Hi Friends! Wow, it’s been awhile since I took a look at this list. As many of you know, I love making bucket lists. I usually have goals for the year and even summer bucket lists. I remember writing this list out in July of 2020. My life has certainly changed a little since then. Let’s take a look at the list and see what I’ve accomplished so far…
1. HAVE AT LEAST TWO KIDS (THROUGH BIRTH, ADOPTION OR WHATEVER THE LORD HAS PLANNED)
This goal is half completed or completed depending on how you look at it. I have a total of 3 kids, but only one of them living earth-side while the other two are in Heaven. My husband and I would like to have another baby at some point, either through pregnancy or adoption. But we are open to whatever the Lord has planned.
2. WRITE 5 CHILDREN’S BOOKS (I THINK PUBLISHING AT LEAST ONE A YEAR SOUNDS GOOD)
I’ve written 2 children’s book but only published one. So, I should get going on this goal.
3. PUBLISH MY MEMOIR (I BETTER HAVE THIS DONE BY THEN)
This has not happened yet. But every year I’m working on it and putting myself one step closer to publishing.
4. MOVE UP IN MY FIELD WORKING WITH CHILDREN (WHETHER THAT BE JUST MORE RESPONSIBILITY OR A PROMOTION… I’M UP FOR ANYTHING)
I technically completed this goal because in March of 2021, I was promoted to opener at my childcare center. However, At this time in my life I’m not really sure if and when I will return to the workforce. I am really enjoying the stay-at-home mom life. If I do return back to my field of child development/ early childhood, I hope to move up and test the waters in curriculum design or even administration. For now I’m going to continue to dabble in children’s literacy.
5. MOVE INTO A HOUSE (I WOULD PREFER HERE IN MICHIGAN, BUT WE’LL SEE WHAT HAPPENS)
I mean we have started the pre approval process and looking around. We are very close to completing this goal and hope to have a house by the end of the year.
6. GET A DOG (SOMEDAY SOON!)
Eventually, I would like to have a dog. But I would like to focus first on homesteading and getting some chickens.
7. MAKE MONEY BLOGGING (SOMEHOW AND SOME WAY I WOULD HOPE TO MAKE A SMALL INCOME OFF OF MY HOBBY)
I still would like to do this, but I’m not sure how. I also feel like my niche is changing and I’m not sure what I truly want to focus on.
8. MAKE MY DOG A BRAND AMBASSADOR (FOR REAL, I WANT TO TRY THIS)
This would be fun. It’s not a super important goal to me anymore, but if we do get a dog, I’d like to try it.
9. GO ON A WEEK LONG VACATION TO SOME PLACE WARM (FORT LAUDERDALE, OR MYRTLE BEACH SOUND NICE)
Yes, yes, and yes. This hasn’t happened since the year we got married. We are due for a vacation. We should start planning!
10. HAVE 5,000 FOLLOWERS ON MY BLOG (TELL YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT MY BLOG YA’LL!)
I have over 300 followers now. Slow and steady wins the race right?
11. GET A CAT (THE DOG WILL NEED A FRIEND)
I did get a cat! His name is Rocky! We adopted him in 2020, shortly after I wrote this original post! He’s the best little fur ball!
12. PAY OFF HALF MY STUDENT LOANS (GET THEM THINGS PAID OFF)
This hasn’t happened yet because of the pandemic.
13. ATTEND AN NCFR OR NAEYC CONFERENCE (NOW, THIS WOULD BE FUN)
I still think this would be fun! I should look into when the next conference is!
14. WRITE A SELF CARE JOURNAL FOR WOMEN (WE ALL NEED A LITTLE DAILY SELF CARE)
I have the beginnings of a rough draft tucked away in a filing cabinet. I should probably dig that out…
15. VISIT NEW YORK CITY (I WANT TO SEE TIME SQUARE, GROUND ZERO, ONE WORLD TRADE CENTER, THE STATUE OF LIBERTY AND ALL THE OTHER THINGS)
I still really want to do this. Even if it’s not before I’m 30, hopefully before I die.
16. BE ON THE TODAY SHOW (I KNOW THIS SOUNDS CRAZY, BUT I THINK IT WOULD BE COOL… WHO KNOWS IF IT WILL EVER HAPPEN)
I still think this would be cool. I have no idea how it would happen though.
17. GIVE A TED TALK (IT WOULD BE TERRIFYING, BUT I’D LOVE TO DO IT.
Same thing as the Today show. Don’t know how it would happen, but it would be cool.
18. WRITE 1,000 BLOG POSTS (THIS SHOULD BE DO-ABLE)
I’m on my way! Written about 415, so at least 585 or so to go!
19. LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST
This goal is always In process.
20. BE A GREAT WOMAN, MOM, WIFE, DAUGHTER, SISTER, FRIEND, TEACHER, AUTHOR AND HUMAN
One day at a time. Always striving to be the best I can be.
It’s 2023! Happy New Year friends! I can’t believe my baby is almost a year old! Where did the time go??? Any who… this year I’ve got plans, like I always do. I always like to reach big for the goals I set for myself each year. However, I also want to bring into the new year something I learned from 2022, and that is flexibility. Last year, I was challenged to be flexible with my time, money, plans, parenting and expectations. This year I’m going to try and continue to keep that flexibility at times, as hard as it is for me not to be a control freak.
This year I am setting 10 goals for myself. These are 10 goals that I hope to be intentional as well as manageable. Without further or do, here are my goals for 2023!
My Goals for 2023
1. Buy a House
This is the big one. This is the one I want to come true the most! We have been saving up and looking for the perfect starter home for our little family. My hope is to find our home and move in before summer, if not by the end of the year.
2. Go on a Family Trip
I would like to go on at least one family trip this year, even if it’s just a day trip. A few ideas I have include the zoo, northern Michigan, Great a Wolf Lodge, the apple orchard, the dairy farm or Mackinac.
3. Publish one of my Books
I said this in my last post. This goal will be on this list until I complete it!
4. Decorate my New Home
This one goes along with my first goal. But it’s honestly what I am most excited about with getting a new home. We get to decorate and make it our own!
5. Get my Eyes Checked
Now, at first glance you guys might think this is a dumb goal. But give me a moment to explain. The last time I had my eyes checked was in 2018. It’s been 5 years. I need my eyes checked and I really need new glasses. I’m just terrified of going to the eye doctor, for reasons I will share in a future post. So this is a big deal for me, but I gotta do it.
6. Start Our Homesteading Lifestyle
I’ve mentioned in previous posts how I am very interested in homesteading and would eventually like to have my own garden/green house, chicken coup with laying egg hens, and a goat or two for goat milk. I realize I can’t begin this lifestyle until we are moved into our new home. However, I would like to at least begin the process of homestead living by continuing to research and maybe even start buying supplies.
7. Host a Party or Family Gathering
As we wrap up the holidays, I have thought about how much I would one day love to host a family gathering and or party at my own home in the coming year. I have a few ideas including a house warming party, Easter Dinner, Mother’s Day, Christmas or New Year’s Eve. Depending on when we move and get settled in will depend on when all this happens, but I simply can’t wait!
8. Write 515 Blog Posts
I know I didn’t reach my goal of 500 blog posts in 2022, but I hope to reach this one in 2023. With my little one being a little more mobile and independent, I’m hopeful this will allow me to dive back into my hobby of writing.
9. Implement Fun and Structured Activities with my Son
As Matthew quickly emerges from baby to toddler, I would like to start doing more intentional, structural activities throughout the year. I have a few ideas like sensory bins/bags, art projects and outside activities.
10. Start Developing Our Homeschool Curriculum
As many of you know, I have degrees in Early Childhood Education and Child and Family Development. This is my field. I have always wanted to develop my own toddler/preschool curriculum.
My Word of the Year…
This year I have decided to include a word of the year. Something I want to ponder, remember and reflect on as each month passes this year. I asked my husband to think of a word for me. I said to think of the first word that comes to his head, and he said Resilience. I instantly thought it was perfect! No matter what this year brings, I’m going to have faith, trust in Jesus and come out with resilience.
Hello Third Trimester, and Goodbye Feet! We are in the final stretch! 28 weeks pregnant, and baby is the size of an eggplant! Only 12 more weeks to go… if baby decides to come on time. 🙂
These last few weeks have been crazy with Braxton Hicks really kicking in, getting diagnosed with GD and my apartment being taken over by baby items. Never the less we are so incredibly blessed!
This week I have two appointments, one with a dietitian about my gestational diabetes and one check in with my midwife.
This is our rainbow baby for whom we prayed for, cried over and waited on. As we get closer and closer to our due date, I feel myself getting more anxious for the birth and what raising this little miracle will be like.
I know I am beyond blessed for making it this far in my pregnancy and I don’t want to take that for granted, but at times I do struggle to appreciate what I have and what could be.
I know as someone who has struggled with recurrent miscarriages, trying to conceive and endometriosis that it’s hard to see others on their pregnancy journey. I also know the fear and anxiety of being pregnant after a loss. Please know you’re not alone. I see you. I hear you. I am you. If you ever need to talk I’m here. If you need encouragement I’m here. If you need a hug I’m here. 💕
29 Weeks pregnant with 11 weeks to go! Baby is the size of a Acorn Squash!
This week’s symptoms include fatigue, crazy emotions, hunger and cravings, varicose veins, light headed-ness, increased thirst, hot flashes, round ligament pain, lightning crotch, nesting and daily baby kicks.
We can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Here are a few things we have completed in order to prepare for baby,…
Set up bassinet/pack n’ play
Start washing baby clothes
Finalize birth plan
Pack about 50% of hospital bag
This morning I had 3 doctor appointments including 1 with a nurse at maternal fetal medicine about my gestational diabetes, the second with a dietitian at maternal fetal medicine about my gestational diabetes and the third with my midwife.
At my first appointment the nurse reviewed with me what gestational diabetes is, how it affects baby and how we can manage it. At my second appointment with my dietitian we reviewed how to manage gestational diabetes through diet.
At my last appointment, I saw my midwife and baby and I are doing great. Baby’s heart rate was 140, and he was wiggling around in my tummy. My uterus is measuring right on track at 29 cm, I received the TDap vaccine, and I go back in 2 weeks for another visit.
We are 30 weeks pregnant, and Baby Boy is the size of a Cantaloupe! Can you believe it? We only have 10 weeks left until we meet our Baby Bear!
This week I started checking my blood sugar four times a day, and so far all my numbers have been in range. This week I’ve been really struggling with sleep. I know they say you don’t sleep in the third trimester, and I guess I thought they were kidding. If I’m not waking up because I have to pee I’m usually waking up because baby is kicking me, I’m hungry, can’t get comfortable, have Braxton Hicks or I’m hot.
Other symptoms I’ve been having this week include fatigue, slight feet swelling and cramps, itchy belly, the starting of stretch marks, colostrum, acne, discharge, varicose veins, frequent urination and just lots of aches and pains.
So far we have the nursery about 85% complete! Still waiting on a few things like washing the rest of baby’s clothes, getting a hamper, diaper genie, and any other essentials I can’t think of at the moment.
Our hospital bag is about 50% complete and I still need to pick up a few things including deodorant, dry shampoo, snacks, going home clothes etc.
Here is to 30 weeks and only 10 weeks to go! January 6th can’t come soon enough!!!!!
Here is our big nursery reveal!!!
We currently live in a one bedroom apartment, so we will be sharing a sleeping space with Baby Bear at least for the first couple of months. Hopefully we will have a bigger space where baby will have his own room and place to store his toys, but still be able to sleep in our room until he turns 1. We got our travel size bassinet/ pack n’ play off of Amazon! It is a Graco brand and so far we love it! It’s perfect if you are working with a small space.
I found these cubes off of Amazon, and decided to use them to store Baby’s clothes, hats, swaddles, burp cloths and toys.
Baby Boy has 3 swaddles and over 30 hats all ranging in different sizes. He’s a winter baby being born in Michigan, so hopefully these hats will keep his head warm.
Baby Boy has a large amount of burp cloths and cloth diapers. I was told that cloth diapers work great as burp cloths!
Baby also has an abundance of books, and mommy has a thing for sloths so of course he has some sloths.
I plan to have all size newborn and 3 month clothes washed and ready to go before baby arrives.
Books, books, and more books. This year due to covid, I had a virtual book party instead of a baby shower, and let me tell you…. Baby was blessed with more than enough books.
We have lots of blankets washed and ready! Some are quilts, some knitted and some Sherpa.
Socks, booties, slippers and shoes are all organized in here.
Diapers and wipes are easily accessible and near the bassinet which is where we plan to change baby a majority of the time.
Diaper caddy is full of diapers, Vaseline, wipes, burp cloths, corn starch and first aid kit.
Thanks for stopping by my tour of Baby Boy’s nursery!
31 weeks pregnant! This week, baby boy is the size of a bunch of asparagus!
Symptoms this week include aches and pains, fatigue, rib pain, lots of baby movement, slight stretch marks, weight gain, acne, oily hair, increased colostrum, back pain and cravings.
We had a OB appointment this morning and everything is going great! Baby is head down like I suspected. He may flip around here and there before 36 weeks but we’ll see. 🤷🏻♀️
Baby’s heart rate was 135. I have no infections and blood sugar is looking great.
We only have 9 weeks to go! We’ve gotten a lot of things done and have a lot of things to do still. Here’s a few things I hope to get done in the next two weeks.
Pick a Pediatrician
Deep Clean the Apartment
Finish Packing the Hospital Bag
Finish Washing All Baby Clothes
9 weeks left to go! We got this 🙂
Officially 8 months pregnant! 32 weeks and Baby Boy is the size of a squash! We only have 8 weeks to go!
This week has been crazy and I’m a little late posting a bump update, but trust me… I’ve had a good reason. About a week ago I was exposed to someone with Covid. I got a test on Wednesday and tested negative. I started to develop Covid/flu like symptoms Wednesday night. I got retested yesterday (Sunday) and tested positive for Covid.
This week has been exhausting, challenging and scary to say the least. I am fully vaccinated, and have known full well that I could still get Covid while vaccinated but I can honestly say I did not expect to get Covid 8 months pregnant. I have developed pretty much all the symptoms of Covid these last 6 days including cough, fever, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, shortness of breath, fatigue, body aches, diarrhea, headaches, loss of smell and partial loss of taste.
A lot is up in the air at the moment as I am still waiting to hear from my OB about any testing or extra monitoring for baby and I that may need to be done. All in all, I’m doing okay. It honestly depends on the moment.
Baby is still moving and grooving which gives me great peace of mind. I am also doing my best to rest and take it easy at home while I can before I return to work and leave for maternity leave in a few weeks.
I would appreciate any prayers and good thoughts for my hubby, baby and I. It’s a scary time and there is so much unknown still about Covid. Regardless of our fears we are still doing our best to trust and have faith that we will get through this and all be okay and healthy very soon. ❤️
Already 33 weeks pregnant, with 7 weeks to go! The third trimester is flying! Baby Boy is the size of a stalk of celery and roughly 4 lbs.
This week mama is trying, but mama is tired. Testing positive for Covid and being quarantined for almost two weeks was not in the plans, but thankfully Baby Boy and I are surviving and getting through.
Baby and I had a non stress test done and a check in with our midwife this morning and so far all is going well. Since I have GD and tested positive with Covid so close to delivery, I am now considered to have a high risk pregnancy. From here on out, baby and I will be monitored closely through non stress tests and at least one more ultrasound.
Covid is scary, and Covid is exhausting. I’m truly thankful for my husband who has been taking such good care of us as well as my doctors to make sure we will be on the mend very soon.
On the plus side, since I have been home so much these past 10+ days we have been able to…
Get hospital bags packed and ready to go.
Finalize our birth plan
Wash all of baby’s clothes
Watch endless hours of movies on Disney+ 🥰
Thank you everyone who has been praying and checking in on us. Please continue to pray for us as we get through this Covid junk as well as the rest of my pregnancy. ❤️
34 weeks pregnant with 6 weeks (or less) to go! This week baby is the size of Butternut Squash! How fitting it is with it being Thanksgiving weekend!
Symptoms this week include, back aches, fatigue, joint pain (in my hips and pelvis), colostrum, dry skin, moodiness, slight spotting and lots of baby movements. At my last appointment I gained 2.6 lbs, which means I’ve gained a total of 5.6 lbs this pregnancy so far.
My weeks are filled with working 38 hours or less, non stress tests twice a week, and preparing for baby boy’s arrival when I have the energy. We are getting so excited to meet him, and I’m starting to do some light exercises now, in order to prepare for birth.
Only 6 weeks or less for this pregnancy, and I want to hear from you! What’s your guess? When do you think Baby Rhames will arrive?
35 weeks with 5 weeks to go! We are almost there!!! This week baby is the size of a pineapple. 🍍
I am really starting to feel the effects of the third trimester. I never thought I would reach a point where I am sick of being pregnant, but dare I say it… it’s just so hard to do the everyday things anymore. Charles has to help me put on my shoes because I just can’t reach my feet anymore. Doing dishes, cooking and any task in the kitchen is nearly impossible with out bumping my belly on something. And if I drop something on the floor, it’s game over. Looking back I have had a relatively easy pregnancy, but I can see why they say it gets so hard at the end.
This week’s symptoms include round ligament pain, fatigue, Braxton Hicks, insomnia, pelvic pressure, stretch marks, nesting, heartburn, body aches, acne, and baby kicks
We got a few things checked off our list this week including
Installing the car seat base in the car.
Creating my padsicles.
Reviewing our birth plan with our midwife.
This week we also had 2 non stress tests and and prenatal appointment. Everything is looking great! My uterus is measuring at 36 cm, so about a week ahead and I’ve gained 1/2 a pound. Heart rate is good and baby is in a great position for birth as he is more on the left side and head down. He has hiccups a few times a day which is completely normal. Blood pressure is good, and we have been passing all of the non stress tests. The only concern this week is Braxton Hicks. I’ve been having about 2-3 every hour. Midwife says all is normal and my body is just getting ready.
5 more weeks to go! We can’t wait!!! 🥰
36 Weeks = 9 Months! Baby Boy is the size of a Papaya and keeps on growing!
This week’s symptoms include fatigue, increased hunger, pelvic/joint pain, back aches, stretch marks, round ligament pain, lots of baby kicks and rolls.
Our OB appointments the last few weeks have gone very well. We are passing all our NST’s and mentally preparing for labor and delivery.
This week I have been in full blown nesting mode. I have…
Deep cleaned my kitchen.
Deep cleaned my dining room.
Deep cleaned my living room.
Double checked my hospital bags.
Cleaned my carpets.
Picked up my breast pump.
Caught up on all the laundry.
Started stocking up on food and essentials for winter.
We are counting down the days until we meet our Baby Boy!
Here’s a good laugh for all of you! A quote from one of my preschoolers:
Child is rubbing my tummy and says “You’re having a baby? My mommy’s water bottle broke when she had my baby sister!”
Oh, from the mouths of babes. 🥰😂
So as many of you know, I’ve stayed pretty on top of documenting and taking photos of my pregnancy and bump progress. One thing I really wish I was able to do, is take some professional maternity photos. For weeks I tried budgeting for photos and we simply just didn’t have the funds. Then I tried reaching out to different family members and friends to take the photos, but it seemed like every time we tried to schedule something there was either bad weather or someone was exposed to Covid.
Thankfully at 35 weeks, my Mama took some time out of her day to take a few cute maternity pictures of us. They turned out adorable and I’m thankful for what we have! 🥰
Baby Bear, we love you so much and can’t wait to meet you! 💕
37 Weeks! Baby is officially considered “Early Term” and is the size of a head of romaine lettuce.
It has been an exciting week, with lots of doctor appointments as we get closer to our due date.
On Monday morning, Baby was up kicking momma from 2-5am. After that he fell asleep. I went to my non-stress test at 8am. The way the test works is within a half hour they are looking for two accelerations of baby’s heart rate (heart rate needs to go up 15 beats and stay there for 10 seconds, Ex Baseline is 140, so he needs to reach 155 at least for ten seconds twice). Unfortunately during the test, he was only able to do this once, even after using a buzzer like tool on my belly to wake him up. So my nurses ordered an ultrasound. A little while later I had an ultrasound to check on baby and make sure he was alright.
As we suspected, baby boy was doing just fine and sleeping the day away since he was up partying all night long.
Thursday, I had a full morning of appointments. First a non-stress test which baby passed with flying colors. Then a check in with my midwife. We reviewed my birth plan and everything seems to make sense and be in order. We also discussed an epidural, how it works and what I can expect. Finally, I did the Group B Strep test and asked my OB for a cervical check. I was just curious to see where I was at. We discovered that I am 1 cm dilated and my cervix is beginning to get soft.
Next, we headed to another ultrasound appointment, to determine how baby is growing. Since I have GD and had Covid later in pregnancy, my doctors suggested I have a growth scan since GD can make baby too big and Covid can make baby too small. It was so exciting to see baby on the ultrasound screen twice in one week. He had grown so much since our 20 week scan. The tech was able to confirm that we are certainly having a boy. We also found out that our little man has long thick hair! 🥰 Finally, we were told that as far as measurements he is just above average. Baby Boy is measuring at 37 weeks 6 days and at 6 lbs 15 oz so almost 7 lbs, and in the 63rd percentile. We will discuss at our next appointment if we need to schedule an induction.
At 37 weeks pregnant, this week’s symptoms include back pain, pelvic pain, lose joints and ligaments, diarrhea, fatigue, nesting, increased hunger, lots of baby movements, lots of emotional ups and downs.
3 weeks or less to go! Come on baby! We’d love to meet you in time for Christmas!!!
38 Weeks and ready to pop! Baby could come any time! This week baby is the size of a winter melon or a pumpkin depending on which set of measurements you go by.
Today we had a non-stress test and baby did great. He slept in the beginning and they had to use a buzzer to wake him up, but he started moving and grooving after that.
Later, we had a midwife appointment. I have gained another pound and have gained a total of 9 lbs this pregnancy so far. My blood pressure is looking good and baby is still measuring a week ahead. He is still head down, and in a good position for labor when ever he decides to get things moving.
We also talked to the midwife about my ultrasound. Since baby is measuring fine, and passing all of his tests, my midwife said they will let me go to 40 weeks and 5 days before having an induction on 1/11. I did ask to have a membrane sweep done and my midwife said at my next visit (39 weeks) I can have it done.
At the end of my visit my midwife did give me permission to try and induce labor naturally at home. Here are a few things she suggested I should try:
Drinking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
Doing the Miles Circuit
This week’s symptoms include fatigue, nesting, nausea, pelvic and back pain, irregular contractions, mood swings and lots of baby kicks. I’m getting very uncomfortable and not feeling cute these days as my clothes just don’t seem to fit right, and everything just feels snug.
This mama is trying and doing what she can to stay active for labor, and allow my body to get ready for whenever labor kicks in. We are getting so excited to meet our baby boy. We are still of course hoping for a Christmas baby, but honestly we will be fine with whenever Baby Rhames decides to make his grand arrival! 💕
39 weeks pregnant! Baby Boy is in between the size of a pumpkin and a watermelon. Something exciting happened this week. Baby officially dropped which means we are one step closer to starting labor and meeting our baby. ❤️
Mommy and Daddy and anxiously awaiting Baby Bears arrival. I am officially on maternity leave and have loads of appointments scheduled.
Today I have an appointment with my midwife where I am hoping to get a membrane sweep and schedule an induction in case he decides to be stubborn and not come out on his own.
Later in the morning, I am also scheduled for a pregnancy massage. My midwife made a recommendation that I get a massage in hopes that it will induce labor.
This past week I have also been trying to induce labor at home in different ways, including walking up and down stairs, curb stepping, eating dates, doing figure 8’s with my hips, the miles circuit and yoga.
This weeks symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, nesting, frequent urination, Braxton Hicks, irregular contractions, pelvic and back pain, and lots of baby kicks.
I’m praying baby comes before the end of the year! ❤️
On Saturday (Christmas Day), I noticed my body starting to make some changes. I was feeling slightly more fatigued than I had been that week and took multiple cat naps. After one cat nap in the afternoon, I noticed a lot of pressure in my pelvis. No contractions but a little back pain. I got up and went to the bathroom. When I was done I did a double take in the mirror and realized a big difference. My belly was different. My belly was lower. Baby boy had dropped. I was ecstatic at this realization. Finally, things were progressing and moving in the right direction.
Throughout the holiday I continued looking at my bump and how it had changed. I also continued staying active and eating dates in case labor was truly just around the corner.
Sunday night (December 26th), I went to bed at 9:30pm. I woke up at 11:30pm in some pain and discomfort. I tried just brushing it off and continue sleeping. The pain and discomfort was similar to menstrual and diarrhea cramps. The pain also wrapped around to my back and down my legs. Since pain came and went, I decided to start timing my pains and what I suspected were contractions. At first the pain was every 15 minutes apart and lasting a minute, then every 8 minutes apart, then bounced around between every 4 minutes to every 20 minutes. As the pain continued throughout the night, I decided to call the on call number for my OB office and ask their opinion on what to do and if I needed to go to L & D.
After being on hold for a full hour, at 2:45am a nurse finally answered. She asked me some questions and I explained to her what I was feeling. The pain was not unbearable by any means, but I truly felt like what I was feeling were indeed contractions. After the nurse’s over the phone assessment, it was determined that I should go into L & D to be checked in case it was truly labor.
At 3:50am, Charles and I walked into L & D triage on the 4th floor of the hospital. I was immediately, assessed and hooked up to monitors. Baby’s heart rate was excellent around 145, and some very light contractions were starting to show up on the monitor at roughly 8 minutes apart. My nurse gave me a cervical check said I was about 1 cm dilated on the outside of my cervix but closed on the inside and 50% effaced.
After an hour of being monitored, a midwife came and spoke to me. She said that I was likely not in active labor but early labor. It was possible I could go into labor anytime or I could just be in early labor for a week or so. She also mentioned that she noticed in my chart that I had had Covid at around 32 weeks. Within the last few days it had just became a new hospital protocol that if moms in the third trimester test positive for Covid, they would have a scheduled induction at 39 weeks.
Once we were cleared to leave, we scheduled our induction for Thursday December 30th @ 7:30am. I was getting very excited that my body was starting to show signs of labor, and that we would meet our boy sometime that week.
Hi friends! As I’ve been tying up some loose ends and wrapping up 2022, I realized, I NEVER posted my summer bucket list in review. I am so sorry! This year has been such a whirlwind and transitional period that I truly just forgot. Anyway, better late than never right?
MY SUMMER 2022 BUCKET LIST
Grow a Garden and produce fruits, veggies and spices. ❎
Go on some sort of family adventure (the zoo, the beach, the park, garage sailing, tulip festival etc.) ❎
Establish a more consistent daytime routine for my Baby (Naps, feedings, playtime, tummy time, etc.) ✅
Publish my Memoir ❎
Start a weekly Yoga Routine ❎
Finish Knitting Charles Sweater ❎
Finish Reading the Entire Bible ❎
Reorganize my Bathroom ❎
Commit to going on Family Walks at least once a week, ❎
Create some New Recipes ❎
Introduce solid foods to my Baby ✅
Start teaching Baby Sign Language in our Home. ✅
Spend more time with my Family and Friends ✅
Do Art Projects with my Baby ❎
Reach 425 Written Blog Posts ❎
As you can see, I did not meet many goals on my bucket list this past summer. But you know what, I’m okay with that. Shortly, after having my son, I had many mom friends tell me The first year is just survival mode, especially with your first baby. So, I’m going to give myself grace. I’ve survived the summer and almost completely survived my first year as a mom. There will many other summers in the future I’m sure, that I will be able to set and accomplish goals on my bucket list. Until then I’m going to keep surviving and keep thriving.
Guess what!?!?… I finally did it! I graduated college and received my Bachelor’s degree! I now hold an Associate’s degree in General Studies, an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a Bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Development.
It has taken me 7 years total to complete my college journey. I spent 3 years at community college, took a gap year and 3 years at a university. To be honest, I thought I was going to be in college… FOREVER. And I can’t tell you how thankful I am to be done.
I went through a lot of changes through these last 7 years. I fell in love, got engaged and got married. I worked numerous jobs including receptionist, food service, and lead teacher. I also received scholarships, rewards, dean’s list recognition, and participated in student organizations. I endured a lot of hardships including depression, anxiety, financial challenges, miscarriages, surgery, and grief. Lastly, I made long lasting friendships, received so much love and support from family, learned life long lessons and received a wonderful education.
So many times I wanted quit. So many times I wanted to throw it all away. So many times I thought it was too hard and I just wasn’t made for college. But I didn’t quit. I didn’t give up. I kept pushing forward and I reached my goal. It was’t easy… but I did it.
As many of you know, due to this whole coronavirus pandemic, many graduation ceremonies were cancelled or postponed… including mine. On my graduation day, I proudly put on my cap and gown, and drove to see my family. I sat in the car and they saw me from a distance. I’m thankful they were able to see me on my graduation day.
When we got home, my hubby took pictures and made me a wonderful graduation dinner. Though this day wasn’t anything like I had expected, and I was slightly bummed I wasn’t able to participate in a ceremony with my class; I’m still thankful I was able to celebrate and make the most out of this day.
So it’s official. I did it. I still can’t believe it. I’m officially a college graduate! 🎓
“Puedo tener su numero del telefono? Charles said to me one day as I was gathering my things and leaving our Spanish class 5 years ago.
“What?” I said, not sure what he was saying. I tried, but I was not that good at Spanish.
“Puedo tener su numero del telephono?” He said again, and stared at me looking for an answer.
“I don’t know what you are saying… you want my phone number?” I asked confused and flattered.
“Si” he said excited. I gave him my phone number and went on my way. This was pretty much the conversation that started everything.
After meeting each other on September 4th, 2014…. we became aquaintances. We then began Spanish class buddies and eventually friends.
After asking me out 3 times, I finally said yes and Charles took me out for Indian. It was so sweet, yummy and awkward… but first dates usually are. By November 4th, 2014 we decided to make it official and become boyfriend and girlfriend…. or Novio and Novia.
We dated for a year and 8 months before getting engaged. He was so nervous as we walked through a park downtown, pulled out a ring, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him… of course I said yes. It was the best birthday present I ever received.
Exactly 3 months later, we tied the knot on November 12th, 2016. We had the perfect fall wedding with many of our friends and family in attendance. We got married in the same church my grandparents got married in, and my Daddy gave me away to Charles. It was beautiful.
Before meeting Charles, I had never really considered dating someone let alone marrying someone of a different race. I have always been open to meeting new people no matter what they look like or where they come from, but I honestly just never thought I would be in an interracial relationship.
Dating Charles made me realize we were from two different worlds. There were a lot of cultural differences that I was not at all use to. A lot of slang and phrases Charles would use I didn’t understand, or had never heard before. Thanksgiving was a huge culture shock. I was used to turkey, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, stuffing, fruit, corn on the cob and pumpkin pie. In Charles very soul food oriented family we had turkey, ham, fried chicken, greens, yams, corn bread, stuffing, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and cabbage. It was amazing.
When we got married I learned more things about being a black and white interracial couple. For instance people stare at us. Sometimes they are staring at us because we’re cute together, but other times they stare at us with disapproving looks… it’s very uncomfortable.
Regardless of these differences, I truly enjoy being in an interracial marriage. I enjoy being with someone who has a very different background than I, but also shares the same values. For better for worse, for rich or poor, in sickness and in health, black or white…. I love Charles so much and I am honored to be his wife.
In January of 2019, my life took a turn and headed down a path that I didn’t see coming. Many of you know this story as it has been the foundation of my blog. I got pregnant for the first time. In February I suffered a loss that would not only be a defining moment in my life, but would also change the way I live my life.
After my first pregnancy loss, I spent a lot of time at home. As I grieved and healed from the loss of our baby, I spent a lot of time in my thoughts. I spent hours on social media such as Instagram and Facebook, watching other influencers on stories and in their posts.
In the summer of 2019, I put a pause on therapy. My therapist didn’t work through the summer, so took that time to really dive into what I felt my purpose and new found calling was… advocacy. I was passionate and felt led to advocate for women like me who had suffered a pregnancy loss.
In September I was ready, and I was motivated to share my story to anyone who would listen, and help those who had experienced loss. My what would have been due date was approaching, so in the midst of being passionate, I was also grieving. Then I got pregnant for a second time.
This was it. This was my rainbow baby. I was nervous but almost over confident I wasn’t going to have another loss. Things would be different this time. I went to school, went to all my appointments. I ate healthy. Everything was going to be just fine. Then at the end of September, I had my second loss.
I was numb. I was confused. I did everything right… and I still lost another baby. I beat myself up. I again had that intense passion and a little whisper in my ear that said share your story. Write a book. That was it! I should write a memoir. My blog was doing great. Why not take it a step further and start writing. The beginning of the writing process really wasn’t difficult because I just had to take bits and pieces of blog posts and turn it into a book.
In February of 2020, on a whim I created a rough draft of a children’s book that explained miscarriage in a child-friendly way. In March of 2020, I got a new job teaching, literally right before the big pandemic. In April of 2020, I graduated college. Being a new college graduate and starting a new job, my writing took a back seat.
In May of 2020, Charles and I decided to try for a baby one more time before pursuing adoption. It was frustrating, terrifying, and very much out of our control, but we said we’d give it a year.
In June of 2020, I decided to publish the children’s book I created back in February. I was touched by its’ small success and this motivated me to continue writing my story. I occasionally fiddled with my story on weekends or holiday breaks. But it wasn’t until December of 2020 that I finished my first draft.
In April of 2021, I was feeling very discouraged. We received negative test after test. It was feeling like my opportunities of being pregnant and having a baby had come and gone. At the end of that month I missed my period, and was pregnant for the third time.
For months, I had been experiencing writer’s block when it came to my book. I told myself I should have finished and published my book before I got pregnant, but that just didn’t happen. My blog continued to do well. I created stories, reels, posted pictures of my life, home decor and was hopeful to soon be sharing our pregnancy.
In May of 2021, I started telling a few people we were pregnant after having our first ultrasound. I fought morning sickness and fatigue which was awful, but also reassuring that things were likely okay with our pregnancy.
In June, I shared with the world that I was pregnant. I was hopeful that third time was it for us, and that this would be our rainbow baby. 3 pregnancies and we were finally able to make a public announcement.
In August, we found out we were having a baby boy. I was engulfed with sleepers, nursing bras, bassinets and diapers. My manuscript continued to take a back seat. To be honest, I was slightly afraid to read it while being pregnant. I knew by reading my memoir I would be reliving the pain and grief of our previous losses, and I didn’t want to do that while caring for my so far healthy third pregnancy.
My third pregnancy was actually going perfect. Every ultrasound and appointment seemed to be right on track, until October when I got diagnosed with gestational diabetes and November when I got Covid. This led to non-stress tests 2 times a week along with my normal OB appointments. This took up much of my time on top of working 35-40 hours a week.
We had our rainbow baby in January of 2022. Everything fell into place. My husband and I both had great jobs, and we were blessed to finally have our rainbow baby. You could blame it on hormones or endorphins, but at the time I felt like I had it all and didn’t feel a need to share my story anymore.
It wasn’t until I wrote out our birth story, and it occurred to me that there was a reason I hadn’t finished my memoir yet. Maybe my story wasn’t finished with the miscarriages. Maybe my story wasn’t only about loss and grief, but faith and hope. I pondered this for awhile and realized deep down, I still indeed wanted to write and publish my memoir.
So here we are, 8ish months after I gave birth and 3.5 years since my story began. In these times of chasing around a mobile baby, I find myself with the desire of changing my focus from influencing to writing. I’ve enjoyed my time on Instagram, but it’s just not me anymore. I’m ready to focus on my writing and focus on sharing my story through print.
Through this process of fine tuning my purpose, I have wrote out a few general goals/ideas I hope to pursue in the near future:
Sign up for a Writing for Beginner’s Workshop
Scrap my first draft, start fresh but also continue the story and add my third pregnancy and birth.
Back off from my blogging IG, and focus mainly on the blog.
It’s been fun being an instagrammer, but I’m ready to come back to my first love so to speak, which is writing. ❤️
I probably say this every year, but how on earth is it July??? Not only this summer, but this entire year is flying by! Anyway, here’s a quick check in of my goals and how I’m doing. 😊
MY SUMMER 2022 BUCKET LIST
Grow a Garden and produce fruits, veggies and spices.
So, since we are currently staying with family, we haven’t quite got the plants in the ground yet… but we do have plants. Does that count? We have a little bit of an over population with the bunnies that we need to figure out before we try growing our fruits, veggies and spices.
2. Go on some sort of family adventure (the zoo, the beach, the park, garage sailing, tulip festival etc.)
This summer has already been so hot, that I have been hesitant about taking our son out as I don’t want him to get dehydrated. I’m hoping it can cool down soon and we can find something fun to do.
3. Establish a more consistent daytime routine for my Baby (Naps, feedings, playtime, tummy time, etc.)
Umm… yes and no. Every time I think we are starting to have a schedule, something always changes. I have discovered within the last few weeks that I have to limit Matthew’s naps. I also have to make sure his last nap isn’t too late in the day, otherwise he does not sleep well at night.
4. Publish my Memoir
I’m working on it okay. Writing and self publishing a book is hard.
5. Start a weekly Yoga Routine
Let’s not go there.
6. Finish Knitting Charles Sweater
It’s been a little too hot to knit these days.
7. Finish Reading the Entire Bible
Currently working on Isaiah, and hoping to start another book soon.
8. Reorganize my Bathroom
My bathroom isn’t really mine at the moment, since I’m sharing it with other people, so this goal is on hold for now.
9. Commit to going on Family Walks at least once a week,
Again it’s been too hot. But we have gone a few times, just not every week.
10. Create some New Recipes
I haven’t really had a chance to cook since moving, but I am hoping to do this very soon.
11. Introduce solid foods to my Baby ✔️
This has been a huge hit in our house. We have been trying solid foods since 4.5 months and so far Matthew has tried bananas, apples, prunes, peas, carrots, chicken, peaches, pears, cereal and butternut squash. We are hoping to try avocado and sweet potato next.
12. Start teaching Baby Sign Language in our Home. ✔️
Since starting on solids, we have also been teaching baby sign language. The signs we’ve used so far include milk, more and all done. Matthew hasn’t signed any of these back to us quite yet, but soon enough I’m sure he will.
13. Spend more time with my Family and Friends ✔️
As we’ve been staying with family, I have been able to spend more time with family and friends. ❤️
14. Do Art Projects with my Baby ✔️
Let me tell you, this has been an adventure. So far we had done foot print crafts for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Let’s just say Momma wore a lot of blue paint. I think Matthew had fun though.
15. Reach 425 Written Blog Posts
I’m still in the 300’s as far as blog posts but we’ll get there.
3 out of 15 goals met. That’s a pretty good start!
With the news of Roe v. Wade being overturned by the Supreme Court on Friday, Facebook, Instagram and the mainstream media have been filled with both pro choice and pro life opinions on the matter. I have found myself reading and scrolling through social media as we all see the drama that unfolds across the country.
Now, I’m not usually one to write and or speak on political matters, but today I’m going to. I’m going to because this issue really shouldn’t be political but has certainly become political. In many ways I fear that I will lose friends on this matter, but in other ways I don’t care. We live in a free country and if they have the right to speak their mind then so do I.
I am a born again Christian. I am pro life. I believe life begins at conception. I do not like abortion. I understand that it is done and for many women they either choose that option and or feel that is their only option. I do not hate women who feel this way. I just know it’s something I could never do. At least that’s what I thought before this past Friday’s ruling….
On Friday, I started reading about women who use the pill to have an early abortion. They went on to say how this option will be illegal in some states and will no longer be available. This discussion reminded me of my first miscarriage. I had a missed miscarriage meaning my baby’s heart stopped beating at 8 weeks and 5 days but I didn’t find out until my 11 week ultrasound. My sweet baby, laid lifeless inside me for 2 weeks and 2 days until we found out at my ultrasound.
After my ultrasound I was sent to another room to discuss my options. They said I could take a pill to help my uterus contract and pass the baby, I could have a D & C procedure, or I could just allow my body to pass the baby on its own. At the time I remembered struggling on deciding what to do. Ultimately, I decided on a D & C.
It occurred to me on Friday that I technically had an abortion. I had an abortion procedure not to kill my baby and not to terminate my pregnancy but to clean out my uterus for my own health, so I didn’t become septic.
With the most recent ruling, I can’t help but wonder Did I do the right thing getting a D & C? Should I have not done anything? Should I have let my body pass my baby naturally? Did what I decided go against my ethics and morals?
These thoughts troubled me for a while. I know I didn’t kill my baby, but I did allow medical intervention for my own health. I also started to wonder how this new ruling will affect other women of pregnancy loss. Will they now no longer have the option for a D & C or a pill after losing their pregnancy? Are more women going to die from pregnancy complications and pregnancy loss?
I’m not sure. I don’t think there is a clear cut, black and white answer.
Do I think I had an abortion? Technically yes. According to the medical definition… yes. But if Jesus were to take me today, and I were to go before God, I don’t think I did anything spiritually wrong for putting my health first and choosing to have a D & C instead of naturally miscarrying.
This Roe v. Wade overturn is complicated and I don’t completely know what this means for our country. I’m scared and interested to see what happens next.
One year ago, I wrote out a list. This list was how I hoped to see myself a year later. I thought it would be fun to take a look back at how my life was, how it is now, and if things turned out the way I was hoping.
Recently, I was doing some journaling and I thought, why not make a plan of how I hope things are for us this time next year… so I did.
On this Day Monday April 26th, 2021, what our life looks like now:
Married to Charlie for 4 years
Live in a 1 bedroom apartment
Own 2 cars
Been at my job for 1 year
Have had 2 miscarriages
Spent a year of trying to conceive so far.
Have a 13 month old kitten named Rocky
Written 1 children’s book
Published 1 children’s book
Not vaccinated with Covid vaccine yet.
How I hope to see our life a year from now…
Married for 5 years Yes!
In process of moving to a 2 bedroom apartment No, we are staying where we are.
Own one car Yes!
Been at my job for 2 years No, only 1 year and 9 months.
Have had 2 miscarriages Yes
Spent 16 months trying to conceive then finally got pregnant. No. We only spent a year of trying.
7 months pregnant No. My baby is almost 4 months old!
Have Rocky and another 10 month old kitten. No. We only have Rocky right now. 1 baby and 1 kitty is enough.
Published 2 children’s books No. Not yet.
Published memoir No. Almost!
Fully vaccinated Yes!
Starting the beginning steps of becoming a foster parent. No. Not at this time.
My life isn’t exactly how I thought it would be a year later, and that’s okay. In fact, I believe it’s better than I ever expected. ❤️