Full Term

My baby app told me this morning that I had 19 days until my due date.  I am 37 weeks pregnant which means if baby girl was born today, she would be considered full term. Nuts!  Maybe it’s the full moon or maybe just coincidence, but with the baby app alert, the fact that her due date is the 19th and an interesting fact that my favorite number has been 19 since I can remember (and I never knew why), I felt like a blog post was necessary.  I remember vividly looking at the app months ago and wondering how I would feel when it got down to these double digits that I am seeing today.  I am officially reporting that 19 days before my due date, I couldn’t be more prepared for this little girl’s arrival!  

Notice I used the term “prepared” vs a word like “ready.”  When it comes to pregnancy in my opinion, the two are very different terms.

I am most certainly prepared.  The baby classes are complete, her room is ready, my hospital bags are packed, the camera is charged, the car seat base is in, the swing is assembled, the nanny is selected, the bottles are washed.  I am prepared, without a doubt. Ready, I’m not so sure.  I am certainly ready to not be pregnant anymore.  I am ready to be able to shave my legs easily again, so ready to not feel uncomfortable most of the day and selfishly very ready to start wearing adorable fall clothes!  Ready for labor, delivery & what’s to come after her arrival is a completely different “ready.”

One of the things that I have struggled with in my life is how much I dislike uncertainty and the feeling of not being in control.  I’ve blogged about it before so my loyal Lo Down readers will know this about me.  So when I am just weeks away from embarking on a journey that I will have zero control over and a lot of uncertainly as a new parent, I find myself all too often filled with anxiety about this experience.  My panic moments come in the form of questions that are constantly running through my head.  Some thoughts are simple like “how painful will my contractions be?” but mostly the questions racing through my mind are more intense like “am I capable of teaching this little girl to be a kind, smart & giving human being or how in the world will I be able to juggle being a successful mother, wife, employee & friend?”  The thoughts and subsequent anxiety can be very overwhelming.  I am telling myself all the right things.  I know to stay calm, I know that I am strong and I know I have amazing support around me to be able to tackle all of the unknown but the anxiety is real and its scary.  So am I ready? Questionable.

Not to say that everything in these last few weeks is filled with anxiety, its not!  I just had two of the most beautifully amazing baby showers.  Words don’t describe how wonderful they were.  To see all of my best friends & family in one place to celebrate this little angel that continues to beat up my ribs from the inside was such a wonderful feeling.  Again, the support and excitement I have for her arrival is incredible.  I cherish the fact that our schedule is pretty empty (by design) and Ted and I have been able to spend so much time together, just being together and doing things that make us happy.  There is so much to be thankful for.

I’m hoping to get another post in before “d-day,” but if for some reason I don’t, I most certainly will introduce baby girl to my Lo Down readers when I can find time between feedings, diaper changes and attempting to get some rest.

37 weeks.  Sleepy eyes, swollen fingers & a belly button with a mind of its own, but overall feeling good!

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The Nursery

If you don’t know this about me by now, I do things a head of time.  I absolutely cannot stand the feeling of being unprepared or late.  So it comes as no surprise that 9 weeks prior to the birth of my daughter I can officially say, her room is ready for her.  I realize this is quite laughable since she won’t even be in her room for the first few weeks of her life, but that doesn’t matter, at least I am prepared!!

Baby girl’s room is hands down the best room in the house.  It has been such a fun experience making that room perfect and seeing it all come together.  Before I share the “adorableness,” I must give credit where credit is due.  A while ago, I had called on my brilliant & talented friend Marita Simmons, the owner of Marita Simmons Interiors to help me come up with a plan for the nursery.  I have always admired the work she has done and thought even if she could steer me in some direction, I know it would be better than what I could come up with on my own.  Marita so kindly gave me some of her valuable time and asked several questions about what direction I thought I wanted to go with the room.  I didn’t have too many preferences so with some email conversations and a couple visits to the house, Marita laid out for me different design board options that she felt would both meet my needs based on our conversations & also get me to think outside of the design box.  Because she is incredible at what she does I fell completely in love with all of her options but gravitated toward one concept specifically!  The woman knows what she is doing!  I realize what she did for me isn’t even in the vicinity of the real projects that she designs on a daily basis but I owe the “best room in the house” to her – without a doubt.  Thanks Reet, you are incredible at what you do!  Couldn’t have pulled this room off without you.

I am so excited to share with you the completed nursery.  Enjoy!

A view from the door. 

A view from the crib.

A view from the window.

A view from the rocker.  Blanket strategically placed over the little chair that has her name printed on it! oohhh the suspense!!

Framed vintage nursery rhymes over the crib.

Cutest little birdcage photo holder over the changing table!  

Probably my favorite wall in the room. I love the dresser, the lamp, the mirror!  And what are those darling “S” and “W” bookend on the dresser? Whatever do those stand for!?  Kinda thrilled with the rocking chair that I found at a consignment shop and had painted.  Worship that it’s an old school rocking chair!

Thanks Marita! Obsessed with the drum shade.

We splurged a little and put custom closets in her room.  Like I said, best room in the house!

Just for fun, had to share these darling little rings that I found on Etsy. They separate her clothes by newborn, 3 mos, 6-9, 9-12 etc.  Yes, her closet is full thanks to her aunt Linz & cousin Reese for all the hand me downs that are literally brand new!

Now the countdown begins to fill this room with the little person who kicks and rolls in my belly all day long.  Such an exciting time.

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Steve, Our First Born!

Let’s be honest here, in about 2 months Steve’s world is about to be rocked!  Steveo, our yellow lab, has been the center of our household for the past 5 years.  Our “first born” as Ted and I so embarrassingly call him is treated like a king around here.  When we go out of town, Steveo doesn’t head to a kennel, OH NO, we wouldn’t have such a thing.  He either gets to spend the weekend with Mo, Ted’s mom and their dogs or my latest obsession is to have someone come stay at our house and take care of him.  He’s got it good.  Part of the reason why Steveo has it so good around here is because we are truly in love with him and he has given us so much love & laughter over the years.  We would do anything for this dog – and do.  Trust me, check out of bill at the vet!

So in these last few months as I am preparing for baby girl and our first “human born” child to arrive, I started thinking about how much life is going to change for Steve. Simply put, our world will be revolving around something else.  I promised Steve the other night as he was giving me his famous “dog hugs” in bed (eye roll acceptable, here) that although my focus is going to change, I promise to keep throwing him frisbees, taking time at night for snuggles with him and oh yeah, I promised that I wouldn’t forget to feed him!!  I hear from other new mom’s that those once simple tasks are often times overlooked once baby has arrived.

So it’s only fair knowing that shortly this blog will turn into a montage of baby girl’s life, that I make a tribute to our Steve-o boy who we love more than anything in the world and who we know is going to be an amazing and protective big brother (2nd eye roll acceptable, here). Now, how do I choose from the 1,200 or so pictures that I have of him? He’s a really cute subject!  Love you so much buddy!

Snuggles with dad, his VERY best friend!

This is sleepy Steve.  

Steve’s happy place, The Warner Cabin. Crosslake.

One of my favorites!

This happens, often!

This is his “Marley” look!  Trouble.

His obsession, the Kong frisbee! Action shot!

If he could talk, he would be saying “throw me another ball, throw me another ball, throw me another ball!”

“Yes buddy, things are about to change!”

One of my favorite pictures of Steveo & I.

Our family, 2011.

Love you Steve-o bear!


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Hello 3rd Trimester

I entered my 3rd and final trimester with a first class ticket to LA, a wedding celebration in Malibu and a 4 year anniversary milestone – not a bad deal at all.  The truth is, traveling in your 3rd trimester is a little bit tough but I was far from roughing it.  Teddy and I stayed one night at our favorite hotel in Santa Monica, the Viceroy, and spent the rest of the weekend in an amazing house that the Buth family rented right off the famous street, Abbott Kinney.  We rented a car and drove to Malibu both Friday and Saturday to hang with the bride and the groom, Pam & Kevin Buth and their families.  It was a very small wedding, very relaxed and very “Buth” as I have been explaining it to everyone that knows Kevin.

Weekend Highlights:

  • Who doesn’t like a first class ticket? I believe my quote to Ted was “I’m sorry honey, but this is the only way I am going to travel from now on.”  I think Ted’s response was something like “sure, Murph, sure.”
  • Staying at the beautiful Viceroy and celebrating 4 wonderful years of marriage with Teddy.
  • Once we arrived in Malibu, the Buth family had rented an enormous house where close friends & family dinned on traditional Brazilian food (Pam is from Brazil), played volleyball (or in my case, watched them play volleyball & stuffed my face with food) and enjoyed a couple of days filled with no plans.
  • Seeing Kevin Buth get married.  It happened people – it happened.

Weekend Low lights:

  • Feeling uncomfortable about 90% of the time in terms of sitting for any length of time, standing for any length of time and sleeping has become of bit harder, especially when you aren’t in your own bed.
  • Figuring out how to get drunk Ted & drunk Jesse (Ted’s best friend) from Malibu back to Santa Monica on Saturday night.  Nothing like being 7 months pregnant, sober and trying to navigate the pacific coast highway alone with two drunkards in the car.
  • Realizing that dancing to “sexy back” at 7 months pregnant doesn’t have the same appeal as it did before.  When your ribs, stomach & hips no longer operate separately its time to excuse yourself from the dance floor.

As usual, the highlights far outweigh the low lights!  Here are some of my favorite pics of the weekend –

Our arrival at the Viceroy after a late flight. Happy 4th anniversary honey. Love you.

The scenery was too beautiful on the drive to Malibu to not stop and take a pic!

Uncle Kevin taking his nephew Kase down the slide at this amazing house they rented in Malibu.

Wedding time!

The Buth Family.  Adore them!

The beautiful bride & handsome groom.  Congrats Pam & Kev. We love you guys!

Teddy and Jess, nursing a hangover on Venice beach before we headed home.

So tomorrow I will have entered my 29th week of pregnancy.  It’s hard to believe that I am so close to the finish line, but at the same time I know I still have a way to go.  I’m told that these last 10 weeks or so tend to be the hardest in terms of slowing down and feeling comfortable.  I understand it a bit already.  As I mentioned earlier I have definitely slowed down, physically.  Little cat naps are my best friend (if possible) and my prenatal chiropractor is literally my favorite person on earth.  She gives me such amazing relief as baby girl loves to beat up the right side of me.  Still worshiping every kick & roll though so the uncomfortable is a small price to pay.  We’ve been busy doing a lot of preparation;

I am making great progress with the nursery.  There are definitely things I need to still accomplish in there though.  To say I love that room already is the biggest understatement of the century.  I am in love with that room & it has quickly become one of Steve’s favorites rooms to hang out in too, so cute.  I will absolutely do a nursery post sooner than later.

Ted and I took a prenatal birthing class as well as a breastfeeding class.  What I learned is that I am without a doubt asking for an epidural and not even considering a natural birth. After watching a natural birth video I had to get a bagel and sprite from Panera because I was completely nauseous, ha.  Also realized that I am insanely devoted to being a breastfeeding mom.  I love that I have the choice but feel strongly about giving it my very best effort.  Huge props to Teddy to sit through a 2 hour class devoted to boobs.

We have begun our daycare vs nanny discussion and search as well.  A few nanny interviews coming up in the weeks to come as well as a daycare in Edina we are interested in looking at.  What a strange process all of this is and might I add, holy crap, child care is expensive, no matter which route you go!

I am officially in “nesting” mode with no travel plans now until after baby girl is born.  I plan on taking full advantage of these last few nesting weeks by relaxing with my husband, my family and my friends.  So far though, I have to say this process overall has been incredible.  Besides some crazy hormonal sobs, bruised ribs and not ever getting used to seeing your body change so much, I have to say this whole experience has been incredible.  Let’s just get it out now – I am one of those annoying people who loves pregnancy!  Feeling blessed and getting so very excited to meet this little person that dances in my tummy all day and night….

28 weeks and getting big!!








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Celebrating A Wonderful Man

I am headed to Kansas City this weekend to celebrate the life of one of the coolest people I’ve known.  I feel so blessed to have recently had some one on one time with Lynn Voss in Arizona as he was just beginning his journey with cancer.  I feel it only fitting to use my blog as a reminder of what an amazing man he was as well as a reminder to myself and my loyal readers that in an instant life can change.  Even if it’s just today, remember to look around you, take a deep breath, realize all of the blessings that surround you and be thankful for your health and for your life.  One of Lynn’s amazing talents was his writing ability.  For much of his journey with his disease he was updating his Caring Bridge site with words and thoughts that I feel like should be published or at least put into a book for his family to look back on.  Specifically his insightful thoughts on life, family & appreciating the special moments.  So I’ll let Lynn take it from here and share one of his caring bridge entries after I saw him in Arizona…

Heaven is a better place now. You will be missed & always loved, Lynn.

OK Ashley and Murph, this is all your fault.

I want to start off this morning with a little assignment for you to do today.  Here’s 4 more questions for you to answer and, trust me, these are a lot easier than the last 4.

You just walked out of your Doctors office.  He has told you that you literally have 24 hours to live.

What would you do?

Who would you call?

What would you say?

What are you waiting for

Yea, I know, sometimes I piss myself off too.  Ashley has been here for a visit the last few days and her dear friend Murph, well actually here name is Lauren but she’s been Murph to us every since we met, flew in yesterday.  They’re staying at the Camelback Inn so we stopped for a cocktail yesterday afternoon.  We were sitting on the patio, in beautiful surroundings, with great friends, and beautiful weather.  What more could you ask for?  We got into a discussion of my philosophy and all this stuff just started coming out.  Well I woke up about 1 and couldn’t go back to sleep because I got to thinking about our talk.  So now you’re stuck with me.

Ashley got me a present, a book called Stronger Than Cancer.  It’s a compilation of stories by or about cancer patients.  It was compiled by Connie Payton and it has sure been a light for me.  It’s one of those little books that makes you laugh, makes you cry, makes you think, and makes you pray.  Thanks Honey.  I’ll cherish it as long as I live.

Did I tell you I’m a cancer survivor?  Yep.  I was diagnosed on December 10th and I’m still here.  Doesn’t that make me a survivor?  I didn’t say I was cancer free……Just a survivor.  You know, I don’t know if I’ll have 1 more day.  Or a week.  Or a month.  Or a year.  Or ten years.  I do know that I’ll make the most of what ever time I have left.  And do you want to know a secret?  You could have the same amount of time.  Why not make the most of it.  Get rid of all the DRAMA in your life.  Enjoy the moment.  Don’t get so busy you forget to take those little snapshots of life each day.  Remember….It’s not the days we remember.  It’s the moments.

For me it’s like this.  I don’t ask God to cure me anymore.  I ask God to open my heart and mind to His word.  To fill me with His Holy Spirit.  To help me understand His plan and where I fit into it.  I do remind Him that there are some things I would still like to do and I would appreciate some more time.  Gracie Allen once said, “Never place a period where God has placed a comma”.  God may be telling me, “You have cancer, but I have other plans for you”.  See what I mean?  “You are going to die, just not yet”.  I could look at the statistic and think, “I have a 50/50 shot at being dead in 12 months” or I can believe I have pretty good odds of being alive for more than 1 year.  Less than 15% of people with this cancer live longer than 5 years.  I’ll take those odds.  I truly believe God hears all of our prayers.  Sometimes His answer is “Not Yet”.  It’s like, the MegaMillions jackpot is $350,000,000 right now.  You can pray all you like to have the winning numbers.  It doesn’t mean God didn’t hear you.  He just said, “Not Yet”.  “God I want to live 10 more years”.  His answer will probably be something like, “Make the most out of your life right now and then we’ll see”.  Isn’t it funny how Doctors will tell you…you have so much time to live.  I thought that was God’s job.  Right now He’s my Physician.  These other people with MD after their names……They’re just helping.

How am I doing?  Pretty darn good.  I got off the pain med’s again and so far it’s been OK.  I still have a little discomfort in my abdomenn but I can live with it.  I do have another case of Thrush, a yeast infection in your mouth that is usually caused by a weak immuno-system.  So I have another mouthwash and this one has a numbing agent because I have some pretty good sores on my tongue.  Remember, chemo kills fast growing cells and sometimes it really doesn’t care which ones it kills.  This stuff is horrible.  It just tastes like crap and I have to use it 4 times a day.  Oh well.  Maybe my Bacardi and Pepsi will taste good again.  My 2nd round of chemo is next Friday.  Hopefully, I’ll have a good week so I can make the most of it.  I can live with a schedule of chemo, feel like crap for a week, 2 good weeks and then another round of chemo.  I just have to remember, And this too shall pass.

That’s about it for tonight.  I have another big meeting in the morning and I really should try and get some more sleep.

Thomas Chandler once said, “To love a person is to learn the song in their heart, and to sing it to them when they have forgotten”.  Thanks for singing with me tonight.

Hugs, Hope, and Light,
Lynn……and the whole Team Voss

Lynn, Ashley & Cindy Voss (Arizona – March 2011)

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Montauk, NY

I love it when you talk about something and then actually do it!  In the case of Ted & I going to Long Island and then doing a beach weekend in Montauk with our good friends Brie & Brian, for a long time it was just talk.  Then we found out I was pregnant.  We realized quickly that our beloved weekend getaways for no reason would quickly be coming to an end (for a little while anyway) so we jumped on the opportunity to turn our “Montauk talk” into action!  Tickets were purchased, hotel rooms were reserved and to make the trip even better, Ashley & Mike Murphy were going to join the fun.  Ashley is one of Brie’s best friends from college who I had the pleasure of meeting in Chicago during Brie’s bachelorette party weekend.  Ashley and I couldn’t be more alike and quite frankly we fell madly in love with each rather quickly, that’s what we tell people anyway! I call the weekend we met in Chicago “destiny” and most of my friends know which Ashley I am talking about when I refer to her as “my girl crush.”  What is it with the Ashley’s in my life?  I love them all so much.  To top it off, Brie, Ashley and I are all pregnant!  No matter what people say, until you know, you don’t know when it comes to pregnancy, so vacationing with 2 other girls that get up early, go to bed early and want to talk about this crazy experience makes vacationing with a group much easier.  The girls somewhat early nights in gave the boys the opportunity to go out together and do whatever it is that boys do without their nagging, pregnant wives telling them they want to go home.  It just worked!

Montauk is an awesome place.  It felt very east coast, but very laid back at the same time. The seafood that we ate everyday was amazing, the only thing that would have made it better would have been a few glasses of wine to wash all that great fish down!  The weather was hot & although Ted got a 3rd degree ankle burn, Mike threw out his back from a killer ocean wave and the 3 of our bellies in bikinis got more attention that we had anticipated the weekend was a total success.  We even got to see some celebrities!  We saw the beautiful Helena Christensen (model, probably most famous for being a Victoria Secret angel) on the beach and the top two celeb sittings were definitely Paul Giamatti, who was staying at our hotel and Robert DeNiro who we saw getting breakfast while we were at this fabulous little organic cafe.  Our D list encounter was having dinner with one of Scott Disick’s best friends (who has made several cameos on Keeping up with the Kardashians). I didn’t get a chance to embarrass myself and drill him on everything Kardashian, but I figured even as a D list encounter, it was worth noting.

The Montauk Crew, Instagramed! Brie, Brian, Ted, Lo, Ashley & Mike.

Brie & Lo at our hotel, Montauk Manor.  

Lo, Brie & Ash at dinner.

This is the only picture that Teddy & I took the entire weekend and I can’t figure out how to get rid of his creepy eyes!  Oh well, its documentation, I was there with my husband 🙂

Thank you Brie, Bri, Ash & Mike for a wonderful weekend.  We definitely agree this should be an annual getaway.

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Happy 6th Birthday Kai Newton

Kaiman, my little angel bug as I have always called him, just turned 6 years old and I have no clue where the time has gone.  As the over involved aunt who thinks she is his mom 1/2 of the time, I watched Kai with all of his buddies celebrate turning six with a swimming party and got thinking about the last 6 years and how quickly they have flown by.  It literally seems like yesterday that we were doing tubby time at the Joppa house (Kai’s first house), Lindsay and I laughing hysterically at the “blow outs” on his changing table and how we used to melt over every single word that he said like “aunt Wo” or “uncle Tedda!”  Don’t even get me started on the heavenly smell of his room or the way he did the worm on the floor the first time he was given M&Ms.  This little boy has filled my last 6 years with so much laughter & happiness.

I remember when I found out that Linz & Haig were pregnant with Kai.  I was living in Kansas City at the time and for many reasons was looking for a reason to move home.  This news gave me the much needed courage to make that move and since then the blessings in my life have been pouring in.  On several levels I guess, I owe Kai an enormous amount.  Even though he didn’t know it, he brought me to my happy place and allowed me to not miss a minute of his life!

At 6 years old I can say with complete honestly that Kai is one of my most favorite people in the world.  He is brilliant, kind, sensitive & funny; not bad for a 6 year old.  Although touch and go at the beginning with Reese’s arrival, Kai has turned into a wonderful and protective older brother to boot.  Riding his bike without training wheels, graduating from Kindergarten doing 2nd grade math, quickly becoming a star soccer player for the Edina riverhounds, negotiating with his mom as many play dates as he can possibly handle and in his spare time writing down the lyrics and singing New Directions “what makes you beautiful” is what this incredible little dude is up to at 6.

Happy 6th birthday Kai Murphy (Moo-fee, as he used to say it) Newton.  I love you BEYOND words.

Kai. 6 years old.

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