32 Weeks


How far along: 32 weeks

Cravings/aversions: nothing really sounds good or bad right now.  Baby is taking up so much room in my tummy I can only eat a little bit before I feel full, so I mostly snack throughout the day.

Feeling: Pretty good now that my heartburn is under control (thank you zantac!)  I am usually up 2-3 times a night to pee, so good times. I struggle with some insomnia if I wake up after 5am but Gretchen has been awesome about hanging out with me in bed and looking at books so I can snooze a little longer in the mornings.  The heat has been rough but I’m hoping the worst is over and fall will be here soon!  Lots of braxton hicks contractions and lots of baby movement.  I have a doctor’s appointment and growth scan this week and my OB will be back from maternity leave.  Excited to be back under her care and discuss how thing are going.

We had maternity photos taken last weekend, something we didn’t do last time around. I’m so glad we decided to have them done this time since it’s our last baby!  The ones we’ve seen so far have been amazing!  Can’t recommend Brooke German Photography highly enough!


20 Weeks


How far along: 20 weeks

Cravings/aversions: chocolate/vanilla swirl ice cream cones, pork pot stickers, California rolls, caeser salad.

Feeling: Really good, lots more energy and about 50% less puking.  Some pelvic pain that comes and goes but I’m planning to visit with a chiropractor to see if I can get some relief from that.  As it gets more hot and humid I’m more uncomfortable so we plan to spend most of the summer in the pool!

For Mother’s Day we had an elective ultrasound to learn the sex of the baby.  After our crappy experience at our NT scan we wanted a more positive one when we found out the news.  We all guessed girl and were all right🙂  Gretchen is thrilled and talks about her baby sister all the time.

We’ve also picked a name


We are at least half way there! So excited to meet baby Cora🙂

Pregnancy Update


How far along: 14 weeks

Cravings/aversions: I crave salty stuff, not big on sweets with the exception of Dr. Pepper and my favorite iced chai from Starbucks!  I ate buffalo chicken dip for lunch a couple of days earlier this week.

Feeling: Mostly okay, the worst thing is the insomnia which hits a few nights a week.  This pregnancy has been very different from the last since I haven’t had to take progesterone supplements.  They exacerbated the nausea last time.  I usually throw up once every morning but then I’m good.  I threw up every day of my last pregnancy so we’ll see if that happens again this time, so far it looks like it.  My appetite is significantly smaller than usual.  My energy level has rebounded now that I’m in second trimester.

I am showing much earlier this pregnancy.  I can still wear my regular jeans but they ride down and I’m constantly hiking them up.  Time to buy more maternity pants!  I’m ready for summer and maxi dress/skirt season.

Gretchen changes her mind all the time about whether it’s a boy or a girl.  She wanted to buy the baby a pacifier to help it “stop crying” so we bought a turtle wubbanub this week.  She’s currently using it on her dolls.

I definitely felt movement for the first time this week.  Much earlier than last time which I think is pretty normal for second pregnancies.

We are hoping to do some work in the finished basement this weekend to get it ready to become our new guest room. Haven’t made any nursery plans yet since we haven’t found out the sex yet (about 5 more weeks til that ultrasound).  Toying around with a baseball theme if it’s a boy.  No clue if it’s a girl.  I feel like I used up all my ideas on the first kid!

Our Happy News


(photo credit Legris Photography)

It was a long road.   We spent all of 2015 doing fertility treatments, save for a couple of months after I had surgery to try to get to the bottom of whatever our problem was.  With IUIs the egg and sperm were in the right place at the right time and conditions were perfect but still, month after month they failed. By September when we went on our early 10 year anniversary trip we had pretty much accepted that a second child wasn’t going to happen.

When we got back from our trip and I had bloodwork done to start our next cycle we found out I was pregnant.  I ovulated and conceived on our vacation, and without any assistance!  Sadly it was a chemical pregnancy, over before it ever really began, but it gave us a little glimmer of hope to keep going a bit longer.  We agreed that after 3 more rounds of treatment we were going to stop for both emotional and financial reasons.

2015 came to a close (and our insurance deductible reset at zero of course!)  I lost track at some point but I believe January was our 6th or 7th IUI, and my first time trying acupuncture (figured it couldn’t hurt even though insurance wouldn’t cover it).  I resisted the urge to start testing early but towards the end of the second week I felt crampy but in a weird way. The next morning I ripped into the box of pregnancy tests and got the second pink line we’d been waiting such a long time for.

I will be 12 weeks in a few days and while we’ve had 3 ultrasounds so far and heard the heartbeat at each one it still hasn’t really sunk in yet.  This pregnancy has been night and day different from my first one, mostly because I’m not on progesterone supplements.  If it weren’t for a bout of nausea each morning and my growing stomach I don’t think I’d believe it.

Sharing the news has been the absolute best, as we’ve had so many friends and family that have hoped with us and prayed for us the last year.

We meet with a high risk doctor (MFM) next week to discuss options for trying to prevent another premature birth.  Likely I will need to do progesterone shots for several weeks in my second and third trimesters (thought I left shots behind with fertility treatments but I guess not so much!)  We will be finding out the sex but not until closer to 20 weeks, so sometime in May.  My intuition told me it was a boy last time so I am just ignoring any “hunches” I have.  Tyler keeps saying “maybe it will be a girl and you won’t have to buy any more clothes” and I just laugh and laugh.  Apparently after almost 10 years of marriage he doesn’t know me at all😉

Thanks for rooting for us!


Year of Dates

a year of dates

Several friends gave me this idea as a gift for Tyler, whose birthday falls right after Christmas.  I really want to spend more quality time together in 2016, so it seems like a great time for this!  Here’s what we have planned:

January:  Sushi date and Tyler’s work holiday party

February: Hot chocolate at Christopher Elbow Chocolates and arcade games at Up/Down.

March: Pasta making class at the Kansas City Culinary Center.

April: Date in downtown Lawrence.

May: Lunch out and a game of mini golf.

June: Recreating our first date: picnic and a visit to the Nelson Atkins museum.

July: Drive in movie

August: First Fridays in the Crossroads District

September: Tyler’s pick

October: Brew at the Zoo

November: Brunch and a movie

December: Dinner and a carriage ride on the Plaza.

2015 in Review

January: Not the most exciting month, but we had a couple of beautiful days that were perfect for spending time outdoors.  We made a trip to the Prairie Park Nature Center in Lawrence and a visit to the dog park, a rare treat for Boopers.


February: Hosted a fun Valentine’s Day party and had a visit from our friends Aaron and Sarah.  We crammed a ton of fun (and food) into one day.  Roasterie, Boulevard Brewery, Q39, and Lidias.  We were stuffed!


March: Had a sleepover in Lawrence at Gpop and GranJan’s house for my birthday.  They babysat so we could go out for lunch.  Gretchen got to help plant seeds in Gpop’s garden.


April:  We spent a weekend in Oklahoma visiting friends and celebrating the first birthday of two of our favorite twins: Maddie and Baylor.  Also celebrated Easter with an egg hunt in Gpop’s garden.


May: Went to Omaha for a long weekend.  Spent two days at the zoo and some time at their amazing children’s museum. Can’t wait to go back!


June: Gretchen took her first ballet class and LOVED it.  Tyler and I celebrated our 9th anniversary with a trip to the Craft and Draft at Kaufman Stadium.  Also, potty training happened, and wasn’t nearly as terrible as I had anticipated it would be!


July:  Had a visit from my brother’s family around the 4th.  Gretchen loved hanging out with her cousins and celebrating her 3rd birthday with a Daniel Tiger themed party.  Boopers had surgery to remove a couple of mast cell tumors, including a ping pong ball sized one on her leg.


August: My month to have surgery!  I had an exploratory laparoscopy after months of failed infertility treatments.  I’m going to spare you the pictures of my ovaries and the endometriosis that he found. Much more exciting event: Gretchen started preschool!


September: Tyler and I took an early 10 year anniversary trip to Oregon. It was our first time being away from Gretchen for more than a couple of nights.


October:  Maybe the craziest month of the year.  I went to Oklahoma for a girls trip but a terrible stomach flu took us out one by one.  While I was away Gretchen broke her leg when she fell of the swings at the playground.  The high point of the month was going to a Royals/Blue Jays playoff game at the K with Tyler, and we won!  (Also we saw the blimp, and I love the blimp).

12107105_740318774651_5831303082502446482_n12034263_740937644431_6315979837434600778_o (1)12141735_740320171851_7429659699482837811_n

November:  THE ROYALS WON THE WORLD SERIES!!!!!!  I took a class at Thirsty Palette and sure enough, I lack painting skills, but it was a lot of fun anyway.


December: Tons of fun holiday events, Gretchen really got into Christmas this year.  Attempted to go to my sister’s graduation in Arkansas but unfortunately Gretchen ended up with the stomach flu and our trip was cut short.  We celebrate Christmas Eve on the Plaza and Christmas Day at home before visiting Tyler’s family in Kentucky.


Toby the Pug


Exactly one year ago we lost our first baby pug, Toby.  He was only 6 years old.  It was a really short life as far as pugs go, and ultimately we don’t know why he got so sick and passed so suddenly.  He’d been sick briefly in September, but rebounded, then got much sicker in October and had extensive tests and a hospitalization.  He rebounded once again and came home and while he had lost way too much weight, he was his normal snuggly self and we just hoped whatever the mystery illness was, it would disappear as quickly as it appeared.  Ultimately Toby died of a stroke, but we strongly suspect that he had cancer as he continued to inexplicably lose weight.

I never thought I’d be a pug mom when I grew up.  I had planned, since childhood, to get an english bulldog as soon as I could.  Tyler knew this when we started dating and was in agreement.  However shortly after we got married we met a pug named Pumpkin that slept in a big papasan chair and was adorable and playful and snuggly and we knew we were meant to be pug owners.  When we moved to Kansas we started the search on petfinder.  Hoping to adopt a puppy but committed to rescuing, not purchasing, a dog of our own.  In April of 2008 we applied for and were approved to adopt a pug puppy from a rescue in St. Louis.  I rushed around town buying a crate, toys, food, collar, etc. etc. To the point my credit card was frozen because they were not used to such shopping sprees and thought it had been stolen!   I had to work that Saturday so Tyler drove the 4 hours to St. Louis to pick him up.  There were 3 puppies to choose from and he made his pick and brought “Cinnamon” home to live with us.  Terrible name for a pug, just terrible, lol.  Toby snoozed in a box on the way home Tyler kept his hand on him to keep him calm when he got fidgety.  He was only 3.3lbs.  A teeny tiny baby pug all for us.  Here’s the picture I took of my first look at him.


He was so tiny and snuggly and all puppy.  Loved to play with toys and nip and your fingers and toes and then he’d just pass out in the middle of the floor and then wake up and pee on everything.  He was so tiny he couldn’t hop up on the furniture so he’d just sit by the couch and cry and cry until you lifted him up. Then he’d want down and cry and cry to get down.  He was too tiny to navigate the staircase to our 3rd floor apartment so we’d carry him out to potty every 20 minutes and he was like a fat potato you could hold in one hand.  Just the cutest thing ever.

The first night was horrrrrrrible. He cried all.night.long.  I cried thinking we’d made some huge mistake and just sure we could never have an actual baby if a pug baby was this hard. Tyler slept on the floor next to his crate with his hand in there to help calm him down.  We tried all the tricks, including a warm water bottle (all that wallgreens sold was a hot pink “douchebag”) but he promptly popped it with his sharp puppy claws and then he was mad because he was soaking wet.  Eventually he chilled out and came to love his crate and before he was even a year old you could say “crate” and he would run up to it and hop in and wait for you to close the door.  Our world pretty much revolved around him.



He had (and destroyed) many many toys but his favorite was this random stuffed platypus.  He loved her more than any toy ever.

1929799_505992691001_7406_n  1929799_506089681631_7906_n

To get exercise he would run up and down the hall of our apartment, doing his “pugtonas” and wearing himself out. Eventually he’d slide under the couch to cool down. 10400489_506800901341_402_n

About a year after we rescued him we moved into our house, and he loved the extra space and the window to observe the neighborhood.

4261_515992815671_5359372_n 1909698_517457924581_2631464_n

notice he also got kinda Chubby.  That’s when we started calling him Chubbs.

So a few months after we moved in we got the itch to get a second pug. We figured Chubbs could use a playmate and hopefully they’d play and snuggle and be best buddies.  Enter Betty Boop, or Boopers.  We drove 4 hours down to Arkansas to get her from a pug rescue, I think you can tell from this picture how he felt about it.


they were not instant buddies


Eventually they came to tolerate each other and occasionally would play or snuggle but most of the time Boopers was not very nice to him.  She didn’t like sharing the spotlight and Chubbs wasn’t fond of sharing either. Our nightly routine was to separate them so they got lots of one on one attention.  Tyler took Boopers, I took Chubbs.  Sometimes I’d rock him like a little baby and tell him he would always be my little baby pug.


Toby took MUCH more kindly to Gretchen when she entered the scene.  He took on the role of protector and was a very sweet big brother to her.  I have countless photos of him sitting right next to her during that first year of her life, especially before she got mobile.  He loved to steal her warm spot in the boppy pillow if I picked her up, and if she cried he would bring her one of his eggballs, the toy he always sucked on when he was upset.

Gretchen still talks about Toby often. She will say things like “Toby is gone.”  or “Toby was sick.” She will sometimes say “Toby is gone but he will come back.”  I think as more time passes she’s understanding that he won’t come back but it’s hard to be sure.  She loves to look at old pictures and videos of him and she will draw pictures of him too.


Toby’s favorite things: food, snuggling, sunshine belly rubs, sleeping in the big bed behind mama’s knees, cleaning up after Gretchen ate, his platypus, his eggballs, playing fetch and occassionally tug.

Toby’s least favorite things: the period of time between 2-4 pm when it was too early for dinner and he suffered from what we called “ETS” (empty tum syndrome), other dogs in the cul de sac, esp. Sally the Weimeraner, bags of all kinds, getting his nails or ears cleaned, change.  Baby pug preferred that every day be exactly the same.