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Sunday, April 26, 2015

21 Weeks Pregnant!


How far along: 21 weeks pregnant...well on the day this is posted, I'm 21.5...but I took the picture on Thursday, exactly 21 weeks. Due September 3rd!

Gender: Officially a baby BOY!!

Total weight gain: Up 10 lb.

Exercise: Unfortunately, my exercise plans for this pregnancy look very different. Between the subchorionic hemorrhage and now the complete placenta previa, I have been limited to just walking. This week I walked 30.5 miles...and biked a few as well. 

Maternity clothes: This week I got a pair of non-maternity shorts a couple of sizes bigger than normal, so I can button them. They are a bit baggy, but at least they button, and I have plenty of room to grow in the waist!

Miss anything: I definitely am missing my normal workouts! I'm also missing a glass of wine. I drink a glass of wine a handful of times a year (and that may even be rounding up), but this week, after the girls have gone down, there have been a few nights when a glass of wine sounded nice!

Movement: I'm feeling him move all the time, and the movements are getting bigger and bigger. Some nights as I laid in bed this week watching TV (it's where I camp out in the evenings when Ronnie is gone) I would just sit and watch all the movement as well. I love seeing the thumps and bumps from the outside!


Have you started to show: I think I am starting to look pregnant to people I don't know in certain outfits...and especially at the end of the day. I cannot wait to have a big ol' bump!!


Stretch marks: This is a tricky one. I never got stretch marks on my belly with Mckenna. But ever since puberty I've had stretch marks on my thighs, tush, and hips. They are very fine and you only really see them when the light hits them right. So there's a good chance that I got more with Mckenna, I just have no idea. My guess is I may be getting more as we speak, I just can't see them in comparison to what is already there!


Belly button in or out: It's in...and looks like a massive goiter in tight shirts.


Wedding rings on or off: On, when I actually wear them! I take them off for exercise, showers, and sleeping...and with my baby brain and pregnancy brain, I often forget to put them back on!


Sleep: I sleep like any other mom with a 3.5 year old and a 4.5 month old. I have fallen asleep at night and a couple of times during naps without knowing it though, so I must be sleepy!


Labor signs: None. I'm hoping none for a very, very long time. But I am having noticeable Braxton Hicks contractions already. I get them when my bladder is full, during exercise, when he's really active, and for no 
reason at all...so really, I just get them all the time.

Best moment of this week: Ronnie's been in the hospital since Monday. Friday was the first time we went down to visit him, as the first few days he's usually feeling pretty cruddy. We were supposed to go on Saturday, but we went Friday because Thursday night Mckenna had a breakdown because she was missing her daddy so much. When we got there, it made my heart burst to see how excited she was to see her daddy. And within 10 minutes of arriving, she had gotten him water "to make him feel better"; gave him a hand pound; and massaged his legs and feet. I love her caring, tender, little heart. I love that she has the heart of a caretaker, and that she loves her daddy more than anything!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Thankful Thursday: Good Friends & Strong Medications

It's thankful Thursday time! We all have so much to be thankful for and we love to take this opportunity just to write down each and everything that comes to mind. Please take this time to share with us what you're thankful for as well. If you have a blog expressing your thankfulness, please share the link! Without further ado, here's what we're thankful for:

Mandi's List:

I’m thankful for good friends. Ronnie’s in the big house, and my friends have been helping pass the time in ways that are delightfully distracting for both me and Mckenna. We’ve gone for walks with friends, played at the park, played at their houses, gone on field trips, etc. It makes days go quickly and keeps us distracted by the fact that Ronnie isn’t around. 

I’m thankful for a daddy’s girl. Mckenna misses Ronnie. She broke down crying tonight, and eventually I realized it was because she missed her daddy. While it’s a bit heartbreaking to hear a little girl cry for her daddy, it’s also heartwarming knowing that she has a daddy that she adores so much. I love their sweet relationship and cannot wait to see it blossom over the years!

I’m thankful for marshmallows. They are a classic with never-ending possibilities of tasty recipes and combinations!

Ronnie's List:

I’m thankful for strong medications. When you get to be old like me, the antibiotic selection gets slimmer and often times only the big guns are left. Big guns are great at killing the bugs, but they are also great at collateral damage. I'm thankful that the strong medications are available to me however and that I have no long-term negative effects from their use.

I’m thankful for a strong wife. Mandi can handle anything and everything. I can't imagine being a single dad for as long as she has to be a single mom. She's able to balance the schedule, keep most of her sanity and someone manage to please everyone while I'm here in the Hole. I'd feel a whole lot more guilty than I already do for being in here if Mandi wasn't who she was.

I’m thankful for a strong-willed daughter. Yeah, she can be a little much at times and really test the limits, but I'd much rather that than a kid who listened to me and responded like a robot. Mckenna has enough personality for 10 kids, yet she is still incredibly obedient and respectful...most of the time ;)

What are you thankful for today?

Friday, April 17, 2015

20 Weeks Pregnant!


How far along: 20 weeks pregnant! Due September 3rd!

Gender: Officially a baby BOY!!

Total weight gain: Up 9 lb.

Exercise: Unfortunately, my exercise plans for this pregnancy look very different. Between the subchorionic hemorrhage and now the complete placenta previa, I have been limited to just walking. I'm really excited though because this week I have been able to get in even more miles than usual. I should log over 35 miles this week! 

Maternity clothes: Still no maternity clothes. Just making other clothes work. This week I've been living in an old pair of shorts (thanks rubber band trick), dresses, and workout clothes.

Miss anything: I definitely am missing my normal workouts!


Movement: I'm feeling him move all the time, and the movements are getting bigger and bigger. I absolutely love it. This movement is why I stuck through 2 years of IVF cycles back to back. This movement is my favorite feeling in the world. I feel beyond blessed to be able to feel this again!


Have you started to show: I think I am starting to look pregnant to people I don't know in certain outfits...and especially at the end of the day. I cannot wait to have a big ol' bump!!


Stretch marks: This is a tricky one. I never got stretch marks on my belly with Mckenna. But ever since puberty I've had stretch marks on my thighs, tush, and hips. They are very fine and you only really see them when the light hits them right. So there's a good chance that I got more with Mckenna, I just have no idea. My guess is I may be getting more as we speak, I just can't see them in comparison to what is already there!


Belly button in or out: It's in...and looks like a massive goiter in tight shirts.


Wedding rings on or off: On, when I actually wear them! I take them off for exercise, showers, and sleeping...and with my baby brain and pregnancy brain, I often forget to put them back on!


Sleep: I need to get back to my usual early bedtime because I've been getting to bed way too late this week. But once I'm in bed, I sleep like any other mom with a 3.5 year old and a 4.5 month old.


Labor signs: None. I'm hoping none for a very, very long time. But I am having noticeable Braxton Hicks contractions already. I had lots with Mckenna and it's looking like this pregnancy is going to be the same.


Best moment of this week: Sometimes this week after feeding Baby N or getting up to go to the bathroom, I laid back down in bed and felt baby boy moving around. I laid awake each time just feeling him move in the stillness of the night. I thought about what he may look like. I dreamed about what he may become. I prayed to thank God for each kick and roll. These moments are the best moments in a lifetime, not just a week.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Thankful Thursday: New Friendships & ERC

It's thankful Thursday time! We all have so much to be thankful for and we love to take this opportunity just to write down each and everything that comes to mind. Please take this time to share with us what you're thankful for as well. If you have a blog expressing your thankfulness, please share the link! Without further ado, here's what we're thankful for:

Mandi's List:

I’m thankful for new friendships. I have an acquaintance that we’ve known for awhile through some interactions at our nearby parks, but recently we’ve starting spending more time together, and I absolutely adore her. I respect her as a mom and as a woman, and on top of that she’s super fun and enjoyable to be around. There are few things in life that make me happier than friendships that bloom quickly because they feel as if you’ve known that person forever. And I’m pretty sure Ronnie and her husband are long lost twins. I think they may be the same person born into two bodies.

I’m thankful for morning walks. Joy, the woman I just loved on for the paragraph above, and I have started going for morning walks before the kiddos get up. It has been such a great way to wake up. It’s been really enjoyable to log some miles (we get in around 4 miles) while chatting. The added bonus is waking up slowly with some me time vs waking up to the demands of a 3 year-old ready for cartoons and cereal is kind of relaxing!! Though, our cartoon and cereal snuggle time is my favorite.

I’m thankful for a new bible study. We were a part of a small group that needed to take a break for awhile, so we decided to join another group with the newly open time during the week and the ongoing need for spiritual growth. Last night was our first night with the new group, and it was great. We are doing a study called Radical by David Platt, and it looks like it will be a really great one to encourage growth. It should be noted, the bible study we joined is the group of the aforementioned couple in this post. No wonder it’s a fast-growing friendship, we see a lot of each other…I’m pretty sure I saw her 4 times yesterday! We are so fortunate to have the people in our lives that we have!

Ronnie's List:

I'm thankful for our new Bible study. We just started a study with a small group called "Radical" by David Platt. The very first lesson hit me like a ton of bricks and brought to focus how many times I want to serve Jesus on my terms instead of selling out and being a follower on His terms. The study was challenging and certainly convicted me. Now the key will be to turn that conviction into action.

I'm thankful for the Exercise Research Committee. After the CL community chose what question they wanted researched, we were quick to bring together some of the brightest minds in CF and exercise. What has resulted is a proposal for some very groundbreaking and quite possibly revolutionary research in the CF community. I'm always so eager for our phone calls because I learn so much every time we have one. I've learned quite a bit over the last few months. If you didn't know already, doing a proper research study is pretty hard! ;)

I'm thankful for a new adult doctor who cares. I haven't been followed by my new adult CF doc for very long, but it is evident that she cares about me and the CF community. I kind of sprung a request on them to be seen quickly and they did everything they could to get me in this week. Next time I write a TT post, it may be from a hospital bed!

What are you thankful for today?  

Saturday, April 11, 2015

19 Weeks Pregnant!



How far along: 19 weeks pregnant! Due September 3rd!

Gender: Officially a baby BOY!!

Total weight gain: Up 8.5 lb.

Exercise: Unfortunately, my exercise plans for this pregnancy look very different. Between the subchorionic hemorrhage and now the complete placenta previa, I have been limited to just walking from about 12 weeks on. My goal is to walk at least 26 miles a weeks. This week I was able to get a couple 7.5 miles days in, which lightened the load for other day!

Maternity clothes: Still no maternity clothes. Just making other clothes work. It's hot here already, so I've been rocking dresses and workout clothes.

Miss anything: I definitely am missing my normal workouts. Working out hard is how I maintain my sanity and feel strong! 


Movement: This week has been filled with a lot more movement. Movement that Mckenna and Ronnie both can feel also, which is SO fun!


Have you started to show: This one is debatable. I think I look obviously pregnant, and to friends, family, and acquaintances (even people at the gym) they can definitely tell. But I don't think strangers know for sure. I just look like I carry weigh in my midsection.


Stretch marks: This is a tricky one. I never got stretch marks on my belly with Mckenna. But ever since puberty I've had stretch marks on my thighs, tush, and hips. They are very fine and you only really see them when the light hits them right. So there's a good chance that I got more with Mckenna, I just have no idea. My guess is I may be getting more as we speak, I just can't see them in comparison to what is already there!


Belly button in or out: It's in...and looks like a massive goiter in tight shirts.


Wedding rings on or off: On, when I actually wear them! I take them off for exercise, showers, and sleeping...and with my baby brain and pregnancy brain, I often forget to put them back on!


Sleep: I sleep like any other mom with a 3.5 year old and a 4.5 month old.


Labor signs: None. I'm hoping none for a very, very long time. But I am already having noticeable Braxton Hicks contractions already. I had lots with Mckenna and have a feeling this pregnancy is going to be the same way.


Best moment of this week: Seeing Mckenna feel her brother move for the first time. She felt a solid thump against the palm of her hand, and her eyes lit up. It was the sweetest thing to watch!


Friday, April 10, 2015

We Love You Already Briella Grace


We could not be more thrilled that our niece, Briella Grace, was born yesterday at 7:40pm at 7lbs 4oz and 20 inches long. We are so in love with the newest member of our family!! Mom, dad, and Briella are doing great. We have so many pictures of that adorable little love...but this one mid-pout, about to let out a big, old cry, is my favorite!! We love you already Briella Grace!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Thankful Thursday: Endless Energy & Alone Time

It's thankful Thursday time! We all have so much to be thankful for and we love to take this opportunity just to write down each and everything that comes to mind. Please take this time to share with us what you're thankful for as well. If you have a blog expressing your thankfulness, please share the link! Without further ado, here's what we're thankful for:

Mandi's List:

I’m thankful Ronnie and Mckenna can now feel baby boy move pretty easily. Watching Mckenna’s face light up at the feeling of the “bump” from her brother is such a blessing!! I love that their relationship can start before he even gets here!

I’m thankful for a hubby who seems to have endless energy (or at least endless willingness) to help me with things as I’m kind of lame lately. He’s always willing to pick up my slack (or my turn to feed in the night) when I’m simply too pooped to do what I should do!

I’m thankful for our support system. Day in and day out I am reminded of what wonderful friends and family we have. We have been gifted such incredible people in our lives that make life fun, even when life is stressful or hard. Our life always seems filled with so much joy and laughter, regardless of circumstances, thanks to the people who surround us!

Ronnie's List:

I'm thankful for my excited daughter. For the past few weeks, Mckenna seems excited every time I walk in the room or when she comes back to the office to say "hello". I must admit, it makes me feel pretty special. Nothing like her squealing "Hi Daddy!!" and giving me a big ol' hug.

I'm thankful for a wife that keeps me on track. Mandi is often the one who gets me focused on the stuff that I need to get done and kicks my booty back on track when I start to veer. I'm blessed to have such a great accountability partner and one who motivates me by seeing how dialed in she usually is.

I'm thankful for alone time. Tomorrow night, Mandi and I are staying at a local resort after a conference that I'm taking part in without the girls in tow. My mom is coming up from Tucson to babysit and I'm really looking forward to having some one-on-one time with my wifey.
What are you thankful for today?  

Monday, April 6, 2015

Happy (Belated) Easter

He is risen!!

We had a wonderful weekend celebrating Easter. Saturday we celebrated with my family. My parents and Josh and Chrissy came over, and we celebrated be eating entirely way too much food, hunting for eggs, and enjoying each others' company. Sunday we went to church and then headed to Ronnie's cousins' house for more food, hunting, and good company.

But in the midst of all the fun, I couldn't help but stop and reflect.

Usually Easter is a celebration of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins, giving us our salvation and ability to be in relationship with Him!

While I celebrated Jesus dying for me, I also rejoiced in the fact that He rose again. HE ROSE AGAIN. He died and overcame death. This stuck with me, but for a reason different than typically celebrated on Easter. I found myself stuck on the fact that He actually overcame death. That fact is something that I don't sit and really think about often. If He could overcome death then why do I worry about anything in my life? We often talk about how big our God is, and how He can do anything. But it doesn't stop me from worrying about different things in our lives. But why? I serve a God who isn't even conquered by death. Certainly all my little worries and problems are smaller than DEATH.

I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed by awe and appreciation. I kept feeling so blessed that God provided this baby boy for us. He did what only He could do. Only He is responsible for creating life. I have found myself with several reasons to worry throughout our pregnancy, as we have had a few hiccups. But why? He overcame death. He can do anything! I found myself thankful that He healed the subchorionic bleed. I found myself prayerful, begging Him to also resolve the complete placenta previa. I always know in my mind and heart that he can do those things, but rarely do I stop to really appreciate the fact that He truly can because it is nothing to Him. It is like asking me to take a breath or blink my eyes. I don't have to think twice to do those things, they come easily. I just do them because I do them every day, all day long. Solving my little issues are that easy for Him. And I felt convicted yesterday that I don't truly believe that all day every day, like I know should. Instead I let worry creep in. I felt thankful that He is not only all powerful in theory, but in practice!

So happy resurrection day!! Rejoice that Jesus conquered death and live remembering He is all powerful in our lives.

Friday, April 3, 2015

18 Weeks Pregnant!


How far along: 18 weeks pregnant! Due September 3rd!

Gender: Officially a baby BOY!!

Total weight gain: Up 8 lb.

Exercise: Unfortunately, my exercise plans for this pregnancy look very different. Between the subchorionic hemorrhage and now the complete placenta previa, I have been limited to just walking from about 12 weeks on. I have been walking 4-6 miles a day (usually split into two walks), in an attempt to maintain decent shape. Hopefully the previa resolves (prayer request!!), and I can be back to legit workouts!

Maternity clothes: I still haven't really ventured into maternity clothes. With Mckenna I never wore them, and I'm still trying to make my wardrobe work without them this pregnancy. Although I will say feeling anything digging into my stomach this pregnancy has made me feel a little sick, so that plan may not work out.

Miss anything: I definitely am missing my normal workouts. Working out hard is how I maintain my sanity and feel strong!

Movement: Some! I've been feeling this baby move for several weeks now, but finally the movements are become bigger and more than just flutters.

Have you started to show: This one is debatable. I think I look massive. Friends, family, and acquaintances (even people at the gym) definitely comment on how much my belly is growing. But I don't think strangers have any clue! It really doesn't help that I'm toting a 4 month old along, as it kind of looks like I just still have some baby belly to lose.

Stretch marks: This is a tricky one. I never got stretch marks on my belly with Mckenna. But ever since puberty I've had stretch marks on my thighs, tush, and hips. They are very fine and you only really see them when the light hits them right. So there's a good chance that I got more with Mckenna, I just have no idea. My guess is I may be getting more as we speak, I just can't see them in comparison to what is already there!

Belly button in or out: It's in...and looks like a massive goiter in tight shirts.

Wedding rings on or off: On, when I actually wear them! I take them off for walks, showers, and sleeping...and with my baby brain and pregnancy brain, I often forget to put them back on!

Sleep: I sleep like any mom with a 3.5 year old and a 4.5 month old. I sleep great when they are sleeping! I find I have a bit of trouble falling back to sleep, but only because my minds starts going.

Labor signs: None. I'm hoping none for a very, very long time. With complete placenta previa is can be really dangerous for me and baby both if I go into labor. So I'm extra hopeful that there is no early labor!! But I am already having noticeable Braxton Hicks contractions.

Best moment of this week: Finding out that this baby is for sure a little boy, and seeing Mckenna's joy at the thought of having a brother! It was also amazing to hear that the subchorionic hemorrhage is gone! Praise God!!


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Thankful Thursday: Pregnancy & Sleep Training

It's thankful Thursday time! We all have so much to be thankful for and we love to take this opportunity just to write down each and everything that comes to mind. Please take this time to share with us what you're thankful for as well. If you have a blog expressing your thankfulness, please share the link! Without further ado, here's what we're thankful for:

Mandi's List:

I’m thankful for this pregnancy!! I have wanted to post this as part of our Thankful Thursdays for the last 18 weeks, and WAHOO, the cat is out of the bag, so I can today! I am so thankful that we have made it to 18 weeks. God is so good.

I’m thankful for Easter. Bigger than providing us with a pregnancy and a baby boy so far, God has given us an even greater gift, salvation, which we celebrate on Easter. I’m so thankful that He sent His only son, Jesus, to die on the cross for me, so that I may be forgiven of my sins!!

I’m thankful for "spa nights". The last couple nights Mckenna and I slept at my parent’s house while Ronnie stayed with N to sleep train her. My dad was out of town, so it was just us girls, and we had a blast having what we called a “spa night". We did a bubble bath in our bathing suits, “facials”, and nails. Mckenna thought it was the coolest thing EVER…and we all has fun being girly together.

Ronnie's List:

I'm thankful for sleep training. I've been sleep training Baby N the last couple of nights and it's already paying off. She's starting to self-soothe much faster and has been pretty consistent with how long she cries and when she wakes up. She's even more content during the day for me as well.

I'm thankful for a crazy, do-it-all wife. Or is that crazy do-it-all wife? Do-it-all crazy wife? Anyway, she's the best. I recognize that she's way out of my league in every aspect and I am incredibly lucky to have her. She's been taking on most of the time with the girls allowing me to work more as it's been a bit nuts. She still has to work and has been using her usual free-time to get her stuff done. She's awesome and selfless.

I'm thankful for my my future son and His past and present Son. God has blessed us beyond measure by allowing us to be pregnant with our second child. It has certainly been a journey to get to this point, but He has comforted us every step of the way. I also reflect on what His Son did for us nearly 2000 years ago when He covered my sins on the cross and rose from the grave as He said He would. 

Have a blessed Easter everyone! 

What are you thankful for today?  

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Baby Boy Sharpe Due September 3rd!

We are beyond thrilled to announce that we are pregnant! For those of you who are quick at math, or pregnancy geniuses, since we are due Sept. 3, we are 18 weeks pregnant as of tomorrow!

Can you believe it? 18 stinkin' baby-filled weeks?! We have waited a bit longer than normal to share publicly about this pregnancy for a few reasons, so we will bring you up to speed now!

We had our Day 5 embryo transfer of two embryos back in the middle of December and found out on Christmas eve that we were pregnant after an initial blood test. We were thrilled but cautious, as usually our first test is positive and second negative. Well our second blood draw was still positive, but the HCG didn't double like they like. In fact, it doubled in about twice the time they like (they like 2-3 days, our doubled in 5!), so they told us we weren't looking great, but to hang in there. They did another blood test three days later, and it doubled like they like to see. Two days more, and again, doubled. We were feeling cautiously optimistic at this point. We went for our 6 week ultrasound, and praise Jesus, there was a heart beat! At this point they said that we likely had started out with two implanted and one didn't make it past the first few days, hence the higher numbers that grew slowly (essentially when one stops developing, the numbers can take a bit of a dive). Ultrasound after ultrasound looked great. When we hit 12 weeks we thought we had reached the comfort zone. We were getting excited to announce at 13 weeks or so (we had to wait til 13 weeks because of a clinical trial Ronnie was on...he will write a whole separate blog about that), when at 12 weeks and 5 days in the middle of the night after feeding Baby N, I went to the bathroom and was gushing blood. I wish that was an exaggeration. It was like I was urinating straight, bright red blood. It kind of looked like a murder scene. I called Ronnie into the bathroom, panicked. We had been at the midwife that morning and heard baby's heartbeat, so we were hopeful I wasn't miscarriaging, but it was a lot of blood, so that left us very concerned as to what was going on. Off to the ER I went. The baby looked fine, but I was diagnosed with a very large Subchorionic Hemorrhage - essentially a bleed between the uterine lining and the uterine wall. It can be nothing, but it can also lead to miscarriage, premature labor, etc. We were told all we could do was wait (some things say it increases miscarriage rates by 50%, others say just 2-3%...not very helpful!). So wait we have! We have had ultrasounds every two weeks and as of today, we are happy to say that the bleed is TOTALLY gone!! Praise God! Our God is so good!! So we decided it was time to let the world know about our little love - growing like a champ and looking perfect at a day shy of 18 weeks.

In addition to the bleed, I also have been diagnosed with a placenta previa - my placenta is covering my cervix. This isn't a huge deal, I will just need to be monitored to see if it will resolve itself, and if it doesn't I will be required to have a c-section. I am maybe one of the only humans on earth that actually truly enjoys labor and delivery (like I love it. I'd have a baby once a week if I could), so the thought of a c-section majorly breaks my heart, but we have decided to just pray for its resolution as the weeks go on. If it doesn't resolve, we will joyfully enter an OR and meet baby boy via c-section. After 2+ years of struggling to get pregnant and 5 miscarriages, I care less about how they have to get him out, and just want to hold him in my arms and stare into his sweet, sweet face! But please join us in prayer for everything to shift and for and uncomplicated pregnancy from here on out and a natural delivery!

We feel so incredibly blessed. This little boy has kept us on our toes since day one. This whole process has taught us so much. If there's one thing we have clung to it's that we serve a God that is always good; a God that always has our best interest at heart. His plan for our family was for this little boy. This little boy that would not have been created had we gotten pregnant in one of our many earlier attempts. I will write another blog (soon) regarding why I think this one worked, when we lost so many before. I'm on so many different meds. Things were different. But (future blog spoiler alert) it all ultimately comes down to God's Will for our family. THIS is His plan, and THIS is our son! We cannot wait to meet this little boy that God wanted us to wait for!

Friday, March 27, 2015

What Would Your Mom Do?

I'm sure I'm not the only one that found THIS article circulating on Facebook.

I think it's actually very interesting food for thought, and agree with much of what is said. I'm somewhere in between the hovering, overly involved parent and an earlier generation mom (like the ones referenced in the article). I'm not so comfortable with the thought of locking kiddos outside and letting them run wild until dinner time, and I know I interfere and hover far more than I should. But I do hate to sit through playdates where moms feel the need to constantly jump in, "Timmy, Tommy was using that. Give it back..."

There are some common mom things that I just have tried to not get into the habit of...they may work for some, but for me, I worry about enough and my plate is full enough, and therefore, I axe things off the list I can't handle.

No candy until 20. Some moms I know refuse to give their kiddos anything sweet for what seems like years. I get it, it's not healthy or nutritious. But the fact of the matter is, Ronnie and I eat candy...and a lot of it. We have candy in the house. We will always have candy in the house. Mckenna is a good eater. There are very, very few foods she just straight up won't eat...and usually they are ones that take a lot of chewing/never totally break down (steak) and so she's a little worried she may choke (I supposed a valid reason for not swallowing). But she eats veggies, fruit, and lots of protein daily. And because that's how I eat, it's how she gets to eat. As long as she has had nutritious meals - has eaten lots of fruits and veggies; eaten what's in front of her; doesn't seem to be narrowing what she will try/consume - then I say, "sure, honey, you can have a piece of candy." Does she get the bag? No, but I often let "her pick" what is reasonable. If her initial suggestion isn't in fact reasonable, we talk about why not, and lessen it. I want her to learn moderation in her diet, not restriction.

Not letting her get hurt. No one call CPS please. We don't let her play with fire or knives. But we do let her get hurt, semi-intentionally. There are things she will want to do that we know full well will give her an owwie, but we let them happen anyways. Ronnie the other day let her "do the monkey bars herself". She wanted to. He knew she wouldn't be able to and fall. But wasn't going to battle her to say no. He knew she would figure out it was too hard, but why not let her give it a shot to see for herself? So there she hung, and dropped. Did it hurt? Maybe a little. But she felt proud that she held on for so long (never mind that's not the point of monkey bars at all). We let her jump off things that are maybe arguably a smidgen too high. I often warn her once first, and then let her decide. The other day she was tipping in a chair. I simply told her that she could tip if she wanted to, but to just know that if she fell backwards, there's a good chance she would get pretty hurt. What did she do? She stopped tipping. If she had chosen to tip, and had fallen? Well, I figured a cracked open head would likely be the worst possibility. I'd never heard of anyone dying from tipping in a chair, so I weighed the risks and decided to let her make her own decision. I want her to learn to take calculated risks and be ok with having to dust herself off if she fails.

Carrying everything with us wherever we go. This one I have some guilt over. I see moms with diaper bags fully loaded with everything the kiddo could need. It's nice to be able to pull out a bandaid at the drop of a hat. Hungry? Here are 5 snack options to choose from. Is there a bug? Here's bug spray. During playdates, do I feel bad that my kid mooches off other kids snack? Yes, a little. But 9 out of 10 times I appreciate not carrying an overstuffed bag with me. Before baby N came along, I carried nothing with me, anywhere, for 1.5 years. Before leaving the house, if it's a long excursion, I ask Mckenna if she wants a snack, if she does, great, she can bring it. I ask if she wants water, if she says "yes," perfect, she can get a cup, fill it, and bring it. If she says, "no," then when she says she's hungry or thirsty, I tell her she will have to wait til we are home, she chose not to bring anything. If I think she will really want a drink or snack while out, I just give her a heads up that I think she will want one and tell her why, and then let her decide. Hand sanitizer? This seems like a goodie. It's a great thought. I feel bad when I see moms sanitizing their kids hands and my kiddo is eating off hands that were washed questionably well the last time she went potty. But I don't sanitize my hands before eating or after the store, so I don't do hers. It's pretty freeing not to carry the house around in a bag! Our diaper bag has diapers, wipes, and trash in it...oh and a candy cane from Christmas. I want her to learn how to think ahead in life and bring what's necessary. I also want her to learn that sometimes you have to simply just wait.

"Ew, that's dirty." I'm not worried about germs and dirt most of the time. My one exception is hospital floors...those gross me out..a lot. Otherwise, I'm not too concerned. If Mckenna wants to drink out of the hose, ok. If she wants to pick up some trash at the park to put it in the trash can, well done, my little tree-hugger. If she drops something on the ground, it usually still gets eaten. I don't want a kid that is afraid to get a little dirty or isn't going to jump into something because it's a little gross. I once heard a mom yell at her daughter for putting Mckenna's shoe on for her; scolding her for touching someone's dirty shoe. "Don't touch your shoes or anyone else's..." She yelled at one point in her rant. I sat there thinking, "really, her shoes even?! You will regret that rule when your kid is 15 and asking for help with her shoes." I couldn't help but think, "wow what a sweet 5 year old for helping a little 3 year old fix her shoes. I can't picture that Jesus made sure people's feet were fairly clean before he washed them, and that he then sanitized his hands after. I think we miss opportunities to help others if we are afraid to get dirty or germ-y. And I don't want her to miss those opportunities.

These aren't hard and fast around here. There are times I say, "come on, don't drink that" to a water bottle that's filthy. I sometimes pack a snack for her (though usually when meeting others so she won't just eat all their food). At times I make the call whether something is too dangerous and prevent her from getting hurt. But these are things I try to remind myself of and hold onto, for the lessons they teach are often bigger than the immediate potential consequence.

I think often times dads have this right on. They don't hover. They allow more chaos. They encourage more risk. They don't overprotect and over-prepare. They don't coddle. I think us moms these days often see it as a lack of skill or know-how. I think that's a shame. I watch Ronnie parent with admiration. Under his care, Mckenna seems happier, more carefree, and more independent. Sure, she's also dirtier, has a couple more owwies, and her clothes are that much further from matching, but really, who cares?! I feel the urge to bring Ronnie to the dark side, often...to "train" him. But the more I watch the dynamics of their time together and their relationship, I realize that my hubby isn't incompetent. He's a freaking parenting genius. All too often we think our hubbies are incapable to watch the kids because they don't bring a fire extinguisher and a four-course meal to the park with them. But I think if we took some pages from the daddy book, we moms would be a lot less stressed all the time!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Life Lately: Growth, Spunk, Colds and March Madness

Life lately has been busy...as you probably guessed by our 1 blog post a decade ;-)

Baby N is doing well. She's growing like a weed. She went from 6lb12oz to 11lb8oz in two months. Almost 5 pounds! She looks like a different child. She is about the smiliest baby you'll ever meet - giving gummy grins to anyone that will look at her happily. She is getting stronger and stronger. It's fun to watch her progress from such a tiny little thing to a strong, chunky monkey.

Mckenna adores her. It's so fun to watch them together. Mckenna can't get enough, baby N usually has her fill within a few minutes of their interactions. But just when you think baby N is slightly terrified by what may unfold when Mckenna approaches, you catch her staring at Mckenna from across the room, with a giant smile, trying to get her attention. It's pretty sweet. Mckenna tells her she loves her several times a day, usually accompanied by tight, overwhelming hugs!

Mckenna is growing up too fast. In just the last few weeks she seems to have aged several years. She is such a little girl these days, no toddler-ness to be found. She is about the most tender-hearted little sweetheart. She is so caring and loving. Yet, she has a fire about her that give her the attitude of a thousand inmates. That girl has got SPUNK. It's a challenge to parent, but will serve her well in life...assuming we don't blow it, and she ends up an inmate ;-) Lately, she loves to spend time playing outside, going for walks, playing at the park, coloring, dancing, reading books and doing Where's Waldo. I'm not sure what it means, but she usually finds things before I do. How she can so quickly spot a tiny little wizard so quickly, I will never know. The wizard is her favorite find.

Ronnie is doing well. Unfortunately, the girls have each had a few colds (I think I have sucked baby N's nose out every day for her entire existence), and Ronnie, has gotten each of them. However, I think he is on the mend. We are hoping that since spring has sprung, there will be less colds brought into the house. Though I have to say, I do enjoy seeing him dead asleep (thanks, Nyquil), and stumbling through our room to get up for his turn to feed baby N. I'm fairly certain most nights he had no idea he was actually standing up and walking. He's about as happy as ever, since March Madness is in full force. It's his favorite time of year.

As for me? I, thankfully, didn't catch a single cold that the girls brought home (thank you superhero immune system)!

Pictures from the week:

Keni took a crazy fall at the park...silver lining? I got snuggles!

I had to smile that she tried to fix it, but man it was hard to get more than a square!

Ronnie had Mckenna pick a bracket - he gave her the two teams, she would pick. Then she was sure she needed to write one of her own!

With March Madness in full swing, this is what is looks like at our house whenever Ronnie is on daddy duty.





Monday, March 16, 2015

Fun in the Sun

It's been really heating up in AZ. The highs have been in the high 80s and low 90s. It really feels like summer, so we are in full "summer mode" around here. Last week I blogged about how we had been playing out front.

The end of last week we decided it was so stinkin' hot we needed to start in on water play. So Mckenna started out by washing her water table and getting it into working order to play with after a year in the garage.
Working hard "spring cleaning" her water table toys

Enjoying her hard work...I'm pretty sure there is a warning sticker somewhere regarding this very usage of the table. But she came out alive.

This weekend we spent Sunday afternoon at my parents' house playing in the pool and laying around outside eating popsicles. It was so nice to enjoy the sunshine and the company of my parents.

Then this morning Mckenna, Ronnie and I decided to get out of the house for a little family time while baby N was at her visit with her mom and dad. We walked to the circle K about a mile from our house and got slushies! On the way home, we went by the park to play for a bit and then headed home. 
I'm pretty sure most pediatricians would agree that drinking 32oz of pure sugar is really healthy for kids, so no problem there :)