Sunday, June 30, 2013

Bauer Boys: Owen

My family is about to change in ways I'm likely not prepared for, so I am trying my best to soak up Life With the Bauer Boys. This post shares thoughts about the small one. Click HERE to read about the big one.

Each morning, right as the sun peeks through the trees, I hear "MAMA!" and open my eyes to the sweetest little grin.

He keeps it up until I lift my pregnant body out of the bed and focus on the small figure next to me. He tells me how he's a big boy who slept in his big boy bed and offers his little palm for an extra-hard high five.

Then it's a diaper and milk, snuggles and Mickey Mouse until big brother joins us. This routine will change when sister gets here, but I am loving it for now.

I can't explain to you how much I love Owen, my baby boy who decided to grow up. It's hard to remember Nathan as an only child and I know that Owen as the youngest will soon be a distant memory.

Therefore, I am basking in it.

I am watching the way his short legs carry him much quicker than you'd think. I am laughing at the way he emphatically shakes his head "yes" while asking a question, hoping I'll agree. I am listening to the little tunes he hums as he bops from room to room. I am stretching thin the seconds after he climbs into my disappearing lap and lays against my chest.

My heart jumps when I see him sit as close to Nathan as possible on the couch, mimic his every move, and look at him as if he hung the moon. I really don't need that to end anytime soon, universe.

He's two years old and he makes that abundantly clear most days, but I wouldn't trade him for the world. I get frustrated when I see a box of Fruit Loops strewn across the carpet or a marker masterpiece up and down his legs, but he loves me and I know it.

{Side Note: This post has been interrupted four times now as Owen draped a blanket over his head and mine, proclaiming "Let's play hide and seek, Mama!" You better believe I hit "save" and complied.}

Becoming a mom and falling in love with a helpless, sweet-smelling baby is an incredible feeling, but hearing that feeling returned puts it over the top.

"Mommy, I wove you." are my four favorite words right now. :)

Owen is going to be an outstanding big brother. There's no doubt that watching him meet his sister will rank in the top five best things to happen in the next two weeks.

Although I am excited about how this impending birth is going to change Owen's life, for right now I am focused on breathing him in as is. Over the next few weeks, I will hold him closely, let him sit on my lap as much as he wants, and whisper into his ear how much I love him.

I am going to look into his face and see him for what he is. My youngest child. My sweet little buddy.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

My Dog

Susie Bauer
June 3, 2006 - June 28, 2013

It's been a sad couple of days, y'all.

Yesterday the first member of our growing family went to the place all dogs inevitably go. She joined us as a sweet brown-eyed puppy about a month after we were married and she's grown with us ever since. It's hard to say good-bye to someone you've known so long, but Nathan reassures me she's having a blast in heaven.

He said Jesus knows how to play fetch really well.

Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, and kind words. We miss you Susie, but we know you're in good company up there. We'll see you again someday. Love you, girl.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Week 38

My guess is she's bigger than a leek; however, I'm not sure I've ever seen a leek?

Week: Thirty-eight
Size: Leek
Feeling: Anxious!
Symptoms: The almost-there aches and pains have arrived. Not long now!
Maternity Clothes: I will maintain that my rings still fit, but my pants do not.
Sleep: Love it.
Gender: Still my sweet girl.
Movement: Still passing those kick counts with flying colors. She's a wild one.
What I Miss: Swimming. I did it yesterday, but I am more than ready to be back.
What I Want: Right at the moment? Quiet boys.
Best Moment this Week: Let's see. I turned 29 over the weekend and I am okay with that. I have spent much of this hot week with my big belly immersed in the pool. I attended my 37-week check on Tuesday and discovered progress has begun. I am one cm dilated and 50% effaced (Google it, but expect to see the word "cervix"). I go back on Monday, which is when we will choose an induction date for the week after, just in case she doesn't come on her own. No matter what happens, next Monday is my last appointment. When I say final stretch, y'all, I mean it. I am SO excited!!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Not So Wordy

One of the best kid feelings ever, am I right?

I've been quiet lately and maybe that's a good thing. Whether or not you agree, I hope to remedy that.

But not today. :)

Unfortunately the about-to-give-birth exhaustion and the oh-my-goodness-three-kids anxiety have rendered invalid my poetic license. Oh well, we carry on. Lots of fun things have still been happening.

The nursery is close to complete. (Watch for a post soon!) We are eating delicious fresh cucumbers and counting down the days to tomatoes. Nathan and Owen are absolute fish in the pool and Nora sure enjoys a good float. Nathan even yanked his first tooth out of his head this afternoon and is currently resting on it, in hopes that a little fairy will remember to step into his bedroom before she drifts off into oblivion as Lifetime blares on the TV.

It's been a pretty eventful summer and it's only going to get wilder from here. I'm sure there have been some amazing stories I've missed, but bear with me. I'm big, I'm tired, and I'm a little bit whiny. Instead of storytelling, I'll just let these photos load as I rest my eyes on the couch, listen to the boys giggle instead of sleep, and try my best to stay on tooth fairy alert. :)

Hope you've been doing well. I'll be back soon. Have a great Thursday night!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Week 37

I know this comparison makes no sense at all, so I found this pretty picture of Rainbow Chard. If being similar in size to Swiss Chard means you weigh about 6.5 pounds and take up your mom's whole belly, then Nora June is right on track.

Week: Thirty-seven
Size: Swiss Chard
Feeling: Full Term.
Symptoms: Honestly, nothing new. Thankful that my cold is gone!
Maternity Clothes: My rings still fit, but my pants sure don't.
Sleep: Last night was oddly amazing, but all the other nights - not so much.
Gender: Still my sweet girl.
Movement: From hiccups to high-fives all day long.
What I Miss: Picking things up off the ground.
What I Want: DRINKS. I am so incredibly thirsty.
Best Moment this Week: Again, I have so many bests. I know how you like lists, so let's start there. It's been a big week, y'all.
  1. Another Baby SHOWER: The girls in my youth group threw me a surprise shower last weekend with presents, food, games, and a fun-loving priest who was happy to join the festivities. :)
  2. Passing THE TIME: As I talked about here, when I passed 36 weeks and 4 days last pregnancy, I was pumped to once again hit that milestone. That's the exact gestational period that Nathan made me a mama; however, here I am, full term, water intact, and not a contraction in sight. (PS: Read through those super naive posts at the end of my pregnancy with Owen. "As IF I'll make it to my due date...")
  3. Bag is PACKED: Yes, I am as ready as I'll ever be to go to the hospital and birth a baby. Swaddle blankets and tiny pink clothes are nestled next to the most comfortable pajamas and enough toiletries to make me feel human. I suppose I'm ready whenever she is.
  4. Appointment SUCCESS: This time I can't report anything about my cervix (go ahead, breathe a sigh of relief), but we did take a peek inside the womb and saw that Nora is growing just fine. She just measured one day behind and weighed 6 pounds, 7 ounces. Dr. G swears there's no way she'll make it to 9 pounds and guesses she might not even hit 8. We'll see about that, doc.
  5. Kicking into HIGH GEAR: With so much work from everyone but me, Nora's room is coming together - and quickly! The gorgeous aqua color has been splashed onto the walls, the newly upholstered white glider is in place, and pink covers the mattress, the changing pad, and the majority of her belongings. I will absolutely do a full post when we get closer to being finished, but I know you won't mind a sneak peek...

    The room color and an expert painter - Owen was not involved:

    I will say that when Owen returned from day care to find his old forest animal room was a girly nursery, his first words were: "Wooooowww. Beautiful!!" Then he proceeded to approach every toy, point at it, and state: "Owen's." He's getting there. :)

    Two of the few pieces that are actually complete:
    The dresser is also finished and packed full of the largest amount of newborn clothes I've ever seen. I still can't get over the fact that its contents are so stinking pink.

To be honest, I really wished I lived in there! It's beautiful, the colors are relaxing, and I can't wait until the decor brings it all together. Don't be too anxious for that full report, though, it's going to be a few days. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

First Tomato(es)

Not actually the first tomatoes.
The first are much bigger and in a less photograph-able location.

I usually make a huge deal out of the first green tomato that pops into the fresh spring air, marking the path to harvest.

I believe I missed the boat this year.

Not only has the first tomato reared its delicious head, but so has the second, the third, and perhaps the hundredth. Y'all, we're going to be eating good in a few months, and it's really no thanks to me.

I know you haven't seen much of it this year, but with Jonathan's excellent branch-tying and leaf-trimming skills, Mother Nature's watering accuracy, and my expert supervision, I have to admit that the 2013 Bauer Family Garden is growing great. The best part? Hands down, the lush tomato jungle. You can probably find them here:

They've reached the top of their cages and the looming branches are starting to escape. Dozens of ladybugs can be found living among the green, hopefully eating all the bad bugs they encounter. Little yellow flowers pop from every corner, making me think we'll be up to our eyeballs in maters.

Thankfully there are four little hands who have been touching every single tomato in their backyard, looking for signs of redness. I have a feeling they'll be happy to help when the time comes.

Even Owen loves to show me all the "baby matos" and the more astounding "GIANT matos." No, I don't think I will run short on harvest help this year, but if I do, you're always welcome to lend a hand!

The tomatoes will always be my pride and joy because they produce no matter what. I don't know if it's the pep talk Nathan gives at planting or the love I hold in my heart for the delectable fruit, but they typically treat me right. (I might sing a different tune when the triple-digit heat hits, though!)

However, they're not the only growing crop. The corn, masterfully planted by a two-year-old, is doing fine as far as I know (which isn't far). Most plants are taller than their planter and a few are starting to tassel. Who knows if they'll turn into ears, but they look neat. The peppers are doing what they do each year. Failing. I don't know why we can't grow peppers and this year I sure didn't care to put work into figuring it out. Our neighbor's peppers are flourishing, so maybe we can get in on that action. The strawberries are about done for the season, but the plants are still big and healthy. I bet we'll have even more yummy berries next spring.

Nathan's cucumbers look great, too. Each of the six plants is making its way up the trellis and there's even a fair amount of fruit. The second photo shows the biggest one I found while taking this pictures. That's not to say it's the biggest one, as cucumbers are good at hiding:

I can't wait to munch into that guy! Nothing compares to the taste.

So, in case you were wondering, that is how my garden grows - with lots of natural assistance and a bit of husband help. Maybe I'll be back with an update before the season's end. Maybe. How does your garden grow?

Friday, June 14, 2013

Week 36

Week: Thirty-six
Size: Head of Romaine Lettuce
Feeling: Sick! Being "very pregnant" is a lot easier to deal with while breathing.
Symptoms: Just the coughing and sneezing, nothing new on the baby front.
Maternity Clothes: Dresses for all!
Sleep: Not so great this week. Hopefully I'll catch a break before the fun begins.
Gender: Still my sweet girl.
Movement: Yes. She rocked her NST and makes quick work of kick counts.
What I Miss: Working in the garden. It's my favorite, but it's hard on my body.
What I Want: Soup? I don't know.
Best Moment this Week: It's been a weird week, y'all. Started feeling sick after the shower on Saturday and called the OB nurse to beg for antibiotics on Monday. Hormones are raging like crazy and all sorts of overwhelming feelings are starting to creep up with less than a month to go. That being said, however, a lot of fabulous things happened this week! Let's count down my "best moments" shall we?
  1. MY BABY SHOWER. Check back to yesterday's post if you missed all of the cutie details.
  2. Owen spent his second night wandering into our room every half hour, but now he's doing great in his big boy bed - although tonight we did have to take away a noisy tractor he smuggled under his blanket.
  3. Celebrating seven years of wedded bliss. He bought flowers, cooked dinner, cleaned the kitchen (and the whole house), and I sat on the couch and coughed. He is really extra nice to me.
  4. A great 35-week checkup. I'm still not dilated and still pretty thrilled. I need this baby to stay put as long as possible! We did a non-stress test because I'm continuing to measure small, but she passed with flying colors. He's going to check on her size on ultrasound next Tuesday.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Cute as a Button

WARNING: Cuteness Overload.
Yes, I made this font pink. No, I will not apologize for it.

It was probably the cutest, most adorable day of my life.

On Saturday I walked into my mom's house to find mason jars of pink lemonade, fabric garlands hanging from everywhere, and my daughter's initials sitting on the table, complete with buttons and bows.

One of my favorite friends whom I've known since the band days of high school, along with her awesome mom who serves as BFF to my own, threw a shower for little Miss Nora June. I was absolutely not expecting a party for my third baby and was thrilled when I first heard about it months ago. Little did I know, these ladies would go all out.

Though I wasn't expecting it, I am quick to admit that I loved every second.

The theme du jour was "Cute as a Button" - you've seen ultrasound pictures, you know how fitting it is. Buttons dotted the lace-covered food table, the pastel-colored cupcakes, and the incredible cake. The decor was shabby chic, a phrase I keep hearing when describing my nursery ideas. Thanks to the craftiness of these two ladies, I have a little more direction since I happily stuffed all their homemade decorations into a bag. :)

I won't leave you hanging on the details. Not only is Ashley a great hostess, she's an amazing photographer, too. All images on this post are to her credit:

After we devoured everything on the gorgeous table, from the sausage balls to the mini fruit pizzas, we made our way into the living room and I laughed as Ashley made me sit in the same seat of honor I forced her into at her own baby shower, just months ago. Thus, the present opening commenced.

Let's just say I'm feeling more prepared today than I was last week.

Resting in the scattered nursery is a teetering tower of diaper boxes, drawers full of tiny dresses and onesies, and pink toys, blankets, and other necessities. Oh, and a pint-sized Razorback cheerleader's uniform. "Why?" you may ask. I will counter with "Why not?"

Sentimental gifts came out of the woodwork while celebrating my first daughter. My MIL and SIL had something very special planned for me. My seester Bridget used to rock her baby dolls in a little chair decades ago (I won't share how many!) at her grandmother's house. Nora's Grammy kept this chair and took it to Becky (jack-of-all trades, Ashley's mom, and shower hostess extraordinaire). It's now an updated pink and white addition to the nursery.

My own mom had a few tricks up her sleeve, as well. I opened a box and saw outfits I'd worn as a baby, complete with pictures of the original model. How sweet is that? You'd better believe Nora will recreate some of those old photos. What other choice do we have when the stuff is this cute?!

During the party we also played a few fun games. We pondered the number of buttons in a jar, we played a rousing round of Baby Bingo, and we guessed what white powder substances were in non-labeled baggies. Nathan was my partner for all three and though we didn't claim any wins, the kid correctly guessed formula for one of the white substances. I argued corn starch until Ashley finally proved him right. Needless to say, he was proud.

After the new ride was loaded down and Owen and I ate 20 more sausage balls, the shower was over. I said it then and I'll say it now - best baby shower ever. (Needing to see more pictures? Click here for the Facebook album.) I am so honored and blessed to know these two women who did so much to make me and my baby girl feel special.

Posing with Becky and Ashley. And also a photo-bombing Owen.

Thanks to everyone who attended and made this party a success, but an enormous thank you to Becky and Ashley. Y'all are awesome people and you not only made me feel loved and Nora feel welcomed, but you made this family feel a lot more prepared to grow.

I guess if we have diapers and girl clothes, this is really going to happen, isn't it?


Monday, June 10, 2013

Lucky #7

Seven years ago I was 21 years old. You know, the green, clueless, just-starting-out kind. I didn't know what all I wanted out of life, but I knew 100% that I had someone to live it with.

On June 10 seven years ago, my 21-year-old self climbed into a gorgeous white wedding gown that weighed heavy on my young hips. I covered my face with a veil and I tried to keep everyone from hearing my heartbeat.

I saw the tears in my best friend's eyes as she walked around me, making sure everything was good to go. I saw the tears in my dad's eyes when it was time for the door to open and us to make our debut. Then I saw the tears in the eyes of a guy I met at a youth convention in high school.

A guy who was the best friend I could ever ask for throughout college. A guy who shyly asked me to be his girlfriend the previous July and then followed that up with a proposal three months later.

And we've been crying ever since.

Yep, today is the seven-year anniversary of this particular branch of the Bauer family. It has grown fast and it has grown a lot since that sunny day at St. Patrick's, but it just started out as two people. Two people who didn't know much about the world, but they knew love.

Amazing highs, depressing lows, and enough tears to flow a river, and here we are. Two of a kind and working on a full house. We would still both admit that we have no idea what we're doing, but we're doing it together. And I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Seven years of a new last name and a live-in best friend.
Six months of picking the perfect shade of blue and learning the difference between roses and callas.
Five months after our wedding before our family started to grow.
Four fantastic friends (each) who stood beside us as we said "I do" and who are still a huge part of our lives.
Three years of being protected by a sweet guardian angel.
Two rambunctious, smart, amazing boys who doubled the size of our original little family.
One tiny baby girl who will soon add to the love that has grown so much since that hot June day.

Seven years is just the beginning and I can honestly say I'm not itchy in the least. We are still starting out, but we now have (almost) three little sidekicks to tag along beside us. We are all in this together and together, life is sweet.

Thank you Jonathan, for starting this journey that has pretty much rocked.

Here's to a hundred more! <3

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Week 35

Week: Thirty-five (and one)
Size: Honeydew Melon
Feeling: Inspired!
Symptoms: Something's starting to happen in there. Braxton Hicks galore.
Maternity Clothes: Living in maternity dresses, but rocking a regular tankini. It's a ridiculous sight to see, friends.
Sleep: It involves a pillow mountain, but it's still happening.
Gender: Still my sweet girl.
Movement: Yes. The OB even commented on her craziness this week.
What I Miss: Sleeping on my back.
What I Want: Watermelon.
Best Moment this Week: Finally starting to get ready! When I realized that hitting 35 weeks meant 35 days on the countdown, I knew it was time to get to work. This week we picked a paint color (PPG Seascape Green for curious minds), a lady from my church finished Nora's quilt and crib skirt, and I ordered her crib sheet. On Thursday my mom came out and made quick work of sorting/eliminating much of the boys' toys and then storing them neatly in Nathan's room. We set up the toddler bed, moved Owen's name above it and a boys' paradise was complete. This afternoon I will celebrate Baby Nora at my shower and then begin transforming the nursery. Here's a peek at the first official item for Nora's room:

PS: Another "best moment" happened at my 34-week checkup. I'm not dilated! I was very surprised and pleased to hear that. No bed rest, no change in activity, nothing. I'm just going to keep on keeping on and hope this baby bakes as long as she needs to. I am moving into weekly appointments now, just because of my history. Every Wednesday until Nora makes her debut!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Night One

Technically this is nap one. I didn't get brave enough to snap a sleeping pic until the next day. But still, carry on.


This phrase, heard often around my house, was shouted at 6:33 am today as I rounded the corner to Nathan's room and saw Owen sitting up in his big boy bed, arms held high.

Oh excuse me, that should read "the boys' room."

Yep, Owen wasn't the only one who did it. With much, much help from my mother, we took a rainy Thursday afternoon and crammed two boys' bedrooms into one. Now Owen has his own corner in the bedroom on the left, complete with a toddler bed, his own books, and his name spelled brightly on the asparagus-green wall.

Toys are tucked into organized clear boxes that line the closet under clothes for two different sizes. The toy box is void of trash, Happy Meal toys, and random cookies. The art supplies are in a secret drawer that only the big one knows about, and a small basketball hoop hangs next to two plaques bearing weight, length, and other birth information for my sons.

Plaques that used to hang in nurseries now simply serve as decorations in their first shared room.

I can't say I wasn't nervous about this, which I'll admit is what led to me waiting so close to Nora's due date to kick Owen out of the crib. However, it went surprisingly well. I'll probably come back to retract that statement soon, but it's true for the time being.

For Night One, we let Owen settle into sleep without his roomie. I placed him in the new bed, handed him his blanket, and left him crying as I shut the door. Almost identical to what I've done every night since he moved into his crib.

After about 30 minutes, there was silence.

I peeked into the boys' room and there he was, curled up at the wrong end of his bed and still sniffling, but asleep!

I tucked the big brother in, opened the door wide and turned on the bathroom light, just as I've done since the oldest Bauer boy was kicked out of the nursery.

What followed was a pretty terrible night of sleep - only for me, thank goodness. I just checked on them once, but that didn't stop me from waking every few hours to wonder what was happening. Did Owen wake up afraid? Was he wandering aimlessly through the house? Did he fall out of bed?

Nope. At 6:33 am, I heard my name. I walked in to a well-rested, happy, proud little boy - ahem - big boy.

Like I said, there's a good chance for regression after leaving the crib cold turkey, so I thought I'd get a post in after Night One went so well. Fingers crossed Owen likes being part of Nathan's life so much that he's good to go.

Next Up: Transforming the wonderful woodland nursery into an aqua and pale pink paradise. I still feel the same way I did here and it's going to be bittersweet to splash an ocean-colored hue over the dark green forest, but there are five weeks on the countdown. It's time to get going!

Have an awesome Friday, y'all.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Week 34

Week: Thirty-four (plus a day)
Size: Cantaloupe
Feeling: Sore, but spirits are still high for the most part. :)
Symptoms: Just your run-of-the-mill third trimester aches and pains.
Maternity Clothes: Still rockin' my dresses. SO comfy.
Sleep: I've actually been getting some. It helps that I've stayed busy.
Gender: Still my sweet girl.
Movement: You'd better believe it.
What I Miss: Fruity cocktails and the hot tub sound pretty nice.
What I Want: The next six weeks to creep by. And my "Cute as a Button" baby shower! It's next Saturday and I have my fingers crossed that it will kick me into nesting mode. (If not, it's still going to be so fun!)
Best Moment this Week: Play dates galore! After spending the weekend with my BFF and crew, we had the week with our St. Louis cousins, and finished with a Chuck E. Cheese party for one of Nathan's buds. These Bauer boys have stayed entertained. I think this may have had something to do with my sleep comment!