Wednesday, August 27, 2014

85 Days Until We Meet You

Ah. August 21st, the day I turned the big.. 3-0! I took that day off to have some "Me & Autumn time". It wasn't all that eventful but it was relaxing and exactly what we needed. For some reason that day while walking around Home Goods in search of a chalkboard for her Nursery, it really hit me that soon I'll be pushing a stroller, a carriage or wearing a kangaroo pouch with Autumn tucked inside laying against my chest. 

It's my last Birthday which I'll be celebrating as "Katie". This was something very beautiful as the thought of next time my Birthday comes around I will be "Mom". Apart of me in all honesty was a little sad. Not at all that I'll be a Mom, but that this Katie who holds my youth, my mistakes, my experiences, lessons, fears, nights of crying into pillows, getting all dolled up to meet friends for drinks and memories that were just based on decisions that would only effect "Katie" are now being tucked away in those last 3 decades. 

Becoming 30 is bringing on a whole new meaning to life. I know that when I'm approached with a decision it's not just looking in the mirror and asking what's best for "Katie". The decisions that I'll make, the mistakes, all of those fears and moments of joy and tears will have an impact on not just me but my family. I look forward to everything that we will see coming or unexpected and all I will learn along the way as I continue to grow.  

#85: Celebrating your Birthday each year in the most exciting way. Oh, get ready!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

86 Days Until We Meet You

Charlie's favorite book to read as a child                                   Katie's favorite book to read as a child

As children my sister and I loved scary movies. We watched all of them, probably much younger than kids were allowed. We also enjoyed all of the movies with Superheros and the classic, original monsters. 

Our father being an English Teacher had such a creative mind. Though we enjoyed the movies we of course would still be a little scared to sleep some nights. Instead of opening a book and reading page to page to us, my sister and I would hop onto one of the beds and my dad would begin telling a story off the top of his head. They always included a scary character like Freddy Krueger (as an example)... and then Batman would join the story and put Freddy in prison. Sometimes, the scary characters would end up turning good and befriending Superman or the Beast from the TV Series Beauty and the Beast. Each night he would tell us stories, the characters were new and the story lines were so exciting and suspenseful.   

We would still read books of course. We had many, many books in our house, especially the  entire collection of '..Little Golden Books' which were always our favorites. Once I could truly read and my little speech setback was corrected in which I could pronounce all of the letters in the alphabet I really enjoyed making up voices. I did it mainly to make my sister laugh as well my parents and friends. I liked to pick out books to read that had a lot of conversation going back and forth between the characters.  

Charlie and I decided to each search for a book that we loved as children. Amazon is an amazing thing! I of course loved Katie the Kitten because my name was printed on every page. Charlie was a big fan of Grover and as we went through the books together we attempted to talk in the Grover voice. We cracked up and couldn't get through an entire page reading in his voice. I look forward to reading these stories with Autumn and having her discover someday her favorite book she loved as a child.

#86: Sharing stories together as a family each day and talking in silly voices.

Monday, August 25, 2014

87 Days Until We Meet You

A beautiful and oh so elegant gift for Autumn from Auntie Alisha. 

Our little miss Audrey Hepburn you will be. One of my favorite actresses of all time and an inspiration. 

As a child I danced. I danced.. and danced... and sang while I danced. I wanted a pink tutu and to take dancing classes. I never did take classes but that is on my bucket list still (never too old to join a class). 

There is something very free spirited about putting on a dress of any shape, color or length and playing tunes.. really loud. It doesn't have to be your favorite song and you don't have to be a good dancer (I sure am not). To spin around and loosen up every joint in your body and not care what anyone thinks. Living in the moment.. you are living in the moment. 

I hope Autumn feels free and can live in the moment being herself. Our Little Tiny Dancer.

#87: Watching while your father teaches you how to play guitar someday. 

88 Days Until We Meet You

There are so many things I do that help me relax in my day to day life and I pride myself on that. Though things stress me out just as much as they do for others, I can always take a deep breath, take a step back and evaluate the situation I'm in. Sometimes, if I don't want to think about the stress I'll give myself a little time out. I'll do something that occupies my mind just for a short while then return to the situation and figure out how to work through it. 

- A change of scenery makes a difference. Even if I can't leave my home, just walking into another room can bring my stress down. I may look around at the decor and think back to where I purchased something from. I may begin to get crazy ideas of moving furniture around (at a later time). 
- Stepping outside to smell the roses. I know that's such a cliche, but it's very true. If there are flowers, walk outside and smell them. Look at the details in the flowers.. they're artwork and pretty inspiring. You may even see little creatures crawling around getting their snack in.
- Going outside and laying in the grass. Anytime of the year this works, really. Even if there's snow on the ground, or if it's raining. It sounds nuts but being that close with nature is incredible.
- Going to the store and purchasing a coloring book and pack of crayons. Long ago I discovered this. Not just from spending my entire youth in Art classes, but coloring in a silly book, staying in the lines is truly therapeutic. Next time you go to the store pick out a coloring book and grab a pack of crayons.
- Shut off the phone. Sometimes our stress can be a direct impact from the phone. It's okay to turn it off for a while and tuck it in a drawer, your purse or in a room that's not in your direct view.
- Taking goofy photos of yourself. That's always been a go to of mine. I must have hundreds thousands of photos that I'll never share because I look absolutely ridiculous but they make me laugh. Set up a timer, put makeup on, or decorate your face and hair. Let your face relax and think of every emotion or gesture there is. Just be yourself and you don't have to worry about what anyone else thinks. 
- A go to hobby always relaxes me. I am always finding new hobbies that don't last very long but perhaps that's a good thing. It keeps my mind busy and challenging. 
- Since I'll be a FTM "First Time Mom", going in Autumn's Nursery and laying on her white squishy rug on the floor has been so peaceful for me. I can lay there for hours just thinking about the day she's sleeping in there. 

I know not all of those stress relievers I do now will be the same when Autumn arrives. The bottom line is no matter how bad things are we are still breathing and it's okay to take a step back, take that deep breath to make you realize... you're still alive and give yourself a time out by doing something that occupies your mind and body.

#88: We are going to sit in the grass and make dandelion necklaces & crowns while taking silly photos together. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

89 Days Until We Meet You

One year ago 8.17.13 I married this very handsome man (the one without the floppy ears). My best friend who I've been so lucky to spend 13 years of my life with. To find someone who means the world to you and you to them and soon bring a child into the world that is a product of the love we have for one another, that's truly priceless.

I remember in my teen years with the crushes, the heartbreaks and the breakups in Junior High and High School. I remember hurting so much and thinking it was the end of the world, you know that feeling? You feel like you'll never find love and just pity yourself. 

When I met Charlie he made all of that go away. I knew when I met him that he was who I wanted to be with. I even wished on a shooting star as cliche as it sounds. Prior to us dating I sat beside him outside talking one night and looked up. Not only was it a shooting star, it was my first shooting star I had ever seen. I wished that we would be together and spend the rest of our lives together.

#89: I will be there when you go through your first heartbreak and I promise that you will find the love of your life someday.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

90 Days Until We Meet You

There is a genuine, calming feeling when you're home. My favorite part of our home has always been the deck. I appreciate it's presence no matter what season we're in. Especially, our very worn down swing that I've spent countless mornings, afternoons and evenings laying on with Peanut. Evenings that Charlie and I had just sat there in silence or discussing our day. 

As a child my Papa had put together a swing on our front porch that we shared with my grandparents. I remember sitting on that swing beside my Papa while he read the newspaper, or smoking a cigarette talking to someone across the porch. It was comforting to be beside my grandfather and listen to his voice. Even during the last year we had with him we would sit on that porch together. I was home. 

I look forward to the day little Autumn can sit beside us or even climb up on her own on the swing, or future more updated swing. I hope she finds peace in those moments I had whether I was sitting with someone, Peanut, reading or writing my poetry. 

You look at the rusted object on our deck and see a swing. I see my past, where I am now and the many memories we will create as a family. Where ever that swing is, we will be home.

#90: All of the many adventures we'll have. One being bringing your big brother Peanut to the park. 

91 Days Until We Meet You

Friday was one of the turning points in the pregnancy. Reaching the Third Trimester was something I prayed for every day. As exciting as being pregnant is and the beautiful journey you go through, there are still points where you feel incredibly scared that something could happen. It's a feeling that doesn't technically go away, but for each milestone that you reach it feels like a true success and makes you feel amazing that you are okay. We are okay.

#91: We're going to grow a garden together someday. You'll be able to pick out your owns flowers and we'll watch each day as they begin to grow.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

92 Days Until We Meet You

Clearblue: Facebook * Website

When we were trying to conceive I must have spent $100... $200+ (I'll stop there)...on Pregnancy Tests. That's not a lie and it's easy to reach, believe me. I couldn't stop testing because I was constantly praying it would happen and the day I tested would be the day I saw the +/-, two lines, or "Pregnant" across the screen. The worst thing I ever did was take a blue dye test. I do not recommend if you're are looking to find out if you are, to take any with blue dye. For some reason they have a lot of errors, the lines are faded or you may get a false positive. 

The month we did conceive I purchased a new box of digital Clearblue tests and when I saw "Pregnant" I cried. I knew in my heart that there was no way it was wrong. That was my ultimate yes you are pregnant Katie. I cried my eyes out as I showed Charlie and said "it's real this time!" It happened! 

The greatest part was that I could see if we were progressing. A week later I took another and of course it went from Pregnant to and additional 1-2 at the bottom. Then a few weeks later I took yet another for the comfort of seeing 2-3 and then 3+. I was sad when I didn't need to take them anymore and I'm not going to lie... I may have snuck one in around 5 weeks just to still see 3+ pop up on that screen. 

I reached out to Clearblue to thank them for the product and confirming our beginning with Autumn Lily. Above was a beautiful gift that Clearblue has sent Autumn and myself that arrived today. A personal, handwritten Thank You note from Karen the Clearblue Community Manager, a onesie with their logo and the onesie I'm head over heels in love with that says... "I'm a little miracle" as Autumn is truly without a doubt our little miracle that we are so thankful for each day. 

Thank you so much Clearblue!!

#92: Making brownies and sitting there while we both take spoons out and lick the remaining chocolate in the bowl!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

93 Days Until We Meet You

Owl Socks with Bells and Pink Kitty Rattle from The Nesting Duck Gift Shop in Pine Point, MEShoes from Zulily: Peach & White Chevron Mary JaneFloral HeadBand from PoshLittleTotsCamera Tee and Dream Big Tee from Carters

The only thing on my mind 24/7 is.. "What can I do next in the Nursery?" and "What cute items I can buy for Autumn through Etsy or Zulily?". I am just so in love with the idea of getting her room ready and filling her closet and drawers up with fun little items to take a million photos of her in. 

The idea of socks with bells like the Owls above is way too cute. Not only will the owls be facing her when they're on her teeny feet, but knowing they will jingle whenever her little legs shake around... that is priceless. And of course, when I saw the Camera Tee my first thought was, where can I get one in my size so we can match? Craziness but being a Photographer that $5 shirt I could not pass up!

I put up a cute rack with hanging hooks that goes over the back of her door. Why? Well I thought each night I could pick her outfit out for the next day to give her Dad a little hand when it comes to figuring out what to dress her in. However, I have to admit that I'm even more excited to see when he dresses her on his own and has to pick through her clothes.

#93: The first time we take you to Disney World! If you're still small you'll be propped up on your father's shoulders as we watched the fireworks at Epcot.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

94 Days Until We Meet You

I have just another week before I enter my 30s and I have to say.. that I'm pretty damn excited about it. Not only is it beginning a new decade and a life changing event for me but little Miss Autumn Lily will be starting this new Chapter with me. Starting fresh! 

I have been spending so much time lately going through photos of when I was a child and having Charlie pick through his as well. I want to be able to compare all those stages of our childhood to her as she grows. All of those little features she will have we talk about a lot. Who's eyes she'll have, what nose will be more like hers, if she'll be tiny like I was or have his olive skin. What color her hair will be eventually and if she'll have green or blue eyes. We've been creating a visual in our mind and I'm so excited to see our cute little baby. 

This will all happen in my 30s and it's truly the best gift I could ever ask for. 

#94: The collection of Photo Books (which will end up being a whole Encyclopedia Britannica Collection) you'll have for each year of your life along with many special occasions in between. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

95 Days Until We Meet You

I think one of my greatest fears of becoming a Mom and I know it's what others feel as well is protecting our children. The News lately seems to get worse as each day passes which is inevitable. There will continue to be these stories and bold headlines in which they stand out letting us know that evil exists out there in the world. 

When I was younger I had this strong view in which every one is good in the world, even those that commit some of the most tragic crimes. That deep within them there is good and they just need someone to help bring it out of them. As I've gone through life and witnessed events or had an impact from things I've seen, I realized that perhaps there was good at some point in some of those people but sadly it's not there anymore. 

I want to protect my child but I do not want her to live in fear. I hope to be able to show her so much good in the world that she does see that the positives outweigh the negatives every time. I want her to experience life while knowing her surroundings and also keeping an open mind and open heart.

I hope that if she sees someone lost in life she will help them find their way. I hope she doesn't judge others but can decipher whether where she is and who she is with is safe. I want her to always find a silver lining and to be able to look past the darkness that sometimes can be suffocating whether it's from the news or in general, negativity in our lives and be able to smile.

She has the biggest heart as I have heard it beating so many times.  

#95: We will go barefoot together and jump in puddles while it's raining. 


Sunday, August 10, 2014

96 Days Until We Meet You

This is my last week before entering the 3rd and Final Trimester of my pregnancy. I was looking back at all of the events that occurred beginning in the 1st Trimester and thought I would list some of those to have written down in case my memory slips someday.

1st Trimester:
  • Seeing our first positive on the pregnancy test before even hitting 4 weeks. Then taking a gazillion (yes... a gazillion) more just to make sure that positive did not change to a negative. 
  • At 5 weeks when we felt confident of the pregnancy, Charlie and I took a day trip together to celebrate as we walked around Gillette Castle and grabbed lunch. It went in the book as one of the happiest days of our lives.
  • Sharing the news with our parents and siblings. It was so hard keeping that from everyone as we wanted everyone together to announce at once. The excitement, tears and hugs were priceless.
  • Going up to Boston to spend a weekend with 2 of our Best Friends. 
  • Finding out that one of my best friends & cousin's are also due with their first babies.
  • The first Doctor's Appointment which was very upsetting.
  • The second Doctor's Appointment which followed 5 days later in which everything turned out to be better than we expected. 
  • Being handed our first ultrasound photo.
  • Ordering a Fetal Doppler Monitor  to hear the heartbeat at home. 
  • Receiving the Monitor in the mail only after 3 days and after 20 minutes of listening to what ended up being my heartbeat.. we heard our baby.
  • Two of my very best friends giving birth to their second babies! 
  • Planning and prepping for my sister's Bridal Shower.
  • Our official Announcement at 10 Weeks that we are expecting our Little Miracle in November. You Can watch our video "Here". 
  • Dinner & Lunch Dates with all my wonderful friends, catching up and enjoying each other's company.

2nd Trimester:

  • Finally feeling safe enough to get my hair done and hide all the dark roots that were taking over my head.
  • Celebrating my Sister's Bridal Shower on a day with perfect weather!
  • Finding out the Gender of the baby.
  • Uncertain of the gender of the baby.
  • Going back to confirm the gender of the baby and it was different than the first time.
  • Confirmation that we are having a GIRL as the umbilical cord decided to move out of the way.
  • Going away for a long weekend with Charlie to Lake Winnipesaukee where I finally was getting my appetite back and ate everything in site. We took a train ride and then drove ourselves around the entire lake. 
  • Celebrating Charlie's 34th Birthday at a Max Burger
  • Bought Charlie some gifts for Father's Day from myself and little Autumn. One being a book that had a list of all the amazing Kid Friendly places to hike in CT. Right up his alley!
  • My sister's BIG DAY arrived. A wedding that was truly beautiful, memorable and perfect!
  • Being a part of my nephew Parker's "Blessing Ceremony".
  • Completing the Anatomy Screening of our little girl to find out she had a small Choroid Plexus Cyst in her brain. We were told it was nothing to worry about and would go away in the early 30 weeks of pregnancy. Of course.. we worried.
  • A jam packed 4th of July Weekend where I discovered the pain I was constantly having was from my Gall Bladder.
  • A follow up screening to confirm little Autumn had no heart defects (which she doesn't) and a surprise to find out that the cyst had went away prior to 30 weeks. 
  • Another hair appointment to banish the roots as those amazing Prenatal Vitamins sure made my hair grow!
  • Off to vacation we went to celebrate our last time as a couple. 
#96: A favorite past time as a family will be going to the store to buy a loaf of bread 
and sit at Mill Pond Park while we break away little pieces to feed the ducks.


Saturday, August 9, 2014

97 Days Until We Meet You

It's amazing how quickly life changes from being a "couple" to "soon to be parents". I feel that since the moment we saw our positives on the many pregnancy tests we have been in full speed to planning and preparing for her arrival. Our weeknights have not entirely changed except for the occasional drinks we would have with friends which I truly miss. Oh and I sure do miss wine as well. Our weekends seemed to be much more busier than ever before. We occasionally would attempt to sleep in late on a Saturday and Sunday but I blame my early wake ups to start fresh at the task that's on my mind that day.

I look back at the photos of Charlie and I throughout our 13 years together and they have always been so complete in my eyes. The photos were of only us and that's all there was for those years. 

Here begins our new chapter. I know besides the bump protruding from my unbuttoned, unzipped, tight pants the last 6 months.. our little girl isn't seen in the photos. I don't consider her missing as I know she's there, but what I've been doing is keeping photos of Charlie and I so that someday we will retake them in the exact location. She will be filling in that empty space beside us with that huge smile, pig tails and cute polka dotted dress which I picture all of the time when I close my eyes. Our family of 3 + our little fur babies of course!

#97: Making hand prints in stone together as a family. 

Flowers, Monkeys and Etsy!

Top Right: Little Pretties Boutique ~ Etsy Shop

I just can't help myself.. honestly.. I can't. Browsing Etsy or I should say stalking the Etsy website is more like it. I'm always searching for adorable items for Autumn's nursery along with things for her. I came across some really cute stores that I just could not pass up. 

I was looking for the separators for the closet to make finding the sizes much easier as the clothes I currently have do not look to different from one another as the months change. There is an enormous amount of awesome shops on Etsy that have these and though I had trouble making up my mind the little monkeys caught my eye at Little Pretties Boutique!

Then of course I've been on a mission in search for hair accessories that can be used throughout the year and not only when Autumn is a newborn. There is another little baby girl in our family that will be arriving soon and I wanted to get her some hair accessories too. These two shops have such sweet, delicate and elegant hair pieces for little girls: PoshLittleTots and HartsandRosesBoutique. I recommend if you have a little girl or know someone who is to visit their shops. 

All of these beautiful surprises that I thought I would not receive for another week were shipped so quickly and packaged very well. I'm so impressed and there was no way I could not share this with all of you!

Friday, August 8, 2014

98 Days Until We Meet You

Today is the celebration of 26 weeks in which Autumn has been growing in there. That's 14 weeks out of 40 weeks (give or take) that we have left until she greets all of us with her beautiful little smile. 

I have to say that this journey has been quite unpredictable no matter what everyone who has been through this experience has told us and prepared us for. I've learned that though the "process" is similar, everyone has a different experience in pregnancy. 

For starters this little Peanut of ours couldn't make up her mind when it came to food for the first 16 weeks and I spent the majority of my day with my head in the toilet... so so very attractive. 

She even gave us quite the scare at 7 weeks in the very beginning that left Charlie and I very distraught for 5 days. They were by far the longest and heartbreaking 5 days of our lives in which we distanced ourselves from everyone around us. It was very emotional when we had learned that everything was going to be okay. 
It's been smooth sailing since then!

I can't wait to tell her someday about the times she was sleeping inside and I didn't feel movement for hours so of course I would shake my tummy a little to wake her up. If life was like the movie "Look Who's Talking" I'm sure she would be yelling at me in that Bruce Willis accent.   

I want to share with her the videos I've taken of my stomach along with the earlier videos of her heartbeat on the fetal doppler monitor. The mornings I lay in bed beside Charlie while we watch my stomach move from side to side like a seesaw. The day we watched her kicking exactly where my tattoo is and then we saw what was a foot, hand or elbow completely glide all the way up the side of my stomach like a groundhog on the hunt.  Her consistently tiny hiccup bumps. When my stomach stays in a lopsided form for hours at a time. 

It's all pretty incredible and I miss it already thinking about this experience.

#98: The first time you write your name in the sand.   

Thursday, August 7, 2014

99 Days Until We Meet You


One year ago we were exactly where we are today. On vacation and completely relaxing as we were 10 days away from our Wedding Day. I remember the excitement as I had no stress and knew everything would work out. I honestly can say that in this moment I feel the same way as we will be going from just "Charlie and I" to our little family

August 29th marks 13 years of Charlie and I being together. 13 years of pretty incredible, fun, challenging, sad, happy and unpredictable memories. It has been just the two of us that we have shared all of our love with. I love him even more everyday, as each second passes and now as Autumn continues to grow inside of me.. I can feel myself creating even more love that we will share with her. 

I've been "people watching" on the beach each day and of course I immediately am drawn to the little babies wobbling around as they are trying to keep their balance walking in the sand. The little bonnets protecting their hairless heads from the sun and the adorable floaties they are tipping over in as their parents make sure they're ready to go into the water. The sunglasses falling down on their faces and the bulge from the diapers underneath their bathing suits. It doesn't get any cuter than that. 

#99: Your first beach photo rocking some sweet sunglasses. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

100 Days Until We Meet You

It has been a very long year for my husband and I. When I say long I mean that in the most positive way. Last November I went in for surgery which you can read about 'here'. From that day forward ours lives have changed in such an incredible way that for almost 10 years we never imagined it could have.

In 100 days we will meet our daughter, Autumn Lily. I'll be starting my 3rd trimester a week from Friday and I still cannot believe how blessed we are. Being able to welcome her into our lives is a true miracle for us. Without my surgery last November I was unable to conceive. She will be born exactly a year (her choosing of the exact day of course) from when I had the surgery to make this all possible. 

We are so in love already, head over heels.. in love! With every little kick, her endless dance moves as the noise outside of my stomach gets louder and louder. When she decides that transverse position is way more comfortable (for her). The times you like to bounce on my bladder. She's already apart of us and has my heart along with her father's. 

This week is our yearly family vacation at Old Orchard Beach, ME. I've spent each day not thinking about what we can no longer do on vacation anymore as we will have a child in 3 months, but instead, all of the wonderful adventures we can share with Autumn next time we come back to Maine. 

#100: Next Summer we will dip your feet into the chilly ocean unless you step into it yourself.