Third Trimester Blues

March 29, 2016

We are 4 days from the expected arrival of my little lady. 

What I am feeling right now?  A mix of sadness and happiness. In fact, this week, I lost it. I cried at a restaurant on Monday. Not because I am not excited to meet and smother her with my whole heart, but because I feel like my time with my little man is coming to an end! He is my world right now and he is what I know. I feel like I won't be able to give him the love and attention he is used to, and that makes me sad for him. I will also be sad for me if I am being honest. 

I know that the first twelve weeks of a newborn's life is the most intense. The fog. The exhaustion. The short fuses. I already have experienced the exhaustion while caring for my boy and these extra thirty eight pounds without any help. 

However, they say that the heart doesn't divide itself with more kids, it actually doubles. I'll report back! 

 

In order to stay distracted while we wait for baby girl Avery to arrive, here are some things I want to share that helped me through my pregnancy this time.

2) In this awful heat, I need to stay hydrated. I also didn't care for  plain water, so I found this  Contigo Shake and Go tumbler.  What I liked was that I could put a few flavoring drops in and then pull out the straw and shake it up. Using lots of ice made things taste better, so the fact that I could get it extra cold was awesome. I HATE water! This is the best way I can drink it! 

3)The best  pregnancy body pillow. This was a game changer! Thank you to dear friend Alexis for the lend. Loved it with the gray jersey, made it more comfortable! I was able to sleep in so many different positions one I started using this. 

4) As far as maternity clothes go, believe it or not, I would always be able to find something at ROSS. But I do get these nursing tops that I'll continue to use agin and again.  Ross has  a maternity section and I would never feel guilty buying stuff. Most items were under $15.

5) Nausea - What helped me out was the

 

I'll have to report back on how this all plays out!!

eeek!

 

The Second Child Feelings Circus

April 5, 2016

They say when your first baby is born, the mother is born as well. Everything we went through with our first was intense since we had  never experiencing parenting before. The feelings of elation from when our son reached milestones to the mourning of old parts of our  lives (spontaneous trips) can feel like your emotions are a big circus act. Nothing can prepare you for parenthood. It is funny when people think that having a puppy or babysitting other people's kids can prepare you, but it does not. 

My second born is now 6 months old and I can tell you that I didn't think my heart could hold love for another child when I was pregnant with her.  Yet, every parent with more than one child that I spoke to before my 2nd was born, swore to me that it would be possible to love another child the way you love your first. I thought this was impossible, and that it simply didn't apply to my heart. 

My boy age 18 months. Photo by me  Annie Vovan

My boy age 18 months. Photo by me Annie Vovan

I would say over and over to myself, they must not understand. You see, I LOVE my first born. He has given more joy beyond the imaginable. He has made my life so colorful and rich in ways I didn't know was possible. When we found out we were pregnant with our girl, I had mixed emotions. I felt like there was a countdown that was two fold - one was for  the days of our time together that would vanish  (one on one), and the second countdown was  for the days awaiting her arrival.  

His little mouth, so cute! Photos by me,  Annie Vovan

His little mouth, so cute! Photos by me, Annie Vovan

My heart finally caught up to loving her the same as my first, but it took about six months for me.  The day she was born, my son was with my inlaws that first night. The rush of the joy with the second child was coupled with the guilt of missing my first. I know that can sound odd and strange, but it was real. With the weeks following, I would want to make sure my boy would know how important he still was to me. I even threw him a lavish his second birthday party, 12 days post partum. And even more ridiculous of me, I went to his new school program 8 days post partum. I remember sitting slouched on the back wall and so sore from post partum awesomeness (^insert sarcasm) and watching how excited he was to be with JUST me. The thought of not experiencing this with him, was too much for me to handle at the time. 

 

Photo courtesy  Jack and Lola Photography

To moms who are pregnant, or thinking about getting pregnant, know that the heart can stretch. The heart is a big muscle and stretches remember? It can hold more love.

Photo courtesy  Jack and Lola Photography

During the time our photos above were taken, my daughter just turned three months. I was juggling exhaustion and the circus of the day to day life with 2 kids under two.  I was still getting up every 2 hours around the clock nursing her. I was still wanting to be there for my son, but I couldn't be in two places at once all the time. We hired a nanny to help out and I would even get jealous of her spending time with him. It is true.  I finally had to accept that this was the new normal. Eventually, around week 8, I felt the hang of things. I felt that I carved out time to be with each child, even if for 15 minutes, alone with me. That is what really helped me out the most. I knew that the love would catch up, and it has. 

This poem is word for word what I was experiencing. I wish I could provide credit to the author who wrote it. I ask you to read it now if you are pregnant with your second (or share it with a mom who is). If you already had your second child, I think you will see how honest and true it is. Thank you for stopping by! 

 

As I hold your 2-year-old hand, basking in the glow of our magical relationship, I suddenly feel a kick from within, as if to remind me that our time alone is limited.  And I wonder: How could I ever love another child as I love you?

Then she is born, and I watch you. 

I watch the pain you feel at having to share me,

as you've never shared me before.

I hear you telling me in your own way,

"Please love only me."

And I hear myself telling you in mine,

"I can't," knowing, in fact, that I can never again.

You cry. I cry with you.

 

I almost see our new baby as an intruder

on the precious relationship we once shared.

A relationship we can never quite have again.

But then, barely noticing, I find myself

attached to that new being, and feeling almost guilty.

 

I'm afraid to let you see me enjoying her.  -- As though I am betraying you.

Bu then I notice your resentment change, first to curiosity, then to protectiveness, finally to genuine affection. 

 

More days pass, and we are settling into a new routine.

 

The memory of days with just the two of us is fading fast.

But something else is replacing those wonderful times we shared, just we two. 

There are times--only now, we are three. 

I watch the love between you grow, the way you look at each other, touch each other.

I watch how she adores you-- as I have for so long.

I see how excited you are by each of her new accomplishments. 

And I begin to realize that I haven't taken something from you, I've given something to you.

I notice that I am no longer afraid to share my love openly with both of you.

I find that my love for each of you is as different as you are, but equally strong.

 

And my question is finally answered, to my amazement..

Yes, I can love another child as much as I love you--only differently. 

And although I realize that you may have to share my time, I now know you'll never share my love. There's enough of that for both of you. -- you each have your own supply.

 

I love you both and I thank you both for blessing my life.

 

--Author Unknown

 

Managing Mom Hair

Gray hair is a blessing. Ask any bald man.
— anonymous

March 28, 2016

Hello Beautiful Mama!  Thank you for dropping by, I'm excited to share my 2nd blog entry and get more momentum here now that I just started an instagram account last week! My blogs are going to straight to the point, so here we go! 

Here I am 7 months pregnant. The little baby bangs are crazy right? Pregnancy hair and post partum hair are hard to manage. Here are 3 tricks! 

Here I am 7 months pregnant. The little baby bangs are crazy right? Pregnancy hair and post partum hair are hard to manage. Here are 3 tricks! 

 

1) Covering that gray hair  or  your roots growing in

My gray hairs have been coming in so strong since I started having kids. It could also be a mix of genetics or the fact that I've entered my forties! Regardless, I have found 2 amazing products that allow me to extend time before going to my colorist to cover my roots.  They are also great SAFE options for when you are pregnant.  I use this crayon and this wand and it works well enough to be out and about. I highly recommend them both. I mosied into my nearby beauty supply store and the owner introduced me to them, I wanted to pass that along. This is by no means a sponsored ad for either company! Just a tip for you mamas. The crayon needs to run under the water for a second, and you draw it on the hair line. The wand is like a mascara wand and you stroke it on, it s a little messier. The crayon, since it is more waxy will hold flyways too. Take your pick!  

Granted this photo was taken in the morning on the left and at night on the right, you can see that my gray hairs are coming in FULL FORCE!

Granted this photo was taken in the morning on the left and at night on the right, you can see that my gray hairs are coming in FULL FORCE!

 

2) Losing Hair, thanks baby....

We all enjoy the lush hair that comes in with our pregnancy  and then we freak out when we see clumps of hair collecting down the drain right?  The It's a 10 Miracle leave-in product  is a godsend. It is pricier than most after shower conditioners and the packaging is just not sexy so you may have noticed it but it doesn't scream "BUY ME!" The results are worth the price!

3) Mom Bun

I was sick of having my mom bun collapse after 2.2 minutes until I realized that there was more than just one type of hair elastic out there. Enter these life savers! Goody "All day hold" elastics an really keep my bun at the top of my head, instead of a sad, saggy bun! 

 

Enjoy ladies! 

 

 

 

 

So This is Forty-One

August 15, 2015

I've been tossing around the idea of starting a mommy blog for some time now, and have been hesitant to take that leap.

So, I decided.  Why not start one today...on my 41st bday...when I'm 9/12 months pregnant with my second bundle...while I'm sitting in a our new home in Southern Cali with boxes around me to be unpacked from the move this past weekend...while my toddler is down for a nap.  No time like the present?! 

In my heart of hearts I want this blog to be a great resource for us mamas who are just trying to figure it out like me. This blog is for the kind of mama that still wants to not lose herself entirely to motherhood/her family.  The kind of mom that still craves and creates a meaningful girl's night out, just as much as loving a Friday I'm-gonna-snuggle-with-my-kid-tonight-or-stalk-their-photos-on-my-phone night in. 

This space will be a reflection of my heart and soul while relying on my gut instinct to share what I think will support us mamas. I want a place where you can come drop by, feel warm and cozy, have fun, and leave feeling happy. Kinda like going to a Nordstrom's half yearly sale, scoring a ridiculous pair of  winter boots you weren't even shopping for kind of guiltless glee.  

I am happy you stopped by and I hope to make it worth your while. Come here to find articles to fill your heart up, recipes that make life easy, and humor to take the mama edge off. That, and much more. 

Because it takes a village.

Because there's no book on how to be a mom.

Because sometimes we just need to laugh at how much we are eating our words from before we were moms. I feel you, I really do.

XO,

Annie