Welcome to the World Brooks!

And just like that our newest little man is already one month old. My how the time flies! So here I am documenting the highlights!!

The Day Brooks Was Born.
It was Saturday, May 21st. Just a normal weekend at home that started with a trip to the Farmer’s Market and park, followed by some yard work. Which I’ll fondly thank as the ‘trick’ that helped kick off those contractions!:) I started timing my contractions around 5-5:30pm and told Aaron it was time to start wrapping up projects and pack a bag (mine had been packed for two weeks, naturally!). We checked in to the hospital around 7pm. I was dilated at 6cm and it was time to start pushing fluids and prepping for the epidural. All went well and the epidural (this time!) was amazing. I felt what I needed to (pressure) and the pain was tolerable. Win! Insert about 25 minutes of pushing and HE arrived at 9:41pm at a solid 8lbs 5oz and 20.5in long! We had a slight scare when the doctor realized the cord was wrapped around his head twice, so we had to use a vac on my last round of pushes, but I worked hard and the vac did it’s job and he came out a little blue, but beautiful! Just like that, you ask? Yes, just like that. I’ll remain forever grateful that round two was so smooth. I truly know how lucky that makes me! Welcome to the world Brooks Aaron Lagneaux.

The First Month.
Phew, what a whirlwind! Our first month as been busy with weddings, graduations, family gatherings and lots of love! Here are some photo highlights to remember how we started off as a family of 4!

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You are here! Our first selfie with you, of course. Skin to skin is the most amazing thing. See how he’s a little blue? But perfect, just perfect!

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And then there were four. I can’t deny that it took me a few moments to settle in to the fact that I now have two boys. And we are done with two, so alas, I’m simply not going to be a Mom of a girl. A bummer in some ways, of course. But oh how fun life with two boys will be! I can’t wait to watch them grow, fight, love and be best friends.

Celebrate Good Times.

A family BBQ at our house where you got to meet all the Brown family cousins. Whoohooo, you make NINE!

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Another family BBQ. This time celebrating cousin Ian’s high school graduation. He is going to be a Cyclone in the fall, but we love him anyways!:)

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Next up was cousin Alex’s wedding in Des Moines. Quite a celebration for your two-week birthday. She was the most stunning bride and you were a great date for Daddy and I to bring along!

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Father’s Day is here and it’s safe to say that you helped make for one happy Daddy. To say he’s thrilled to have his boyS is an understatement. He also loves this maple tree. I look forward to documenting this same photo for years to come!

One Month.
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One month young! He eats about every three-ish hours. Get decent stretches at night of sleep (yay!). Loves to be swaddled and held. Loves walks and car trips. And is already showing a bit of personality. Low-key and happy. Can’t complain there!

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You are a smiley baby, but I have to work for it a little bit. Well worth the effort!:)

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So far, your brother hasn’t totally kicked you in the face or dropped you…so we call that a success! He reads to you, shares his lovie (this is huge, trust me!!!!), and asks to hold you often. You are fun now, but I’m sure once you start stealing his toys that’ll change. But in this moment, we relish in the love and admiration he has of you and your tininess.

And so do we.

Babymoon Staycation

Well here I am, around 37 weeks on this baby cooking adventure, and Aaron and I enjoyed a great babymoon staycation. My Mom and Dad graciously took Smith for a long weekend and we took full advantage. You always miss your kiddo(s) when they are gone, but boy do you realize how much you can DO too!!

So here is our weekend. It can be summed up with two things. FOOD and CLEANING! With a little side of fun!!

One of the biggest changes, and things we miss, since becoming parents is carefree dining. Ya hear me parents of toddlers? So, we channeled our inner foodies and stuffed ourselves.

Friday night we enjoyed a trip to Augusta. It’s a great Cajun restaurant in Iowa City, recently relocated from Oxford. Aaron enjoyed some red beans and rice and I tried their ‘best in Iowa’ pork tenderloin. YUM!

Then we worked off our dinners at Costco. Oh, the place that Friday night date nights are made of!

Here is our loot. I literally saved up money since the beginning of the year for this trip. The goal is to not have to ‘waste’ my maternity time running to the store for things like toothpaste, deodorant or TP!:) Mission accomplished!

Then we packed on some more calories with a pregnant version of a night cap. Coldstone. OMG. I haven’t been to one of these for, honestly, a good couple years. Might not have to let that happen again!

Saturday was all about cleaning. Has my husband said – ‘the true definition of nesting’. I can’t deny that. But it was also the fact that I haven’t had a day of cleaning without a toddler at my feet since we moved in. Literally. So I actually had the time and chance to get down and get the dirty. Highlights include getting both the kids’ room nice and shiny clean.

And yes, we had a moment when we realized that we ‘got the KID’S room’ nice an clean. Plural. Multiple. Deep….Breaths…..Whoa!

Here is baby’s room:

Stuck with the grey and yellow theme.

And still love the artwork all of our nieces and nephews drew for us!

Time to get that car seat in the car!!

And here is Mr. Smith’s big boy room. He’s quite proud of it! Daddy painted his walls and bed and he loves it! So do I. He’s got the most decorated and coordinated room in the whole house. Go figure!ūüėČ

PS-Water noodle under the sheet for toddler safety = great trick for us with crib to bed transition!

There are so many stores with nautical themed decor, so I simply picked my favorites out and about. Smith picked out the octopus!

As a reward of all our of hard work, we headed off to Des Moines for a fancy dinner and Garth Brooks. AMAZING!

We ate at Django, downtown Des Moines. Aaron enjoyed the oysters. Shucks, I can’t eat raw fish. (I wouldn’t have anyways. It’s a texture thing! :))

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GARTH!!! We saw him in September 2014, when he hit the road again after going in to a temporary retirement! That time was outside Chicago. We gladly took part in welcoming back to Iowa after a 23-year break. We attended one of his 10:30pm shows. The amount of energy on stage from 11:30pm-2:30am was incredible. He sure kept this preggo rockin’ and rollin’!!

Hanging with my sister and BIL! We were literally in the LAST ROW at the top. But it didn’t even matter. It’s like we were in the front row!

And Sunday was capped off with a Baby Sprinkle. AKA-baby shower without ‘gifts’, but instead everyone gets you diapers. It is/was wonderful! You always need diapers. Always!

A big shout out to my BFF who hosted the event and to all the special gals who took time out of their days and way from their families to help celebrate our growing clan.

Since the shower was on May 1st, I made some fun little May Baskets. Gender neutral, of course.:)

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I did a terrible job capturing the lovely ladies in attendance, but luckily my sister snapped a photo. I think her cardigan color choice was strategic, I hope she’s right!!

The most amazing site an expecting Momma can see — diapers that I know will last us, literally months. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

 

I think about the only thing left to do is have this baby!!

 

30 Weeks

So you aren’t suppose to compare yourselves to others, right? But is it fair to compare yourself to….yourself!?? I caught myself looking at old photos and saw this picture of when I was 30 weeks pregnant with Smith. I thought, “you know, I was pretty big at 30 weeks the FIRST time too!” It made me feel a little better.

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Round 1 – 30 Weeks

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Round 2 – 30 Weeks

But then, I took a picture of this time at 30 weeks. Ugh, I AM bigger. By what feels like an astronomical amount. I keep reminding myself¬†it’s all worth it to welcome a healthy baby in 10 short/long weeks.

Hitting the ‘single digit weeks‘ doesn’t quite have the buzz that it did with Round 1. But it’s a big milestone to achieve regardless. I’m still in that place of ‘let’s do this already’ met with ‘oh boy, lots to do yet..let’s keep the distraction coming and the baby cooking.’ It depends on the day, and the shoes I’m fight to wear on which side of the coin wins!:)

Honeymoon Trimester

So here we are, the second, and longest, trimester under my belt! Here are pregnancy highlights for weeks 14-27 (November 24, 2015-February 24, 2016).

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Distraction is my friend! We celebrated Smith’s second birthday, kicked off the holiday season, new year, and new job — all during this time frame! A nice little way to help a few weeks fly by.

I officially announced our exciting news the ‘old school’ way, via Christmas card, and it was really fun surprising people and getting text messages after their mail had arrived. I then made it really public with a cute little Instagram of Smith!

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This really has been the ‘honeymoon’ trimester. I made it past the nauseated phase, gained some energy, and could eat normal again. (A blessing and a curse during holiday food time! :))

I vowed to get moving this trimester to capitalize on feeling good. I got a Fitbit for Christmas and started a new job just after the first of the year. I now work in a hospital that covers about 1.5 miles in length. So I started getting about 4-5k steps over my lunch hour, with a simple ‘down and back’ lap. It.feels.awesome!

All things considered January and February — are the lamest months of the year. And being pregnant during those long months was, well, loooooooooong. I did my best finding fun things to do to pass the time. But it was tough. Mentally more so than anything.

We got to see our little nugget during this time, at the 20 week appointment. We did not find out the gender, so we had to look away a lot, but what we did see and hear was as magical as anything.
People express SHOCK when they find out that we did not find out the gender a second time. I remember with Smith people were a lot more ‘oh that’s neat’, even if they themselves ‘could never do it, I’m such a planner, etc….’. But this time, it’s like disbelief! I simply smile and nod. You’ll never convince me that finding out is ‘better’ or ‘helpful’. It’s the most magical surprise in life. I wouldn’t do it any other way. Agree to disagree on this one!

We moved Smith to his ‘big boy’ room during this time. We hyped it up as we painted the room and his bed, and he was quite excited for it all. We didn’t sell it as ‘you are leaving this room to go over here because baby needs your room now.’ That likely wouldn’t have gone so well.

Smith understands that “Momma has a baby in her belly”, but that’s about as deep as the conversation goes. I get asked a LOT; ‘Is Smith excited to be a big brother? How does Smith feel about this? Etc’. Honestly, it’s a question that makes me feel like a bad Mom. Because we just don’t really focus on it. I have the mentality/approach that this baby is going to ROCK HIS WORLD no matter what, so I might as well make every moment I can about him until that point. Ice cream dates, fun weekend plans, evenings of dinner conversation and play, etc.
I have moments where I get sad thinking that Smith will no longer be our whole world. And that he’ll likely not remember life at all with being the only one. But those moments are met equally with being so excited for him to have a sibling. And being my little helper. And having someone to make giggle and protect.

Those are my big, main, highlights. Here are some quick facts:
—My belly button popped out right at the beginning of this trimester. I think with round one I was about 28ish weeks. This time? More like 15ish. Ek!
—We are set on names. We have the same girl name as round one. But boy names is/was HARD. Most people agree that boy names are harder in general. And for us, we loved Smith so much, we never even had a back-up. So we had to start from scratch AND find something that ‘sounds good together’.
—I’m sitting at about 20 lbs of weight gain by the end of this trimester. A little frightening giving the growth spurt that happens during the final stretch. I can only remain hopeful that Summer walks can happen a LOT with baby.:) And with that, I officially stopped weighing myself and plan to stop even looking when I’m at appointments!
—I passed my glucose test, yay!
—We are sticking with the same nursery theme/decor for baby. We’re excited to give the room a fresh coat of paint, but otherwise, we are set as-is.
—My sister saved me and my wardrobe woes by loaning me her stash. A fresh few looks to get me through!!
—Socks and shoes are getting tough. Is it Spring yet?
—Sleep officially only happens on my left side. Which is apparently the ‘best side’ so that’s good. But loosing options, not so fun!
—Baby is a movin’ and a groovin’ and it will always be my most favorite thing. Ever!

Baby on the Way! First Trimester

[Disclaimer: if you know¬†me in ‘real life’, you’ll know how extremely behind and slow I am on blogging about my second pregnancy. I’ll spare you the lame excuses as to why and just jump right in! (Reality is, I’ve had these posts started and saved in draft mode and just never hit ‘publish’!) I’m also just knocking out by trimester vs last pregnancy when I was more frequent. Reasons explained below.]

Surprise! I’m pregnant! And it was actually a little bit of a surprise in the sense that my first at-home pregnancy test was a false-positive reading. It was not a surprise in that we had been trying all summer, but selfishly, it was nice to have that extra time to be a family of 3 and finish school. And, well, enjoy summer cocktails!
So alas, September 13th rolls around and we see the wonderful “+” sign. Let’ the adventure begin!

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So here we go. My first trimester highlights in a nutshell completely drawn out description because I want to capture these memories and feelings forever:

Dates: September 13, 2015- November 18, 2015

  • Nausea. Ugh. To the women out there that actually, physically, get sick daily – I solute you, sympathize with you and am cheering you on. I never actually got sick, but I spent quite a few moments¬†hovering a toilet wishing I actually would get sick simply to get the discomfort over with.
  • Carbs. So.many.carbs. See Above. The only thing that would heed the crummy stomach pain was loading up on carbs. Muffins in the morning, sandwiches (bread) at lunch, pretzels and crackers for snacks and a dinner roll every evening. It helped, so I did it. But it started terrible eating habits and added to my waistline ass faster than I had hoped. EK!
  • Lemon Drops.¬†These¬†were constantly by my side, per a tip from my nurse at my 8-week appointment. They actually worked, which was a blessing!
  • Expansion. So everyone tells you ‘you get bigger faster after your first baby’. Yadda Yadda Yadda. What they don’t tell you is that happens like the SECOND you pee on a stick. And that you feel 20 weeks pregnant at 9. And that the¬†anxiety of holding off stretch marks becomes a daily worry¬†by week 11. WHOA!
  • Clothes. See above. I felt like I was immediately fighting the battle of clothes not fitting. And since I’m pregnant essentially at ‘opposite seasons’ this time I had a hard time adjusting. Plus, I was trying really hard to keep things hush-hush at my job (more there soon), so I was super self-conscious. Of course, no one really noticed expect¬†me. But it was enough to add some annoyance to my daily routine of, you know, getting dressed. Flowy tops, unbuttoned pants and belly bands were my friend from the beginning!
  • Secrets are hard! So although things went smooth the first time around, my husband and I were still cautious about spreading our news until that 12-week mark. So outside of parents and immediate family, our lips were sealed. What was funny to see, was that our friends’, were not! I know some friends confessed when I was pregnant the first time they ‘they knew’ and ‘they picked up on it that one night’, etc. but they never called me out. And, well, no one did this time either. But they DID corner my husband immediately to ask when the due date was!ūüėČ I guess once you break the mold, all bets are off!
  • Job Interviewing.¬†I started a job last summer (July ’15) at a hospital and was really enjoying the work I was doing. I did not mesh too well with my supervisor, but the work trumped it. Then, things got interesting when¬†[essentially] the same position I had, had now opened at another hospital. It was the hospital I had worked at for 5 years prior in my professional career and I had always wanted to make my way back. And I mean, hey, you can’t control when jobs open up, right?! You can only control how you react. And for me, it was by applying.
    • Insert an added layer of ‘secret keeping complexity’! As in, I didn’t exactly want to tell my new job/boss that I was pregnant, to then just turn around and announce I was leaving! I also didn’t want to tell the HR manager at the new company¬†I was expecting because at the time of the first interview I was only 8 weeks along and didn’t consider myself out of that ‘safe’ zone yet. EK!
      • I am an extreme over-analyzer. This is a good and bad trait. But in situations like this, it’s bad. And makes me crazy. And makes my husband tune out because I repeat myself a million times.
        • This is okay, I give him permission.:)

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Other comments:

I feel no need to rush to tell Smith he is¬†going to be a big brother. Judge away if you must. But I simply don’t understand the need¬†of telling a not-even-two year old who thinks everything is about him right now, that soon enough, it will not be all about him anymore. Plus, he’s such a nice focus and distraction. And I plan on making it all about him up until the second I can’t. But alas, don’t worry, we’ll tell him eventually…like when I’m really showing and maybe he can feel a baby kick.:)

The glory of pregnancy does not exist for me the second time around. I’m calling it out friends. Although I have no idea what to expect with two children, and it frightens the hell out of me, I know this pregnancy thing pretty well. And labor doesn’t scare me. And I loved my hospital experience the first time around. And the pain of pushing for 2+ hours has left my memory (thank GOD). (I’m also hopeful that I’m one of those lucky gals that has #2 just ‘pop right out’ with two pushes. Please don’t burst my bubble here ladies. I know I could just as much have the luck of ending up with a laborious experience that ends in a c-section or something crazy.)

I feel guilty about my ‘umgphy’ feelings about something as magical and truly amazing as carrying the life of a human. I know how very lucky I am to be healthy enough to carry a child. That we were able to conceive naturally, and only after a handful of months. I know all of this. But life with one child suits us, we were getting the hang of it, he was getting more independent. So, what and why are we doing this?!?! Well,¬†we knew we wanted more than one kiddo, and 2.5 years between Smith and baby hits right in our 2-3 year difference goal. So really, we are right where we want to be. So again, hence the guilt feeling…

And lastly, I have to admit. I’m not a ‘newborn mom’. It’s not the lack of sleep or the drool that I dread….it’s the pumping, and such dire dependency, and baby food, and pumping and getting my body back and knowing the work that takes, and the constant putting-everything-in-their-mouth phase, and pumping (did I mention that?!). It’s the ‘am I stimulating them enough? playing enough? reading to them enough?’, etc. I can only hope that having one kiddo under my belt helps keep¬†some of these not-so-distant memories a thing of the past.

Having a second child offers a whole new set of excitement, joy, stress and doubt. Again, you know what you expect with pregnancy, with labor, with newborn life. You don’t know what to expect for your first child, managing two of everything, and how life with four people functions. But the one lesson I know to be true from having one kid under my belt is, that everything truly is a phase. So during those hard times and days I hope I can remember that ‘this too shall pass’. And I don’t want to wish time away. But I can calm myself by knowing that there¬†will¬†come a day again where I can finish a whole cup of coffee on a Saturday morning in peace. And we can ‘stay out’ on a weekend a little longer with friends and kiddo(s) because they are past that super-strict-bedtime-routine phase. And that, just like we did as a family of three, we will as a family of four — we will be overjoyed with love and laughter and cherish every step of the way.

Final Notes:

–No, we will not find out the gender of this baby. It was my most FAVORITE surprise ever and honestly got me through those last few pushes during labor when I was about ready to quit. I couldn’t imagine it any other way and can’t wait for the second best surprise ever!
–We have the girls name locked down, it’s the same as the first time around. (No, I’m not telling!) But we got nothin’ when it comes to boys. Smith was such a one-and-done pick for us we never had a Plan B. So, let’s just hope it’s a girl….or we come up with something solid in the next few months!
–Smith will move to a ‘big boy room’ and baby will take over his current room.
–Baby will head to the same day care center as big brother, which will be different as Smith went to an in-home. I tried and tried to find an opening around town for an in-home for that first year, but it’s a pretty competitive market. So in the end, we decided to stick with the center and at least give us a touch of sanity on having the kiddos in the same place.
–If you ask me today, I am 100% confident I’ll be a happy Momma to two kids. We’ve always has¬†a 2-3 kid kind of mentality, but today, two is my answer. (Spare me with your ‘never say nevers’. Kthanksbye)

Bring on the ‘honeymoon’ trimester, I’m ready!

Toddler Cardigans are Adorable

I can openly admit that I didn’t really anticipate being a “milestone” photo shoot collector. But, when you find the right photographer that manages to capture your kiddo in the best way possible — and in a quick and painless way — well, I can’t imagine NOT doing it!! Thank you again Sarah!

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Giggle fits, smiles and dancing. Smith, you are a gem!!

Happy 2nd Birthday, Smith!

I can’t believe I have a two year old. As the big day was approaching, I caught myself thinking, ‘oh yea, Smith will be 1.’ I can’t even really explain why. I think it’s because the first year is just so change-change-change; breastfeeding, baby food, first steps, etc. And moving in to the second you, you feel like you get the hang of life with another human a little bit!

Anywho. Smith is two. He is funny. He is cute. And he is smart. We celebrated our main man with friends and family on a nice Saturday afternoon with a Sesame Street party. It was a crazy fun couple hours and Smith had a ball!

Enjoy the slideshow below!

Here are some of Smith’s favorite things these days (per his birthday board above!):

Favorite characters:
Itsy Bitsy Spider (all.the.time.)
Thomas the Train
Spiderman
Sesame Street
Favorite things to do:
Play outside
Puzzles
Read Books
Build blocks
Play trains and trucks
Favorite Foods:
Hummus
Pork
Red peppers
Oranges
Cinnamon Rolls (it’s possible I’m a bad influence here!!)
Smith, thank you for being such a joy in our lives. I love watching you grow up and can’t wait to see what this year brings.