Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Aaron's Birthday

I have learned through the years, and it has taken me years, that Aaron truly would love nothing more than a low key celebration when it comes to the anniversary of his birth. He doesn't like to draw attention to himself, and he would rather relax and take it easy than throw a party. Usually I choose not to believe him when he tells me this and I try to make it a big deal, but I finally got it into my head that he honestly doesn't care. So we truly kept things low key.

Although his birthday fell on a Saturday this year, Aaron was still in the throes of busy season and had to go into work. We partied, mellow style, once he got home. Dinner out, presents, and cheesecake.
Grace made sure that Aaron was told Happy Birthday, enough times that the day felt special. She gasped every time she looked at the signs we hung up, "Thats Daddy's Happy Birthday!!" and "Presents for Daddy's Happy Birthday!!"
Happy 28th Birthday Aaron!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Valentine's Day

Or should I say ValentiMe's Day? Grace tosses the M in there, and I like the way she says it.

We started our day off with Valentime's baskets. Eerily similar to Easter baskets (I never claimed to be the most creative person in the world). Each full with our favorite candy. Grace got a few extra gifts from us and from her Grandparents. Aaron spoiled me with a People magazine, DDP, and Reese's peanut butter cups (the man knows me so well). 

Do you want to take any wild guesses as to where I told Aaron I wanted to eat dinner? I have only vowed my deep and passionate love for this place many a time. Swooning over sauces and greasiness. I'm thinking that they should start paying me to say these things (Am I right?). Wing Stop, people. I'm about two chicken tenders doused in buffalo wing sauce away from an intervention. I wonder if it will taste as good when I'm not pregnant. So, although it wasn't Friday, the special occasion warranted a special trip. We even dressed up to go, just to keep things on the classier side.
It was a Valentime's success, and since no one celebrates their day of love by eating wings, the place was empty. No crowd on Valentime's Day? Thank you very much.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Where to Start

There is lots to catch up on. It's been a busy few weeks. In there we have had a number of church activities, alongside Valentine's Day and Aaron's birthday.

But perhaps, I should start where I left off. The Pacifier Break-up. Here is how things have gone.
We took the pacifiers away on Sunday night. Grace cried for about an hour and a half, and then gave up and completely konked out. I was shocked when I woke up the next morning and learned that she stayed asleep through the night as well. We took her bumper off of her crib a few months back, and her pacifiers would slip through the slats. Grace woke up in tears then, multiple times, searching for her beebees. So after completely taking the pacifiers away I was expecting her to wake up, but was left pleasantly surprised when she slept the whole night through.

Monday afternoon was an adventure. Not only did she ask for her beebees, cry, and not sleep, she learned how to crawl out of her crib. I was in her room every 15 minutes putting that sucker back in her crib. It was a battle royale. Due to her complete lack of napping, she fell asleep that night with little to no fight.

The rest of the week basically followed the same pattern. The crawling out got fewer and farther between, until she eventually just stayed in there. But she never slept. Grace has always been a good sleeper. I have been spoiled rotten by her 3 hour nap schedule for quite some time. She has fought a few naps in recent months and I could tell a transition was on the horizon. But then it all came to a screeching halt once the pacifiers were gone. I knew she would grow out of the naps, but I just didn't think it would be so soon and so sudden. The hardest part was knowing when she went from zero to tantrum in .00000786 seconds, it was all due to her lack of sleep. She was a handful last week. I was desperate for some mid-day naps myself, but couldn't justify falling asleep while she was still awake. Now there was a cranky toddler, and a cranky pregnant mom in the mix. Last week was neither of our proudest moments, let's just put it that way. By Friday Grace was so tired that she passed out in her crib and slept for 3 and a half hours. You best believe I did the same.

I think Grace is figuring life out without the pacifiers, she has napped in some form or fashion everyday this weekend. The quiet and calm that has currently taken place in my apartment leads me to believe that she fell asleep today. Could this be a possible trend? A Mom can only hope. Perhaps all it took was one rough adjustment week. Fingers crossed.

The pacifier break-up continues...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Can't Stop

...Listening to Something That I Want by Grace Potter. Yeah, it's from the Tangled Soundtrack.

...Staring at the ultrasound pictures of my sweet boy.

...Giving up hope that Grace's naps are now something of the past. (Oh Beebees, how we miss you)

...Gaining weight.

...Eating sweets (this explains the above, eh?)

...Counting down the days until Aaron's busy season is over.

...Reading the Percy Jackson series.

...Crying when I hear Anything Like Me by Brad Paisley

...Smiling when Grace says "You're welcome" before I have the chance to say "Thank you."

...Thanking my lucky stars that I'm married to a man that I'm madly in love with.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Pacifier Break-up

Grace is a pacifier baby. From the early days of her life, back when the pacifier took up a large percentage of her face, she loved them. They calmed her, soothed her, helped her sleep at night.
They were there for sick days, and road trips. Quiet times and times where Grace needed to be quiet. They were there for good days and bad days, naps at home and naps away. She loved them and we loved them. We suffered through the transition of having her pacifiers only during naps and nighttime. Caving every so often to let her have them at other times too.
Through time we started to lose them. Replacing them every so often as needed. As her teeth came in she started to chew through them, so we had to throw some out. On Friday afternoon she chewed through her very last beebee (what Grace calls her pacifiers). We went to the store and realized that they don't make the kind that she likes anymore. We found one last set in the dark corner of the pacifier rack at Babies R Us, and Aaron and I vowed that this would be the last set we bought for her.

We took her home, had her throw her ruined beebees away, and told her that the last set we bought for her was the very last set she would have.

Two days later, that last set had holes in it.

We ceremoniously pulled the trashcan out. Asked her where ruined beebees go, and she threw them in the trash. We explained over and over that she was now a big girl. Reminded her of what we said about that set being the last set.

I didn't think it would happen so fast but the day had come and we had to follow through. We put her in her crib and she immediately asked "Beebees?" to which we responded "They are all gone." And we turned our backs and walked away.

And she cried. She cried hard.

I was transported to the past remembering vividly the nights that we sleep trained Grace. She cried, I cried, and I thought for sure I would never survive the heartbreak that her cries caused.

Suddenly I realized that it doesn't matter if your baby is a newborn, or if she is 2 and a half, those heartbreaking cries pierce your soul all the same.

Aaron and I took turns every 15 minutes to go in a soothe her. Tell her it would be okay, remind her she was a big girl. To be honest, I don't know if we were going in for her, or going in for us to hold her and remind ourselves that we were doing the right thing. Taking away the one thing that has always been consistent for her.

Being a parent is hard. Watching your baby struggle as you remind them over and over that the struggle will be worth it, all the while wanting nothing more than to make the hurt go away. Even if it is something as simple as taking away a pacifier. Maybe if I can survive the little things, the big things won't seem so rough.

And the pacifier break-up has begun. Wish us luck.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Truth Be Told

When we found out I was pregnant I told myself I would remain uncaring in regards to the gender of this baby. Whatever it was, I wanted it. But as the weeks wore on, people's theories and thoughts started influencing my "Mother's Intuition." My pregnancy was completely different from Grace's. I was ten times more hormonal, had obvious cravings and aversions, needed salt and protien like it was an occupation, nauseated, heartburn, mood swings, system back ups. With Grace I was tired and hungry and that was about it. So I thought, "It might be a boy..." But pregnancies can differ each time, so I didn't let that solidify the thought in my mind.

Then my sister Ashby told me, "I'm 100% convinced you're having a boy. There is no doubt in my mind."

Then I got little notes and messages from friends, "Your pregnancy sounds similar to the one I had with my son..." One even said, "I'm currently pregnant with a boy and I'm craving the same things."

So I started to sway. I would have been happy with either gender, heaven only knows I would love to have another Grace around these parts, but I was really starting to think it was a boy. The week before the ultrasound Aaron and I were saying "he" and "him." Although Grace was calling it a "her."

By ultrasound day I was still leaning towards boy, although I felt like it could go either way. As they zoomed to the cross section under his bum the outline of the baby was moving so much you couldn't see anything there, both Aaron and I thought, "It's a girl," only to have the cross section move out slightly proving, in fact, that it was definitely a boy.

Aaron and I talked and laughed and sent messages out to our family members. Aaron's said something along the lines of "It's a man child" and he deemed my "It's a boy" comment not as cool.

I spent the next few days knowing which way the dynamic of our family was going to change, two boys, two girls. But part of me wondered what it would have been like with another girl. I was a little sad at the thought of Grace not having a sister. Someone she could pass everything on to, clothes, dolls, wisdom. But this little man is now in the mix, and I know that is how it's supposed to be.

At 20 weeks I feel like I'm 7 months pregnant. My belly button is already starting to flatten. While in Houston I dragged my sister and Mom maternity clothes shopping. Elastic waistbands are the best thing that ever happened to me. I'm in maternity from head to toe, and there is no looking back.
I still crave wing stop, but also have a bizarre attachment to Brach's conversation hearts. I get excited to eat them, and that has never, ever happened before. I was so eager to eat the second bag that I got (yes, I'm now on my second bag) that I was halfway through before I realized the conversation hearts were in Spanish. It was an unexpected surprise.
We have not settled on a name for this little one, although Aaron and I have started agreeing more on names and have started a "Master List" of sorts. Knowing me, I'll change my mind a million times before he is born.

Now we're half-way there. I still sometimes can't believe it. I am so grateful for this little boy.

20 weeks left...but who is counting.

Monday, February 13, 2012


The day after the wee babe's gender ultrasound, Grace and I headed down to Houston. To say we were excited is a huge understatement. I have been going through serious withdrawals since my sister has moved and a reunion of the cousins was definitely in order. It was an added bonus that my Mom was also in town, truly making it a party.

We kicked the trip off the best way possible: Blue Bell Factory tour.

The best part of the tour is the free ice cream that you get at the end. We took plenty of pictures for Aaron to make him as jealous as we possibly could (you're welcome sweetie). I got Grace the most child-ish looking ice cream, it had lots of bright neon colors. It turns out, however, that Grace is a girl after my own heart, since I learned she prefers chocolate ice cream. She stole my chocolate scoop and I ended up eating her neon colored scoop. Hers ended up being cake batter ice cream with pieces of cookie dough, it was amazing beyond description, so I deemed it a fair trade. But was floored that my girl now has an ice cream flavor preference.
We soaked up as much family time as we could. Wearing Batman capes and reading the scriptures together.
Eating out at delicious restaurants.
Playing with cousins all day long. More wearing of the Batman cape.
 Hi Grace.
And watching season 1 of the best show ever: Downton Abbey.
We sadly sent my Mom/Mema/Meah back to Virginia on Saturday.
After dropping her off at the airport I was able to head over to my sister-in-law Olivia's house to spend the afternoon with her and my nieces and nephew. I'm kicking myself because I didn't take any pictures despite bringing my camera for the sole purpose of doing so. Tarynn kept Grace in baby doll heaven while I had my niece Avery give me the teen novel run down of which I should read and which I shouldn't. It was a fabulous visit. (Let's have another one soon, sound good Liv?) It completely tuckered Grace out.
Stace and I got the kids ready early. I put my lifeguard skills to work as I tubbied the kiddos.
I love the look on Grace's face in this picture. Pure happiness. I'm not exaggerating when I tell you she was in heaven being reunited with Carly and Taylor.
We left the kids at home with Cade, and Stacey and I met a bunch of girls for a Girls Movie Night. If there is one thing you should never do, it is to be pregnant and watch The Vow. I'm pretty sure I cried during the entire movie. I cried when things were happy, I cried when things we sad, I cried as I thought about what I would do if Aaron couldn't remember who I was. It was a painful overly hormonal experience. But Stacey's girlfriends were wonderful company and accepted me despite a red and puffy tear-stained face.

We left Sunday, fully stocked with Stacey's famous Oatmeal PB Cinnamon Chocolate Chip cookies (Aaron's favorite). Houston was a hit. We already miss being there. Grace has asked to see her cousins at least 12 times today. I hope we go back soon.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Do You Like Alliterations?

Because Baby Barnard is a Boy!

It was so wonderful seeing the little man move around, kick his feet, and be ever so cooperative at showing his gender. Although we do have pictorial proof of our little one's manhood, we've decided against showing off the goods via the internet.

We got to see his sweet little face, eyes closed, mouth open. I am smitten with this boy already. 

The baby did well and passed his measurement tests, so afterwards we gave him what he really wanted: Wing Stop (and by "he" I mean me). And then we posed for some pictures.

When I picked Grace up from my wonderful friend who watched her, I said, "Gracie, you're going to have a little brother!" Her eyes got wide and she mimicked my excitement as she said "Imma have a little brother?" I'm pretty sure she didn't know what on Earth I was talking about, but her excited voice was enough to make me want to scoop her up into my arms and hug her close. I love that girl.

Alright, Moms of boys, I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm well versed in all things girl, you now need to teach me the tricks of the trade when it comes to boys.

Bring on the blue.


It is 6:20 in the morning.

I have been awake for an hour.

My anatomy scan, or gender ultrasound, for the baby is today.

I am so excited that I cannot, for the life of me, fall back to sleep. I thought I was excited when we went to Grace's gender ultrasound. But this time around the excitement seems to be ten fold. I thought for sure everything regarding this second pregnancy would be "old hat." Been there, done that. It's quite the opposite. I count down each and every week. Check my weekly pregnancy updates on BabyCenter the moment they change to a new week. I have been counting down to this appointment since I scheduled it 4 weeks ago. I was so anxiously excited yesterday that I wondered if I would even fall asleep (and trust me, it had nothing to do with the Super Bowl).

I told Aaron yesterday that I wish I had a better handle on my emotions. They seem to be all over the place. I feel like a 4 year old in a candy store that was just told I could eat whatever sugary goods I could get my hands on. I'm slightly embarrassed at my over excitement over something so routine.

It's just an appointment.

At least that is what I keep telling myself.

But this will be the first time we have "seen" the baby since it was 8 weeks and barely even had arm or leg buds. Today we'll see the baby that has been moving up a storm these past few weeks. Today we'll know what gender we're having. No more "him or her" comments. We'll know whether Grace was right all along, or if my sister Ashby was the one who had it right.

I am so excited.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Meet Shannon

This is Shannon. She is one of my most favorite people on the planet. I swear to you our souls are stitched together in some strange way, and we were destined to be friends. I love her. A lot.
Grace loves her too, despite the thug-life face she is pulling in this picture.
She was one of the very first people that I met when I moved to California. Three of us moved into our ward at the same time. She was calm, cool, collected, and so so nice. Fashionable from the tip of her head, down to her toes, confident like nobody's business, I thought for sure I wasn't cool enough to hang with the likes of her. But that wasn't her style. She smiled at me, kindly introduced herself and our story began from there. 6 months later, she moved away.
But, just like the boomerang effect, good things can come back too. And she moved back. She and her husband fit snugly in the little pocket I created for myself. Fell in line with the rest of the members I considered to be my California Family.
We spent many hours talking, chatting, sharing our deepest thoughts, desires, regrets. We wined and dined, and she blew my mind away with the most fabulous chicken salad sandwich. We went for pool dates, and scheduled times to hang out despite not living too close to one another. And I'll never forget how much she loved Grace. She loved my baby. Like Grace was her niece. Oh, I loved her for those tender moments. Grace had no idea that we weren't actually related.
But life rolls forward and moves on, and sure enough Aaron and I moved away from California. Shannon made sure to keep me entertained while I packed, or pack boxes when I felt like I was going insane. When we moved a pile of boxes that unleashed a beast of a spider, she was the one who took it head on. Bless her soul. I was too busy screaming bloody murder to take any action.
We have kept in contact, stayed in touch. Shannon totally gets my lack of long-distance-communication ability, and has stayed with me despite it.

Something wonderful has happened for Shannon and her fabulous husband Ryan. Something that got me so excited I almost cried (it happens a lot these days). They got approved for adoption!!!!!! I am beyond excited for them. I felt like I had to say something, to spread the word, shout it from the rooftops, because these are two of the most incredible people you will ever meet. (Pictures below taken from their blog
And the best part? They don't take themselves too seriously, despite their sheer awesomeness.
Shannon writes a witty and entertaining blog called and you can pop over there to get a glimpse of the awesomeness I mentioned about. Or you can head over to their adoption blog.

Trust me, it's well worth your time.

Congratulations on your approval Shannon and Ryan. We're so excited for you!