Friday, November 21, 2014

28 Weeks

Hello third trimester!  I am feeling officially PREG-NANT.  I finally gave up my kick boxing class and have opted for the gentler elliptical as my main source of exercise because I just couldn't hack it anymore.  That, and my bladder was begging for a break, like every five minutes.  I'm finding that some of my maternity tops are feeling snug and a little short and I wonder if it's too early to feel like this?  With my other pregnancies I remember getting to this point much closer to delivery. We've still got two months of water retention and awkward rolling out of bed.

I had a baby fit taking off my boots and socks last night because my belly was making the task nearly impossible. Lakin witnessed the scene and asked, "Mom, what are you so mad about?"  Whoops.  Didn't realize I was having a tantrum in front of my four-year-old.  My physical limitations are have left me grumpy.  My daughter even notices my tiny fits of rage over the great effort exerted during normal daily tasks.  Chris happened to call as I was finishing up bath time and could hear my struggle over the phone wrestling a wet and freshly lotioned toddler into his footed pajamas.  Sometimes I just have to take a minute and lay on the floor.  Bennett calls it, "Mommy sleep time."  I usually need this after getting the kids suited up to leave the house.  Because putting  kids in a snowsuit, snow boots, coat, mittens and hat is a lot of work.  But it's no joke when you're pregnant.  We're slow and steady over here.

But I do know that I won't always grunt when putting on socks and that someday soon my breath will return to me and I won't feel winded delivering laundry to Lakin's room downstairs.  This is temporary and totally worth it.

Here's a bump picture to document that I am indeed growing in size.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

26 Weeks ... Just Bumpin' Along

It's that time again.... bump update.  Also, do you see what I did with that clever title?

I am, in fact, still pregnant.  My belly is getting... larger.  But this week's photo shows some serious delusion in the J Household.

Bennett is proud to announce that he also has a baby in his tummy.

This week I have felt the restrictions of pregnancy.  (Besides my desire for a glass of red which has been strong since we first found out I was pregnant.)    I bend over and the bump is in the way.  Picking up countless Halloween stickers from my kitchen floor (thank you, Bennett) and sweeping up the daily crumbs has become a real chore.  I also can hear myself breathing when I'm climbing stairs, enjoying a fun size candy bar or sitting perfectly still watching Property Brothers... Oh man, I know from experience that this level of discomfort is nothing compared to the desperate weeks before delivering a baby.  So I'm gearing up.

This week I have been rejoicing in the gift of flavored water.  Brought to my kitchen from the recommendation of my good friend, Erica.  It's literally water in a can with a hint of lime.  And I drink about three a day.  I'm sure I can enjoy something similar with a real lime and my tap water, but that's not chilled and in a can.  So....

In other news, I purchased some ankle boots.  I feel ridiculous wearing them but the interwebs tell me that this is the style and that rolling my pants up is the way to do it.     However, I am debating if this will be a flattering maternity choice because, well... cankles.

And that's about all for this bumpdate.  Carry on.

Monday, October 27, 2014

24 Weeks

Pregnancy is flying by and I'm doing a terrible job of documenting any of it.  We're currently 24 weeks in and Baby J is doing great.  Despite this photo above, which looks like I walk around with the back pain of an 82 year-old woman,  I'm feeling good and really pretty comfortable.  Even been hitting up a couple of classes at the RAC a couple times a week. I can't say my kick boxing is pretty, but I'm sticking it out until I simply can't do it any more.  You're welcome, fellow Kickin' It classmates.

Chris and I have begun the negotiations for Baby J's name.  Let me tell you, naming a person is a gigantic responsibility.  I've always thought myself a decisive person, but when it comes to naming offspring, I seem to like to keep all options open until forced by hospital staff to give a legal name for birth certificate documentation.  I bet it comes down to a game time decision this time around too.

Lakin and Bennett are really getting into the baby spirit and love to lift my shirt at inappropriate times to give the baby some acknowledgement.  Bennett is especially fond of giving her slobbery kisses from the outside.  It's adorable... until it's disgusting.  Lakin has been working on her own list of names which includes: Lakin, Paper and Sally.  All strong contenders.  I feel confident that once baby arrives she'll never know the luxury of her own personal space bubble.

There's lots of new babies in my life right now and holding them makes me so excited for her newborn smell and baby snuggles. I can't believe we've just hit the 6 month mark.  Little one will be here before we know it.  Welcome to crazy town, baby girl.  We're waiting for you.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Donuts, Baby Girls & Great Expectations

So this pregnancy is flying by and I just went this week for our anatomy ultrasound.  I talked Chris into finding out the gender this time.  I figured with our impending move, it might be nice to know what clothes to keep out and what to store away.  But in reality, the suspense was killing me.

 Here's a little bump photo.  Don't mind the dirty mirror or the blurry toddler.  He's cute, though, isn't he?
 Chris thinks photos of people with cameras blocking their face are creepy.  But I attempted to focus and them move the camera and the final product was lots of random shots of the mirror frame.  So.  Creepy. It. Is.

 A headless photo.  Perhaps even creepier?

I had the most lovely ultrasound tech this time around and I think I could have napped in that room for hours if they would have let me.  What has the world come to when going to the doctor and lying on an exam table has become a vacation?

Baby is developing like a little champ and even had a hand up over its forehead for the entire ultrasound.  Perhaps this baby is more in tune with its future surroundings than we think.  After the all clear and healthy check we found out that our third child will be a GIRL.

I met Chris in the clinic lobby following my appointment and showed him our images from the ultrasound.  He beamed when he came to the image declaring baby's sex.  "I can't wait to have another daughter."  Chris is an amazing father to Lakin, it will be so fun to watch him raise another little girl.  I swung by Dunkin' to pick up two pink donuts for the kids (and a Chocolate Long John - for the baby, alright).

I saved the donuts for after dinner and waited for Chris to come home, certain that our announcement about baby SIS would be monumental.  Lakin's been determined this baby would be a girl and I figured we'd at least get an excited reaction out of her.

Chris started to set the donuts down in front of the kids before I had my phone ready to video and I barked at him to wait a minute so we didn't miss this moment on camera... obviously I had some high expectations for the reaction.  When I was filming, Chris gave the kids the donuts and we told them why they were pink... the response was radio silence and extreme concentration on eating those friggin' donuts.  Apparently, a Dunkin' Donut is just as exciting, if not more, than a baby sister.  

To watch: Check out my Instagram feed.

 Later, in the absence of donuts, they were able to express their extreme excitement over baby sister.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


We recently checked this book out from the library.

It's about a bossy ambitious big sister and her little brother.  When her kitty runs away, she turns her attention to her impressionable little brother who learns to dance, play piano and dress to impress under her direction and leadership.  We had the book in our house for four days and Lakin had the whole thing memorized.  Perhaps she felt it was like her memoir since she too, is always working on a young protégé.

The other day Lakin was doing time in time out when Ben decided to sit in solidarity with her at the end of the hallway.  Despite my efforts to make him scram he told me, "I do timeout." So if misery likes company, who am I to step in?  As Ben sat there and endured punishment with Lakin I heard her whisper to him a line from the library book.  "Ben, you're my greatest masterpiece."   To which Bennett replied, "Masterpee."  And they had a good laugh, because pee.  Obviously.

Despite her bossiness, steam rolling and sometimes bad influence, Bennett loves his big sister and wants to be just like her.  It's endearing.  (And slightly terrifying.)

Monday, September 22, 2014


We did the pumpkin patch with some of our friends from Mayo.  I took a million photos.


You want to see?

Sure thing.

 It was a crisp day.  We arrived and immediately jumped in line with the tricycles.  Bennett and his dad were already there taking one for a test drive.
 My Bennett, who was grossly underdressed in shorts and a flannel shirt, (note all the hats and coats surrounding us from much more forward thinking, responsible parental units) took a moment to survey all the trike options before deciding that running out of the fenced-in area was more his speed.
 Isaac and Daniel working the bikes.  How is this boy old enough to ride one of these?
 Bennett attempting to get "candy" out of the chicken feed dispensers.
 Very characteristic of these two and their friendship.  Lakin needs sweet Annabelle in her life to remind her that minding manners and obeying adults is really the way to go.  Thanks Annabelle, for being a positive influence on our little firecracker.
 And this week on awkward friend moments...
 Some of my favorite Rochester kids.  Lined up for a photo.  Isaac, Isla, Annabelle, Lakin, Bennett and Bennett
 And one more for good measure.  Points for Isaac and the Bennetts for staying strong in your expressions.  Isla, I'm sorry I brought you so much distress.  Lakin, you are always clowning.
 The hat.  That's all.
 A tiny model.  Makes photos so easy.
 Nothing like climbing a mountain of tires.

 Ben loved the slide.
 The other Bennett didn't mind it much either.
 Super proud of Lakin for taking the slide like a boss.  Typically a slide of this magnitude would result in a bit of anxiety.

 Mom shot!  Erica, Me, Sara, Casey and Valerie.  So fun to spend with morning with you all and your little people.

 The Rivera family.  They've never taken a bad photo.  Ever.

 The little boys thought the hayride and tractor were pretty great.

 The Jaeger family.  A lifetime of bad photos.
I swear she had a good time.

And, if you're wondering, underneath Lakin's well-coordinated outfit is a purple one piece swimsuit.  Just in case.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Ain't No Party Like a Noonday Party

Monday night I gathered with friends to view and try on the new Fall line from Noonday Collection.  Last February was my first Noonday Trunk Show and I have fallen in love with this company and their beautiful, hand-made accessories.

It was a perfect night to catch up, play dress up and indulge in some sweets all while learning more about how our purchase has power.  Companies with a conscience, like Noonday, are popping up all over making it easier for consumers to purchase ethically.

Noonday uses fashion and design to create economic opportunity for the vulnerable.  They are currently working with 28 different artisan groups in 10 different countries.  They employ 2,000 artisans and consequently are impacting 8,800 family members.  They provide the dignity of work and a fair wage, no-interest loans, scholarships, emergency assistance and long term trade for their artisans.  They do this by creating a marketplace for artisans allowing them a sustainable income and the ability to not only survive but to thrive!

Some party pics to showcase our evening:

 Cheese plate and desserts galore.
 Molly loving up on the Rustic Leather Tote.
 Molly thinking about having to set the Rustic Tote down and walk away from it.  DEVASTATED.
 Jen's enthusiasm is hard to match.
 Rachel trying on the Minted necklace (and rocking it like a boss).
 Some serious perusing of the goods.
 Cathy checking out the Helena necklace.  Too many pretties to choose from?
 Jennifer organized pieces based on the country of origin.  So lovely to see the different styles from each part of the world.
 Beautiful Marti is already a champion for women's rights.  She has founded Hope for Cambodia where people can shop local artisans to raise money for Cambodian teens to attend school, essentially keeping them off streets and out of brothels.  I was delighted to introduce her to Noonday since purchasing with purpose is clearly her jam.

 A reminder of the talented artisans who make Noonday happen.
 Love these women! Ellen, Casey, Molly and Sara

 Jennifer was showing a sneak peek of the upcoming Winter line - a first for Noonday.  Oct 9th all Minnesotans can get their warmth on while supporting Noonday. Mark those calendars.

 Carli came sporting her past Noonday purchases.
 Geri fell in love with the luxury line.
 An epic photo bomb from Casey.
 My ridiculously gorgeous friend, Erica, checking out the catalog.
 Decisions, decisions.
 Cara and Lucie studying the Look Book.
Alisa and Stephanie catch up during the party.

Thank you to all who were able to make it Monday!  It was a huge win to spend the evening with each of you.  Special thanks to my Ambassador, Jennifer Jensen, who perfectly articulated the mission of Noonday and reminded us that once we begin purchasing ethically we will have a hard time going back.

This trunk show will close Sunday.  If you weren't able to make it or live far away, no trouble, you can still check out Noonday online at

Oh, and in case you're curious... I'm debating between all these pieces.

How will I choose?  Open to input.