Jenna from the Blog

a fashion & lifestyle blog

Silas | One Month

Silas Jude finally made his way to the blog! And it only took me a month to get him here. He made his grand entrance on February 23rd at 7:11 pm, weighing in at a whopping 9 lbs., 5 oz. and 21 in. long! 

While he's definitely been our easiest baby so far, somehow going from two to three has been the hardest adjustment yet. Between school schedules, nap/sleep schedules, feeding schedules, appointments, and of course, Jose’s work schedule, it can seem like there is zero time for much else. (Thank God for family and a few neighbors that have pretty much been helping us around the clock so far!) 

So, on that note, I'm going to make this short and sweet. Silas is the piece to our puzzle that we never knew we were missing and, while life has been crazy hectic these past few weeks, we're loving every minute of him and watching Aurora and Holden interact with him. He's worth every bit of sleep we've missed out on!

Baby #3 | 37 Weeks

How far along? 37 years weeks
Maternity clothes: I'm officially down to one pair of pants I can wear to work and it's nothing but Jose's clothes when I'm home (which honestly isn't too far off from what I normally wear when I'm home, lol).
Stretch marks? Nope. I'm sort of alternating between aloe vera, Keri lotion, and, full disclosure, I've started using my tried and true cocoa butter lotion again. Baby's heartbeat has been back to normal at every appointment since my 29 week appointment (when it was first irregular) and, although the doctors initially questioned my caffeine intake and said it could be the source of the problem, they did later say that there was a good chance it had nothing to do with caffeine and that an irregular heartbeat during pregnancy is actually not an uncommon thing and that it often corrects itself by birth or shortly after. I definitely freaked out initially, and cut out any and all caffeine right away, but since things have been great since, I've indulged a little here and there. I think the key is to just be aware and not go overboard. But anytime I talk about how much I love a product and how great it is, I definitely want to be 100% transparent about it, which is why I felt it was totally necessary to mention. 
Sleep: Sleep has been super crappy. Tbh, I'm kinda of at the point where I can't sit, stand, or even lay for very long before I'm uncomfortable. I'm definitely the most ready I've ever been to have a baby.
Best moment this week: Getting away for a little date night with Jose last Friday! We didn't even do dinner (mostly because I get super full after, like, three bites), but we went and saw Upside and it was sooo good! 
Miss anything? Ugh, honestly, just having the energy to do anything. I feel like I say that to people when they ask how I'm feeling and the response is always, "Oh, but you're carrying a baby!" and I totally get it and appreciate it. But when Holden pats the floor for me to come sit by him and I have to say no because it literally hurts to get down that low, or when he reaches for me to pick him up and I can't because even that hurts sometimes, it sucks. Aurora has been my go-to for "Hey, can you run upstairs and get me this or that?" and she's totally been a champ about it, but the guilt definitely starts to set in. And then there's Jose, of course, who always just gets shit done anyway. I seriously don't know how the man does it. He works all day, then comes home and gets started working on stuff around the house. Because we always have some sort of project we're trying to get done. He's not just doing it now because he's picking up my slack, he's that way all the time. And, obviously, I love it but, at the same time, I feel like I'm always comparing myself and what I contribute and it never even comes close. Especially now, when getting up to go do something in the next room takes everything I have. 😭😭😭
Movement: Tons and tons and tons. And it's seriously getting so exciting to think that he's almost here. Partly because that means I won't be pregnant anymore, but mostly because I can't wait to hold him!
Food cravings? Snow. Lol, not even kidding. Whenever I drink water, it always has to be with a ton of ice and then once the ice melts a little, I love to just chew on it. When we were snowed in the week before last, I took a big Tupperware container outside and filled it with FRESH snow and it was seriously the best thing ever! Aurora even helped me go to town with it. So I was maybe a little bit happy when we got fresh snow again last night. Hoping there's still some clean snow for tonight!
Anything make you queasy or sick? Nope
Gender prediction: BOY! Crazy how I was a legit girl mom for 6 & a half years and now I'll be outnumbered by boys! Well, unless you count the dog, which Jose says that doesn't count. 🤔
Labor signs: Definitely feeling those contractions more and more.
Symptoms: I think it's safe to say that I've experienced it all this pregnancy and that this has been the toughest one by far. I feel like there's a new symptom I'm experiencing each day and, to say I've been miserable, is quite the understatement. However, one random symptom that I don't really mind (well, most of the time) is the smells. The other day, Jose got the van washed and I happened to walk past it shortly after he was home and, seriously, all I could smell was car wash and it was so freaking strong and it was the yummiest thing ever, lol. I think I'll miss car wash smell when the baby comes. 
Belly button in or out? Outtie
Wedding rings on or off? On
Mood most of the time: Definitely not pleasant these days. I'm whinier then I'd like to be (and I'm sure others would agree), but I honestly just don't even care at this point. 
Looking forward to: Meeting baby + getting the labor over with! Honestly, my labor with Aurora (& really everything about Aurora, for that matter) was easy peasy. So I never really thought twice about it with Holden. But with him, everything was the opposite. So now, my mind is constantly worrying about: one, the labor + delivery, two, will this baby have any issues like Holden did, three, htf will I deal with two babies so close in age, and the list goes on... Regardless, we will roll with everything just like we did before, but I'd be lying if I said my mind wasn't constantly on those things.
Total weight gain: ~39 lbs. (mostly because I'm just not ready to type "~40" yet)

Baby #3 | 32 Weeks

First and foremost, baby's heartbeat was perfectly normal at my appointment last week! So thanks to everyone for the thoughts and prayers on that one. I was definitely freaked out about it.

How far along? 32 weeks - Holy cow, how did we even get here!??
Maternity clothes: See pictures above. This is what we're down to folks - same outfit with a different cardigan. Unless I'm at home, of course, and then it's just tee shirt + comfy pants.
Stretch marks? None. Also, I did have someone reach out concerned about the Palmer's cocoa butter lotion and oil that I'd suggested before. Here's the deal. What I read about it was that it only has a small trace of caffeine in it. I stopped using it because I stopped any and all forms of caffeine from the moment I found out it could even be an issue. I'm now using the body lotion that I used before I was pregnant and love it, so I'll just continue using that. If I were pregnant again, I might still try the Palmers, I don't know. But I didn't mean to freak anyone out that it was a horrible product or anything. I really don't believe that. Just, under my circumstances, I didn't want to take any chances. That's all. 
Sleep: Sleep has definitely gone down hill. I've been waking up in the middle of the night to take a bath, move to the recliner downstairs, or just to toss and turn. If I remember correctly with Holden, once the sleep goes, she gone! Lord help me!
Best moment this week: Technically this was last week, but definitely hearing the baby's heartbeat was back to normal!!!
Miss anything? Lol, sleep!!
Movement: Tons! The Braxton-Hicks contractions have been real, my friends. I read that baby moving a lot can cause them and I definitely believe it. 
Food cravings? Not really. 
Anything make you queasy or sick? Just the flu that we had last week, but all else is good.
Gender prediction: BOY!
Labor signs: Definitely Braxton-Hicks contractions!
Symptoms: (Read above)
Belly button in or out? Outtie
Wedding rings on or off? On
Mood most of the time: Mood has been decent-ish.
Looking forward to: Meeting this lil fella!
Total weight gain: 30 lbs.

Celebrating the Wins

So I know I’ve written posts/posted articles before on the rough days, because writing is totally my therapy for stuff like this. But today has been a pretty awesome day and I think that needs to be celebrated as well!  

First off, Jose took off work yesterday since I was still sicker than a dog late the night before and we weren’t really sure what yesterday would hold. Luckily, Aurora and I were both on the mend and were back to about 90% by last night. You guys, I was absolutely terrified that Jose would either 1. Get sicker than a dog too or 2. That Jose would return to work today and Holden would be sick and I’d have to mom solo all day when I’m at that point where going up and down stairs totally wears me out. However, not only did Holden sleep in a bit later than usual, but he ate a normal breakfast (drank all his milk, ate a full banana, and a full egg!)!!! I know I still have to post an update of his feeding progress as of late, but he’d been doing really well and then the past few days he wouldn’t drink or eat anything, so we had to rely on his tube again (which sucks when you’re trying to work and sooo close to getting that sucker outta there). Him not drinking/eating is why we were so worried he was starting to get sick. So that’s win #1.

Win #2 came when I gave him a bath and, since Santa brought him some new bath toys, he was occupied playing with those rather than trying to poor water all over the floor. Hey, it’s a win in my book, lol!

Win #3 came when I got the brilliant idea to drag a chair into his new playroom (Not brilliant, we were going to do it anyway, but I got impatient and didn’t want to wait for Jose to get home from work tonight to move it). So now I can just sit there all day long while he hammers away at his tool bench or scribbles on his chalkboard. Laziness for the win!

But the big win came just under an hour ago. For whatever reason, Holden + me + nap time has always been my biggest war. Holden was sleeping on us for the longest time. He would sleep fine for my mom (eventually), sleep great for Jose (of course), but never, ever for me. Or, by the time I could get him to sleep, it was unbearably uncomfortable with my growing belly. So about 2 months ago, we started to try to get him on a regular nap schedule, in his crib. You guys. He would cry for the whole hour straight. For, like, weeks. Sometimes, when Jose or my mom would take him out of his crib after his hour of crying, he would fall asleep for them. But me? No way! Meaning, I would go a full day with this incredibly active little guy, and zero nap. Otherwise known as hell on Earth. Okay, total exaggeration there. Sort of. (The more pregnant I get, the truer that statement becomes.) But today. Today he fell asleep - in his crib - after just 20 short minutes of tears. I was just about to go do the 20-minute checkin when I realized he wasn’t even crying anymore. I’m not going to get all crazy ahead of myself and expect this to become the norm, but you know how some things just happen when you need them to the most?? This would be one of those things and I feel like I’m totally killing it as a mom today!

Yes, I also realize it’s not even 2 pm yet and I still have six more hours ahead of me, but I’m killing this shit right now and there’s nothing you can say to bring me down. Not today, Satan, not today.

Aurora's Tween Bedroom Makeover

I hope you all had an amazing Christmas! We had a pretty relaxing morning at home with the kids. Holden actually came down with a cold overnight, so he slept a little later than normal, but we knew we could count on Aurora to wake us up so she could see what Santa brought her. We opened presents, made/ate brunch, and then we all (Holden included!) took a nap. (Well minus Aurora who stayed awake, playing with her new toys.) In the evening we hosted both our families. We did appetizer type foods and then the kids all tore into their presents. There really is nothing quite like seeing the magic of Christmas through your kiddos' eyes!

This year, Aurora's big present actually came about a week early. We gave her bedroom a little makeover that I think will grow with her. We've actually been planning it for quite a while, but I wanted her input too and that made it quite a bit harder since I love whites and grays and she loves all the colors! Which totally fits her personality, but I wasn't quite sure how we would mix the two. However, I'm so happy with how it all turned out and her reaction when we did the unveiling was worth every minute and penny spent! We moved her temporarily into the spare bedroom while we put everything together, and then revealed it to her last week. A big thanks to our family members, too, who each chipped in and paid for some of the items as well. I've linked all the items below, but let me know if you have questions on where anything came from!

Fun fact about this pillow: It's actually our dog! Check out DrawYourPortrait to get one! Aurora loves it so much!
We finally caved and let her have a small TV in her room, which is hidden behind the tapestry on the right side of her bed. Jose set the side tapestries up, so she can pull them open and shut them when she wants. She's still only allowed the same amount of screen time each day though. :)

Ceiling light: From Land of Nod, similar here
Gold dot wall decals: Also from Land of Nod, similar here and here
Blinds: Amazon
Curtains: Amazon
Pink rug: here and here
Faux fur rug: Similar here and here
Dresser: IKEA Tarva
Pineapple bookends: Target
Pink globe: Hobby Lobby
Cactus: Hobby Lobby
Loft bed: https: Amazon
Tapestries in hangout area: here and here
Throw pillows in hangout area: Pier 1, IKEA, Hobby Lobby, Home Goods
Floor cushions: Amazon
Bedding: Similar here
Reading light: IKEA Fubbla
Curtains in hangout area: Similar here
Hanging chair: Amazon
Chair throw pillows: IKEA, Etsy

Baby #3 | 29 Weeks & A Lesson Learned

So before I get to the usual update stuff, I feel like I need to mention this. Just in case it could be helpful to someone. I had my doctor appointment this week for my Glucola test. So I drink the juice, I'm waiting for the hour to be up so they can draw my blood and, in the meantime, I see my doctor for the usual part of the appointment where she checks baby's heartbeat and all that jazz. So she's checking the heartbeat and it's, very noticeably, off. Like it's skipping a beat. My heart drops, as I'm watching her reaction, Jose's reaction, to see if they notice it too. Then she says the baby's heartbeat is irregular, which just confirms what I was hoping I just wasn't hearing right or something. So they hook me up to the NST machine and aren't really able to get a reliable read on the heartbeat. Fortunately, they were able to get me in for an ultrasound right away because, at this point, I'm a freaking wreck, thinking the absolute worst. The ultrasound tech was immediately able to rule out hydrops fetalis which was the doctor's main concern. My understanding is that hydrops fetalis basically means the baby's heart is failing, so we were glad they were able to rule that out so quickly. So she's looking over the baby's heart and says that everything looks fine structure-wise and that the only thing that's off is the heartbeat. So the doctor comes in and says they want to refer me to another local hospital that would be able to do a more advanced ultrasound of the heart in particular. Seriously by the grace of God, they were able to get me in later that afternoon. (She said sometimes it can take a couple weeks to get in.) If I would've had to wait a couple weeks, you guys, I would've gone completely insane. So of course, between my appointments, I'm Googling everything I can find about what this could mean. Side note: When Holden was in the hospital for his surgeries, anything I would Google would absolutely devastate me. I should've learned my lesson, I guess, but in this case it actually calmed me down a bit. There were quite a few threads I found where people had this same thing happen and it basically was an issue that corrected itself before the baby was even born. So that gave me hope. But a few people mentioned that it could be related to caffeine intake. Now I've been able to give up coffee, no problem, minus a little decaf here and there. But one thing I've always craved pretty heavily when I've been pregnant is pop. (Which is funny, because I don't really have a hard time with pop when I'm not pregnant.) And, at the risk of anyone reading this totally calling me out for being a terrible person, I've definitely indulged myself here and there. Not like, crazy amounts, but just definitely more than I normally would. I've tried to stick with mostly caffeine-free root beer but, to be honest, I guess I didn't realize the whole caffeine thing was so serious of an issue. Unfortunately, I also read that lotions with cocoa butter that have even the smallest trace of caffeine in them can effect this as well. If you've been keeping up on my posts, you know I've used cocoa butter lotion and oil for all three kids so far. You guys, I've sworn by this stuff to avoid stretch marks. I get that it has cocoa in it but, since it's advertised as great for stretch marks, I guess I assumed it would have to be safe for pregnant women. Not that it's not safe, and I think if this was the only form of caffeine I was exposed to, it would be fine. But I think in any cases where it's been an issue, it probably was combined with another form of caffeine. Needless to say, I won't be using it anymore while pregnant. So anyways, we go into our appointment and the ultrasound tech is looking everything over and, after a few minutes, mentions that the heart looks good and asks me about my caffeine consumption. I've seriously never felt so horrible, but was totally honest with her that I didn't think I'd gone crazy with it, but that I definitely didn't totally avoid it either. She didn't say that that was definitely the cause, but she said it could be and that's what makes sense to me right now, I guess. She pretty much reiterated what I'd read online, that it appears to be an irregular heartbeat that will likely correct itself, but that avoiding caffeine from here on out would be a good idea. The doctor came in, basically said the same thing, and told me they didn't see any reason why they'd need to follow up with me there and that I was good to go. I felt so relieved and so freaking awful at the same time. I'm still super hesitant to click "Publish" on this post, but if anyone can learn from it, I'll feel at least a little better. Anyways, on to the usual stuff...

How far along? 29 weeks
Maternity clothes: Comfies, maternity pants, jeans & tanks
Stretch marks? None. While I won't be using the cocoa butter lotion or oil for the remainder of my pregnancy, I've reverted back to the body lotion I typically use every day, which is Keri lotion. Honestly, I've used this stuff forever and love it so much. The only reason I ever switched to the other lotion and oil was to avoid stretch marks. Hopefully this stuff will do the same. It's amazing for dry skin and you only need to put it on once a day. Side note: I'm totally not dissing the stuff I was using for stretch marks. I don't even know for sure that it had anything to do with the issue we had the other day. I just won't be using it to be on the safe side and wanted to let people know, since I was such a big advocate for it. That is all!
Sleep: Still good, for the most part
Best moment this week: Finding out on Tuesday that, what could've been a huge issue with the baby, was really something pretty minor definitely takes the cake. Aside from that, Holden had a great appointment at the beginning of the week, which I'll do an update on soon, and Jose's been making some crazy headway with some projects around the house that I'll be sharing as well. Oh, also, I passed my Glucola test! Woohoo!
Miss anything? Not anymore. I've been feeling pretty good these past few weeks, so just glad for that!
Movement: Lots from this little guy! Even in my ultrasounds on Tuesday, they couldn't believe how active he was!
Food cravings? Only things I can't eat, even if they were things I didn't really eat before (hot dogs, lunch meat sandwiches, sushi...)
Anything make you queasy or sick? Nope!
Gender prediction: BOY!
Labor signs: I've had a tiny bit of cramping, maybe Braxton-Hicks related?
Symptoms: (Read above)
Belly button in or out? Mostly outtie!
Wedding rings on or off? On
Mood most of the time: Pretty happy lately, for the most part!
Looking forward to: Christmas -> Baby -> Disney
Total weight gain: ~29 lbs.

Advent Calendar

It's been a while since I showed up here talking about something other than my growing baby bump. But we're right in the midst of my favorite time of year and I'm so excited to be kicking December off this weekend with one of my favorite holiday traditions--our Advent calendar!

Aurora saw me bringing it up from the basement this afternoon and got so excited. We just started doing one a few years ago and I love seeing her rush downstairs each morning to see what fun the calendar holds for the day. This year will likely be a bit scaled back from previous years since things have been so crazy lately, but I wanted to share some of the things we'll be doing, as well as some things we've included in the past. 

The first thing I do is go through our Google calendar to figure out what things should be done on weekends (when there's more time) or what things Jose would definitely want to be a part of, as well as what things have to happen on a certain date. Then I fill in the rest. The first couple years, I totally felt the need to make each and every day super exciting. With having an extra baby in the mix last year, it didn't take long before I was overwhelmed trying to keep up with the activities and before I knew it, I was dreading it all together. Luckily, Aurora loves chocolate and is totally fine with me just throwing a few chocolates in on the days that we just won't be able to fit something extra in. Here's our list:

Put Christmas decorations up and watch It's A Wonderful Life
Take toys to toy drive
Go see Santa
Make Christmas cards for grandparents
Write a letter to Santa
Watch The Santa Clause while sipping hot cocoa
Take treats to animal shelter
Make a gingerbread house
Celebrate Zoey's birthday (Technically we celebrate the day we brought her home.)
Make candy necklaces while watching Elf
Make Christmas cookies for friends/neighbors/etc.
Take a Christmas gift to teacher
Watch Home Alone while eating pizza for dinner
Camp out by the Christmas tree
Take a Christmas gift to friend
Go look at Christmas lights
Set out milk, cookies, and reindeer food
Take food to local food pantry
Serve meal at homeless shelter
Decorate the Christmas tree with candy canes
Take a bubble bath with glow sticks
Make washi tape decorations on the wall
Go see The Nutcracker
Make and hang paper snowflakes
Make Christmas snack mix

Again, not all of these made it onto our calendar this year. And some things we haven't ever done yet, but would like to in the future. Also Aurora is getting older and might not enjoy some things as much as she used to, but Holden and Baby #3 will love to do. (Aurora will just get extra chocolate those days.) If this is a tradition for any of you, I would love to hear what you do. I'm always trying to think of new things to do to switch it up!