two months old!

I can hardly believe my baby girl is 2 months old today. The past 8 weeks have been a blur of family events and sleep deprivation. πŸ™‚ But there have been LOTS of smiles and coos and happy moments with my sweet child. We are slowly but surely finding our groove as parents of two. Taylor is finding her spot in our family and has been learning to sleep more hours (yay! happy thing indeed!).

My Sweet T tries so hard to suck her thumb, but usually ends up with her fist. She still has some tummy issues that make life interesting sometimes, but I think she’s growing out of them gradually. She started smiling almost all the time when she’s awake a couple weeks ago, which is delightful! Her head and neck are very strong – she loves to look around and doesn’t want to miss a thing. But she’s also a little cuddle bug. She loves to sleep being held, but we’re working on her ability to put herself to sleep in her crib.

Taylor, you are such a gift to our family! Jackson loves you. Daddy loves you and I love you. Your smiles make my day so bright and cuddling you warms my heart. I’m very grateful that God has given you to us and pray that we will raise you well.

Observations from this side of the bump:

  • two has been an adjustment for sure! It takes me quite a while to get out of the house with everyone clothed, fed and pottied. πŸ˜›
  • Jack is a great big brother. He is quick to be by her side when she fusses, telling me to “Feed her, Mom!” or assuring her that “It’sokay, Tayer, momma coming!” or “More minute, Tayer – almost there,” if she is fussing in the car. He loves to put her pacifier in her mouth and give her running commentary on his activities. πŸ™‚
  • real clothes are overrated. Yoga pants and easy access nursing shirts are where we’re at right now. As I get back in shape, I’m looking forward to getting better at staying put together more often. It’s a season, I keep telling myself!
  • dressing a girl is too much fun. The tutus and the leggings and the hairbands and the fluff. Yes, I love it.
  • I definitely have to be more intentional about schedules, planning ahead and all. I can’t just fly by the seat of my pants quite so easily.
  • I still love this motherhood thing more than I thought I would. πŸ™‚

Happy Two Months to Taylor!

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hurry up and wait

out my back window, the neighbor’s maple tree is turning from green to crimson. It’s always the earliest tree to shed its summer cloak for the bright hues of autumn and I love it. The air has been crisp and cool for about a week now – fall is definitely in the air, though the calendar may disagree until Friday. This is my favorite season to live in our beautiful state. Fall, then spring, then summer and winter. If winter would drop off the list completely, I wouldn’t mind one iota. I mean, some snow is nice, but the cold and the necessity for almost total hibernation gets to me on about the fourth day of January. Once Christmas and the first snowfall have been enjoyed, winter is all down hill from there.

I’m in the twilight of this pregnancy – gosh, that’s kind of overly poetic. Just two weeks stand between being pregnant and holding a newborn. Hallelujah! I’m so very ready to be on to the next stage and snuggle my baby girl, figure out her feeding and sleeping needs, be starving and able to eat whatever without heartburn because I’m nursing and not pregnant anymore…at this point, any change from the current “normal” of being a lumbering pregnant lady will be super. πŸ™‚

Last week marked the last “big event” before our little lady makes her debut. We enjoyed the fun and busyness that was Kyle’s sister Sarah’s wedding and marriage to Ryan. The ceremony was positively lovely and the decor stunning and the celebrating delightful. Our whole family was a part of the wedding party – Jack the adorable ring bearer in his little tuxedo, Kyle a groomsman and I a bridesmaid. Jack did indeed make it down the aisle without incident. I can’t say the same for when it was time to go sit with his grandparents instead of staying with his mother. ahem. Yes, that will be Jack screaming over the pastor’s prayer just before the message. πŸ˜› Oh well.

He DID charm the world on the dance floor – oh my gosh. And was pretty much the last one standing as they shut down the party late that night. He eventually gave up the ghost and sat with his hands folded and his beloved pacifier in his piehole at about 10:30pm. I’ll admit that I didn’t cry when the bride walked down the aisle, but had to work hard to keep back the happy/proud mama tears as my own little boy did! lol.Β And I admit I felt pretty good for being nearly 38 weeks huge – my friends Rosanna and Brittni made a wicked awesome beautifying team. My hairs and face and the dress all worked together to work some magic, I think. Here we all are in our wedding finery:

AND NOW…

My bag is packed for the hospital. The necessary post-partum supplies are stocked. (Raise your hand if you know what I mean. :-P) Snacks to sustain my husband while he supports me are waiting in the pantry. The girl child (who still is possibly Taylor or possibly Nora/Norah) has clothing. The boy child’s fall/winter wardrobe is being added to this week. The kid’s room awaits a few more touches of decor that I hope to finish this week. The freezer boasts about 12-15 meals or parts of meals for the weeks following her arrival since I plan to do little more than sit on the couch in a reclined position and make trips to the bathroom and shower for the first month after her sweet arrival.

so I hurry up and wait! and thank God for every minute I’ve already had with this person inside of me as I long for the days of having her in our everyday lives outside. πŸ™‚

29/52

I’ve fallen so behind on this little project, but its only because life and developing other things (like another child) has been taking precedence over developing my photography skillz. I will say that I’ve been attempting to use manual or at least aperture priority settings more often as I’ve been taking photos this summer and I’ve been pleased with the results. We discovered that our camera tends to under-expose things (maybe a sensor issue?) so one has to set it for letting more light in than normal anyway. Fun facts to know and tell, as my mom and dad would say.

I took this the other evening with my iPod – it takes the best pictures in outdoor light, but even then, I know its a total cop-out. I just haven’t had it in me to set up the camera with the tripod and have definitely not had great amounts of inspiration. However, I do not mind be a model for OTHER, real photographers. Earlier this month, on our fabulous vacation with the extended Puelston family, Kyle’s sister Sarah (a pro) took some awesome family/maternity pictures for us. I just ❀ her style and eye for beauty. And oh my stars, did Jack ham it up for the camera?! Here’s my top four favorites from the shoot she did:

So there ya go – a 35 week pregnant me sitting in our front yard while the menfolk swept acorns off the deck, with REAL pictures of our current family at t-minus 5 weeks till Taylor/Norah makes her appearance. πŸ™‚ ’tis a happy thing indeed!

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a couple weeks ago, Kyle and I had the fun task of taking engagement photos for his sister Sarah and her fiance’, Ryan. We met them in downtown St. Paul and had a really great evening snapping their pictures. Kyle was behind the camera and I was the “creative director”. πŸ™‚ While we were waiting for the happy couple to arrive, we were testing lighting and lenses and we did this fun shot of me and Taylor. πŸ™‚

We do already love this baby, even though we have 15 more weeks, give or take, before we officially “meet” her. I’m not totally sure how in the world I will get through all of July, August and September, but I know the wait will be worth it!

its a…..

GIRL!

meet taylor charlotte

The ultrasound went great and the technician put the “answer” in an envelope for Kyle to open when he got home from his appointment. πŸ™‚ It was so fun to have him open it up and find out Little Bit is a girl! Now we can call her Taylor. And continue waiting to meet her until the first week of October!

Keep growing and getting strong and stay healthy, baby girl! We love you.

18 weeks…

today marks 18 weeks of pregnancy with Little Bit. In less than two weeks we’ll hopefully find out if this person is a girl or boy! I am ridiculously excited to find out – even more than I was with Jackson, for some reason. πŸ™‚ I really want to throw a “gender reveal” party for our close friends and family with pink and blue food, but I don’t know if we can fit it in before I would explode with curiosity due to scheduling. lol. So we’ll probably just find out and then celebrate/announce it later that day.

I feel like my belly has officially “popped” at right around the same time I did with Jackson – and I am on track for normal weight gain. Thanking God again for a (thus far) healthy, normal pregnancy.

foto friday: little bit

Can I get a shout out for a fun new blog layout? My dear friend Brenda over at Unsolicited Advice designed my awesome retro header and adorable background. I love it. πŸ™‚ Thanks, Bren!

yesterday we got the sweet privilege of seeing our little person via ultrasound. πŸ™‚ Maybe because we get sent to the actual ultrasound technicians at the hospital, the pictures we got of Jack and of this baby were super clear even as early as they are. I was right on target with my estimated due date, so we’re officially at 10 weeks 4 days. Due October 3. But I’m telling myself he or she will appear by October 7, just to avoid feeling annoyed if I “go over”. lol.

hi world!

It was very reassuring to see the fast little heartbeat blinking on the screen. I breathed a prayer of thanks and thought of all my friends that have been heartbroken by miscarriage or infertility…how I pray they get the joy of seeing the same miracle again or for the first time.Β I sure don’t take this life for granted. I know he or she is ours for as long as God ordains, and even then, this little person belongs ultimately to our mighty Lord.

In other happiness: all week our weather has been warming up. Today its supposed to be around 40 degrees and all next week might approach the 50’s! πŸ™‚ Oh, this makes me happy. I have even more hope that upon our return from Nevada, the great meltdown (aka SPRING!) will be underway.

Another happy thing is that I’m starting to feel a lot better more of the time. Every once in a while a wave of nausea rolls over me, but for the most part, I’m feeling like myself again. I had prepared myself for another 3-4 weeks of feeling dreadful, so I’m grateful.

So combine better weather with feeling better and you get a more active Johanna again! Just add water. πŸ™‚ Tuesday and Thursday Jack and I got out for a long walk and today I’m going to attempt an abbreviated version of P90X Legs and Back. It just feels so good to feel good again. Praise the Lord!

I hope wherever you are, you have some sunshine in your day. Whether its a beautiful day, your favorite tea in a beloved mug, a smile from a friend, a hug from your honey or cuddles from a kid, puppy or cat. πŸ™‚