Wednesday, November 27, 2013

32 weeks and counting

Yay! 32 weeks and counting! So grateful to be this far in the pregnancy and to have had it go so much better than the previous ones. I'm definitely approaching it with less fear than last time solely because I have an image in my head of me making it through and delivering a healthy baby! I didn't have that last time, and I think I did a good job of doing the best I could to not worry through it, just having an image of good in my head helped tremendously! It says a lot about the importance of our imagination, that's for sure.

Here my 32 weeks pic...

One thing I remember looking at all the pics while pregnant with Brayden, I wished I had a front view of my belly too. It's perhaps not as flattering as the side view where you can measure how much you stick out, but it definitely shows Babycakes is in there!

To my dearest, littlest Babycakes, 
I am so excited to meet you! You have a fabulous family (at least I think so!), and we are excited to meet you and for Brayden to play with you, his little brother or sister. I'm thrilled about not knowing which you are. I love guessing until the last second. 

We have a couple months left to go until we get to meet you. I'm thinking you'll come in a month and a half... but just because I said that, I am also prepared for you to come in 2 months or more, lol! I've learned babies just do their own thing at times! 

Tomorrow is a special day: Thanksgiving. This year, I am thankful for your Daddy; your big brother, Brody; your other big brother, who you'll meet right away, Brayden; and you! I'm super excited to see your personality and how you blend into our family. Oh and I can't forget what will become your potentially favorite thing on earth: we have a puppy. His name is Tucker, and your brother, Brayden, adores him. You're going to have a blast with him and laugh at him probably more than you will ever laugh at me and Daddy. He's a giant - yet alive! - stuffed animal. 

Anyhoo, we're off to celebrate soon with family. 

All my love, 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

celebrating brody

So tonight I wanted to do something special as we celebrated and remembered Brody. We didn't make it out to Brody's grave, but will soon. Instead we laid low at home.

Since it's his birthday, I wanted to at have a sweet treat to celebrate. I had been pondering it for a few days - something simple but kinda fun to be a birthday cake for him. We have Halloween candy from our party at church and a bunch of them are laffy taffy. Since those candies are so hard, I decided not to ruin my teeth eating them or let Brayden or Erik either. Instead, I wanted to do my own Chopped dessert and find a recipe where I could melt the candy. (On the chopped TV show, they melt candy often and use it in recipes. I felt the need to try that myself!)

So I found a recipe for laffy taffy frosting that I could put on the leftover whoopie pies we had in the freezer from Erik's birthday.

It started out well and grand.... I got my laffy taffys out and pulled out ten cherry ones.

I threw them in a pot with some butter and milk and found out that, yes, candy can really melt down into beautiful liquid:

I started blending it with my handheld mixer. Brayden was intrigued by the noise. I was making decent progress whipping up the butter until I heard a strange noise and suddenly found butter on my shirt... and on the wall, the microwave, the knives in the knife block, all over the powdered sugar bag... and even on Erik's jacket hanging on a chair in the next room. 

Seriously... what happened? I was baffled until I saw this: 

Notice the beautifully misplaced whisk thingy? Yeah, that wasn't super great! 

Here's a sideways glimpse of the frosting and a bit of the mess... 

Now I can't say it turned out exactly as I pictured. Well, it kinda did. The cherry frosting was decent, but then I realized that adding a little bit of almond extract would make it extra amazing, since we've always enjoyed almond buttercream and cherry almond is a good combination. 

So I went for it and went to the fridge, pulled out the small extract bottle, looked at the peppermint extract bottle and thought, that seems a little off, but mostly right, put a bunch in the frosting, and then it dawned on me. Nothing about the beautiful peppermint extract carried the flavor of the almond extract my head was planning on. Total pregnancy brain moment! It definitely over flavored the frosting to be minty... but it wasn't bad enough to not eat it. 

So I grabbed two thawed chocolate whoopie pies, dolloped a bunch of frosting on each (chocolate peppermint is great, right?), added some mini chocolate chips for good measure, and then brought it over to my boys. We sat down, sang happy birthday to Brody, and enjoyed our little treat. Happy moments and happy memories and dreams of being with our little one again. 

And yes, here's the proof it must have tasted decent enough.... :-) 

happiest third birthday to my firstborn!

Today, I'm thinking of my little mister, Brody Mark Wegener. He was born 11-20-10, weighed a little less than a pound, was a little less than a foot long, and lived for a little less than an hour. He was such a trooper because he stayed in my tummy with minimal amniotic fluid for over five days. He's a fighter!

We had a beautiful funeral for him about a month after he was born; it was long enough after so I had enough time to physically recover and our family could be together. It brought nice closure to a short life that had such an impact on me and my family and who knows who else.

Sometimes I forget how much it hurts to have lost a family member... and yes, I highly dislike that I lost two of them within a little over a year (my brother and my son). Each of their legacies live on in unique ways... and every once in a while, it's good to sit down and just have a good cry that they aren't there any more and that you just miss them and want them back.

I can't explain the odd feelings I have that Brayden, although he thinks he's the oldest kid and certainly acts like the only kid because he is the only kid we're taking care of, my heart knows he's my middle child. It's so strange because it's this intangible feeling that he's not my oldest. Brody is. Like I mentioned when I said we were pregnant with our third, I am reminding myself that Brayden has no understanding about him not really being the oldest or the only kid, so his behavior will be oldest/only kid. But he will most definitely grow up knowing about his big brother in heaven.

I'm really grateful for this odd feeling though... this constant, subconscious remembrance of Brody. My guess is a lot of parents, including my own, feel that same way if they lose a child. No one else may know or everyone might know that you've lost someone, but you know, and that knowing is something you hold dear to you. They are forever a part of your heart and life.

Thanks to his grandma, Brayden has a few different books (he loves books!) on becoming a big brother and I think he has a pretty good 22-month-old grasp on the subject. I really think he'll do great once the next little miss or mister comes along in January.

Erik and I have had occasional questions from people - and we've asked ourselves these questions as well - will this be our last kid? And that's a fabulous question. I really like the idea of three kids, but I'm not sure how that will look in the future. Going through another pregnancy with light activity is rather intimidating, but the reward is great... Then we have always talked about adoption. I have no idea what the future holds, but I really like the fact that it doesn't matter what the future holds, I already have three kids. One just happens to be extremely easy to take care of... although, Brody, just so you know, I wish I were the one planning your birthday party. I do know you're in good hands.

All my love, Daddy's love, Brayden's love, and baby's love... happy birthday, Brody Mark Wegener! We love you and miss you dearly and are super excited to be reunited in heaven with you soon!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

throwback thursday

Happy 29 weeks to me and baby #3... I really like that I'm just days away from the 30-week mark. I like being in that "3-" range of weeks. I also like the age Brayden is at... 22 months. He's such a doll and so fun to watch. As you can imagine, so many fun things and stories I could tell....

Instead, I'm going to do a #throwbackthursday post! Partially because I was going through my archived photos and found cute ones that I haven't done anything with, so why not post them in my "online journal"! :-)

happy birthday to mommy and daddy! August 2012... this is a favorite of mine!
at the Bachman flower show, April 2013 (Erik took the pic!)
flower show, part 2, me and my family!
a little blurry... but we were going down the slide at the children's museum, May 2013... I love his smile!

I love this one of my mom and Brayden... must have been August 2012 or so because he's in that same cute outfit from our birthday picture above
April 2013, me and Bray at a bookstore reading! 

June 2013, eating watermelon at a family picnic