Monday, December 26, 2011

25 weeks and some change

How Far Along:  25 weeks, 5 days
Size of baby:  She is 13 1/2 inches and 1 1/5 lbs according to averages.
Gender: IT'S A GIRL!!! I had a name.  Ryan had a name.  They are different.  Then we thought we had a name together.  Laugh.  I bailed (I think). We'll probably just keep some in the running and then see what she looks like.  I guess this one will be a secret by default!    
Maternity Clothes:  mostly maternity. I think it may be more flattering and oh my, we've grown!!
Weight gain:  Up 14 (a couple days ago).  Christmas, be good to me!
Belly Button: in.
Movement:  I feel her all throughout the day but mainly at night and in the early morning.  However, I must say she isn't as wild as her brother was (at least not yet).  If you are around Titus in his "true colors" you'll know the boy is always.moving.non.stop.  He was like that in the womb too which made for insanely sore ribs!
Sleep:  I am filling my sleep bank for the next year.  Oh how I pray this child likes to sleep like her older bro!
Symptoms: Lifewise, I'm ready to settle (another post for another day) but pregnancy wise I feel great.  I've recently started prenatal yoga on a home DVD and it feels great to stretch at night and relax.  I'm a big fan.  Lately, I've been more nervous about her birth.  Having had a previous c-section, this poses more questions for me with 2 of my doctors encouraging vbacs (doctor in Portland and here).  We are praying for wisdom and would covet your prayers.  
Cravings:  I've enjoyed sweets more but I'm kind of over it now.  I had this insanely good Caesar salad from Nordstrom Cafe in Durham last week and I'm still craving it now.  
Best Moment of the Week:  Titus talks about his sister  a lot. He will see something he likes and say,  "I wish I could get this for my baby sister??"  It's funny and endearing.  I've also been trying to just rest in God's perfect timing on things.  The peace his gives "amidst" is a great feeling.   And of course.... CHRISTMAS!!!! :)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I love Christmas.  I always have.  As cliche as it sounds, it truly is the most wonderful time of the year for this girl.  I always tell Ryan I need one day in July to let me listen to some Christmas songs and then they are out in our house in full color by sometime in October.  I just can't help it!  As we near 4 years of marriage, he now loves it too! :)

I get it honestly.  My mom has always loved Christmas too.  She attributes it to my Pa who always made Christmas really special for her as a child.  Even as an adult, my mom still picks out little surprises whether it's socks, a pen or our yearly children's book to show us we're loved.  I treasure those special things so much (thanks, Mom).  Amidst the gifts though, Christmas has always been about Jesus coming to give life.  God's great love and gift of Christ is celebrated in the gifts we share, food we eat and time spent together.  I am so grateful Ryan and I have both had that to grow up with.

As a mom now with a child who is starting to get into Christmas, I have worked all season to make things special and fun.  We have talked and talked about Jesus' birth.  We've built wonky gingerbread houses (that were fails) and driven to see lights whenever possible.  We've visited Santa, watched Christmas movies, and sang every Christmas song on the planet.   Titus may never understand why his crazy mom stalked Target's after Halloween costume sale so he could have dress up clothes on the budget for Christmas or why I shopped all night on Black Friday.

Sometimes amidst all the fun, I wondered if those little things would cloud the true meaning of Christmas for him.. or for me.. or us as a family?  The other day in the car, he had been thinking and randomly asked, "Why Jesus birthday on Christmas?"  Although he probably was completely confused, the fact that he was connecting the two meant progress for this mom.   His precious little hands reaching for wooden baby Jesus as we read the Christmas story this morning was the sweetest gift I could ever have received this Christmas.  My heart is full because a little baby born in Bethlehem was the only thing that would fix my rebellious heart or my child's.  

Sure I love the fun, the gifts, the pies and songs, but if we never sees Jesus clearly in a simple manger.. what does it matter?

I want Titus to know him.  I want him to know that the same baby in the manager can be his Savior... in a real way.  The fun is great, but the treasure is found in the meaning!

 It's probably helpful that he was sweet and endearing with his questions and while listening to the Christmas story, because shortly after he had a major melt down! Typical toddler.. and normal family but we did have a Merry Christmas either way!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

22 weeks

How Far Along:  22 week, 1 day
Size of baby: 11 inches from head to toe and almost 1 lb.
Gender: IT'S A GIRL!!! 
Maternity Clothes:  A mix still although if they are not maternity it's because they were lose before I got pregnant.  The fitted jeans of pre-pregnancy are def gone!
Weight gain:  I've gained 10 lbs.
Belly Button: in.
Movement:  I am enjoying her movement.  Ryan actually felt her kick last night which was neat.  
Sleep:  I sleep more now than I probably ever will again.  I am cherishing the extra zzz's now.
Symptoms:  I can tell I am def getting bigger!!  I have been in a nesting frenzy and  have sewn up a storm the past few days.   
Best Moment of the Week:  Thanksgiving was busy and fun.. along with an all night shopping extravaganza!! :)  I also felt a big sigh of relief when I finished her bedding!! 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

the diy crib bedding

If all goes as planned with the house we have a contract on, I'm guessing the next few month will fly by.  We have some DIY projects planned (stay tuned) that will keep us hopping.  Our goal is to get most of the things done by baby girl time.  I know our time will greatly change when she arrives and instead of decorating etc I will morph into a lactating zombie!

When I found out I was pregnant, I thought I'd probably go for the DIY crib bumper.  With a veteran's day discount (for family with id's too), a couple 50% off coupons and fabric on sale, I was able to buy everything including some new thread for around $40.  The only problem was that I knew I could crash and burn.

I've decided that a hard yard stick should have been purchased from the beginning rather than halfway through AND I should be more of a meticulous perfectionist with these things.  In the end, I think it will work great!  I'm hoping and praying it doesn't unravel at the first washing sewn (I did prewash before).  My goal was presentable, not perfect!

I'm thinking we'll probably go with a pale pink or gray for the walls and then the opposite for curtains.  I have a few things for the walls I'm planning on having Ryan spray paint and also hoping to find a used simple dresser to redo.  Then we'll call it good!

Any DIY projects consume your life lately?!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

20 weeks

How Far Along:  20 week, 5 days
Size of baby: 10 inches from head to toe (before 20 weeks measurements are taken from head to rump).  She is the size of a banana and weights 10 1/2 ounces.  
Gender: IT'S A GIRL!!! I think she may have a name but in true Epp style I think we'll wait until we see her to decide for sure! 
Maternity Clothes:  A mix still although I do enjoy my low rise maternity jeans.  It's time to use the belly band more to prolong my other jeans (although the rubber band works pretty well).  Some clothes (and angles) really show the belly more than others which is fine with me.. I'd rather look preggo than thick!
Weight gain:  I've gained 7 lbs.    
Belly Button: in.
Movement:  She is a mover and a shaker! When I get still, I feel her little kicks.  I really cherish this time in pregnancy while I am still pretty comfortable before she has taken over my body! 
Sleep:  I love sleep.  She usually wakes me up during the early morning moving around, but thankfully I go back to sleep.  I think God uses this in pregnancy to get mama's ready for the complete lack of sleep that will come after delivery! 
Symptoms:  I am starting to get a bigger appetite.  I love cold salads, Chick-fil-a's cole slaw, and crispy grapes.  I have also developed a love for cereal.  I craved WAY more red meat and sweets with Titus.  I am already craving my Mom's sage dressing, sweet potato casserole and homemade mac and cheese.  Let's hope the weight gain doesn't triple next week!   

Best Moment of the Week:  After lots of negotiating our offer on a house was accepted.  If things goes as planned, we'll close in early January! Hooray! 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

my favorite..

...little boy ever!! (beware it's a long post)  All this talk about this sweet baby girl and I already feel the balancing act happening between siblings.  I looked through pictures of Titus from the past 2.5 years and felt so grateful for him and the fun we've had.  I can't imagine doing anything but spending my days with him and I'm pumped to add a sista to the mix! I really struggle with worrying over his safety, health etc however, I am really trying to not let Satan whisper his lies and instead, cherish each little stage with him and praise God for him.

He's at such a fun age and I can always see the wheels turning in his little mind.  He asks lots of questions and I do my best explaining! ;)  Everything seems to be his favorite and he has a fond love for Spongebob.  Sidenote- he's NEVER watched Spongebob and knows he can't but when we see it in the store he says, "Spongebob, dat's my favorite." He truly loves Superheroes and jumping off furniture ALL day long.  Heaven, help me!

He is potty trained but I usually just make him go throughout the day because he doesn't like to tell me until he REALLY has to go.  Somehow he manages to not have many accidents....I think he has a bladder of steel. We still do diapers for nap and nighttime.  I don't see an end in sight there. He makes me laugh when he has to poop by saying, "I gotta get my big poops out."

He loves to dance and is way too picky when it comes to eating.  Since moving he has reinstated nap time.  Praise the Lord! He loves to wrestle and I am convinced that candy breads awful behavior for him.  
He likes to sing made up songs and perform for us.  It's quite hilarious! He loves to help me and I'm pretty sure he'd like to attach himself to my body 24/7.  Transition has made him cling to me all the more.  Oh well.. there are worse things eh!? :)

He has recently been telling me he loves me throughout the day and asking if I want different princess things (like a princess shirt).  Melt my heart.  Seriously, kid... I'm putty at this point.

 I'd have to say... he's the ABSOLUTE BEST surprise of my life!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

19 weeks

How Far Along:  19 weeks and some change. 
Size of baby: 6 inches.  The size of a turkey sub. Raise your hand if you don't want subway for lunch now (kidding)! 
Gender: IT'S A GIRL!!! We are still working on a name.  Seriously, maybe we will agree on one by the time she's here.  I'm so not even kidding!  :)  At least it's a joint effort here although I'm pretty sure I know what she "wants" to be named! 
Maternity Clothes:  A mix still.  I'm not a fan of those full panel things yet so I'm using my low-rise maternity pants and the rubber band trick.
Weight gain:  I've gained 6.5 lbs.    
Belly Button: in.
Movement: I feel moment a lot in the late evenings and around 6 AM she usually gets moving.  I think she may be a morning person!!  Titus and I won't know what to do with her but Ryan will!! :)
Sleep:  I have been more tired recently but sleep is great so far!
Symptoms:  I feel like a hot mess.  I can't remember anything.  I am losing everything (my beloved retainers, a dr. prescription, and my mind) and I hit a car in my parent's car.  Can I please blame this all on pregnancy?! Doubtful.  No joke, I feel like my sweet girl is taking my brain cells!  
Cravings:   Really crispy and fresh romaine salads with protein and light ranch dressing.   I could live off of those!  I am also craving (like right now) chicken wings and CELERY sticks.  I've always hated celery until this pregnancy.  Go figure.    
Best Moment of the Week:  Ryan came home after being away at a military school for 3 weeks.  It's nice to have him home and we will hopefully get back into routine soon! We have a big ultrasound coming Monday that I'm pretty nervous about...we are praying things will look good. 

A pic will come soon.. if my brain can remember it.  Prepare yourself! I've grown!! ;)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

17 weeks.. a growing pumpkin

Pregnancy Highlights

(don't mind the lack of outfit choices here)

How Far Along:  17 weeks
Size of baby: 5 inches long, 5 ounces. The size of an turnip. 
Gender: IT'S A GIRL!!! I'm honestly still shocked as Ryan and I both said we'd put money on a boy!  Looking back I do think this pregnancy has been slightly different in the way I'm carrying and the awful acne at the beginning but just thought that was because it's a different pregnancy. 
Maternity Clothes:  My bigger jeans fit fine, but I recently got a pair of maternity jeans from Forever 21 and I'm really liking them!!!  As much as I think I look pretty "thick," I'm trying to enjoy this stage because I feel great and know how uncomfortable the last weeks can be!

I think a little girl will be a cute addition to the Fall pic!
Weight gain: 4 lbs.  
Belly Button: in.
Movement: I'm pretty sure I have felt some flutters while laying down.  On the ultrasound the lady said she is a wild woman. 
Sleep:  It's been pretty good! 
Symptoms:  My appetite is starting to get A LOT bigger.  Planning to get back on the bandwagon of eating healthier.  
Best Moment of the Week:  Seeing out little GIRL move around and hearing her heartbeat was a beautiful thing, but my favorite moment was finding out what she was going to be.  We would have been thrilled with either, but going to Target and hearing Ryan  say, "go get your little girl an outfit" was a ton of fun!   

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

the taco torte

I'm all about an easy recipe that will fill up my husband.  His appetite is insane and normally is hungry a couple hours after a full dinner!  This recipe is pretty filling AND easy! Yay!  It's a regualr in his fam and a favorite.

Taco Torte

1 lb. cooked gound beef
1 onion diced
1 can tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
1 packet of taco seasoning

-mix all together and put in a casserole dish and top with cheddar cheese.  Bake on 350 for 20-25 minutes and you're done!  We serve this over tortilla chips with sour cream, lettuce, salsa, olives etc.   I'll usually make some mexican rice for a side as well.

Enjoy once and it actually makes great leftovers too!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

15 weeks

Pregnancy Highlights

How Far Along:  15 weeks
Size of baby: 4 inches long. The size of an apple.  Crazy!
Gender: We are (hopefully) finding out next Wednesday!! Ryan will be going to Airborne school (guess who is not the excited one) and we really didn't want him to miss the big ultrasound so we are having one a couple weeks earlier at a baby ultrasound place.  My bet is totally on a boy.  Not sure why but we've both just thought we will have two boys first before any girls.  
Maternity Clothes: not yet but my jeans are surely getting tight in the stomach.   I think it's almost time to break out the bella band.  
Weight gain: 3 lbs.  
Belly Button: in.
Movement: I really thought I may have felt a slight flutter one morning, but I have no clue.  It could have just been my stomach rumbling. 
Sleep:  I've been more tired and actually took a couple of naps during the day this week.  Nighttime sleep has been nice.  I sleep more than I ever have at night (or probably ever will literally). 
Symptoms:  My appetite is increasing and my legs felt like a charlie horse was coming on.  I never get that except in pregnancy.  I'm drinking more water and trying to eat some bananas.  It's probably the frumpy stage but oh well! 
Best Moment of the Week:  I'm hoping and praying the best moment of this week will be hearing this baby's heartbeat at my new doctor here.  I really try not to take that for granted.  

(keeping it real to the left)

Monday, October 3, 2011

13 and 14 weeks

Pregnancy Highlights

How Far Along: 13, almost 14 weeks.. we'll just make this a 2 in one post!
Size of baby: the size of a lemon.. big growing this week!
Gender: we will find out mid November but our bet is on a boy!
Maternity Clothes: I'm sure it's only a matter of time, but trying to stay in the regulars as long as possible.
Weight gain: 2 lbs.  
Belly Button: It better be in this early! It actually never popped out with T.
Movement: not yet!
Sleep:  Sleep could be better this week, but that's not pregnancy related but big brother related.  I think he's been having some bad early morning dreams.   If you can't tell he thinks holding the sign is his special job! 
Symptoms:  I feel like I'm getting to the I look thick stage for sure. 
Cravings:  I craved my Dad's collards this past week big time.  It was wonderful.  My sweet tooth has been pretty turned off this pregnancy but I have really wanted some homemade rice crispy treats today!  Ry is on his way with the ingredients!  What a good Daddy!  
Best moment this week:  The best moment was coming home and Ryan telling me he has a 4 day weekend this week and he thinks we should do something fun!  

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

12 weeks

Pregnancy Highlights

How Far Along:  12 weeks 6 days (running a little behind)
Size of baby: a little over 2 inches in size.. the size of a lime.
Gender: I think there is a little brother in there! 
Maternity Clothes: Not yet.  I'm not the most inspired by maternity clothes! 
Weight gain: 1 lb.   I already feel thick in the midline!
Belly Button: It better be in this early! It actually never popped out with T.
Movement: nope, not yet.
Sleep: Sleep has been wonderful.  I don't take naps during the day but usually get really good sleep at night.  I love sleep and am enjoying it while I can!  The using the potty during the night has curtailed a bit which has been nice!
Symptoms:  I don't really feel pregnant at this point unless my stomach gets too empty and then I feel nauseous.  My energy is returning which is great, but I  pretty much have the sense of smell like a dog!!  The acne is (thankfully) much better.  
Cravings:  They are pretty much just normal foods.  I am loving fresh salads with dark green lettuce (hello Ruby Tuesday's salad bar)  along with baked potatoes and warm soups.  With Titus, I craved sweets 24/7 but not really with this one.  I can't stand the thought of Chipotle or Moes which was once a fav.  
Best moment this week:  I'm pretty sure Titus thinks my belly button is the baby.  He tells me numerous times a day that he wants to talk to the baby and goes straight for the belly button.   Last night we were talking about being a big brother and he said he wants to give the baby a milkshake!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

the move.

The skinny...

-  Ry left with his awesome Dad and drove 2800 miles in 72 hours.  Crazy town.
-  I flew and my awesome parents picked me up.
-  The men and my cute little mom unloaded and then the girls and Titus unpacked.
-  Lots of things went to storage.
-  We're here!  Yay!

Thoughts on Fayetteville...

-  We are thrilled to be back in the south.  It's this girls sweet spot.
-  There are lots and lots of military.  Everywhere.  My heart breaks for all the sacrifice that is made here with this being the home of the Army Special Forces and 82nd Airborne.  Bless those families.
-  There are new cars.. well really brand new trucks everywhere.  99.9% driven by soldiers and they drive like crazy people.  Ryan says this is the most testosterone filled city in America bc of the above.
-  People are friendly and there are a ton of chain restaurants.
-  We are grateful to be here and feel spoiled by a great hot water heater, garbage disposal and AC.  No joke.  Granted it's an apartment for 3 months but it's been great while we figure out the next step here.

The next step...

-   We will most likely settle in Cary, NC and Ryan will be commuting.  Long after this AGR tour, we'd love to put down roots there for the long haul. Prayers are appreciated on that one!
-  We love that it's super close to Raleigh but very family friendly.  Yes, we are pumped about a paved trail through the city with parks on it along with TJ's.
-  We fell in love with a church.  After hearing about this place over and over, we knew in 5 minutes this was a place that was reaching people.  I kept thinking, this is a church I want my kids to grow up in.
 -  Lots of praying on our part will be happening.  We really need God to open some big doors.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

8 weeks (a month late)

Excuse the delay.  We've been busy just ya know.. moving across the country.. but alas we are somewhat settled!!  So.. I think for this pregnancy, I will do the pregnancy updates.  With T, I was able to make a little shutterfly book of my pregnancy and I hope to do the same for #2.  So.. bear with me while I catch up.  It may not be every week, but we'll see.  And just because I'm hoping to be diligently healthy, I intend to post my weight gain.  This is horrifying to me, but it will help the healthiness and not give way to eating for two! Only needing 300 extra calories a day! ;)  If I suddenly quit, you'll know why!! ha! Since we won't be cooped up all winter, I am really looking forward to staying as active as this pregnancy allows.  I'm probably big talk right now, but we'll see!!

Pregnancy Highlights:

How Far Along:  8 weeks as of 8-25-11  (running behind)
Size of baby: the size of a kidney bean
Gender: who knows?!  We think it's a little boy but my Mom says she's not convinced!
Maternity Clothes: nope, but I def feel the early pregnancy bloat.  Awesome.
Weight gain: not yet.. but oh how they will come.
Belly Button: It better be in this early! It actually never popped out with T.
Movement: nope, not yet.
Sleep: Waking up super early and feeling very nauseous. 
Symptoms:  exhausted, nauseous (esp at 4 AM), super tender in the chest, and basically my skin looks like I just hit puberty. 
Cravings:  It's more like.. what doesn't make me want to gag.  So far..  a crisp green salad and baked potatoes.   My fav restaurant (Chipotle) now makes me want to gag.  Sad day.
Best moment this week: seeing that little heart beat on the ultrasound screen and hearing Titus talk about the baby in his tummy!!  It's crazy to think I will love another child like Titus, but seeing that ultrasound screen made me so excited to see how my love will multiply for another little Epp.  I'm totally pumped but not wanting to rush this pregnancy at all! 

I'm hoping to jump to a 12 week post tomorrow and then here we are right on track!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

farewell portlandia

It's my last night in Portland.  Oh my goodness.  It's hard to believe, yet it feels so natural too.  I feel at rest in the fact that I know this is where God is leading, yet my heart is sad to leave my family and friends.  People that have meant so much to us in the past 3 years.  People that you don't just come by day in and day out.  I know we will miss the color of this city and the places that became our favs, but things really boil down to people.

People at church, seminary, mom's groups, jobs, neighbors and family.

I have grown as a person and Ryan and I have grown as a unit in so many ways.  Portland will always remind me of our chance to spread our wings as a newly married couple while quickly becoming a little family.

I was in a bible study this past spring with some seminary wives and professors wives.  I remember one of the ladies who knew our situation looked at me and said, "you will remember these years of seminary/being broke/having babies as some of the best of your life."

I think she's right!  I think eventually "THE rain" won't look as if it was such a big deal (this could be because my vitamin d is at soaring heights right now though) and the beauty of what God is doing and has done in this city will always remain.  

Anyways,  thanks so much to each of you who have made Portland home for me.  To my in-laws, Thank you just isn't enough.  Your availability, love, support, kindness, meals, generosity and care has meant more to me than I could ever express!  PLEASE MOVE TOO..I will probably be saying this forever!! ;)

And just because we never do things one step at a time... it's only fitting that since we came here pregnant, we'll leave here pregnant too.  We always say.. it's easier to move pregnant that with a newborn! ;)  Coming this April!!  

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

my random brain

-  Well folks, we are officially at the "throw random stuff in random boxes" point.  It's a beautiful thing really, because it means the packing end is in sight!

-  We have so much trash!! I kind of need to go find neighbors to add to their bin tomorrow!  Get this-- Portland is going to only picking up trash every other week and adding some kind of compost requirement.  The fact that I have now recycled for 3 years now is huge, but smelly food and 2 week old nighttime diapers is no bueno.

-  I've called our little moving company 4 times.  4 times- just making sure, double checking prices, weights etc on our moving truck.  Today I called and there was no trace of our reservation.  Heart attack was quickly stopped when he added it back.  Not cool 2 days before loading.

-  I secretly think I like the organizing of moving.  Maybe it's just because it's the Fall and I wish I was buying school supplies, but my cute accordion file gives me a sense of accomplishment.

-  Titus is completely confused.  Every time I start packing, he gets his lunch boxes and packs his underwear, toothbrush and toothpaste.  He now wants to store his toothbrush/toothpaste in his metal lunch  box all of the time.  He also wants to hoard juice boxes, granola bars etc in his back pack for the airplane.  Poor kid.

-  It's football season (which I have always loved)!!  Since we are leaving, it's only fitting to buy duck shirts for the fam.  Sorry Beavs, I've never been a fan.  Titus' shirt is his prized possession and he insists on putting it on a hanger (we don't hang his other clothes..just folded in drawers).  When I wear my shirt he compliments me all day and says, "I yike your duck shirt!"  It's adorable.  I figure it's ok for me to like the Ducks since the Tigers will NEVER play them!  Dad, can I make a request for your mex cornbread and collards PLEASE! I'll even drive down for it!! ;)

-  Can I just say I'm already sick of Facebook political statuses.  I know, we all have thoughts on it... we really do.  It's a good thing BUT it polarizes people.  The Gospel polarizes people too, but I want people to be open about my thoughts on Jesus first.  If I constantly present my political views on a public domain, I think there's a good chance I will put people on the defense and shut down future conversations prematurely.  I guess my point is.. choose your battles and timing.  With that said, GO Palin (ok, totally kidding)!