Two Babies

Paityn’s eyes light up when she excitedly observes she and Hudson are laying together in bed or are both in my exhausted arms. “Two babies!”

The transition to having “two babies” was a rough one the first month. Struggle bus galore. Paityn seemed to be concerned that we would leave one night just like all of the visitor’s did after Hudson was born. She started needing reassurance anytime we’d be in the car driving that she was coming too.

“Dadda, coming? Momma, coming? Paityn, coming? Baby, coming?”
“Yes Paityn,” we’d tell her, “you’ll always come with us.”

For weeks Landon laid next to her crib holding her hand through the slots, soothing her hurting and worried heart till she fell asleep. Breastfeeding Hudson often made her jealous. I offered every time she tried to push Huddie off that she could go next, Hudson just had to go first. She took me up on the offer once, and bit me within 5 seconds. Turns out a good latch isn’t forever.

Let’s also not forget the pink eye that kept sweeping through our house that month.

And then something magical happened at the 4 week mark. We got our sweet Paityn back. Sighs of relief happened. I was never concerned that we’d ruined her life. But it was hard to see her not herself.

But everything went back to normal; minus my huge pregnant belly and with a chubby little newborn in our lives now.

The girls started sleeping in till 11am some mornings. Paityn took up nursing her doll while I nursed Hudson, or started using the free time to get into a little mischief. We fell into a routine. I learned the habits that made our days go smoothly, and joyfully even most days. Suddenly our texts to Landon were cheerful updates, the sweatpants and unwashed hair days were fewer and further between, and that peaceful motherhood confidence set back in.

I will clarify, it’s strongest when both girls are sleeping. ;)

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Favorite Baby Products

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The field of baby products is constantly changing, as are my favorite products. But I’m of the mindset that this phase of being a mother to a little one is short, so I’m all for trying-all-the-things!

With Paityn I used babyli.st as our baby registry instead of a large box store because of the ease of adding products from any online store, including Easy. With Hudson I used it as a way to stay organized for personal use, and to share with you guys what my favorite things are if you were shopping as well. This is not sponsored in any way, I really just love this site.

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I’ve added the link to my menu and hope that we can talk baby products + this can be a place where you can ask questions about anything you see listed as my favorite. I love the fluid nature of the page — prices are constantly update, I can rearrange/organize, and change notes if they’re confusing or need clarification.

Of course at the end of the day, many of the products are just nice things to have to make motherhood sweet. All you really truly need for a baby is a place for it to sleep, your body to feed and cuddle, a way to contain and dispose of waste, and a proper carseat. And love.

 



 

Nursing in Public

“But truly, women are amazing. Think about it this way: a woman can grow a baby inside her body. Then a woman can deliver the baby through her body. Then, by some miracle, a woman can feed a baby with her body. When you compare that to the male’s contribution to life, it’s kind of embarrassing, really.” ― Jim GaffiganDad Is Fat

I didn’t set out to be someone who had strong feelings and opinions about nursing. It happened gradually over the past few years.

The wheels started turning during my first few months with Paityn. I remember lamenting to my mom the need to use a cover while nursing my child, wishing that it could be no biggie to nurse freely wherever whenever.

And then I began to learn that it is. Or that it should be.

There are still situations now where I draw the line and need a cover. The list usually includes being with people who aren’t complete strangers, church services (as backwards as that sounds when you think about it) or situations where I can’t relax.

If we’re being completely honest I cover for my comfort. It’s difficult to let milk physically flow while being stressed out trying to maintain eye contact with someone, all the while wondering if the extra skin they’re seeing while I nurse coverless measures up to their standard of beauty.

IMG_0721IMG_0731 Why am I not concerned about the rest of the people in any given room? Because I know they’re going to be ok.

I believe that by nursing in public I share the message that my breast’s primary function, their intended purpose according to my Faith’s doctrine, is to nourish this child of mine.

Yes they are an erogenous zone. But so is the mouth, neck and earlobe. And you’re not going to judge me for showing those three. Yes the world has sexualized the breast.

But that is the world. And I believe in a better reality.

So I nurse.

And sometimes you guys, breastfeeding becomes a beautiful moment and I want to bottle up all of those emotions and take all the photos of their milk drunk faces. And other times it’s a routine moment because my daughter is hungry, and she needs to eat.

I nurse because the World Health Organization repeats over and over again that it is what our babies need. Every single one of them. In every single country.

My Faith recommends nursing for at least 12 months, and the World Health Organization urges to stick with it for 2 years and beyond. I set a goal that I knew I could do this time: of 18 months.

I stopped early last time, convinced that my melon sized chest would surely shrink down the way the rest of my body had. I had beauty ideals for myself that breastfeeding wasn’t meeting.

But nursing isn’t about physical beauty. So I’ve learned to be comfortable in this body. And if this is the cup size that my body knows to grow into to feed our daughters, then so be it.

I will be comfortable in this body.

I will be comfortable nursing my child when she needs to eat. I will learn to continue to accept that it won’t always be at an ideal time, but that I can relax wherever I am, and allow the milk to flow. Because she needs that from me.

IMG_0718So if I’m out to dinner, I won’t hide in a bathroom stall. If I’m attending church services I won’t hide in a side room missing special ordinances and messages. If you choose to step out to nurse — whether for your comfort or your child’s specific needs — I support you, and am so grateful for any building that provides a space for mothers. But I’m staying in the pew, trying to act nonchalant with Hudson under the cover trusting that it’ll get easier.

If I’m attending an event I won’t fearfully pump ahead of time to avoid having to nurse when she gets hungry. But I may ask you or Landon to sit close next to me to help me relax and remind me that it’s ok, and to talk with me.

I’m human, and I need to learn to trust the setting before being vulnerable.

I’ll nourish this child, and you nourish your child. We’re raising the next generation.

And I’d like for this to be a world where the focus on the body is spiritual. That my girls know their bodies are made by the ultimate Creator. And that we’ve had enough sexualization of the female body from past generations. We’re ready for a new reality.



This post is a collaboration with Cover Me Ponchos. Instead of telling you about the cute evening that we had taking these photos I wanted to share thoughts that have been on my heart the past week. I hope you don’t mind. Mint Poncho c/o Cover Me Ponchos.

This guy.

Is steady making progress growing his hair out
Finds a trail marathon to be a beautiful way to spend Saturday morning (3rd in his age group this past weekend!)
and fancies the idea of a romantic vacation together in Patagonia or Banff over any tropical island.

Can talk plans for a little home together to my heart’s content,
and will take “the long way” on our way to water our garden each night to scope out sweet homes in the area.

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Somehow happily cooks dinner on the nightly. I’d probably go crazy y’all.
Watches our babes at the track while I slowly run a handful of laps
and is always down for a chocolate run at 9pm.

Two babies and a wedding anniversary in a few short days.
How has it only been 4 years??
How do I love him so much more now?

Life is good with this guy around.

The Sling Diaries | Celebration

Celebration. I’m not the life of the party by any means. If you know me in real life you know that I am fun loving and bubbly, but reserved and cautious. If I’m going to tell you a story about celebration I’d most likely be most comfortable sitting cross-legged on the floor somewhere casual, telling you about my heart and just how full it is.

I value peaceful happiness more than almost anything and find a full and blissful heart a reason to celebrate. Sakura-Bloom-Celebration-31

As I laid Hudson down next to me after a short 2am nursing session the other night, I took a second to look over my little family before turning off the lamp. Paityn, passed out with her arms spread out across a good portion of our full-sized bed, caught my eyes first. Despite the lack of room that I now had to sleep on, I felt a surge of love for her that I hadn’t felt before. There’s something about those post nursing sessions in the middle of the night that cast a lovely glow on everything in the room. I survey all her features — the curve of her neck, her sweet relaxed shoulders, the way the shadows fall on her eyelids, and how even in the near dark her lips are clearly pigmented. I make a mental note to help support her so much that I can help her act as sweet during the day as she looked in that moment. I look over finally to Landon, thinking about all of his help that night alone. I send a cheesy text then quietly lay down, hoping the notification sound doesn’t wake him up and that he’ll see it when he wakes to run in a few short hours.

As the week went on, thinking back to those few minutes at 2am, I realized it wasn’t just that magical hour that had a lovely glow to it. When I think about other portions of our life they look just as lovely through my eyes.

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I’m fortunate to not have the mindset or fear that can set in when one realizes just how good life  — that surely a setback must be around the corner. Rather I know how bleak things can be, and have been for us at times. I seek to celebrate when things are good. We just passed the two year anniversary of when our relationship turned a beautiful leaf for us as a couple and for our little family of three. — I think back to that phase of life and the unwavering hope and trust that I had in our future. Through lots of tears at the time I knew and trusted the promise that there were good things up ahead for us. That life would return to normal, a new and improved normal! But I had no idea what to picture.

And then here were are. Back in the state of Utah that quite literally make my heart flutter. With two sweet daughters. Landon working for an outdoor company that he loves. Family nearby and friends to play with at the park during the day. Adventures almost every night. Laughter and the sound of us cheering on our toddler when she poops on the toilet or picks up a new word. Taking too many photos and getting attached to them all. Shared dinner at a dining room table that Landon cooks nightly. I’m not sure how my 2013 self would feel about that one though. I’m sure I would’ve hoped I’d have gotten it together by now. ;)

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More than anything if I could go back and show that worried wife and new mom one thing, I wish I could somehow show her just how full my heart is now. I picture holding out my hands with a literal heart in my them; healthy, beating and so alive.  I know that I would cry as I earnestly shared about how good life would be in just two short years. That I know her pain, oh how I know it. But I know of an even better joy now, and that I’m absolutely soaking it up and enjoying every moment of it.

Just as much as my heart relaxed when Landon and I started dating every time that he’d refer to a future event he wanted to do together, signifying that our feelings were mutual, my heart has been able to relax knowing that this happiness has a future.

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Now, If you’re going though a rough patch I hope you’ll trust me as I hold out my hands to you too, sharing that I promise there is goodness up ahead. That there will be more to celebrate than you can even imagine. I hope that you feel buoyed up from time to time when you hear it from me. And if you’re in a similar joyful phase of life I hope that you’re taking the time to celebrate the good, without reservation.



I am so honored to be a part of the Sakura Bloom Sling Diaries for the 6th Volume. This is my first entry and I will have the chance to share on a few different topics over the next 5 months. I hope that you’ll enjoy following along as I share the stories that are uniquely ours. You can follow along with other sweet mamas here. This sling is C/O Sakura Bloom + is their classic linen in Cedar. Top: Cotton On Pants: Gap Sandals: BC Footwear

Summer Evening Park Dates

My poor daughter asks to go outside or on a walk more times during the day than I can count. She never begs or whines, it’s always the simple question, “owside?” And then she listens to my list of things we have to do first, “real quick.”

More times than not my well intentioned answer is, “yeah! just let me just take a shower first.”  An hour later, my hair finally done and a little makeup on my face, little sister’s now hungry, Paityn begins to lose patience quickly which makes me look at the clock and realize that if she doesn’t get a nap right then she won’t get one all day. Our adventures outside get put on hold again and again.
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Today was that kind of day exactly. Except instead of falling asleep for a nap Paityn sang and talked out loud from her crib while I did my hair. And then after an hour or so she called for me, and I came running to find her hands and shirt covered in poop. *deep sigh.*

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So tonight was our second chance.

Landon came home armed with chocolate for his stressed out wife. We picked up the house, got both girls dressed in clean clothes — Paityn having since been scrubbed down for her second bath for the day.

We grabbed the soccer ball, a few books to read, and Ellie the elephant. I threw on my new dress from Sonnet James and some saltwater sandals making a mental note to check to see if they’re still ok to wear this year.

The second we rounded the corner in the stroller she were begging for me to take her sandals off and let her down. She ran freely for a few minutes. Then taking my hand we attempted to sneak up and get close to a few Robins. Realizing dandelions were easier to play with than birds she switched her attention, her eyes lighting up every time she found a new wishflower.

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Life has gotten busy with two babies, but I feel bad about all of the time outside that we’re missing because I let life get in the way. I’m resolving to stick to my goal of a habit this next week to shower first thing in the morning; so that the first time Paityn asks to go “owside” I can finally respond, “yes! go grab you shoes!” And on days that I haven’t made it in yet, I’m resolving to be ok with going to the park with a giant pineapple of hair on top of my head. Showers can wait.

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Stokke Crusi + sibling seat || Sonnet James Florence Dress || Solly Baby Wrap in Orchid

The First Two Weeks

The time flew by quickly as time often does during a transition phase of life. One second we were packing up our things in the hospital and putting Hudson in her car seat to go home, the next minute both of our moms had come to visit and then returned to their homes again.

I’m a big believer in getting out of the house once a day — so starting with that first official night home from the hospital we ventured out for dinner with Avery and Trever along to help. We caught up over nachos at Costa Vida on how Paityn did spending the night with them, learning that she woke up multiple times crying for the baby (having seen Hudson the day before when they came to visit us in the hospital.) We got our turn the next few nights as she did the same — waking up just whimpering for the baby.

Pink eye had (of course) decided to land in both of her eyes the day we brought Hudson home so Landon would curl up with Paityn helping her fall asleep safely away from the little one.

By then my sweet mom had flown in from Alaska and was able to help with the 24 hour quarantine phase, and we got right back to little outings every day. The mall one day to grab a nursing friendly dress, grocery shopping and or the park another day. Landon was back to work a week after Hudson was born, but those six days together meant so much to me and our relationship. I can’t tell you how much my love for him grew in that short amount of time.

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One of my favorite nights with him was the night that Utah got hit with a random/freak windstorm. Without any real plans for the evening — my mom spending the night with her sisters, we packed the girls in the car and went for a drive. I hope I’ll be able to remember those sweet emotions forever. The simple but strong love in the air as we turned on some music and drove North and then up the canyon. Nothing to talk about we joked and laughed and held hands and watched the clouds close in on us, the sky becoming rusty colored and dark. Then up the canyon we went, the clouds parting revealing peaks of brighter sky and the ground showing off some of winter’s snow. I accidentally also fell even more in love with Utah that night and vowed to never leave.

At some point we headed off to Pizzeria Limone to share a pizza and diet coke as the storm intensified in wind and rain. Paityn was the happiest camper, having finally gotten her first nap for the day on the drive. Again we ate and laughed, and I nursed Hudson for the first time in public. We got kind smiles from strangers in the restaurant who were sitting out the storm, the kind of smiles that somehow reassure every decision that led up to where you are now.

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There were a few days in these first two weeks that weren’t quite as romantic and lovely. Paityn’s struggle to fall asleep without Landon near by kept up long after the pink eye was gone. I saw a jealous side of her for the first time during a random nursing session, and then saw it again and again. It’s hard when I just have one lap but two babies that want to (or one that needs to) be on it. Speaking of we can’t forget the days of counting down from ten and closing my eyes tightly every time Hudson would latch on, and wondering if that dang Lansinoh was even doing anything. But looking back if my biggest pain postpartum has really nothing to do with being postpartum or from labor, then that’s probably something to celebrate. After a day or two of ibuprofen after coming home from the hospital I was really feeling great. Huzzah!IMG_0824

Now that this pregnancy has come to an end, I feel surprised at how complete our family feels now and how uninterested I feel towards the idea of pregnancy again. Which is totally ok! I have a sweet little daughter to get to know and fall in love with, and a two-year old who suddenly seems years older to me. Big sister looks good on her.

xx

Birth Story | Hudson Elle

{our last night as a family of three}

Our evening began with a cute dinner date, our phones put away and focusing on each other. We laughed at clips of a show playing off in a corner and Paityn trying to eat her meal. The sweet simple love for each other was palpable. I wore my orange maternity dress, and for that hour I wasn’t uncomfortable or even necessarily feeling pregnant. The past few nights of exhausting contractions felt years away as the rain felt softly outside. It had been so important to me that Landon and I be emotionally close and in sync the night that I go in labor. At the time it had felt like just the break from pregnancy exhaustion that I needed, but it turned out to be the start of our birth story.Hudson2

We ran to the car through the rain with only one girl to buckle into her car seat for our last time. Once  inside I pulled out my phone to check what I’d missed. The decision about a blogger opportunity that I’d been refreshing my email over all week came through, and it was positive. Excitedly I read Landon the details as we drove home. It felt like just the sweet gesture that I needed to get through a few more days of pregnancy. That if I went to sleep that night and woke up on the due date still pregnant that it’d be ok.

Luckily, my body had other ideas. So as we cuddled up on the couch to watch a movie, and I tried to focus despite my excitement over the collaboration, my body began to really prepare to bring this little girl into the world. I didn’t begin to notice the consistency of contractions till I was set up to fall asleep on the couch for another night (our bed having become too miserable to sleep on) and I found myself leaning over the arm of the couch playing on my phone through waves of back labor. I knew things could carry on for a while, and that the odds of it phasing out eventually were good. I acknowledged that the next day could be a long and tiring one, and tried to not stress over that fact.

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{the real deal contractions}

Eventually I wanted to be near Landon so I crawled into bed next to him and started timing the contractions, not wanting to wake him up knowing that he had a long day of work tomorrow without the option to take a nap like I would. Around 2am I gently woke him up, letting him know they were 5 minutes apart, lasting around a minute, and that I wasn’t sure what was going to happen from there. We stayed in bed and talked till it was too uncomfortable to lay down through each one.

I killed time doing my hair and packing a few things in our hospital bag before getting into the shower finding so much relief feeling the water hit my contracting torso. And then a contraction came that scared me. There I was, not even sure if I was going to ‘go into labor’ that night, and I was experiencing a contraction that stopped me in my tracks. Everything around me disappeared as I attempted to calmly breathe through it. I got out of that safe haven of comforting water to talk to Landon — it was time to assume this was the real deal. As he woke Paityn and got ready to take her to my aunt’s the doubt stayed in the back of my mind. “If I could barely make it through that contraction in the shower how was I ever going to do this?”

Taking one contraction at a time, standing still and finding one spot on our floor to focus I got through each one while worrying about cleaning our house for our doula Gloria who was now on her way down from Salt Lake. I encouraged Landon to grab some food for himself quickly on the way home from dropping off Paityn, knowing it could be a long journey for both of us till the little one arrived. When he got home though I was too nervous to continue laboring at home. You always hear how much faster the second baby comes, and that knowledge was making me tense as I could feel the energy in my body changing — the rushes becoming stronger and closer together. I had Landon call Gloria and see what she thought about meeting at the hospital. Originally the idea of laboring as much at home as possible had sounded so lovely, but just a few hours in I was ready to be checked in. I’m so grateful for her response: “I want you to be wherever you’ll feel safe.” You guys she was the best. And it just got better from there.

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{checked into the hospital}

The worst contractions of Hudson’s birth were by far the 5 or 6 that I had in the waiting room while they checked us in. Totally our fault for not pre-registering. And thankfully they were fine having Landon answer all the questions and provide our information. Taking each one at a time I stared at a spot on the wall or floor, feeling thankful that we were at least at the hospital knowing that these contractions weren’t going to phase out like the previous three nights that week. As they wrapped up the paperwork and I watched the nurse come around to let us in, tears fell that I didn’t try to stop. It felt so good to let some of those fearful emotions go with each tear — the fear of not having help from my doula in time, the fear of having the birth go too quickly leaving me feeling out of control, the fear of not being able to do this; I was doing this.

Gloria, our doula, arrived just minutes after I was pulled into the side room with two nurses to be checked for progress. “Kyra, you’re doing awesome!” she greeted me with the warmest smile, and I believed her.  I was doing awesome. Within minutes I was walking down to the room where we’d stay for the birth and recovery process. I was dilated to a 7 and most definitely, in labor. In the comfort of my own v-neck tee, boy shorts and socks I labored with the help of Gloria and Landon, bringing little Hudson closer and closer to greeting the world.

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Going into, or rather anticipating a natural birth, I knew that positive words really resonated me. So that’s what I expected Gloria’s role to be — to help remind me of my goals, to let me know that I WAS doing this and doing it well when I thought I wasn’t or couldn’t any more. I had no idea just how much I would physically rely on her. My need for her help was as primal as it gets — I could not have gotten through each of those contractions from a 7 to a 10 without her. It was a powerful but simple need. So I sat on the edge of the bed, closing my eyes and going inward as each rush began — Gloria pushing firmly on my knees and Landon pushing on my lower back. I breathed, then later moaned through each one. When I had things under control my breathing was steady and my voice was low. If one intimidated or scared me there was an audible change in my voice, hearing it rise in pitch. She was right there giving me a breath or sound to imitate — a yoga “ohm” for example, and we would go back and forth, me trying to relax and coax my voice and fears down to her deepness till we were in sync and the contraction had ended.

All the while Landon was there, and his physical proximity was one of the most spiritual changes between my two birth’s. For this birth I was able to take the lead, showing what I needed, and he was able to support me. With Paityn he was just as involved, helping hold up my legs that had no control or feeling due to the epidural and helping coach me through pushing her into the world. This time everything felt simpler in the most beautiful way. His head resting against my upper back as he applied pressure to my lower back is a feeling I hope I can always recall. And if not I wish I could bottle that emotion up, because I fell in love with him so many times over in those moments, but didn’t realize it till a few days later.

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Still in my t-shirt bra and socks, just how I wanted, I began to feel the involuntary need to push at some point after 6am, after checking into the hospital a bit before 4am. Within minutes, after being cleared to follow the lead from my body (and after my water accidentally breaking all over my doula) I started the second phase of labor. Similar to the contractions before, once each was over it was over I was able to open my eyes and take in my surroundings. Working with my body I pushed with each rush, resting in between. But at some point early on with pushing I realized how fearful I’d become again. As I rested between two more contractions I layed back on the pillows that were propping me up and thought back to Paityn’s birth when it came down to buckling down and pushing that little girl into the world or being wheeled off for a C-section. I told myself that I needed to find that place again. With the next contraction I grabbed my legs after being scared to do so before, and lowered my chin.

A few minutes before 7am, the energy in the room became chaotic. My eyes still closed through each contraction, focusing inward and willing the child into the world, the music disappeared and more staff came into the room. Landon’s face who had been right next to mine, cheek to cheek through the pushing was now facing me telling me that I needed to do this. That Hudson was stuck and that we needed to get her out. The midwife (who was unfortunately the one that I hadn’t met yet, my appointment with her being scheduled for later that day) who had been there out of necessity up to that point in my mind became just who I needed. With eyes open now I made fearful but unwavering eye contact, doing everything that I could to lean into the contractions and push the little girl out while she helped assist with turning her shoulders. And then in the most satisfying moment ever she was out at 7:01am. Our little Utah baby.

It got a little dramatic after that, but I’m writing this story so I’d like to rewrite it a little. Because as disappointing as it was how chaotic it got as our request for delayed cord clamping was denied (as well as getting to do skin to skin right after) and my midwife rushing the placenta being expelled, the room eventually cleared till it was just Landon, Gloria and I and this little babe and all of her dark hair. All 10lbs 9oz.

IMG_1143I was disappointed that I didn’t get the chance to revel in that glorious post baby moment when all is right in the world and pain isn’t even close to a word in your dictionary. I wish they would’ve calmed down a bit, and not rushed the Pitocin into my IV lock and began the pressure to make a decision about taking other drugs to combat the possibility of hemorrhaging due to having a large baby. I wish I wish I wish. But it’s ok. She is here, and this is my birth story, it’s not going anywhere. I did it. We did it. She’s here.


I had gone into this birth wanting it to be a spiritual experience, and as we left the hospital as a family of four I left with the reminder that spiritual doesn’t mean that it has to be overwhelming or full of tears. That things of a spiritual nature can instead often be simple and peaceful — everything resonating with what you believe in.

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Along with that reminder, I left having been taught about trust on levels that I didn’t expect — learning to trust myself, my instincts, my body; and learning to lean and trust others.

39 Week Update

The week that all of my great intentions of being greatful for this pregnancy fly out the window as I wake up each morning bummed to realize I didn’t go into active labor through the night.
— that my red raspberry leaf tea drinking begins and I kick myself for not remembering to start weeks before.
— that the positive guesstimation from my midwife of when we’ll meet this little girl turns from amazingly exciting to the biggest bummer.
— that I feel the most distant from this little child as I’ve ever felt.
— that more prayers are said than I have the rest of the year combined.
–that I begin googling everything, from birth statistics about going into labor at night to full moon statistics. Fun fact, I had a 1% higher chance of going into labor over the full moon weekend. Dang moon let me down.

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Friday night/Saturday early morning contractions began around 3am that were entirely too exciting to fall back asleep through. I gently woke Landon up to let him know that I was going to take a shower but to not get his hopes up yet. I mostly needed something to do instead of letting my thoughts race, and it was just what I needed. By 5am, back in bed and fresh faced, all labor progress had fizzled and I fell back asleep.

Sunday morning I woke with a dull ache in my back and the bottom of my womb for a few hours. Not wanting to driving up to Avery and Trevers to watch conference with potentially worsening back labor we asked if they could meet us at our house instead. Together we watched conference, ate cinnamon rolls, I took a nap between sessions feeling exhausted, and we went to the park in the evening. All day I had though for sure we’d meet this little girl; Easter Sunday. By that evening however, it was clear things weren’t going to pick up.

But then early early morning Monday morning I tossed and turned through contractions that were so powerful they made me nervous for the big ones. I found myself being grateful for Gloria the doula I’ve chosen to work with already, knowing that I’ll be needing her to make it through labor. But once again they didn’t become regular and were over by morning.

The emotional exhaustion of the start and stop nature of labor was really starting to get to me. I posted a pic on Instagram and had a sweet mom chime in that prodromal labor was the worst! I quickly googled the phrase and found an article that soothed my tired heart:

“Welcome to prodromal labor. Though not often talked about and poorly understood, prodromal labor is an important subject. Likely the cause of many early trips to the hospital, emotional and physical exhaustion on the part of the mother, and dashed hopes of natural birth, prodromal labor is something that needs to be talked about more and understood better.

Prodromal labor is usually defined as a labor that starts and stops, sometimes for days on end. Prodromal labor feels like real labor, it acts like real labor and in many ways it is real labor. Sadly, it eventually stops and doesn’t result in a baby like active labor does.”

Last weekend as I said a prayer with Landon before falling asleep I found myself being led to ask for patience rather than asking for labor to progress. So I’ve tried to keep that focus on my mind as this new week as begun. As contractions begin again yesterday evening I set an intention to trust the Father’s timing and not overthink the light surges I was feeling. That when they become closer together, and seem to be leading to active labor, that I’ll know. So in the meantime I’m being grateful. I’m listening to birth meditations, soaking in epson salts, and tearing up to birth stories and youtube videos. I’m focusing on my relationship with Landon and trying to make sure that we’re as in sync and that our relationship is as strengthened as possible. We’ve got some long nights ahead! But I’m so ready.

 

37 Week Update!

Happy Hump Day! I am excited to team up again with an amazing group of bloggers {Misty, April, Shannon, Amanda, Danica, Candice, + Kaitlyn} to bring you another instalment of our linkup: Hump Day Highlights. Feel free to click on the link at the bottom of this post to join in and link up your post.

This week I wanted to share and post a bit about how this pregnancy is going, in an effort to not completely drop off here at the end with pregnancy updates once things got weird. And they’re getting weird. And awkward. And uncomfortable. But some days, like Monday night you would’ve had to remind me I was pregnant. I had done my hair earlier that day for some specific reason I’m sure — because doing my hair lately takes a reason. And lately it’s been for the weekly midwife appointments or church on Sunday. But this Monday I was feeling good.

We went to check out Marley’s Sliders in the Riverwoods after Kortni Jeane posted about them, and they didn’t disappoint! A hybrid between a full size hamburger and a bite size and a menu full of fun options from a traditional hamburger to a fajita style. Right as we were finishing up a light rain started to fall so we headed off to check out a few of the baby and toy boutiques before heading home.

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Paityn doesn’t seem to be thrown off by the growing baby bump or what it signifies, but she has definitely ramped up on just how much she loves all of her babies and stuffed elephants. I don’t know if she would’ve gone through this stage either way, but it’s adorable. My only concern is how she’ll do when little sister is here and she can’t carry her with her everywhere she goes.
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I know I said I would stick to my guns about April 12th being our due date, but after every midwife that I’ve seen wanting to call it the 9th, I’m going for it. It’s an arbitrary number anyways, and if it makes me feel better about progress each week, why not! Right? So with 1 day left in my 37th week every shirt is officially too short. Part of it could be the fact that my sweet SIL who passed down most of my maternity shirts is a solid 6″ shorter than I am, or it could be that this belly just has a mind of it’s own. Either way I’m so glad I finally got a maternity band from Target that helps keep gaps of skin between the waistband of my pants and bottom of shirts at bay.
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While Monday was a perfect day and just the date night with Landon and Paityn that I needed — Sunday and Tuesday were rough and reminiscent of the first trimester. Achy, sick to my stomach, and oh so low on energy. I’m trying to keep the perspective that it’s just my body getting ready. And it definitely helps with making me excited for labor to begin. “Wisdom in His plan” my mother in law texted me :)

Walking is ever increasingly difficult, and chocolate has become a very daily thing.  I’m keeping our weekends booked up and planned to keep these weeks flying by and starting to think about packing a hospital bag. I’m sure we were supposed to do that weeks ago. Baby girl is the size of a bunch of Swiss chard and I just can’t wait to meet her.



 

We would love for you to add your post to our link up (by clicking on the blue link below) of the things or moments you are loving this week, too. We hope you link up and follow along!

36 Weeks

The end and the beginning. // The end of this feeling like a nice experience with no specific end. The beginning of excitement setting in that there is an end, and it’s not as far away as it once felt.

Also the beginning of walking becoming a bit more difficult with a little baby’s head hanging out in my crotch and all. Seriously it’s like trying to walk forward with someone holding you in place. I’m also pretty sure I’ve started waddling a bit. It can’t be helped.

Paityn and I walked with a few moms yesterday in the sun almost 4 miles roundtrip and got at least an hour of relaxing time while the babes ran around and played at the playground we stopped at to their heart’s content. It seemed to symbolize something for me. The return of the sun, of resisting the urge to hunker down and become a hermit, being outside and trusting Paityn to play without me hovering and watching her every move. She’s getting older too, as this tiny babe grows in my womb, and I need to trust that process just as much.Hello Apparel Floral Matching Tees

Not everything about this phase of pregnancy feels so life changing though. Though it has a brighter and sunnier outlook that ever, it still feels so simple and peaceful — just what I need. Heartburn set in and I discovered Tums for the first time in my life. Oh they are lifesavers. Weekly midwife appointments have begun and they force me to actually get ready once a week. Which I need. Last Thursday at my appointment we got to see a little ultrasound of this babe on a handheld device — and though we couldn’t see much, it made it all feel real. That there IS a baby in there! And that we’re going to meet her soon.

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So the uncomfortable nights of sleep,
waddling while walking,
wearing Landon’s t-shirts and pullovers,
struggling to fit into pants,
needing help tying my shoes,
struggling to pick things up off the floor,
unquenchable thirst,
kicks to the ribs late at night,
soccer punches to the vag,
lack of interest of working out,
or even leaving the house some days;

they have an end date.
This doesn’t last forever,
and I’m going to miss this bump.
It’s inevitable.

 
 

It’s the 22 day countdown. Which means it’s time to start thinking about hospital bags, finally getting a crib for this little girl, and to continue to try and cool it on the no bake cookies.


matching floral shirts from Hello Apparel, grey still available here!

Photos with Ali Brown

Back in the day, when Landon and I were Salt Lake living and freshly engaged we got to take photos with his talented cousin Ali from Ali Brown Studios. We planned a vibe we were going for, picked out outfits, then met with her on a Saturday to shoot. Getting those photos back from her made my day/month/life. I don’t think I had ever had photos taken of me that I truly liked. We sent our favorite out with our wedding invites and now have small printed out versions hung with twine and clothespins in our room.

yellowwording bus1IMG_3695Now, almost exactly four years later we got to shoot with her again. This time for a maternity shoot with this second growing babe of ours. We don’t mess around.

We had the option to do a lifestyle family shoot of the 4 of us once this little girl makes her arrival but I am so glad that we took maternity photos. For starters it forced me to buy maternity pants, which needed to happen. [Thank you H&M maternity!] However, learn from me. I went for a flowy top, not wanting to do the typical basic ruched side t-shirt. Looking through photos later I realized how Ali quietly made the angles work so that I didn’t look like a blob of a mama. Form fitting to show off the bump is the way to go.

A few things that I look for in photographers is confidence in their work and feedback — please don’t be hesitant mid shoot and make me second guess every thing! Ali was great and reassured us right away that she’d let us know if what we were doing wasn’t working. This allowed me to relax and cozy up next to Landon without the fear that she hated how things were looking but was just too nervous to say anything. Of course natural lighting and attractive photos are also up there for me, but maybe that’s a given.

If you have the chance to take photos while pregnant, do it! I think there is such power in cultivating the mindset that pregnancy is a journey and a beautiful thing to be experiencing. There’s enough articles out there about the woes and cons of carrying a life for 9+ months and I have enough negative voices in my head about body image while pregnant. Getting these photos back totally helped me take a step back from the discomforts and insecurities I’ve been feeling with each passing week and see this phase of life from a different set of eyes.

AliBrownStudiosA huge shout out to Ali for being that different set of eyes and helping us have a cute afternoon shooting these photos. I’m ready to print out our three favorites and hang them in our 2014 goals frames. Its time for some updated photos in this home.

 

Maternity Photos with Landon

I use the phrase photos are my love language a lot around here. But what does that really mean? It’d been awhile since Landon and I had taken photos together with a photographer — our last time being with Andrew when camping near Tahoe last summer in California. So it was such an amazing reminder when after the focus of getting ready for these was over and it was just us and Ali that I remembered just how much I like taking photos with Landon. There’s something sweet mixed with a bit of those when-we-were-just-dating feelings that come back for me every time.

Maybe it’s all the kissing?

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I am so grateful to have these photos already. The more pregnant I get lately, the more I just want to be a hermit and stay inside most days till she decides to make her arrival. This was such a nice way to spend a Sunday evening with Landon and to now have these pics. They help balance out my memory of what I look like each night with my hair up and cozied up in his t-shirts.

a huge thanks to Ali Brown Studios for shooting these! more on our experience with working with her in my next post

Sling Diaries VI Entry | A Day In the Life

The sun wakes hours before we do. Landon left for work as it was just rising, kissing me softy, letting me know that I could stretch out and take up both sides of the bed. Getting comfortable at night is getting harder by the week. I slowly wake awhile later and begin my day warming up water for a cup of herbal tea that I’ll sip while I catch up on social media posts. I make a mental note to stay off my phone more today and to be present with you. You eventually begin to stir and sing to yourself in bed. You’re on a “let it go” kick that I really can’t mind when your little voice is that sweet. I wait till you decide it’s time to get out of bed and begin your day — you always let me know with an excited call for me, “mom!” I head back to your room to lift you up out of bed and you’re all smiles. Your arms are full of your favorite stuffed buddies that you don’t want to get left behind. You quickly realize you’d forgotten the bottle for your baby and scoop down to add that to your pile, which you manage somehow. SB- With your help I cook two bowls of couscous, your favorite and oh so unconventional breakfast lately. We sit on the kitchen floor and enjoy them, you laughing about one thing or another. You ask about dadda and I remind you that he’s at work. You’ve gotten used to this routine by now and nod your head, remembering that that’s how weekdays work for us. You love Landon with a love that books could be written about. Yours and my relationship feels different. For two years we’ve spent every day together. In my mind you and I are one, so our love feels simple and peaceful. You’re an independent soul though — spending the morning coloring pictures, exploring and playing while I check off things on my to-do list: a project, a blog post, a bit of reading of school. The second that I let you know that I’m free you run off to grab your shoes and quickly return to sit on my lap and have help putting them on so that we can go outside. We’ll look for “the pups”, swing in the swings, kick a ball around in the grass, and I try to resist feeling as though I have to capture every moment. Today I’ll let just being with you be enough. Other days I’ll snap a million pictures of you, or we’ll go on a lunch date, or pick up some chocolate. The pregnancy cravings are real. IMG_2823 IMG_2865-4IMG_2872-4 IMG_2837 Our afternoons are spent with the windows open, now that it’s warming up outside, and music playing in the background. You nap for another few hours, buying me time to pull our house together and work on a few more things. Lately it seems like there’s always something to do; my brain is constantly running. By late afternoon we start our routine again — you slowly waking up, singing to yourself. It’s “Let It Go” again. Soon we’ll welcome a new little babe into our home and I know our days together will have to change, but I don’t think it’ll be for the worse. Just this morning you were trying to scoop the air above my belly, telling me, “mama, I want baby out!” You’re ready, and I am so grateful for that. I know that no matter what the adjustment phase of getting used to a second little girl will be like, that we’ve got this.  Together we’ll figure it out.
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Entry for the Sakura Bloom Sling Diaries, Round VI || all photos by Landon

We Have a Two Year Old!

January 31st our little Paityn turned two. My heart naturally celebrates every milestone with here, and has since the beginning. I hope that there never comes a point where I’m lamenting the fact that she’s continuing to grow, age and thrive. Call me out if I do! It is truly a privilege that moms and parents around the world don’t get to experience — so we celebrated this birthday!

My adventure loving husband began the Saturday morning with the Kathoola 25K Snowshoe race up in Midvale UT. Every time he does a race I can’t help but get so excited and in love with the idea of running. And then I remember my base mileage is .5 of a mile and get overwhelmed by how much work it’d be to build it up. But I’m open to the idea of trying again post baby. Either way, Landon got 4th! And came home with rosy cheeks and ready to party.IMG_8023

We kept the rest of the day (mostly) all about Paityn. A bath with dadda, a trip to Target letting her take her time trying out every chair in that store and smelling every candle — while picking up some diapers, wipes and a few other groceries. Landon sneaked off for a few minutes to pick out a present for Paityn, wanting it to be a surprise for her. Me being the toy minimalist or Grinch, whichever way you look at it, gave him questioning looks when he returned with a little Duplo set. As I’m working on being a little less bossy I saw that it was cute to him, so I only questioned it and the price per block ratio a few times before setting it in the cart and going off to grab a little wrapping paper. Again — me being a minimalist/Grinch said a few times — she’s only two! She’ll love it without wrapping paper.

You guys, I am the worst. Fast forward to later that evening, Landon excitedly handing her the wrapped up box, and Paityn being the happiest little camper to unwrap it. I’m the worst!

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Included in the Duplo set were a little “mama and dadda” that she insisted on taking with her, along with wearing her new PJs instantly, to the movies. We took her to see the newest Penguins of Madagascar — which definitely felt like a sequel, save your money. But she laughed at all the right places and happily sat in the little booster seat between Landon and I. We ended her birthday night for some ice cream and meeting up with Josh and Chelsea right before they closed.

We’re a few weeks into having a 2 year old now and so far she’s still the sweetest thing ever. I can truly (and somehow!) say that I have loved every day that I have got to spend with her.  ♡

If you want to get just a little sentimental with me for a second — here’s my birthday post for Paityn this time last year — a few photos from each of the first 12 months with her. I can’t wait to see what growth happens this next year and to watch her become a big sister this Spring! If there’s one thing to be certain of, it’s that there will be lots of kisses for the new baby. This girls has so much love to share.