The sweetest baby shower

Last weekend my sweet friends threw me one of the most adorable baby showers I had ever seen. It was an adventure-themed shower complete with maps, clouds, and all the food that I have been craving throughout this pregnancy. Any time spent with these friends of mine is precious and I loved being surrounded by so much love and laughter.

Here’s a little peek at the shower. All the photos were taken by my very talented cousin, Olivia, who also baked and decorated the gorgeous cake. Looks like someone in the family got all the talent.

Hilarious baby shower games for everyone

DIY Baby shower fertilize game

Fun DIY baby shower games

A hilarious round of “pin the sperm on the egg” resulted in some friendly trash talk. I have to admit, I was surprised at how close everyone got to fertilization.

DIY travel and adventure themed baby shower

Adventure travel themed baby shower idea

Cake, doughnuts, and fruit parfait–oh my! Not pictured is the amazing cheese, sausage, and egg bake that the host baked (Kristen, I have dreams about it). I might have scraped the tray clean when no one was looking.

Cute baby shower ideas for travelers

And of course, the little mister and I were showered with gifts. I can’t wait until he’s here and can roll the adorable suitcase around the airport. Also, the book “What do you do with an idea?” might have brought tears to my eyes. I highly recommend it.

Cute DIY baby shower ideas

DIY travel themed baby shower ideas

A huge thank you to all of my sweet friends that came together to throw this amazing shower. Baby boy and I are so blessed to have each and every one of you in our lives. It was such a special day and one that I’ll always treasure.

The unknown

For the past few years I’ve been battling with an inner struggle. I don’t know what to actually call it. Anxiety, maybe? But ever since I met Chris and we started forming this life of ours, I’ve found that I’m so happy and content that I’m constantly in fear that something terrible is going to happen. I have this “it’s too good to be true” mentality and it’s been plaguing my thoughts for years.

It’s a darkness that will come over me and create a sense of fear. For example, it’s very rare that Chris and I are apart, but for those few days or moments that we are, I’ll run through as many terrible scenarios in my head as I can. It’s like if I think of it, then it really can’t happen. To constantly conjure up “the worse case scenario” is exhausting and tolling.

I often have to speak my fears to Chris so that I can put them out there and then dismiss them. I don’t know where this came from but I hate that it affects the way that I think and feel.

I knew that things would get worse if I became pregnant. I resigned to not getting attached to our future baby while in utero in case something terrible happened. If I didn’t let myself fall in love with this baby then I wouldn’t be as hurt or traumatized if anything bad were to happen. There are so many things that can go wrong during pregnancy and I found myself holding my breath before every midwife appointment, waiting to exhale until we heard his heartbeat on the doppler.

Not getting attached was relatively easy during the first trimester. Aside from extreme fatigue and morning sickness, there were no obvious signs of a baby in my belly. But something changed around week 20. It’s when we found out that we were having a sweet little boy and it’s around the same time that I really started feeling him move. It was then undeniable that we were having a baby. A son. He was ours. He was mine. And no matter what happened from then on out, we would love him unconditionally.

We had our final ultrasound a few days ago at 26 weeks. At the previous ultrasound, our little mister had been measuring small (in the 9th percentile!) and our tech had spotted a soft marker for down syndrome. This week’s ultrasound was the best one we’ve had yet. For the first time, our little guy wasn’t breech (although he still has plenty of room to move around) and he was measuring in the 35th percentile. His soft marker had completely disappeared (as everyone thought it would) AND-the best part in my opinion-we got a great look at his face. And let me tell you, our little guy has his daddy’s lips. Our tech couldn’t get over how big and cute his lips were. If I wasn’t already in love before, I was now head-over-heels obsessed.

I’m so in love and attached to my son. I would understandably be devastated if anything bad were to happen to him but I’m not going to let my fears deter me from falling in love with him more and more each day. I’m all in. Every time I feel him move I send a little “thank you” up to God. I feel so incredibly blessed to be this boy’s mama and that’s something I don’t want to ever take for granted.

Featured image taken by our talented Flytographer, Naomi, while on Maui. 

Embracing the process

Pregnancy can be rough. Leading up to finding out we were pregnant, I thought that carrying a child came with a cute baby bump and “the glow.” Instead, I find myself growing at an uncontrollable rate, my face riddled with acne, and the need to sleep every couple of hours.

The first trimester of this pregnancy was difficult for me. While I never actually vomited, I experienced extreme nausea 24/7 for weeks six through twelve. I felt like I was drunk and seasick all at the same time. I was rendered useless and my poor husband was left to care for our household and work duties.

I’ve been way too focused on the negative aspects of pregnancy. The fatigue, nausea, food aversions, etc. Every time we see our little guy on an ultrasound, he’s typically breeched and huddled near by bladder. Any movement (big or small) feels like an attack on my bladder and lady bits. It’s the strangest and most uncomfortable sensation.

My face is red, dry, and cracking. My body looks and feels foreign to me. I have to pee at least five times throughout the night and this belly is starting to get in the way of everything.

It can be easy to complain when you feel uncomfortable and unattractive, but it recently dawned on me that I have so much to be thankful for.

Embracing the baby bump in Maui
Embracing the baby bump in Maui

I have been blessed with the ability to carry this sweet child. It is an honor to be able to create, carry, and deliver another human being. This might be the only time that I experience what it’s like to be pregnant; to feel a baby’s kicks from within, to watch my ever expanding belly grow.

I’m aware that there are women who experience the heartache of infertility. Women who want nothing more to experience the pains and joys of pregnancy. It makes my slight discomfort seem so insignificant.

I’m so incredibly grateful for the little life within me. For the gift of being able to carry and shelter our child. I’ve decided to make a conscious effort to embrace and enjoy the miracle of pregnancy.

 

Featured image taken by the talented Naomi from our Flytographer shoot on Maui. 

Twinkle twinkle little star…

how we wonder what you are…

Cute gender reveal cake ideas

Well little one, we can stop calling you “it” now. We had a little “bow and arrow” party to reveal your sex. Your dad took a Nerf bow and arrow to a balloon that was filled with either pink or blue paint and we can’t believe that you are a…

Cute gender reveal party ideas

BOY!

Frankly, I’m not surprised. The Staudinger side of the family is full of boys and we had a strong suspicion that you were going to only grow the Staudinger name. Your dad and I couldn’t be more excited and have already been throwing around a few names. We’ll try a new one out each day. I’m curious to see which one sticks upon your arrival.

I’ve said it once but I’ll say it again: you are so, so loved. Our friends and family have already spoiled you rotten and I can’t wait for you to meet each and every one of them.

unique gender reveal party ideas

19 weeks

Dear Little Arrow,

Congratulations! We’re nearly halfway to your due date. I can’t believe that in a few short days we’ll find out if you’re a boy or girl. Either way, your daddy and I love you so very much and can’t wait to meet you. I might have already started shopping for a few outfits (and shoes) for you–don’t tell dad.

Right before we headed out to celebrate New Year's Eve. Welcome to your birth year, little one!
Right before we headed out to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Welcome to your birth year, little one!

We had an appointment with our midwife last week and she asked if I had felt you move yet. I was told that because of the placement of the placenta it might take a little longer. I hadn’t felt much up until then, but in the last few days you have been moving up a storm. You seem to enjoy early morning and late night dance parties. I love it.

You were so good while we were in Taiwan! I experienced little morning sickness (I mostly blame car sickness and seasickness for any feelings of malaise) and really enjoyed our time there. I was worried about the change of scenery and food for you, but you seemed to enjoy everything and didn’t cause any trouble. I like you already.

Your daddy talking to you during a quick break in filming.
Your daddy talking to you during a quick break in filming.

In three short days we find out whether you’re a little girl or boy. Your dad and I have been kicking around a few names for you but we probably won’t settle on one until we see you face-to-face. We want to make sure that the name fits you.

We can’t wait to see your cute little profile on the ultrasound. Until then, sweet one.

Life lately.

November and December have come and gone and to say that the last two months have been a whirlwind would be a complete understatement. We’ve encountered and accomplished incredible feats since my last post. The most important being the fact that I am now 19 weeks pregnant-nearly halfway done!

Our Little Arrow seems to be doing well. Just in the past few days I have started to feel little kicks and movements. It seems that the little one is especially active in the mornings and at night. Dad has yet to feel anything from the outside but I’m sure those will come in the next few weeks.

This baby is already quite the adventurer. Not only has our little one technically been to Spain and New York but we just returned from almost a month in Taiwan (with brief stops in South Korea). I think baby is going to LOVE Chinese food.

Speaking of Taiwan, our time there was incredible. I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better trip. We were in the country to film three episodes of a new TLC show called Fun Taiwan Adventurists. The premise of the show is to explore Taiwan with our host, Janet Hsieh along with two other blogging companions.

As an introvert, spending three and half weeks traveling with complete strangers could have been a recipe for disaster (including multiple emotional and mental breakdowns) but our fellow cast and crew were so down to earth, hilarious, and sweet that by the end of our time, I was heartbroken to leave them.

With our host, Janet and our two fellow bloggers, Charles and Haleigh.
With our host, Janet and our two fellow bloggers, Charles and Haleigh.

Some of my favorite memories from our time in Taiwan came from our long and winding car rides through the mountains where we talked about everything from life goals to worst bathroom stories. Let’s just say that we became really close.

So much fun and laughter with this crew!
So much fun and laughter with this crew!

I was worried that the morning sickness and intense nausea from my first trimester was going to carry into my second, but let me tell you, I’ve been feeling like a million bucks! The second trimester has been awesome and I feel like a human being again, albeit a slightly chubbier one.

I’ll have more on our time in Taiwan in the next few weeks. There’s so much to cover! We also find our whether Little Arrow is a boy or a girl later this week. There’s a very low key party in the works and I’ll be sure to post as soon as we find out. It’ll be nice to be able to say “he” or “she” instead of “it”.

A message from your daddy

Today we went in for our second appointment. At ten weeks, I’m starting to feel a little better and the morning sickness is starting to subside. I met my midwife, whom I love and was even able to hear the baby’s heartbeat on the doppler. Chris came along for most of the appointment and relaxed in the waiting room while I finished my checkup.

Once I was all finished, he showed me this. A letter to our little one that he wrote while waiting for me.

Dear Arrow,

I just heard your heartbeat! Holy smokes. (Let’s be honest, I wanted to say “holy shit” but I’m trying to cuss less with you around. You are the size of a cumquat today and still deep inside your mommy’s tummy. Never the less our midwife held the super microphone on mommy’s tummy and we heard your heartbeat, loud and clear. You’re going to have such a strong heart. A pure heart, a true and valiant heart. Unrelenting to danger and full of mercy. I want to hear your heart beat for the rest of my life.

 We call you little Arrow because your mom read Psalm 127:5, “Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.”

You are my little arrow and I am so proud of the person you will become. Scared shirtless (shitless) but so excited to meet you.

I heard your heartbeat today and it is the only sound I ever want to hear now.

I love you, 

Dad

Hearing baby's heartbeat for the first time
Daddy in the waiting room after hearing your heartbeat.

*This post was originally written on November 4th, 2015. 

Hello, little one.

Our little arrow,

You are loved.

You are so incredibly loved.

I can’t believe that we’ve only known about your presence for two weeks yet you’ve already rocked our world. As soon as I wake up, you are on my mind. And before I go to sleep, I imagine your little face and how you’re going to impact our lives.

If it wasn’t for the extreme all-day nausea and constant fatigue, we might not even know of your presence. Unlike my mom, I’m experiencing “morning” sickness (what a joke–as it lasts all day) and I feel like you’re already breaking the mold.

You are already an explorer. You’ve been on at least four plane rides, one motorcycle (and sidecar), and one hot air balloon ride. You’ve tasted Barcelona (and maybe even Hawaii).

When your daddy and I think of you, we dream of all of the places we want to take you. We want you to feel the sun on your face on Oahu. We want to feed you tiny bites of crepes in Paris. We want your first steps to be on the familiar streets of South Korea.

Regardless of the places you see in your life, we know that this is going to be one of the best adventures yet. You have already changed us for the better and you’ve only been around for mere weeks.

So while we don’t know whose eyes you’ll have, or if you’re a boy or a girl, what we do know is that we love you so much already. And we can’t wait to meet you.

Love,

Your mama

 

 

*This post was written only weeks after finding out about our pregnancy. As we approach the second trimester, I’ve decided to finally press “publish” on a few of the posts I’ve written since discovering we were pregnant. 

Your dad.

The best husband in the world. Hands down.

Our dear Little Arrow,

You’re seven and a half months out from meeting him, but you should probably know ahead of time that you have the best dad in the world. He’s been loving on you and worrying about you ever since we were aware of your existence.

As soon as I wake up, he brings me a glass of water and a bag of saltine crackers. He’s been so patient at helping me narrow down any and all foods that sound remotely enjoyable. Even if that means heading to three different grocery stores to track them down.

Today, I wanted to do something nice for him. It’s been over a week since I have been functional around the house. I promised him that I would clean the bathroom in the next few days. It was supposed to be a nice gesture, something that he wouldn’t have to worry about. You know what he did? He cleaned the entire bathroom while I napped. Not because he had to. Not because he couldn’t wait until I did it tomorrow. No. He did it so that I didn’t have to.

Your dad is a loving, selfless, passionate man. He is my rock and he’ll be yours too. So, while I know your first few weeks might be a little hectic, please go easy on him. He’ll most likely be taking care of the both of us.

 

 

*This post was written a few weeks after we found out about our pregnancy. As we approach the second trimester, I’ve decided to roll out a few of my previously unpublished posts. 

A new adventure.

My life with Chris has been packed with more adventure than I ever thought possible. Since meeting on a study abroad trip to Tanzania, we’ve lived (for over two years!) in South Korea, started our own business, seen so much of the world, planted roots in Washington state, and even made a baby.

Wait. What was that last part?

We’re pregnant. 

Seeing it in perfectly typed text makes is somehow seem even more real.

We’re pregnant. 

We found out the day after we returned home from Spain. Since it’s so very early in this pregnancy, we’ve decided to only tell our close friends and family until after the first trimester (when I’ll inevitably press “publish” on this post).

For now, we’re relishing in this precious little secret of ours. We have some big adventures planned for this sweet little one and can’t wait to see what memories we make along the way.

 

*I wrote this post just days after finding out we were pregnant. As we quickly approach the second trimester I’m going to start pressing “publish” on the baby related posts I’ve been saving.