Year in Review: 2017 Edition

It is easy to look back at 2017 and remember all the ways that this year was weird, hard, and chaotic. But, I started organizing my yearly photo-books (I make a 8×8 Shutterfly photo-book for every three months.  I intended to make a “yearbook” but let’s be real, I take WAY too many pictures of my children), I was reminded that there was far more joy and I am so thankful for it all.

Here is a recap of our year:

January

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Grandma Kimmy visited and went to the Treasure Island Kite festival.  We also had a visit from Laura and Nick. We rooted the Packer into the play-offs…but there is always next year (haha).

February

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We worked like crazy in December and January, so we took an impromptu trip to Orlando.  We stayed in an awesome suite and watched the Superbowl.  We randomly saw Jeff and Kristen since they were also in Orlando! We survived a few days without Daddy while he was at Keller Williams’ Family Reunion in Las Vegas for Valentine’s Day.  Doug got a new car: a black 4Runner.

March

For the big birthday month, we spent a week at the beach in Venice with Doug’s whole family.  They were all there for Camdon’s first birthday.  Doug celebrated his day at a Ray’s spring training game.  And, Donovan turned three with a Dino party.

April

We celebrated the wedding of Matt and Debbie in Gainesville. Andrew returned home from Bahrain.  And, we loved everything about the Easter season.

May

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For Mother’s Day, I got an awesome garden, so we spent lots of try out in the yard.  Donovan really loved the whole process of digging and watering.  We are so thankful for that huge backyard.  We have spent so many hours playing out there!

June

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My childhood bestie got married and I was thrilled to stand by her side!  Doug and I celebrated 7 years of marriage. Our AC died on Father’s Day and we booked a trip of a lifetime to Iceland and Sweden.

July

Obviously, this is the best month of year!  I celebrated my 31st birthday and we spent our annual week on Anna Maria Island.  This year we bought our own timeshare!

August 

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Right after our week at the beach, Doug told me he wanted me to come see a house. Little did we both know that we would move three weeks later. This month was sheer chaos.  Packing, prepping the new house (it needed WORK), renting our house, and moving.  I’m tired thinking about it all.  We love our new home! And, we loved seeing our dear friends, the Motleys, who visited during the chaos.  Y’all, only good friends (who see you at your most stressed) can come visit you during such a crazy season. As if there wasn’t enough change in our lives, Donovan switched to a new house, new room, new bed (Toddler bed instead of the crib) and started a new school.  Homeslice did not know what hit him.

September

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This month is defined by one word: IRMA. Mic Drop.

OK, but really, so stressful.  We boarded up and traveled to South Carolina and stayed with my dear and very pregnant friend, Sarah.  We also ended up in the same town as my ride-or-die momma friend, Jen.  The photo above is us with the kids at a Chick-fila. Shortly after returning home, we all had the plague and were home sick for about two weeks. My baby sister, Rachel moved to Chicago.

October

We took a trip to Kansas to visit the Motley crew and celebrate Evey’s fourth birthday. We loved the Midwest fun at the farm. We literally finished the Whole30 days before the trip.  The 30 days of the Whole30 might have been the quietest part of our year…go figure. For Halloween, we dressed up as the Wizard of Oz. I was very proud that I was able to sew the boy’s costumes.

November

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I took a trip to Chicago for Leah’s rescheduled (Thanks, Irma) Bachelorette. She got married the next weekend.  It was a beautiful day and I was honored to stand by her side and her Matron on Honor. Sidenote…being the MOH is a ton of work. Other sidenote…I OFFICIALLY have a BROTHER!  Grandma Kimmy came back to help and so did Ashley. Thanksgiving was a wonderful season and we started Christmas early as we prepared for our big trip. PSA: check your passports before you book your trip. If you don’t, just know that Miami does same day issuance, which I do not recommend.

December

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Iceland and Sweden was amazing. I wish we could travel the world everyday. We loved sharing this trip with Grandma and Grandpa DeGroot.  We did not see the Norther Lights and we had very little snow (all that we saw was in this picture), but the kids had a blast and we all had so much fun.  Christmas through the eyes of your children is such a blessing and we enjoyed a beautiful and simple holiday. This year, most of our gifts didn’t fit under a tree because we did them (trip to Europe and our annual sister day). Doug also go a new car: a navy blue 4Runner.

For real estate, we helped 42 families buy or sell this year. And, together we reached our highest production ever!  That is called hustle, my friends.  And, we are forever thankful for our amazing customers, family and friends who chose us to help them.

While this year might look awesome and positive, do not let my recap lead you to believe that it was easy.  We were manic and stressed and tired and sick and crabby so much this year. Looking back, I am grateful for all that we did and everyone that we saw, but I do not recommend it. Be sensible people!  This year we will be saying ‘no’ more. We will be taking care of our family’s health (mental, spiritual, and physical) as our primary goal. We will be simplifying and staying still more often. And, I’m sure there will be adventure and fun, just maybe a little less.  And, that is A-OK with us!

WHEW!  What a year!  We can’t wait to see what 2018 brings us!

With Love,

Jenna

Camdon’s Birth Story

After nine months of growing little LBD 2, I was ready to meet our little one.  I was happy to hear that I was dilating and effacing, but then again, since it was my second child, I guess that is to be expected.  This time around my back was killing me and I was way more uncomfortable than I had been previously.  We went in for a doctor appointment a few days before my due date as my final check up.  My doctor said that things were progressing and I should expect a much quicker birth experience.  We told him that we would have a 30 minute drive to the hospital.  And he said that would be too much.  And, like that he scheduled my induction for Friday, March 11th!

Finally knowing when this baby would arrive gave us a huge sense of relief.  There was always a chance that the baby could decide to arrive on his or her own, but we were focused on the 11th.  We frantically finished last minute projects and I cleaned the house like a madwoman.  We finished just in time to celebrate Doug’s birthday and my due date!  We had a gathering at Top Golf with friends a week before.  For Doug’s actual birthday, we decided to enjoy one last family dinner.  The Cottones and my sisters came over to play a game of Catan.

In a horrible turn of events, I dropped my phone and the screen was blank.  Nothing was cracked. It just didn’t show anything.  This became a difficult issue since it was about 7pm and I really couldn’t be without a phone the next day and I was having a baby the following day!  Leah and I went to the mall to have some guy at a kiosk fix it but then he camera wasn’t working…and who wants a phone without a camera?!? Especially when I was about to have a new baby to take pictures of?

The next day, I basically spent a few hours running errands and getting my phone fixed for real.  It was way too much to worry about when I had to get ready to have a baby.  But, all is well that ends well.  I got to spend lots of quality time with my little guy, who had been fighting off a bug for a week.  He kept getting a random fever and I was hoping that he would be healthy in time for his sibling to arrive.

The timing of my delivery was perfect because Rachel was home for spring break.  She was my on-call person if I happened to go into labor and needed someone to watch D.  She came over that night and we had dinner and got ready for the big day.  It was hard to believe that we would be meeting our little one so soon.

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One of the many perks of being induced is that you have time to shower and do you hair and make up before heading to the hospital.  We arrived at St. Joes around 6am.  After the usual questions and medical history review I was hooked up and ready to go.  I assumed that it would be the same as before when they used Cervadil, but this time they used Pitocin.  I was dreading this because of the horror stories I had heard about how intense this drug made your contractions.  I had heard that they could make your contractions really close together and very strong.

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My doctor came in around 7am and said he was going to break my water.  This was also new since my water wasn’t broken until the very end last time.  It was the weirdest feeling.  Just like a warm gush of water. And every so often, more would leak out.  Especially during contractions.  It was so strange because it literally felt like I was peeing or something because water just kept on coming out.  How much water was in there?

So Doug and I were just hanging out.  I started getting contractions and we would watch them spike on the machines and the go down.  We played Phase 10 again.  I was feeling lots of contractions as we played so I was a bit distracted and yet, I still won!  My nurse kept checking on me and would turn up the pitocin each time, which was both horrible and wonderful.  I was progressing more and more.

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Since they had broken my water, they did not want to check to my progress too often since I would be more susceptible to infection.  Last time I got updated often so I knew how far along I was.  The contractions weren’t great but I was able to breath through them and I wasn’t in too much pain.  I didn’t want to get the epidural to early since I knew it could slow my contractions and stall the process.  My nurse was really sweet and kept saying that she would know that I was ready for pain meds when I couldn’t joke around any more.  I like to keep things light when I’m stressed and I guess I never really got to a point of sheer horrible pain.  Finally, I was ready for the epidural.  Thankfully, there wasn’t a long wait for the anesthesiologist.  The epidural wasn’t bad at all and I was happy that I would be able to feel some relief soon….or so I thought!

As the team was leaving the room, a nurse asked me if I felt any pressure yet.  Literally as she said that I felt a huge surge of pressure.  It caught me off guard and she checked my progress. I was 10 cm and ready to go. I suddenly had the urge to push.  She told me this baby was coming and to not push and she ran out to get the doctor.  Doug and I both were both looking at each other in shock that it had all happened so quick.  I immediately started pushing the button for my epidural meds because I could still feel everything.  Apparently, it takes a bit for the epidural to kick in.  I was not ready to have a natural childbirth!

Quickly the doors burst open and the whole medical crew rushed in.  They set up all of their surgical paper and wheeled in all of the instruments.  It is amazing how fast they all arrive and your empty room becomes instantly packed in a matter of seconds.  My doctor came in smiling and said that he knew I would have this baby quickly.

Meanwhile, I was freaking out.  I was not ready to have this baby.  It had only been a few hours.  And, my epidural was doing nothing!  I looked at Doug and told him I could not do this.  I mean, what were my options?  Couldn’t this all just wait for a few more minutes?  It was all happening so fast  My doctor asked if I had ever been skiing.  Maybe he was trying to lighten the mood.  He told me this baby was coming now and to start pushing.

The pushing was harder than I remembered but I wasn’t pushing long.  After 8 pushes, Camdon Richard DeGroot was born at 10:43am! That’s less than 5 hours of labor! They handed him to me and he was all slimy but I was happy to hold my sweet boy for the first time.

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Meeting my new little guy 🙂

Thankfully, my epidural kicked in just enough to not feel a thing. Camdon was 8 pounds 4 ounces and 21 inches long.  The nurse who was taking his vitals said that he was really strong for a newborn. We enjoyed a bit of time nursing and holding our new little guy.  It is so unbelievable how tiny and perfect new babies are.  Soon we headed off to our hospital room.

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That afternoon my Mom and Dad arrived.  Rachel and D came after nap.  It was such a special moment introducing D to his new brother.  I think he was more excited about the special gifts he got for becoming a big brother.  Leah, John, and the Motleys all arrived to welcome Camdon to the world.

We left the hospital at about 10pm Saturday night.  We were not interested in hanging out any longer than we had to.  We wanted to get back to be with D and so that we could actually sleep without being woken up for vitals every hour.  When we got home, it was decorated by my family.  And our fridge was stocked with lots of frozen meals!

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We felt so much more confident in our abilities as parent this time and we were happy to be home with our healthy baby boy.

With Love,

From Me to You

 

Third Trimester: Re-Cap

I had written this right before Camdon was born.  So, I’m going to leave it the way I wrote it, even though the tenses will be wrong.  It is so fun to look back and read this now!

Get ready for the birth story!  Coming up next!

Projects:

The third trimester total caught me off guard.  Pregnancy seems to go on forever and each week I have felt that I still have more time to wait until the baby arrives.  I have felt less anxious and concerned about getting things finished, that is, until the very end.  I think we might have underestimated the number of projects that we wanted to complete before the baby arrived.  Of course, if anything was left unfinished, we could finish it later, but then we would be contending with two children instead of one.  And one of those children will be very demanding for a while.

I had painted the soon-to-be-nursery over the summer, not too long after we found out that we were pregnant.  In January, I got the idea  that our beige master bedroom was too dull and needed to be repainted.  So, I painted it a light blue and we rearranged the bedroom, which was Doug’s idea.  I was pretty against it, but it did end up opening the space and made it feel bigger.  The painting process required more coats than I expected because the beige was darker than I thought so we basically had to do the trim and walls three times.  It was a project that I thought could be accomplished in a weekend and dragged out to a full week.  But, it was so worth it in the end!

The biggest project was relocating Doug’s office to the space in our garage and relocating his tools and outdoor equipment to a shed.  We explored shed options and even though Doug is pretty handy, we didn’t want the stress and the time commitment of building it on our own.  We opted for a pre-made shed from a local company.  Once we got it delivered, Doug then needed to build shelves inside and reorganize the garage. Thankfully, my Dad was able to help with the building and they got it done in one day.  Sorting and moving and reorganizing the garage took a little bit longer, but it felt good to get it done and we are enjoying the additional space!

Doug’s office was the next space to tackle.  Once it was emptied it had to be painted.  We went with Red and gray to set a Keller Williams vibe.  At 38 weeks pregnant, I was out there with Doug painting and getting that room finished.  Oh, and we decided to make my Dad a cornhole set for his birthday, so that project took over our garage for about a week.  And, if you decide to make one set, you might as well make one for yourself, too. Right?

Having the nursery cleared out we had to decide what to do about furniture.  We had finally found a sleep training system that was working for us and D, which was really awesome as we all were getting more sleep.  But, we should have done this sooner than we did.  We also didn’t feel right about taking away D’s crib after he was finally sleeping so well.  Plus, I’ve heard from many people that you want your child contained in a crib as long as they will stay in it.  So, we bought another crib.  I even assembled it myself!  I reorganized D’s room and moved over a bunch of items that he didn’t need in his room anymore.  It is nice that now he has room for more toys, which frees up our living room from a ton of clutter.  Having the nursery set has been a huge relief.  Although, I really liked not having to do this at all last time.

And then there are all of these little projects that you want to accomplish…crafts, decorations, fixing things that haven’t been working, making spaces more functional, moving clutter around.  We have done some serious reorganizing in preparation for this baby to arrive.  I feels so good to cross those things off of our list.  Any it makes us realize that we have so much “stuff” and that we need do this more regularly so it doesn’t become such a long list…easier said than done 🙂

How are you feeling?

Overall, I have felt pretty well this whole pregnancy.  I am certainly more tired as the end approaches.  As I mentioned before, this baby is carrying much lower than D did.  As I approach my due date, I am becoming more miserable.  D was induced a week after my due date.  I wasn’t have any contractions and I wasn’t dilating or effacing.  So, while I was “over it”, physically, it wasn’t bad at all.  This time around I am and it feels awful.  The only plus is that this baby is lower than D so I’m not getting kicked in the ribs at all hours.  But, it is leading to lots of lower back pain.

I am far less annoyed and crabby this time around.  I think I have mentally prepared myself to accept the fact that I will go late and there isn’t much that I can do about it.  Plus, this is extra time to get projects done and enjoy time with Doug and D as a family of three.

Breastfeeding

I had such a hard time getting started with Donovan and I worked so hard to keep with breastfeeding.  I loved the bond it allowed for Donovan and I and I decided to let him wean when he was ready.  Being pregnant wasn’t go to stop or change anything for me.  At some point in November it just become really uncomfortable and I was always annoyed that he needed me all the time.  It was hard for me to end our breastfeeding relationship, but it was nice to finally enjoy a bit of freedom from it.  I am happy to have given him 21 months of milk and to see him become a little more independent.  I hated that it had to be imposed on him instead of him choosing to wean, but breastfeeding a toddler is pretty minimal anyway.  He only got a little milk each time and it was really more for comfort.  We still snuggle all the time and he knows that I’m still there for him.

Does D know what is about to happen?

Donovan notices my belly more but that doesn’t keep him from climbing all over me.  He will put his ear on my belly and say that the baby is sleeping.  Recently, we have been watching Daniel Tiger on PBS and in a few of the more recent episodes Daniel’s mommy has a baby girl.  It was pretty cute talking about it with him and it seems to be the thing that has made the most sense to him.  The following episodes have addressed how life changes with a baby.  We might need to rewatch them later.

Last minute predictions

I still think girl.  Doug still thinks boy.  We are getting so close to finding out!!  It was fun seeing the predictions on the baby bookie.  It looks like the votes are pretty even for boy and girl.

28 weeks

28 weeks

29 weeks

29 weeks

30 weeks

30 weeks-Merry Christmas!

31 weeks

31 weeks

32 weeks

32 weeks

33 weeks

33 weeks

34 weeks

34 weeks

35 weeks

35 weeks

36 weeks

36 weeks

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37 weeks

38-weeks

38 weeks

39-weeks

39 weeks

40-weeks

40 weeks- Happy Birthday, Doug!!

With Love,

From Me to You

 

 

Back at the Blog

Somehow this little blog is about to turn two! And, it is about time that I get back at it.  I’ve been debating about the direction of this blog.  The original intention was to share photos and stories with family and friends who live far away and want to keep up with our growing boys and our lives.  While I like sharing and love hearing that people enjoy the photos and stories, it does take a bit of time and energy.

Like I said, life has changed a lot since my last post in my second trimester.  Camdon was born and life has been a whirlwind.  We expected life to be more work with two children and we expected that priorities would shift for a bit. I feel incredibly fortunate to have enjoyed a lot of time at home with my new little guy.  I know that many women do not have this luxury and I am deeply grateful for the ability to do so.  I am thankful for my exceptionally supportive husband, who has given me the time and space to focus on my role as a mom.  And, I am always mindful of the flexibility our business has allow us.  Returning to work has been an interesting balancing act. Doug and I talk about work all the time, so while I might not physically be in the office or out in the field everyday, I still know what is going on and can work on projects from home or with clients in  a way that works with our family’s schedule.

Donovan’s first seven months were total chaos.  Looking back, I just laugh to myself as I remember how much we did.  As if becoming new parents was not enough, I job searched and accepted a new job. We traveled to Alaska. we moved to Florida. I started working full-time (and commuting to work for the first time in 3 years…living on campus had its perks!). I was pumping five days a week.  Doug was restarting his real estate business and learning a new area.  We bought and moved into our first home!  We were out of our ever-loving minds.  Only now, as I look back, do I really realize how chaotic it all was!  But, it was what we had to do and we did it.  Life seemed hectic and frenzied at the time but somehow, it really wasn’t all that bad.

Camdon’s first seven months have been the exact opposite.  We had a nursery ready for his arrival. Our house is thoroughly kid-proof and most of our projects and to-do lists were accomplished before he was born.  We knew what to expect.  We had been through the new baby transition before. We knew what to do.  We knew our resources.  Our family was close by and were an amazing support!  We planned for time as a new family and what work would look like.  We only planned one big trip to Wisconsin to celebrate two wonderful women who both turned 90!

With any new baby, life was filled with lots of highs and simultaneously, plenty of lows.  Taking care of two children at one time is no joke!  And nursing is freaking hard at the beginning, even if you have done it before.  Also, nursing a baby and keeping a two-year-old happy and safe is not an easy task.  Amidst the daily struggles and growing pains, so many special moments occur. I knew they would all fly by before my very eyes, so I worked extra hard to just be present.  To be in the moment as much as possible and to remember as many details as I could.  And, even with that mindfulness, I still sit here typing and wondering how seven months has really passed by.

So, I’m going to catch you up on the months that have passed.  I think I left off in October of 2015…so I might shorten some of the stories and there will be fewer pictures.  I think I’ll add a few more blogs about life.  Not just what we do, but some reflections on what is on my mind.  And, you might see more about work on here because work and our life is pretty intertwined.  As always, I’d love to hear what you think.

Here are few pictures of the boys in the cutest shirts from Auntie Yaya!

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With Love,

From Me to You

Second Trimester: Re-cap

Rings on or off:

On-I never had to take them off last time, so I figure that I’ll be fine this time.  I did have a reaction to metal during my last pregnancy, which lead to a rash on my ring finger.  This time, all is well!

Cravings:

Anything sweet. Candy. Cookies. Ice cream. Fruit. Christmas Tree Cakes. I try to keep it all in moderation, but it is pretty nice to have an excuse to eat whatever you want 🙂

Aversions:

I’m still not a fan of raw meat or anything with strong smells or flavors.  Thankfully, I have an appetite again and I don’t feel like I’m going to puke all day.

Physical Differences:

This baby is carrying lower than Donovan did. I am also having way more pelvic and hip pain, which is supposedly caused by stretching ligaments.  When I stay active it doesn’t seem to bother me as much.

The long flight to Barcelona was way harder on my body than I expected.  On the way there, I slept in a weird position and had lower back pain for a few weeks.  As if being pregnant wasn’t hard enough on my back!  I also had to pee a million times on both flights.  Sitting in one position for long periods of time is not comfortable, so I felt pretty miserable on the flight home.  Oh, and add a fidgety toddler to the mix.  It was a loooong flight.

Does Donovan know what is going on?

I think he is understanding more and more.  During Christmas, he was very interested in Baby Jesus and once the holiday was over, he began referring to the baby as Baby Jesus…I had to help him understand the difference 🙂

When did you start feeling the baby move?

It was some time around 20 weeks and my trip to Chicago.  Those hiccups.  They are hard to miss.  The rest just feels like flutters.

What are you doing to get ready for the new baby?

Not much yet.  Just lots of thinking about doing things.  With all of our traveling, BOLD and work, the holidays, and just general lack of anxiety this time around, we just haven’t really made any moves to get things in order.  I am certainly a planner and I know that we have lots to do, but I also know that what needs to get done, will get done.  The rest is extra.

Any predictions about the sex?

I think girl and Doug thinks boy.  Donovan is still certain that he is having a “sissy”.

Any names chosen yet?

I thought that we had our names set from the get-go.  But, Doug just didn’t seem as excited about these names as he did last time.  So, we have been looking for inspiration and we have yet to decide.

Other differences this time around?

It is nice to not feel so anxious and uncertain about what was to come.  Doug and I both know what to expect so we just pray for a healthy pregnancy, delivery, and baby.  Not finding out the sex also takes some pressure off of us to have certain clothes and everything monogrammed…like I would anyway 🙂

All of the doctor appointments are way more annoying this time, since it is all pretty boring until the end.  Plus, I forgot how much they stick you and take your blood in the second trimester. I go to a large practice so I see different doctors for each visit. It is interesting to get to know each of them and understand their different perspectives and personalities.

I am lucky that I haven’t really gotten too big either.  Some people really have no idea that I am pregnant.  And, I sometimes forget, too.  I’m not too uncomfortable and I can still do pretty much anything that I want.  If I overdo it, then of course I feel it, but for the most part, I have to remind myself that I am pregnant and to slow down.  Donovan certainly keeps me pretty busy.  I am still able to wear Donovan (thank goodness!) and I am still breastfeeding.

One of the biggest differences is work.  Last time, I was in a college setting with students who, I’m pretty sure, were just worried that being pregnant was a contagious condition.  I didn’t get a lot of attention from them or tons of questions about how I was feeling.  And, no one touched me, ever…which, I was ok with!  This time around, I work with more people who have their own children or grandchildren.  They have experienced pregnancy and are so open and friendly about discussing their experiences and want to know how I am doing.  And, the touching of the belly is way more of a frequent occurrence.  This time around, I am ok with it.

13 weeks

Week 13

14 weeks

Week 14

15 weeks

Week 15

16 weeks

Week 16–.can you tell it is bedtime 🙂 I lost week 17’s picture somewhere 😦

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Week 18–From California!

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Week19–First day of BOLD!

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Week 20–On my way to Chicago to see the Cubs!

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Week 21

22 weeks

Week 22

23 weeks

Week 23

24 weeks

Week 24–On our way to Barcelona!

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Week 25–From Barcelona!

26 weeks

Week 26

27 weeks

Week 27–BOLD graduation!

With Love,

From Me to You

August 2015

We enjoyed the end of summer with lots of fun outside.  That is when I was feeling up to it.  This pregnancy left me with less energy and more nausea than I experienced with Donovan.  Nevertheless, life went on!

We made the big switch to cloth diapers.  Or, at least started testing them out because it is certainly all about trial and error at first before you invest in the whole thing.  Knowing that we had a second baby on the way, I decided to give them a try, since it would save a ton of money over the span of their diaper days.  I am thankful for all of the insight from other mommas who shared their experience with different brands and techniques.  Let me tell you, the cloth diaper world is complicated and vast.  It was hard to know where to start.  I kept it simple with Bum Genius pockets and All-in-ones.  Pockets were my favorite.  Thankfully, Donovan makes mostly wet diapers and his bowl movements are easy to clean, especially when we use a liner.  I know most people think that cloth diapers would be a lot of work, but I found that once we got into a routine, it was really easy to do a load of diapers at night and be ready to go for the next day.  We still keep some disposables on hand and he uses them at daycare.  I have yet to have a diaper that had left a stain!  Plus, I do think that Donovan’s diaper rash issues cleared up a ton once we made the switch. IMG_9344

I was still adjusting to my new job and working with Doug.  I was super thankful for the flexibility since I was feeling so miserable.  It was great taking naps with Donovan on the days that I was home with him.

Donovan loved to play outside so we made a few trips to the park to help him run off some energy.

Donovan loved to explore and climb on everything.  It was a challenge keeping track of him while I was feeling so run down.  I loved that he was so curious about the world around him and I tried to let him try new things.

We also made our first trip to the Glazer Children’s Museum.  Donovan loved it and we will certainly make more trips back when he gets bigger.  I highly recommend it for anyone who is looking for an indoor option for their child.

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We shared our big news with Doug’s family this month.  It was nice that more family could be in on our big secret 🙂

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Our growing LBD 2 at 12ish weeks

We spent a weekend at Tradewinds for Doug’s fantasy football draft.  It was awesome to have my parents and sister stay with us and enjoy the beach!  Also, The Rumfish Grill was delicious and the fish tanks were an awesome sight to see!

We fit in a Ray’s game, too.  It was actually our second one in that same week!  Donovan enjoyed meeting the Rays!

Us at Thursday’s game:

Us at Sunday’s game…both wins!

We enjoyed one last family dinner with Rach before she headed back to school for her last year at FSU.  How has it already been four years?!?

And, after our visit at the Guy Harvey hotel at Tradewinds, Donovan started making his “fish” face a regular occurrence 🙂

With Love,

From Me to You

LBD 2: First Trimester Re-cap

Due Date:

March 9, 2016 (Doug’s 35th birthday!!)

Sex:

Sorry, folks!  We loved waiting for the big surprise to be revealed at the delivery, so you will have to stay tuned until March.

How we found out:

Since Doug and I were trying to get pregnant, I was completely aware of every change that occurred in my body.  Since I was pregnant before, I was absolutely positive that I knew I was pregnant.  I think I surprised Doug with my certainty.

When you are trying to get pregnant, any time spent waiting is miserable.  You just want to know if you are pregnant or not.  Given my certainty, I opted to try the early detection pregnancy tests.  I took the first test on June 28th and it was negative.  Since I knew it was really early, and I was sure that I was in fact pregnant, I didn’t really think much of it.

On June 30th, as Doug was getting ready for a trip to Wisconsin, I took another early test.  This one had a faint line.  I began googling and reading discussion boards to see if I could take this as a good sign or if I had to wait longer.  We decided to be cautiously optimistic, yet celebrate that we had a new baby on the way.

On July 3rd as Doug returned, I took one more test.  This one had a full dark line, so we felt more confident in our exciting news.

Reactions:

Jenna-I knew I was right!

Doug-Yay!  LBD 2!

Donovan-Has no clue what is going on 🙂

Keeping the secret and Sharing the news:

This time around, we didn’t feel any rush to share our secret with anyone.  After having one child, you suddenly become a target for questions about when you will have the next one.  People observe when you drink and when you don’t and how you act or if you seem tired or sick.  It seemed that everyone was just looking for clues that I could be pregnant.  It was was a little bit obnoxious, so I felt more justified in holding on to the news a little longer.

We told my family first because they would be the most likely to figure out that I was pregnant.  While we were at Anna Maria Island, we had Donovan wear his “Big Brother” shirt and wait for my parents and sisters to notice.  They were all excited about the news and all admitted that they were suspicious that something was going on.

We shared the news with Doug’s family via FaceTime in a similar fashion.  Adam and Kristin took the longest to notice the shirt, but to be fair, they were also taking care of their new son, Simon.

Once our family knew, we started making calls to friends.  It was a great reason to catch up with people when you have exciting news to share.

We shared our big news with most of our family and friends at my parents Labor Day party.  We had taken a few pictures of Donovan and put them up on the TV.

Our Facebook announcement came the following weekend.

How I was feeling:

This time around the morning sickness was way worse.  I needed to eat as soon as I woke up and I always felt as if I could throw up at any moment.  I only wanted to eat carbs.  Frozen food was the only way that I could satisfy my urgency to eat immediately.  Snacking was critical to not feeling too sick all the time.  And, dinners, well, let’s just say that there was a lot of eating out and frozen meals.  I just could not bring myself to cook because then I would want nothing to do with what I had made.  I also adopted what I like to call, fourth meal.  As if the snacks didn’t add up to additional meals, this meal came after dinner.  If I missed fourth meal, then the night and the morning were extra nauseating.

No one warns you that having a toddler is a lot of work.  It is wonderful, and exhausting on a typical day.  Add in being pregnant and you reach a whole new level of fatigue.  This time around, I did not have the luxury of laying on my couch while watching mindless TV.  I still had to take care of my little guy who needed my attention and wanted me to play.  The silver lining was nap time.  I greatly appreciated snuggling with Donovan and taking long naps together.  The only problem was that I could have taken at least two more naps a day, but he wasn’t interested.

Doctors appointments:

The first few appointments are so exciting as you get that final confirmation that you are pregnant.  My new doctor does more ultrasounds that my doctor in North Carolina. So, we could see our little one growing.

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Our little blob at 8 weeks 

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Our growing LBD 2 at 12 weeks

Soon the excitement wears off a bit as I remembered how many doctors appointments there are and how much waiting you do for quick check ups.  And, I hate having my blood taken, even though I have gotten better.  It seems that your blood is needed way more frequently at the beginning to make sure that you and the baby are healthy.

First pregnancy and second pregnancy comparisons:

As I mentioned before, I completely underestimated how much work it would be taking care of Donovan and being pregnant.  I tried so hard to be fun and playful, but there were days that I was just not on my parenting game. I had to cut myself some slack and realize that I could get through this and I would feel better one day!

There was certainly less anxiety with this pregnancy than the first.  Since I had been through it all before, I knew what was coming next.  I didn’t need to read “What to Expect When You are Expecting” and I didn’t need to google every symptom.  I still had the first trimester worry that the baby would be health and that we would make it to the second trimester successfully, yet it wasn’t at the front of my mind because I was busy with LBD 1.

It is amazing how quickly you forget the misery of the first trimester when you decide to have a second child.  Since I felt worse this time, I found myself wondering how I forgot about this from before.  As a parent you learn to not wish time away because your child grows so quickly.  I felt a simultaneous urge to hope that I would feel better as soon as the second trimester began.

Doug and I did not anticipate to get pregnant so quickly.  We expected a few months of trying before we would have our intended outcome.  We are so thankful that we were blessed with such an smooth process.  The timing will put Donovan and the new baby at exactly two years apart.  I guess March was meant to be birthday month for the DeGroots 🙂

As I mentioned before, Doug and I were not in a rush to share our news.  It wasn’t that we were not excited, but more that maybe we were not ready to admit how much our lives were about to change.  We wanted to continue to enjoy our lives as our little family of three and not get too wrapped up in what was to come.  We knew there would be plenty of time for preparations once I started to feel better 🙂

I did start to wonder how I could love a child any more than I love Donovan.  I know that my love for him completely caught me off guard so I assume that the new love for LBD 2 will do the same.  But, I do worry about comparing the two.  What if I do love Donovan more?  And, how do parents of multiple children give their children all the love that they need?  It was easy with Donovan because he was the only one.  He has always been the focus and has received my full attention.  How do second children even come close to experiencing what the first received from their parents?  I’m sure that instead of dividing your love for two children, it will just grow.  For now, we are enjoying each day before everything changes in March 🙂

As you can see from the pictures below, this time around I opted to take my “bump” picture in whatever I was wearing that day, instead of wearing the same thing.  I also have a new little buddy joining me in each picture.  Stella voted to sit these weekly pictures out.  And, let me tell you, Stella was a much easier customer than Donovan.  It is fun to look back and see how Donovan has changed over the past few months.

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Week 6- July 16th

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Week 7- July 21st

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Week 8- July 28th

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Week 9- August 4th

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Week 10- August 11th

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Week 11- August 18th

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Week 12- August 25th

With Love,

From Me to You