Friday, September 27, 2013

19 Weeks

How far along? 19 weeks

Total weight gain: 2 pounds

Maternity clothes? Just moving to my more comfortable clothes.

Stretch marks? No new ones

Sleep: Pretty good. Having a hard time falling asleep this week, but that's just me not calming down enough before bed.

Best moment of the week: Finding out that we are having a boy!

Miss anything? Skinny jeans.

Number of times I get up to pee at night: once to none still.

Movement: When I sit for breaks he moves like crazy! Big kicks and rolls. We watch my belly bounce around in the evenings.

Food Cravings: I really like avocados and tomatoes with organic chips to dip. Wouldn't call it a craving though. I have noticed that I like tomatoes and orange juice with this pregnancy.

Anything making you queasy or sick: No, but I don't like fast foods or too many sweets.

Gender prediction: It's a boy!

Labor signs: No

Symptoms: Sore boobs when i've cooped them up in a bra for too long. I only where a certain kind of sports bra now. All others make me very mad haha.

Belly button in or out? In... for now.

Wedding rings on or off? On

Happy or moody most of the time? Very happy!

Looking forward to: everything! I am so excited to meet him. I'm dreaming of those long nights and cuddles and nursing sessions. I don't know, I didn't find it exhausting or overwhelming with Mackynzie, and I don't think I will with him. I ride a really long baby high. Lasted an entire year with Mackynzie and I can feel it brewing already with my sweet boy!

 So as you guys know, on the 24th(sept) we went for our 18-20 week ultrasound (Our last one unless otherwise needed.) It was Tuesday, so by dates we were going by, I was 19 weeks 0 days. After the ultrasound she told me I was actually measuring 19 weeks 4 days (which would make me 20 weeks today, Friday.)  I will wait until my midwife appointment next week to see if we will change the guess date. If we do, which I think I will choose to, our guess date will be valentines day. Which is funny, because I have had this feeling that he will be a valentine's baby... I don't know, Mackynzie was born on Cody's birthday. Seems fitting that this one would choose a holiday as well ;)

 So 19 and 20 weeks might not look too different since i'll be taking the photos closer together until we know which date to judge weeks by. That would mean I'm five months pregnant! Holy smokes. Half way there!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Gender Reveal!

 We had our ultrasound today, and found out if this little one is a boy or a girl!

Instagram and facebook got a teaser picture...

It's a........

And then we gave them the news.








We told our family with an ultrasound photo in a blue frame

I will take video the right way eventually haha...

We are so incredibly excited! We were so unsure so it was such a surprise this time! We can't believe how blessed we are to have a girl and now a boy! Thank you all for your kind words, we can't wait to meet this little guy! 


- All Four Millers!

Friday, September 20, 2013

A chocolaty toast to fall

 This morning I checked the weather before getting us dressed like I always do, and shrugged at the 23 degree (Celsius) expected high, figuring I should accept and enjoy what would probably the last above 20 day of the year.

 We pulled on our clothes (still pants because, come on, we do live in Alberta.) and I stepped outside to check how the temperature felt before our walk. To my surprise, I was met by a cool breeze and a perfectly familiar crispness to the air. I returned inside and pulled out our unused fuzzy sweaters, happy to be comforted by long sleeves and fluffy sweater linings. Mackynzie tucked her babies into their stroller and we headed out together for our morning walk.

 Mackynzie kept saying "Oh, mama it's just a beautiful day!" and as I breathed in that fresh air, I just smiled and told her how right she was.

 It must have been that big, beautiful harvest moon last night. I hope you all got the chance to soak it in wherever you are. It was stunning. I stared at the moon the whole way home from a family dinner in the city last night, and something in me just told me that not only was this moon marking a change of season, it was also marking a change in our lives. I felt that change when I woke up this morning too. It was in my very core. I can't say exactly what it is, but I think it's just a general time for our family to be moving along in our life. There are celebrations of many ahead, a new little soul joining our family, and a lot of first's and last's.

 I love fall so much. Not just fall, though. I think I love the fact that it's the beginning of my favorite times of year. The season itself is warm and inviting, and it just becomes more so as the weather grows colder and the snow begins to fall. To me, this shift means closeness. Overwhelming happiness and being extremely grateful for all the blessings we hold. It means the tightening of relationships, the making of new friendships, and a time filled with peaceful evenings with those we love.

 So, my friends, I'm raising my warm mug of peppermint hot cocoa to you. Cheers! I hope you are all feeling warm and blessed in your lives, and that you have a beautiful changing of seasons.


We ended our day with warm cookies mackynzie and I baked,  and cold glasses of {almond} milk. Cookie grins all around.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Boy or girl? Take a guess!

 We are finding out bright and early Tuesday morning. Throw in your guess if you haven't already!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

18 Weeks

Our sweet potato was far too big to be accurate, so I chose not to hold it haha.  I have to say, these photos are hard, because I always look so tired. We take them at like 8 or 9 at night, so I am! I'm including some funny bloopers at the end this week, enjoy!

How far along? 18 weeks, 1 day.

Total weight gain: Unsure, but I wouldn't be surprised at a pound or two.

Maternity clothes? No, but comfier clothes for sure!

Stretch marks? No new ones

Sleep: Good! I had weird zombie ish dreams last night though haha

Best moment of the week: Probably just getting to feel baby more in general. I had a couple really connecting moments this week too, which was really special.

Miss anything? Not that I can think of.

Number of times I get up to pee at night: no change. once to none. I pee every 15 minutes during the day though!

Movement: Yes! The anterior placenta definitely muffles things though. I felt around my belly (on the top) so I was feeling the top of my uterus and I was able to feel baby moving like crazy!

Food Cravings: Not really cravings. The weather makes me enjoy hot drinks a lot though. I may have been treating myself to a hot chocolate almost every evening this week...

Anything making you queasy or sick: No not really. Though, I don't enjoy thinking too much about foods while I eat them.

Gender prediction: No idea. Part of me is certain it's a girl, and another believes it's a boy. I guess it depends on which moment you catch me at!

Labor signs: No

Symptoms: None that are popping up in my mind right now. This baby really keeps me in check though! I get extremely uncomfortable if I've been moving too much, or haven't drank enough water, or ate too much sugary things.

Belly button in or out? In, but I have one little nub in my belly button that's poking out now. Won't be long!

Wedding rings on or off? On. No finger swelling yet. I actually have a hard time keeping my rings on in winter due to cold, shrinking fingers, so maybe it will balance out?

Happy or moody most of the time? Happy!

Looking forward to: Finding out if this little one is a boy or a girl! Only 5 days!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

17 Weeks

How far along? 17 Weeks, 3 days

Total weight gain: Let's call it two pounds. I can vary up to 4 or 5 pounds in a day sometimes. But the past couple times I hop on the scale i've been 132.

Maternity clothes? just wearing slightly bigger pants. I'm stubborn and refuse to buy maternity clothing.

Stretch marks? No new ones.

Sleep:  Good! No complaints here :)

Best moment of the week: My midwife appointment yesterday. I freaking LOVE my midwife. I left feeling calm and confident and just very content.

Miss anything? Nope!

Number of times I get up to pee at night: None to once per night.

Movement: Baby is very chill and relaxed, but when I settle down he/she moves around. Especially in the evening.

Food Cravings: No craving yet, really. I don't get cravings! Sometimes I want something more than something else, but that's about as far as I get.

Anything making you queasy or sick: No, not that I have run into yet. Don't care for sweets much, and ice cream is very unappealing.

Gender prediction: This week, I'm going to go with everyone else and say boy... Maybe.

Labor signs: No

Symptoms: had a couple small headaches this week, but thinking they were more from not drinking enough water that day.

Belly button in or out? In

Wedding rings on or off? On

Happy or moody most of the time? Happy!

Looking forward to:  I booked our gender ultrasound! We find out in less than 2 weeks so I'm super excited for that.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Ask Me Anything: You asked, I answered

 There have been a lot of '20 things about me' and things like that being passed around instagram. I wanted to participate, but thought having an ask and answer on the blog would be tons of fun!

  I really want to share more about myself, open up more, but with not really knowing where to start, this seemed like the perfect thing. You guys asked great questions! Thank you so much. Some questions are related, so I'll group them together so that it's not confusing. But enough jabbering, let's get to the questions.

1. What's a typical day for you and your family?  
  This one is actually sort of difficult for me to answer. Since living here, especially over the summer, we are just not functioning like we normally do. It's hard. But I guess right now, a typical week day with Mackynzie and I would go something like this: Morning- Cody heads to work just before 7am, Mackynzie and I get up and make and eat breakfast together. We chat and do a small activity like coloring (mellow for my morning brain.). After we tidy up, and get ready for our day. That might mean showers too, but just general bathroom stuff, get dressed etc. If we have plans for the day, this is when we typically head out. Typical things we do are: Head to the city with a friend, have a play date, I host (will be hosting more frequently now that summer is over.) a weekly natural parenting play group, we started weekly music class, trip to the library, and if we don't have anything planed we usually head out  for our hour+ dog walk. Then it's lunch time, so we make lunch together and talk about afternoon plans. If we don't have anything planned, our afternoons are spent crafting, playing outside, cleaning house, possibly a nap but probably not, reading, sometimes we cook a big dinner, that sort of thing. Evenings are pretty standard no matter where we live: I start dinner, Mackynzie helps or plays on her own or I set up a simple craft. Cody comes home at 6pm and we eat together. Someone cleans up dinner mess, and the other bathes and readies Mackynzie for bed. We read stories if she's not too tired and so long as she hasn't had a nap, she falls asleep quickly. With Mackynzie asleep between 6:30 and 7:30, Cody and I then have the evening to do what we want! Usually its spending time together of some sort: watching a movie, catching up on tv shows, talking, playing a game, etc. Some nights we break off early to do our own thing. I usually go to bet around 10 (trying to make that earlier.) and him about 12am. 
 Haha, we are really not very exciting.

2. What is a typical weekend like for you guys?

 A weekend for us is fun time. Cody has weekends off, so we are always super excited for the weekend to come. Cody and I usually do some couch snuggling on Friday nights, and watch any movies we have been wanting to see. We make impromptu plans or discuss the next days activities. Some weekends we go to the city for shopping, or a fun activity like the zoo. We usually have things we want to grab from the city anyway, so we spend a day doing those and then having a meal, or doing something we enjoy as well.  
 When we stay in town, we spend Saturdays running errands like grocery shopping as a family and such. We might stop for Saturday morning donuts at our local bakery or grab lunch together afterwards.  Basically Saturday is our big activity day. 
Sundays, we either relax at home, spending the day enjoying each other and having a true 'day off', or there are sometimes family or friend functions happening. Family dinners, birthdays, anniversaries etc. 

3. How is your family's relationship with the extended family?

I'm unsure if this one is refering directly to me or both Cody and I, so ill do my best. Our relationship with extended family is good. His family is small and fairly close, so we see them all a lot. They live differently than us and they don't really get together or visit each other super often. We all live in the same town so that has some to do with it. I don't know how to explain it, I guess his side is just not traditional tight knit. Living with the inlaws has definitely been a challenge and has both helped and hindered different relationships. There really is no family involvement on my side at this time.

4. I remember reading that you have a bad relationship with your parents. Do they have a relationship with your daughter?
**Edited. I didn't like how cold this came across and felt it gave the wrong idea. **

Ya I didn't grow up with my parents, and I reconnected with them and my family in 2009 over the summer. I went to visit them and then we kept in contact with phone calls and such afterwards. 3 days after Mackynzie was born we stopped talking. It's hard to explain it all because its really not a black and white situation. Basically the life choices some of them were making wasn't something Cody and I were comfortable with for our new family. Cody and I decided it would be best for our new family if we discontinued contact. We had all just 'met' and it was confusing and messy. It was more stressful than it was beneficial at that point. I needed to focus on my new family and the new life I held.

  Last month, 3 years later, I contacted my mom again for some medical information, and also to see if there was a chance for a relationship or if things remained the same. I felt I was at a point in my life where I wanted to involve some family should it work for everyone, and that I was in a place where I wouldn't have hopes that couldn't/wouldn't be met. I also have changed so much in these 3 years and now am a wife and mother. A woman. I felt the protectiveness over my family would keep me in the right frame of mind for possibly reconnecting. Guarding my heart a bit from diving in too hard. So far, it's been good. We talk on the phone once or twice per week, and I'm basically just telling her who I am and about us. They received one photo of Mackynzie when she was born, but have never met her or anything. Mackynzie is aware that I have a mom and dad, but as far as how involved my family is in her life, they are currently not. Mackynzie has a meme and papa (codys mom and dad, plus of course his other family) and that's all that is for right now, in this moment. 
I'm taking the relationship with my mom(and dad) slow right now. I don't have expectations, just seeing where it goes. I'm open to having a relationship, but again, it will have to be slow as Cody is very hesitant. He still holds a lot of anger/frustration over how things happened and why we stopped speaking to them. So whether they will meet our kids/ what that relationship will look like is just a one step at a time and see where it goes thing. Again, this is much more complicated than I could possibly answer in this little question space. I'm really enjoying talking with my mom. I can see us having a relationship and them being involved in our life and I'm really excited about that. You have to understand, that there is this indescribable bond I have with my mother. It was set in hard stone when I was a baby and grew it's roots into childhood. We never lost it. And years could pass between us (they have.) and we will always be able to pick that bond up where it was left for the most part. I want my parents in my life. I want my children to have two sets of grandparents, and I really hope that we can accomplish that together.

*i want to add my mom is super nice and sweet. I don't want that to make her sound mean or bad.

5. How old are you?

 I am 21. My birthday is January 14th.

6. How old is your husband?

 He is also 21, but will be 22 October 9th. 

7. What kind of job does Cody (husband) do? 

 Technical name? Cody is a sea can repair technician. Basically, he works on/with the big metal sea cans you see on the back of trains etc. They fix/maintain/move them and rent them out for storage, shipping, or even for building offices etc out of them. 

8. What was high school like for you?

High school was good. I guess. I don't really have anything to say about it either way ha! I went to a really good high school. I enjoyed theater and English and sometimes social studies. But I also hated some classes. 
You know, if I'm being honest high school was weird for me (especially 12th grade.) because I felt like I was wasting my time. I didn't want to do what everyone else did, and I wasn't interested in years of post secondary. 

9. Did you go to college?

No, I didn't. It wasn't for me. I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life and my heart told me I wasn't going to find meaningful happiness there. I followed that feeling and here I am, doing exactly what I have always wanted. If I choose to do something outside of motherhood, it will be something creative probably selling handmade items etc. I'm going to stick to what makes me happy! 

10. How old were you/how long ago was it when you met your husband?

We were 16 when we met! We have been together for 5 years. 

11. How did you meet your husband?

Cody and I met in school, he was in grade 12, I was in grade 11. We were in the same theater class, and ended up being cast as romantic roles in a play.

12. Was it love at first sight?

 It wasn't! We actually didn't like each other. He was an emo/scene kid and I was a preppy girl. We made judgments of each other before we met: I thought he was weird. He thought I was prissy. When we got cast in romantic roles (above question), we both tried to get out of it with no luck. We had to start spending time together rehearsing and going through lines. Shortly after I developed the silliest school-girl crush on him. I had never felt anything like it and kept asking myself what the heck I was thinking. I tried avoiding him for something like 2 weeks so that I could 'shake it off', but it was no use. I was hooked and had no idea why. We started hanging out more, flirting, and started dating 3 months after we met. The rest is... history ;)

13. Are you religious? What about Cody?

I'll answer Cody's first. He is not religious. He is an atheist. He is extremely kind and open minded to religion and other's beliefs though.
Me, summed up, no, i'm not. while I don't believe im totally atheist, I don't believe in the Catholicism version of god or organized religion.  (so maybe most people would say i'm atheist when put that way.) I would say I am spiritual though. I don't follow a religion. I'm more higher power/mother nature/universe but in a casual way. This is hard to explain! Maybe this will help: My religion is being a good person. To be kind and live honestly and wholesomely. I believe in respecting and giving back to the earth and everything on it. I honor life and the earth we live on. To be true to myself and share what I have to give others. I pray, sort of. Every night, Mackynzie and I say a blessing. We bless our family, friends, health, happiness and express the things we are grateful for.
  I grew up religious, church 2-3 times per week and all of that. I was raised christian, but once I was left to discover what *I* believed, I came to my decision (which still grows as I do!) Of course, I respect everyone and their beliefs. I don't take into account religious beliefs when I have a relationship with a person because it doesn't matter!

14. Do you sew or scrapbook?

I sew, but by no means am I great at it! I really love to craft and make things. Finding time for all my hobbies is a challenge though! I would love to add doing photo albums to the list before baby comes, but we will see if that happens. I make a lot of stuff for the house and for Christmas gifts etc.

15. Is Rainbow you'r real name, or just a nick name?

Rainbow is my real name. On my birth certificate. Totally serious.  My full name is Rainbow Harvest Rose.

16. What is the meaning behind your name/ why did your parents name you Rainbow?

After my sister was born, my mom was told she wasn't able to have anymore children (complications + c-sections etc). Years later, she had a dream. In that dream, god came to her and told her he was giving her another child. A daughter. She saw my face and what I would look like in that dream as well. Soon after, she found out she was pregnant with me. She named me Rainbow because it means 'promise of god'.

17. How long have you been growing your hair out?

3 years. I chopped it all off *just before I found out I was pregnant with Mackynzie. I'll even show you a grainy picture! since then I've had a few trims but never took any more that 2-3 inches off.

18. What's your hair care routine?

Haha I would hardly call it a routine as I don't do much with it. I have natural curly/wavy hair, so it is fairly effortless. I don't wash my hair very often. Truth. I used to think that was gross until I learned that different types of hair/different body's need different hair washing (I shower though, not to worry.). I wash it 2 or 3 times per week (right now, because my hair is going through a summer to cold weather transition so it gets a bit weird.) with an organic shampoo. I was using the 'no poo' (no shampoo, natural ingredients instead) method for a few months, but for the second time it just didn't work for me so I switched back to normal. I don't brush my hair very often either. I try to remember to brush it before I wash it, but if I brush is anytime after it just becomes a frizzy mess. Every damn time. And since it bothers me to wear it up for too long right now, it needs to be tame. I wash  it, wrap it in a towel, get dressed etc, then I take it out part it, and walk away. Sometimes Ill need to put it in a messy bun 30 mins after for about an hour to kill frizz if it's forming. I braid my hair every night before I go to sleep. It keeps it away from my face, makes sure it doesn't get yanked by someone in their sleep, and maintains the wave/curl. Very occasionally ill use a fine mist of hair spray on the top to keep the swoosh from being crazy. Like I said though, my hair is extremely low maintenance. I think I'm going to make some sea salt spray to try though.

19. Do you have siblings?

 I do. I have a brother and a sister. We share a mom, but they have a different dad. I am blanking on exactly how far apart we are... 10 or 11 years I think.

20. Do they (siblings) have kids?

Yes, my sister has 3 children, and my brother has 1.

21. Do you (and siblings) get along?

Question 4 might help with this one. Honestly they don't know me and I don't know them, really. We know each other, but for example, they have no idea who I am as a person etc. They don't live close, and again different life choices.

22. Have you traveled abroad?

I haven't. Cody hasn't either. Honestly, neither of us have ever had a desire to do so. We are very content where we are haha. I guess I just never got bit with the travel bug.

23. What countries would you love to visit someday and why?

Hmm.. Probably Ireland. Or New Zealand.

24. What's your food regime? Are you vegetarian or vegan?

No, I am not vegetarian or vegan. Though I was vegan for a small period.

25. Are you following some sort of diet like paleo?

 Sort of. However, I do not and will never follow a diet; it's a lifestyle choice. I really believe in the basics and ideals of the paleo diet. I adopt those into my life, but also listen to what my body tells me. So I generally just use the term 'clean eating'. I really believe in the no grains of paleo, however I also believe that for my body, a Weston-A-Price approach works well. That meaning I eat some grains, but very limited and properly prepared, such as soaked oats and sprouted bread. Rice occasionally since it's not bad or good either way, really, organic corn when we can get it, and I enjoy legumes from time to time. dairy free for the most part as well. Oh, and we don't consume soy products either.

26. Why?

I knew food has changed through the years, and I wanted to get away from the plastic packaged crap. That led me to look into healthier ways to eat, which eventually led me to paleo. The ideals and entire way of life just struck a huge chord with me. It made the most sense out of all the other ways of eating for me, and my life was headed in a primal direction anyhow. I started the paleo diet when Mackynzie was about 4 or 5 months old, and started working out vigorously. I never felt healthier, stronger, more alert, or had more energy than I did when I was quite strictly paleo. Months later, I sort of fell off the wagon and decided to try out the vegan diet. I experimented with raw vegan too. In a nut shell, it wasn't and isn't for me and my body. I felt awful and my body did not react kindly to it. I'm glad I tried out different things to discover what works for me though. I found I needed some more fast forms of complex carbohydrates, so that's why I chose to bring organic soaked oats into the picture. Everything else (mentioned in 25) are occasional grains. I'm still working back towards very primal, since I fell off hard in the past half year (cooking in a kitchen that isn't yours is very challenging to say the least. Also 3 months of morning sickness throws healthy eating out the damn window!)
 I learned to listen to my body, and what felt right for me. healthy eating is extremely important to me.

We also allow ourselves one cheat meal per week should we want it.

27. Are you all eating the same in your family?

Yes. for the most part. Cody has a little bit of a harder time getting back in, and avoiding tempting lunches etc while at work. He is the pickiest eater I have ever met, but once he is in he does really well. He fully believes in paleo/ our way of eating to his core.  Mackynzie never knew anything else until she turned two and we started experimenting/falling off the wagon.

28. Do you like to cook?

 I really do. I can't say it's an extreme passion or anything, but I love feeding my family and myself nutritious food. It helps that it's just a natural reflex of sorts too. I just started cooking when I moved out and that was that.

29. What's your favorite vegetable?

 Tough one! I don't think I can choose just one haha. Right now probably baby tomatoes, cucumbers and avocados (although some of those are technically fruits haha.).

30. Do you have food items you normally wouldn't eat that you just can't resist now that your pregnant?

hmm.. not really. Funny, this pregnancy I feel more resistant to cave into bad foods. I have a horrendous sweet tooth, but this baby doesn't like that so I haven't had anything bad that I just 'gotta have'.

31. Do you like champagne or wine occasionally? Which is your favorite?

Honestly, i'm just not an alcohol person. Like at all. I don't like the taste, but occasionally (as in I had my first glass in 4 years this summer.) I will sip some wine or champagne. I prefer a white, sweet wine, and a sweeter champagne. I really hate bitter alcohol.

32. Why did you decide to share your story?

You know, I just sort of decided one day that I would start an online diary of sorts. To record my life to look back on later. Now, it's transitioned more into something I believe I can really bring to the table (If I can balance my time to give this space more attention.). I feel that as a young mother who practices natural living and parenting, I can be a different voice than you typically would hear online. We aren't your average young family, and I want to inspire women (no matter their age.) to choose a life that suits their family, and is also based on informed decisions. I feel a pull towards talking with other people and sharing my story.

33. Did you start with the blog and then turned to instagram, or the other way around?

I started with the blog, and then discovered instagram a year ago. I love that space, but do struggle with finding a balance between here and there.

34. Where do you live right now (Not in your own place?)?

 We are currently living with Cody's parents. We moved in December 1st.

35. Why?

It was a big decision, but we decided it was the perfect timing (while Mackynzie was young and there was only one child.) and it was a great opportunity for us. Originally it was to clear our debt, save money and house hunt. But we later decided we weren't interested in buying right now or in the place we currently live.  We are debt free now and have been able to buy many things we normally would not have, so it's been a blessing after all is said and done.

36. Do you know when you will move?

 We will be moving right after Christmas, around January 1st.

37. How long did you breastfeed your daughter?

 I'm still nursing her, though she is close to being done weaning herself.

38. Breastfeeding journey: What have you found to be the hardest part/most beautiful part of breastfeeding?

 Honestly, It's all been beautiful! To be able to nourish my daughter with just my body for her first year, and then share that bond through her stages of growing up has been an amazing experience. The things i have learned have been overwhelming. I would not be the mother I am today without breastfeeding!
 The hardest part, to my surprise, was this past half of a year. I think a lot has to do with us living here, and thus raising my stress level, but I've found my biggest challenges these past few months. Also It's been difficult lately because my nipples are freaking so sore! She will be done in her time though, and I know she still needs me and the nutrients she receives. (she had a random high 'flash fever' the other day, and i nursed her through it. It came on in the afternoon and broke around 2 in the morning. The next day I discovered I am no longer producing milk, but now lots of colostrum, so i'm happy I was able to help her fight her virus so quickly!)

39. Are you homeschooling?

Yes, we are.

40. What kind of outlines and theories do you have on homeschooling?

 I still have time to really dig into that, and I will be open and flexible to Mackynzie's lead. I do really love a lot of beliefs from Waldorf and Montessori education though. Although we 'unschool' in many ways, we don't feel that approach is quite right for our family and neither is very traditional homeschooling.

41. Are you still doing yoga, or have you taken time off due to pregnancy?

I am, but very lightly right now. When I'm pregnant, I go into this state of sorts. I am really tuned into my body and my baby. I'm taking it really easy because this baby really doesn't respond well if I push myself too much. I had to lay off everything for the first 3 full months. Now I'm feeling that slowly, I can ease back into yoga and mild body weight exercises.

42. How many children would you love to have?

Two! We thought one once we had Mackynzie (before birth it was more like 4.), but after her second birthday  and almost 6 months of serious discussions and soul searching, we decided we wanted to add one more to our family. We will be done after this baby.

43. How is your second pregnancy been different from your first?

I haven't really noticed that it has been any different physically. I'm gaining less weight because I'm not eating the crap I did the first time haha. mentally, this pregnancy is quite different because i'm completely relaxed. I'm just now starting to feel like i'm actually pregnant. I know what to expect, and at the same time with my personality, I carry almost no expectations and just go with the flow.  It's just really pleasant to be able to sit back and not have those first time mom worries in my head.
 The fact that this is my last pregnancy also makes it different because I'm more aware to soak up every single drop of it.

44. Do you feel more prepared, less or more worried, like it's going by a lot faster?

 Same amount of preparedness. I never felt unprepared with Mackynzie. I'm not worried at all, really, now that we know the 'scare' was nothing. It is going by more quickly though! Having a toddler does that, I think.

45. Do you want a boy or a girl?

 No preference at all! I'm just feeling extremely blessed that I get to love and grow two beautiful little people! Either would be lovely for their own reasons.

46. Do you have names picked out?

 I think we are getting there. Once we know what baby is that will help a lot! We have them narrowed down to just a couple on each side though.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

16 Weeks

 I forgot to take a chalkboard picture this week, Oops! So here is a bad mirror pic that will have to do! 

Baby is the size of an Avocado
How far along? 16 weeks 3 days

Total weight gain: Maybe 2 pounds? 

Maternity clothes? I pulled out my 'maternity pants' this week. I don't wear maternity clothes, but I have clothes from when I went shopping after Mackynzie was born (I was back to pre pregnancy weight, but lost more and toned up like crazy after starting workouts and going paleo.) so those should last me until we meet baby. 

Stretch marks? Nope, just the old ones.

Sleep: Good. Not much to complain about there. I sleep most comfortable on my right side though, so I hope that won't be an issue later. 

Best moment of the week: Cody got to feel the baby kick this week! Over the weekend baby started moving and kicking big enough for me to see and feel on the outside. Daddy put his hand on my belly and this little one gave two of it's biggest kicks yet! 

Miss anything? Nope.

Number of times I get up to pee at night: Once or none.

Movement: A good amount when I'm resting. This baby is very relaxed, though.

Food Cravings: Not really...

Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope, not right now.

Gender prediction: I'm still so torn. I think both for different reasons. Maybe my gut says girl. But then that makes me go "Well, maybe it's a boy.". Don't have to wait much longer to find out though!

Labor signs: No

Symptoms: Hips are getting better now. Need to go to the chiro. Some days i'm a little sleepy, but not many 'symptoms'.

Belly button in or out? In, but i'm thinking it's only a matter of time before it pops out!

Wedding rings on or off? On

Happy or moody most of the time? Happy, but I caught a mood swing or two this week.

Looking forward to: My midwife appointment on the 12th and finding out what we are having! 

15 Weeks

 Sorry for being late, I'm playing catch up after camping and a busy week!

Baby is the size of an Apple

How far along? 15 weeks 5 days

Total weight gain: none

Maternity clothes? I had to pull out shorts that used to be too big!

Stretch marks? Nothing new.

Sleep: Good. sore hips though, so a bit restless.

Best moment of the week: Getting to relax while camping and really narrow down our baby names!

Miss anything? Nope.

Number of times I get up to pee at night: None to once.

Movement: lots that only I can feel still.

Food Cravings:None

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not anymore! Maybe one; the sub Cody orders at quizno's bleck.

Gender prediction: So torn!

Labor signs: No!

Symptoms: Sore hips/sciatic pain

Belly button in or out? In

Wedding rings on or off? On

Happy or moody most of the time? Happy!

Looking forward to: Feeling baby move from the outside.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Soon We Are Three

September is here. On one hand I feel like it has snuck up on me, yet on the other I'm so excited to see it. This month means fall will be here, along with all the delicious bits of the changing season.

 For me, September always makes me stop for a second and realise how close we are to my sweet girl's birthday. Three. In one short month my girl will be three. I feel like this past year has gone by the fastest. My mind was cluttered with worries that didn't matter, too much of the time. I did remember to take those moments to breathe her in though. I think those times are some of my favorite moments of motherhood. When she is just being her little self and I can't help but be completely overwhelmed with my love for her. For how thankful I am for her.

I'm so excited for this new chapter with her. This year will be a big one. Many changes and many moments of growth for the whole family will happen. I will do my very best to make all of these things happy, memorable and filled with love. Most of all, I will make sure she knows that even if she feels uneasy, or changes seem too big at first, that we are right beside her, holding her close. Whispering encouragement into her ears, giving millions of hugs, kisses, and 'I love you's, lifting her up when she needs a hand, and being her safe place to sit and let out all of her big feelings and emotions.

 Part of me wants to be overcome with bewilderment and shout "How are you three already? When did this happen?!", but the larger part of me is sitting back with proud and wide mama eyes admiring it all. I have been there for each year, each day, each up and down. I don't look at her new year as sad or too soon. I look at it with such a full heart. I am so proud of who she is. Who she is becoming. She is strong and sure of herself. She is cautious, and takes her time deciding who will be blessed to see her beautiful soul. She is so clever and the funniest little person I have ever met. I love being her mama so much. I'm constantly humbled with how much she is like me. She makes me grow and learn and dig through all of the tough parts within me, so that I can be the best mama for her. She reminds me to stop and take in life's beauties. And she is sensitive. Oh, my delicate little flower. Probably the single biggest thing her and I share. We both have that something; it is part of our soul and drives us to see the immense beauty in this life. With that, comes being extremely empathetic, and also able to become incredibly uplifted.
  In those moments, the sensitive ones, she shares those feelings with me. Words don't have to be spoken. Many times she will place her little hand on my heart, or interlock our fingers. There is this look that is exchanged in those moments, and the only way I could possibly explain it, is that our souls reach out and touch.

 Her birthday is always such a wonderful experience for me. Not only do we get to celebrate her and all that she is, but I get this moment to anticipate the things she will teach me this year. What lessons will I learn? How will she choose to grow me this year? I truly believe with all of my heart that our children are meant to grow us far more than we could grow them. If I can teach her a small amount of what she teaches me, I know she will bloom so bright.

 I'm excited to plan this year's celebration and soak up every ounce of her last weeks as a two year old.

Soon she will be three. Soon I will celebrate with her, as I was born the moment she was.

The moment a Child is Born the Mother is also Born

Monday, September 2, 2013

Long Weekend Escape

 For the long weekend, we decided to head off on an impromptu camping trip.

   Mackynzie and I packed and shopped and readied on Friday, and as soon as Cody came home from work that evening, we were off. Three people, two dogs, and a bunch of camping gear surprisingly fit quite cozily in the mustang. We went to the same campground (neighboring sites) that Cody's parents had been camping at since Wednesday, so we were able to send all of the bigger camping gear (blankets, tent, toys, bikes etc) in the trailer and truck with them. It worked out perfectly.

 I have to say that one of my favorite things about Alberta, is that you can drive an hour in any direction and experience a completely different environment. We have the rocky mountains, flat plains, dessert valleys, snowy escapes, and rivers and lakes to explore.

 With only a short hour and a half drive, we entered a new world of forested mountains and beautiful country side, with farm houses tucked against the sides of massive hills. Cows roamed freely through meadowed fields, and we stopped for crossing cows both on the way there and back. We drove there at sun set and the views were just breathtaking.

 We spent our days doing a good mix of lazily playing and exploring around our site, and collecting things from the woods and discovering and climbing by the ankle-deep river. Cody even managed to master the smore (No more unmelted chocolate problems.)

 We had a great time, and my very favorite part was that we were completely cut off. We had no cell service, no technology, nothing. It was just us and togetherness. Exactly as it should be. I always benefit so much from these little get away's. My soul desperately needs them, and sometimes I don't realise it until we have slipped away and I've breathed in the fresh air and admired the silence. Cody and I spent our nights by the fire, talking about everything and anything until the stars were bright and the night turned crisp. We heaped together under piles of blankets and sleeping bags, arms and paws and legs and tails overlapping, sleeping soundly from our day filled with sunshine and walking. We woke with the sun, slept when tired, ate when hungry, and can count on one hand the number of times we looked at the clock.

 I knew I needed this trip. The last camping for us as a family of three. Strengthening the family bond that has been sent through the wash with living with in-laws. I needed to rid myself of the distractions completely, so that when we came home, I would keep it at a minimal. Able to easily notice when a second of boredom had me reaching for my phone, and move to a new task. I was stretched very thin and was feeling that maybe building a nice box house would be better for our last couple months of living here. This trip focused me. Cooled my rising anxiety. Calmed my frazzled brain. Mostly I needed this trip as a mother. I needed to step away from every outside influence, and focus on my instincts and my connection with my daughter. I felt myself slipping from the mother, wife, and parent I want to be -I am- and I hated every bit of it.

 I spent the weekend talking with my daughter. Snuggling by the fire. Enjoying what I know to be the trickling nursing sessions of self-weaning. Staring at her face. Telling her over and over how much I love her and how proud I am of her and all of the wonderful things that make her herself. I never want her to forget or question those things. I remembered to appreciate every ounce of motherhood; My soul would be missing its largest part without it. My sweet girl will be three in a few short weeks. I want to make sure I embrace and soak up her two's, and be excited for and make memorable her three's.

 I realised just how much the online world has effected my life. It leaves a very bitter taste in my mouth. I made a promise to myself, Cody and Mackynzie (and this baby) that I would interact just long enough to enjoy everything I love about it, then go back to actually living and loving my life rather than being so busy documenting it. One weekend did not fix my poor habits, but it woke me up, and let me taste the free, simple, love-filled life I crave and strive for.

I am thankful.

Since we had no service, our phones got left in the car for most of the trip, and I brought my camera not realizing it was dead. We did manage to grab a few photos though. My favorites are the moments I captured in my head and heart though.