We welcomed our second precious girl, Leighton Elizabeth, at 5:04PM on February 21, 2018!
8 pounds, 1 ounce and 20 inches long.
She is such a blessing to our family and Mommy, Daddy & Big Sister Hadley just adore her!
Welcome to the world, Leighton! We love you so much already!
It's finally here! Your birthday week!! We are so excited for your arrival, yet the minutes are ticking by so painfully slow. Only 3 more days (unless you surprise us before then)!
I know I have done a terrible job of documenting this pregnancy even though I had lofty goals of doing it just the same as I did the last time. It has proven to be much more difficult to find the time to write when most of my free time is spent entertaining your older sister, attempting to engage in quality family time, and trying to keep order in our home.
This pregnancy has also been a lot harder on me than Hadley's for some reason. Maybe because I'm a little older or more exhausted by keeping up with a toddler... who knows? I was more nauseous, more tired and achy, and much more emotional throughout though. Not that it was terrible, just different.
Lately, we've been struggling with the fact that you are breech and not likely to turn before your birth. I have tried so many different things to help guide you towards the head down position, including inversions, pelvic tilts, hypnotherapy, and even an attempted version. You are just content where you are. Realizing that this would mean a c-section has not been easy to take, as I was looking forward to an easier natural birth experience this second time around since I would know what to expect. Now I find myself in the position of preparing for a surgery and a more difficult recovery, when all I want is to enjoy my time soaking in your newness.
However, after reassuring conversations with friends, family, my doctor, and lots of prayer, I've decided to give it to God and am at peace with the fact that you will enter the world in your own unique way, however that may be.
Even though there may be some initial challenges, our excitement is carrying us through the scary unknown as we just can not wait to finally meet you! Especially Hadley! She talks about you all the time and about all of the ways that she plans to take care of you, including changing your diapers! Ha!
We have spent so much time preparing for you and readying our hearts for your arrival. We have decided to wait and name you when we see you, however. We have a few favorites picked out, but we want to look into your eyes and make sure that your name fits you.
We love you so much already precious girl and know that you will be the perfect completion to our family! Three more days can't get here soon enough - unless you come before then, which wouldn't surprise me in the least, as you have been anything but predictable thus far! :)
We can't wait to hold you sweet baby! See you soon! XOXO
Hadley's excited! Daddy's excited! And I am beyond ecstatic! A perfectly healthy baby girl on the way! I feel like I've won't the lottery TWICE! I've taken up residence on cloud nine at the thought of my two girls growing up together! Sweet sisters! God is good and I am so thankful for our newest pink blessing!
We're so ready for February to be here! Can't wait to meet you Baby Girl! We love you so very much already!
The longest wait in the world is the time between getting a positive pregnancy test and having your first visit with your doctor! We found out that we were expecting on June 18th and our first doctor's appointment was scheduled for July 18th! A whole month of nervous anticipation!!
Finally the long awaited day arrived and we got to hear the sweet, reassuring sound of our baby's heartbeat! We also got confirmation that there is only one cooking in there (thank goodness)!! Here are a couple of baby's first snapshots taken at the doctor's office:
The due date we were given is Feb 27th, which was several days later than I thought it would be, but we'll go with it! ;)
Our only concern at the time with this pregnancy was our upcoming anniversary trip to Mexico. Although it is not mentioned in the media as much as it was last summer, contracting Zika is still a risk in Mexico. We even considered canceling our trip, but we talked to our doctor beforehand and she felt that with the particular area that we would be traveling to and the fact that we would be staying on the resort, our risk was incredibly low. So we decided to just go. I know some may consider that an unnecessary risk to take while pregnant, but we felt that with our doctor's "blessing", so to speak, and by being super cautious we'd be okay. We traveled with heavy duty mosquito spray and hosed ourselves down anytime we left our room. While being sober in Mexico wasn't quite the let-loose, child free anniversary trip I'd been hoping for... it was still nice to get away and I guess it turned into an impromptu babymoon!
We had our second doctor's visit on August 25th.... more WAITING! But everything was great! A strong heartbeat and not much else to report. :)
Tomorrow we go back for the very much anticipated Anatomy Scan where we will hopefully learn the sex of our baby!!! SOOO EXCITED! Knowing if it's a boy or girl really helps it feel more real to me. I can finally start visualizing our future and making plans and preparations more easily!
I really don't have a major feeling one way or another... in the beginning I really felt like it was a boy due to feeling way more nauseous than I did with Hadley. I also felt like my hair was a lot thicker than during my first pregnancy, which they say can be a boy hormone thing. But now that I'm not nauseous, my hair doesn't feel as thick, my face is breaking out, and I seem to be carrying high like I did with Hadley I'm leaning more toward girl! Only God knows right now!
Oh and apparently Hadley! This is her family portrait she made at school earlier this week...
Maybe she's onto something!!! We'll find out soon!
We really just pray for a healthy baby and know that God will choose what is best for completing our family of four! We're just along for the ride!
Come back tomorrow and I'll let you know! :)
After I informed the Father-To-Be about our new baby on the way, it was time to start thinking about how and when to break the news to the rest of the fam! I try to put a little bit of thought and effort into how I surprise people with our baby news (makes it more fun/memorable, than just blurting it out) and I also try to capture their reactions on camera, which adds an extra level of trickiness! People tend to be suspicious if you just start video taping them out of the blue, so you have to be discreet!
Luckily, we had plans to see most of our family (who sadly all live out of town) within the next few weeks, so we didn't have to do any additional trip planning. It was also right around 4th of July time, so I went ahead and ordered this shirt for Hadley to wear during our announcement reveals.
Here is Big Sister modeling her shirt!
The first person on my list to tell was my Mom. We actually didn't have plans to see her in the next few weeks and I was DYING to tell someone, so I had to let her know over the phone. I got her reaction on FaceTime, though....so no worries! The quality of the video isn't the greatest, because as it turns out videotaping an iPhone or laptop screen doesn't work so well.
"So are you still going to Mexico!?" Haha! I'll post more details about THAT debacle later!
Next on our list was to tell Mason's parents. They kept Hadley for us while we were in Mexico, so we wanted to surprise them after we got back from our trip with a "souvenir shirt" for Hadley! Unfortunately, another blurry video...
Last, but not least we told G-Daddy & Nana and my brother Connor our special news. We waited until we could see them in person in mid-July for our annual beach trip to Port Aransas!
Ideally, we would have told them together at the same time,, but only G-Daddy & Connor came down to our car to help us unload our things & Hadley was already in her Big Sister shirt. I'm telling you videoing people's reactions makes things a lot more complicated!
The best part of this, is that even though Connor clearly read the shirt - he didn't get that I was pregnant until about 5 minutes later! Hahaha! I wish I would have captured THAT realization on video!
We had to capture Nana's reaction separately, since she was upstairs in the condo!
So much fun! I just love surprising people, especially with such exciting news!
There is a bit of a plot twist, however! We also were on the receiving end of some surprising news! When we broke the news to Mason's brother Cameron and his wife Keisha - they informed us that they are ALSO expecting in February!!! We are only 2 and a half-ish weeks apart!!! How crazy is that!?! Guinn family baby boom!
Once everyone was in the know our next thing to look forward to was our first Doctor's appointment on July 18th! More on that next...
The Game Plan
You know what happens when you go around saying that you will NEVER be pregnant during the summer, because it's too hot and you like rosé too much? You get pregnant in May, because God's funny like that!
Mason and I are big planners, well... at least I AM! I pretty much planned Hadley's conception and subsequent birth down to the DAY, as I wanted and needed a May baby. I had just enough vacation days stored up to ease out of the school year after the STAAR test and not have to come back to teaching with a new baby at home. Obviously, with a little help from above, my little plan worked perfectly!
Fast forward two years later... we definitely wanted and were "ready" for a second child, but wanted to wait to try until later on in the summer, AFTER a few vacations we had planned, including our 5 year anniversary trip to Mexico! We were hoping for maybe a March or April springtime baby.
What Actually Happened
Maybe a little bit of an over share, but before getting pregnant, my cycles were a little unpredictable, getting shorter and shorter over a few months time. I also had started working out a lot more during the spring to try and get my summer bod back (the surest way to get pregnant is to tempt fate by working on getting skinny again... ha!). Anyway, so when my period was a little late this past June I didn't really think too much about it. I figured my cycle was getting back on track, or maybe it had to do with my new workout routine, I really did not think I was pregnant, AT. ALL,
I woke up on Father's Day (June 18), with plans of brunch and a day full of fun to celebrate Mason! While I did not believe that I was pregs, I did find it strange that I had still not gotten my period. Wanting to set my mind at ease and rule that out, I dug out a pregnancy test that I had buried in a cabinet. I took the test, then got in the shower, and well you can guess the rest. A very faint, but clearly positive line was waiting on me when I got out.
OH. MY. LORD!!!! Are you serious!?!??!??!??! We are leaving for Mexico in 11 days!!!!!!!!! Are you freaking kidding me!?!?!??!??!??!??! I. was. shocked. My mind was racing! Should I tell Mason right away? Surprise him? It IS Father's Day! How's that for irony!? I decided to sit on the news for the moment and got ready for brunch as if it was just a normal day.
The BIG Reveal
I will brag on myself for a moment here and let you know, dear reader, that I am an excellent actress. I made it through our morning brunch like NOTHING was going on, even though my mind was racing with what this news meant for our future, for our summer plans, for our Mexico trip! Ha! I locked it up though, because I wanted to surprise Mason later at home when he opened up his gifts. Here he is, an unsuspecting father of one... or so he thinks!
Once we got home. I dropped the bomb on him, because now I really couldn't keep the news to myself any longer!
Ha! SURPRISE DAD!!!! The ol' "positive pregnancy test wrapped up in a waterford box" trick! Get's 'em every time! ;)
We definitely weren't expecting this sweet blessing, but as always, God had a special plan in store for us and a reminder that though we might think so, we are not the ones in control! Now that it has sunk in, we are overjoyed and can not wait for our second sweet baby to join the family this February!
Thanks for following along! Stay tuned for how we shared our exciting news with family!
We've been keeping a little secret ALL summer long!
Hadley has been studying for her role as BIG sister!!
Final EXAM: February 27, 2018
And now, that our secret is FINALLY out. I have so much to catch you up on!
Lots more blog posts coming your way! HOORAY!
We are so excited to share our journey towards becoming a family of FOUR!
Caroline, Mason & Hadley
Hooray! We survived another year! And with a toddler, no less! :) Our sweet little thing has entered her Terrific Two's and we are thrilled! I remember right after she turned one it seemed like she really took off! Literally, because she started walking, but she also got so much better at communicating her needs. We also were able to do so many fun new things because she was finally mobile. Well we are experiencing the same excitement now that she is two as her brain continues to develop rapidly, putting together 5 and 6 word sentences! She is telling us EXACTLY what she wants, whether we'd like to know or not... haha! And she is so curious about the world around her! Challenging, entertaining, exhausting, yet rewarding... this is two...
Two Year Favorites:
Books: "The Day the Crayons Quit!" Oh lordy.... how she loves this one! She asks for it every time we sit down to read. "Cray-yawns!!!!" The book is a really cute little story about crayons going on strike and writing letters to their owner about their grievances. Hadley could care less about the letters,as she mainly prefers to be quizzed on naming the colors over and over again... A good thing I guess, because she needed a little extra tutoring in this department. Now she can easily identify most colors including beige and gray! Haha
Foods: Macaroni. She could eat her weight in this cheesy noodle "delicacy". Sometimes we have to avoid the pasta aisle at the grocery store, just so she won't catch a glimpse. She also developed a taste for and a fondness of jelly beans and gummy bears after Easter, but of course those are only given as a treat here and there.
Movies: Hallelujah! We can watch Disney movies now! So much more entertaining than children tv programming! So far she has watched Little Mermaid, Cinderella, Lady & the Tramp, Beauty & the Beast, and Sleeping Beauty. Mermaid & Cinderella are her two current favs!
Toys: Tea Set (she loves to serve Mommy & Daddy "special" tea), Grocery cart & plastic foods (every night she covers us in plastic food as we discuss the name of each item... she's got it down though! She can easily tell a croissant, from a baguette, from a dinner roll!) Perhaps a budding pastry chef!? :) She has a ton of new toys, especially after her birthday, and is pretty good at rotating playing with them and not getting bored! Thank goodness! We have a long summer ahead of us!
*Mommy, sit down!
*What's this? What's that?
*No, I don't want new papoo (diaper)!
*Yay! Hooray! Wahoo!
2 Year Old Stats:
We visited Hadley's pediatrician last week for her 2 year check up. She still hates the doctor about as much as she always has. Cries when she gets weighed, measured, her eyes checked, her ears checked, her heart listened to, etc... it's an all around traumatic experience for her. Surprisingly she did the best for the finger prick/blood drawl. Ha!
Height: 34 3/4" (75th percentile - She grew 3 inches since her last checkup)
Weight: 24.8 lbs (25th percentile)
Head circumference: 47.6 cm (50th percentile)
Still a lightweight, but perfectly healthy!
You are so beautiful, so smart, so head strong, so loving, so polite, so gentle, and so playful! So far you are all of things that we could have hoped that our daughter would grow to be! Your growing up doesn't make us sad, however, because we are loving watching your transformation from a baby to a little girl! Daddy & I often look at each other in amazement at something funny you've said, or remembered, or learned. Each year seems to keep going faster than the last and we are cherishing every single day with you, our sweet Hadley Mae! We love you and can't wait to see what's in store for year three!
"Here's to a child who is joyful and clever! Happy day. Happy year. Happy Always and ever." - "Happy Birthday Little Pookie" by: Sandra Boynton (one of your favorite books)
Happy 2 Years!
We love you! XOXOXO
Welp! Looks like we skipped month 22.... whoopsie! That's what happens when Mommy goes back to work part time! Luckily, my little working stint is only for another 4 weeks. Meanwhile, our sweet little girl has been growing by leaps and bounds. She is such a little talker and her pronunciation has really gotten good in the last few weeks! She has most of her favorite books memorized and likes to read along with you and there's no puzzle we've given her that she hasn't dominated. We are so proud of our chatty, little smarty pants!
23 Month Favorites:
Favorite Books: She still rotates heavily between all of her favorites, which is probably why she has so many of them memorized. Lately, she's been going into her room and closing the door and reading her books by herself. We love occasionally spying on her through her monitor and watching her during quiet time. :) Such a cute little bookworm!
Favorite Foods: Still a popcorn head! She also loves applesauce and yogurt. I let her feed them to herself now and she is such a neat eater she hardly ever spills any! And of course, she has a major sweet tooth, just like Mommy & Daddy and will happily share ice cream with us whenever she gets the chance!
Favorite TV Shows: Still love love loves her Bubble Guppies and Wonder Pets! But she also has become a fan of Mickey Mouse, Thomas & Friends, & Tayo the Friendly Bus! She's got a major obsession with animated transportation! Ha! To each their own, I suppose! :)
What's Hadley Up To?
As I mentioned before, her vocabulary has exploded! She is talking in sentences now and has gotten so much better at communicating what she wants. Her teachers even commented on how well she is talking! Proud Mommy! :)
We took our first solo road trip together! We drove to San Antonio (about 4.5 hours) during Spring Break to visit G-Daddy & Nana! She did great! It was an easy trip and we had a fun time getting away for the week! She also conquered her fear of big dogs, as she became fast friends with their big black lab, Chuey!
She attended her first wedding! My cousin Collin got married to Sarah in Boullard, TX and we had a great time dancing and eating cake! Hadley also enjoyed knocking over the perfectly stacked pyramid of golf balls on the putting green next to the ceremony site. Ha! Oops!
She has been sleeping through the night in her own bed for the last week! I mean, I probably just jinxed it, but not having her join us in the middle of the night and hog the whole bed has been quite nice! We felt like we had gone back to the newborn days level of sleep for a little while there.
Her attention span has grown considerably! We can now get through about half of "The Little Mermaid" before she loses interest. Progress!
She got to visit her cousin Vivian over Spring Break, as well.... and boy was she jealous when her Daddy held another baby! I feel sorry for her future sibling! She is a Daddy's Girl to the extreme and apparently doesn't like sharing! Wonderful... :)
She is fast and likes to run away from Mommy! This has made shopping trips and daily outings so much fun, let me tell you.... Ha!
I can not believe that you will be 2 years old in just one months time! I feel like you just turned one!!! You are a joy to all who know you, sweet girl! I enjoy my time with you more each day, as I get to watch you grow up right before my eyes. Every milestone you reach, whether it be one we have worked on for months or one you just came to out of the blue, make your Daddy & I so very proud! We constantly are in disbelief at how intelligent you are for your age! And you're funny and beautiful to boot! Hard to believe that we are so very lucky to call you ours! We love you so much and will savor this last month with our precious 1 year old!
Happy 23 Months!!
I honestly didn't even know how many months old Hadley was until I looked back at my last blog post. She is such a "big girl" now that when people ask me how old she is, I just say, "She'll be 2 in May!" Counting in months just seems so babyish as she has grown up so much recently!
21 Month Favorites:
Favorite Book: "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" She is pretty obsessed with the alphabet letters right now, so this book is definitely her new fav!
Favorite Foods: Still popcorn, or as she calls it "paw-corn". She'd eat this and this alone for every meal if we'd let her. She is also a little cookie monster, but we only give her them sparingly.
Favorite TV Show: Bubble Guppies! A cartoon with little mermaid girls and boys. It's a pretty cute show and educational, so we let her watch her "Guppies" while Mommy cooks dinner.
What's Hadley Up To?
Her very favorite activity is brushing her teeth. She brushes them at least 5 times a day. I'm not sure if it's the novelty of standing on her step stool, the excitement of sticking her toothbrush under the water faucet, or that she is just really into good hygiene, but I guess there are worse concerns we could have!
She has a major obsession with school busses! We try to go sit on the front porch around 4:15pm every day as the busses are en route from the middle school to the high school. About 12 of them drive past us in a 10 minute span and Hadley is in HEAVEN! "BUUUUSSSSSS!!! Another BUSSSSSSS!!!!" :)
As soon as she wakes up in the morning, she tiptoes to our room, ALWAYS with something in tow. It's like she's bringing us an offering to come get in bed with us. Sometimes it's a doll, a book, a puzzle piece, a stuffed animal, 3 pacifiers, etc. It's always amusing to see what she will bring us each morning!
She has a "boyfriend" named Hunter in her Mother's Day Out class! :) One day Hunter's mother and I arrived to pick them up at the same time and Hunter gave Hadley a hug goodbye! So sweet! Their teachers informed us that they also like to sit on the classroom bench together! His Mama is a Longhorn, so we, of course, approve. She told me that he says Hadley's name on mornings before school. Too cute! Luckily, they will be in the same Tuesday/Thursday 2 year old MDO class next year, as well. :)
Being a little chatter bug! She learns new words daily and even surprises me with some that she knows. Like "cool!" Haha! Our communication has never been better as she is able to answer me with a "yes" or "no" about things that she wants. She still has her own babble language, but we are getting better able to decipher it! :)
What a treat it is to be your parents! When you aren't frustrated trying to get your way, you are the sweetest thing. Sometimes you'll look me right in the eye and then give me a kiss, without my even asking. You are pretty generous with your hugs, as well. We love watching you light up at the simple things in life like a trip down the slide, a passing bus, an airplane in the sky, or Daddy coming home from work. We just adore you, sweet girl, and hope that you always find such joy in the world around you!
Happy 21 Months!!!
Hi! I'm Caroline. Wife to Mason, Mommy to Hadley. Follow our adventures in parenting, as I take a break from teaching to become a full-time Stay at Home Mama! :)
Growing Up Guinn