Friday, June 27, 2014


Well, the girls I usually link up with for Five on Friday have gone on a little summer break, so today I'm going to post some TGIF randoms!

*Helloooooo Big Brother!!  The summer shenanigans have finally begun, and I can't wait to get lost in this mindless show.  And also?  T and I started watching The Last Ship (I think it's on TNT?) and we are HOOKED!

*Now that my nausea seems to only come in short, manageable spurts, I am back into my meal-planning and attempting-to-cook routine.  We usually try to do a meatless night once or twice a week to save money, which can be tricky for men!  As always, if you have any easy recipes, feel free to share!

*When we bought our house, we bought it knowing there were some renovations we wanted to have done.  Then we dove headfirst into all of the medical bills that come along with infertility, and the house took a back seat.  Now, though, we're trying to see if there is anything we can do before #2 makes his/her debut this fall.  We had a contractor come out this week to work on getting a quote, and I am so anxious to get her response!  While we'll most likely only do one thing off of our list anytime soon, it's exciting to imagine making this house our own!

*Y'all, our summer has been SO fun so far!  We've been visiting the playground, taking part in a summer gymnastics class, growing and picking all kind of vegetables from our very own garden, feeding the ducks with new friends, taking advantage of all of the library's free entertainment (storytime and animal shows galore!), swimming in the neighborhood pool, going to the zoo, splashing at various splash pads, attending a water park party sponsored by our church, etc. etc. etc.  We even surprised our girl with her very own swing set!  We have lots of fun things coming up, too!!  I apologize for the past and future Instagram overload if you're a follower! (@jmpeele)

*Hallelujah, there's a new (delicious!) boiled peanut stand in town!  I may or may not have gone three times last week.  Now, if only I could track down a shaved ice stand...

*I joined Influenster and just got my very first VoxBox!  Here's a picture of my loot:

I can't wait to use the nail polish color this week when CK and I do our pedicures, and I also can't wait to get my free Jamba Juice smoothie!  I've already used the CoverGirl Bombshell mascara, and really liked it - my lashes are always struggling so I need all the help I can get!  Also, I loved the Hawaiian Tropic After Sun lotion... it even helped to soothe mosquito bites.  I'm so excited about joining up with Influenster!  (*Note... I received these products free from Influenster for testing purposes.)

*After a couple challenging weeks with my CK, I decided to implement a sticker reward chart to focus on positive reinforcement.  It's been very successful so far!!  Here is the one I got.  It's completely customizable, so you can use their category labels or make up your own.  We focus on two behaviors at a time, and her goal is to earn 10 stickers for a behavior.  Once she earns 10, she gets a reward!  She actually earned 10 in BOTH categories we were working on this week, so yesterday we took a trip to Target and she got to pick out two rewards from the dollar spot... which she thought was just about the best thing in the world.  A lollipop and pool toy later, and we were back at home, talking about her good choices and what we were going to focus on next!

*I am happy to report that other than a little nausea here and there and a few food aversions, I am feeling much better.  HOWEVER.  I have quickly learned that sciatic nerve pain is no.joke.  It's been bothering me for awhile, but now it is intense.   Like, the pain in my lower back and upper butt will stop me in my tracks, sometimes make me fall to my knees, and take my breath away.  It creeps into my pelvic bone, often feeling like someone is ripping it apart from the inside.  And while I'm sleeping, it tends to ache down my entire leg.  Unfortunately, my 3-mile walks make it worse... and twice this week I had to cut my exercise sessions short because of the pain.  I am trying so hard not to complain during this pregnancy, because we all know I want this baby with every ounce of my being, but WOW this is tough.  Anyone ever dealt with it and have any suggestions?  My OB suggested a heating pad and support belt to help reposition things, which feels a little silly this early on.  But, I'm almost desperate...

*And speaking of Rocky.... I guess we're in the market for a double jogging stroller, preferably a Bob.  Anyone have a used one for sale?!

*And finally... I think I've mentioned this a time or two... but MY BABY SISTER IS HAVING A BABY!!!  And the shower we've been planning to spoil her sweet baby girl is tomorrow!  I'll be leaving bright and early in the morning to head to Columbia, and I cannot wait to soak up the day and night with some of my favorite ladies.  Yay Baby Buechel!!!!!

TGIF and have an awesome weekend!

Monday, June 23, 2014

It's a....


And a healthy one, as far as we can tell!!

I cannot even begin to explain how anxious I was leading up to today's anatomy scan.  I feel like so many people anticipate the big 20-week ultrasound with excitement, because most people are finding out whether they'll have a son or a daughter.  Well, take that away (remember, we're team green!) and all I was focused on was IS ROCKY OKAY IN THERE?!

As soon as the ultrasound tech started the scan, there he/she was - wiggling all around and BIG.  Measuring 5 days big, to be exact.  (Remember, CK was 9 lbs 14 oz when she was born.  T and I make toddler-sized newborns.)  The doc said that puts my due date somewhere around November 7th based on measurement.  We started with the 12th, then it changed to the 10th, now they're saying 7th-ish... so, we'll see!  I know Rocky will come when he/she is ready, so I'm not really concerned about the actual due date.

Anyway... So as far as the tech could tell, all looked dandy in there.  It always amazes me how in detail they get during the anatomy scan.  The measurements they take, the parts they look for.  It all just looks like a squishy, moving blob to me and she's over there measuring heart ventricles and stuff.  Of course, when she went down south we promptly closed our eyes so we wouldn't see the goods (or lack of goods!).  I have to say, even though we are 100% firm on our not-finding-out-the-gender stance, it is rather tempting to know that she could've told us right then and there.  I asked her if she saw what it was, and she said yes... but she made sure not to put it in my chart so that another nurse/doctor doesn't accidentally let it slip.

Unfortunately, the baby was moving so much that all pictures were quite blurry and he/she was in a position that didn't allow for the obligatory cute-profile-in-utero snapshot.  This is about as good as it got...
 Chubby little arm!

We did, however, get to see our Rocky sucking his/her thumb, yawning, and sticking out his/her tongue.  It was incredible, and the whole experience went by way too quickly.  They may do another ultrasound toward the end since CK was massive, just to check whether we should go ahead and enroll Rocky in kindergarten...  But for now, we're soaking up this joyful time and looking forward to so many dreams coming true in 20ish weeks!

In other news, I managed to put on 8lbs in 4 weeks.  To quote the doctor, "Well, it looks like you've had a good month in the kitchen!"  Oops.  Or not oops?  Like I did with CK, I have been enjoying eating while pregnant.  I'm not totally letting myself go, but I am letting myself splurge and eat a a little more of the things I really want to eat.  And interestingly enough, I have exercised more in the past 4 weeks than I have in the past 5 months.  Go figure!  Anyway, I say bring on the bump and the lbs.  After everything we went through to get where we are, I could care less about the number on the scale.

And to be honest, it really is still so surreal that we're here.  I can't act like I'm not still filled with fear every single day that somehow this will be taken away from us, that something will go wrong.  I think it's probably normal in our situation... the constant worry.  But I have to say with each passing day, with today's scan, with each kick and punch I feel in my tummy - I can't help but to be filled with so much joy.  To still grieve for the path that led us here, but to feel so grateful to be here, no matter what it took.  Seeing that screen this morning, seeing our little miracle... it was breathtaking.  And when I think about holding this baby in my arms in four and a half months, my heart wants to explode. <3

"Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shall you dwell in the land, and truly you shall be fed." (Psalm 37:3)

"Delight yourself also in the Lord:  and he shall give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37:4)

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him." (Psalm 28:7)
Halfway there, and a proud big sister at this morning's checkup!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day!

For most of my childhood, I grew up without a dad.  I didn't really know what a "dad" was supposed to look like, supposed to be like.  How should he act, what should he do, what should he say?

Now, though, at thirty-one years old, I am beyond blessed to have many men in my life who have painted a pretty awesome picture of fatherhood.

To Dale, you came along and rescued four kids, making us feel like your own, when you fell in love with our mom.  Thank you for making me finally believe that a dad could exist in my life.

To Dr. Rev, you raised my most favorite man on the planet, and you truly are his hero.  He looks up to you with such admiration, as do I.  You taught him everything there is to know about fatherhood... and I can attest that you did an amazing job.  He is incredible.

To Tom, since day one you have made me feel unconditionally loved and supported.  The kindness in your eyes and the warmth in your smile have always felt like home to me.

And to my husband, my very best friend, and the most inspiring person and Dad I have ever known... You will never understand the joy I feel when I see the way you look at her.  We are so lucky to be your girls, and I cannot believe I get to journey through this thing called life holding your hand.  It's no secret that the past year has been rough for us, but we came out on top, because of you.  You were our rock, you never let me lose hope, you never let me give up.  I love you, babe, with every ounce of my being... and I am so proud to watch our children call you DAD.  YAWILFT.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Five on Friday!

It's time for some Five on Friday action!  Without further ado...

First I'd like to say God Bless all the single mamas and also any woman who has ever been pregnant with three or more kids already in two.
Now let me back up...
Last week, T was gone for nine days straight - first, a work trip to Dallas and then, a boys' golf weekend.  I almost died.  No, really.  CK was two going on thirteen, and it's a wonder we're both still alive.  Thank goodness my mom came in for a couple days to help when I was at my wits end.  T got home at 2am Monday morning, and 16 hours later my two nephews came into town to stay for a few days while their parents enjoyed a much-needed and deserved vacation.  The boys (4 and 18 months) were great, but the entire time I couldn't help but think of all the women in the world who continue to have babies when they have 3+ kiddos.  When I went to bed on Tuesday night, everything ached.  BUT.  It was the best kind of ache, because we had an absolute blast... playground-visiting, bug-hunting, water balloon-fighting, playdoh-creating, s'mores-eating, sprinkler-playing, sidewalk-chalking, bubble-blowing, etc.  I think CK is still mourning the fact that the boys are gone!

Speaking of my little drama queen, if you follow me on Facebook, you know that we have recently entered the stage where she wants to pick out her outfits and dress herself.  Great, right?  Not exactly.  I mean, sometimes, honest to God, she'll come out like this...
But usually, it's more like this...
And don't you dare try to tell her that her outfit doesn't match, or that her clothes are on backwards... or else you'll get this...
See:  two going on thirteen.

So, I've been in a bit of a dilemma when it comes to exercising.  My goal is to exercise throughout this entire pregnancy, mostly in the form of walking with CK in the jogging stroller.  I try to log 2-3 mile walks most days of the week, logging 15-20 miles per week.  However, the more I walk, the worse the pain in my tailbone/hips/legs is, especially throughout the night.  It's so frustrating, because I obviously want to maintain my exercise routine for both my health and the health of Rocky, but I'm significantly more uncomfortable when I do.  Any suggestions?

Ok, I'm needy today... I also need dinner/cooking suggestions!  Now that the nausea has decreased enough that I can actually go to the grocery store and stomach the thought of preparing a meal, I need to get back to cooking for my family.  We all know I'm allergic to the kitchen, and I'm incredibly unmotivated because I really haven't cooked in almost three months.  HELP me!  Where do I begin, what's the easiest way to kickstart some easy recipes?  And yes, I know Pinterest exists.

And speaking of NOT cooking, thanks to my food-loving girlfriends, I discovered a good ol' southern diner here in Carrollton that pretty much serves my favorite food - goodness with a side of goodness.  AND they have a drive-thru.  So today, I got a southern vegetable plate for lunch... and inhaled cornbread biscuits, mashed potatoes and gravy, pinto beans, fried okra, and fried green tomatoes... and banana pudding.  I think I'm in love.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

I Heard Your Heartbeat...

I will never forget the day I found out I was pregnant with you... There was hope, there was fear, there was courage.  I carried you until you were 9 weeks old in my belly, and even heard your precious heartbeat.  Today would have been the day you were due... a day we looked toward with hope back in October.  Instead, today I mourn losing you, unable to shake the could-have and should-have and would-have beens from my mind, the ache in my heart.

Something went wrong last November, and your little life just couldn't hang on.  We'll never know exactly what happened, but I want you to know that I look forward to holding you in my arms, one day, in heaven.

Until then, I will always think of you on June 11th.  I will always be sad about never getting to meet you on this side of life.  But I will celebrate the hope you gave us, the strength you brought to our world when we journeyed through the darkness... because without you, we wouldn't be where we are today.

Though you were only my baby for a short time, you were still my baby.  And for that, I will forever be grateful.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Today, I Will Brush My Hair

This morning, CK and I had to run a couple errands.  I threw on an oversized tshirt, a baseball hat, and some running shorts.  While I did manage to brush my teeth (you're welcome), that's about all I did in terms of getting spruced up.

As we walked into a store, I saw our reflection in the glass door.  Yikes, I thought, staring at myself.  But then I looked down at CK and realized that she, of course, was put together head-to-toe.  Hair brushed with a hairbow perfectly placed, an adorable outfit, and matching shoes.  "Well," I thought... "Hopefully people will just look at her and not notice me."

Fast-forward a few hours and we're sitting at our kitchen table, eating lunch.  She has some ham and cheese, carrots and tomatoes, olives, and fresh peaches.  Me?  A fried chicken sandwich with extra mustard, pickles, sour cream and onion chips, and a handful of Nerds (I'm probably the only person over the age of 16 who eats Nerds).

Why do we treat our children so much better than we treat ourselves?

We make sure they have balanced meals with plenty of fruits and vegetables... we make sure they take naps... we make sure they get a good night's sleep... we limit tv time... we make sure they leave the house looking all cute and put-together... we make sure they get plenty of playtime and exercise...

And in the meantime, we're running around with a box of Nerds and greasy hair, stepping on Legos and looking for a clean pair of underwear.

These moments just made me realize that it's high time us mamas start trying to treat ourselves, our bodies, as well as we treat our children.  And this is more than just the vain side of putting on matching clothes - it's about our INSIDES.  We need vegetables, and naps, and playtime, too.

So for all of us mamas, while we all know our kids will always come first, let's try to take care of ourselves, too.  Make ourselves a priority every now and then.  Even if that just means that today we actually run a brush through our hair and grab an apple instead of a Little Debbie...