Friday, June 29, 2012

How We Roll

Spoiling Grace with popcorn and chocolate milk while shopping, just because.
 Practicing "Big Sisterhood" with Baby Miles and loving every second of it.
 Insisting on dressing up like Princess Presto, wand included, to watch Super Why
 Staying in our jammies to an embarrassingly late hour of the day.
 Buying specific gallons of milk because the "Best By"date is the same as the baby's due date.
 Asking the Post Office for individual stamps instead of a pack and and them picking these ginormous Year of the Dragon stamps.
 Receiving crazy legit packages in the mail that, despite having had a baby 6 weeks earlier, your friend purchased your favorite cookies, then wrapped each one individually in saran wrap to ensure maximum freshness for their journey from California to Texas. I love you Mel.

 Continuing a deep rooted love of piggies.
 Being introduced to and partaking in the most incredible breakfast sandwich ever.
 And finally, loving the new system of eating raspberries known as the "Raspberry trough" 
That is how we roll.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


He's a natural.

Happy Father's Day Aaron, we love you.

Man Weekend

We started Aaron's Fathers Day celebration the Saturday before. Despite Texas heat, we grilled up some ribs and pineapple and had a plethora of manly sides. Nothing says "Man" more than a good old BBQ, right?
 Our grill-masters.
 Grace partying in style.
After a solid nap (it's how we roll these days) we headed up to Frisco to the Rough Riders game. Third row seats, hot dogs, DDP, and nachos on the house. It was amazing.

Huge shout out to the Taylor's who totally hooked us up with our tickets. Note to self: having legit friends pays off.
 Grace made sure to read up on the players and their stats.
I had to include this last picture, although I'm pretty sure it is the absolute worst picture of me ever (it's the angle, I swear--yeah, I'm blaming the angle and not the fact that I'm 8.75 months pregnant). The moment this picture was taken, a ball was hit and was flying right where we were sitting. Zac was keeping it cool and holding his pose. I seem oblivious, probably because I should have been more concerned with how many chins I was rocking. You can tell Andrea has noticed the ball but seems calm, cool, and collected. And then there is Aaron. I can't look at the face he is making without laughing. I just don't have words to describe it. It's the best. I love him.
On Father's day we went to church, and then I seriously dropped the ball on brunch. I promised Aaron omelets, only to start getting them ready and realizing that I didn't have enough eggs and I didn't have half of the requested ingredients. Wife of the year? Not so much. Grace and I did our best to pamper him. Grace loves to tuck Aaron in if we take naps during the weekend. On this occasion she wanted to snuggle with Aaron and sing him to sleep. A little extra somethin' somethin' for her Dad who always pulls through for her in the tucking in/singing department.
Thankfully, I salvaged the food portion of our celebration by making Aaron's favorite dish: homemade spaghetti and meatballs.

I cannot say enough good things about Aaron as a father. I wouldn't be half of the parent that I am if it wasn't for his example. Every time I start to lose my cool, he takes over and calmly handles the situation. He has a way with Grace that makes me think he was made to be a father. He has brilliant ideas, is consistent, follows-through, and most importantly he always chooses love. Amazing, I tell you. I know that I'm a lucky woman. I hope he knows how grateful I am that he is the one standing next to me helping me raise our children. In time I hope our kids will realize how lucky they are and that they will tell him often.

We love you Aaron/Dad. Happy Father's Day.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

In Case You Were Wondering...

Beautiful Olivia Marie was born yesterday, June 26th around 7:00 in the morning

I teared up as I soaked in these beautiful pictures that Ryan posted to facebook.

Seriously, is this not the most precious moment ever?
 The proud papa, holding his little girl.
I wished I didn't live so far so that I could swoon, snuggle, and love on this little girl. And tell her how loved she is by so many different people across states and countries.
What an incredible journey their family has been on, and I'm so grateful for beautiful moments like this that remind me that life, no matter how tough, is truly amazing.

Congrats again Shannon and Ryan! I hope you find the time to sleep, at least a little bit ;).

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Thoughts on Pregnancy: 39 weeks

38 weeks
 39 weeks
 -Do I look really tired in the above picture? If so, it's because I am. In the past two weeks I have had 4 run ins with less than stellar "false labor" which, oddly enough, always strikes between the hours of 1-4 in the morning. Four nights without sleeping, four nights of guessing "when should I wake Aaron up?", four times mentally packing Grace's bag, four times mentally preparing myself for the arrival of my son, four times getting my hopes up, and four times feeling beyond stupid and disappointed when my contractions slow and stop. The story of the boy who cried wolf always plays in my mind, and I've become a little jaded to the whole excitement of going into labor because I have convinced myself that even if labor does start, it won't continue. I'm one seriously pessimistic Patricia.

-I am hopeful however, that in the next two weeks this little boy will arrive. I won't be pregnant forever. I tore off last weeks schedule from my calendar and saw that his due date was written in. Every day that goes by is one day closer. Almost here... almost here...
-In the meantime I had tried almost everything to get this baby here. After I got my membranes stripped at 38 weeks, I had me a spicy chicken sandwich. Spicy foods: check.
-I've walked many a mile, hefted many a grocery bag up and down two flights of stairs. Danced with Grace many a time.
-I've heeded my doctors advice on certain activities
-I've experienced the effects of Castor Oil without actually taking it, thanks to a stomach bug going around in our family.
-I've visualized myself going into labor.
-I've had my membranes stripped....again.
-Today I actually told the baby "You need to get here." to which Grace looked at my belly, patted it, and said "Come on Baby Brother. Get here." If he doesn't come for that, then I really don't know what else will work.
-The only thing this has taught me is that I have zero control in this situation. The baby will come when my body is ready for labor, and although the things that I have tried have worked for people in the past, it only means that their bodies were a lot more ready to go into labor than mine is. You would think I would learn my lesson that I am never in control, since life likes to beat me over the head with that lesson. I'll learn it one day, I promise.

Regardless, I prepare every single day for "This is it! This is the day!" I have cleaned my apartment 4 times in the past 7 days. I never leave dishes in the sink (just in case). Bags are packed, instructions printed, batteries charged. Honestly, I have never vacuumed or wiped down surfaces as much as I have the past few days. Yesterday I did five loads of laundry, and today I did three more. I pretty much washed and dried everything that I could get my hands on. I have "nursing snacks" on the ready, paper plates and plastic utensils in store (so dishes aren't a concern after returning home). My car has been washed and vacuumed, and car seats have been shifted and installed.
-It's hard work maintaing and keeping things in "hospital sanitary"and "just in case" order, and although I strongly hope that it throws me into labor, more often than not it just makes me tired. So I nap like nobody's business.
-I make sure to reward my efforts accordingly. And with each passing day I find myself caring less and less about what I'm eating. Pretty sure I had cookies and milk at 3:30pm yesterday for absolutely no justifiable reason other than "This sounds like a good idea."
-I'm not a terribly patient person and I feel pretty selfish trying to force this little guy here. I know he'll come when he is good and ready, but I want to hold his tiny, warm, heaven-sent, little body in my arms. I want to smell that new baby smell, look into his eyes, and whisper in his ear "We've been waiting for you. You have a sister who loves you even though she has never met you, a father who will be patient with you and teach you that girls aren't worth the heartbreak, and a Mom that prayed hard to get you here." Is that too much to ask? In the grand scheme of things a week or two won't make a difference I guess.

-I hope this explains my absence from the blogging world, and the normal world too. If I have seemed distance, distracted, and aloof, its because I am. My mind has been thinking of one thing and one thing only: getting this baby here.

At 38 weeks I was 2cm dilated and 40% effaced, at 39 weeks I am 3cm dilated and 60% effaced and "good to go" according to my doctor. It's close, but still still a waiting game.

Almost here...almost here.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Such a Good Day

My heart is so full today. Some exciting news is finally out in the open. Remember my friend Shannon and her incredible husband Ryan? From This Post.

And very very soon.

Their baby girl is expected to make her arrival any minute.

I feel like I could burst, I am so so happy for them!!

Congratulations Shannon and Ryan!

Monday, June 18, 2012


Lately it seems that all of my Instagram pictures involve something having to do with me being pregnant. It has turned into Maternity-gram, apparently, at least for me. For those of you who follow me on Instagram, these pictures will be repetitive. For those of you who don't, here is a view of life in the third trimester.

The belly at 34 weeks
Carter's outlet, just down the road from us, was having a 70% off sale. All clearance items were an additional 25% off. We were all over that clearance rack like nobody's business.
It has become harder and harder to resist napping when Grace is asleep during the day. I always plan things to do during my 2 hour window, but the closer I get to the end of my pregnancy, the harder it is to keep my eyes open during nap time.
Baby shower spoils. I'm telling you, Baby Barnard is set for months in the clothing department. Those women were crazy legit with their gift giving.
Grace has always been interested in babies, and recently has taken an interest in caring for babies, or her baby dolls specifically. When Miles was over she was very attentive to him when his pacifier would fall out and she would gingerly place it back in his mouth (whether he wanted it in his mouth or not). I'm not sure where she learned these things, or if she just has a killer nurturing instinct. She has never personally witnessed me constantly caring for a baby, but she seems to know the ins and outs of what it takes. At lunch the other day she got her doll all set and ready to go for lunch. She even requested a bib be put on her, and had her "diaper bag" on just in case. I wish I could take credit for her skills, but they are all her own. I hope baby boy won't mind having two "Moms" on the scene. :)
Apparently Aaron and I need to avoid clearance racks at all times. We were taking a walk in the mall down the street and happened to walk into Gap, where we happened to see this jacket, and it happened to be on a ridiculous sale. Aaron couldn't leave the store without it, and I happened to agree, and now it is ours. We have to wait awhile until our Boy can fit into it, but I think it will be well worth the wait.
This is pretty self explanatory. Grace wanted ice cream, I picked the flavor (seriously try it, its amazing. Cake batter ice cream with cookie dough bites...yeah, like I said, amazing.)
Grace had some before she went to bed, and after she went to bed, I polished that sucker off. Aaron told me "This is the epitome of pregnancy."
I refuse to spend money on maternity work out clothing, although I think I'm starting to push the limits with my non-maternity gear.
Sister friend is wanting extra lovin' and snuggles these days. From my once completely un-snuggly child it is a shock but I am loving this phase. I'm soaking in every moment with this sweet girl when my attention can be 100% hers. She might not ever remember the times that we spent just the two of us, but I hope she always knows that I loved her first.
This is not a maternity Instrgram picture, but it is safe to say that it is one of my favorite pictures of all time. While Grace has been learning to make numbers with her fingers, she stumbled across this hand formation. The intense look, the "born in the USA" vibe being given off by her swimsuit, this girl is hardcore. Rock on.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Toddler Bed Transition

I have been avoiding the Toddler Bed Transition like the plague. Here's a little (or a long...a very very long) background.

After the pacifier break-up, and the update, things went a little downhill. Nap time became a battle everyday and it was very hit or miss whether or not Grace would take one. Then bedtime started the slippery slope into nightmare-ville. Grace has never been one to fight going to bed, perhaps at someone else's house in a different environment she might cry, but at home it's cake. Suddenly, in the midst of not napping she started throwing tantrums about going to bed at night. One night she threw a tantrum on an off for and hour while in her crib. Aaron and I kept looking at each other and saying "What are we doing?" "What happened?" and "Are we doing the right thing?" Early the next morning I contacted my go-to for advice. We talked about the situation, mulled things over, and decided perhaps that Grace wasn't tired enough at night (thus leading to the tantrum throwing) and we needed to cut her nap, but pet her to bed earlier in the evening. I have heard of kids cutting their naps early on and I figured Grace might just be one of those kids. 

Monday was day one, we were cutting the nap. It worked! Day one was a success. We made it to 7pm and she was begging for her crib. I was worried it would be stressful not having her nap, but we were able to run errands and go places when we'd normally be at home "nap-battling" it out. I was totally on board with the new plan. Day two and day three were similar. I was hoping that we were finally, finally finding our groove again. Day four and day five took a turn. Grace started throwing tantrums in the middle of the day, and overreacting to the most insignificant things. She was spending more and more time in time-out. I could tell most of her behaviors were stemming from exhaustion, so I decided to start implementing "quiet time." I was hoping that if I provided an opportunity for her to have time to herself to read and play quietly, that her desperately tired body would allow her to fall asleep. She didn't sleep a wink, but amazingly she stayed in her room and seemed to be behaving a little bit better after having that time to herself. 

It was also around this time that Grace started having night terrors. She would wake up an hour and a half, almost on the dot, every night screaming and crying. She would beg for me while I held her in my arms and whispered, "Mama's here, I'm right here, I've got you." Night terrors are by far one of the worst things ever. It is the strangest feeling to have your child look you in the eyes and scream for you, and while you look back knowing that they are safe and you are there, there is nothing you can do in that situation but wait it out. I spent many a night holding her in my arms and crying too. There were some nights where she would have night terrors two to three times. Some nights she would have them and she would wake up and be up forever. Although quiet time and an early bedtime seemed to be going well, the night terrors did not seem okay. I kept saying to Aaron "I feel like I'm doing something wrong."

I did some research on night terrors and came across and interesting article. It stated that night terrors happen in 4% on children. Of those 4%, a small number of children get them because they are overly exhausted. A lightbulb went off, I knew that had to be what was going on with Grace. I took more calculated action with quiet time. I made sure that her room was dark and did my best to promote a relaxing environment, hoping, yet again, that she would choose to sleep during that hour. She never did. There were days where I was super tired, and opted to sleep on the bed in her room and try to get her to sleep in her crib. It was hit or miss, but I did notice that once she fell asleep she would stay asleep for a really long time. The night terrors continued, and even started happening during her naps on the days that she would nap.

One Sunday, Aaron and I were both tired and in need of a nap. Knowing that we couldn't nap unless Grace napped, we took a different approach hoping to coax her into sleeping as well. Selfishness at its best people. After lunch, we closed all of the blinds in our apartment, we got Grace into her jammies, and then sat together as a family on the couch and read a couple of books that Grace picked out. Grace then helped tuck Aaron in for his nap, and I went and put Grace down for her nap after singing her a few songs. Grace didn't fight me once. I walked away and blew her a kiss on my way out. And she slept. Boy did she ever sleep, I'm talking 3 hours of sleep. I was floored.

The next day I tried the new method again. And she slept. And I put her down a little later that same evening, and she slept then too. And I tried the next day, and the day after that, and she slept and slept again. Her mood and behavior started going back to the "old Grace" that she once was. The night terrors continued for a little bit afterwards. She would get them during naps and at night, but they started to phase out, and then they completely stopped. It was a miracle. I realized with the new napping method that Grace needed time to "wind down" before her nap. If she was overly stimulated, she wouldn't sleep regardless of how tired she was. She is the type of kid that gets more hyper and active when she doesn't sleep, and I don't think she would ever choose to fall asleep on her own, which is why quiet time wasn't doing the trick.

Finally, after 5-6 weeks of trial and error and serious prayers for patience, we had found our groove once more. There was no way on this planet that I was going to try and transition her into her toddler bed. I took away her pacifiers and felt like we paid for that for weeks. I didn't have the mental stamina for a big-girl bed transition.

A couple of weeks ago, Aaron and I put the finishing touches on the kids room. We got the frames hung on the wall and got the bedding and pillows for the twin bed. Once everything was put together, Grace started taking interest in the twin bed. A few times when I would put her down for a nap she would point to the bed and say "I sleep here?" We didn't have any roll-proof protection and I wasn't ready to transition her, so I always said no.

While I was at my baby shower, Aaron and Grace spent some quality time together. He took her to Target to run some errands and while he was there he picked up a roll-guard for the twin bed, which he installed once they got back home. At nap time Grace asked if she could sleep in her big-girl bed and Aaron agreed. He even had the brilliant idea of taking the comforter and blankets off so the bed would seem more like her crib. He told her that if she got out of her bed that she would be put back into her crib. When I got home from the shower, I was greeted by Aaron telling me to be quiet because he was pretty sure Grace was asleep on her big-girl bed for the very first time. I was in shock, I couldn't believe that she was actually asleep on that bed and not playing around in her room. That night we gave her the option of where she would like to sleep, and she chose her crib. After another successful nap in her big-girl bed the next day, Grace decided she wanted to go for the long haul and sleep in it overnight. Blankets off, roll-guard up, Grace spent her first night in her big-girl bed. I didn't sleep very well that night, afraid she was going to injure herself, and I checked on her about 47 times. But she did great. She took up a ridiculously small fraction of the bed, but she made it through the night and called for me the next morning once she was awake.
Night number two was equally as successful. We put the pillows and comforter on the floor at the base of her bed which is the only spot where she could fall. She got a more "vertical" hang of things as far as laying on the bed goes.
Once we were sure she was used to the bed, we introduced the comforter (and the down blanket at the base of the bed for roll protection). Which I realized is another transition for her since she never slept with a blanket covering her while in her crib. Blankets and pillows were a whole new concept for this girl.
A close up of my cute sleeping babe, who seems to be growing up by the second these days.
When Grace wasn't feeling well one day, she opted again for a nap in her crib. I think perhaps the comfort of something familiar was just what she needed on a sick day. But since that day she has been rockin' it out on her big-girl bed. Slowly and steadily becoming an old pro.
Thank heavens for Aaron and his willingness to bite the bullet when I was so scared to do so. He let Grace be the one to make the call, and that was just what she needed. I am so grateful that this transition went seamlessly when the pacifier and napping change were such a headache.

No pacifiers? Sleeping in a twin bed? My baby is growing up.