Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Little Reflection on 2013

I figured the last day of 2013 is a great time for me to write my first post in over two months. I've been a slacker {only when it comes to the blog, believe me} I admit it. I vow to post regularly again in 2014. That said, 2013..... wow. wow. wow. WOW. I cannot believe this year is already coming to a close. I've always gotten a bit emotional when we close one year and prepare for another. It all started in the 2nd grade. I remember {just like it was yesterday} coming back to school in January after a long Christmas vacation. My teacher, Miss Christine Davis at Heritage Christian School, had a big calendar in the classroom. You know the kind where you change out the month each month? Well, this time she took the year off and threw it away {she didn't save it like she normally did the months}. I semi freaked out and asked why she threw the year away, couldn't we use it again? That's when she explained that we would not use it again because 1994 was over. After I asked "Can't we use it when it comes back again?"and she said No. I remember feeling all sad and sentimental inside as I watched her put up 1995. True story. My little 2nd grade self was legitimately sad that I would never see 1994 again.... and I have no clue why? Anyway, whatever the reason, so began my emotional attachment to years. I'm a sentimental sap to everything else so it doesn't surprise me in the least. This year though... this year I have all the more reason to be emotional. This year is the year I became a MOMMY. What a year it has been.

All my life, I wondered what I'd be like when I was a mom. I wondered what I'd look like, what my husband would looked like {hit the jackpot there for sure}, what my babies would look like {again, jackpot}, where we'd be in life, what I'd feel like, etc. Let me say that I could not have imagined that life would be any more wonderful than it is right now. Not only did this year bring us our precious Caroline Anne in August, but Bennett got a wonderful new job in the spring making the switch from pharmaceutical to technology sales. Great career move for him and our family. Then in the early summer, I was promoted to management with my company. I will say, I always knew I'd feel great when I got promoted at Altria but getting promoted while preggers made me feel pretty dang good.

Life since August has changed in more ways than I could begin to name. It is amazing how much having a baby changes your entire world. Bennett and I still joke that pretty much the whole first month is just a blur. I think we just consider it a success that all 3 of us survived that month. It was HARD. I definitely realized then that I totally underestimated how difficult being new parents would be. Happy tears were shed, but there were definitely a good amount of stressed out, emotional, don't know what the heck to do, please just make my baby stop crying tears shed as well. Then we moved into the second month. The, "Ok... I think we can do this" month. That's when she finally decided to quit being an owl and actually sleep at night. HALLELUJAH. The third month is what we like to call the "This is getting fun month". Her little personality just started blossoming and it has been beautiful to watch ever since! The smiles, the giggles, oh how they melt my heart. The fourth month was a hard one for me. That was the "I'm now a working Mommy" month. I returned to work on October 28 and am pretty sure I cried every single day for the first couple weeks. One day, I burst into tears when I got home? Why was I crying when I was home and holding her? No idea. It was a hard month. Hence why I haven't blogged much. I finally feel like we are in more of a routine, but it has been tough. On a happier note... she also began rolling over during the fourth month and just continues to GROW. At her 4 month doctor appointment she was in the 95th percentile for both weight and height! Month 5 has been by far my favorite, but I won't talk about that yet.. stay tuned for that post. {she turns 5 Months on 1/3}

I could go on forever. I'll sum everything up by saying that 2013 has been the most happy, exciting, challenging, emotionally draining, full of love year in all my 25 {almost 26!} years. Tears fill my eyes when I think of how the Lord continues to bless every aspect of my life, of our lives. So yes, I am sad to see 2013 go because of all the wonderful things it brought to me. However, I am FREAKING PUMPED to welcome 2014..... Because 2011 brought me a fiancé, 2012 brought me a husband, 2013 brought me a baby.... So what is 2014 going to bring me? Stay tuned. It's going to be an awesome year!!!!!!!!!!

And now for some pics of my girl from our NYE photo shoot earlier today. How precious are her little "Tiny and Bubbly" shirt and sparkle boots?!

Friday, October 18, 2013

2 Month Old Caroline

Well, this post is certainly a couple weeks overdue- oops! Our little sweetness turned two months old on October 3rd. WHAT?!? How is she already two months old?? Time is already going by so fast... too fast... and I know it will only get worse as she gets older {insert sad mommy face}. Caroline brings more joy into our lives than I could ever imagine. I find myself getting all teary by just sitting and looking at her. Sometimes it really feels like my heart is going to come right out of my chest, I love this baby girl so much! The other night, I was nursing her before bedtime and found myself sitting in the rocker with tears just rolling down my face as I was thinking about how lucky I am to have been given such a perfect blessing. When we found out we were expecting, to say that we were surprised puts it lightly. We were nowhere near "ready" {so we thought} to become parents and had "planned" on waiting at least 3 years before even talking about babies. Now, I am so more than happy that God had another plan for our lives. A plan for our precious little Caroline to be born to us on August 3, 2013. She has changed our world completely and we would not have it any other way.
{Our big girl's stats at her two month check up were outstanding - 13 lbs 3 oz which is the 95th percentile and 23.75 inches which is the 92nd percentile. Growing girl!!}

Month two was a big month for Caroline. She stayed away from Mommy and Daddy with a "babysitter" for the first time while we went to a wedding of one of my sweet friends from college. Grandmother, Aunt Whit, and Uncle Joshy stayed with her for about about 4 or 5 hours and she did so good! In addition to that, she also had her first trip to LaGrange and then to Orlando to visit both sides of our family. Bless her poor heart, the drive to Orlando took a toll on her.. but she made it! At one point, we had to stop somewhere in south Georgia {where I almost died of the gnat overload, disgusting} so that I could just get her out of the carseat and hold her for a little while to calm her down. Of course I felt so bad that I started just balling too while I was holding her crying. We were so happy to finally get there and see our Smith side of the family, but I think next time we may divide the trip into two days ;)

I could write forever, as I have so many thoughts going through my head these days about this precious girl. But I think I will save those for coming posts... which will be soon! I'm committing to writing more.. stay tuned. Until then, here is your daily dose of Caroline. Is she cute or what?!
With her Great Grand-Paw (my grandfather)
With her Grand GrandPapa (Bennett's grandfather)
Grandmother and Great Nanny at the wonderful brunch Grandmother hosted in Caroline's honor
 Happy little girl!
 If that doesn't melt your heart... oh the sweetness!
 Our little strawberry
Bathtime is still her favorite time

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

1 Month Old Caroline

I cannot believe that one month has already passed since our sweet Caroline Anne came into the world. What a whirlwind of a month it has been! I suppose that is to be expected, especially since we spent the first two weeks walking around like complete and total zombies. I don’t think I ever could have told you what day of the week it was, everything just ran together and I am convinced that the only thing which kept us awake throughout those days of complete exhaustion is the adrenaline rush of finally holding our precious girl in our arms {even if it was at 4 am when she was screaming for no apparent reason ;) } All jokes aside, this gift of becoming a parent has far surpassed anything that myself or Bennett expected. We are in love with our baby girl. All 10 lbs 7 oz and 22 inches of her! We had her 1 month check up today and those are her current stats. Girl is growing like crazy! I will say, hearing that your baby girl is growing good and strong because of the milk that your body is producing for her little body…. It’s a really neat feeling. Go me!!! {haha}

 How precious is that little face? I think I spend a good majority of my day just staring at her… she is just so dang adorable! Throughout this past week, she has already started to develop somewhat of a little personality! She will look at us and smile while making a little bit of coo-ing noise.. melt your heart! Actually, we have had a couple of big breakthroughs this week! She has started sleeping MUCH better {hallelujah}. We have come leaps and bounds from where she was even just about 10 days ago. She is going down after her final feeding at about 9:00 and sleeping until about 3:00. She wakes then to eat, goes right back to sleep, and then wakes again around 6:00 or 7:00 to eat again. Mommy and daddy are happy happy happy with this new little routine! She also has finally decided to take a paci. Now, let me preface this by saying that I really don’t like pacifiers. I especially don’t like it when kids have them shoved in their mouths 24/7 and even more so when they are way too old to be sucking on one anyway. However, sometimes… THE PACI IS NECESSARY!!!! Holy moly, what a difference it has made. Literally this past Saturday it was like a light went off in her head and she all of a sudden decided “Oh, this is actually kind of nice. I’d much rather have this thing in my mouth than cry my eyes out”. Again, hallelujah. Speaking of cry her eyes out… big moment #3 and #4 this week- she stayed alone with Daddy for a few hours Saturday morning for the first time AND took a bottle {with pumped milk}. Thank you to Bennett taking her over while I went to the salon for some relaxation and having my hair done, I came back very refreshed! My relaxation was momentarily interrupted when he sent me the picture on the left along with the text “we just started a meltdown”….. Mommy almost had a meltdown of her own… Poor baby girl!! Luckily just minutes later, he followed up with the picture on the right and said "all better now!!"

I still plan to do a post soon on her birthdate, the delivery, etc. I think now that things have become a bit more routine, I'll have time for that. But for now, I've included just a few pictures for everyone's viewing pleasure. {Because I know you don't see enough of them on social media}
 That sweet little laugh!
 She may look just like Daddy, but she has Mommy's little dimples and they are starting to become more visible, especially here!
 Loves story time
 Loves the Momaroo
Loves riding in the car
And I included this one just because it makes me laugh... alot.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

8.8.13- Caroline's Due Date

I am sitting here on what was the most anticipated day. August 8, 2013. The day that a precious miracle of life was "due" to enter the world. I am totally overcome with emotion as I stare down at my Caroline Anne, snoozing away in my lap on her 6th day of life. Saturday, August 3,2013 is a day that changed my life forever and for all the right reasons. I now know that it is impossible to understand the love that a parent has for a child until you hold that precious baby for the first time. I've often heard new mothers say that they feel like their heart might explode and now I totally understand why. I also totally understand every bit of "over protectiveness" my mom and dad had (and still have) for me. I understand why people upload dozens of pictures of their children onto social media (I am now one of those people). I understand now that your heart really does grow when you parent a child and that every single bit of uncomfort, lack of energy, hormonal craziness, etc that you experience while pregnant is a small small price to pay for the great reward of life that comes with it all. I am so thankful that when God heard mine and Bennett's "plan" of waiting several years to have a baby, He smiled and said "I have a better plan" Thank you Lord for your perfect, precious blessings. I feel honored and quite frankly, unworthy of this most special gift from above.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

39 Weeks: So CLOSE!!!!!!

39 Weeks today and I just absolutely cannot believe it! I cannot believe how fast this pregnancy has flown by. In the spirit of total honesty, I also kind of cannot believe that I am still pregnant. haha. After we found out I was already dilated so early, I started thinking that maybe we were going to have ourselves a little July baby girl, but it looks like she wants to be an August baby! Every morning this week when we wake up, Bennett looks at me and says "Welp, we didn't have a baby last night". He is at the point now of being just as ready/anxious as I am! Both of us just cannot wait to finally be able to meet our precious little Caroline. We've spent countless hours since December daydreaming about what she will be like.... and we are finally about to be able to find out!! Her 4D ultrasound pics are on our fridge, and the other day I caught Bennett looking at them. When I walked up, he looked at me with a big smile on his face and said "I mean, if she was that cute at 28 weeks, what is she going to look like when she comes out?!?" Melted my heart a little bit, I gotta say.
I've heard horror stories about what most women feel like at this stage of their pregnancy. Rightfully so, I've been extra nervous as to what the last couple of weeks will be like. I think maybe I'm lucky because for the most part, I still feel like my chipper ole self! Don't get me wrong, the belly definitely feels like at any moment it could just literally explode. I like to compare it to when you're a kid and you blow bubbles with your mouthful of bubble gum... it gets bigger and bigger and bigger until POP. Yeah, some days I do feel like my skin might do just that, POP.  My suggestion for belly pressure relief this late in the game, swim swim swim your heart out! The swimming pool has been a GODSEND for this pregnant lady. I honestly think that I can attribute my "good feeling-ness" at this stage in the game to staying as active as possible. While it is definitely harder to get around these days, {I like to think my new theme song is twist of the wobble, my version is "Waddle baby waddle baby waddle baby waddle baby"} I make sure to get some exercise as much as possible, even though lately that just means a brisk walk downtown... makes me feel so much better!!!!

Despite what small discomforts I experience now during the homestretch, or the major discomforts I experience during labor, I know it is all going to be worth it when we finally have sweet Caroline here! Thinking about seeing her little face for the first time gives me goosebumps all over my body. I even can't wait to hear what her little cry sounds like! I know that God planned for this precious baby girl to come into the world, the timing for her to come, that Bennett and I would be her parents, and that He already has a great and perfect plan for her life. I absolutely cannot wait to see what that plan is and to love her more and more every single day. Caroline Anne Smith, your mommy and daddy CANNOT WAIT TO MEET YOU!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

38 Weeks: Caroline's Nursery!

38 Weeks, getting bigger and more anxious/excited/nervous/emotional by the day!!! Come out come out Caroline, we all just cannot wait to meet you! I'm still dead convinced that she will be one week early. That means she will come sometime this coming week {my due date is August 8}. Good news is at my doctor appointment last Friday, I was already dilated 2 cm. Granted, I could stay this way until {or after, yikes} August 8... who knows. But, I've decided to take that as a great sign that she will be making her grand entrance sooner rather than later :) I have another doctor appointment tomorrow, we'll see if things have continued to "progress". FINGERS CROSSED! I'm so ready to hold this precious little baby girl in my arms that I just cannot stand it! Every last little thing is ready around the house too. I told one of my girlfriend's last night that at this point, I'm just creating things to do. Dusting everyday, cleaning the bathroom everyday, you name it. We are READY. It's pretty crazy to see a carseat in the backseat of the car... wowzers! As if having a nursery in the house didn't make it real enough... the carseat definitely does! Speaking of nursery, I've decided to finally include some pics of Sweet Caroline's little princess room {the paint on the walls is literally named "Princess"}. I love just going in and sitting in that little room, makes my heart so happy to envision what it will be like once the room has a roommate!!
{Still cannot believe she's almost here!}
 {Little Molly in the chair was my American Girl doll growing up, I loved her!}

 {My sweet friend Emily made the adorable bow holder!}

{My sweet and talented sister made the painting on the wall!}
{Can't wait to rock Sweet Caroline}
{A look in from the door}
{Perhaps my fav thing in the whole room, the perfect little chandelier}
{All that's missing is one sweet little baby girl!!}

Thursday, July 18, 2013

37 Weeks: FULL TERM!

37 weeks today means that this pregnancy just hit FULL TERM! Little Caroline could technically come any day now.... I cannot believe it! I am praying she comes sooner rather than later. For the obvious reason that I cannot wait to meet her and kiss her perfect little face, but also because I feel like I am going to go NUTS over the next few weeks waiting on her arrival. I seriously do not know if there is anything left in our home to clean, organize, decorate, etc. {actually maybe I'm wrong... I do have our closet that I'd still like to organize, maybe I'll do that today}. The fact that I am now restricted to working from home is starting to give me a tad bit of cabin fever and only increases my desire to just constantly be preparing something, ANYTHING for her arrival. I had an epiphany the other day as Bennett and I were walking into Target to get a couple of things that were still lingering on our "need for baby list". As I was thinking to myself "Ok, after we get these things we will really be ALL ready", then my mind started racing "Well, what if we need this? So and so said we might could use this. Oh dangit I still need to clean this." That's when it hit me, there is always always always going to be something else that could be bought or done. We will never hit the point of "Ok it's all set and ready and all we need to do is just sit and wait"... mainly because I am just a nutso and am always going to find something else that we need to do or buy in order to make her little life just perfect. I finally realized that Bennett and I are truly as ready as we can be. The bigger question- is Caroline ready? All I know is I'm staying as active as possible and doing everything I can to bring on the labor. Bennett and I walked so long downtown last night that I did not know if my little legs were going to make it anymore! COME ON BABY GIRLLLLLLLLL
{I cannot believe I am 37 weeks preggers!}
{Maybe if I walk enough, she'll get the hint??}

Ok so as this whole pregnancy as entered the final stages, I've learned that there are several things I absolutely cannot live without. For all your pregnant ladies, ladies who might one day be pregnant, or heck even men who need a little peak into what it might be like... listen up.

Thing I Can't Live Without #1Zantac 150. Preferably the "cool mint" flavor that provides a nice refreshing relief on the way down. Can I get an AMEN from anyone out there who has experienced pregnancy heartburn? I read where one woman I know described it as someone sticking a curling iron down your throat.... couldn't have said it better myself! This stuff stays fully stocked in my purse at all times. In the rare chance that I run out, you better bet I'm immediately finding my way to the first drug store, Target, Wal Mart, etc and picking up a box of these little miracle workers. One in the morning + One before bed = Much happier mommy to be.

Thing I Can't Live Without #2: Body Pillow. And the sad part is that these days, as the belly continues to grow and grow, the body pillow doesn't even quite do the trick anymore. Don't get me wrong... it helps tremendously. But holy cow. The words "Sleeping Comfortably" are two words that I never knew I would miss saying so much. Over the past month when I was staying in hotels a couple nights a week for work, I literally almost got to the point of shoving my body pillow into my suitcase so that I could get a decent night sleep. Sleep without the body pillow = non existent. I stayed up from 2-4 am one night watching George Lopez on the Nickelodeon channel because I couldn't get comfy. {And I gotta say, funny show!} Do yourself a favor and don't ever ever ever try to go to sleep without one of these bad boys.

Thing I Can't Live Without #3: The handle thingy in the car directly above the window. Does anyone know what the heck I'm talking about from that description? I believe some people so eloquently call it the "Oh Sh*t" handle... because you hold onto it for dear life when someone is a terrible driver. Anyway, never used this little gem until I rounded the third trimester. I drive an SUV so getting in and out of my car is easy {eh, easier} compared to getting in and out of Bennett's car. Sometimes I feel as if I'm literally stuck in my seat and need to just roll out like a rollie polie. Ah, but then I discovered how great the little handle thingy is. Grab onto that bad boy and just pull your big old self right out of that seat. I literally am not sure I would be capable of getting out of the car without it. Sad but true.

Thing I Can't Live Without #4: A Willing Husband with Strong Hands. Hellooooooo back pain! Holy cow. My back hurts all. the. time. lately. It hurts as I am sitting and writing this, actually. The terrible part is, nothing really seems to relieve it. I've found it hurts the worst when I'm sitting, second worst when I'm standing, and hurts least when I'm laying down. Isn't that convenient. Who wants to just lay down all day?? {Although Dr Sikes did order me to at least several hours a day bed rest, ugh}. Thank GOD for Bennett and his oh so "willing to help his wife" nature. He never complains when I ask for a back massage and actually even tends to offer it on his own accord. Poor guy too because it takes like an intense, hard, "dig your knuckles into my back" rubbing to make it feel even a little better. Bless him! Oh and I know I know, this probably means I will have back labor. YIPPEE.

I could probably go on for at least a few more paragraphs, but I think I'll stop at these 4 essentials. Keep us in your prayers as we wait for our precious little girl to join our family! And I'll go ahead and apologize now for the insane amount of pictures I am sure to be posting once she makes her grand debut. Here's to hoping she comes this week! haha :)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

36 Weeks: Finishing Touches

I cannot believe that I am 36 weeks pregnant… WHAT?! To think that Caroline could very well be born any day now blows my mind. In a good way obviously. Ok ok ok, sometimes it literally scares me slap to death….. that’s normal... right?? I know I've been going through this whole pregnancy thing for a long time now, but it still just absolutely astounds me when I think about the fact that there this a precious little life inside of me. A little life that currently depends on me for life {crazy when you think about that, huh?} and will continue depending on me {and Bennett} for a very, very long time once she finally arrives. We keep wondering when it will finally sink in that we are going to be Mommy and Daddy. Responsible for another person. Fixer of "boo-boos", the one who fights off monsters under the bed, reader of bedtime stories.... Man oh man. It warms my heart and makes me anxious all at the same time! Speaking of being anxious, I'd like to ask all my faithful blog readers to say a little prayer for me and baby Caroline. Had my weekly doctor appointment Tuesday and for the first time throughout the entire pregnancy {and really my entire life} had pretty high blood pressure. This was obviously alarming to me and my doctor and especially considering the fact that mine is normally very low and had jumped in just a mere 6 days since my last appointment. Long story short- I have been ordered to no more travel {I was going back and forth all over the place A LOT for work}, and to work only 1/2 day every day from home with LOTS of rest. I am going back Friday for some tests for protein in my urine and ultimately to find out if I have toxemia (pre-eclampsia) or not. A little frightening to say the least, but trusting that everything is going to be just fine. Prayers and well wishes much appreciated by all :)

 In happier news, we have been having a blast putting the finishing touches on all of Caroline's little stuff! Isn't it funny how a baby so teeny tiny requires SO. MUCH. STUFF?!?! I'm FINALLY almost finished with her nursery- just have to put some pictures in a couple of the frames and waiting on the toy box that my Dad is making for her {super excited about that} and then it will be all done! Everything is washed {omg I could smell that baby detergent all day}, steamed, pressed, organized, and ready for the world's most perfect little princess, Caroline Anne Smith, to make her big debut! I've also officially packed the hospital bags. Talk about things getting REAL. Thanks to everyone for all the great input via FB as to what to bring/pack. Some of those things I would have never thought about but they make total sense!
 {Packing up her hospital bag!!!!}
{Closet is officially organized!}

Words cannot express lately just how thankful I am for the fact that I hit the husband jackpot. I know I know, corny, I get it. But so so true. Bennett is the best man and I know that God created him just for me because I am convinced that no one else would put up with my crazy nesting tendencies and just overall OCD-ness in general. He goes above and beyond to make sure that everything is just the way I want it and the absolute best for his baby girl Caroline. Most men would not do half of the things that this Daddy to be does... and I know this because I've witnessed friends go through this without nearly the help that I have from my best friend and perfect husband. He is going to be the best dad to Caroline and I am so thankful that he's the one who she gets to call Daddy.
{Daddy steaming Caroline's bed skirt}

Friday, July 5, 2013

35 Weeks: Better Late Than Never!

35 weeks!!!!!! I guess technically yesterday was 35 weeks... I'm writing this late for the first time in the entire pregnancy. We have been enjoying some much needed time with my family at the
lake and while I fully intended to type my weekly update on the drive down, I opted for a nice long nap instead! This is going to be just a short little post, I will make up for it with a really good one next week :)We have had so much fun being with the family and talking about what it will be like next 4th of July.... When we have an 11 month old baby Caroline! My heart gets so happy just thinking about when this precious little girl is finally here. She already is making our lives so much happier even just while she is in my belly! Her little kicks never get old... Although lately they do get quite painful. Maybe she is practicing her Tae Kwan Do in utero.

Me and Caroline's super hot dad enjoyed a nice little baby moon weekend getaway in Hilton Head this past weekend. After a super hectic past couple months with work for both of us, and in preparation for "us two" to become "we three", a little beach time together was just what we needed! I fall more and more in love with Bennett each and every day and could not be more thankful that he is the man God picked for me and to be the father of my children. I hit the husband jackpot.... I'm the luckiest! Also I want to add to any pregger friends that read this- if you haven't found your way to a pool yet... DO IT ASAP. I mean, talk abou feeling relief. Totally takes all the pressure off the belly, makes you feel semi normal again, and just really is the best I've felt in a long time. Seriously. Do yourself a favor and go swimming... I don't know why I didn't earlier!!!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

34 Weeks - Lightning Bugs and The Poky Little Puppy

34 Weeks! Am I the only one who cannot believe how close we are getting to due date?! To say that time is flying by is an absolute understatement. It is still hard to believe that Bennett and I are soon to be mommy and daddy..... wonder when that will ever actually sink in? Since the crib, almost finished nursery (just a couple things left to hang on the walls- blog post will follow completion!), and closet full of baby clothes hasn't done the trick yet, maybe Bennett installing the carseat will! I keep telling him we need to go ahead and get that bad boy situated. They say you can never be over dressed or over educated {to which I agree}, I'd add or over prepared. I always prefer to be done way ahead of time! And since I still have that gut feeling that she will be a week or so early, I want to make sure everything is 100% ready asap! On that note, I really really do hope she comes around the 38-39 week mark. Things are starting to get prettyyyyyyy uncomfortable in this belly. I won't lie, up until about the past week I have thought at times "Yeah this whole pregnancy thing gets uncomforatble occasionally but this really isn't that bad, I don't know why women say it's as hard as they do". Well well well, has this last week told me a different story. I am officially starting to feel the "pressure" that women speak of. I literally feel at times that my belly is just going to completely pop like a balloon when pushed with a straight pin. On top of that, one of little Caroline's body parts seems to find a very comfortable home right under the right side of my ribs any time I sit for longer than 10 minutes. Sitting down these days is an absolute nightmare due to that. Standing up is a nightmare due to the belly pressure. I find myself most comfortable laying on my side.... too bad that's not exactly an option for the whole day. haha.

The other night, Bennett called me to the front door and said "OH man babe come here you gotta see this!"... Once I rolled off the bed {that's pretty much the only way to get up these days} and got to the door, I saw literally dozens and dozens and dozens of fireflies just lighting up the night! He and I both immediately started reminiscing to when we were kids and would get so excited about catching fireflies {I always called them "Lightning Bugs"} at night. I can remember putting them in a glass with some plastic wrap on top. Mom and Dad would always punch holes in the wrap for me "so they could breathe". Then, I'd put the glass on my nightstand and go to sleep! {btw- am I the only one who always woke up to dead lightning bugs in the morning?} Then over the weekend while we were out and about running errands, I wondered over to the book section of Mast General Store. I'm trying to build Caroline's little book collection and thought I'd see what they had, when I ran across "The Poky Little Puppy"....a book that I know if I read once, I literally read 100 times as a child! When I say "I read", I suppose I technically mean Mom read to me. Although she will tell you that I pretty much memorized every book cover to cover before I could even read myself. "The Poky Little Puppy" was one of my mom's favorite books as a little girl, then one of mine, and now it is sitting on Caroline's bookshelf.... hopefully to be one of hers as well!! I bring up the fireflies {lightning bugs} and Poky Little Puppy to say that I love thinking about the fact that I am about to have the greatest opportunity to create memories with my baby daughter as she grows up and hope that one day, she looks outside her front door to lightning bugs or comes across the Poky Little Puppy  book and is reminded of the memories we were able to make and gets a big smile on her face just like I did :)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

33 Weeks: The Epidural Decision

33 weeks today! I cannot believe that our due date is only 49 days away. Time just keeps passing, Caroline just keeps growing, and boy oh boy does it ever just keep getting hotter and hotter outside! Being pregnant {very pregnant} in the summer is quite the experience. I feel like I should carry around one of the squirt bottles that has a fan attached to it so that I can mist myself regularly. I hate to complain because I know it all will be so worth it in the end, but DANG! On a serious note, the heat is a small price to pay when I get to feel this precious little life moving like crazy inside of me. She is quite the active little booger. As a matter of fact, I'm convinced she rarely sleeps.... wonder if she is going to continue that lifestyle outside the womb? If so, I guess we better prepare ourselves huh? Bennett and I have so much fun not only feeling her move, but laying down and literally watching her move inside my belly! Again I'll say that I'm absolutely fascinated by the miracle that is growing inside of me and the miracle of life in general.
{Love that baby girl so much already!}

So, Bennett and I had quite the day this past Saturday. We spent 8 hours in childbirthing class! Participating in anything that has to do with Caroline makes me happy happy happy so needless to say, I was absolutely ecstatic to attend. Plus the fact that I {obviously since this is my first child} have absolutely NO clue what to expect besides what I've read on the Internet {yikes}, so I was also just really looking forward to the learning aspect of it as well. And let me tell ya, we learned. The only person in the class who I think did not learn is the one lady who asked more than once if she could get up and move around, use the birthing ball, etc once she received an epidural. Ummmm..... Seriously? Even the instructor seemed to finally get annoyed with the question. How many times does she have to tell you that it numbs you from the waist down?! Poor lady. Speaking of epidural.... the Lamaze class sealed my decision {I'm pretty sure at least} to go at this whole labor process without the epidural. I'm convinced I can do it and convinced that both me and Caroline will be better off for it. Now, maybe I'll change my mind when I'm having hellish contractions.... but I hope not. I'm sticking to my decision! Some may think I'm nuts. I actually keep thinking of what one of our good friends Blake told me- "Lauren, it's not like anyone gives you a gold medal for having the baby without an epidural. I'd think someone was nuts if they came into my dental practice and told me they wanted me to pull their tooth without numbing them first". hahaha while I thought he made a VERY valid point.... I don't think I'm persuaded. So, no epidural it is. Even Bennett is on board with that decision! Which I should add, when Sujata {our precious instructor} walked everyone through a ten minute breathing, relaxation exercise with the lights off and nice music playing in the background..... I all of a sudden heard some snoring coming from my left about 9 minutes in.... Yep, Bennett was so relaxed and into his breathing that he fell right asleep. Perhaps I should take some tips from him :)

{He also really enjoyed the birthing ball}

Thursday, June 13, 2013

32 Weeks: Showering Caroline

This is a week that I actually cannot believe is here- 32 weeks. You know how you always have some sort of time frame in your head where you think to yourself "Man, wonder what it'll be like once I get to (fill in blank)". For example, when I was a pre-teen and early teen I always daydreamed about what I would be like once I turned 17. No reason why. Nothing astronomically important happens at 17. But for some reason, that was just "the age" I always looked forward to and "wondered what I would be like" at. Well, same goes for 32 weeks pregnant. Why 32 weeks? No clue. But for some reason I can just remember even when I first found out I was pregnant, thinking to myself "Wonder what it will be like when I'm 32 weeks pregnant... that's far away though... but I can't wait to be 32 weeks pregnant." And now here I am. A whopping 32 weeks pregnant with big belly and set of ta-ta's to prove it. WOWZERS. I cannot believe how fast time is passing by! To answer my question to myself of "wonder what it will feel like", for the most part I still feel really great! I have been {knock on wood} fortunate to have quite an enjoyable pregnancy experience. Lately my biggest complaint is that little Caroline likes to wedge her foot under my ribs on the right side and it hurts BAD. I'm also getting a little heated more than usual. And actually, I experienced my feet slightly swelling for the first time on Tuesday.... that was not fun. Oh and then there's still that pesky heartburn lingering around. Zantac 150 is my best friend right now. Aside from those things- I'm just peachy. It all seems like a small price to pay when I think of the precious blessing that we will be holding in our arms in just a matter of weeks! I have this lingering inclination that she is going to come early... like a week or two early. I have no reasoning on which to base this- just a gut instinct. We will see :)

{Another mirror pic this week since I'm out of town... I'll be glad to get back to the chalkboard!}

Last Saturday was a big day for baby girl! Her Aunt Whitney threw just the most fabulous shower at Great Aunt Kimmy's house. We had a blast with family and some of our closest friends. Every little detail was absolutely beautiful and perfect. I was just so overwhelmed with happiness and joy to know that Caroline already has so many people that love her before she is even here... she is such a lucky little girl!
{Love these two. Marty made quite the drive just to be there to celebrate with us, and she ended up getting to feel Caroline kick! And my sweet sister worked so hard to make it just the perfect day!}

We are blessed to have received SO MANY AMAZINGGGG gifts at our shower. I hate that I didn't even have time to organize/put things away since we got home Sunday from Georgia- I had to back my bags and fly right to Richmond for the week so everything is still currently piled in Caroline's room awaiting my return {see pic below}. I have to say though that of all the wonderful things we received, my absolute favorite gift is the pearl bracelet that my Aunt A {Caroline's Great Aunt A} strung for Caroline using my Great Granny's {Caroline's Great GREAT Granny's} pearls. What a special special gift that I know I will certainly cherish forever and I know that Caroline will as well. Family heirlooms are the best kind of treasure. I'm getting teary just typing about how special that gift was/is to me!
{That's alot of love we received!!! Can't wait to get back get to organizing!}
{Love this. Just love this}
As the days and weeks pass by, my heart just grows more and more full of love for this precious baby girl growing inside of me. More than I can even count on a daily basis, I get lost in daydreams about my sweet little Caroline Anne. Everyday I pray that God will help me to show her the most Godly example I can of how to be a wife and mother, how to love Him, how to love others, how to be kind but not a pushover, strong but not hard headed, and how to grow to be the wonderful woman that she was created to be. I'm so excited for the journey that is ahead of myself and Bennett, and cannot wait to be Smith- party of 3 :)

PS- Two things I'm really looking forward to this week. #1- My Aunt Deb finds out the gender of her little one today.. I'm rooting for pink!! #2- Saturday we have birthing class.... bring on the breathing exercises!