Category Archives: baby

Lately

This week was my very last week with the kiddos that I started nannying five years ago. Initially a full time gig that changed to part time just as my photography business took off. And over the past year I’ve really only had Will in the summers when he is out of school and only had Mallory for about 10 hours a week. So hardly even part time. But enough that we’ve still been a big part of each other’s lives. It’s hard to believe that this time is coming to an end. But it couldn’t be timed more perfectly. Mallory will be starting Kindergarten in August just as I’ll be figuring out this new mom thing. You better believe that the kids’ mom and I were both pretty emotional over that incredible timing.

will and mal 5 years later

On the left was them in 2012 not long after I started nannying them. And on the right is them from earlier this week. My oh my do I love these kids!

rach and mal 5 years later

Me and Mallory in 2012 on the left and the two of us again just this past week on the right. I have loved this little girl since she was an itty bitty baby and now she’s obsessed with all the details of my own baby girl which I think is so sweet!

will and mal 2017.jpg

They both love to poke my belly and say “Wake up, Baby!” to get her to start moving. It’s more than a little adorable. This week has been an extra sweet one as we’ve enjoyed our last days together. But now I need to stop talking about it before I turn into an emotional mess, haha! Thankfully they live less than five minutes from us and we are good friends with their parents so I’ll still get to see them! ๐Ÿ™‚

us before flight.jpg

Christopher and I have been spending tons of quality time together lately. Our goal was to finish our “house/baby to-do” list by June so that we could spend the month of July just enjoying time together (unless of course Baby V had already arrived in which case we’d be glad we had things finished early). And that’s exactly how it has worked out. We’ve eaten at all our favorite restaurants, spent tons of time with friends, stayed out late, eaten frozen yogurt far too frequently (if there is such a thing as too much frozen yogurt), explored new coffee shops, enjoyed lots of pool days, and we’ve even eaten out at a couple of fancy spots that we normally avoid because they are on the pricy side. It has been a sweet end to the “just us” time we’ve had over our nearly 9 years of marriage. I’m so thankful for this time and we are so looking forward to the next chapter of life!

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My mornings are still marked by prenatal yoga and then followed by gym time. I definitely have to take it easier than I did pre-pregnancy, but I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to continue working out throughout this entire pregnancy. Those endorphins are great and I know it’s good for both me and Baby V. Plus I’ve been told that it helps with delivery and recovery so hopefully that’s true!

38 weeks with stuffed dog

As of today I am 38 weeks and 3 days pregnant. And on this coming Monday, at 38 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy, we’ll go in to the hospital to begin the induction process. I get so emotional when I look back at this pregnancy and see every answered prayer. And there have been so many. Odds have been beat, miracles have happened. And we are so close to Monday. If you are the praying type, please join us in praying for continued safety for our daughter and that her delivery will go safely for both of us. Thank you!

Love Rach

Nursery Sneak Peak

This past weekend Christopher and I took a few photos in the nursery. I absolutely love how they turned out so I thought I’d share a couple with you guys! Plus this gets you a sneak peak at the nursery for everyone who has been asking! ๐Ÿ™‚

Maternity Pics in Nursery 1

“Ciao Bella” means “Hello Beautiful” in Italian (or also “Goodbye Beautiful” since “Ciao” can be used for both). Our talented friend, Mandy, offered to make any sign for the nursery that we wanted so after looking at lots of options, we decided on this. Initially I was leaning toward long phrases or scriptures, but when Christopher saw the “Ciao Bella” idea, he was sold. Knowing he loved it so much made it easy for me to go with it as well! ๐Ÿ™‚

Maternity Pics in Nursery 3

That dresser was my grandparents’ first dresser after they got married. And the crib is the one that I was in as a baby (as well as my sisters and niece and nephew). It was originally a drop-side crib so Christopher and a master woodworker from church converted it. A few coats of paint and they perfectly fit the vision we had for this nursery. I cannot begin to tell you how much I love how these pieces of furniture turned out! Also that pink blanket on the side of the crib is was made for Baby Vendetti by my Aunt Denise. She literally knitted the hearts into the blanket which just amazes me!

Maternity Pics in Nursery 2

The rocking chair I’m sitting in belonged to my sister, Holly (it was a gift from our mom). She used it with both of her babies. And the crochet blanket draped over the chair is one that Holly made for Baby Vendetti at my request. It turned out exactly as I imagined so I loved that! This book is one we had on our registry, but I love that it was my mother-in-law who ended up gifting it to us. Lots of prayers have been prayed for this sweet baby.

floating shelves

These are the floating shelves that Christopher built and installed above the rocking chair in the nursery. My mom got us that “Congrats” Willow Tree figurine. Kelsi (who I mentored when she was in high school, but is now more like a sister to us) made the “For this Child I have Prayed” sign for us. “La Dolce Vita” means “The Sweet Life” in Italian and the pink frame it sits in came from Thailand via one of my sister, Abby’s best friends. Speaking of Abby, she drew the Memphis skyline on that canvas and had friends and family add stars above it for our baby shower. And the little owl was a handmade gift from our niece, Makenzie. So much love on these shelves!

36 weeks

And finally, this shot was actually taken in our kitchen, not the nursery. But I love, love, love how it turned out so I wanted to share it with you guys as well. Christopher really does take the sweetest pictures of this bump!

There are so many other sweet elements to the nursery, but some of them include her name which we are waiting until she is born to announce. So the rest of the reveal will have to wait until then. There is so much love in this room. Everywhere we look in there, we see handmade gifts and treasured hand-me-downs from friends and family and we are reminded of how many people love this little girl already.

Love Rach

The Nesting…

Sometime in the next 27 days we will be meeting our daughter. I kept thinking that as it got closer I would get more concerned about the ways our life is going to change once she arrives or even being fearful of delivery and recovery. But truth be told, I’m not.

I think part of it is that we have known for so long that she might be super early that we were prepared for her to come long before now. And part of it is that I have very little control over what delivery will look like. For example, I’m not currently a candidate for an epidural so I’ve known from the beginning that I may have to deliver without one. And I also have no control over whether or not she may need to come by C-Section. So since I have no idea what direction it will go, I just don’t dwell on it. And honestly, the pain will be temporary and I just want her to be safe more than anything. I mean, I survived a kidney stone without pain relief – surely I can do this. {Someone remind me of this if I’m laboring without pain relief and feel like I’m dying, haha!}

The fact that she is still in there safe and sound at 35 weeks is just such an answered prayer. Because we knew that she might be really early we made a huge effort to get things done ahead of time. Which means that my nesting urge has been nicely spread out over the past couple of months. But this week is go-week. You see, had she come BEFORE now, she would have been guaranteed a NICU stay past when we would have gone home. Meaning that we would have had time to come home and finish up any last minute things. But now she’s at a point where she might actually get to come home with us from the hospital if she were to be born today. Which means we want everything to be ready! So this means…

parenting class

We took our Expectant Parents class this past weekend. Several people saw this photo on Instagram and thought that Baby Girl had arrived. Those are definitely some pretty realistic looking babies! Earlier this month we took a Childbirth class so between the two classes (and a couple of books we’ve read) we feel pretty prepared for delivery, recovery, and life with a newborn. Or at least as prepared as anyone can feel. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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I spent all day yesterday making freezer meals. Our church is awesome about bringing dinner to families for the first 4-6 weeks after a new child arrives, but I wanted to have some simple lunch options too. I may have gotten slightly carried away. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Pictured you see: Taco Soup, Chili, Lasagna Soup, Enchilada Soup, Vegetable and Beef Soup, Buffalo Chicken, English Muffin Pizzas,ย Jambalaya,ย Breakfast Sandwiches, Spaghetti Sauce, Whole Wheat Pizza Dough Balls (I just realized I haven’t shared this recipe here – I need to do that!), White Chicken Enchiladas,ย Pot Roast with Veggiesย (this recipe, but with chicken thighs instead of roast), Beef Burritos, and Chicken Burritos. Most of the meals I made into individual sized portions for easy lunches so I’m hoping that will be a huge help during those early weeks.

gym.jpg

Some people say that you get really motivated to start moving in the last few weeks because you are ready for the baby to come. But to be honest, I never actually stopped going to the gym throughout this pregnancy (other than the kidney stone episode when I took off a week). My doctors continued to clear me for exercise so while my workouts are less intense than they used to be, I still lift weights, do cardio, and yoga. It’s not always easy, but I know it’s good for both me and Baby and I hear it helps with delivery and recovery if I am able to stay active throughout the pregnancy. So here’s to hoping that’s true!

Us

We’ve been making an effort to do all the things people say are much more difficult to do after kids. So this past weekend we saw a movie (Wonder Woman) and ate out at a nice restaurant. This coming weekend we’re planning to head downtown for another nice dinner out. This August we will celebrate 9 years of marriage and these years have been such a sweet phase of life for just the two of us. We are so grateful for the time we’ve had, but we are also excited about this next stage of life that is about to begin for us as a family of three. ๐Ÿ™‚

Love Rach

Claiming Peace

As I’ve mentioned before, this is a high risk pregnancy and there is a lot going on with it. Because of that, it would have been easy to spend a lot of time in fear over the past eight and a half months. From the moment we found out about Baby Vendetti there have been times when fear tries to creep in. But right before we found out that we were pregnant we went to a concert where we were introduced to Hannah Kerr. I loved her music so much that I went home and bought her album. And I’m so glad I did because two of her songs have been my jam throughout this pregnancy.

I stand here at Your feet,
I’m laying down the fear in me.
As Your child, claiming peace.
Oh give this heart Your victory!

Those lyrics. So powerful. When fear starts to creep in, I find myself singing these lyrics. Often with tears running down my face. Choosing to lay down fear and to claim peace instead.

Staring down the face of fear
Got to keep breathing
When the negative is all you hear
Got to keep believing
Cause in the dark there is a light
Your truth it keeps on burning bright
Brave enough to fight the fight
And shout the battle cry!
You’ll never stop me I’m a warrior!

Both of these songs have been such a blessing to me throughout this pregnancy. Wonderful reminders that God walks every step of this journey with us.

Since we found out about Baby Vendetti in November we have had 24 appointments and 17 ultrasounds. Currently on the calendar we have another 10 appointments with an ultrasound at each one until July 25th. Meaning that if she doesn’t need to come early, we’ll land at a total of ย 34 appointments and 27 ultrasounds. So when I say that we have an incredible team of doctors who want to see this baby and momma be safe, I’m not kidding.

However, we are still facing a lot of risk and as amazing as our medical care is, tragedy is possible. So say a prayer for us when you think of it. Prayers for a healthy delivery and prayers that we continue to be at peace throughout this time. Thank you to each of you who have prayed for us all along this journey. I know I say it all the time, but those prayers really do mean the world to us.

Love Rach

Father’s Day Thoughts

There are a lot of mixed emotions this Fatherโ€™s Day as we continue to grieve the slow loss of my father-in-law as well as prepare for the joy of meeting our daughter next month. It breaks my heart that Christopher doesn’t have his dad here to advise and support him as he becomes a father himself. But I know that the lessons and principles that Christopher’s dad taught him over the years have shaped so much of the man he is today. I have no doubt that Christopher will be a great father. And part of that is due to the fact that he had such a good relationship with his own dad.

And beyond the close relationship he had with his own dad, so many of Christopher’sย personality traits lend themselves to good dad material already. He is unendingly patient, kind, and gentle. He tells ridiculously corny jokes. He listens well and gives great advice. He has an unwavering faith in God and His goodness which will be such a testimony to our daughter as she grows up. He loves deeply. And he is just truly a good man.

34 weeks.jpg

As I reflect on these things I realize that while he may technically not have changed any diapers yet, he has been practicing being a father for a long time. From the teenagers he has mentored to our nieces and nephews who he has loved from day one (not to mention our friends’ kids who adore him). He has had lots of practice being a positive male influence. Fathering isn’t just a biological thing. He has been a father-figure to kids who desperately needed a good man in their lives. And even with kids who have great dads, he is still the guy who will happily get in the floor to play with them when they are little, coach them through sports and homework as they get older, and listen to their hurts and joys as they share. I love that about him.

34 weeks2

And in a blink of the eye our daughter is going to be here.
And we are going to start a new chapter of life.
One with full-time parenting.
And he is going to be an awesome dad.
Love Rach

Lately

Probably my favorite thing lately has been how Baby Girl’s nursery has come together. It is just absolutely my favorite room in our home. We still have a few more things to work on in there before it’s finished, but we’re nearly there. It is such a sweet little space. ๐Ÿ™‚

work shower collage.jpg

Speaking of baby things… Christopher’s co-workers had a baby shower for us this week. It was so sweet of them to do all of this for us! Christopher is obviously well loved at his office! I mean, no surprise there since he is awesome and all. But still, it was sweet seeing how excited his co-workers were for him to become a dad! ๐Ÿ™‚

Espresso

Speaking of Christopher… he got an espresso maker and has been perfecting the art of his coffee making skills. Well, the art and science. It’s both for him. Figuring out the perfect grind for each different type of coffee bean, just how firmly to tamp it, and just how exactly to froth the milk are just a few of the things. I kind of love that he is such a coffee snob, though. It’s adorable.

High Valley

Speaking of things I love… we got to see High Valley in concert again! We first heard of High Valley when we saw them open at a Lonestar concert back in 2012. We fell in love with their music and became huge fans of their work. Then last year they came to Memphis again and not only did we get to hear them play at a small venue where we sat FRONT ROW, but we also got to meet them and chat a bit which was awesome! Then this year they returned to Memphis again and we got to chat with them after the concert and NO JOKE, they said they remembered us from last year because it was such a small venue. They asked us about our baby and shared with us about their own kids and it was just all awesome. I’m just choosing to believe that they don’t tell all their fans that they remember them, haha! It was an awesome night, though!

Oreo Yoga

Speaking of awesome… While I do my prenatal yoga, Oreo does his couch yoga. He cracks me up with the positions I find him in sometimes!

Happy Friday, friends!
Love Rach

 

Maternity Photos {33 weeks}

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Photo credits goes to my sweet friend, Lyndal! ๐Ÿ™‚

Love Rach