9 Weeks: A Jack

How far along? 9 weeks today!

Size of baby: A jack

Total weight gain/measurements: Yikes, I have no clue! I was working on losing weight before I got pregnant, so I am sure it is pretty significant.

Sleep: I do it. And I love it.

Best moment this week: Graduating Shady Grove! After 2 years I am ready for the real deal.

Miss anything? Underwear that fits. I decided I am going to be comfortable this go around and not put off maternity wear (especially since my pants are a little snug) so I am wearing stretch 75% of the time. But I still need some maternity underwear that will STAY UP.

Food cravings: It varies, but definitely meat, cheese, and salt. I could crush some sausage right now.

Anything making you queasy or sick? Nothing really specific, I am able to eat more now – which is good.

Symptoms: Fatigue, mood swings (this morning I cried in the car listening to a Selena Gomez song and thinking about Justin Bieber did her dirty), queasiness.

Dear Sally

Dear Sally,

You were the biggest non-surprise of our life!

2 years
5 timed intercourse cycles
1 IUI
1 chemical pregnancy
58 shots

On October 23rd I had an IUI and today was my third blood test and you are rocking and rolling with a strong HCG level of 490.

Your brother already loves you so much. When I asked him how he would help with his new sibling, he said he would name you Molly. But you have a cousin named Mollie, so Mike said he would name you Sally. While we love how involved he is already, you will not be named Sally. But until we decide if you are he or she, I’m going to call you Sally.

Sweet Sally, so many people are praying for you and loving you already. In a few weeks, we will see that pretty heartbeat flicker – I am confident. Until then we will think about you, dream about you, talk about you, and pray for your stickiness.

Love,

Momma xoxo

Marcie’s 3!

Dearest MJ,

My sweet girl, you are 3! Well, 3 years and a few weeks because I’ve been too busy to sit down and write everything my mind has been thinking for you. I am sure you understand. You seem to be a busy bee yourself!

This was the year we went on our first Barry Family Vacation to Bethany Beach. And it was there I first heard a little voice holler ‘Ann Ackie’ and when my heart melted. I am pretty sure after that moment you didn’t stop talking.

It was also on that vacation where we spent a lot of time together hanging out and having fun and you truly warmed up to me, despite all the time we spent in the past. You are such a cool little girl. You know exactly what you want and will die on the mountain to get it. You are anything but a people pleaser and that is so, SO important for future women. Your attitude is very much, ‘Nah, I’m good’ when you don’t want to do something.

But when you want to do something – you DO IT. With smiles, giggles, and curls flying. You like to ‘run with the big kids’ and love your cousin Mike – I am 100% sure the feeling is mutual.

Miss Marcie, thank you for being my favorite 3-year-old and making our life fun.

Love you!

Ann Ackie xoxo

Dear Mike: Suddenly 6

Dear My Littlest Love –

You are suddenly 6! I think it goes without saying that as a 5-year-old you had an incredible year.

Kindergarten: Your biggest milestone was starting Kindergarten, and you didn’t just start it, kid, you OWNED it. Your first day, you said you were a little nervous but you walked in there with zero hesitation and every day after you proudly announced your love for your teacher, your friends, and your school.

You love riding the van from daycare to school and your favorite ‘center’ is the computer where you play PebbleGo. Every parent-teacher conference confirmed you are hilarious and kind and friends with everyone.

Reading was a bit of a struggle for you, but you worked hard at school AND home and you are ending the year knowing ALL your sight words AND on a reading level C (just 6 months ago you were struggling with an A level).

Interests: My littlest love, when you have an interest, you go all in. You started your year as a 5-year-old loving Ghostbusters, and while you proudly say you still like them, you have clearly moved on. You loved The Statue of Liberty, The Grinch, and spooky things. You are currently an expert in sharks (Basking sharks are your favorite) and ‘extreme weather’. Much like Daddy, you are into science and how things work.

You also took two fun classes this year – hip hop dance and music with Mr. Ari. You really enjoyed both and even participated in your recital where you killed it. I had to laugh – Daddy and I decided that if you changed your mind last minute and didn’t want to go on stage we wouldn’t push you. Performing in front of people is scary and HARD! But before your recital, we had to walk across the stage to the dressing room and you grabbed my hand and excited said ‘THIS.IS.AWESOME.’ I was not surprised – you ARE my kid.

You are still into technology and are an awesome artist. You also enjoy your scooter, swimming, and hanging out with us on the weekends gardening, hunting for worms, seeing movies and just being silly. SO SILLY.

Personality: Speaking of silly, your personality is just that. You thrive on making people laugh and when you get a chuckle you keep going. You are also incredibly sweet; always up for a ‘snuggle party’, a hug and holding someone’s hand.

I am in awe of your self confidence. You went to a birthday party and one of the activities was riding a horse. You wanted no part of that (and I don’t blame you) and simply said ‘no thank you’ and did something else. No questioning, drama or regret. I know adults who don’t handle things that well!

You make friends wherever you go and school has really fostered that. Daddy and I are always hearing from other parents and school employees that you are so ‘sweet’, ‘friendly’ and ‘polite’. Literally, everything we want for you.

My sweet love, as you turn 6 I hope you have the best year yet. There are so many good things coming and they are yours for the taking.

With unconditional love,

Momma xoxo

Dear Mollie – You’re 6!

Dear Mols,

You are suddenly six! How on earth did that happen my sweet girl? Also, and likely related, you shot up about 6 inches overnight. You seem to have gotten your daddy’s long legs. You know what long legs are good for? Running and playing which you excelled at this year – dance, t-ball, soccer – you tried them all!

We had our First Annual Lovely Ladies Who Lunch day and it was by far one of my favorite memories of you at five. We went to Build a Bear where you chose a unicorn (duh) and promptly named her ‘Snow’. We then walked over to the Cheesecake Factory where I required you to eat exactly 3 bites of lunch before ordering a sundae. That’s what lovely ladies do! I enjoyed your company so much and spending one on one time with you. We chatted about all sorts of fun things. I can’t wait for the Second Annual Lovely Ladies Who Lunch.

You have quite a fashion sense Mollie and I admire you faux fur vests, ‘twirly’ dresses and gladiator sandals. You were a bit disappointed when I didn’t buy a ‘concert outfit’ after seeing me try it on and I will admit, I do regret not taking your advice.

You are oh so silly and you love to play along. Mike adores you and considers you his best friend. The stories from your sleepovers are Grandma and Grandpa’s house remind me of spending time with my cousin growing up! I hope that never changes.

Miss Mollie, you are so smart and so friendly and such a great kid. I love you bunches and can’t wait to see what 6 brings. I am guessing more of the same, which is a good thing!

Love,

Aunt Jay Jay
xoxo

Define My Day – Week 2(ish)

Remember I am doing the Define My Day challenge? Well, I am seriously sucking. I think my biggest issue is remembering to do it. I am having trouble seeing the forest through the trees. I like how DMD is based on long term goals and how the day to day can get you there with the right focus. But I feel like I am too immersed in the daily to-dos that I am missing the long view. How do you narrow down your three daily priorities when they all are to ‘survive’?

What I do like about DMD is the support. I get email checks in from the founder, Nick Boris and was automatically added to a Facebook user group. How’s that for meeting users where they are? The participants, as well as Nick, are super responsive to questions. He even posts impromptu videos on how to maximize the planner.

I am still committed to doing this, but it is going to take some work on my part. Stick with me!

Define My Day – Week 1

Facebook ads rarely catch my attention these days, but as I was mindlessly scrolling, wondering where my day had gone, I found myself clicking on an ad for Define My Day which boasts ‘small steps, big results’. Isn’t that what we all want? The magic pill? I also wonder what algorithm Facebook used to target me with this ad – likely ‘tired, distracted, mom, ADHD, productivity obsessed’.

After reaching out to Nick, the founder, I told him I wanted to go all in for a month and chronicle it on my blog. He agreed and sent me the planner to get started. The way he recommends to start is to watch all the videos, then on Sunday night work through the monthly plan. Got it. Well, I watched the videos on Saturday and felt TOTALLY overwhelmed. Then life got hectic (gee, maybe I should have BETTER DEFINED MY DAY) and I didn’t really hunker down until Monday night.

Once I got going, it wasn’t as hard as I was making it out to be. DMD has some great tutorials in video or written form, for however you learn best, to get you started. I clearly opted for progress over perfection.

This is my first week and as I mentioned, I did the preplanning. Some of it seemed a little hokie – like my monthly affirmations which I am suppose to say out loud when I wake up and go to bed. I had to fight the urge to write ‘you is kind, you is smart …’. But hey, what is the harm?

The monthly goals are personal, professional, health and relationship which all make sense and were easy. Then I had to decide which books I was going to read this month, which was the most fun part and admittedly the most time consuming.

So here are my WEEK 1 MILESTONES:

Nick also discusses the importance of DAILY DISCIPLINES which includes rest, exercise, eat well, water, read, and positive interaction. I did make some of those my own so they are measurable and this week will strive for 5000 steps, 64oz of water and 20 minutes of reading. His intention for reading is to learning something or educate myself, but Momma needs a break.

I’ll check back in at the end of the week and let you know how it went!

If you want to join along,  DMD is offering a 30% discount for Muddling Momma readers. Visit https://shop.yourdefinedlife.com and use code MUDDLE30 for 30% off your first delivery of any subscription for a single, 3pk, or productivity pack.

 

(You should know, they provided me the journal free of charge, but they don’t get a glowing review based on that. The thoughts are my own.)

Dear Marcie, You’re Two!

Dear MJ, the newest two year old!

Girl. I don’t even know where to start. A lot of people say God doesn’t give you more than you can handle, and He surely had that in mind when He gave you a cleft lip and palate. I am not sure anyone else could handle those challenges with such grace as you Miss Marcie. You are wonderfully hard headed, stubborn and demanding – all qualities some of my favorite women have – including your momma, but let’s keep that between us.

I remember when you were admitted to Hopkins with ‘failure to thrive’ not long after you were born. Fast forward two years later at your birthday party I asked for a bite of your cupcake. You looked me dead in the eye, shook your head and said a firm no. I gave you a little tickle and you reluctantly put the teeny tiniest spec of icing on a spoon and shoved it in my mouth. It is not lost on me about how much you love me based on that bite. A thousand kisses would have said the same thing.

You are a tough cookie who likes to move, jump and dance. I have so many favorite things about you, but one of them is your walk. Girl you walk with purpose and it cracks me up. I can just imagine you stomping up and down the hallway to your corner office. Or down the dirt path to the construction project you are heading up. Or to the bedroom where your mess ‘o kids are playing.

MJ, I love you and I am so lucky to be your Aunt. You need it? I got you.

Happy 2nd Birthday

Aunt Jackie
xoxo

 

Raising a Boy

I’ve been thinking a lot about what is going on right now politically and I’m having a hard time seeing down the road when our President is not in the White House anymore. He has seemed to bring out the ugliness in people and social media is a hotbed for … let’s just say people hiding behind screens and not being nice.

How do you teach your kids to be nice when the nation’s leader can’t even be nice? That is a question for another day – today I find it exhausting. But what I AM seeing a lot of on social media is the fear that ‘our boys’ will be ‘falsely accused’ of sexual harassment, rape, etc. Mike is only five, but while we joke that he ‘loves to hard’ with his hugs, kisses and butt bumping – as parents we HAVE to make sure that he understands no means no NOW. He needs to hear that word frequently, feel it’s consequences and learn self control.

I am worried he will grow up and drive too fast, or not reach his potential, or have his heart broken (in more ways than one), or feel left out. I do not worry about him being falsely accused. S. and I are raising Mike to know that kindness counts and when he sees someone who needs help to help them. I hope we raise him to not put himself in situations where a false accusation could happen and not to be with people who encourage the wrong sort of behavior. It’s hard. It’s really hard.

How are you raising your little ones these days? Are you doing anything different?