Swimming Lessons Recap

Well, I have to say that swimming ended really well and was worth every penny. If you live in Florida I would highly recommend Sharks and Minnows. Lilly's attitude really improved from week one and while she did still tell me (every day) that she didn't want to go under water she did it like a champ. Her teacher, Miss Brittany, was perfect. Tough but not too tough. She kept the class moving and everyone on task even when it was difficult. I should have done this recap earlier so I could remember what we learned and how she did on each day but -you know- I didn't. Here are some of the overall skills she learned: 
-beginners back float 
-jumping into the pool, turning and getting back to the ledge 
-climbing out of the pool
-crawling along the edge of the pool in the water (monkey crawl) 
-lots of introduction to under water swimming

We have been to the pool almost every day since we wrapped lessons and it has been amazing! Lilly is so confident (a little too confident sometimes) and goes under all by herself. She like to hang onto the edge of the wall and count "one, two, free!" and she lets go, goes under, doggie paddles for a few seconds and then pulls herself back up. I do lots of clapping and cheering from my life guard position right next to her. She will even remind me when I forget to clap. "Clap mama!" My bad. 

When we are done I always ask her who the best swimmer is and she confidently says "LILLY!" A true statement if you ask me.

Mother's Day

jacket- old target
dress- thrifted
necklace- my wedding ring on a chain since it doesn't fit my fat fingers anymore.
Lilly's dress- H&M

I hope all of you ladies had a wonderful Mother's Day. Mine was very low key. Church in the morning, Five Guys for lunch (mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm) with Cold Stone after (double mmmmmmmmm) and lots of rest and relaxation. I feel so blessed to be Lillian Elouise's mommy. I can't wait until next year when I have two little munchkins running around. Le sigh. Life is good. 

ps- I'm linking up with the haps!

Maternity Pictures: Family

These pictures are my favorites. I just love my little family so much! We took this set in our back yard which is really a testament to Jordan's talent because my back yard is a MESS! That picture of Lilly with the huge/crazy smile makes me laugh so hard. There are so many like that in the proofs. I love being her mommy. 

Click these links for part one and two of my maternity pictures.

Maternity Pictures: Rose Garden

Our second location was at a rose garden right down the street from Sassafras. See a theme here? hint: it's Rosie. Jordan took pictures with of me with a stargazer lily when I was pregnant with Lilly so I wanted to carry on the tradition. We even managed to find a rose and a lily. Oh, my heart. I have totally embraced the fact that I have become one of those people who have a theme for their kids names. A garden of babies! Don't judge. I'll share the last set of pictures with the whole family tomorrow.

You can check out the first batch of pictures here!

Maternity Pictures: Sassafras

My sweet friend and amazing photographer Jordan took some maternity pictures for me last weekend. I shouldn't say some, I should say a lot of maternity pictures. So many that I will be sharing my favorites in 3 separate posts- one for each location we shot at. I love them so so so much. If you are in central Florida and need pictures taken do yourself a favor and check Jordan out.

Our first location was so much fun. Sassafras Sweet Shoppeis a local vintage inspired candy store. They sell every kind of candy you can imagine. We ran with the retro theme with a Rosie the Riveter look. I thought it would be hysterical to take some pictures with my big bump and candy cigs too- very Betty Draper and so wrong. I'll share more pictures tomorrow. 

Swimming Lessons: Week One

Lilly started taking swimming last Monday. We have them Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for 2 and a half weeks. The above picture was taken before the first lesson. I had talked it up for a week (because I mistakenly told her they started the Monday before they actually did start- that's all she could talk about for a week. How do kids remember that kind of stuff and not the "no coloring on the walls" kind of stuff?!)  She was very excited! Here is how the first week progressed:

Lilly was very happy before, during and after class. We learned how to safely get in and out of the pool, how to monkey crawl and started working on kicks and putting our face in the water. Lilly did an outstanding job.

I was not optismistic about this class. If you follow me on twitter or instagram then you already know about NapGate2012. If not you can catch up here. The pictures are out of order but I'm confident you can figure it out. NapGate took place on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. It did not set us up for success during swimming.The perfect toddler storm was made complete by the fact that I had to wake her from her nap to get to class on time and that it was our first day of going under water. Lilly was not happy before class, was a crying/shaking mess during class and was very discouraged after class. We learned to go underwater, started to learn about floating on our backs and continued working on kicks. It was not our best day ever. 

Before class Lilly was not excited. "I don't wanna go under da water!" was on repeat until class started. During class Lilly only cried/shook a little bit but did the exercises without complaint and even gave high fives after coming up out of the water. We continued working on all the skills we had learned during the week. After class Lilly went was very quiet. She snuggled Lion, had a lollipop reward and watched the big girls start their lessons. That was a game changer. Watching the big girls swim under water made Lilly feel very excited and special. She kept saying "They go under water like me, mama!" as she scooted closer and closer towards the pool. I eventually had to bring her back to where I was sitting and she said "Thank you for putting me under da water, mama." Then my heart melted. 

So I am feeling optimistic about the rest of our lessons. My plan is to continue talking about how cool it is to swim under water like big girls do. My little girl is in such a hurry to grow up already. I can imagine a day in my not to distant future where my independent big girl teaches my little girl about swimming and it makes me smile. Having kids is the best.


Obsessing over: My maternity pictures! The one above is a sneak peak! You can see more on my amazing photog/besties blog jordanweilandphoto.com. I'll post a few next week too. They are seriously amazing.

Listening to: fun. Fun fact (pun intended) Ben and I listened to The Format pretty much non stop while we were dating. The Format was made up of Nate Ruess (fun front man) and Sam Means. They broke up after the second album and left a big hole in my heart. Listening to fun brings back memories of our pre-marriage days. It makes the album that much better.

Watching: Bob's Burgers. I don't watch a whole lot of TV (because I'm too cool for school) but after recently finding it on Netflix streaming I've been enjoying it before bed. Louise is my absolute favorite. Remember when I made Lilly a Louise hat?

Loving: you! The feedback I got from my "get up before you kids" post was so great. It is really so encouraging to connect with you guys and know that we are all dealing with the same things. The irony is that I haven't managed to get up before Lilly once since that post. I'll keep trying though, don't worry.

Anticipating: my baby sprinkle. No shower needed- we have almost everything we need from Lilly. BUT I am so excited to get together and celebrate with friends. I have some amazing ladies in my life that are setting up a pretty great celebration for us.

Thankful for: new life. I recently realized that Rosie's due date is just a few days after the anniversary (ick- I'm using that term for lack of a better word. I don't think "anniversary" should be used for something like this) of my surgery last year. I remembered that this time last year was filled with doubt and fear and sadness and pain. I am so thankful for new life and His promise to never leave me. 

as always- prompts from Sometimes Sweet

34 weeks

Yesterday at Dunkin Donuts the guy behind the register told me my button had popped. That is a true story. In case you're not familiar with the term- it refers to a button stuck in a turkey that will "pop out" when it is done cooking. Yeah. I mumbled something awkwardly and took my donuts to my seat. 

I haven't given a real prego update since 28 weeks so here are some of my current feelings about pregnancy in random order:

WARNING: sometimes pregnancy is gross at this point. If you don't want to know- scroll down past bullets.
  • Nose bleeds. I am sitting with a tissue stuffed up my nose as I type this. I got my first non-injury induced nose bleed while pregnant with Lilly and did not have any between Lilly and Rosie. Fun.
  • Still plagued with indigestion. Super fun. You know the saying "I just threw up in my mouth a little bit." It's like that. At least once a day.
  • My nips have started leaking. (warned ya.) It is just the colostrum at this point but is still pretty annoying. I have the "let down" sensation and then my ta ta's just leak a tiny little bit. It could definitely be worse- but still isn't my favorite.
  • I could feasibly have this baby in two and a half weeks. 37 weeks is considered full term. I have declared May "get this baby out" month. Since my c-section is scheduled on June 7th I'd prefer to get her out on my own- in May. The sooner the better.
  • I'm so so so so excited. A new baby! Baby coo's, new baby smell, a mini hospital vaca (seriously, my hospital is amazeballs), tiny clothes, baby wearing. Sign me up! (I know I may have selective memory about what a new born is all about but don't rain on my parade, ok?!)
  • Aside from the above things- I'm feeling pretty great. I doing good enough keeping up with Lilly. I am still sleeping pretty well. I'm pretty comfortable most of the time. I'm totally not complaining (and hopefully not jinxing myself). 
Safe to read again!

So those are my thoughts. I'm ready! Except for one thing- my blog. I'd like to get some guest posters lined up for after Rosie's arrival so if you'd be interested let me know and I will love you forever! 

Hope you are all having a fantastic week so far!

wake up before your kids

Whoa. I know those are fighting words- but hear me out. Imagine a quiet breakfast. Imagine enjoying a cup of coffee on the porch in peace. Imagine washing your face and getting dressed without having a little someone trying to rub mascara on their lips or pull your underpants down. Sounds dreamy, right? Well, it is totally possible! 

For the past two weeks I have made it my goal to reclaim my mornings. I used to get up before Lilly all the time... before I got pregnant again. (Uhh- so 7ish months ago.) The difference it makes in my life is worth more then any amount of sleep. I am more organized, happier and (a biggie for me) more patient! In fact, while I am typing this the only sounds I hear are the clicking of the keyboard and the birds in my back yard. Yesterday, I actually did 45 minutes of yoga! Was it a hard habit to start? Absolutely. (I've been trying to get back into the habit my whole pregnancy for crying out loud!) But it is so worth it. I want to encourage you to just try! Here are some things that help me get out of bed. Maybe they can help you too.

  • Reasoning- the average person needs between 6 and 8 hours of sleep. Plenty of successful people (and most mothers) run on 6 or less! That means if you go to bed before Midnight you should be fine getting up between 6am and 8am. Your kid gets up at 5:30am? Go to bed at 10:00pm. That is still 7 hours with 30 minutes of you time. 
  • Snooze- I know that I probably won't get up at the first alarm. So I set another! I change the alarm sound too. I put it on the other side of the bed so I can't just roll over and shut it off. Can I tell you how many times I have been awakened by a poke in the face and thought what the heck happened to my alarm?!? Oh, I shut it off in my sleep. Oops. 
  • Treat yo' self- Now that you're up and out of bed reward yourself! Put on some pretty lipstick. Make yourself a (gasp!) hot breakfast. Have a devotional you've been meaning to get around to? How about a shower?! Drive thru Starbucks, anyone? It doesn't have to be anything big but do something special for yourself. This isn't an easy habit to get into after all. 
  • Technology- This is similar to treating yourself (at least it is for me) but use what you have! I set my alarm on my phone and then lay and bed and look at instagram after it goes off. I usually give myself an extra 10 minutes to lay in bed and mess around on my phone. I love social media so it's something I enjoy doing that helps me wake up and get out of bed. 
  • Remember He is on your side- Proverbs 31 describes a woman who "gets up while it is still night". Pray about it. It will help! Trust me- this lazy pregnant butt wouldn't be getting out of bed early without some sort of divine intervention.
It gets easier every time. And you won't always be successful. I had a whole week where Lilly woke up about 3 minutes after my alarm went off. Every. Day. It was discouraging but she eventually got back into her normal sleep schedule. One of the greatest rewards for me has been the change in my attitude towards seeing my daughter in the morning. I always love her no matter what, but I sure do feel happier to hear her sweet little feet padding down the hall way towards a well fed, ready for the day me then when she sticks her finger up my soundly sleeping nose. 

I hope you feel encouraged and ready to take back your mornings. If I can do it, you can. Let's do it together!