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Friday, June 23, 2017

Father's Day Week-end

Saturday afternoon we went to Cody's parents house to swim and cook out.  Nora wears a puddle jumper in the pool and continues to impress us in the water.  She kicks and dog paddles to get around the pool and she actually swam the entire length of their pool!  I was so surprised and proud!  She also jumped off the diving board (with my help) but didn't care for that experience.  Swim lessons are definitely in order for this child!
After swimming, Cody fired up the grill and Nora Grace went with her Papa Joe to help feed the chickens.  She of course thought she was big stuff and had a blast.....it's the little things!
Sunday morning, Cody and Nora made a trip to the donut shop and then came home and played in Nora's princess tent.
We met my dad and the rest of the family for lunch and Nora requested she sit next to grand dad.
After lunch we went to the visitor's center so the kids could run around.  She's still too afraid to touch the turtles and she's a little leery of the large fish tanks but she looked so big looking through the binoculars.
I don't think I could ask for a better dad for Nora Grace.  Cody loves his little girl and she loves him big.  She's very much a daddy's girl!
Dad and all his girls!  
It will be so strange to have a little guy added to the mix for future events!  I feel sorry for him already!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Baby Black #2

So ummmmm......wow!  We're having another baby!  

March 14th I woke up, things started running through my mind, I began to wonder if what I thought might be happening really was happening and I took a test and it confirmed, yep, it's happening!  I wouldn't see Cody that week for three whole days and this is not something I can just tell him over the phone.  I already had a doctor's appointment scheduled for that morning because of a lingering cough........I just had bronchitis but they took blood and ran tests and found that yep, it's still happening!
So I had several days to figure out how I wanted to tell Cody.  Saint Patrick's Day was Friday and I planned to tell him then but when he came home the night before, I just couldn't keep it a secret any longer!  Dinner was awkward but as soon as we got that over with and he sat down in the recliner (because let's face it, he needed to be sitting down when he received this news) I had Nora take this sheet of paper to him.....
Let's just say he was shocked, very shocked, and didn't see that one coming!
At this point, I had already called my ob doctor and scheduled an appointment for three weeks out.  We agreed to keep things under wraps for awhile because honestly no one was expecting the news and I was not sick at all so it was pretty easy to play like nothing was even going on!
Nora Grace went to the first appointment with us, which was a fiasco. She had the ipad to keep herself busy but she was still a little out of sorts.  She took about 1,000 pictures of me on the exam table.......see exhibit A.
We told our doctor the plans to keep things quiet for the time being and that Nora Grace had no clue what was going on so we didn't want her to be involved in seeing the ultrasound or hearing the word baby.  Girl can't keep a secret so we didn't want her letting the cat out of the bag before we were ready.
Funny story:the week before we found out we were pregnant, Nora kept talking about babies in everyone's belly because one of the teachers at her school was pregnant and so is her buddy's mommy.  So I told the school if NG was telling people there was a baby in mommy's belly, that was a fabricated story and there would not be a baby in there anytime soon.  Luckily she quit talking about babies the next week and I never had to tell a bold face lie!
Our appointment went very well.....baby Black #2 was 7.5 weeks along and had a good heart rate and looked healthy.  We got to see the heart flutter on the ultrasound and hear the beat as well.  This was such a different experience from when we were pregnant with Nora.  Cody actually missed the first part of the baby viewing because he had to take someone in the hall and give them a brief talk.  We're excited but also very overwhelmed with already having a two year old and everything else that is going on!
Baby #2 is due exactly two weeks after Nora Grace turns three.

I went to my second appointment where they took blood, asked a ton of questions, and we listened to the baby's heart rate again.  It was 176 so I was positive we were having another girl!!!
My third appointment was very brief, I had few questions because honestly, I don't even feel pregnant.  The heart rate was 145 so I began to wonder if we could be having a boy.  But I reallllly wanted another girl so I was convinced it had to be a girl.  We discussed dates for my c-section and later that evening I received an email and we already know the exact date and time everything will happen (assuming I don't have to switch doctors and clinics)
We ultimately decided to just keep the news under wraps until we found out the gender of the baby at 16 weeks.  I told a few of my friends before then but Cody kept his lips completely sealed.  We never once had to deny any accusations because we had told everyone there wouldn't be another baby until the house sold and no one was expecting this, not even us!
So June 3rd finally came and we went to Hello Baby to find out the gender.  One of the girls who owns the business works at the same OB clinic in Russellville that I use and she did my ultrasounds when I was pregnant with Nora so I felt completely comfortable that she legitimately knew what she was doing.  
Cody was able to hold Nora up close to the big screen and point out all the baby's body parts.  Nora thought that was pretty neat.  I noticed a certain view of the baby and screamed "Is that a boy????" Elizabeth replied yes and I looked over at Cody.  He had the biggest grin and I started to tear up.  They were happy tears....but I was sooooo stinking shocked.  
Nora said all along that she wanted a little sister (I think it's because Queen Elsa has a little sister) but she seemed perfectly happy to find out she would be getting a baby brother.  We did not tell her we were even having a baby until the Wednesday before our gender reveal appointment because we knew the news would spread through her preschool like wildfire and be all over town before long.
  If you want to start a rumor, tell it to a two year old!
We were able to get an audio recording of the baby's heartbeat and it's placed inside the puppy dog's (seen in picture below) body.  Nora can press the button over and over and we're trying to help her understand the changes in our future.  She always asks "where he at?" and we have to explain he's in my belly growing big and strong so he can come out and play with her one day.  

Our little growing family!!!
We told all of our family members and friends that same week-end and made the news public!

Nora went with me to my eighteen week check-up.  The appointment was very brief, the doctor answered a few of my questions, asked how I was feeling, and checked little man's heart beat (which was 140).  Nora had taken the puppy dog with brother's heartbeat with us to the appointment and she did a comparison to the sound the doctor was able to find to the recording in her dog.....she thought that was pretty cool.
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I haven't kept up with bump photos....mainly because I've worn baggy clothes to hide what's there.  But I want to keep up with a few things throughout the process
Total weight gain:  10-15 I know that's far too much for this point but I'm still doing better than I was during the first pregnancy 
Maternity clothes?: Not yet but I'm wearing some bigger clothes I had from a few summers ago before I lost all of the NG baby weight.
Sleep: Mostly good except for the middle of the night trips to the bathroom.  I hate that I can't lay on my back anymore so I do toss and turn a little more than usual
Movement: We felt mild little kicks at 17 weeks.   I have an anterior placenta (like I did with Nora) so it may be a little later on before I feel anything strong.  I have to be laying really still in bed, it's always at night time, but I can feel little movements and Cody has felt them too.  Can't wait for Nora to be able to feel and see him move around.
Gender:  It's a boy!
Labor Signs: None
Belly Button In or Out: In for now
Cravings:  Give me all the peanut butter and salsa!  And cheese....the cheesier the better.  I have loved pretzels dipped in lots of nacho cheese lately.  Lemonade, Sprite, and Lemon water.  I wouldn't say I've really had many odd cravings but I'm always really thirsty and the foods mentioned above always sound yummy.  I did have a random craving for a chicken biscuit though.  I've never even eaten one before.....Cody used to eat them from time to time and I thought that sounded disgusting together.  But I got a random craving for one, tried it, and decided the inventor of the chicken biscuit deserves a pat on the back.  But I haven't had another one since.     No wonder I'm ahead of the recommended weight gain.
What I miss:  Tough work-outs.  My trainer at the gym was the second person (outside of the medical clinic) to find out I was expecting.  We immediately had to lighten my work-outs and I miss the days of being completely sweaty and unable to get out of bed the next morning from being so sore.  Now I just can't get out of bed because my lower back has been killing me!
Milestones: Making it to the second trimester and finding out the gender of the baby!

We are overwhelmed but super excited about baby boy coming in November! I know summer will fly by and he'll be here before we know it! 

Monday, June 19, 2017

May Happenings

The last month has been super busy and I have a lot of pictures to share before I forget everything we've been up to!  One of my good friends from forever ago had another little girl last month.  Nora and I went to visit Miss Macy Kate. Nora wasn't super thrilled or interested about the baby, as you can tell, she posed far away from the baby!
Nora was much more interested in playing with the new big sister Laiken! We brought candy and a balloon and these two were maniacs in the hospital room.
I took Nora to McDonalds after her last day of preschool.  She was so excited about her new toy and went right over to the couple sitting at the table next to us and climbed up in their booth to show them.  They of course thought she was sweet and talked to her and I thought I was never going to get her to leave them alone.  Nora is a friendly child (most of the time) and is not afraid of strangers at all!  If she's riding in the car with her window down, I can usually look back and see her waving to the car next to us.

She's also somewhat interested in fashion, for a two year old at least.  She has an opinion about what she wears and will sometimes put in a request for a certain hairstyle or  accessory.
She also loves animals!!!!  Puppy dogs seem to be the favorite.....and I completely understand why she feels that way....I'm a dog lover myself!
When school ended, Nora and I started a summer of fun together.  Our first adventure was a trip to the cupcake store to have cupcakes with a princess.  She was super sweet and colored with Nora and we started talking and found that she graduated high school with my cousin and we knew quite a few of the same people.  She's Miss U of A and competed this last week-end for Miss Arkansas and I noticed she won 1st runner up!  
Up next will be picture overload of everything we've been up to lately and a post about our latest announcement!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Memorial Day Week-end

Our Memorial Day week-end started at Pack Rat Adventure Center.  The store was hosting an outdoor event for children so we started the visit with a family canoe ride around the small lake.  Nora somehow took her life jacket off during our mini adventure and started whining.  So no more canoe trips for us anytime soon!
Fayettechill clothing sponsored a tye-dying booth so Nora got to create her very own t-shirt.  She chose blue, her favorite color, and the shirt does not look like it belongs to a little girl at all but I can fix that with a giant bow in her hair, ha!

There was an obstacle course, face painting, adoptable pups from the animal shelter, and so many more activities.  

Sunday we had lunch at my dad's house......after we posed in our most patriotic garb. 

My dad had a little pool set up for all the girls to play in
And they enjoyed popsicles on the porch swing after a big afternoon of playing.

Monday we had plans to have lunch at my mom's house.  We were all packed and loaded up, including the furry kids.  As we approached the end of our driveway, I stopped the car, put it in park, and got out to lock our gate.  Cody got out of the passenger side to check the mail.  As I was messing with the lock, I heard Nora yelling from her carseat in the back seat of my car and looked up to see the unattended car rolling on the driveway.  Cody and I happened to both look up at the same time and took off running towards the moving vehicle.  He made it to the driver side door first, hopped in, slammed on the breaks and put the car in park about a foot away from the highway, right as a car was passing by.  I am so so glad that Nora asked me to roll her window down as we were leaving the house that day, otherwise we may not have heard her cry for help.  And I am sooooo glad she realized the something bad was happening when the car was moving and neither mom nor dad were behind the wheel and knew to scream.  I'm not sure that I have ever been so scared in my life!  The dogs were probably bouncing all around in the front seats of the car and knocked the car in drive (I've realize now how easily my car can change gears) . The car loaded with our most precious treasure was headed for the shack across the street (if it hadn't been hit by the oncoming car first).  I have no doubt God was watching over us that day! 
Priscilla looks really bothered by the fiasco she just caused!
So after our very frightening adventure, we finally made it safely to my mom's house for lunch.  And Nora was completely happy with cheetos and chocolate cupcakes.

Family Photo!
I'm working on a Really big and exciting post......details hopefully coming sooner rather than later!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Saying goodbye

This last week has been full of goodbyes.  Our family is going through some major changes right now and I'm a little overwhelmed with everything happening.  It's all good stuff but I don't like change!
Last week, I left the job that I've been at for the last five and half years.  I worked with some really great people (and Satan too) but I take with me some really good memories.  These people watched me get married, build a house, and have a baby!  
The two on the right have little girls older than Nora Grace and were always giving us hand me downs and toys their kids didn't play with anymore.  And the three on the left became like second mothers/grandmother to me.  Cathy and Tammy have kids around my age and grandkids around Nora's age.  Donna "adopted" me as she would say as another one of her grand daughters.  I actually went to school with her grand daughters and her daughter was one of my fourth grade teachers.  We were on the same softball teams when we were younger so when we realized the ties we had with each other, we developed an instant bond.  We sat right next to each other and every day she would ask about Nora Grace and is one of the nicest people I know.  I have several friendships from work that I will miss but those three were the hardest to say goodbye to.  
Nora Grace had her last dance lesson earlier this week.  We started dance lessons at nineteen months old.  It was a total mess and chaos at first but once we moved from the mommy and me class into a group of girls that were a little older than Nora, she started doing really well!
Nora made new friends, she and Carlee were the closest in age and they become good dance buds!  I also sat with Carlee's mom during every lesson and we really enjoyed talking the entire class and getting to know each other.  Carlee's dad used to work at the company I just left so we had plenty to talk about!
Mrs. Kimmie was so sweet with Nora and always so patient.  Nora is very strong willed and sometimes had to be re-directed multiple times during a lesson.  She also started singing songs that she recognized during lessons at the top of her lungs.  It was kinda cute but totally inappropriate for dance class, eek!  But Mrs. K told NG she could sing all she wanted as long as she would dance too.  And I can't tell you how many times K had to get onto for NG for admiring herself in the mirror and not dancing.......this child is very ummm, confident, as her daddy says.
But we really enjoyed dance with Mrs. Kimmie and will miss being a part of the studio.
When we started the school year, we really weren't sure how long it would take for our house to sell or how long NG would get to attend Kids Count Preschool.  But I am really glad we got to finish out the school year (I can say that now that those difficult nine months are in the past)
This child has grown so much physically and I think the personality has developed even more as well!!
Nora is a friendly, outgoing, full of life little lady!
Nora's teacher, Mrs. Mayes, was so awesome this year!  During the last few weeks of school, I would tell NG I loved her and she would reply, "I love Mayes!".  Of course it was a little hurtful, but I am soooo glad she had a teacher taking care of her the majority of the day that she absolutely loved!  Mayes has been taking care of two year olds for twenty something years so she knows those little toddler brains and was always encouraging and knew just the right thing to say.  
These two girls have been together every week day for the last eighteen months (same class two years in a row and together with the sitter all summer).  Nora no longer says I'm her best friend, instead she replies with Kate as the answer to "who's your best friend?"  Thankfully I'm friends with her mom so we will all still get to see each other!
Kate and NG on the last day of school in the baby class compared to Kate and NG on the last day of school in the toddler class.

When I dropped Nora off on her last day, all these silly girls wanted to have their picture taken when they saw me with my phone out.
I've tried to explain to Nora that we don't get to go back to KCP anymore, that one day we will find her a new school to go to and she will make new friends.  She asked to bring Kate, Brecken, and Landree with her.  

On the last day of school, Nora got to play in a bounce house and she thought it was the best day ever!
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When I left work for the last time, I teared up as I gave some of my co-workers a hug and saw the tears in their eyes as well.  But I kept it all together and was actually surprised with myself.  I got a little choked up at dance class when NG gave Mrs. K one last hug and said her goodbyes.  But when I picked Nora up from school one last time.....it was so stinking hard.  It makes me so sad knowing we aren't going to be a part of the most awesome preschool (in my opinion) next fall and being told how much you're going to be missed and are loved by someone else with tears in their eyes turned me into complete mush. I lost it when we got in the car and drove away.  
I am very sad that we're walking away from A LOT of really great people but am so glad to have all the special memories.  



Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Mother's Day Week-end

 So before starting on this post, I went back and read my Mother's Day posts from the last two years....
2016
2015
It's crazy how much Nora has changed each year.  She somewhat understood that Mother's Day was a special day for me and she had to be extra nice all day. I asked her last week if she was going to take me to dinner for Mother's Day and she said "No, I'm gonna get you donuts with daddy".  Cody and I cracked up when she said that because we really don't make frequent trips for donuts but I guess she had a craving!
My mother's day requests were to eat lunch at my favorite restaurant and get a pedicure.  
After lunch on Saturday, we took Nora for her first "pedicure".  All they actually did for her was rinse her little feet off and paint her toes.  She noticed my massage chair and wanted hers to massage her back too.  She was hilarious and loved the experience.
Pedicures with my girl were the highlight of the week-end.  We held hands and she grinned so big as the lady was painting her toes. Looking forward to many more pedicures with this girl!
Nora made a super cute craft at school which made me laugh because I can just hear her saying the response she made to her teacher.  
Saturday evening we ate dinner with Cody's family to celebrate his mom and then the entire family came to our house for ice cream.

We went to my mom's house for lunch on Sunday

And later that afternoon, we went by my grandparents' graves to put flowers and a flag out.  Nora was with me at the store when we bought the flag and she of course wanted to carry it all around and play with it.  I tried to explain that it was for Papa Ben and not a toy.  When we arrived at the cemetery, I told Nora where to put the flag and she kept asking to go to Papa Ben's house.  We tried to explain to her that Grandma Jewell and Papa Ben were in Heaven and so then she asked where's Heaven.  We answered that it was way off above the clouds and she said she couldn't see it.  Cody pulled his phone out and showed Nora the picture of when she was just a few days old and Grandma Jewell was meeting her for the first time and she claimed to remember that, ha! 
I still miss my grandparents so much and wish more than anything that I could take Nora by their house for a visit.  I know they would adore her and she would make them laugh!

So as I was reading my Mother's Day post from last year, I was reminded of the promise I made to myself to not only teach Nora words, colors, and shapes.  But most importantly to teach Nora all about God.  Lately, she's been scared to sleep in her room alone so we've been telling her she is brave because Jesus lives in her heart.  She has made us so proud when she remembers those lessons and wakes up after sleeping all through the night without waking up scared.  We said "you slept good last night, didn't you" and she said "Yes, because Jesus is in my heart!"

And that is why I love being a mom!

Friday, May 12, 2017

A Disney Filled Week-end

Nora's spring dance recital was last week.  The theme was "The Magical World of Dance" and each song was from a Disney movie.    Nora's class did not attend the rehearsal before her recital last December and she had a mini meltdown on stage before the recital started.  So I requested we be at rehearsal this year to get them familiar with the stage.....and she took things very seriously!
She loves the stage and actually wanted to get back up there after her turn was over.
Nora let me curl her hair and then she asked for red lips like mommas so of course I had to share my lipstick with her.  And she may have worn blush too......I know, she's way too young for make-up but it was a special occasion and she is my little doll.
Her class backstage on recital night!
The girls danced to "Hey Mickey" for their ballet routine
 and "Minnie's Boutique" for tap.
I didn't catch it on video or even see this happen, but Cody said that after Nora's first performance she took it upon herself to bow at the audience.
NG has a big obsession with flowers right now and she was soooo excited to receive her bouquet after she danced.
We are so proud of our little dancer!
Nora's cousin Millie was also in the recital this time.
A picture with cousins
Cody's family left before group pictures so here's the little dancer's fans from my side of the family.
After the recital we all went to dinner and then asked cousin Naomi to spend the night with us.
These two stayed up till 11 and then were up the next morning at 6:30.  I think they were both excited about our trip to Little Rock for Disney on Ice!
I purchased our tickets back in January, the day they went on sale, and the closest seats I could get were on the fifth row.  We had to buy a new Elsa gown for the show and Nora looked forward to wearing this dress for dayyyyys.

We snagged our seats and the cotton candy salesman came by so we offered to get some for the girls. And then we couldn't back out when he said it was $15.....but at least it came with a cool Olaf hat, ha!
Cody was getting his moneys worth out of that thing!
Queen Elsa had a big day and was exhausted after all the excitement!
Sweet cousins
It sure is fun having a little girl!