Tulsa, OK

The first part of our Okie Family Road Trip was spent in some state parks (NW Oklahoma), and the second part was spent in Tulsa. Unfortunately for us, it rained almost the entire 2nd half!

Wednesday: At the cabin, we ended up with both girls in the queen bed with us at dawn. So everyone was up early to pack the car, do one more drive by of the lake and the birding trail, and hit the road to Tulsa. Cora window watched the entire trip and told us every time she found some cows – y’all, there are a lot of cows in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma horizons

We got a good deal online for a hotel with breakfast and indoor pool – because what do kids love most about staying in a hotel!? We checked in, had lunch in our room, and then headed out to the Oklahoma Aquarium (an indoor activity because of the rain). It was a lot nicer than I had expected, with an awesome tunnel through the shark tank and one of the neatest river otter exhibits we’ve ever seen – and Kris & I love aquariums! CJ worried mostly about pushing her dollies in the stroller but finally got into the exhibits when some divers went in to feed the Caribbean exhibit. I think her favorite exhibit was the jellyfish tanks. They had some neat touch tanks; Cora couldn’t muster the courage to touch a shrimp or a shark, but she did touch a clam and a sea star! We had woken Blair up from a nap, but she stayed awake the entire visit, craning to look at everything!

Shark Tunnel

 

Everything looks better upside down

We left and did an early bird dinner at Prairie Brewpub, which was on Kris’s list to do (because of Prairie Artisan Ales based in Tulsa). It was so good! Beers – yes. Food – mostly great. Kids – doable. Our favorite entre was a bacon wrapped sausage with delicious sides. The meat came from Burn Co BBQ in downtown Tulsa, so add that to your restaurant list. We would also recommend Prairie’s chocolate bread pudding… So Good!! Then it was back to the hotel for bedtime.

Thursday: It was still rainy & the girls’ sleep bank was low by this point in the trip, so we took the morning easy. After hotel breakfast, Cora went swimming and Blair went for a long morning nap. Cora joined in on family nap time after her swim, and we did lunch in the room when the girls woke up.

We got in the car, did a drive by of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Westhope home, and headed to the Philbrook museum. Located in an old mansion with beautiful grounds, we really liked this museum. It has several different floors of exhibits but is small enough to do in half day. Admittedly, we didn’t stroll leisurely through the galleries with 2 babies; but, Cora enjoys pictures and colors and aesthetics as much as any tiny human can, so we saw most of it. One of their exhibits at the time was of fashion by Native American designers.. and it was CJ’s favorite! Her eyes lit up and she loved every part of it – music, dresses, shoes, hats. I could’ve never guessed it, but she is in a tutu and sparkle phase… I think we would’ve spent even longer here if we could have been in the gardens (but rain). Their gift shop is nice and gave us wonderful ideas for Christmas/Birthday lists!!

Philbrook Museum gardens – in the drizzle

After Philbrook, we drove to see Tulsa’s Golden Driller statue. Then we drove through the Utica Square (restaurant and shopping) and the Cherry District (strip of bars, restaurants, and local shops) just to see them while we tried to decide where to eat dinner. We ended up at the Blue Rose Cafe because it was on the river. Food- basic bar & grill stuff. Atmosphere- fun. Bar- basic stuff, Kris wished they had some local offerings. Kids- easy. It probably would’ve been a lot better if it was not raining because half of the restaurant is patio seating on the river. Oh well.

The Golden Driller

Friday: We woke up and did hotel breakfast before packing everything up. It wasn’t raining!! So on our agenda was the ‘Center of the Universe’ downtown, a downtown architecture walking tour, & lunch. It was not to be. After tantrum 3 (out of 5) at Center of the Universe, Kris & I decided to abort and go home early – though we did think this was worth the stop and enjoyed the weird acoustics. We did a drive-by of the large Praying Hands statue at Oral Roberts University so that we felt like the adults were still in control. Then, it was a quick trip home with Los Dos sleeping in the back.

Our hotel had her favorite animal spitting water outside!

We liked Tulsa and wish the weather (and the girls sleep) would’ve been more cooperative so we could do more. I guess we are all just light sleepers and everyone in the same room was hard to juggle (especially w 1 waking to eat & 1 waking to pee each night). Generally, we vacation with lists – a few must-dos plus a lot of other options to wing it with. We did a lot of our must-dos but were disappointed to not hit Cherry Street, the architecture tour, and a few more restaurants. Here’s what was on our list that we didn’t get to:

Art Deco walking tour of downtown (only on certain days or by apt)

Downtown trolley

Guthrie Green (free outdoor stuff)

Gilcrease Museum (southwestern art)

El Guapo (rec for tacos, margaritas, rooftop seating)

The Brook

Brookside by day (breakfast)

Wildfork (rec for the food & patio)

Dilly Diner

Roosevelt (rec from our waiter at the brewpub)

Golden Phoenix and Shades of Brown (coffee spots)

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (bc Kris likes visiting this chain)

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Northwestern Oklahoma

We’ve got our OK Bucket List going strong for our last year in training, and western Oklahoma has been on it since year 1! Unfortunately, our littlest Okie HATES being strapped into the car seat, so our family trip plans adjusted to the closer NW part of the state to minimize any screaming fits.

Monday: We packed the car and drove up to the Great Salt Plains State Park to check in to our cabin for the next two nights. It was nice & clean but small – 300 sq. ft.? – but Lord knows I wasn’t about to tent camp with a 5mo baby and there aren’t many other lodging options in the immediate area. We got some info/brochures from the park office, unpacked, ate lunch, then drove over to the National Wildlife Refuge for some birding and sight-seeing. I had read that their visitor center was good/educational, but it was closed during our visit because they were rebuilding after a fire. The only birds we saw were mosquitos (that’s how we knew we were close to the marshes!), but that was because of the on/off rain that day and our late afternoon timing.

Joking aside, we did see some large hawks and a few pipers as we drove through the NWR. We stopped at a few other birding spots along Hwy 11 as we headed into Cherokee for some forgotten items at the grocery. Then, back to the cabin to play outside and cook dinner. Sundown was lights out for us since our girls were in the same room as us, so we drank wine in the dark while reading on our tablets.

Tuesday: We woke up, ate a quick breakfast, and packed up to go crystal digging at the NWR. For this you definitely need gloves, a real shovel, some water and a towel to clean off the salty sand when you are done, and hydration. We also brought Cora’s mini gardening set for her to play with – she LOVED digging in the sand, running across the flats, climbing into the sand piles, and hunting for Selenite crystals! We spent about an hour on the flats and came away with some small crystals, even though we weren’t seriously digging.

digging in the Great Salt Plains NWR

To our great surprise and good fortune, Dave Ramsey puts Blair to sleep… So we blasted some pod casts and took off to the Alabaster Caverns State Park for the afternoon. Bring your lunch/snacks/drinks with you to this one because there isn’t much in the immediate area (we should have stopped in Alva on the way). Buy tickets and trinkets in the office. Snacks, potty, nursing session, and it was time for the caverns. This hour long guided tour is Worth The Trip!! We saw some bats, salamanders, beautiful veins of Selenite crystal, and black gypsum (only seen in China, Italy, & here!).

Both girls loved the caves – Cora walked almost the entire thing and was all about the “dangerous” cave and there was lots to see for the baby looking at the ceilings – but were exhausted. So it was back into the car for a rest as we headed towards Waynoka where Kris wanted to eat at a recommended German restaurant… that was closed on a Tuesday. So we ended up at the only other spot in town, Mexican. The food was ok but it’s in the old train station which was super neat. We ate, watched a few trains go by, and got one to whistle at Cora! The Little Sahara State Park is just south of town, so we did a drive by for Kris to see it while the girls rested in the car (I had already seen this park via work travels). If our kids were older, we would definitely spend a day here. You can rent/ride horses or ATVs around the dunes (I hear weekends are usually packed), plus it’s just cool to see 1500+ acres of sand dunes in land-locked Oklahoma.  Then it was back towards the cabin for bedtime.

Waynoka’s historic train terminal

Wednesday: We woke up too early with both girls in bed with us – did breakfast, packed the car, and went on another driving tour looking for birds. This attempt was much more successful since a cold front had blown in overnight and skies were still overcast. Then it was off to Tulsa for part 2 of our OK Family Trip!

These parks are easy trips from OKC and we would HIGHLY recommend them. If our kids were older, we would have loved to tack on a bonfire, stargazing, and a sunrise birding trip while at the Great Salt Plains. Plus all the fun stuff at the Little Sahara. Because of travel time with work, I can also vouch for the Gloss Mountains State Park in the area. It’s a steep climb to the top of the mesa that may be hard to do with small kids. Bring your lunch and do a quick day hike – beautiful views!!

Roman Nose State Park is a bit further south but is another great park in the general area. The Lodge there is awesome, and the cabins are great too. With fishing, golfing, hiking, etc, this would be an easy weekend getaway.

It is often difficult to recognize beauty when you are too close to something, and that certainly holds true for the places we live… treat your home like a tourist, and you won’t have to go far for a memorable trip!

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Family Four Pack – Part 4

This “fourth trimester” was so different from the first time. 1) I’m not a newbie so 2) there is a toddler, and 3) it’s a different little person you are trying to figure out!

We brought home a sleepy smiley newborn who was just the easiest. My mom stayed one week, and Kris took the week after that off to stay home. We were doing good and Cora was adjusting wonderfully! And then Blair got colic. Colic is the worst. If you are wondering if your crying baby has colic – she doesn’t – they let you know without a shadow of doubt what’s going on. I went off dairy which helped a little (Cora and I both have dairy allergies), but the screaming never really stopped. She couldn’t sleep so was overtired; was hungry so would overeat and that doesn’t help; would not be swaddled or lay horizontal (or even close – she hated the rock & play – no baby hates the magic of the rock & play!!); would rarely let anyone comfort her but me (even if “comfort” just meant that she cried in my arms instead of screaming in someone else’s); would cry while sleeping; etc. I spent half of every night sitting upright with her so that she could sleep, then transitioned her to the bed with me or the crib on her belly. I waited until the 2mo well baby check to talk with her Dr. because who really knows what’s going on with infants – they change on the daily.  After rattling off my long list of symptoms/abnormalities/questions (reflux meds? probiotics for constipation and aching belly?), his reply was that it was all characteristic of colic. We tried liquid probiotics first (because neither of us want to medicate babies), and Blair was a different baby within 3 days!! Praise the Lord!


Cora did well through this trial. She potty trained herself in our first month home with Blair… the positive one-on-one attention she got really spurred this. Blair’s constant crying meant that I could rarely do anything for Cora so she relied a lot on her bite, her daddy, Micky Mouse Clubhouse, and a few temper tantrums to get through it.

I stayed home until Blair’s 2mo vaccines, and then went back to work part time and she started daycare. I was scared of this transition because of the colic, but with the daily probiotics Blair does great and the ladies seem to like her. Our awesome residency and neighbors put together enough meals to see us through most of my time at home when we didn’t have family in town. I plan to stay at my job 3 days a week until the end of the year. It will be a transition period as I train others to take over my responsibilities since we finish residency and move within a year now!


Blair is super smiley and loves to talk – unless Cora is around and then she wants to watch her. She’s been really healthy without any colds/viruses yet – surprising since Kris and Cora are basically walking Petri dishes. In her first weeks on the outside, the most common comments are how she looks like Cora, how she is so wiggly, & how terrible her gas smells (not like a baby – is that a warning sign for colic?!) Here’s what else we are learning on Round 2:

Adding one kid does not simply double the chaos. It goes up exponentially! Fun yet exhausting.

Tribal is my preferred means of living. Our friends and neighbors have been such an excellent support system, but we miss hanging with our family.

I still love wearing baby in a sling! Hands free means I can chase my toddler down in the parking lot before she gets run over!

My kids sleep a lot – so sleep cycles are sacred in this house. They grow physically and mentally while they sleep (along with recouping from everything they learned while awake). We are lucky as Blair has learned to sleep well relatively early on – once we got the colic under control & put her on her belly- and is sleeping good stretches through the night.

Breast feeding seems to be easier this time around – I’m sure mainly due to me being better at it. Blair latched like a pro and takes bottles ok. I still hate pumping. I’ve had some ups and downs with supply (I think this is due to colic not allowing for a eating routine) but am fortunate to not have any real problems producing yet. And Blair has had absolutely no trouble gaining weight – she surpassed birth weight in less than a week and is still growing rapidly!


It’s amazing how individualistic babies are from the beginning. I can’t quite put my finger on it but Blair reminds me of my sister- it’ll be fun to see how that plays out as we learn her personality. She loves to be outside and is a complete night owl. She is very strong – holding her head, pushing up, and holding her weight on her legs all by 2mo – I think also due in large part to the colic as she wiggled and writhed for some comfort. My dad nicknamed her the cottonmouth for her signature push up and wiggle torso move! She is 14+lbs, will contort her body to watch the TV if it’s on, and enjoys baths/being nekkid. She can suck her thumb with the best of them, and we think her hair might go curly like Cora’s because it kinks up when wet.

We are all in love with that sweet, beautiful baby and so blessed by her addition already! Cora is counting the days for sister to play with her and we are excited to watch their bond grow.

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Delivering Stretch

Blair came early. We were ready to schedule an induction at 41.5 weeks (trying to let her have the time she needed but also trying to have my Dr. in town). The week before she was due, we had a lot on our plate: I was writing a grant at work; Kris was on call; our shower renovation was half way through; I had a girls night out to get to; we needed to take maternity pics; and I needed to finish getting some hospital bags packed. We did have a plan for Cora with a few backup options – so yay us! With hindsight, we realized that we did not have a plan for getting me to the hospital if Kris was operating – oops. 

By Wednesday, I had finished my grant and had a fun Girls Night Out, and Kris was on call overnight. I had been feeling really great all week and thought she might be coming that weekend. We had a typical day, but I started feeling really terrible/sick by the time I was fixing Cora’s dinner. I was awake until midnight with my usual heartburn/nausea/insomnia combo, and was awake again at 1:30a with what I thought were more Braxton-Hicks contractions. Cue some stretching, fluids, snack – but they only got stronger so I woke up Kris (who hadn’t been called in yet, thankfully). Then, I decided to get in the shower where it became immediately apparent that that was a terrible idea and we needed to leave NOW! We called our sweet friend Liz at 2:15a to come get Cora. Kris packed the car and the rest of the bag for Cora. I was working through some painfully close, though irregular, contractions and throwing random things in a bag for myself. Kris handed off Cora to Liz, no problems, and we headed to the hospital. Contractions were about 2min apart and thankfully there was nobody on the road because Kris was driving 90mph & I was yelling at him to run the red lights. 

According to the nurses, I was checked into the system by 3:05a. When I was checked in triage, I was at 6cm with 2min contractions – I could barely answer the medical questions they were throwing at me. I was already tired, telling the nurse to get me an epidural, and mad at Kris for not “doing something”!! It felt like we were there a long time, but I know they sped through the triage process and rushed me over to L&D. 

When the L&D nurse checked me, I was at 8cm. Some of those contractions brought tears to my eyes and Kris had to physically rock my body through them because I was so tired and tense. I overheard Kris talking about residents vs attending anesthesia (for good reason since they needle your spine) to the nurse, but I interrupted that with “get whoever is closest and tell them to run”! I was not prepared to do childbirth without an epidural and Kris was not prepared to coach me through that process. Anesthesia was in the room quickly, and they called my Doctor at some point during all of this. As I was bending over for the stick, my water broke and I started involuntarily pushing. The nurse checked me, I was at 10cm, and the chief OB resident was there to catch a baby. Three contractions later (less than 6min) and Blair was born at 4a. If you are bad at math, that’s less than 3hr from when I woke up! My doc walked into the room at 4:01a. 

Kris and the nurse helped hold my legs (I was so tired); and, all I really remember is feeling like I was involuntarily exploding with a lot of pain. Miraculously, I had no tearing and no stitches – what!? Thanks for being early and having a small head, baby girl!! Kris cut her cord, and I was validated in thinking Stretch was big – heavier and longer than her big sister. I was pretty shaky from the adrenaline and the residual pain, so we did skin to skin after a few minutes and she nursed like a seasoned pro. She came out with beautiful skin and looking just like her sister, including almost identical birth marks/stork bites. 

I was so tired and so traumatized. The adrenaline had me wired all day, and the whole experience just felt surreal. It happened so fast that it was really hard for me to process. My mom drove from East Texas and made it in the early afternoon. My dad worked that day but drove up Friday. Kris’s parents also drove from East Texas and made it late that night. Cora had a wonderful day with Liz, Liz’s kids, and a fun park date with other residency friends. She met baby “Bear” in the early evening and was all about it – such a sweet moment to see them meet with enthusiasm!!

Kris stayed in the hospital overnight with me this time (after putting Cora down for bed at the house), and my mom stayed with Cora. OU keeps the baby in the room with you, which I remember being super overwhelming with #1. This time, we had stellar nurses (OMG they make a world of difference) and Blair seemed easier from the get go (slept in long stretches, champ nurser with a great latch, easy to burp). Mom says she’s making up for the last 10mo in utero, which I completely support. My recovery was a lot quicker and I was less stressed since Kris was actually around! We had a rousing homecoming with both sets of parents, a hyped Cora, and doggie introductions at the house. 

Big sister has remained excited and in love with baby, for which we are so thankful. The dogs have taken our new addition without skipping a beat. Blair continues to be a wonderfully easy, cuddly baby. I am recovering well and glad I added a workout during pregnancy – I’m convinced it helps with pregnancy, labor, delivery, and recovery! I am so grateful for Kris not being on trauma and getting a week of FMLA to spend with us and help with Cora. 

So here we go as parents to two sweet sisters – and life will never be the same!

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Family Four Pack – Part 3

Who is this baby inside of me!? I am noticing a personality difference from inside the womb already – calm & relaxed? deliberate? stubborn maybe? I’m curious and sometimes worried about who’s gonna show up soon. I feel a lot bigger than with #1; I am swelling and tired and super guilty for not having prepped very much. I have had some extra third trimester energy, but the toddler sucks it all up!! I’m feeling not ready and also sad that it’s the end of my one-on-one time with Cora.

Month 7 (27-30wk):
I passed my 1hr glucose test this time around (yay me for resisting the bacon cheeseburger for lunch)! Somehow, the drink tasted better than I remember, but I still hate riding that sugar high. This seems to be massive baby bump growth month. All of a sudden I look PREGNANT! And I’m pretty sure I grow visibly larger at least once a week. This comes with the occasional round ligament pain and constant shortness of breath – baby sister is big and takes up as much space as she possibly can. I’m stretching a lot and resting a lot. I have been terrible at exercising this month, but CJ keeps me on my toes and I walked Disney World for a week so I’m not feeling too guilty – plus I’ll do better next month. Not sure what combo of crazy nesting hormones I got, but I start stressing hard about baby prep. I wasn’t able to get much done the last 2mo because Kris was on trauma and not around to help manage house/Cora/pregnant hormones/etc… So my lists get out of control and all I can do is hope things start moving quickly next month. By the end of the month, my appetite is increasing (mmm…butter!!), my heartburn is ridiculous, I’m not sleeping well, and I feel exhausted most every day. In week 30, I rallied and went to a Lyle Lovett/Robert Earl Keen concert for a spontaneous date night with Kris, and this chick moved the entire 2.5hrs – I guess she loves live music (or hates the loud noise) – I was bruised and sore for 2 days afterward! We still don’t have a full name for her yet and should really get on that quick because naming humans is hard.

Month 8 (31-35wk):
I’ve basically been sick all month. Cora had a cold and sneezed in my eye, so I ended up with it of course. It resolved slowly and settled into a deep cough. Hello bronchitis!! Those coughing fits got so bad I was bruising my back and belly – my little squirmer was ok and still moving and grooving though. At the peak of the bronchitis, all of a sudden I couldn’t get out of bed. The morning of my Drs appointment to see what was wrong, I started peeing blood – an asymptomatic UTI – hooray for antibiotics! Rest has been the theme this month and lots of baby prep. Every week, a room in our house is getting DEEP-wash the walls-take everything out of drawers-CLEANED. Because that’s what my nesting urges say to do.. Ok!?!? Kris’s parents celebrated Easter with us and helped get the outside spruced up and stuff moved off of our carpets… For our pro carpet cleaning that I was super excited about. My mom came up the following weekends to help put things back/organize/rearrange the toddler and new baby room. I cannot sleep except on super soft surfaces with a lot of pillows. Something about how my big belly tweaks my back leaves me with sciatica otherwise. I still have the ridiculous heartburn; not too much round ligament pain yet; and the occasional Braxton Hicks. Baby sister’s bones are hardening up and she is getting big – like can hit my esophagus and bladder in one motion. I’m calling her “stretch”. Feeling her movements at this stage is still one of the craziest things in my life experience.

Month 9 (36-40wk): Kris had hit ‘nesting phase’ a few weeks ago and this time around that means evenings out for us (I suppose in anticipation of the infant-we never go anywhere-stage that’s coming). I’m way too tired but I rally (because he’s right and it’s fun). He was over my hormones and cleaning craziness last month, but it’s still going strong. And for some added crazy, I cry a lot and am incompetent in making any decisions. This month, the heartburn worsens to the point that I just eat breakfast/lunch and have a Zantac and ice cream for dinner. I’m still not sleeping great – limbs fall asleep, pee breaks, muscle cramps, etc. And, I’ve started having dizzy spells. Stretch was breech and scaring me with a possible c-section, but she was head down at 38 weeks… Thank you yoga moves!! We discover a leak in our master bath at the beginning of the month. So, in addition to trying to get baby sister’s room ready while working and being a toddler parent and being a huge emotional/physical mess, we get to deal with a shower remodel. Joy. Towards the end, some days I have energy and others I cannot function. My sweet residency friends went for a Girls Night Out and mini-shower, which was exactly what I didn’t know I needed.. some time out of the house and a celebration that relieved a lot of my “you haven’t prepped for this baby” guilt!! I’ve got my eyebrows done, pedicure done, and last pre-natal massage scheduled to get me L&D ready! 

In spite of the validation that my body just doesn’t really like being pregnant, this pregnancy has still been healthy and uncomplicated and we are grateful. I’m so excited to meet #2!! At 39 weeks, everyone is just waiting on the word. My emotions have never really balanced out, so I’ll be on some antidepressants after delivery to help ward off any post-partum depression. Wish us luck.. The agenda this week includes trying to get some pregnancy pics (like we did with #1), finish up packing some hospital bags, wrapping up our shower remodel, and tying up some other loose ends before baby debuts!! 

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Family Four Pack – Part 2

We started telling people around week 12, but I think our parents had already started a few weeks before that. Instead of intentionally telling people, we kind of wing it until somebody notices something and asks. It’s awkward news any way you spit it and we are so laissez faire this go ’round – also we are so not social since Cora goes to sleep around 7 and I vomit until midnight every night. For the record, I still recommend getting a massage at the end of each 3mo block (or more if you can swing it)! With the toddler and Kris’s work schedule, I am more on a 4mo rotation this time through.

Month 4 (13-16wk):
Continue nausea and vomiting. I brought back my old friend Zantac and it relieves some heartburn discomfort. That and lots of pillows (Kris loves the addition to the bed). I still think that breast growth during pregnancy is alarming. The vomiting begins to ease around week 14 and slowly slowly by the end of week 16 I do not puke once! The nausea is still there almost every day with plenty of food aversions, but I am able to eat and sleep! I am still mostly into beef but can enjoy the occasional noodle or fruit.. and watch out candy (not chocolate, candy.. also cookies). And all that means that I get a baby bump pronto. My emotional volatility from a few weeks ago continues into depression/anxiety issues – not quite bad enough to get medicated, but I begin to pare down everything to reduce any/all stressors. Kris to the rescue as always –  helping with logistics and adulting hard when all I can do is cry and sleep.

Month 5 (17-21wk):
The bump grows and I am into maternity pants week 17. I also get the first little quickenings that week, which is comforting. We worried a lot about the health of the baby when I wasn’t able to eat, and then I started worrying about it when my hormone spikes leveled out and I wasn’t sick (what..?!). This was an eventful month as I also pulled my back and it took ~2 weeks to heal up. Ouch. So CJ is learning to walk in the wild which is fun – until you are running really late to everything because we stop and name all the things or until they are running away for fun and are faster than your pregnant self. Our families visit for the holidays and Kris takes the majority of hosting responsibilities so that I don’t over do it – which worked out pretty well overall for me. We had our second trimester ultrasound and found out we are sticking with the pink and glitter! A healthy avg sized girl – surprise! Most everyone thought it was a boy because of the big differences in my pregnancy. Now time to think about names and figure out a space for her! Initially I am surprised by how little I feel her moving, but at the ultrasound she was all over the place – all in stark contrast to our first experience. By the end of the month, I can feel her kicking me just fine! It seems that I will carry similarly to the first go round – all crammed inside with close proximity to my organs. Sure this makes for a cute bump, but my theory is that I am much more uncomfortable – or maybe I complain too much.

Month 6 (22-26wk):
This month is a big upswing in terms of emotions – as long as stress is low, I feel genuinely good. Part of my positivity is surely because anything is better than my first 20 weeks. Normal pregnancy aches and pain are nothing to vomiting and crying everyday. I am slowing down and noticeably more tired. Heartburn is ramping up and weird prego problem is that I have this intense urge for donuts, which then give me intensely painful heartburn (like Zantac eases it but it’s still there).. Similarly I hate how water tastes but I am thirsty all the time no matter how much I drink.. Conundrums!! This little girl seems to be a night owl which wakes me and keeps me up several hours most nights – this month’s theme is tired.

With the easing of my daily vomit routine, I was able to start my workout dvd (for pregnancy). I’m pretty convinced this helped with my 30 min push time during Cora’s delivery, so I am not chancing it and making time to do this again (once a week.. sometimes haha.. better than zero!). Also this trimester is nesting season and Kris hates it! He started trauma in month 5 and forbade any reorganization until it was over (until week 29!).. But let’s be honest, I can’t do anything without his help anyways because I’m tired, swelling (new this pregnancy!), and trying to keep my toddler happy/healthy. So, the lists I am making are ridiculous and totally stressing me out. Yay!!

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Family Four Pack – Part 1

It is happening.. I am pregnant again and due in May! To be fair to the second child, I’ve decided to try to document on a trimester basis like the first time (except I am already behind on the job). Take a deep breath and here we go…

Month 1 (1-4wk):
The positive home pregnancy test was not a total surprise, but was still shocking. Honestly, we knew nothing during these weeks and took the pee test around week 5 or 6..?

Month 2 (5-8wk):
A few close friends we see on the regular found out during this time, but we kept it to ourselves for a bit. I began to tire more quickly, but the narcoleptic exhaustion I had with #1 did not show up.. Praise The Lord! This is probably because Cora already wears me out so much. I didn’t attempt the prenatal vitamins this time and went straight for the adult multivitamins with a lot of folic acid.. but they made me sick. My taste buds made the change because I suddenly didn’t like water, sodas, coffee, or sugary drinks – only unsweet iced tea.. sometimes. And of course, the good ol’ nausea hits me during this month. My stomach begins to hurt right in the middle by my belly button around week 6, and the pain gets worse and more tender until I can’t sleep on it or wear pants (no I wasn’t already showing!). After a week, I called my OB and she squeezed me in for a quickie apt – ruled out twins, ectopic pregnancy, tumor, etc. – found the heartbeat and saw a hand with fingers and a cute little nose! The pain resolved a few days later, and my best guess was slime in the ice machine at work (some others had been feeling ill).. gross.

Month 3 (9-12wk):
We told our families at week 9 by parading Cora around in a “Coolest Sister Ever” shirt while we were on vacation visiting home that week. There were some screams, “Oh my gosh!?”, “Are you serious!?”, “I guess that means you are pregnant?” – reactions ran the gamut. My nausea had ramped up at this point – some days I could not stomach anything and I began vomiting at least once a day. I don’t remember much of this month because I don’t think I did much but keep my toddler alive, show up to work, and vomit. None of the anti-nausea meds worked for me, but one of the on-call Drs said to try more protein… so I forced some meat down in the mornings, which actually helped as I was able to eat and drink something for lunch (but nothing for dinner and no help for that hormone spike that keeps me sick from 5p-12p every day). Mints, gum, and peppermint oil all day every day just to make it through!! My mother generously came up one weekend while Kris was away to cook and freeze meals (since I obviously was not cooking or even near food at night) and to play with Cora so I could sleep. I absolutely hate pictures of food.

By the end of the 1st trimester, I am starting to become emotionally volatile (most likely due to the inability to eat and the lack of sleep for weeks). Kris is very anxious about my health and the baby’s health. Cora is noticing something is up and tries to force food in my mouth when she gets the chance. “Momma, eat eat!!” is heartbreaking; we have many talks that include babies, momma feels sick, momma loves Cora, and there is nothing to worry about. The force feeding does it’s job and I don’t lose more than a few pounds. I am definitely wondering if this is our last pregnancy.

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