Thursday, January 31, 2013

Rookie Mommy Rambles

{i'm wearing:  michael kors top (similar)// h&m belt // le spec sunnies // ankle pants }

We sit and stare at Tuck.
And wonder, if there is anything better than babies?
Before he was around I thought OH SURELY.  now... no way.  nothing better.
I am the annoying person now. 
the one that posts photos of her baby on facebook.
My friend count is sure to take a hit.
We're responsible for a teeny tiny man human.
Most humbling and amazing honor.
When I first met him, i kissed his lips.
and said "I am his first kiss!" to JB.
I can't imagine I'll be a great mother in law. . .  lol.
I've been peed on two times already.
  When a babies hollering about his wet diaper, you forget to use a peepee teepee.  
and you get peed on.  
and you don't even care.
JB brings me breakfast in bed every morning since we've been home.
hot oatmeal, coffee, orange juice. 
bless him.   
{pregnant ladies, reference this!}
I now want a hundred baby boys.
the girl, who at one time, only ever wanted girls.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

a few thoughts on motherhood, three weeks into the field.

{booties and hat handmade by shannon reeve's momma!}

Motherhood.  He's ours.  This perfect tiny gift from above.  I'm taken aback by that fact all of the time now.  I check to make sure he is breathing.  far too much.  I try to replace worry with my prayers for him.  I have so many prayers and the list gets longer daily ... it is a tall order.   His scent makes my heart do things it hasn't ever experienced.  He is the best thing I've ever smelled.  Better than magnolias or confederate jasmine... Or even salt air.   His little noises.  They sound like a baby lambs.  I know I would do anything for him.  Will do anything. Crazy things I am sure.  This is the most exciting, exhilarating, exhausting journey I've been on.  Frustrating too.  I'd do anything to soothe him when he cries.  Nursing.  oh, that's so not as easy as I thought it would be.  But it gets better every day ... dare I say I'm starting to enjoy it.  If I could I'd spend my days staring at him.  He has my big eyes.  I had the same wide eyed expressions as a newborn too.  Seeing his daddies nose, cheeks, ears on him makes me warm and fuzzy inside when I look at him.  We made this.  This perfect little creature.  I'm so glad we did.  Dare I also say, parenthood has enriched our marriage in unexpected ways.  I am so thankful I get to do this with him.  My best friend makes one heck of a dad.  

thanks for listening to this new mommy ramble.  

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

two loves of my life meeting for the first time

Every single time I see these pictures my eyeballs spring a leak.
love these two guys so much it makes my heart ache.  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Mama caley // Ellie love

Pre-eclampsia or preeclampsia is a medical condition in which hypertension arises in pregnancy (gestational hypertension) in association with significant amounts of protein in the urine.
Pre-eclampsia is a set of symptoms rather than any causative factor, and there are many different causes for the condition. It appears likely that there are substances from the placenta that can cause endothelial dysfunction in the maternal blood vessels of susceptible women.[1] While blood pressure elevation is the most visible sign of the disease, it involves generalized damage to the maternal endotheliumkidneys, and liver, with the release of vasoconstrictive factors being secondary to the original damage.
Pre-eclampsia may develop from 20 weeks' gestation (it is considered early onset before 32 weeks, which is associated with an increased morbidity). Its progress differs among patients; most cases are diagnosed before labor typically would begin. Pre-eclampsia may also occur up to six weeks after delivery. Apart from Caesarean section and induction of labor (and therefore delivery of the placenta), there is no known cure. It is the most common of the dangerous pregnancy complications; it may affect both the mother and fetus.[1]

Hi lovely ladies and excited Fairytales are True loyal readers,

I'm Caley from Ellie Love - I don't know about you but I am really hoping that bebe Tuck has arrived by the time you read this!! Are you excited as I am? Following this journey with Sarah and her precious family has been special and I absolutely cannot wait to see his precious face. But as beautiful mama Sarah enjoys making special memories with her new little man, I am here to give you a quick recap on my pregnancy/birth story (and the joys pains of pre-eclampsia).

As the above definition states, pre-eclampsia is not fun and not something that should be taken lightly, although the symptoms are pretty obvious. Unfortunately though, there is no cure or way to prevent or help it...

I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia at 31 weeks of my pregnancy and it was noticed in a routine blood pressure check at one of my scans. In South Africa, we go for a scan and visit the gynae once a month for our whole pregnancy, and once a week in the last four weeks of the pregnancy (a heck of a lot but a nice way to keep up to date with baby's progress!) At 31 weeks, my blood pressure was 122/89 - slightly higher than the norm of 120/80 but not bad. At 32 weeks, my BP reading was 125/92 - high enough to make my gynae prescribe high BP medication for two week. At 34 weeks, my BP reading was 128/95 - too high and still climbing (even with the medication). I was then put on a stronger dose of medication for another 2 weeks and ordered on bed rest. Bed rest? For this busy mama? This was a tough ask but I tried my best! 

At 36 weeks, my BP reading was 130/102 - extremely high and very dangerous for this mama and her heart. The main concern for me and my hubs is that our baby was still not considered "full term" and we didn't want to risk have a C-section and for our baby to struggle breathing or being in the NICU. My gynae asked to see me daily for check ups and with this monitoring would make the final call. 

On Friday, 13th April 2013 (37 weeks and 2 days), I drove myself to my gynae for my routine BP check up. I out out my arm, hooked up to the machine and gazed at a red screen that said 135/110!!!! Gynae did an internal, noticed that baby had started engaging, did a quick scan and confirmed baby's current weight was 3,3kgs and ordered an emergency C-section for lunchtime that day. Our baby was coming...

I drove home, collected my husband and our hospital bags, and returned to the hospital to check in and become a mommy for the very first time. my C-section was quick and easy with limited discomfort and no pain and our healthy baby girl, Sophie Jade was born at 14:55 weighing exactly 3.3kgs. And at 14:56, my BP reading was back to 120/80 - a sure sign that our little princess just wanted to get out and come and meet us. 

Pre-eclampsia is not to be taken lightly - it can be dangerous for both mother and child. The higher risk is on mom and her heart and natural birth is not recommended as blood pressure can spike intensely during labour and the actual few minutes traveling down the birth canal. High blood pressure and extreme swelling are tell tale signs and bed rest and limited movement is recommended. However, the down side to this is it can also cause extreme weigh gain. I gained 8kgs after being diagnosed and in those last 6 weeks, and a grand total of 22kgs during my whole pregnancy! Listen to your gynae, he/she always knows best and will do and recommend what is best for both mother and child.

Friday the 13th will now always be our lucky day.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Mama Brittany // Life of Charmings

hello friends of sweet sarah! i am brittany from life of charmings! i have a little lady baby of my very own, who was born in late july and growing oh so quickly, and i am SO excited for sarah to get to experience all of the things i've loved so much about motherhood. it's been a pretty incredible ride for me so far, so i thought i'd share five of my favorite parts of having a baby and life as a new mom...
1. that very first moment. before my sweet girl was born i tried a thousand times to picture them handing her to me for the very first time, but i just couldn't even imagine it. i was so looking forward to that indescribable moment where they put her on my chest and we first looked into each others' eyes... and when i finally got my moment, it was truly amazing. she was the most beautiful and perfect little blue-ish purple person i have ever seen! there's really nothing like saying that first hello to your very own tiny human. i know that so many women don't get the birth experience that they necessarily hoped for, and heck, i guess we're all just lucky we can survive it this day in age! but whenever your first moment is... it's guaranteed to be pretty amazing.

2. getting to spend time in that nursery you worked so hard on! i absolutely LOVE using my baby girl's room now. it fills my heart with such huge amounts of happiness to see her smiling and cozy in the little space i spent days and nights preparing just for her. it's crazy that just a handful of months ago i sat alone in that room trying to picture the future with my little one, and now here we are!

3. the first official smile. like, not just their little reflexes [although, those are seriously cute], but when they really smile at YOU! and it typically first starts to happen when they look at their mommy, just to make you feel extra good about all your hard work! and then, later on, the first giggle... ahh, melt me into a puddle. so amazing.

4. gaining the confidence to really trust your own intuition. gosh, nothing teaches this like motherhood. i've quickly learned that everybody does things differently, and not only that, every baby is different! so, even though people at some point want give their input or feedback on how things are done, you can just nod and smile, because nobody knows what's best for you and your baby like you do. it's empowering!

5. nursing! of course, plenty of people do not choose to breastfeed for one reason or another, which is totally fine, but for me, it has become one of my favorite activities. i think babies are the absolute sweetest things ever when they nurse, and i have really loved getting to bond in such a natural, cuddly little way. sometimes, in the wee hours of the night, there is just nothing more wonderful than pulling my hungry girl up next to me and getting all snuggled for her late night/early morning snack. she'll sometimes rub my skin really gently with her little hand, and i think how crazy it is that the tiny, gentle hand of my 4-month-old is so comforting to me, something i hadn't expected. not to mention, there's all that calorie burning that comes with nursing, too! which is kind of hilarious. they say you're supposed to be taking in 2,500 calories a day while nursing, so my appetite now rivals my husbands. eat an entire pizza? don't mind if i do!

it has been such a wonderful gift to get to enjoy the first months of my little one's life with her. motherhood is beautiful, and i think the biggest thing to remember is that right from day one, it all just goes so fast. babies aren't babies for long [tear!], so despite the exhaustion, if you're up and snuggling your little one at 3am, try to cherish it... and then later on let your husband or mommy hold the baby so you can catch a little shuteye!

sarah, you are going to make one absolutely incredible mother to one very loved little boy! welcome, baby tuck!!

Mama Nicole // Busy Girl

Well hello there FTAT readers, I'm so glad Sarah is letting me blog sit while she's off enjoying sweet baby Tuck :) It goes without saying that I think baby boys are the bees knees.
Which is why finding out that my husband and I are expecting one in April was the icing on the cake to a great year.

Way back when our future little boy was just the size of a peanut, my girlfriends approached me with the idea of having a gender reveal party.  My immediate response was: "You want to throw me a party where there's cake involved?  That's kind of a no-brainer."

So on a very cold, blustery Monday after Thanksgiving,  my husband Adam and I went to our anatomy ultrasound.  With this darling little card in hand for the tech to fill out, seal up and keep our baby's private parts a secret.

That night was something of a test.  Having that important envelope in our hands was so tempting.  But we managed to hold it together until it was safely placed in our party planners' hands.

Finally, six very long days later, our moment had arrived.  Having never been to a gender reveal party before, I wasn't quite sure what to expect, other than scoping out some inspiration on Pinterest.  To say that I was blown away by what my girlfriends had planned would be an understatement.

The food, oh my word.  Every dish was a play on a traditional 'kids' food with a grown-up twist.
Mini pizzas with pears, caramelized onions, chives and pecorino cheese
Hamburgers made with braised spare ribs.  Mac'n'cheese consisting of three cheese risotto topped with crispy panchetta.  Grilled cheese and tomato bisque.
And pigs in a blanket.  Upgraded from hot dogs to spicy lamb and goat sausage

I ate two of everything.
Except for the pizza.
I ate three of those.

And then there was the cake.  With our baby's gender concealed under layers of rich, buttercream icing.

Our guests were sure that the middle held a hint of blue.

With the votes tallied and our friends and family gathered around, Adam and I were finally allowed to cut the first slice.

Such a sweet surprise was housed inside: we're expecting a little boy come April!

Every detail of this party was perfect.
Absolutely perfect.
I'm in awe of the wonderful girlfriends I've been blessed with.  For them to take the time to plan such a thoughtful party with every detail just so.  Well, I'm just the luckiest.
And as for the whole gender reveal concept?  I cannot recommend it enough if you have friends or family willing to help you host a get together.  Getting to share the joy of finding out whether you're expecting a little lady or gent with all your loved ones made the moment so special.  Seeing the anticipation and joy on their faces made my heart swell.  Our baby boy is so lucky to have such wonderful people in his life!

I cannot wait for him to make his debut so he and Tuck can finally become friends :)
Congrats Sarah & JB!

head on over to:
Busy Girl for more (:

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mama Shannon //. The scribble pad

Good morning lovely friends of Sarah! I’m Shannon and it is an honor to be here with you today. We are all over the moon with excitement for baby Tuck. I have been waiting for his arrival for years! (yes, years. you don’t even want to know the number of times I emailed Sarah or thought about emailing Sarah about when she’d be making babies!) 

Actually, I think Tuck is the prime time show in blogland a bit this winter. Because pictures of him (and his gorgeous mama) are better blog material than any perfectly adorn Christmas tree, bokeh effect, or chocolate chip cookie recipe I have ever seen!

So while Sarah and JB are adorning their new little one with hugs and kisses and cuddles galore, I get to share a bit with you.

First, in full disclosure you should know that writing this post is making me a bit weepy. Never much of a crier, becoming a momma has made me a full on ugly crier. UGLY cry. Like the ugliest you have ever seen. And then I try to talk my way through it so things get uglier. You get the picture, right?

Second, I am surrounded by boys. I have been married to my college sweetheart for over 6 years. Our son Behr was born in January 2011, and is about to celebrate his second birthday {insert ugly cry}. I am due with another boy at the end of March {ugly cry again} so I am a bit hormonal these days. Which is quite the contrast from the rest of my family. It is full on testosterone in our house these days with dinosaurs, trains, and destruction reigning supreme. Side note: who knew how many uses there are for a mini golf club? They are fabulous at clearing items off a table, knocking down pictures and causing bruises. 

Here are a few things I think Sarah {and everyone else} should know about living with boys.

Wild ride: We jump, and soar, and fall, and crash, and bound at full speed, constantly. Scars become battle wounds, revealed with a sense of pride. And precious milky baby skin gets scrapped faster than you can reapply healing ointment.

Volume: Everything is louder with boys. And the volume seems to be a constant. Invest in earplugs. You can find me sporting some while I busy myself around the house on an average Saturday afternoon.

 Rejection: Somehow rejection from sons seems to come faster than daughters. Our family is officially in the “No, Momma” phase. My heart breaks a little each time.

Love and Kisses: Here is where it all comes full circle. No matter how wild, how loud, or how cruel their rejection may be, when little boys decide to crawl up into your lap, grab your face with two hands, and plant a disgustingly wet wide mouth kiss on your face, you fall more in love that you ever thought possible, again and again and again. Each time they nuzzle their freshly bathed head into your shoulder for some pre-bedtime snuggles, or reach up to grab your hand, just because, you get transported back to the dreamy newborn days.

Motherhood is an emotional roller coaster, full of moments you want to forget and others you will cherish forever. But the rewards are rich. Every momma who reads this blog can likely attest to both their worst motherhood moment and an ever growing list of favorites. Fortunately, our own human error seems to be far outweighed by the glorious plan God has for his children. {cue happy tears...} So I want to remind JB and Sarah that no matter how many “oopsies” they make in these whirlwind few weeks of figuring it all out, and the years to follow, God has an incredible plan for Tuck. An incredible plan indeed.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Mama Bridget // tales of me and the husband plus 5 kids and a gracie

hi everyone!  i'm here because, well, sarah and jb had their little babe!  hurrah hurrah!!!!!  i couldn't be more excited for those three.  i think little tuck has got two seriously loving parents and what more could a baby want?  

now, if you've been reading my blog long enough then you've seen this post before.  i've done it as a guest post i thiiiink twice.  i should probably keep track and i should probably stop recycling guest posts but! it's a good one for a new mom (and the visitors-to-the-new-mom) so i'm gonna use it anyway.

so, here's me, the one doing the guest post.  at 39 weeks and then again a few months ago with that previously-belly-baby out and about!  his name is parker and he's pretty much the apple of my eye.  my sidekick, my fifth appendage, my baby.  and i love it.

after having him, i discovered some things about myself.  like, I AM A GERMOPHOBE.  and like I AM THE PROTECTOR OF THE NAPS SO IF YOU WAKE THE BABY YOU DIE.  little (ha!) things like that.  my older sister wrote some of the below--and i added lots of commentary.  so, enjoy!  and, just know, you don't need to take it tooooo seriously.

numero uno. 
if you are sick, stay home.  that means you, sickie.  the new mom will hear that cough, sniffle, sneeze even if you don't and she will give you the evil eye as you fill her santized home with germs.  so, leave your dinner and gift on the doorstep and don't you even think about entering that house.  don't you do it!  turn around!

numero dos.
don't show up unannounced.  she might be right in the middle of a difficult feed and lo and behold you end up seeing way more than you intended (engorged boob!) and she's been through the ringer so she's most likely entirely unaware (or plain old doesn't care cause, let's face it, she just showed her vajay to potentially a roomful of people so what's a little nip?) that she just flashed you.  so, give her a call.  and on that phone call see if she needs you to pick anything up.  diapers... wipes... snacks... eggs... wine... vodka... beer... where was i?

numero tres.
pamper mom.  give her some water, some cut up veggies, some sandwich fixings, some bagels and cream cheese some trader joes peanut butter cups (they happen to be my favorite)... you get the picture.  i don't think i've ever been hungrier AND less inclined to make food than when i was postpartum.  so food is a WIN.  and, let's go a few steps further: consider getting your license in massage therapy before coming and put that to good use.  

numero cuatro.
wash your hands.  then wash them again.  if you happen to touch your skeevy car keys when you're leaving the kitchen just after washing them, turn around and redo it.  if you answer your cell phone after washing them, get your butt back in there and wash them again.  if you rub your nose, touch your ear, eyebrow, or hair, wash them again.  they should be red, raw, and cracking when you leave.  this is entirely an exaggeration that i had a lot of fun writing.

numero cinco.
don't kiss the baby on the lips.  or face.  or hands.  come on people, we know better, right?

numero seis.
don't bring your small children.  as my sister put it, they are filthy creatures.  sweet, innocent, tender, yes.  but filthy.

numero siete.  
ask what you can do.  laundry?  filling the dishwasher?  painting the house?  washing the windows?  cleaning the chimney?  ya know.  little things.

numero ocho.
bring a meal and some snacks.  she will love you forever.  i guess that's kind of like number three too.  whatever!  it bears repeating!

numero nueve. 
take a cue from mom.  if she seems tired, spent... get your butt outta there fast.  don't forget to vacuum and mop on your way out.  

well, that should be it.  pretty easy peasy if you ask me.  i bet ya'll can't wait to visit!

 // Go check out Bridget's blog, here

Friday, January 11, 2013

Mama Megan Mackey

Hey there friends. I'm Megan and I blog over at Mackey Madness. I'm currently about 35 weeks pregnant with a little girl and I just cannot wait to meet her.

picture via Lindsey Caroon

 It has been so fun to be on this pregnancy journey with Sarah and I just know that she is going to be the best mom. That baby boy is blessed. : )

I've only been on the ride of motherhood for a short time compared to most, but I've already learned that it is a crazy, emotional, blessed journey. Sometimes I can think of a million words to describe it and sometimes I can't think of any that do it justice. 

For me it began from the moment that I saw that positive pregnancy test. My world changed, even though I wouldn't really begin to "see" any changes for months. There's just something about knowing that you are carrying a little life inside of you that changes you to the core. It's a miracle...a God-given miracle to be blessed with a child. 

I've already learned that motherhood is scary. We lost our first baby this past February at 11 weeks of pregnancy and it was devastating. During this current pregnancy, I have been a ball of nerves at times, sometimes forgetting that I have no control over anything. Forgetting that God already knows our path and is guiding our steps. With all of the scary things that happen these days, from sickness to the recent tragic school shooting, I have had to learn to let go and let God. I can't protect this little girl from all of the bad parts of life. It's not possible. But I can teach her to love the Lord and to live her life for Him, so that no matter what happens, she spends her eternity in heaven. 

There's so many things that I dream of for our little girl. I want her to be happy. To know that she is loved. To know that someone died for her to live. I want her to exude joy and life. I want her to share the love of Jesus. I want her to be confident in herself, to know that she was made perfect in the eyes of our Creator. I want her to have a heart for people. To love life and really love people. 
I know that I have only tasted the beginnings of motherhood and the thought makes my heart race. How can I love her more than I already do now? But I know that I will, as soon as I hold her. I can't wait to see where this journey takes me, with myself and in our marriage. 

Sarah, I can't wait to see you blossom and grow as a mother! You are an inspiration.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Welcome Tuck!

We welcomed our son John Bullock Tucker IV into the world on January 7th, 2013 at 7:21pm.
6 pounds, 2 oz.  10 fingers, 10 toes.  The most perfect, sweetest thing we've ever seen.  God has abundantly blessed us with our little Tuck!  He is the most amazing little miracle. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Letters to Tuck // Vol. 12

Hi Tuck,
A couple updates for you!  
Your nursery is (for the most part) ready!!  We just need you. 
Your dad's been practicing on your fur sis Lola.  
We can't wait for you to join our famalamb!! 

This morning I asked your dad what three characteristics he hopes you possess... his answer:  patience, a sense of humor, and a positive attitude.

Some of my favorite things about your dad for certain.  I have a feeling he will be passing them down to you!

You are literally hours?  days?  away from meeting us.  We already feel so blessed to be your parents.  It's surreal that we'll get to kiss your lips and snuggle you so soon.

I love you so much.

PS:  After the babe arrives you'll be hearing from some of my favorite mommas.  I know you'll love them and their guest posts (:  Thank you for all of your love, support, encouragement, laughs these past months.  I love this community and feel grateful to connect with so many amazing women every day whether it's here, somewhere else in cyberspace or in person.  so much love.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

hey kate middleton, you need some camilyn beth in your pregnant life. {+ more photos from the shower. }

seriously, kate.  get on it.
{camilyn beth dress // k.slademade clutch // oia jules bracelt // michael kors watch }
{gorg paper collaboration from paper please + shannon kirsten}
elderflower sparkling water, and freshly brewed iced tea.  what's better?

spotted:  cami in camilynbeth ss13
sorry my hot pink maternity bra is showing (; 

LOVE all of these women so much.  

Happy 2nd Friends!  Still no baby news ... yet!  

{other post on the shower}