Siete




Dear Faith,
You're officially seven-years-old and ready to hand down your "I'm 6" shirt!


This year went by fast. The school years seem to speed up time, and 1st grade was a blur for me. In addition to first grade, you celebrated many other "firsts" this year.

First training wheel-less bike ride.


You can thank dad for this. I was very pregnant and not able to run alongside you but I'm pretty sure I probably would have never let go of the seat had I been responsible for teaching you. You've since gone on several rides and only had one bad spill. Dad is good about making sure you get right back in the saddle, literally, after a fall.

First (and second) lost tooth:


The dentist had to pull both of your bottom baby teeth since your adult tooth was growing in behind it. As excited as you were to have them pulled and FINALLY receive a visit from the tooth fairy, you were terrified at the sight of your own blood after he pulled them out. But it was all worth it for the two $2 bills underneath your pillow the next morning.

First time selling girl scout cookies:


For the record it was mine, too. Dad says I deserve a badge for going door to door with you and helping you with marketing via Facebook, but the vest is a little small on me. I was never a girl scout, but it's brought out the best in you. The older girls are such good role models and you all raise each other up. This literally happened at your Brownie bridging ceremony at the roller rink where you fell down approximately 437 times. By the end, with the encouragement of your friends, you were able to stay up for at least 15-20 seconds, which believe it or not was a big improvement.

First trip to the Ozarks:


First trip to Disney:


First trip down the stairs (ya can't win em all):


First hit in machine pitch softball. Excuse the excessive "wooos" from yours truly. Just a proud mama.

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First (and hopefully last) piercing:


Because you won our bet that you wouldn't lose a tooth by the end of the school year (technically they were pulled) we went to get your ears pierced. Unfortunately they couldn't pierce them at the same time, so we almost had to leave with one ear pierced. I was surprised how afraid you were of the pain, but you still did it. Unfortunately (again) one of the earrings fell out on the way home and dad, aunt Kris and I were each unable to re-pierce it. Trust me, we tried. I don't think I've ever heard you scream that loud. Three weeks later we went back and got it re-pierced. And now, you match!

First plane ride: You are totally fake sleeping here.


First missed school day: No pic since you were puking into a bucket, but it put an end to your perfect attendance record. :(

First birthday party not at home:


I was not prepared for the craziness that is the Amazing Pizza Machine, but you had the time of your life. You told anyone who would listen that it was your birthday, and invoked your "birthday girl" privileges early and often throughout the day. I hope you always love this day as much as I do, because it's the anniversary of my becoming a mom.

For every sign that you're growing up, there's a sign that you're still a kid. The other day you asked if Santa will still deliver presents at college. (Awwwww!) You don't know this yet, but you'll be a different person by then. You'll no longer believe in the things you do now, and probably think dad's a nerd and I'm an overprotective worrywart who needs to chill out. It brings tears to my eyes to think about how much you'll change in the next seven-10 years. While I know that it's for the best (we don't want the equivalent of a seven-year-old starting high school) but as Leanne Womack's song said it best: I hope you never lose your sense of wonder.

Never be ashamed to be amazed at how great life can be. Family. Friendships. Fun Times. Relish in it. Continue to see the bright side of life like you do so well know. Just be you. Because I love YOU so much. Happy 7th Birthday babe!

23 Things: The Newborn Edition

Here is Calvin's first official numbered-list-of-things-about-you-based-on-the-day-of-the-month-you-were-born blog post. Whew. Here goes:

1) Your skin should be in a Dove commercial. While I could try to describe the softness, it's just impossible to put words to the feeling I get when I kiss your cheeks. Same goes for that new baby smell. Well, most of the time.

2) You are a noisy sleeper. Dad and I call them squirrel, goat and gremlin noises, but whatever they are they make it hard for anyone but you to get rest.

3) Speaking of sleep, what is that? Since you were born at 10:45 at night, I haven't slept more than 2.5 hours in a row. And since you prefer chest to chest naps, I think it may be awhile before that changes.

4) You are my best eater yet. Faith was lazy and sleepy. Gabby was much better but struggled to gain weight. You are always up for a meal and have gained weight steadily. At your 2 week checkup, you weighed 8 pounds almost 10 ounces. No Lindquist baby has ever been in the 40th percentile at their two-week checkup. Congrats on breaking ground.

5) They say to watch out for boys as they'll pee on you. They don't tell you to make sure you don't let your baby pee on himself! This has happened to many times to count, unfortunately, so sorry if you have permanent ear damage, but at least you're hydrated, right?

6) You have some luck on the Irish with your red hair. While I would love for it to stick around, I'm thinking you'll be a blondie, maybe with some curl. And I sure hope those eyes stay blue!




7) Also, no pressure, but we kind of need you to be left-handed to carry on the family tradition. Maternal great-grandfather, grandmother, mother, and you're our last hope. Sounds like a potential Star Wars movie. The Last Lefty.

8) I could hold you all day. Whenever you've cried, there hasn't been one time that a snuggle and, let's be honest, some breastmilk from the tap haven't calmed you down.

9) I wasn't sure what it would be like to be home alone during maternity leave as your dad has been with me in the past. That said, I am enjoying hogging you all to myself, going on walks where I constantly worry if you're too hot or too cold, getting 6 inches from your face and doing everything I can to get you to smile, and just staring at you -- wow, I sound like a stalker.

10) While I'm in love with your name and feel like it was the right fit for you, we have struggled to call you by it. Maybe it's the sleep deprivation, but Dad has called you Charlie, grandma has called you Gavin, I seem to think your middle name should be James, Gabby wanted you to be called Leo, and we received a card recently that said, "Welcome baby Clayton." I wouldn't take it personally. No one remembers the second child's name, and the third...well, get ready for a whole lot of hey you.

11) Now that you can take baths in the tub, it's nice to know you hate them. P.S. I'm moving as fast as I can!

12) Everyone is smitten with you, but especially your oldest sister. She always wants to see "Calvin eyes" and has cried twice because she either couldn't hold you before school or you weren't there when she was picked up from school. Considering you have taken a great deal of attention away from her, this is impressive. I am so grateful for her willingness to help keep you company while I shower, eat, or leave the room for .2 seconds.


13) Gabby is also quite a helper. She wants to make sure you have your binky in your mouth at all times and hold your hand whenever possible. She's in charge of telling us if you're awake or asleep in the car and takes her job very seriously. She's also proud to share the day of her birth -- the 23rd -- with you as 2nd born kids are known to do.

14) It is amazing to me how you can sleep through the girls playing a very rowdy game of hide and seek, yet when I use my ninja-like moves in the middle of the night to leave your bedroom and end up stepping on a creaky floorboard it wakes you up.

15) You are such a little MAN! I swear you burp while you're eating and have more gas than our entire family combined. Somehow it's still super cute, though that may change as you get older!

16) So far, I haven't gotten a smile out of you, but don't think I'm not working on my material. I read it typically happens around 5-7 weeks so get ready for corny mom jokes. Update! You've smiled. It's as gratifying as I thought it would be!

17) You were born with a tongue tie, but thankfully it hasn't affected your ability to nurse or gain weight. I am happy about that as I didn't want you to undergo another procedure, especially after being poked three times to check for jaundice.

18) Current nicknames include: CalCal (Faith) CalPal (me) and Calvy (which really makes no sense, grandma). I like the idea of just calling you Cal, but we'll see what nickname sticks.


19) You don't spit up much, but you have thrown up a couple times, which is so sad for me, and I'm sure you. You saved one of your power pukes for your great grandma. Hopefully she's not afraid to hold you in the future.

20) Since you have a wet diaper every other minute, we don't even bother taking you to the changing table. Instead, Howie has claimed it as his new bed.

21) So so soooooo happy that you take a binky. We are using the Tommee Tippee kind. And the best part is Howie hasn't even tried to chew them up!

22) I was nervous you wouldn't take a bottle since all we've done is breastfeed and just as I was telling your dad that you might not take one right away, you began guzzling it down. Like I said, you're a man who never turns down food.

23) I've been told going from 2 to 3 kids is harder than 0 to 1 or 1 to 2, but I have to disagree, though it's probably too early to tell. Going from any number of kids to having a newborn is a shock to the system, but the benefits far outweigh the sleep deprivation. Just looking at you brings me immense happiness. I'm so grateful you're finally here. Welcome to the family!



Quatro


To my sweetie belle,

(I'm not usually the type to call anyone "sweetie belle." After all, I am from Iowa, not Texas, but you bring out the softy in me. That's what a baby girl will do.)

Happy 4th Birthday!
On the morning of May 23rd, as we were driving to preschool with chocolate chip mini muffins for all of your friends, out of the blue from the backseat you said, "I don't feel like I'm four."

Now if that isn't the cutest thing to say I don't know what is, but you don't like to be called cute so I couldn't say that. However I could tell you'd been waiting to feel different from the moment you woke up and when it didn't happen, you were disappointed and confused. Well, sweetheart, I don't feel like I'm 34 either. I know what you're going through waiting for your birthday to make you feel older, but it usually never does. It's in the little moments that you really, truly grow up. We've experienced many of them this year...from you reading a billboard that says "zoo," making besties in Penelope, Maisie and Decker at preschool, your legs hanging over the carseat longer than I remember the day before...they all add up. And it's those snapshots that remind me you are getting older, so don't worry, it's happening. Far faster than I'd like.

But back to your birthday. At home you had a princess-themed party.


And at school your teachers and friends sang to you at exactly 9:43 a.m., the time you were born, which made me smile to know that you were showered with love by them. Your teachers Miss Jamie and Miss Justice care about you so much, and for good reason.

(Sidenote: while this blog seems like I am bragging to others since you can't quite read...and we haven't shared the wi-fi password with you yet this letter is truly for you so I'm not holding back on how wonderful you are, with a few "truths" sprinkled in.)

Your teachers like you because you're a good listener. You have an incredibly long attention span and general curiosity about life. Just try sitting next to you on movie night. 20 questions...just in the first five minutes. I've been accused of asking too many questions too, so I find it endearing and think you may end up a journalist, though you are firm in that you simply want to be "a mom." You'll make a great one, and your children will appreciate your sense of humor, though hopefully by then you've moved on from the three knock-knock jokes you know currently. #Interruptingcow


With more time to yourselves since Calvin came along, you and your sister fight constantly, and because she's bigger and stronger than you, you fight back with high-pitched screams, yelling her name and middle initial (FAITHY J!), and phrases such as "I don't like you anymore, "or "I'm telling, mom." However, big sis is also the only one who can make you belly laugh the hardest. Can't live with her, can't live without her.


Another thing I love about you is your love for music. Now that we have Sirius XM in the car, we listen to the top 40 hits on repeat. You can name most songs in approximately three notes and Imagine Dragons "Believer" is your favorite, followed closely by Ed Sheeran's "Castle on the Hill." When I see you singing the words in the review mirror while you gaze out the window, it stops me cold. You're beautiful.

With Calvin being a newborn and you turning four all at once, I find I have more patience with his sleeplessness and need to nurse constantly, all because it seems as though we were just there with you.


One more year and you're going off to Kindergarten. While Faith never looked back, I think you and me will have a harder time. You are my mommy's girl, though watching you ride on your dad's shoulders while you pet his head would say otherwise. I feel like I baby you sometimes, and maybe take your side more often than not during those sibling rivalries because you'll always be my baby girl. (By the way, don't let Faith read this lest she be vindicated.)


We were shopping at K-Mart the other day when you asked if you could have some candy out of the machine. I of course said no, since you didn't need it and I had no change, but then I looked at the floor and there was a shiny quarter just waiting to be found. I told you it was your lucky day and then let you purchase some likely-expired, rock hard Skittles. You were so excited and told everyone who would listen about your "lucky day." It's the little things that kids seem to remember most. Remember that when you're a mom.


I've never met anyone who loves the water more than you. At the splash pad, you run with abandon. Even when the water is frigid and you're shivering, you won't admit to being cold because it would mean having to sit on your towel. My hope is that your zest for the water is every indication of your zest for life. Though I wish you had a zest for mornings, you are more of a night owl. You proved that when you stayed up until 11 o'clock on Memorial Day weekend and had more energy than the rest of the family combined.


And I'm not sure which you love more: cake pops or screen time. I wish I could say you like to read the encyclopedia or something, but you prefer a good episode of PJ Masks (this cartoon is terrible by the way -- really, go back and watch it when you're older). You constantly ask to play on my phone and have Snapchatted more of my friends than I have simply because I still haven't fully figured out how to use the app. I have more pictures and 4-second videos taken by you on my phone than there's room for on the cloud, but that's for another post.



Though you're small in stature, you have one big personality. And it's mom and dad's pleasure to watch you grow. Happy birthday, babe! Here's to never feeling, or acting, your age.




Calvin's Birth Story


We arrived at the hospital around 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 23. While Mr. Lindquist was in full "bring on the baby" mode, I feared being sent home. Again. If you recall from Gabby's birth story, we experienced a false alarm in the a.m. hours only to have my water break that very night. 

With this pregnancy, I experienced more and more contractions in the weeks leading up to the 23rd, though intermittent. On Easter Sunday I had several in a row before they fizzled out. So the next Sunday, when they started waking me out of sleep at 4:30 a.m., I thought they would eventually go away as well. 10 hours later, the contractions were still 10 ish minutes apart. Some were more intense than others, but we were instructed to go in only if they were 5 minutes apart. To keep my mind occupied, we played t-ball in the front yard, and lounged in our "new" hammock (that's been stored at my mom's house since approximately 2004). 



We all decided to grab lunch at a sandwich shop a couple miles from our house. On our way there, I had a few bad contractions, and while leaving the patio of the restaurant (no way I was going inside and having my water break in the dining room) I had to stop and grab a table to brace for another contraction. Since they still weren't 5 minutes apart I decided to go home and rest. We sent the girls with grandma and papa and said we'd see them at dinnertime. 

2:30 rolled around and I decided to finally pause a Netflix episode and call the nurse line. Since this wasn't my first, or second for that matter, birthing rodeo, she advised I go in and get checked. Up to this point I'd avoided the ole check-a-roo because OW! While that saved Rob a few brutal hand squeezes during my checkups, it also meant I had no baseline to see if my contractions were making anything progress.

Therefore, 4 cm dilated at 4 o'clock on Sunday coupled with intermittent contractions meant nothing to the doctor in labor & delivery. We were given the option to return home or walk around for a couple hours. This sounded all too familiar. I gave Rob "the look" which meant I could be home watching Netflix, but noooo, he made me come here only to most likely be sent home. I slipped back into my clothes and away we regrettably went. For two hours we strolled the UNMC campus, and my inner tour guide came out again, most likely with the same verbiage from when I was in false labor with Gabby.

Fast forward to about 6 p.m., when I was checked again. No change. Before they sent us home though, she wanted to check the fluid around the baby after noticing some heart decelerations following contractions. While this worried me a bit, I was happy to stay put. Also, the labor & delivery nurse eased my mind when she told me she thought the decelerations could be chalked up to variability since the majority of the other contractions did not show them. 

After confirming the fluid around baby was fine, the doctor offered to let me labor a bit more until 8 p.m,. to see if there was any change, as between getting back from the walk and the quick ultrasound, my contractions started to worsen. Before the clock struck 8, I knew there was no turning back. These contractions were the real deal and they were going to have to wheel me to my car in protest if they wanted me to leave. Thankfully, at 8 p.m. I had dilated to a 6. I received "admitted" status, which Rob noticed meant I got my official hospital mug rather than a disposable cup of ice water. 


I'm not sure the nurse had finished the word "admitted" when I shouted DRUGS! NOW! (possible exaggeration). The nurse immediately administered Fentanyl, but not before informing me that's what Prince overdosed and died from. #themoreyouknow She explained to us that the dosage was equivalent to 4 shots of PatrĂ³n Tequila. I may have been experiencing a contraction while she said this as a minute after she administered it, I had no idea why I started feeling as though I'd lost control of my appendages. Because things were progressing so quickly, anesthesia was quickly summoned. (insert heavenly "ahhhh" noises). Unfortunately she missed a few times inserting the world's longest needle into my spine. NBD. Soon enough the drugs were flowing and at about 8:30ish, we were finally left alone for a bit. I couldn't feel the pain from the contractions, so I had no idea how intense they were. Rob and the nurses were taking bets as to whether the baby would be born before midnight or after. Since Gabs was born on the 23rd and Faith on the 24th, I was hoping baby would come on the 22nd or 25th and have his own day, but here we were. At some point I took this video:

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I was leaning toward the 24th when the nurse came in at about 10 and asked how I was doing. I said I felt a little pressure and she offered to check me again. While checking, she said, "yeah, I don't feel the cervix at all." Oh, did it take a vacation, I wondered. Maybe it moved somewhere and forgot to fill out a forwarding address form. It didn't dawn on me that it meant I was "complete" aka ready to push until she told me, "you are ready to push." 

OH! The 23rd it is. 

So, in summary, at 6 p.m. they were ready to send us home and at 10 p.m. I was ready to push. This was all on my own, no pitocin involved, just a few "checks" and of course the IV cocktail. At no point did they break my water, and I asked when that would happen. I didn't realize you could deliver with it in tact. This might be TMI but the doctor sat down for the practice push and said, "masks on, ladies!" 

I'll spare you the pushing details other than to say this was the first birth my husband watched without looking away at all. Apparently the third time is a charm to rid someone of their squeamishness. They asked me if I wanted to touch baby's head as he was crowning, and after initially being afraid I did it and it made me realize how close I was to holding my son in my arms. (Good motivation technique!) A few minutes later, Calvin Robert Lindquist came screaming into the world, and I full on sobbed. 



As I pulled his tiny body to my chest, I told him I loved him over and over again. I couldn't see his face because he was so high up on my chest, yet I knew immediately that I would do literally anything for him. Soon I got to cradle him in my arms and study his face. I saw baby Faith right away. With the red hair Gabby was born with before it turned blonde. 

Originally, I wasn't sure about having a baby boy. After two girls who have been fairly easy as far as kids go, I worried how different it would be. It's taken his arrival for me to feel thrilled that he is a boy and my little man. And I don't know if it's because of that or because he's most likely our last baby (despite Faith pointing out we don't know that for sure) but I am smitten and already wrapped around his tiny finger, same for his dad and sisters.




But back to the delivery room. When I finally took my eyes off of baby to look at my husband, I saw a man who was in awe of what he just witnessed. The love I felt for him in that moment was no less awesome than it was the first or second time we brought babies into this world. With this pregnancy, we didn't have a definite first name picked out heading to the hospital. We thought we'd give him a once over and go with one of our top 3. But as the labor progressed, his name kept ringing louder in my head and when the nurses finally asked what his name was, I said, "I think we are going to call him Calvin." They swooned. And all was right with the world.


Before I sign off, I just want to say thank you to the most supportive, loving partner a girl could have. Thank you for letting me squeeze the feeling out of your hand, cry uncontrollably for no reason, worry too much about the circumcision, all while waiting on me hand and foot. Can I have some water? A mint? That blanket. No, not that one. A pillow, my pills, a granola bar, the iPad, my phone, a million dollars. Just kidding. But he'd probably try if that's what I asked for. Thank you, dear, for all you've done and continue to do. I've noticed. I love you. And you have unlimited Starbucks privileges from here on out! ;)

Birthday Season is upon the Lindquists

So it's birthday season for the Lindquists. 

And if you haven't heard (which would be a little surprising) we've added a third birthday along side Faith (June) and Gabby (May). Calvin Robert Lindquist was born on April 23rd at 10:45pm. He was the largest of the three, coming in at a staunch 7lbs 12oz and 19.5" long. 

And that's where I come in (wait, actually about 9ish months ago, but that's another story). It's time for my post-baby post. 

What an amazing experience this was. Now, I realize all three were unique and have their own crescendos to them, but this was fast (in the perspective of labor) and furious (in terms of the movie). And while I "helped" with the girls, this was different. I won't go into details, but I was so overwhelmed with what I saw I was crying with joy. 

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The girls instantly fell in love with him. 

Everything went well, and we are in the throes of the first few days with a newborn (so hopefully this as coherent as sleeping pizza). But even better, we are a family of five, and with four birthdays in three months (plus our 10-year anniversary this June 2nd) we have an exciting few months just starting, and I'm glad I get to live it and love it with the family I have. 

Here are a few photos from the first moments of Calvin's life. 

Our first photo together.

Two hours after birth, Cal is weighed.

A quick bonding moment for me and the boy.

Here, I believe, I'm imparting some great wisdom... or he tooted.

Definitely a toot.

He looks like A)mom B)dad C)Faith D)Gabby E)all of the above

A very proud big(gest) sister.

A very proud big(ger) sister.

The men of the house doing what they do best. I swear I was awake for this, right?

And finally, the name. I bet you're wondering how we got to Calvin. Well, it just so happened to be on both of our lists, and we loved it. I think our "top five" was something like: Calvin, Clark, Leo, Hudson, Theo. But, I'm going to let you in on a little secret on one of my reasons I liked it: 

"Cal L."

- "Rob L."

That's What She Said - Gabby Edition

A compilation of the things Gabby has said that made us laugh out loud recently, in addition to her penchant for knock knock jokes, talking incessantly talking about her friend Decker, saying "I tooted," and making up stories about her imaginary friends PACA and CHACA.



(After taking her first bite of Chinese food)
"Ohhhhhhhhh, that was yum."

(We had taken off her shirt and pants after a milk spill at dinner. A few minutes later, while still sitting at the table...)
"The good news is I'm naked. The bad news is I have panties on."

(Gabby, after a 30 second coughing fit.)
"My goodness!"

(Rob and I have a tendency to present things as good news/bad news as you can see)
Gabby: "Wanna hear some sad news?"
Me: (Concerned) "What?"
Gabby: (Frowning) "I can't eat brownies."
Me: "Why not?"
Gabby: "Cause I have a canker sore."
(Faith had one the week before. Odd that they're apparently contagious.)

(Driving by some stores on the way home right before naptime, with a deliriously tired child)
Gabby: (eyes half open) "I only like stores with things in them."

Me: (Looking at her bandaged hand) "Gabby, does your finger still hurt?"
Gabby: (Stops what she's doing to look at her hand) "OUCH!!!!!"

(We were talking about "crushes" at dinner one night.)
Gabby: "What's a crush?"
Me: "It's when you like somebody."
Gabby: (thinks for a second) "I have a crush on mom."

Heart melted. Man I love that girl!

Dear Not-Pregnant Me



Dear Future Not-Pregnant Me,
I've seen you eying those baby bumps on other women. Romanticizing what it was like to be walking around with another life growing inside of you. Recalling with fondness those times you were expecting Faith, Gabs and Rob Jr. (not the actual name). Before you do anything drastic, allow currently pregnant you to offer you some advice. And future Rob, if you're reading this now, ruuuuuuun! Seriously, go lock yourself in a hotel room until future me finishes reading this letter. (Wow, this is getting all Matrix-y.)

Repeat after me: Pregnancy is HARD! Really really hard. A positive pregnancy test result is quickly followed by immediate worry for you. You tend to fret about everything and then some, going so far as to Google things like"in utero seizures." Once you've managed to calm the hell down, you typically turn your attention to Enemy #1: food.

The mere mention of meat makes your gag reflect activate. Bread and cheese seem to be your only two friends, hence why you gain close to 40 pounds each time. For the record, you once at a bagel with refried beans on it when pregnant, which proves knocked-up you cannot be trusted . Do the words "Flamin' Hot Cheetos" ring a bell? Even present you judges you for that.

Moving on from the nauseous phase, you start showing incredibly early. Which means maternity clothes come on at about 14 weeks. The same frocks you were excited to buy at Target in the beginning are still the same ones on the rack six months later. (Come on Bullseye, work with me here.) While that elastic band in most prego pants is nice to have on Thanksgiving, your jeans constantly slip, leaving you wondering if you might be able to pull off suspenders. The answer is no.

Remember the other day when you bent over to pick something up and didn't think anything of it? That is purely impossible when you're "with child." At not even 30 weeks, the act of dropping something on the floor angers you to the point of yelling out almost-obscenities like "SHIPS!" The former you may have told her husband not to bother even bringing in the newspaper if he was just going to throw it on the floor. This may have been said in a raised voice on the brink of tears, I can't remember.

Wine. Yeah, a little glass of red vino at the end of a long day sounds nice, doesn't it? Pregnant you can only stare a little too long at the Valentine bottle display and go home to water laced with a fiber supplement. And all those yummy craft beers Mr. Lindquist so rudely drinks in front of you during pregnancy? Yeah, you can go down one of those right now. And damn if they don't pair perfectly with sushi, another no no for preggies.

Girl Scout cookies - ha! You are borderline diabetic when pregnant. Watch those carbs and sugars girlfriend, which by the way, are in everything that tastes good. Don't worry though, you can still have all the veggies you need, but not too much fruit. Dairy is hard on your weak stomach, and meat proteins, well, you know how you feel about pork.

You ever watch hot dogs rotating around in a rotisserie? That's how you sleep when you're pregnant, except you don't go all the way around. You just toss and turn approximately 47 times a night. Surprisingly, you only get up to go to the bathroom about once a night. The worst is when you can't "go" if you know what I mean. And I think you still remember what that leads to...

Working out just isn't possible for you when you're pregnant. This being the 3rd go round, your bones, joints and muscles south of the border ain't what they used to be. Other than yoga, you're limited to walking and it's usually cold out when you're pregnant. If you can go for a run right now, do it. Just try not to pass by anyone with a jogging stroller.

You have three awesome kiddos, and the truth is this body of ours has done its fair share. Hopefully by now your boobs are your own again, you're back to your pre-pregnancy weight (whatever that means) and you're sleeping through the night. Why ruin a good thing, girl?

Oh. I know why. Those baby kicks are the absolute best. His movements in the middle of an important meeting remind me that I'm never alone. All that deprivation and stress fade to the background when he gets the hiccups. Before I know it, he'll be here, and I'll miss this part immensely - the adorable way my belly looked like a basketball in my clothes, the way I'm eating as much as you want and how I don't even care, how I park in the expectant mother spot anywhere I go, the smiles from strangers, the leeway from my husband to be lazy, it's what we remember long after the other things are distant memories.

So, future me, know that while it was hard and sometimes I envied you, I did appreciate this opportunity to the fullest. I'm grateful to have this experience for the last time. You really don't need to come back and do it again. So go sleep on your stomach, drink wine at will and when you walk by the maternity section at Target, smile when you see it's still the same clothes they had back in 2017.

Much love,
34-year-old pregnant you