My blog has been a little silent recently, but I have a really great 7-pound-11-ounce reason, you guys! On the 4th of July our daughter Joie Flannery made her debut. It took me a long time to write and have the nerve to publish Rowan’s birth story from 2+ years ago, but — as I said then and even know to be truer now -- reading birth stories while pregnant was really helpful for me personally. So sharing this topic is important to me.
Birth is a CRAZY thing, y’all. It’s insane how it can even be possible and how *differently* it happens with each mother and each baby. I expected things to go similarly (or at least partially the same) as Rowan’s birth, so I was really surprised with how unique it was.
And cue the DISCLAIMER: This is a natural birth story that went the way I was hoping… which is not how all births go. I hope this journal is encouraging for anyone fearing birth or wanting a natural birth to know that sometimes it CAN go just as you plan and hope. I also don’t like for people to call me a hero-mom for having a natural birth… All moms are heroes for undergoing the most life-altering experience that exists. Those who endure complications should get way more props than me. I’m a proponent of being patient and trusting God with your birth — and then (when 100% necessary) welcoming the help from modern medicine when it’s needed.
Wow, I’ve seriously been trying to write this post for over a month now and can never seem to finish! Ha! #momlife. I’ve had some friends ask about how the 3-day method went, so I didn’t want to give up on sharing my thoughts.
Before actually getting started, you really must read the entire method created by Lora Jenson. There are so many things I heard about potty training and was doing *mostly* right. Rowan was even interested in it and used the potty at 18 months old! Had I not known this FULL method though, I don’t know if I could’ve sealed the deal for him to be fully trained before he turned 2 1/2… maybe not even by three! He's a strong-willed one.
Here are the 5 things that surprised me the most…
I've been wanting to write this post for a long time. Since this blog serves as a journal for our kids, I thought it would be interesting to share the results of my ancestry testing that my dad got us for Christmas. Has anyone reading this done one of these tests? I'd love to hear your thoughts as well... especially if you did a different kind.
We did the ancestry.com spit-in-a-tube test and mailed it off. I've been into working on my family tree for a whole decade now, and it has been very interesting to me. I've found criminals and queens and that my paternal grandmother is first cousins 8-times-removed with Elvis.
I found the exact town in Ireland where my maternal grandmother's family lived before immigrating. When I took her there, I was able to say, "Well this is it! We are driving through the town!" It was basically just a farming area with not much to see... but it was special to us.
"Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. 'Be still,' they say, 'watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.'"
So to my results...
Before I begin this story... I'd like to say that I am not a "ranty" type of person. I hop on soap boxes very minimally and briefly, and I like to keep it that way. I also like to keep it within real life conversations and not in long, annoying facebook statuses. With that said, I just needed to get a parenting dilemma off of my chest.
So you know that baby or toddler who's been so loud in a restaurant, on a plane, or at a coffee shop... the one who caused you to think to yourself "MAN! Why did that mom bring that kid in here? Or why don't they leave or give some discipline?!" Well, today my kid was the one crowing like a rooster in the middle of a quiet, trendy coffee shop, and it just came out of nowhere! His little 1 year old cousin who he hasn't seen in a while was there, and he literally COULD NOT help but show off with all of his (to him) hilarious jokes and animal noises. Also he was super excited about going to the zoo, and was not having much patience as we let the rain pass.
This is where you guys come into play...
We are big fans of snow days over here! They usually only come once or twice a year, so we don't usually have time to get sick of them. Our city also doesn't have enough salt trucks or plows to handle all of the icy roads, so we get to completely shut down for a day or two.
It's even better when no ice has weighed down power lines, and we are still cozy with all the comforts of home (internet, heat and all) like today.
Rowan wanted to sled like the big kids for the first time, so we had to improvise with a plastic storage box. It was a pretty good solution thanks to Zack's ingenuity, and he didn't topple out even once! I'm also proud of myself that I didn't take any pregnant-falls on the ice, even though everything is pretty much like ice skating.
I don't really have anything monumental to share other than our funny storage box idea.. hahaha! But I just wanted to remember this day, because it's been really fun. I also have a recent obsession with Enneagram tri-types and instincts this week, and I just really want ALL my friends to take Enneagram tests so I can know what everyone's dominant type (and wing) is. In between building snowmen, taking naps and playing board games, you should get on that right now and tell me what you are. If you don't, then I'll feel like a big piece of my friendships are missing -- like the type 4 wing 3 that I am. Ha!
If you're wondering why my blog has been a little quiet the past month or two... I've got some pretty good excuses like morning sickness, sleepiness, and extreme irritability! Ha! We are finally about to start our home addition (after months and months), and it will literally come *just* in time for our other addition that's on the way -- due July 1, 2017.
That pea of an ultrasound is a few months old, so I'm really looking forward to our half-way ultrasound in a few weeks. Right before Christmas, we got the call about healthy chromosomes + the baby's gender, so we had an exciting Christmas day surprising our families.
In honor of a fun weekend enjoying the premiere of another J.K. Rowling story, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, I thought I'd share more about our little experience in the wizarding world. Over in Scotland, the Jacobite Steam Train known to many as the "Hogwarts Express" is packing up its coal for the winter. However, if you are planning a Scotland trip for this upcoming summer, tickets for the 2017 season go on sale today, November 18th!
The train will run from May 1st to October 27th next year (with the exception of special Christmas rides) and all of those months are prime for visiting Scotland. We especially loved our September visit (as opposed to our last trip in March), because everything was so colorful with loads of purple heather and red rowan tree berries in bloom.
So here are my top tips for including this excursion into your Scotland itinerary.
Rowan turned two this month, and we had a birthday breakfast picnic with our family + a few of his little friends. And I did it! I finally did it! I threw a low-key party without stressing (except once for five minutes), no crafting, and zero let-down expectations.
The only theme I did was everything in dark blue (his favorite color). So I used picnic blanket plaids in blue and had lots and lots of blue balloons around his birthday present -- a teepee! (I figured this was the last year before he was fully talking and submitting birthday theme requests, so I took it and ran! One last, easy, cutesy party before dinosaurs invade my life!)
When we were dating, I'd make Zack a compilation of all of our videos for that calendar year. Now that my biggest life milestones revolve around being a mom, they revolve around our little son. These videos are one of my most favorite things to do!
Aaaand we're BACK! I hope none of you are tired of me talking about our trip already. If you are, then I'm not sure why you are looking at my blog right now. Get outa here!... JK I love you, please be my friend. You guys, the mom-brain and travel-haze is so real, because I've been home for about a week and am already forgetting details about things that happened. God help meh! I'm so glad I'm writing this down! If you missed part one about our Oxford visit + how we packed, then check that out first.
So on the 5th day of our trip... "my true love gave to meeee... FIVE GOLDEN--"
Sorry. Staying on track...
DAY 5: When we were planning this section of the trip, we definitely made a calendar error. We wanted to just take a train to Glasgow and stay there for a day, but then we realized we were one day short and would have to stay on the railway alllll the way to Fort William with only a short stop-off in Glasgow.