December 30, 2013

Watch Me Grow: 42, 43, & 44 Weeks

42 Weeks:
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43 Weeks:
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44 Weeks:
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I'm a little behind on posting Rory's weekly picture, things have been so busy lately!  Anyway, here are the last 3 weeks in one post. Rory is doing great!  She is 10 months old now and weighs 55 pounds.  She's basically full grown.  We recently got a training collar and it has worked amazingly well.  It has three different settings, shock, vibrate, and a beeping sound.  We mostly only use the beeping noise and have only had to use the shocking a few times when she is outside.  Don't worry, I made Bryce try the shock out on himself first before we used it on her.  After Bryce tried it he even convinced me to try it and it just feels like a little buzz with how low we have it on. We've been using it to teach her not to bark so much, not to jump on visitors, and to stay calm around people when we take her places.  She has responded so well!  It also probably helps that she is almost a year old.  She has outgrown a lot of her puppy habits and is turning into such a well mannered dog.  We aren't too worried about how she'll be around the baby anymore, we're just mostly excited to watch them grow up together and be best buddies.

December 28, 2013

Christmas 2013

Christmas Eve:
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On Christmas Eve we went to my parents house to celebrate with my side of the family.
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We got lots of play time with our sweet little niece Lydia.  She was so smiley for Bryce!

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My mom made sure even her puppy Zoey was dressed up all festive for the party.  We ate a yummy ham dinner, sang Christmas carols while I accompanied on the guitar, read the Christmas story from the bible, and of course opened presents!

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As you can see from the nice little pile, Claire was spoiled!  She was given lots of books, a dress, and a toy from my parents; headbands from my aunt; books and a quilt from my grandparents       

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Bryce and I were given a Kitchen Aid food processor and new Christmas sweaters from my parents as well as books and money from my grandparents.  I am so excited about the food processor, and I am really excited to use it to make homemade baby food.  My mom is so sweet and even got it in the same color as the Kitchen Aid Mixer & Blender I already have.  Bryce and I are so lucky to have such a generous family, they are great examples to us!

Christmas Day:
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Bryce and I spent Christmas morning at home together.  We slept in until around 9, made cinnamon rolls for breakfast, Skyped with all of Bryce's siblings since most of them are currently out of state, and then exchanged gifts.
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We gave Rory a bone and a stuffed fox toy.  She was pretty happy with them.
    
DSC_0149.jpgWe spoiled each other with gifts this year.  We figured it was probably the last Christmas where we would get the chance to since we will be spoiling our kids from now on :).  We carried on our tradition of four gifts: Want, Wear, Need, Read. 



Bryce's gifts were: Want- Ruger SR 40 C pistol, Wear- bathrobe, Need- Shoes, & Read- The DO's: Osteopathic Medicine in America.

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My gifts included Want- Macbook Pro, Wear- Bathrobe, Need- Breast Pump, probably the most exciting one ;), and Read- The 7th Harry Potter which was the only Harry Potter I was still needing!  For stocking stuffers we did candy, jerky, pomegranates, I got Bryce ammo for his gun, and Bryce got me a necklace with Claire's initial.  I'll have to post a picture of the necklace.  It is so pretty!  I plan to add an initial for every child we have.
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We also continued our tradition of exchanging ornaments with each other.  Bryce gave me a Belle Ornament and I gave him a Christmas Tree ornament to commemorate our year without a tree.  Between work, school, finals, getting ready for the baby, and millions of Christmas parties we never actually got around to finding the time to get a tree.  I was a little sad but really we were so busy I didn't notice too much.  I don't plan on letting it happen again and I'll just count the whole being pregnant thing as a good excuse for not having one this year.  

Around 4 o clock we went to Bryce's parents for dinner.  (I forgot to take pictures, hopefully having a baby will help me remember to take more!)  We exchanged gifts, watched Despicable Me 2, and of course ate lots of yummy food!  We were given a huge packet of Family Home Evening Lessons that Bryce's mom put together, a TeePee that Bryce's mom made for our kids to play in, and money for food storage!  We are always so spoiled and given much more than we deserve.  Bryce and I are looking forward to the days we are no longer poor students and can return the generosity :)
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After we got home that night I think Bryce and I both felt like Rory in the picture above.  We were exhausted but so happy!  We managed to stay awake long enough to read scriptures and watch some videos about Christmas on LDS.org.  We talked about ways we can incorporate Christ more in our Christmas celebrations and thought of some ideas we're excited to do with our kids.  This was mine and Bryce's third and final Christmas with just us two.  We have loved the holidays we've had together as a couple but we cannot wait to start celebrating the holidays with a baby and as parents!  Christmas 2013 was definitely one for the books….but is it bad I'm already looking forward to Christmas 2014 when I will have my first Christmas as a mom?  My life just keeps getting better and better!  The holidays and this time of year are a perfect reminder of my many, many blessings.

December 27, 2013

Pregnancy Update: 37 Weeks

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How far along? I'll be 37 Weeks on Sunday, so 36 weeks + 5 days.
How big is baby? At my doctor's appointment today on the ultrasound she was measuring at 6 1/2 pounds.
Stretch marks? Nope, still none.
Sleep: Sleep has actually been a little better lately.  I wake up a few times a night to go to the bathroom but I usually fall right back to sleep so that's been nice!
Best moment of the week?  Spending time with family during Christmas.
Food cravings?  Sprite
Symptoms? I haven't felt like I've been having as many symptoms lately.  My heartburn isn't as bad and my back and hips aren't hurting so much either.  I have been feeling much more tired though and she is super low so there is lots of pressure when I walk (and pretty much do anything).   
Movement: Lots of squirming, pushing into my bladder, and kicking my ribs.  Things are getting crowded in there! 
Gender? girl!
Belly button in or out? Still only halfway out, I don't think it's ever going to stick out all the way.
Wedding rings on or off? On, I haven't had any swelling or water retention.  I've been really lucky!
Anything making you queasy or sick?  No.
Happy or moody most of the time:  Happy!  Christmas has been so much fun this year.  Bryce and I are enjoying getting to spend so much time with each other before Claire is born and Bryce starts up school again.
Miss Anything?  Running, being able to bend over, and not feeling like I have a bowling ball that's going to drop out from between my legs.
Labor Signs? My doctor checked me today at my appointment and I am 2 cm dilated and 75% effaced.  Her head is also really, really low.  He could feel her head really well when he checked me.  He said with the combination of those three things she is probably going to come early and he doubts I will make it to my due date.  Still, you never really know.  I've heard of people being dilated to a 3 for 3 weeks…so we will see.  My fingers are crossed she'll come soon but I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much so I won't be disappointed if she doesn't.
Looking Forward to? Holding my baby!  I'm getting pretty anxious for her to finally be here.  I started packing the hospital bag today and we loaded the car seat in our car.  It feels kind of surreal.  I'm very excited though.  I can't wait to finally be a mom!

December 22, 2013

Dear Baby

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December 22, 2013

Dear Baby Claire,

I'm writing you this letter while watching the snow fall outside our bedroom window.  Everything is white, sparkly, and beautiful.  BIg fluffy snowflakes are swirling around and around.  Winter is so pretty.  I can't wait to share the magic of this time of year with you.  I'm so happy you'll be a Winter baby.  I think you will love it.  I can't wait to play in the snow with you and build snowmen and snow caves!  We're going to teach Rory to pull you around in a sled when you are bigger too.  We're going to have lots of fun and teach you to love the snow as much as your mama does!      

I am exactly 36 weeks along today.  Hopefully I will get to meet you in 4 weeks or less.  Can we make a deal that you won't come late?  But, If you do happen to come late I guess that's okay too.  I just want you to arrive healthy and happy!  At my last doctor's appointment when I was 35 weeks you were 5 3/4 pounds.  The doctor is guessing if I go until my due date that you will be 8-81/4 pounds.  You might end up being a little bigger than we originally thought.  I'm happy about this though.  I like babies that are a little rolly polly. 

I had my second baby shower with the Mecham side of the family a few Saturdays ago.  We ate lots of yummy food, played a few games, and then you and I got to open lots of presents.  You were given more quilts, clothes, a car seat, a swing, books, towels, and a rock & play sleeper just to name a few.  Now we are definitely ready for you to come.  You are such a lucky girl to have so many generous friends and family.  

Christmas is 3 days away, and even though you won't quite be here yet, you are still getting a few presents that I know of.  You are a very loved little girl.  Great Grandma & Grandpa Richins gave you a book.  Great Grandma & Grandpa Mecham are giving you a denim and flannel quilt and I think a book.  Grandma Julie is giving you a dress for church and books too.  I even made you a stocking to hang by mine and dad's so it didn't feel like we were leaving you out.

I know things are getting pretty crowded in there for you.  I hope you aren't too squished.  I can tell you are getting bigger and that you don't have as much room.  You don't have as many big movements lately you just kind of squirm around probably trying to get comfortable.  I've been carrying you really low most of the pregnancy so it's hard to tell if you've dropped yet.  I don't think you have, but I guess I'll find out sooner than later.

Your dad and I finally agreed on a middle name for you!  A few people know what it is, but I think we will wait and surprise everyone else with it when you are born.  Let's hope the last few weeks of the pregnancy go by quickly for both us.  I can't wait to meet you!

See you soon little one.

Love,

Mom

Dear Baby

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Dear Baby Claire,

I am now 32 weeks along!  I went to the doctor today and found out you are 4 pounds already.  I don't know why but that was so strange for me to hear.  You are almost the size of an actual baby!  Things are moving right along and you are healthy as can be.  You are still in the same position with your head down and your feet up by my ribs.  You like to kick my ribs and remind me whenever I have bad posture and am squishing you a little.  

I had my (our) first baby shower a couple of weeks ago with the Leishman side of the family.  It was so much fun!  Everyone helped make pages for a quiet book for you.  I still have lots of work to do on it but your Grandma Leishman and I thought it would be a great craft for me to work on during all of your nap times.  You got lots of fun gifts that you are going to love including blankets, clothes, books, and all kinds of fun baby things.  

Another exciting event was that I finally finished your nursery!  I think it turned out really cute.  I hope you like it.  One thing that I think is pretty special is you will be sleeping in the crib that your mama slept in.  Your Grandma Julie & Grandpa Matt have saved it all of these years and gave it to your dad and I when we found out we were pregnant with you.  Everything is pretty much ready for your arrival.  I know I still have a while till you are here, but you will learn that your mama is a planner and likes to be prepared well in advance for everything.  

Your dad and I are still trying to decide on a middle name for you.  I have one that I really like, but your dad can't seem to commit to one.  He keeps saying how important your name is and I think it makes him nervous to finalize it.  Hopefully we'll agree on one soon.  

Keep growing and being a healthy little girl.  Only 8 more weeks until we meet!  

Love, 

Mom


December 19, 2013

Winter Wonderland

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I think it's safe to say winter has hit with full force now.  It looks so pretty, but the roads are a horrible mess.  Luckily, we have nowhere to be so we are tucked safely inside doing nothing but drinking hot chocolate & watching Christmas movies until we're sick of them!

December 13, 2013

Pregnancy Update: 35 Weeks

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How far along? 35 Weeks...well technically I'm not 35 weeks until Sunday, so I'm 34 weeks and 5 days, but it's easier just to round up ;)
How big is baby? At my doctor's appointment today on the ultrasound she was 5 3/4 lb.  It's looking like she may be closer to 8 pounds if I go until my due date!
Stretch marks? Still none.  My fingers are still crossed I'll be lucky.
Sleep: I don't know if my sleep is getting any better or if I'm just getting used to the new normal.  I sleep an average of 4-6 hours a night depending on how bad my back & hips are hurting.
Best moment of the week?  Having my 2nd baby shower and getting everything unpacked into the nursery.
Food cravings?  Peppermint Ice Cream!  
Symptoms? My symptoms are still pretty much the same: heartburn, lower back pain and aching hips.  Although my back doesn't seem to have hurt as bad the past week.     
Movement: She has been having some pretty big movements.  She pushes her feet into my right side and sticks her bum and back out so my bell looks way lopsided.  
Gender? girl!
Belly button in or out? Halfway out.
Wedding rings on or off? on.
Anything making you queasy or sick?  Nope.
Happy or moody most of the time:  Mostly happy but I've definitely had a few mood swings.  Overall though I feel like my emotions have been pretty in check through my whole pregnancy.  
Miss Anything?  Being able to put on socks and boots easily.  It's getting a little  ridiculous.  I never thought about how much having a round belly limits your movement until I started experiencing it!
Labor Signs? Nothing yet.
Looking Forward to? All of the holidays and parties coming up.  They will be such a good distraction and I think they will help make the time pass by really quickly!  And of course I'm looking forward to getting closer and closer to meeting my little girl.  Goodness, I already love her so much.  I can't even imagine how I will feel when she is finally here!

December 11, 2013

Super Heroes & Princesses

DSC_0114.jpg This week is Finals Week for Bryce...which basically means I'm a widow until Friday.  I surprised Bryce with a little package to help him stay motivated and get through the week.  I gave him a "Batman Movie Marathon Kit" for us to celebrate with once he's finished his last test.  He was so excited about it you would've thought I bought him a new car.  That boy loves anything and everything to do with Super Heroes.  I'm sure he'll constantly be trying to convince Claire that Super Heroes are much cooler than Princesses.  
DSC_0102.jpg Speaking of princesses, I finally finished my collection of Disney Princess movies, so I told Claire she's allowed to come anytime now :).  I just need to add Frozen to the collection once it comes out on DVD.  Rory and I are watching Beauty and the Beast right now and it is making me so excited to be able to share all of these favorite movies of mine with my daughter.  There are only 5 1/2 weeks left until Claire's due date so I don't have to wait too much longer!

December 9, 2013

Watch Me Grow: 40 & 41 Weeks

40 Weeks:
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Rory is 41 weeks now.  I don't think I've ever seen a dog that loves snow as much as she does.  She would stay outside and play in it all day if I let her.  She never wants to come in even when I know she has to be freezing with snow and ice stuck to every inch of her.  I'm really glad though!  It will be helpful when I'm taking care of a newborn in another month and I need to put her outside for a while so I can get some things done!  I've been taking her in the nursery a lot and doing things with a doll to try and prepare her a little.  I'll rock it or put in the swing and just kind of watch what she does. She usually just licks the doll like crazy but that's about it.  We'll have to work on teaching her to reign in her "kisses" with the new baby.  Other than that I think she will do fine....at least that's what I keep telling myself in hopes it will come true ;)

December 8, 2013

Weekend Recap

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Bryce and I went on a little date and saw Frozen on Friday night and we LOVED it.  Okay, I probably loved it a little more, but Bryce still really liked it.  I didn't get any pictures from the date so I thought I would at least include the movie poster :).  Frozen is easily my favorite Disney movie since Beauty and the Beast.  And if you know me, you know how much I love Beauty and the Beast, so that is saying something.  I downloaded the soundtrack and we have been listening to it all weekend long too.  I can't wait until it comes out on DVD.  It is definitely a must-have for my collection. 
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Saturday I had Baby Shower #2 with the Mecham (my) side of the family.  I can't even believe how much baby stuff we have now.  I am so lucky to have such kind and generous family members who already love Claire so much.  She is really loved (and really spoiled) already.  Some of the gifts included a quilt from each of Claire's Great-Grandmas, a receiving blanket & matching burp rag from my mother-in-law, a rock and play sleeper from my sister, lots of cute little clothes, diapers, wipes, hooded animal towels, a car seat from my aunt Hali, and a darling swing from my mom.
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(Now that I have a carseat you can get a better idea of what the carseat cover looks like that I made a few weeks ago.) DSC_0041 DSC_0085 DSC_0092 
After I got home from my shower Saturday night I unpacked everything in the nursery and then rearranged it half a dozen times.  I took a few things out of the nursery to free up some space, flipped the crib around, and found a spot for the swing.  I liked the way the nursery was before, but I think it looks even better now and it finally feels finished.  If I tell that to Bryce he just rolls his eyes at me..haha.
DSC_0078 DSC_0053 I'm sure most of you know we had the first big snow storm over the weekend.  After church Bryce and I put on our snow clothes and took Rory outside to play.  I guess I should clarify, I took pictures, while Bryce and Rory played.  
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I don't know who had more fun, Rory or Bryce.  Those two are quite the pair.  They were both completely covered in snow by the end and Rory looked like a furry little snow ball.  We have plans to finish our weekend with a Sunday nap, some studying for Bryce, and the annual First Presidency Christmas Devotional. 

December 5, 2013

Christmas Time is Here...

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We've had the first snow, our decorations are up, and our stockings are hung! (Except Claire's) She won't quite be here in time for Christmas, but I will still probably make it anyway.  I can use it as an excuse to leave up Christmas the whole month of January :)  

The only thing we are still missing is a tree.  We haven't really decided what to do about a tree, since we have a nine month old puppy who is extremely curious living in the house.  I don't know if it's worth the headache of keeping her from pulling it over on top of herself.  We've joked that we're just going to count the chalkboard print.  Truthfully though, I would be sad if we skipped out on a tree.  I think we are going to try and find a small one that we can put on the table out of Rory's reach.  It won't be quite as festive, but it is better than no tree at all.  If anyone knows where to buy two or three foot trees let us know!