Sunday, January 31, 2016

Baby H: Week 27 (times two)

I said it a handful of times to J this past weekend but I seriously can't believe we only have one more week till third trimester with our second baby boy. Where has the time gone?! I'm in shock almost that we're already so far along, it seems like I should just be barely pregnant (or just have an infant Mark!) let alone being this close to d-day. I've been having ALL the prego-hormone emotions recently about this possibly being my last pregnancy and lets just say, sometimes I'm a hot mess. We're most likely stopping at two littles but I don't want to close that door forever just incase but thinking about this being the last time I feel my child roll inside, the last time I'll experience labor, the last time I'll snuggle my own newborn the moment they're born.... yeah I better stop thinking about it or I'll bring on the tears. 

Switching gears entirely, I've been having crazy dreams the last week or so but thankfully sleeping a little bit better overall. I'm not sure if the dreams have anything at all to do with being pregnant but it's strange none the less. They're not "scary" necessarily but just very vivid, seem to last a long time and I remember them for quite a while after I've woken up. I'm actually feeling less uncomfortable this week which is definitely a plus for this momma. My ribs are still feeling great, baby boys kicks and jabs are strong but not painful and it seems like the braxton hicks contractions have eased a little bit. I am however having the worst pubic symphysis pain, like literally painful to even the slightest touch and shooting pains when I stand up from sitting on the floor. My SI joints are feeling totally normal again and I only get jabbed in the cervix a few times each day but man this PS pain is the worst.

In other random news, I'm still eating Cuties like they're going out of style and have heart burn on the daily! I'm still turned off from large portions of meat and still eating my fair share of sweet treats. I've been much better about drinking water this week which is hopefully why I've been feeling better too. I'm up 19lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight (and for comparison purposes, was up 18lbs at 26 weeks with Mark) so I'm happy with that even though I find myself large and in charge some days. I can't tell if I have a new stretch mark or if it's just the old one but the top of my belly button is looking mighty strange lately. Baby boy, who we so often already call by his first name (!!!), seems to move all day long and especially when I'm trying to put big brother to sleep as if to say, "you're squishing me!"

I got some (unofficial) good news with regards to time off when this boy makes his arrival and I'm thrilled, to say the least. One of my good school friends is also expecting (and due just about two weeks after me) and she had a meeting with school about "maternity leave" and shared the info with me. Assuming things go as planned and both baby and I are healthy, I'll basically get 12 weeks to spend with my boy and I couldn't be happier. Granted 8 of those weeks are likely to involve some work (because who am I kidding, I'm still in med school) but it's turning out to be a lot less involved than I expected making it so I'm home the majority of the time for those first few months. I will have to take a short (i.e. 48hr) trip to Pennsylvania for an exam when he's about 6ish weeks old which I'm nervous about but overall our timing with this boy couldn't have been more perfect. Any mommas with advice about pumping while traveling, flying with breast milk, etc etc tips, please share!

Here's to our last week of second trimester, little man! I'm so lucky to be on this journey with you and to be your momma.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Baby H: 15 & 16 Months of Mark

I feel like J and I say this to each other almost on a daily basis but seriously, Mark is so stinking fun right now. He brightens our days, makes us laugh till our stomaches hurt and is getting so, so smart it's shocking sometimes. My favorite parts of the week are the evenings we spend together all on the floor in our family room as Mark runs absolutely wild in just his diaper after dinner and before bed.

He...

[+] is officially down to one nap which I personally love. It has given us so much more flexibility in our days... longer stretches of time in the morning to get things done, do fun things, etc... doesn't keep us stuck at home into the late afternoon if there's something going on in the evening. He did regress to two naps for about a week right around Christmas because he caught quite the cold and just couldn't sleep in longer stretches (and needed extra sleep too) but easily went back to one once he was feeling better.

[+] is exploding with language right now and IT. IS. AWESOME! He finally said "mom" for the first time on December 2nd and I must admit that I cried hearing it. It was seriously the sweetest sound I've ever heard. But really though, his language and communication is taking leaps and bounds lately and I'm so happy about it. His vocab now includes.... dad, mum, ollie, joooo (juice), wahh (water), hep (help), dow (down), up, ball, boo, rae (raisin), ree (read), ba (either banana, bath or book depending on the circumstance), hi & bye, eeee (eat, which he also signs for), pop (popcorn), pees (please) and probably more that I'm forgetting. He also knows animal sounds for dog, sheep and cow and will pick those animals out of books/on signs/etc etc.

[+] got his first haircut on December 12th and instantly went from big baby to little boy! We still kept a lot of the length on top because the bit of wave in his hair is just too cute to get rid of but he now has a straight hairline in the back and even tiny sideburns. He sat so well in the race-car chair and got all wide-eyed when she turned on the clippers but did great through the whole thing. I'm curious to see how quick his locks grow back but the jury's still out.
[+] should hopefully be done teething for a little while now that all the ones that were seemingly stuck have finally come through. He officially has four top teeth, four bottom teeth (hallelujah!) and four molars. He's started grinding said-teeth which I hate but I'll take it over the drooling, crabby teething mess any day.

[+] celebrated his second Christmas and made the holiday season that much more magical. He was actually interested in opening presents this year, his favorite being pulling tissue paper from gift bags, but wasn't quite sure what to think about the gifts inside every time. He willingly pulled all the tiny gifts from his stocking and put down some serious BBQ at Christmas dinner which are both essential Christmas tasks! Ha! I can't wait till next year when he'll hopefully have a better idea of what's going on and we'll get to start incorporating Santa and other traditions with our big boy.

[+] woke up on Christmas morning with what's been his worst cold of his life. Thankfully he hasn't really been sick much since he was born so we've almost been spoiled in a sense. I picked him up out of his crib and instantly heard the wheezing and saw his fountain of a nose and knew something was up. His congestion and cough were definitely the worst parts making it hard for him to sleep and eat and putting him just in a crabby mood overall. As much as I would have liked to do more "fun" things with him while I was on break from school, I was definitely glad I was home with him to snuggle him while he slept and help him feel better.

[+] started his first round of swim lessons right after the new year and is having so much fun at them. We're in a parent-tot, 30 min class every Saturday for the months of January and February at the local rec center and I can't wait to see how he progresses in the water. Being pregnant I'm loving getting in the pool with him and he's always loved the water so it was perfect timing before the summer arrives.
[+] is working on developing his fine motor skills. He has an empty water bottle that is filled with straw pieces for him to shake out and then carefully put back in. It's seeming like we might have a lefty on our hands since he definitely prefers to use his left hand and will even switch from the right to left if he's trying really hard. He's also working on using a spoon and a fork and so far it's slow progress but mostly because of us, not him. He does great when we load something for him (yogurt on the spoon, a piece of hotdog on the fork, etc etc) but we don't venture often into letting him do it all on his own just because we know it will be so so messy. But we have to let him practice I know.

[+] has learned to "jump" and it's absolutely hilarious. He squats really low and then shoots up and shouts. Sometimes he gets up on both his tippie-toes, sometimes he brings one foot entirely off the ground. He also dances when there's a good song on and sometimes will sway back and forth making the silliest "woooop, woooop, woooop" noise.

[+] has already mastered the toddler-tantrum. They're seriously the worst. He's normally so used to getting his way that when he doesn't you better watch out. Whether it's taking a toy (or non-toy) away from him, removing him from somewhere dangerous, making him sit in a highchair, etc etc etc he will literally scream bloody murder and have streaming tears even though nothing is ACTUALLY wrong.

We sure are lucky to call his boy ours!

Baby H: Week 26 (times two)

It's crazy to think that the boy in my belly is over a foot in length and weighs somewhere around 2 lbs already! Granted I realize he has three good months of growing left to do but having him be this size already puts it into perspective that there's a sweet little human in there. A little human I can't wait to meet.

Thankfully the week seemed to go fairly quickly which I'm thankful for as it seems like for one reason or another I'm sick of being pregnant by the end of the day almost every night. I don't know if I'm just being a big whiner this pregnancy, if I'm legitimately more uncomfortable this time around or if being a second baby and knowing how amazing it is to have a newborn on the outside is just making me anxious for him to be here but I'm definitely not enjoying being pregnant as much as I was last time. I'm also sure that some of my negativity lately has been from sheer exhaustion as I've been sleeping horribly recently. The combo of stress about school, a sore and painful pelvis from a really low baby and typical pregnancy insomnia have left me with quite a few restless nights leading to an over tired momma, that's for sure. 

It's been quite a while since I stepped on our home scale which is the one I use to track my weight gain since my outfits and time of day always vary when I'm at the doctors office. I'm still stretch mark free except for the odd skin above my old belly button piercing that was also there with Mark and I've had no swelling yet. My belly button is officially "neutral" and just the other night after a big dinner out I noticed it poking through my fitted shirt which is just oh so lovely. The heart burn keeps raging on a daily basis and I'm so jealous I didn't get my first taste of it until this time last pregnancy. I even got myself a daily heartburn OTC medicine to have on hand should it seem like Tums aren't cutting it anymore. So far I'll use anywhere between 2-4 Tums in a day to get relief but, TMI warning, I'm starting to think the extra calcium is making me constipated which definitely doesn't help my uncomfortableness. Plus the heartburn has been keeping me from stuffing myself because it gets worse right after a meal if I'm too full. 

In better news (because this post seems to be all sorts of crabby!) baby boy officially has a first name and I LOVE it! And nope, not sharing till he's here! We're still working on a middle name but knowing and thinking about his first name makes me smile every time. Now I just need to get to Hobby Lobby for his wooden letter for the nursery! This week we also got our double stroller and I can't wait to push our boys (!!!) around in it this summer. We went with the Britax B Ready (we had the Britax B Agile before) and in hindsight we should have just gotten this one the first time around so we'd just need the second seat instead of a whole new stroller. Thankfully we were able to get a used one from Craigslist and it's in great condition and much cheaper than a new one. We'll be able to use our infant car seat still and then have two seats once baby brother gets bigger. I find myself daydreaming of these types of things... walks with my heard of boys in the summer, having two carseats in my back seat, baby wearing little brother while holding Mark's hand as we wander through Target... Gosh I'm a lucky momma!
And to conclude, how about some real-life photo shoot action shall we? Mark usually stays inside while we snap these pictures because he'll dive right into the snow if he's out with us. And this week he was cracking himself up banging and slobbering on the glass.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Baby H: One Year Photos

Somehow months have already gone by and I realized that I never dumped shared our most recent shots from our family photo session. If you remember, we have been getting pictures taken by Amber of Echo Images since Mark was still in my belly and she's also the one who took his newborn photos.

If you know me at all you know how important photos are to me. I allocated a big portion of our wedding budget to hire a fantastic photog. J give me a "big girl" camera a few years ago for Christmas. I'll splurge on photo packages for our family in a heart beat. And with all that said I am always so blown away and grateful for the memories pictures can hold and this session is no different. Mark has become such a handsome little boy and I'm thrilled how much of his personality was captured in these shots. Our family is set to change drastically in the coming months and I'm so thankful to have this season in life documented to show our boys down the road and to forever hold close to my heart.

The weather was perfect. The fall colors, gorgeous. Mark did so well in front of the camera only getting upset once because he caught sight of a banana we brought as a snack and needed to eat it immediately. We brought his quilt, which has made an appearance in all his sessions, and some of his favorite books to showcase one of his favorite activities, reading. We got lots of smiles, a bit of attitude and a boy right in his element with the rocks. I am blessed beyond measure for the boys in my life and these shots capture our family to a tee.
all images c/o Echo Images 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Baby H: Week 25 (times two)

25 weeks down, only 15 to go! And realistically we're probably closer to 14 left given my circumstances. Mark was 4 days early and they say second babies generally come a bit sooner than the first. Plus it would be a huge benefit to me if this boy came about a week early and my doc said a while ago she was okay with "helping that along" if I really wanted. Gosh I can't believe how time is flying!

I had my 24 week appointment at the end of last week and baby brother is cooking just perfectly in there. My doc had no comments about my weight which is always a plus, my belly is measuring right on track and baby's heart beat sounded sweet as ever. I mentioned my horrible heartburn to which my doc was able to give me the go-ahead of which meds to take should I need more than Tums. With my crazy schedule it's easier for me to have a few appointments set in advance which means a couple things. Somehow I already walked out of the office with my lovely glucose-test orange syrup in prep for my next appointment. (And have I mentioned how nice it is to drink it at home ahead of time instead of waiting in the office for the hour to pass!) And the craziest part is that the following appointment puts us into the every-two-week category already! Granted that's still 6ish weeks away but it's crazy to me that we're even thinking about that yet.

J and I have made lists of our top names for this boy and I think we're getting relatively close to deciding. With Mark it was an easy decision (at least for his first name) so it's been interesting this time coming up with something that fits our newest family member. I think we'll decided 100% before his arrival but I guess there's always the option of having our top names ready until we see his sweet face. For now he's Baby Brother and basically any time I say the word "baby" and Mark is around he tries to lift my shirt which is just too cute. As far as his nursery is concerned, we're making slow progress but thankfully there isn't much to do. We're waiting on Mark's new chair for his room so we can move the couch back into the nursery to actually start the decorating aspect of both rooms and J's finished the handy-work on the map so now I need to find the time and motivation to get to painting.

Symptom wise this week has been about the same as the last few. I find myself more tired lately which I can only attribute to being so much busier with rotations and then coming home to a tornado of a toddler so what can I do. Not to mention that sleep has been very hit or miss lately but hey, no one ever said it'd be easy right? I've been getting my fair share of Braxton Hicks contractions already, more so when I'm bad about drinking water or have been on my feet a long time. Overall my belly and back are just more uncomfortable than I'd like so hopefully the pregnancy support tank J bought me as an early birthday present can help with both of those once it comes in. If not I'll get my relief in the pool during Mark's swim lessons for the next month at least. My appetite is still normal and I'm trying to be better about the sweets I eat but can't make any promises that I'm very successful. I still have no swelling or stretch marks and interestingly enough haven't really noticed the "fullness" to my hair that I had last time.

Baby H, keep growing in there (and moving and shaking too!) little one until the time is right for you to join our family. We can't wait to meet you but understand that your health is the number one priority. Momma can't wait to hold you on the outside, kiss your sweet lips and love you like crazy. I was envisioning your sweet face the other day trying to decide if you'll look similar or different from your big brother but regardless, you will be perfect in my eyes no matter what. I love you little boy!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Word of the Year

For years and years I've seen people coming up with their "word for the year". A phrase the connects all their resolutions. A motto to try to stick to for the next 12 months. 

I've always liked the idea but could never come up with something for myself. I've never been much of a resolutions-type of gal which might be part of it. It could also be part that I just never put in the time to think about it, if we're being honest. 

But this year is different. This year it came easily, naturally almost without forcing it, actually as I was just driving to the hospital one morning. So what's this year's theme?....


Yes, you read it right. Now bear with me while I explain. 
__________________________________________________________________________________

This year I will try my damnedest that when I'm stressed and overwhelmed to just lose it. Lose those feelings, know that everything happens for a reason, trust that I'm working hard enough to get where I need to go. Lose the stress and the anxiety and the nervousness and the self-doubt. 

This year I will focus on my babies because the time I've been given with them when they're little, quite frankly, I can't lose it. I'll put my phone away, turn off the TV, stop trying to wear two hats at the same time because if I'm not present, the time won't come back.

This year I will love my husband fiercely so we don't lose it. Marriage takes work, lots and lots of work, and I have to admit that we haven't been the best spouses that I know we can be. Goodness knows there will be a lot of things that try to break us in the next year but one things for certain, we can't lose what we have. (and yes I realize I'm channeling my inner meghan trainor with this one).

This year we are growing our family for the second time and that first-time-mom guilt, worry and self doubt I had with Mark? I'm going to lose it for baby brother. I spent so many sleepless nights worrying that we weren't doing things right, stressed my body couldn't feed my baby, guilty for having to leave him with someone else so often, etc etc. Not this time around! 
__________________________________________________________________________________

I'm sure there are plenty of other ways I'm going to lose it in the coming year that I'm not even aware of yet but my hope is that I can think back to this and remember what I've promised myself. We're all stretched too thin, over-worked, stressed to the max, not dealing with change well, anxious and not our best at times aren't we? And my hope is that this phrase, lose it, helps me real myself back in and accept that I'm human too. 

Bring it on 2016!

Baby H: Week 24 (times two)

I had a shocking realization the day I turned 24-weeks that this pregnancy is 60% of the way finished and I have only 16 more weeks (or less) until this baby is out of my belly and into my arms! It seems like so long ago that I was 16 weeks pregnant so to think that's all that's left seems crazy to me. I have a feeling the next few months are going to fly by and all of a sudden we're going to be a family of four. 

Pregnancy wise I'm still not feeling as good this time around as I did with Mark but that seems to just be the trend. I have continuous aches and pains somewhere or another, usually in my hips and low back, but come to think of it my ribs have been feeling perfectly normal this time around. I have been thinking my belly seems so much lower with this boy as my stretchy pants are even tight sometimes and a lower belly definitely explains the back pain without rib pain. The aches have been keeping my up at night some which is never a good thing for someone who loves sleep like I do so it's lots of pillows for this momma. My belly button is seriously on the move already and given it's outrageous state last time I just have to accept it's hilarity and await the day it no longer goes back in. I don't have any new stretch marks or any swelling which I'm thankful for. We have a doctors appointment at the end of next week and hopefully everything checks out just perfectly.

Slowly but surely the nursery is starting to take shape and it's been so fun to think of another room for another baby. J's mom kindly gifted her new grandson a crib which arrived at the end of last week. We went with the same one Mark has and after a quick trip to purchase a mattress along with sewing up a crib sheet there's a crib in the nursery yet again. It doesn't seem so strange to see a crib set up like it was the first time around but when I think about there being TWO cribs upstairs I feel immensely blessed. The materials are purchased for baby boy's feature art piece, a big time world map, and I can't wait to start the painting for it once J does the handy work. One thing that's extra special in the new nursery now is that I bought the outfit this baby boy will wear home from the hospital and have it laid on the changing pad. It makes me smile every time I see it laying there picturing it filled with a squishy newborn!

In other random news we've been working with Mark about knowing that a baby is coming and it's so cute to seem him start to pick up on things. I don't think he has any idea what an actual baby is but we've been telling him "baby brother's in momma's belly" and any time he hears the word baby he comes over to lift my shirt. He'll occasionally sit on my lap with my belly out and rub it, put his hands on it and even give hugs and kisses to baby brother. I can tell he's picking up that my belly doesn't look the same and it's so sweet to think of him as a big brother. As far as names go we are far from deciding on who this little boy will be, not because we're disagreeing but because nothing's really jumped out as perfect quite yet. Just like last time we aren't going to share but we don't have a secret yet. My mom has started to mention possibilities for a second baby shower to celebrate this new little life and I'm envisioning a yummy brunch with pastries, a mimosa and coffee bar, lots of fresh fruit, etc etc. It's so fun getting to go through this all again and we feel so blessed by this little boy already. 

Can't wait to add in the picture for 34 weeks, although I'm nervous about the size this belly will be by then! (And a comparison to my Mark-belly for fun below!)


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Holidays 2015

The holiday season keeps getting better and better. I said it last year how much more magical Christmas is with a little one and goodness, I really didn't know what I was in for. Mark was so much more engaged this year at 15 months compared to last year at just 3 that I can't wait to see his reactions next year. Not to mention the sweet new baby boy who will be about 9 months this time next year! 

Just like last year we started off the festivities with a visit to see Santa. We went to a different mall and it actually turned out better than last year. Yes we paid a silly amount but at least this time we got lots of images and the digital files plus a reservation time to see the big man in red. Mark didn't absolutely lose it which is always a plus but lets just say the picture on the left was the first one taken and the rest he's very skeptical in. 
Mark got to help my mom, sister and I with our big cookie baking day this year and while he definitely didn't care in the slightest about being involved, I love that he got to "help" even the little bit that he did. Our house was decorated a little later this year than other years but I'm almost thinking that was okay since we have someone with pretty sticky fingers running around now. Mark always helped me turn on the Christmas tree lights each morning and would occasionally look up at the stockings making the season that much better. 

Christmas Eve was low-key this year as we only had my mom's to visit (J's dad had us over after Christmas) and after enjoying lots of yummy snacks and wonderful gifts we made it home, put the babe to bed and finished up the last minute tasks for hosting the next day. It's tradition now that J makes his pulled pork on the smoker with homemade BBQ sauce and goodness did we feast. My mom helped with all the sides and like I've mentioned before, I ate wayyyy to much homemade mac n cheese and party potatoes. We made easy desserts and everyone but this momma made a serious dent in the "bar" while enjoying each other's company. Mark was quite sick on Christmas day so I was worried about him and how he was feeling/sleeping/eating/etc but thankfully it seemed like even he had a good time. 
J and I continued the festivities of the season by celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary a few days after Christmas. We left our boy at home with Gram and Auntie so we could enjoy a night to ourselves which was definitely needed. We had dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory and then went to a NBA game with box seats. Is basketball necessarily my top choice of activities? No. But was it so nice getting out of the house and doing something with my husband we literally never get the chance to do? Heck yes! It was a wonderful night and great way to celebrate all we've done in the last three years. 3 years, 2 babies and 1 family is surely something to be proud of!

We ended the holiday break before the grind of school and work started back up by braving the cold and walking the paths of Zoo Lights at the Denver Zoo. We bundled up Mark in lots of layers, blankets and his stroller sack, wore hats and gloves and drank hot chocolate and marveled in the amazing light displays throughout the whole zoo. It was a special night that both Grandmas and my sister came along for and while we didn't last long thanks to temps in the 20's I'm so glad we decided to finish off the holiday season like this. 
The month of December is pretty much my favorite of the whole year. My love Christmas and the celebrations it brings. The fact that we decided to start our family on Christmas Eve two years ago and are now blessed with one wild toddler and one bundle in my belly. That our anniversary falls just a few days later to continue the joyous season. Being able to spend over a week just being with my little family, loving on them, celebrating with them, making memories with them. 

Thanks for another fabulous season, 2015! Here's to next year!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Baby H: Week 23 (times two)

Another week of baby brother growing in my belly and another week where I'm already so excited to meet him. I can't believe we're under 4 months already, it seems so soon! 

I finally jumped on the scale this week and I'm up about 15lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight which actually tracks right along with where I was this time with Mark even with the holiday binge-eating I've been doing! Thankfully our Christmas cookies are almost gone and J's trying to be better about eating too so we should be back on track now. With rotations about to start again we can get into our normal routine of making dinners at home instead of eating out and there will be fewer reasons to "celebrate" in the coming month or so. Plus I got an awesome new Ninja blender from my father-in-law for Christmas and I've been making myself green smoothies for breakfast (which Mark enjoys too) and I'm still craving all things citrus making snacking much easier.  

Mark has officially vacated baby brother's nursery and I was able to make a good amount of progress in there while on break. There are new curtains on the rods even though they need hemming. There's a new changing pad cover and crib sheet awaiting the arrival of the new crib. I've found some awesome decor items and J and I have been brainstorming the big feature art piece for the newest little boy. My sewing machine was also busy making his little lovie blanket and finishing everything except the binding on his triangle quilt. I can't wait for the room to really be ready for this sweet boy. 

In other pregnancy news I've been feeling all the aches and pains the last few days which could be from the seeming explosion of this bump or also from the bit of exercise I've been trying to do. My SI joint has been flaring up again and anything with spice is giving me heartburn almost immediately. But then I feel a roll or a series of kicks or notice my belly is already lopsided from holding this new baby and the negative thoughts of being uncomfortable are instantly gone. 

Baby H, I never doubted that my heart could love you, that I'd feel the same way about you as I did your big brother but it still shocks me with how much you already mean to me. I hope you hear me when I whisper quietly so only you can hear how much I love you. 

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