbs since we got him. He's a big boy but he recently got groomed and we were surprised at how small he looks with all of that hair shaved off. Maybe he won't be as big as we thought.... we'll see! :)

Having said all of that, he is definitely a dog... or more specifically, a puppy. Therefore, he has a few frustrating behaviors that we are working to correct and patiently (or more realistically, impatiently waiting for him to outgrow!).

Things we love about Coop:
- he is great with the girls, sooo patient especially with Mara who loves to lay all over him
- he has a very sweet disposition, loves to be petted, play fetch and tug of war with Sean
- love, love, LOVES other dogs ... he goes to a doggy daycare once or twice a week for a few hours so he can get some social dog interaction (plus it gives me a break and wears him out nicely!)
- he is 95% potty-trained... he rarely has accidents now. Woo-hoo!

Things we DON'T love about Coop:
- he is slowly but surely destroying our yard
- he loves to "counter surf"... when we aren't looking he puts his paws up on the counter and eats whatever (and I mean whatever) may be sitting there
- he chronically eats weird stuff - socks, crayons, hair bands, etc. So far we have been lucky in that he has digested all of these weird items but I anticipate some sort of a surgery in his future. Sean has already signed us up for pet insurance... LOL.

We have been working with a trainer the past few months and she has given us some helpful tips to correct some of the less favorable Cooper qualities including the use of a remote collar for the yard. We will be trying that out this week - stay tuned! :)

A few recent photos of Cooper and the girls!

Before his haircut 
 After his haircut... looking 10 lbs thinner and two years younger. 
Wish that happened to me when I got a haircut! 

 Pretty typical interaction between Cooper and Max. Cooper loves Max and wants to play. 
Max thinks Cooper is hugely annoying and far, far "beneath him" in social stature. Typical cat.  

Mara's Special Day and 3's Class Photos

Mara got to celebrate her "special day" a few weeks ago in her 3's preschool class.
Ms. Rona, her teacher, gave her a special necklace and book and all of her friends made her a special picture which Ms. Rona put in a little book for her. We brought a special snack to share and it was a fun morning. Typically special days coincide with the kids' birthdays but since she has a summer birthday, we just scheduled hers in March. Kennedy loved her special day in Ms. Rona's class too and still wears her necklace sometimes. I just love our preschool, we have made such great memories there!

Things I want to remember about Mara in the 3's class:
- she is pretty shy, not very vocal in class
- follows directions well
- when she is the center of attention or nervous, she sticks her tongue out (see photos below) :)
- loves all of her friends in class but particularly Mckenna and Adam
- like her sister, she spends a lot of time at the snack table

The 3's class also had a recent visit from the Browns Point Fire Department. They come every year and the kids always love it (the moms do too... firefighters are typically pretty nice to look at, ha!). 
And lastly, I wanted to include a few photos from the class Valentine's Party back in February!