Thursdays are my day off. Usually I spend them getting things done before the weekend-- cleaning, running errands, making a good meal for supper. But today I struggled to wake up, and when I did, I wasn't worth much. It was cloudy and cold outside. I had a headache and a puffy face and a few sympathy cookies for breakfast. When I finally showered and remembered that I was out of shampoo, I resorted to using Ryan's cheapie stuff . . . and that was the end of it. If the hair is ruined, so is the rest of the day, I told myself. I got dressed in a big, soft shirt and parked it on the couch for a good chunk of the day. Eventually I felt snappy enough to accomplish a couple things on my to-do list and eat a healthy lunch, but I didn't make myself feel too badly for loafing the morning away. Growing a baby is hard work, and whatever, ok? A day devoted to online window shopping and my favorite old book isn't the worst thing in the world.


Over Memorial Day weekend, we . . .

 ate lots of strawberries . . .
 brought breakfast and 10 loads of laundry to the laundromat . . .
 made our first angel food cake together . . .
 slept in and shopped for baby . . .
 discovered some cheek-pinching worthy photos of Ryan at Grandma B's house . . .
 spent a beautiful afternoon at the zoo with the Schapekahms where. . .
 "Uncle Wyan" got lots of love and attention . . .
 I leaned on lots of railings (my feet) . . . 
 Henry and Oliver peeked at all the animals with very important sight-seeing equipment . . .
and poor little Henry missed the last carousel ride by literally 24 seconds. (Do you see that face? He was  so. sad.)

Not pictured: the massive amounts of foot rubs I received from Ryan. 
So, though it's possible that I woke up this morning even more tired than I did before the long weekend began, I'm marking this weekend down as quite successful.



seek, and you will find

We had our 18 week ultrasound yesterday. Joy to the world! Everything is perfect.

Baby's heart rate is perfect. Baby's weight is perfect. Baby's fluid, baby's kidneys, baby's bladder, baby's four-chambered heart---perfect! It wiggled on the screen as if to say, "Don't worry Mom! Look what I can do!" And then, so sweetly, it relaxed with one arm behind its head, and ankles crossed. We're giddy. So proud and so happy and so thankful.

We came home after the ultrasound and a supper out. We puttered around. Ryan changed out of his work clothes, and I put things in their place in the kitchen. And suddenly, I was crying. I felt so relieved, and so happy about our new baby, and so sad about the baby girl we lost.   Everything about that doctor's visit made me remember her all over again. It hits me hard and fast, when I realize that I'm still so sad about it all. I'm sad that her little sibling will never know her. I'm sad that she was sick, that she might have been hurting, and that I had no way of making it better. I'm sad that she died in my belly without me even knowing it was happening. I'll never not be sad.

But oh, I feel so blessed to have known her! I'm so thankful that I got to be her momma, even for just a short time, and that I was able to know her little life from start to finish. I'm thankful she's in heaven waiting for us, and that she has angels singing to her, since I can't do it myself.

And I'm so thankful for this new little life! It feels wonderful to be able to plan and dream again, without so much fear. The happiness of it all is still sinking in. We're going to have a baby! That's pretty cool.

p.s. Here's a secret: we know baby's gender! I'm trying to come up with a fun way to reveal the cute news. Stay tuned.

p.p.s. I wonder how many of my posts include the words, "I cried." Probably about half? Probably.


Happy Mother's Day to the woman who...

:: played classical music during my childhood nap times
:: fed me bowls full of whipped cream when I was a skeletal child
:: loves my husband like her own son, and remembers to tell him so

 :: makes the best darn beef roast this side of the Mississippi (and lasagna, and split pea soup, and beef stew, and . . .)
:: watched Laguna Beach with me in high school, instead of making me turn off MTV
:: is the only person I know who laughs harder than me at flatulence jokes.

:: still does my laundry when I come home
:: remembers to say that she has two granddaughters, one on earth and one in heaven
:: is the best example of a good, kind, happy wife and mother

Mom, you're wonderful.
I love you!
Happy Mother's Day.

(A day late. Because you also taught me that things like this don't always get out on time...)


16 weeks

Our story begins yesterday afternoon, at approximately 12:05pm, when I remembered I had scheduled my 16 week OB appointment at 12:15pm during Ryan's lunch hour that day. The problem was, I was still in my pajamas, and about to dig into a large bowl of soup. After quickly calling Ryan, and a minor meltdown, (OKAY FINE I CRIED) ((MY EMOTIONS)) I called the doctor's office to explain the situation. Turns out it wasn't a big deal at all -- my appointment was easily rescheduled for 3:00pm. Except the big deal is that I turn into a blubbering, floppy mess on appointment days, and it causes me to forget important things, like the actual appointment itself. Get yourself together, Amelia! is what I'm trying to remind myself. 

But what I'm really trying to do here is tell you about the appointment, because it went well! I'm measuring right on time, and that baby's heartbeat sounded so good. Those blasted nurses never let me listen long enough. And do you want to hear something divine? It was suggested unto me by the nurse that I begin eating about 300 more calories each day, to fatten up this goose of a baby. Later the doctor came in and said my weight was fine, and I should just eat what I feel like. I've decided to listen to them both: I feel like eating about 300 more calories per day, doc. I'm not taking any chances. I'd like a baby with extra thigh rolls, please. Observe:
(Of course I won't always be eating fast food to supplement my diet. Not always.)

Anyway, we're usually in quite the mood after hearing our sweet baby's heartbeat. Joy abounds! We do crazy things like this:
We're a pretty thankful family over here right now. Grow baby, grow!


Guest post at You Are My Fave! Hooray!

Hey guys! I'm over at You Are My Fave today with a guest post for Miss Melanie Blodgett, 
who just had a little baby boy!
(He's super adorable.)

I couldn't be more excited that she let me take up a little space on her fantastic blog. 
I mean, dudes! I'm feeling prettttty fancy today.

Check it out here! I'll show you how to make some wind-up paper butterflies, okay?

Thanks for the fun opportunity, Melanie! I'm honored.
And congratulations on your sweet boy. :)


the time we went to Cedarburg and did not fight once

A long long long time ago, when Ryan and I were still wee college kids,
we took a day trip to Cedarburg, WI.
It was a Tuesday or something, I think.
And it was cold.
And we were trying so hard to have fun.
But it was cold, and we were both broke, and I'm pretty sure all the cute little shops were closed.
And we ended up fighting somewhere along the way, and drove back to campus in silence.

We laugh about it now, but.
It was a stupid day.

Well. Cedarburg got a second chance this past Saturday,
And I'm glad! Because guys! Cedarburg can be fun! I'll tell you why::

First we went to Amy's Candy Kitchen. Do you see that vent above the door in the photo below? It's a magical vent that blows steamy, sweet fumes into the atmosphere.
The doorway air is thick and warm and smells like buttery caramel. 
Ryan said it was a smell that could have made him sick if he sniffed too long.
But I could live in that doorway. I could.
The inside smells good too.
And then, when we left with our bag of peanut butter balls and chocolate meltaways, I took a bump picture. Because I was a happy woman.
Then we went to a meat market, where the lady clerk tried to get me to eat head cheese. (NO THANKS.) We bought two beef sticks, and Ryan was much more comfortable with the smell.
Do you see this face? This was after the beef sticks.

Other items of note:
-- We went to the cutest toy store that sold pretty blocks, old fashioned Golden Books, and nose flutes. A nose flute is like a kazoo, but you play it with your nose. A woman bought one while we were there, and the clerk said, "Just the nose flute today?" 
-- Ryan found the most perfect golf club at a thrift store for only a few bucks. But it was a lefty. It almost ruined the day. It still haunts him.
-- We went to a restaurant and ordered soup, and did not get saltines. But the guy that came in after us also ordered soup and he did get saltines? Minus one for you, Cedarburg.


let's talk baby

Now that you all know the real reason why I haven't been blogging regularly since March (I've been in sleepytown and am sloooowly emerging,) shall we discuss it?

Let me begin by saying that we wanted this baby so, so badly. It was only hours, or maybe only minutes after our first baby was born that I said to Ryan, "Can we try again right away?" And we did. I impatiently waited for what felt like forever (it was only a few months, really) ((remember this post about the loss of my first baby? I was pregnant then, and didn't know it)) but we found out we were expecting another on Ryan's birthday. He was in the shower when I took the test. It wasn't the first test I had taken that month and I didn't feel too confident, so I set it on the sink and...forgot about it. I was making breakfast in the kitchen when Ryan came into the room with a grin. And, oh, did I ever cry.

We feel so differently about this pregnancy. I think this time around I truly realize what a blessing it is to be able to have a baby. I know how sweet and perfect and wonderful a baby of my very own is, no matter now big it grows. It's a miracle! It's a life. I am so thankful for it. And I'm constantly pleading with God to let me keep it.

I find myself sympathizing with women who struggle with having babies. Whether it's a woman who can't get pregnant completely naturally, or a woman who can't have children at all, I relate to each one. I know my situation is different - I don't seem to have any trouble getting pregnant. But while some women worry if they'll ever make a baby, I'm the one worrying if I'll ever be able to carry a baby past 20 weeks. My worries keep me up at night. They cause me to call my mom in tears. They hinder me from making too many plans and preparations for this new baby. Just in case. I envy the couples who have blissful pregnancies from start to finish. I feel sorry for myself that I know I'll never be pregnant without a nagging fear of suddenly losing the baby. I don't want it to be that way. It's difficult. Guys. It's difficult!

But, I don't want to give the impression that the only emotion I've experienced during this pregnancy so far is fear. I am so happy. So excited. So hopeful. I have a wonderful doctor who is watching baby closely, and doing everything he can to make me comfortable and at ease. Really, the guy is great. I'll tell anyone who listens how much I love him. I see him every two weeks, and hear the baby's heartbeat at each visit. I'm usually a nervous, high-blood pressured wreck every time, and then - the doppler hits my belly, the little whomp-whomps pierce the tense air, and I feel sweet relief.

Now let's talk stats: I'm 15 weeks along. Baby is due October 24th, and, according to the books, is the size of a navel orange. Thankfully, this pregnancy is proving to be a little easier in the symptoms department. I have nausea and fatigue in the evenings, but nothing has ever gotten too intense. However- if you ever force feed me whole grain mustard, I will barf on you. (Such a shame. I used to love mustard.)

I wanted to thank all of you for your excitement and kind comments yesterday. Especially for your prayers. I wish you all knew how much that means to me. It makes me feel strong! And of course, I can't write a baby post without giving some (No, more than some. TONS OF) love to Ryan. I've been pregnant on and off for 9 of the past 12 months, and emotionally unstable for all of them. Not once has he been anything but wonderful and supportive and comforting and funny and loving and sweet. He's so excited that we're having another baby, and he tells me all the time. We're both so thankful. And we're happy to be this baby's momma and daddy, for as long as God lets us.