he's in my dreams.

Mothers will often talk about that inexplicable love they have for their children.
Children who come into this world, completely helpless, and having done nothing to ask for nor truly merit that love...And yet it's there. A parent loves their child without explanation, without true cause. I suppose that's the phenomenon of it. And it's something I'm slowly beginning to understand (even though I know I haven't fully experienced it yet.)

I have very strange and often vivid dreams. I rarely remember much of them; I typically remember how I felt more than anything. But sometimes, every so often, I will have a dream that is so blissfully real that I can almost taste it, and sometimes I wake up disappointed that it wasn't reality. And other times, I have dreams that are more like nightmares and I wake up grateful that they aren't real.

Last year, I dreamed about having a baby boy. That was in April, well before I got pregnant. I remember feeling an intense love for him, even though he wasn't really even thought of yet.

A couple months ago, I dreamed about my baby, and I dreamed that for some reason, my best friend took him from me (remember that dreams are often irrational and don't make sense). We had made some sort of agreement that she could keep him. But after he was born, and she took him away, I demanded him back. I was so angry that she would even dare try to keep him from me. "That's my baby!!!" I remember insisting with every ounce of indignation I could muster. "How can you keep my baby from me??" She caved, and I had my baby back, but I remember waking up feeling a bit of lingering anger.

Last night, I dreamed about my baby again. He was so precious, all round cheeks and smiles. My sister (who is 5 years younger than me and amazing with babies) was caring for him, and wanted to put him in a chair but he wouldn't have it. I told her to put him on his blanket on the floor so he could play, but she insisted that he sit in the chair. She said, "He's my baby!" Again, I felt that indignation in my dream that she would dare to say something like that. "No, he's my baby!" I insisted. With that I took him in my arms, and put him on the blanket. I sat by him on the ground and let him chew on my finger. I woke up in a strangely good mood this morning (read: not a morning person), and thought about my baby as I got ready for work.

I'm the kind of person that doesn't put a lot of stock in dreams, but I do think that the ones we remember can sometimes teach us things.

These dreams? They've taught me a little bit about what a mother must feel for her child. That natural defensiveness that is innate within mothers is powerful. And I think that just maybe, they've allowed me to feel a little bit of that mother's love for her children.

I'm just a little afraid that I'm going to be pretty possessive of the little guy. Just a little.

Darn pregnancy dreams.




coming soon.

I've honestly had a fairly easy pregnancy so far. I never got very sick, I never got so completely exhausted that I couldn't function, my heartburn has been irregular and bearable (except last night was brutal so I finally got some antacids), my emotions have been average (a little weepy, a little cranky...no worse than a period), swelling has been really minimal, and I haven't had any complications so far. So I try really really hard not to complain...because I know so many women have it way harder than I do, and because I just don't want to be the complaining pregnant woman.

People will ask me all the time, "Are you just so ready for baby to be here?" when they see my rather large "pumpkin, basketball, watermelon" distending ever further outward. Honestly, yes, I'm ready to meet baby boy, but only recently has it become a matter of comfort rather than just excitement. So here are some things that I'm looking forward to about not being pregnant anymore:
  1. Having an adorable baby to love on and get to know. Duh.
  2. Wearing normal clothes. I pretty much live in my 5 maternity shirts, 2 pairs of pants, and a couple of skirts. And one pair of pants isn't that comfortable. In fact I'm so excited, that I even bought a new shirt and a new pair of pants that were *non-maternity* online. I'm excited for the day I can try them on and feel normal-sized again! I also have some sewing projects I'm waiting to start.
  3. Hugging people from the front, and not having to bend over to do so. Especially TJ. It's just not the same with the bump in the way. Although one of my best friends thinks it's funny to hug me, especially if I laugh and my belly bounces.
  4. Sleeping on my back. It's what I'm the most used to, and I somehow end up on my back every night. Even sleeping on my side is getting uncomfortable unless I have two big pillows on either side, and it's a little warm for that. 
  5. No back pain! If there's one thing I've consistently had problems with, it's back pain. It used to be only when I'd lay a certain way, but now it's almost constant, and it's no fun. I suck it up at work and utilize our new reclining couch to the max. And hey, it's almost over. Plus also I just remembered yesterday that I have a Massage Envy gift card TJ gave me for Christmas, and I hear they do maternity massages.
There are also a few things I'm looking forward to about having a baby (different from no longer being pregnant):
  1. Experiencing that motherly love that I've heard described so often.
  2. Experiencing the love that will be increased between my husband and I, and watching him be a daddy.
  3. Newborn photos. I'm so excited for these. Those non-maternity clothes I bought? Thinking about wearing them for the shoot. They'll be done in our home.
  4. 6-8 weeks off work. Don't judge; you'd be excited too.
  5. Last but far from least: loving on, snuggling with, getting to know, and adoring our baby boy.
And just for kicks, some things TJ is looking forward to:
  1. He misses my flat stomach, simply for the fact that with the belly he can't hold me close (cue: awwww). Before the belly, he also loved to put his head on my stomach to fall asleep. So he's looking forward to that.
  2. He wants to hold and "smuggle" his baby. (Smuggle is our word for snuggle....pretty sure I picked that up from my best friend's niece when she was 2. Eh.)
  3. And pretty much that was all I could get out of him but I'm sure there's more.
I'll be 36 weeks tomorrow, meaning 4 weeks left until my due date, meaning I'm now what, 9 months pregnant or something? Eh. This babe will come when he's ready and I'm not guessing when that will be. But I think he's excited too because he stretches my belly to the max sometimes like he's trying to push his way out. 

Hang tight little one. We can do this.

pregnant.

The bible refers to it as being "with child."
My grandma's generation calls it "pg."
In Belgium, they call it being "full."
Today, it's referred to by numerous names:
 prego, preggers, knocked up, expecting,
and many more.

Whatever you call it, it's quite an interesting experience.
I hope you're enjoying reading about mine,
and maybe even relating to it a little bit.

Well, fellow woman-with-child, Mikelle, kindly compiled a list of a few other bloggers who are all currently pregnant! So, visit this post if you'd like to follow along on their adventure as well.
We're all at varying stages, so it's fun to see the differences!
[35 weeks exactly, post baby shower]

instagram summer.

I've gotten really bad at taking pictures, especially with my Canon. It's something I'm trying to work on. However, I don't do too badly taking pictures with my iPod, even if it is usually irrelevant and random things. Here are a few or 100 photos of summer lately.


From left to right, top to bottom:
  1. The beach 
  2. He's just so handsome 
  3. 1st Panera Bread experience: delicious.
  4. Somewhere around 28 weeks. I look so small!
  5. Watermelon. We literally can eat one in 2-3 days. One of my favorite parts of summe
  6. Kitchenaid! TJ surprised me with this beauty at the beginning of June. I've wanted one for a long time and I can't wait until the weather cools off so I can fully utilize it with some baking. It's been so nice to have so far though.
  7. TJ's older sister just got this adorable puppy. Her name is Emma. She was tired after playing with the kids at Hannah's graduation party (TJ's little sister).
  8. An old doodle. Thinking about enlarging and watercoloring for nursery.
  9. A new doodle. I did this for the announcements for my first baby shower this weekend.
  10. Itty bitty diapers a friend gave us. For a tiny bottom.
  11. Super easy DIY wall art for the nursery.
  12. Gorgeous AZ monsoon sunset.
  13. One of the cute necklaces my mom gave me for my birthday. Its simplicity is perfect for my style.
  14. Mom & I at the Independence Day Parade in downtown Flagstaff. My parents and sister came last minute to celebrate my birthday and my sister's (we're 5 years and a day apart).
  15. I think we're cute.
  16. The awesome patriotic cake my mother and sister-in-law made for the birthday girls. I love that my family and TJ's get along so well.
  17. Birthday girls :) Don't mind my sister's closed eyes....it's genetic.
  18. I finally decided to stop wearing my wedding ring. I was getting scared it would get stuck. This is a ruby my brother gave me a couple years ago. It serves as a good way to remember him while he's in Oregon.
  19. Last weekend I really wanted Bahama Bucks....but we don't have one here. So we found a Tropical Sno stand and played pretend. It wasn't too bad, but it definitely wasn't Bahama Bucks.
  20. We've moved up in the world! Our little love seat, while super comfortable, just wasn't very practical anymore. This bad boy is a fabulous Craigslist find and features 2 recliners and plenty of space. Yay for more seating!
  21. When you don't have A/C, you go to great lengths to have a cooler environment.
  22. Shocked to find this $4 Batman onesie at Wal-Mart of all places. Baby boy is going to be a fan, I just know it.
  23. I can never get braids to look quite right, but today's didn't turn out too bad!
  24. This is what we have seen for the past 2 weeks. I love monsoon season, but it hasn't given us much rain so far. Arizonans have a special relationship with rain, and I can't wait for a good hard storm.
  25. Taken today, at 34 weeks, 4 days. Feeling large-and-in-charge. My back is starting to bother me more lately, but other than that I think I'm still doing pretty good overall.
Whew! I should blog more often. But boy, do those little details mean a lot to me.



San Diego.

TJ and I love road trips. We actually enjoy spending time in the car together, without any distractions. Just the two of us, our music, and the road stretching before us. We love to take in the different scenery as we drive, to talk about anything and everything, or to sit in silence. Well, this all might change a little bit once baby boy arrives, so we decided to take one last road trip as just a couple to one of our favorite places on earth: San Diego.

We spent our honeymoon in San Diego, so we thought it only appropriate that we celebrate our 2-year anniversary there as well. We fell in love with the area again...so much so that we've decided to make it a yearly tradition. Next year, my parents plan on joining us and we'll have a bouncing 9-month-old to mix things up. 

I took over 300 pictures, but here are a few of my favorites. We were lucky to save on hotel costs by staying with TJ's aunt and uncle in their home in Carlsbad, so we hung around the La Costa area quite a bit.
[We ate here, at our favorite So. Cal. retreat, twice. I recommend the California Scrambler, the Acai Bowl, and the Banana Walnut pancakes (mostly because that's all I've tried...I'm sure it's all good though!). And now I'm craving Swami's. We got breakfast our first morning there, and then walked next door to a surf shop and got TJ a hat. Then we went down the street to the Encinitas Surf Shop, where I scored a fully-lined Sherpa hoodie for $20. I actually wore it a few times while we were there (gotta love the May Gray) and it will come in quite handy this fall.]

[I had never been to the San Diego Zoo before, so we made that our adventure for a day. I especially liked the elephants and the monkeys. There was a lot we didn't see, though, so I hope we go back soon!]



[TJ's Auntie Apryl played our gracious hostess/guide. She let us come stay with them even though they were packing up and moving back to AZ this same weekend. She's a saint!]

[We were dreaming of the beach for months before we went. Apryl & Tim's home was literally about a mile from the beach, so we stopped by there quite a few times. One night we went just after sunset when there was barely any light left, and sat by the key watching waves crash against the rocks. I love the smell, the wind, the sand, and the waves. As we sat there, I couldn't help but be in awe of the beauty and power behind the ocean, and the Power that created it.]

[Tim drove the truck with everything in it to AZ on Saturday, while Apryl stayed behind to finish their sons' school year and stayed with a friend. We improvised and stayed on an air mattress, using a beach towel as a sheet, and found a nice blanket at Target because we forgot to bring one. It was a fun part of our adventure, and we won't ever forget staying in a totally empty house]

[Any true vacation should include amazing food. We enjoyed the experience of this totally retro diner in San Diego. Guy Fierre even came here with his Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and they had a huge picture of him on the wall. All of the waiters and waitresses are completely decked in 50's dress, there's a live DJ playing 50's classics, and every booth has a TV with a reel of clips from old TV shows and movies. The waiters and waitresses also spontaneously burst into song and choreographed dance. The food is pretty good too. Like I said, it's quite the experience.]

[And here are two of the coolest kids around. I love L's face! These two were head-over-heels for TJ and his Xbox skills. PS, I was 28 weeks this weekend...the bump looks so small compared to now.]

Overall it was a great vacation. I love that we were able to escape for a a little bit and make memories and establish traditions. I can hardly wait to watch our baby boy play in the sand... next year!

Dear Wild Thing,

[basically 34 weeks]

One of mommy's favorite children's books is Where the Wild Things Are by a man named Maurice Sendak. I love it because it teaches about imagination and how sometimes it's OK to be mad. It teaches that parents will always be there for their children, and never abandon them, even if they're naughty. I love it even more now because it reminds me of you. You're already a little wild thing, and I can hardly wait to witness the craziness that you will most definitely bring to our lives. No really, I can't.

One example of your antics was at the doctor's office a few weeks ago. As the doctor put the microphone to my stomach, he had to search a little bit for your heartbeat because you were moving around so much. When he finally picked it up, you hit the microphone. You did this two or three times and had us all laughing at your seeming indignation.

We've reached the final stretch; it's hard to believe that you could join us now in less than 4 weeks! Daddy and I still have a lot to do to prepare for your arrival, but I'm still savoring these little moments that we have left. The alone time with your dad, and my constant alone time with you.

It was my birthday on Tuesday. I told Daddy on Monday that I didn't think this is where I would be at twenty-two: married for over 2 years, have a college degree safely tucked away for 6 months now, working a full-time job outside of my educational field, and be 7.5 months pregnant. I am so happy that I am here though.

My birthday morning you gave us a little show with your antics. Daddy made me a birthday breakfast in bed with eggs and bacon, and when I used my protruding belly as a table, you made my plate rock back and forth and all over the place. It was quite funny. Speaking of Daddy, he's getting quite impatient to meet you and he's so excited to hold you in his arms. I am too-excited to hold you and to watch my husband be your Daddy.

On the fourth of July, I helped my friend Amy with her brand-new baby and it made me wish you were the one I was holding...watching you sleep and soothing when you cry. I know it will be soon, but I wonder what you'll look like, what your personality will be. It's amazing to me that not only is there something wiggling inside of me, but that something is a tiny person with a tiny personality that I will have the privilege of watching grow and learn. That something is you.

But for now, my little wild thing, stay where you are all snug in my belly, and we will prepare for your arrival. And please, learn what my bladder is and how to avoid it.

love always,
Momma