Aside from the occupant of Le Bump making his or her appearance around Labor Day, we have another exciting event happening in August (if you’re a long-time reader have you noticed how August is never quiet for us?) – and no I’m not talking about attending GenCon 50 (though we’re looking forward to that too). For the first time we’ll be living within our own (rented) four walls. We’re going to be moving to a HOUSE!
We all have them, those days where you wake up and feel like “arge, do I really have to today?” I’m in the midst of one myself, due in part to the realization yesterday (silly as this sounds) that I’m pregnant over summer which means no patio time with a beer until after Le Bump arrives – this seriously seems WORSE to me than no Glühwein over Christmas as it was with Bernhard’s pregnancy. (that said, pregnancy isn’t the WORST thing in the world. I’m happy to have Le Bump on board.) Then I feel like I got to work and it’s been a day full of surprises, like no coffee/tea (!!!) or microwave today due to office construction, and generally feeling blah physically.
Oh, and the dismal news out of St. Petersburg this morning has left me feeling less than hopeful in the human race today. I found myself counting down the minutes until Noon so I could pray the Angelus to have a moment and refocus.
Breathe in and say a Hail Mary.
^That seems to have been my mantra for the last month or so, and while some may find it silly, it does seem to help me. The only problem is that I don’t always adhere to my own mantra when life gets rough. But especially when trying to be loving to a toddler who has been a bit of, shall we say, a challenge lately. Mass yesterday was no exception – but as my mom pointed out (thanks!) we don’t have to do that Mass over. The next one is another opportunity. Again, say a Hail Mary.
All of the Monday-y and blah feelings aside, I felt like I got a silly little boost when I glanced at Twitter just before I ate lunch — Tommy of The Catholic Hipster graciously nominated me for the 2017 Catholic Hipster Mom contest. I feel like I’m small beans compared to the other wonderful ladies who are also in the running, but it’s brought a smile to my face none the less. Thanks Tommy, I needed that. I feel like this is just another example of how awesome the Catholic Twitter community is, and I’m happy that I’m a part of it in some small way.
Between it being lent, work (a huge document just got published) and various other life things I’ve had little time to blog — but also this:
That’s right, Bernhard Joseph is going to be a big brother come late August/early September (EDD actually IS Labor Day) depending on when this little one decides it’s time to pop out!
We sent out a few physical announcements last weekend to our grandparents and wanted to give them a week to arrive before making it “internet official”.
Here’s one of my favorite outtakes from that announcement:
Joking aside, Bernhard has been as excited at a 22-month old can be. He actually outted me at Kroger when I was about 10-weeks along by ripping my jacket open and announcing to the entire store very loudly “MY BEBE” and “BEBE PLAY?”. We’re reading lots of books about babies, being a big brother, and trying to work on being gentle. He points out babies we see in public too, and has been pretty good about playing nicely with smaller kids at the museum and library.
So, for the questions that’re sure to pop up:
When did you find out? Christmas weekend was when we got the BFP (big fat positive). But between the holiday and ending up in urgent care with B exhibited possible pneumonia symptoms it was a bit overshadowed. JP jokes now that he gave me the BEST possible Christmas surprise he could have come up with. And yes, for everyone this baby was a surprise. But a good one 🙂
Due date? Labor Day (September 3/4) of this year.
Boy or Girl? We don’t know yet, I’m only 16 weeks along today, so no anatomy scan. But I’ll probably keep it to just us and our families like I did with B. Meaning… you’ll have to wait for the birth and name announcement after Labor Day!
Names? We have lists. But again, we won’t know until we actually MEET this little one — just like with B. We knew what his middle name was going to be, but we were between two first names and didn’t know which he was until we met him. JP met him first due to the emergency c-section and knew his name, but held off until I met him too just in case I disagreed.
How are you feeling? I have my great days and not so great days. I wasn’t as sick this time around during the first trimester (with B I lost 15lbs from not keeping ANYTHING down for the first 16 weeks). I did forget how tired cooking a baby makes you though, and add that to a very active toddler boy, oh my!
Any cravings? The only real craving that has seemed to come out of left field has been coca cola – which at first I thought was just the carbonation (a craving I had with Bernhard), but nope, it’s the coke flavor. I’ve indulged a bit here and there in it, but I don’t like to. I’m not a soda drinker at all.
Any worries this time around? Honestly, it seems like pregnancy is an “old hat” this time around. Probably because I’ve gestated the full 40 weeks before and given birth. The only worry is that we’re getting keys to a new rental on August 10th and the baby is due 3-weeks later! Thankfully the two leases will over lap by 3 weeks AND we’ve decided to hire movers this time around.
If anyone has any other questions feel free to leave a comment and I’ll reply!
One of the things that both JP and I want to impart to our children is a love of reading. From the get go Bernhard has had QUITE the little library going for him — my sisters hosted a book shower for me when I was pregnant, and dear friends gifted us some of their favorites. Looking back through my phone pictures, B was all of two weeks old when JP read to him for the first time — B lasted all of two pages before either demanding to nurse or needing a diaper (my memory on that is fuzzy at this point), but the image is one of my favorite images of them from early on.
Now that Bernhard is f 21 months (where did my squishy baby go?!) he frequently asks for us to read to him, or even at times we’ll walk in on him flipping through book and naming things he knows. Five of his current favorites – read as he makes us read them a LOT and often on repeat – include:
//one: The Gruffalo – I found out about The Gruffalo when I was nannying for the Munchkins in Hamburg six (6?!) years ago. We read it multiple times a day to them, and as a result I memorized it. Bernhard got his own copy for Epiphany, and turns out that I STILL have the darn thing memorized! We’ll probably be getting him a copy of The Gruffalo’s Child for Easter this year so we can mix things up.
//two: Freight Train – I think this is a book that every mom of a toddler boy is required to own. I happened to find our copy in the dollar clearance section of Half Price Books, and in the last months I think we’ve read it on repeat thousands of times. B is getting really good at pointing out each car and telling me what color each is. They read it this week at daycare and reported that he did a happy dance when they pulled it out.
//three: I am a Bunny – This was a baby gift from some dear family friends. It was a favorite of their three girls growing up, and Bernhard loves reading about the “bubby” (we’re working on the “n” sounds). It’s a fairly simple book, but Bernhard has incorporated some “games” as we read — for example, there’s a page about blowing dandelion seeds and he blows on the page, and he’ll name colors and point out animals. It’s too cute.
//four: Little Blue Truck – I picked this one up when we got Freight Train from the same clearance shelf at HPB. This has become a MUST read before bed. We can’t lay down without reading about the “twuck”. We’ll have to remember to pack it for our weekend trip…
//Five: Planes Go – ok, so really all of the books in this series — Trucks Go, Planes Go, Diggers Go, Boats Go… you get the picture. We own the first two in the list, but the Planes is probably his favorite out of them right now — he’ll make the sounds and cackle with delight on certain pages (looking at you supersonic jet). I also like that a space shuttle launch is the last page so closing the book by making it go blast off is an easy way to segway into another of the books on this list.
Over on instagram Verily Magazine is running a little red lip challenge. No one tagged me, but I thought I’d go ahead and tag myself to join in on the fun.
Last year when I was in the midst of one of the postpartum gumbo lows I decided to do something a little silly and challenged myself to wear lipstick everyday for a month in hopes that it would help me with the whole self care hurdle lots of new moms, or heck just moms, face. That silly little act actually helped a lot.
There were some mornings I got up and was like “do I really HAVE to keep going?” but I persisted. Granted, the lipstick didn’t always stay on for more than a couple minutes, and I didn’t always reapply throughout the day, but taking the two minutes out of my day to apply it and snapping a shot of my face helped me refocus, and dare I say I felt prettier even when covered in who knows what?
Since then, I’ve found that red-oranges are my favorite to wear (like the one in the pictures), and in a way they’ve become my “power” color. I can be having an absolute craptastic day, but if I take a couple minutes to apply lipstick it can (dumb as it sounds) turn my day around, including when the self-doubt demons rear their heads.
I tag Dominika of A Quiet Quest — do you wear a bold lip sometimes and how does it make you feel?
When Blessed is She announced WAY back at the end of last summer they were coming out with a liturgical planner I was excited — at first it was *only* going to be for the academic year, but as soon as Jenna announced a 2017 calendar year version I jumped on the pre-order.
I wanted to share some thoughts I’ve had about the planner after using it for a whole month. Which I realize isn’t an overly long test run, but I do have some thoughts that I figured as I’m a blogger I might as well share with the internet. 😉
//what I like:
- the monthly calendar view — I LOVE the layout of this calendar. It’s not only beautiful but very well thought out.
- the liturgical colors — the colors that Erica and Jenna chose to use are stunning 🙂
- novena reminders — Something this girl certainly needed.
- the lists — I really like that there is a big to-do, groceries/shopping list/meal plan sections.
- prayer intention/self-care sections — This was a big driver for me wanting to get this planner for 2017. 2016 was rough, and having little spaces for prayer intentions for the week, a section that asks me what I liked about myself and what I’m grateful for daily helps me focus, and if I’m unable to fill out those two sections, even if the thing I’m grateful for is silly, then I know that I need to regroup the following day.
//what I don’t like:
- four pages per weekly spread — for me it feels a little, clunky? This is an opinion that *may* change by the end of the year.
- the size — when I upgraded from my B&N planner to my PPP in 2015 the size was an adjustment, but it worked well. The BiS planner feels MUCH larger than my PPP was — which means it’s NOT as easy to toss into my work backpack and go, and part of that beings me to my next point…
- cover and coil — unlike others I’ve had the BiS planner has a VERY ridged cover. The lack of flexibility from the cover combined with the size makes it hard for me to want to take it with me – and if I do I feel like I have to put the planner in it’s own tote bag. Also the binding option looks great, but overall I’m not impressed with the twin-loop style. It simply doesn’t keep the last few pages secure enough for me.
- lack of extras — while there are the four pages per week which give ample space for notes, I miss having some extras that other planners gave me. These include a folder in the back to toss things like appointment cards and bills into, a space for addresses, a few extra sheets of note paper, a 2018 at a glance in the back.
- price — I do love that I’m supporting a wonderful Catholic womens’ ministry with purchasing the planner. I interact with the BiS online groups and read the daily devotions. That said, the cost of the planner itself was on the high side, and was definitely a decent splurge for me. The paper and other components are high quality, but I think if it could be offered for a little less in future editions it would be an overall benefit so more women could fit it into their budgets.
//what surprised me:
- hourly days — When I initially ordered this I was excited to have my weekdays laid out hourly, buuuut turns out this really is NOT my planning style. I DO need space for each day, but with how I’ve done things to this point, hourly doesn’t work for me. Personal planning style.
- intentions — I will say that a month in, that this planner has helped me refocus more on family and prayer life.
//thoughts so far:
Overall I am happy with the planner, but at this point I’m not sure I’d want to get another BiS planner for 2018. I think if I were a sahm or a homeschooling mom this would be AWESOME for my needs. I actually took it with me to Houston mid-January to show my mom, and she’s in agreement. It would have been a great option for her, though she liked the Michelle Quigley planners that she used size-wise better (they’re maybe a third of BiS).
I’m currently looking into a way to change my cover and binding out to see if that will help me with my main hesitation to toss the planner into my bag and take it places. I’ll probably post an update in a couple months, especially if I figure out the cover/coil situation and if that greatly improves my experience using it.