Monday, December 26, 2011


For those of you that don't know already, Madelyn was discharged from NICU on December 22, after 33 days in NICU. I never thought that day would come truly-- after so many close calls and roller coaster emotions, it finally did though. It was the best day of the year for sure. I had been waiting for my girls to meet for 9 months, and Bella's reaction was absolutely priceless.

Here is a link to the video of her homecoming and meeting Bella for the first time

Since she has come home, we had the best low key Christmas. We didn't travel anywhere or stress ourselves out with multiple gatherings.... we stayed home and enjoyed our new family addition and my parents came over to celebrate with us. We are adjusting to life with 2 children and I am sure there are still more adjustments ahead of us, but we are in love with our two girls more than we ever thought possible.

Since Madelyn's birth, we have experienced an outpouring of support from so many people. I want to take a minute to thank everyone. I am truly humbled by the support that has come our way. My facebook page was overcome with hundreds of comments and prayers the night that Madelyn entered the world. My best friends came together and have cooked us meals, cleaned our house, unpacked moving boxes, babysat Bella, and drove me to/from the hospital before I was released to drive. We got meals and gifts in the mail from past clients of Mandy Leonards Photography, we got cards and gifts from past personal training clients of mine and online friends that I've never met in person. I had several people stop in at the hospital to see me and bring me coffee or just offer a supportive hug. It was seriously the most amazing outpouring of support I could have ever imagined. You always learn who your true friends are in times like this and there are so so SO many people that Jerry and I are overwhelmingly thankful for right now. Those of you who have stepped up and been there for us this past month, you know who you are. Thank you SO MUCH from the bottom of our hearts and souls. I don't think words can express the true gratitude we have, but we will be returning all the support when the time comes for all of our friends that have been there for us. We have made new friends in the process and grown closer with others too. I feel like my family just didn't expand by one over the past month, but I feel like it grew but a lot more by all of you who came out for us. We love you all.

Happy Holidays :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Day 28

Here we are... day 28 of our NICU stay with Madelyn. I really can't believe we had a baby 28 days ago that still hasn't come home, that still hasn't met her big sister. It is really starting to exhaust me and I am soooo ready for it to be over. I am tired of driving back and forth 2-3 times a day. I'm tired of the hospital room. Im' tired of fighting cords to the monitor to change my baby's diaper and pick her up. I am tired of the fact that my husband and 3 year old haven't been able to bond with the other member of our family. I have an all new feeling about babies who spend 4-5 months in NICU. I feel connected to parents who have experienced a NICU stay themselves. I feel connected to the NICU doctors and nurses. I feel jealousy to parents who get to have a normal delivery and homecoming with their baby. Then I feel guilty for feeling jealous about this LOL! But I also know these are all very normal feelings. I've seen lots of babies come and go since Maddie was born, and I'm SO incredibly happy for everyone who doesn't have to go through the NICU experience. I would never ever wish it on anyone. However, I will also say that it has made me realize my priorities in my life all over again, and also really shows you who our true friends and family are.

It's no secret that I love my job. But since going through the last 28 days, my focus has definitely been on my family, as it should be. My daughters are my everything. I would and will do anything for them, and when this is all over, I am promising that I will make sure I make time for each of my girls separately and together. I can't wait for them to meet more than anything. It's been something I've been waiting for 9 months and here I am still waiting!

As we get closer to Christmas, I am really anxious to have Maddie home more than ever. I am not an overly religious person, but Christmas time to me is about family, love and celebration. If Maddie isn't well enough to be home yet I will truly feel like something is missing. I am hopeful she will make it home to be our little holiday miracle.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Maddie's Birth Story

So... I haven't posted on the personal blog in quite awhile. Mostly because I was so insanely busy with work in October that I barely had time to eat, let alone keep updated in here. But... we had a bit of shock come into our life 2 weeks ago, and I think it will be good for me to write out what happened and continue back to updating on the kids.

So... as most of you know, Madelyn's due date was January 1, 2012. I had a completely uncomplicated pregnancy. We had a very stressful few months leading up to November 20th-- we bought a new home and closed on November 15, when we supposed to close on November 1st. We lived with my parents for 8 weeks during this transition. I also continued to work my busiest month of the year for business.

So on November 15th, I was hosting a newborn workshop for a friend of mine AND closing on our new home. Mission accomplished X2. The next few days were spent trying to move into our home and start unpacking. We thought we had 4-6 weeks before Maddie's arrival so we were not in a hurry to get our baby things together quite yet. We planned on getting things together after Thanksgiving.

On November 20th, I woke up feeling fine. I got dressed and went to shoot a boudoir marathon. Got through the sessions just fine. I came home around 4:30pm and was feeling a bit tired and having a few Braxton Hicks contractions, but nothing out of the ordinary for being 34 weeks pregnant. I sat on the couch next to Bella, put my feet up and drank a big cup of water. Jerry told me he was going to Costco-- no big deal. Bella and I stayed home and were playing with Barbies.

At about 6:30pm, I noticed I was having a bit stronger contractions but still nothing that concerned me. Then I felt a little gush. It definitely got my attention. Enough to where I decided to stand up to head to the bathroom to check it out. When I stood up, I felt a bigger gush and this time felt a bit of pressure release in my tummy too. This really scared me...because this is what I felt when my water broke when I went into labor with Bella.

I went to the bathroom, and unfortunately Bella followed me. When I went in there, I filled the toilet with red blood. It was the scariest thing I've ever seen in my life. My heart I think stopped for a moment. Bella looked at me and I knew I couldn't let her know I was scared. "Are you ok Mommy? Are you bleeding?" she asked concerned. "I'm fine Bella, Mommy is fine. Let's go play some more." and I flushed and pulled my pants up. We went back out and started to play again and then I called Jerry and told him to come back home, then immediately called my mom. I didn't know if I should call an ambulance or drive myself to the hospital. I couldn't fathom getting Bella scared so I didn't want to do either. Thankfully, on his way back, Jerry called my friend Megan who lives 5 minutes away and she drove right over and got to our house before anyone. She started playing with Bella...and a few minutes later Jerry walked in the door and we headed to the hospital, running a red light on the way.

I got into triage and told them I was bleeding heavily and was 34 weeks pregnant, no complications. I wasn't having any intense abdominal pain, but was having mild regular contractions. I was still bleeding heavily. They checked my cervix, and I was 2cm and 70% effaced. Hooked up to the monitor, thankfully Madelyn seemed fine. They thought I might just be in early labor, so they gave me a shot to try and stop it. It didn't work and I continued to bleed. They moved me to a L&D room and admitted me.

They continued to monitor the situation and Madelyn was fine on the monitors. However, I continued to bleed heavily and they had to change my bedding several times. I was feeling terrified...

Finally at 11pm, they called for an ultrasound to check the placenta because of the bleeding. I got one steroid shot for the baby's lungs. It took FOREVER for the ultrasound tech to get there..a good 2 hours. Then it took her an hour to do the ultrasound. It was on the ultrasound that they saw the placenta hadn't completely detached from the wall yet but was almost completely detached and had a huge blood clot behind it. It was a life/death situation for me and Madelyn and an emergency c-section was absolutely necessary.

Immediately, they got me prepped for surgery. I barely had time to think. I cried the entire way down to the operating room. My dreams of another natural delivery were gone and I was terrified something was going to be wrong with my baby. At 4:38am, Madelyn Kate Leonards was born. She weighed 5 pounds 10 oz and was 18.5 inches long. She has a full head of black hair and big dark blue eyes. She is absolutely beautiful and looks so much like her big sister.

However, the next few minutes were just as scary. The c-section was terrible. I hated not being able to hold my baby. I couldn't even see her. I was in pain and I felt claustrophobic from the drapes etc. Jerry was barely able to touch me during the procedure. I was so drugged up after the surgery I couldnt sit up in the bed. I felt terrible. Madelyn cried when she was born but then had trouble breathing and they had to immediately put her on a ventilator and took her to NICU.

We are now on day 15 of her NICU stay and the progress she has made is amazing. She is like a different baby now. She should be home soon. I am forever grateful to the doctors and nurses who took care of me and Maddie. I owe them my life and my daughter's life.

This birth story was probably the scariest moment of my life I've had so far..but I am so incredibly thankful for that beautiful baby girl sitting in NICU right now. She is our miracle baby and we can't wait for her to be home and meet her amazing big sister.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Whirlwind of a Week

This past week has been completely INSANE crazy. Like, makes my normal day to day life seem like a peaceful yoga day. LOL! Here is a brief recap...

A week ago from Friday, we get a signed lease from a renter. Great, right? Oh wait--he has to move in by this past weekend. And...we have a a wedding in Valparaiso this past Friday (2.5 hour drive) to shoot. AND, Jerry can't take days off work because he is saving days for when Madelyn is born. AND... I am pregnant. AND... we have a 3 year old.. AND.. I have had sessions almost every evening. AND... we don't have a house to move into.

SO... We sign the lease Friday 9/9
Schedule movers for Wednesday 9/14
Have a wedding to shoot Saturday 9/10
Wedding show to work Sunday 9/11
Start packing Sunday 9/11 night
Work regular hours Mon-Weds, packing in the evenings.
Movers arrive Weds 9/14 at 8am... pack our kitchen and load up the moving truck to take all of our things to a storage unit. My parents hurry to get their house ready for us to move in for who knows how long with our toddler, 2 dogs and baby on the way.

Arrive at my moms house Wednesday.

Jerry is back at work Thursday. Thursday during lunch, he goes to look at a house with our realtor and decides this is OUR house. I haven't seen it yet. After work Thursday, still cleaning out the condo.

Friday--we are gone all day/night at the wedding.

Saturday--we wake up at 5am to drive home...go straight townhome to keep packing and cleaning. My parents come over to help. My mother in law drops Bella off to me at noon so I take her back to my moms house for some normal time. Jerry and Steve continue working at the townhome.

Saturday at 4:30pm, I take Bella and go see the house Jerry saw. We decide to put an offer on it. It's accepted!

Sunday--Oh wait. I'm hosting a baby shower for my good friend Angela. At my moms house. Haha. Must clean and buy food and get ready for this shower at 2pm Sunday.

Sunday night- townhome is empty and clean. Now we must collapse.

This morning-- Inspection for new home scheduled for tomorrow. We are hoping for a closing date of November 1st, and moving in shortly thereafter.

Uh, yeah.

That about covers that!

Here are my 25 week milestone photos:

And... I am officially REALLY tired.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Kick kick Punch Punch

I caught some of Madelyn's action last night LOL! Please ignore my ugly belly. I have some sort of mild rash on my belly...I'm not sure what it is. I looked at PUPPS which is a pregnancy rash that occurs in 1% of pregnant women.... but it definitely doesn't look like that and I really hope it doesn't end up being that because the only cure for that is birth and it sounds absolutely miserable! PUPPS also says it almost always starts in stretch marks, which my old stretch marks are still white lol. It also says it almost always occurs in first pregnancies and women pregnant with boys or twins. I am none of the above. So hoping it's just something odd... I go back to the doctor tomorrow morning so I'm going to be sure to ask her about it.

Here is a 23 week picture we took last weekend. I can't believe I'm almost 24 weeks, so almost 6 months!! The time is flying by!


We spent our holiday weekend not doing much. We didn't have a wedding on a rare occasion, but Jerry was sick in bed with a fever all weekend :(. Poor guy. I had several sessions and he laid around and tried to get better. Thankfully so far, Bella and I haven't gotten it.

I can't believe it's September already. We had a 110 heat index here in Indy on Saturday and then yesterday it was only 60! It's a huge difference outdoors...definitely feels like fall.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


We reached a big milestone in this house this week! Bella started preschool on Monday morning. I thought I was ready for it, we have been anticipating it for months now. Then the morning came, and I suddenly felt sick to my stomach! My BABY was going WHERE? Without ME?! Huh?!! She was so excited that it really helped. She got in the car willingly and was ready to go.



Of course when she got to school and the car line started and she realized we were not going with her, she started to cry. :( Thankfully, it wasn't the screaming clingy crying you fear and it was very short lived. I picked her up a few hours later and she told me she had fun and would come back tomorrow :) We are now on day 4 as I type this, and she does seem to really be enjoying it. I think she is tired -- she is not used to being so busy every morning, but that is good for her :) She also told me this morning she "Wasn't in the mood for school" LOL! I think she just wanted to sit on the couch and color and watch PBS. But -- she still didn't argue when we got there.

I still can't believe my baby girl is going to be 3 in a couple of weeks. Sigh. No matter how big or old she gets, she will ALWAYS ALWAYS be my baby!

As for her little sister, she has been the kicking machine lately, and we love it :) Bella likes putting her hand on my belly and when Madelyn kicks her, she says "Is it time for her to come out now?" haha. So cute :)

We've hit a roadblock in terms of the housing stuff and moving :( We aren't sure at this point if it's all going to work out, but we are still praying that something does. We are trying to focus on the positives right now because we do realize how blessed we are regardless of if we move or stay in our condo a little longer.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

We have a name :)

After months of debating, a change in the baby's gender, and more debating... we have finally chosen a name for our baby girl #2 due this holiday season. Her name will be.... Madelyn Kate Leonards :) It's perfect and we are very excited for Bella's little sister to have a name! I am sure some people will call her Maddie, and that is fine, although both of us prefer Madelyn, it won't bother us for people to use the nickname either. She has been moving and kicking a ton this past week and letting her presence known! Unfortunately, this has also meant that I've had a return in morning sickness symptoms. Not sure why they decided to creep back into my life midway through this pregnancy but they have. Nausea, heartburn and general yuckiness. I started taking my Unisom/B6 combo again and have been wearing the Seabands that my friend Megan loaned me just about everyday. I was super sad to miss a girl's night dinner last week because I felt so bad! So little Madelyn---if you would cooperate and let Mommy feel better that would be wonderful :)

In other news... this little girl, named Isabella is getting ready to start preschool on Monday! I can hardly believe it!


In house news... our house is still up for rent, and we are hoping it rents out quickly. All of the other pieces are complete in terms of us getting into a new home...but we need a lease agreement. So keep your fingers crossed for us!

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Well, here is a shocker that most of you that read this probably know by now. We had our 20 week ultrasound on Friday with the OB/GYN. Baby is growing well, weights a WHOLE POUND already (Bella was only 12 ounces at her 20 week scan), measuring about 7-10 days ahead of schedule and is clearly a baby..... GIRL! No, I am not joking. Seriously. Yep. SURPRISE! Our response??? "Are you serious? Really? No way!" Then laughter. Poor Bella is seriously confused. Baby girl had her legs wide open for us, no pee pee in sight with clear girl parts showing. Here are some pics:

And here is my 20 week progress picture:


SO there ya have it. Not having a boy after all. Goodness, certainly takes an adjustment for all of us. But of course there are no wrong answers when it comes to the gender of your baby ;)

The house stuff is also moving right along. We have decided to build again with Ryland, but we do need some things to line up first. First of all, we need to get our financing completed and find renters for our condo. We are on a time crunch because we really want to move in before the baby is born, and Ryland tells us it takes about 100 days to finish the house, putting us at the end of November/beginning of December for closing--so we are cutting it pretty close. Needless to say, Jerry and I are definitely under some stress right now. The good news is that our condo is freshly painted and very clean, just have to keep it that way as we show it to potential renters. We are praying everything falls into place for's all exciting but scary at the same time. I am also trying my hardest to keep things as normal for Bella as I can. I don't want too many changes to freak her out at once. She will have school,potentially a new home and a new sibling all in the next 4 months. That's a lot. So I just keep giving her lots of kisses, hugs and as much attention as I possibly can.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Another year older

Tuesday was my birthday and I turned 29 years old. While it's not a super special number, it certainly made me sit back and think about where I am today. This is the last year of my 20's. Wow. How did we get here so fast??? While I am slightly sad to be closing in on 30... a number that used to seem so much older to me than it does now, I also can't help but think about everything I've done in the past 9 years. I graduated from Purdue University, I went to and graduated from graduate school. I dabbled in 2 different careers, neither of which fulfilled me or made me happy, until I started my own photography business and have never been happier career wise. I married my husband in 2005, the happiest day of my life until the birth of our daughter in 2008. Bella is the best thing I've ever done. I look at her every morning and sometimes have to pinch myself to realize that I am not dreaming... that she isn't someone else's child... she is my baby girl. I carried her around for 9 months, I went through a long hard labor for her. I encountered many sleepless nights with her and I love her more than I knew I was capable of loving.

We've also have some hard times in the past decade. Jerry unexpectedly lost his job when I was pregnant with Bella....a time in our lives that was very difficult. We've lost family members suddenly, we've spent nights in the hospital, we've learned to cope with my mother's chronic illness (which I am just happy is not fatal). It definitely hasn't always been easy... but somehow we always get through it together, learn something from the hard times and move forward stronger people, and a stronger family.

In my 29th year I hope to make it a great one. We will welcome our second, and possibly last child into our family unit. We will be moving in a new that we hope to make our home for a very long time. Bella is starting preschool and my business continues to grow and shape as I continue find out what I really love to do with photography and grow. I am promising here and now to not mope around being sad that my 20's are almost over..but enjoy the good things that are going to happen in my life in the next year, and vow to enter my 30's with a bang :)

I had a really nice birthday. I didn't schedule any shoots, and I spent the day with Bella. When Jerry got home, we went to dinner and then went for really bad for you ice cream, haha! Jerry helped Bella make me a card and he got me a point and shoot camera for my purse ;)

In other news... this is what my house looks like right now:


Needless to say, I am ready for the work to be done. The painter is still painting, but he is making good progress and the new paint makes a world of a difference in here. The carpet cleaners are coming this afternoon too. We are hoping everything will be done before the end of the week. We have potential renters coming to see our place on Sunday afternoon, and we plan on listing it this weekend as well for rent in case those renters do not work out. Jerry and our realtor are also meeting with Ryland on Friday afternoon to discuss the possibility of building again. We should know more soon. Oh and tomorrow...tomorrow our 20 week ultrasound! Yay! We can't wait!

And just because she makes me smile, here is a snap of Bella to finish up the post. wearing her princess dress that my mom made her :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Almost Halfway

It's Monday again--- where. is. the. time. going????! Although, a part of me is very happy the summer is moving swiftly along. Here we are, this weekend I will reach my official halfway point of the pregnancy and Friday is our 20 week ultrasound! I can't wait for another glimpse at our baby and to get some official confirmation that he is indeed a boy after all of the controversy!

We had another wedding of course on Saturday-- we've got one the next two weekends too, and then we have 2 wedding free weekends on Aug 27 and Labor Day weekend--which will be a much welcomed break. After that break, it's another 6 week wedding streak before our next break, then one weekend off, then our last one of the year. When wedding season ends, it's hard to believe I'll be 32 weeks pregnant!

The painter is coming today to get this condo finished up in terms of fresh paint, I am excited for that project to be done so we can move forward in our moving process. We finally found a house we LOVE in Carmel on Friday. It's perfect for us. However, we can't quite make an offer on it until we we have a few things lined up with our lender, so we are busy getting that paperwork finished so we can. It's a beautiful house, and we are worried it won't last long enough for us to have a chance at it...but we want to try. If it goes...we may be very well be looking at building again. We should hopefully have some sort of decision in the next week or two.

The fair started this weekend too and we took Bella yesterday. She had a blast! She pet the baby cows, saw the sheep (and talked to them), saw the pigs (Stinky), horses and rode the carousel and the tractor train. We enjoyed some lemon shakeups too and I was totally planning on having something naughty to eat like an elephant ear-- but it got SO hot towards lunch time, all I wanted to do was go sit in the air conditioning with the old people, haha! So no elephant ears for me this fair trip. Perhaps we'll make it another time ;)

Monday, August 1, 2011


House Updates

We are so busy in our household these days, I hardly realize it's Monday again until I wake up and look at my calendar, haha! Another weekend flew by in the Leonards' household. Saturday we had a big wedding--worked 13 hours. Yesterday we spent the entire day painting (ok I taped some trim and played with Bella while Jerry painted...;)) .. and looking at houses. I've decided that looking at houses really is super hard and can be really stressful.

We have a price maximum for our loan. We have expensive taste. We like nice stuff, and we have very specific things we want in a home. We want it to be in a good school district (we would like HSE, Carmel or Washington Township schools). We want it to have a basement (at least partially finished preferred because of my business). We want 4 bedrooms and we want it to have a yard big enough for a play thing for the kids--fence isn't mandatory but we would like to be able to fence it in ourselves within the first year if it doesn't come fenced in. We also want space--probably a minimum of 3000 square feet total (with the basement). After walking through a couple of homes smaller than this, even nice ones, we realize that we think we will want more space especially with my business working out of the home.

We've walked through at least 15-20 homes already. We have seen 2 we really liked--both of which had offers already on the table, so they are not options. The rest have just not been for us. Either the floor plans are awkward, they smell (like really bad--one smelled like cat pee so bad we turned around and walked out right away), just didn't feel right or were way overpriced for what they were. It is definitely not an easy process.

We've also revisited the idea of building again. We are *very* choosy if we go this route though because we want to make sure the neighborhood is established and not going to go under in 3 years. We also want it to have really nice builder quality and a decent yard. It's just all a big tough game!

The GOOD NEWS though is that we have very promising renters lined up already. A young couple and their little girl--looking for a place to rent for a couple of years until they move to northern Indiana. They were okay with our price point too. We just want to get the painting all finished before walking them through our place and then going from there. Hopefully that all works out. Jerry finished the living/dining room yesterday--and we are having a painter (the same guy that did our studio) come in next week to help finish things up. Then Jerry and I will just need to do the upstairs hallway, the office and the family room. Hopefully it won't take us too much longer.

Baby 2.0 Updates


Nothing too much new in Baby 2.0 land. I'm now 18 weeks, so we are almost halfway, yay! I am still not feeling super swift kicks and punches as I was at this point with Bella :( I know he is moving around in there quite a bit because I can hear him on the doppler moving frantically. But, my anterior placenta placement is blocking most of it. I still feel flutters daily--but they are still flutters :( I am anxiously waiting for those swifter kicks and more substantial movements and so is Jerry--we have also begun talking to Seth since we know he can now hear our voices.

I am still having a tough time sleeping--I wake up between 3-5 every morning with my back hurting and can't go back to sleep. It sucks! I have my pregnancy pillows all around me. They help a little but don't take it all away. I really need to go back to the chiropractor, but can't right now because of trying to move. I am going to try add pre-natal yoga into my routine this week too to see if it helps.

I made it to the gym last week 4 days--wanted to go on Sunday but we had so much going on in the house and I chose to take an hour nap in the afternoon instead of workout. It's ok, I think my body probably needed it. Back to the gym today....

Bella Updates

She is going to be such a great big sister. Full of love and life. She asks everyday what the baby is doing and puts her hand on my belly. Melts my heart. She is going through this phase right now where she wants to be a different character every hour just about. So I saw "Bella?" and she'll say, "No, I'm Arthur!" or "I'm Barney." or "I'm Super Why". LOL!! It's pretty funny:) She loves looking at houses-- and she really likes our Realtor. She has a start date for school of August 29th. We have her back to school night on August 11th, and an open house on August 14th. So that will be fun :) She is also looking forward to us taking her to the state fair next week :) Here she is with me and baby 2.0 for a few pictures the other day :)



Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Happy Hump Day

Here it is, Wednesday again. I don't know about you, but this summer is flying by for me. I can't believe it's almost August....and yet I am excited for August to be here. August will be a great month.... my birthday is August 9, we have our 20 week ultrasound for Baby 2.0 on August 12, reach our halfway through this pregnancy milestone.... the state fair starts this month which we always LOVE taking Bella too (she asks to go to it year round;)) AND... this is a big August for us too because at the end of the month Bella starts pre-school. Hard to believe, huh? We are starting her in a montessori school and are very excited about. Those that don't know much about the montessori programing-- they take kids at their own pace, and while there is a curriculum, it is a little different from your standard school day. I am excited to see how she grows and learns from the experience when she starts on August 30th :) We have back to school night and parents night in the coming weeks too-- so that is exciting:)

Yesterday, I finally heard back from the Castleton Ultrasound technician. She admitted she wasn't sure on my previous ultrasound guess (kinda annoyed me that she would have guessed at all at that point...) but that I could come back in yesterday, a whole week later in my pregnancy to try again. So on short notice, off Bella and I went to see the baby again. He has definitely grown in a week, it was crazy to see! My placenta is anterior :(. What this means, is that baby implanted on my tummy side of my uterus--so the placenta acts as a cushion between baby and my belly...which may make it take longer for me to feel those large noticeable thumps. I am still feeling flutters, and have been for awhile now-- but I don't feel huge large kicks yet..and thought I might. I first started feeling Bella around now, and REALLY felt her for sure by 18.5 weeks...Jerry felt her shortly thereafter. So, I hope having this placenta doesn't take that fun away for us--because it is truly the best part of being pregnant for me!!



As for gender guess--she said she was much more confident in a boy guess. Not 100%, but about 85% sure. Those are pretty good odds-- but I am still not painting any walls blue. We'll refer to this baby as a "he" for now and we have picked out a boy name for him-- Seth David Leonards. We chose Seth simply because we both like it-- no real reason to it. David is my father in law's first name-- and Jerry really wanted to follow the tradition of using the paternal grandfather's name in the first son's name. (Jerry is named after hid grandfather on his Dad's side). We like it though :) I still can't wait for my 20 week scan on August 12. Not only will we get gender confirmation for sure, but we'll be able to see him for a longer period of time...estimate his growth and make sure everything is healthy at this point. I am really looking forward to that day.


In other news this week so far.... I made it to the gym on Monday and was able to jog 3 miles in about 33 minutes-- soooo much slower than my normal pace but I'm still happy I can still do this comfortably 17 weeks pregnant. Yesterday I took a rest day because I was really pretty sore. Instead of hitting the gym, I took Bella downtown to the Childrens Museum and she had a blast. She played hard for 2 hours and it was really fun to spend some time together doing something fun--just Mommy and Bella :) We need more times like that and I need to make it happen. She is growing up too fast and it's easy to let life and work get in the way.

We are still working on the house and getting it ready for the market. I've now taken photos of the kitchen for the listing (nice and clean), as well as Bella's room since those room needed the least amount of painting done. Jerry filled in the holes in the walls in the living/dining room and entry way Sunday night and I started taping off trim and then last night he started painting. He painted for like 4 hours straight and got a lot done-- but there is still so much to do! We've decided to pay the guy who helped with my studio space to come and paint the 4 bathrooms in the house as well as the laundry room. Although those 5 rooms are the smallest in the house-- they are tedious, so I think this will be helpful in speeding up the process, and we're still saving money by doing most of the work ourselves. Poor Jerry was really tired last night but I can already tell a difference with the fresh paint even though it's not done. We are both very determined to make this move happen before the holidays if possible!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Excessive Heat, Workotus and Hopes for House

I am chatty this week and had some news to share...

First of all we are in this mega heat wave in Indiana and it sucks as much as the dead of winter. We have to keep the shades drawn in our house or it quickly gets up to like 80 degrees upstairs and you start sweating sitting in your own house. Nothing fun about this. I much prefer sunshine and warmth, but I also prefer to not feel like I am going to breathe in poisonous gas when I walk outdoors. It's even been too hot to take Bella to the pool--mostly because I don't trust either one of us to know when are needing water or a break ... not to mention how freakishly crowded the pools are in weather like this so I am sure germs are everywhere. So needless to say, I think we are all ready for a bit of relief in the temperature department. Mid-80s would be nice.

I'm asked a lot about my workouts when I'm pregnant so I thought I'd write out what I typically do during a week. Here is what my workouts look like most weeks when I'm not stuck at home with a sick kid. If I am stuck at home with a sick kid, I won't take her to the gym child care-- so I'll improvise by doing a workout video at home. I have some Turbojam, Turbokick, TaeBO, and Cathe DVDs that still get my heart pumping, keep my sweating and I can do them all during pregnancy. Here goes my schedule these days:

Monday: Turbokick or cardio DVD at home (depending on work schedule)
Tuesday: Full body weights and 30-40 mins on either treadmill or elliptical
Wednesday: Usually a rest day
Thursday: Turbokick (best class of the week;))
Friday: Full body weights and 30-40 minutes on either treadmill or elliptical
Sat: Rest or Turbokick (depends on work schedule--I only take one rest day on the weekend, so if I don't make it Saturday, I go Sunday)
Sun: Rest or Weights & 30 min cardio workout on elliptical

My work schedule makes it tough sometimes but I always make time. Sometimes that means working out at home or going at a different time of the day then I prefer-- but making the time always makes me feel so much better :)

HOUSE UPDATES: We got some good news yesterday in terms of financing, so we are keeping our fingers crossed it works out. If it does, as long as we find renters for our home, we could potentially move before the baby is born!! This would be so awesome. So please keep your fingers crossed for us :) IN preparation, we are packing and de-cluttering majorly. We have taken 2 truckloads of stuff to my in-laws house for storage and still have more to go, as well as some trash and then cleaning/organizing. Poor Jerry is stuck doing most of the grunt work since I'm pregnant and when it comes time to do paint touch ups, I feel bad I can't help much-- but we are determined to get it done!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

No Wrong Answers

One my friends posted on my FB wall after I announced our gender of baby 2.0 on Monday... "Isn't it nice when there are no wrong answers??".. and that is so true!! What a great phrase :)

However, I've been stricken with doubt and uncertainty since then. I have shown my ultrasound photos to several ultrasound technicians.... and *all* of them have said they either couldn't tell one way or the other, and that they would actually sway girl with the pictures we have. They all said, of course they weren't there... but I'll be honest, I was watching the screen very carefully the whole time we were there and I never saw an obvious penis like I have seen on other ultrasound photos. I know 16 weeks may be a tad early, but I have seen MANY MANY ultrasound photos at 16 weeks with very obvious genders seen. This has left me extremely frustrated. I paid to have this scan done, and I expected to know. I feel like the tech rushed me in and out because I was the last appointment of the day and gave me a guess to give me a guess, but really did not get a good look. She could very well be right, but I can't help the uncertainty I have been left with ... and it's honestly worse than not knowing.

Nothing is going to change the fact that we are having a baby -- and that itself is a blessing. It won't change the fact that this baby will be loved and have an AWESOME big sister :) I just got super excited to *know* a little more about the baby and start planning names etc. It has played with my already sensitive pregnant emotions a bit.

I put a call into the ultrasound place I went-- but she is closed for the rest of the week. I was nice, but just explained my issue and asked if there was any way they would let me come in for a clearer shot. If they say no, we will just wait until the OB anatomy scan on Aug 12-- which I'm looking forward to anyway because it's a much longer and more detailed look at our baby :)

So for now--I am not 100% sure we are having a boy. But I am 100% sure we are having a baby... and that my friends is definitely not a wrong answer ;)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Early Gender Peek

We had a big day yesterday. We had an early gender ultrasound for an early guess at Baby 2.0's gender! Everything points to BOY at this point...although the tech wasn't 100%, she was pretty sure. We do have another anatomy scan on August 12th, so we'll know for sure then :)



I have to admit Jerry and I were both SHOCKED! I think deep down we both thought we were having another girl, but we are very excited. As one of my friends posted on facebook yesterday... "It's really great when there are no wrong answers!" :):)

We did go after the scan and went to Babies R Us. I had to get SOMETHING for the little guy, so we got a few things..keeping the tags on for now, just in case ;)


We are now trying to pick a name. We have it narrowed down, and will probably have one soon. We know we want to use "David" as a middle name. It's tradition in Jerry's family to name the first son after the grandfather. I didn't want my son's name to be chosen for me, but we did compromise and agreed to use it as a middle name. It's a good name anyhow, so it doesn't bother me and I think it will go well with just about any first name we choose :)

We also spent the entire weekend at home with a sick little girl. Poor Bella came down with a fever Friday night and we couldn't get it to go down no matter what we did. She was such a sweet girl though and never complained about anything. She is finally feeling better after 4 days and is now back to doing this to the poor dog:


However, it has put quite the damper on my workout schedule not being able to take Bella to the gym. I did a video at home Saturday, made it to the gym on Sunday alone... did a video yesterday and today will end up being a rest day. Hope to make it back to the gym tomorrow.

It also about a MILLION degrees here this week. Excessive heat warnings and a pregnant Mandy do not mix. And of course this has meant no walks and such too. UGH!

Thursday, July 14, 2011


So I had a blast of reality yesterday when I put on my new maternity workout top that I just got from Motherhood Maternity. Seeing it come in the package, I thought for sure it was going to be too big... well, uh, not so much. It fits really well, and is actually a really cute top. But WOW I can't believe how much I've popped already at 15.5 weeks. I look about where I did with Bella at 22 weeks, no lie. I know my body will do what it needs to do... I just hope I don't end up gaining 60 pounds! Although, even if I did, I know I would be pretty determined to lose it all afterward.


In other reality news....the moving situation. We have done nothing but work our jobs and talk about moving lately. It looks like we won't have a problem being approved for our loan, but we will need to find renters for our condo before being official. So we're starting the "operation clean out" this week. This means putting most of Bella's toys, and other clutter we have acquired over the past 6 years in boxes and taking it to storage. We bought our place brand builder new in 2005, so it really is nice and in good shape. Just needs some cleaning up and organizing, carpets cleaned and some paint touch ups. So we are on it now!

We also have started looking at houses. We looked at a really old home on my parents neighborhood. My parents live in a great neighborhood---lots of value, lots of yard space, great neighbors and good school system. However, the home was built in 1960 and needs A LOT of updates...not just some, A LOT. We talked about it after, and the cons definitely outweighed the pros for us. We really don't want to spend the next 20 years putting every last cent we make back into our home. So we decided that home was not for us.

Then we went and looked at a few houses in Fishers. One was way too small for our growing was definitely not for us... one was really cute with an unfinished basement and then one was really cute WITH a finished basement...a definite plus! It's good to get a good idea of what we are looking for and what is in our price range etc.

Bella really likes going to look at houses too. She is so cute with us when we go to look! She opens doors and says "thats' a closet, that's a bedroom..." haha!

In BABY news.... we decided to go ahead and get an early gender peek ultrasound!! YAY! I am soooo excited and cannot wait to finally name this kiddo and start planning a bit more :) Happy early Birthday present to me :) They run a special on Tuesdays for gender scans, but since they are closed next Tuesday, they are letting me come on Monday afternoon but offering me the Tuesday discount. We are so excited!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Bella's first haircut

Bella is almost 3 and we hadn't gotten her haircut... until yesterday. I finally couldn't take it anymore. Her hair had become unruly, unable to manage and no matter what I did, it looked messy. It's a bittersweet moment to take your child for their first trim... it's like you are cutting away something that you have both worked so hard to grow haha! Either way, her hair looks so much better. She has wavy hair--which she does NOT get from me.. and I think one of my biggest fears of cutting it was that all of her curls would go away. THANKFULLY, giving it the much needed cut just made those curls tighter and bouncier :) We also cut it all one length in the back so now it should grow healthy and strong instead of the flyaway mess she was dealing with.

I was worried on how she would do. My uncle does hair, and I'd love for him to have his chance wit Bella, but she doesn't even like ME doing her hair, so I didn't want to subject him to it. So I took her to Cookie Cutters. It worked out great. They have little cars for them to sit in, they get a sucker and they get to watch a movie of their choice. She was in Heaven. She only cried when the lady tried to put the cape on her (see photo below) so we quickly took it off and she was happy again. They gave her a balloon when she was finished and a little baggie with some of her hair in it for me to put in her baby book. All in all, a good experience and Bella looks adorable :)




Isn't it adorable?? :)


Also, this weekend I marked 15 weeks in this pregnancy! Yahoo! We had a wedding of course on Saturday and for some reason I had a harder time. I was fine--and then suddenly I got REALLY crampy and light headed and was feeling a lot of tightening. I'm guessing it was a mixture of both Braxton Hicks and needing more water. Jerry made me sit down for a bit and I drank a bottle of water and had a granola bar. It seemed to help but came back a bit later in the day. I think I just have to make sure I am taking better care of myself when I'm working right now. It's easy to get busy and forget to do things like eat and drink. I can't forget that right's not all about me.


We are still deciding if we should get the early gender scan next week. I REALLY want to..I just think it would be fun to know now :) We'll still have the 20 week one on August 12 no matter what obviously. My birthday is in August, so Jerry said I could do it for my birthday present if I really want to. I need to decide like today haha!

We are still looking at housing and financing etc. It's so complicated these days when you want to rent out your current place and all that. We are making progress though and still praying it will be possible. We saw an older home in my parents neighborhood last night. It was a really big house, but needed a TON of updates. Not just some--a TON. We talked about it for a long time last night, and I think we've decided that house is not for us. While we don't mind some home improvement projects, we just don't see ourselves wanting to spend the next 10 years putting every last cent we make back into our home.

We are also going to look at an newer home this if you are one that prays, we'd appreciate some prayers for us when it comes to finding and financing a perfect home for our family :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Long Weekend

It was a long weekend this weekend... Jerry had 4 days off from his day job, which for most people would equal fun times with friends and family, maybe time by a pool, eating a cookouts and fireworks for the fourth of July. Well, not for this family ;) Mandy Leonards Photography had 2 weddings to shoot this weekend. I don't do many double wedding weekends--they are tough, I won't lie. 2 13 hour days in a row, especially in the 100 degree heat of July is hard on anyone and I definitely won't recommend it to a pregnant woman haha. But-- we got through it, and we got through it well. I am very, very pleased with how the photos turned out and both of our couples are adorable and happy and married :) The days actually flew by and we enjoyed getting to know everyone!

While we were working, Bella spent the weekend at Jerry's parents house. She got to visit the zoo, which she loves and play outside. She had a nice time but she was really happy to see us when we picked her Sunday morning :)

Other news from the weekend--my oldest friend Megan (Russ) Noel gave birth to her first child, a boy, Matthew Edward. I had just seen Megan on Friday and I just knew that she going to have that baby before the end of the weekend :) I am so so happy for her and her husband... and Matthew is adorable! Jerry, Bella and I went by the hospital yesterday to visit. It is super special to me that Megan and I have been friends since we were 6 years old, and here we are both mommies. What a really cool thing!

I also chimed in 14 weeks for Baby 2.0 on Sunday--officially marking the 2nd trimester no matter what book you read now (since every book you read will tell you something different from 12-14 weeks). Yay! I am feeling large and in charge already--which slightly scares me for what is to come this fall/winter. With Bella, I really still felt pretty attractive at this point, but not so much right now. Just trying to focus on the outcome.... here is my latest belly!



Jerry and I talked about names again this week and have a few more on our plate to consider. The housing/moving talk continues as well. We are still unsure of what will happen there-- we are waiting to hear back on the rules these days on renting your current house since we've gotten 3 different stories from 3 different people. We were pre-approved for the loan, so that part makes us feel better...we just have to figure out what to do with our current home.

Either way....Bella will get a big girl room when Baby 2.0 comes...and she has requested a "Tiana room" (from Princess in the Frog). And it's totally ok if she still wants that in a few months or changes her mind. I think it will be fun to let her pick out her big girl room....whether its here in our current home or in a new one. :)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Home Sweet Home

As our family prepares to grow, Jerry and I have been talking a lot about our current living situation lately. We've lived in our current home for 6 years. It's treated us well. It's been nice to not have to mow a lawn (it's a condo)... it was nice to be in new construction from the beginning. It's in a very convenient location in town and it's been wonderful being only 3 miles away from my parents. However, the time has come to move on. We are busting at the seams.

Working from home makes the space cramp up even quicker. We have 3 levels to our current townhome... and the lower level is dedicated strictly to the studio--which is nice, but we don't use it at all for personal space. This means that Bella's toys end up EVERYWHERE on the main level and are nearly impossible to organize. We have run out of storage and the cabinets are overflowing. Don't even get me started on Jerry and I's closet.... and to be honest right now we have no idea where Baby 2.0 will sleep LOL.. poor kid!!

So, we've started the "talk" about moving. We briefly talked about this when I was pregnant with Bella, but it was impossible. The market was at it worst and Jerry had been without full time employment for a few months which made our budget extremely tight and impossible to save a dime. So, we quickly vetoed that idea and it has been fine.

The housing market still isn't ideal for selling, but its wonderful at the moment for buying. Interest rates are low, house prices are down... you can get soooo much more house for your money right now. So we are exploring our options at the moment. It may or may not happen before this baby makes it arrival, and either way, I know we will make it work. I do hope for our family's sake though that we are able to make the move sooner rather than later. And this next move is most likely going to be our last one for many years to come!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Working out during Pregnancy

I get asked about this all the time so I decided to write a blog post about it. Yes, I continue to exercise during pregnancy. Yes, I continue to do the same things I do when I'm not pregnant. Yes,I take down my intensity level and listen to my body. Yes, it helps you bounce back quicker post-partum. I will make the statement that moderate exercise is perfectly healthy and recommended throughout pregnancy as long as you don't have a high risk pregnancy. If you have any bleeding or pain, please discontinue and consult your doctor.

When I was pregnant with Bella, I had a very healthy pregnancy. I worked out 4-5 day a week the entire time and was even on the elliptical the day before my water broke :) She was a very healthy full term baby and I was wearing my pre-pregnancy jeans 2 months after she was born. No, I didn't do any crazy crash dieting after I had her. The combination of keeping healthy while I was pregnant, as well as breastfeeding and eating well (although I ate ALOT.. I had never been as hungry in my entire life as I was when I was breastfeeding) post-partum helped the bouncing back quickly.

Now here is what my workout schedule looks like these days. I aim for 4-5 days of workouts a week. We do belong to the local YMCA so that allows me to bring Bella so I can get my workout in. However, I do tend to do a cardio workout at home 1-2 days a week because I don't like taking her to the child care more than 3 days a week (germs).

2 days a week--Live Turbokick classes (60 minutes in length)
. Turbokick is the live class version of Turbojam, for those that have heard of it. It is high impact and a mixture of kickboxing, dance and martial arts. The music pumps you up, the full classes get you excited and let me tell you-- you SWEAT in this class! I generally burn anywhere from 300-500 calories in a live class. I love love love Turbokick. By far, my favorite form of cardio. The time flies when you are having fun :)

2-3 days a week--Weight training (30 minutes)
. At least 2 days a week I make time for weight training. I do all the same exercises I do not pregnant. I try to do a full body routine since I often only make it 2 days a week and I am focusing on maintenance instead of muscle building at the moment. That means I try to 2 exercises focusing on legs, 1 for chest, 1 for back, 1 for biceps, 1 for triceps and then an abdominal series. 2-3 sets of 10-20 reps depending on the day.

1 day week- Spinning Class (45 minutes). Spinning is another great cardio workout. It is also really easy to modify when you are pregnant.

1 day week- Jog on treadmill or Elliptical cardio workout (35-45 minutes).
Usually the days I do weight workouts, I either do spinning or hop on a machine for a jog or an elliptical workout. I enjoy running 3-5 miles when not pregnant, and I want to be able to still do it. Yes, if you run pre-pregnancy it is safe to continue running during pregnancy. I do watch my heart rate and do have to keep my speed slower than usual. My usual speed not pregnant is an average of 6.7mph on the treadmill and during pregnancy my average speed is about 5.7mph... so yes much slower. But I still cover 3 miles in just about 30 minutes.

1 day a week-- At home Turbokick or Turbojam workout (50 minutes)
. Usually once a week I choose to do a video at home. Same as live class but not nearly as much fun or as intense ... but it is a time saver and convenient. Bella likes to do these with me :)

Things to remember while working out when pregnant:

1. Make sure you can TALK during your workout. If you can sing, you aren't working hard enough. If you can't tell your neighbor hello without panting, you are working too hard and need to step back.

2. Heart rate monitors are AMAZING. They are amazing not pregnant too-- but even more helpful when pregnant. I keep my heart rate below 150 if I can when pregnant. Sometimes it bumps up a little during Turbo, but if it stays up there longer than a few seconds, I back off. Your baby needs oxygen and you also want to make sure you don't get overheated.

3. WATER. Drink drink drink.

4. Don't get overheated. Super important. If its 90 degrees outside, it's not a good day for you to go for a walk or a jog.

5. Listen to your body. If you are having any cramping or bleeding..please stop and talk to your doctor. If you are feeling exhausted, it's okay to take a day off. Remember that nourishment is most important to your growing baby.

6. Remember that you are working out for health and maintenance NOT to lose weight while pregnant.

7. Eat well. When you are pregnant and in you 2nd and 3rd trimesters, you do need to consume more calories, working out or not. Add exercise into the mix, and you need to eat more. However, make the calories count;) But make sure you eat!

8. Ab Exercises-- Yes you can continue to do them. Doctors used to say not to lay flat on your back after 12 weeks, however, this has changed lately. If you start to feel faint or dizzy, get up. I still do ab work on the stability ball, bosu and bench while pregnant. Pilates and Yoga are also wonderful.

9. Stretch.

10. Swimming and walking are both WONDERFUL exercises for pregnant women. Low impact, safe and comfortable.

I hope this helps someone else :) Now I'm off to the gym this morning!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Our crazy Puerto Rico trip...

So, we had quite the weekend last weekend. We had a destination wedding in Puerto Rico to shoot that we've been looking forward to for a year. Puerto Rico especially holds a special place in our hearts since Jerry & I were both engaged and married there. The wedding was Saturday June 18-- ceremony starting at 5pm. My original flight left on Friday at 6am, getting me to Puerto Rico at noon. We were planning on spending some time with our good friend Marimar, and also having some time on the beach and relaxing hopefully before heading home Sunday night at 11pm.

Here is how the weekend went down:

Friday morning... plane scheduled to leave at 6AM.

We arrive at airport at 4:35am. Line for checking bags is out the door. We stand in line. At 5:20,we are still in line. They do a last call for our plane. We run up to the front, boarding passes in hand, we just need to check our bags. The lady is like "ok no problem..." Baggage guys wont' take them, says its too late. Are you freaking kidding me?!!! I am crying at this point... this is not a vacation it is for WORK. a WEDDING. We are there, on time!!! We can get on the freaking plane. They say there is nothing they can do and will get us on the next flight.

We are pissed. I'm balling. United knows they screwed up and gives us a full refund because they say there are NO FLIGHTS from any airline that could get us to Puerto Rico that day. I get on my iphone and find a flight on Delta leaving at noon. I walk over to the Delta counter and buy the tickets. NO problem. Fine, relief for now.

NOON: We board flight. Should arrive in Puerto Rico at 6pm.

12:45..sitting on runway...pilot comes on and says the brake system is broken. They have to fix it--delay.

1:45--still delayed. We rebook ourselves on the later connecting flight in Atlanta...hoping to still get there.

4pm--still in Indy. I'm freaking out again. We try to get on another flight out of Indy. There is nothing the rest of the day.

5:30--still in Indy. Rebook for flight on Saturday at 6am. Will get to PR at noon. Wedding is at 5pm. They give us hotel vouchers and $100 in Delta dollars.

8pm- we eat dinner at the hotel at the airport.

10pm--try to sleep, so anxious.

3AM--awake. shower, dress for wedding. head to airport by 3:45.

4AM- check-in, bags checked.

6AM-on plane, ready to depart. It starts raining and lightning. DELAY. No I'm not freaking kidding.

7AM- take off. Our connection in Atlanta leaves at 8:20.

8:10AM- arrive in Atlanta.

We SPRINT through airport. I'm talking SPRINT. I am probably not supposed to run so fast pregnant. Anyway, we are running across the biggest ass airport in the US.

8:19-- get to gate. The have locked the doors. Won't let us on :(:(:( I am SCREWED!!!! I am balling AGAIN. I throw up.

The next flight out is at 9:50. It would get us to PR at 1:30. After that the next flight isn't until 2:30 and it would be too late. The 9:50 flight is completely full. The put us on standby at #1, they feel bad for us after everything we've been through. I am sobbing. I call my bride, she is sobbing. I don't know what to do.

9:50. There is a GOD. 7 people don't make the flight.WE get on the plane on standby. THANK YOU JESUS!!!

1:30--arrive in Puerto Rico. Marimar picks us up, snacks in car. First time I've seen her in 2 years and this was the only hour I saw her the whole trip :( I didn't even get to meet her baby boy!!!

3pm--arrive at resort, run to salon. I get there just in time to see the bride getting her veil in. The wedding is beautiful and perfect.

We decide to try to extend our trip a day because of everything. Yesterday morning we call Delta at 6am to ask. We are on hold for 1 hour, talk to someone, explain everything, asking to get out on Monday instead. They tell us it will cost us $400. OMFG. They won't waive it. So we have to leave for the airport by 11am. Less than 24 hours later. :( :(

On the way to the airport, I get on my phone on twitter and tag Delta about my unhappiness that they wouldn't extend our trip for free after everything. I get a response in 2 minutes, offering to extend it. Not kidding. It's too late though--we are almost to the airport. I am so bummed. Why didn't I think to get on twitter earlier???? I ended up getting more vouchers out of it-- so now we have $200 in vouchers. Not sure when/if we'll use them but at least I got something. So frustrating.

10pm Sunday--home.

So that was the weekend. Seriously, what????

In BETTER NEWS..... I think I felt my first few baby flutters!!! I know it sounds crazy early, but I am pretty certain that is what it was :) Can't wait for them to pick up :)

I leave you with a few photos from PR:



And me at 12 weeks pregnant and definitely showing!



And one of me and Jerry together....

Thursday, June 16, 2011

"I don't like the doppler!"


Yep, the title of this blog post is what Bella yells every time she sees a doppler machine. haha. I am not sure why exactly she hates the doppler so much, but she does. I went to the OB today for 12 week checkup. Bella of course came with me. She actually loves going with me. We pull up to Clarian North and she yells, "That is the hospital where I was born!" It's so cute. We park, and she gets excited because she loves the water fountains that we pass on the walk in. She loves pushing the automatic door button for me to get into the door. She then yells, "We are going on the elevator!" She used to hate elevators too but has since decided they are ok. She goes on, says hi to all the people... "Hi people!" She screams. haha They all comment on how cute she is ;)

Then we get into the waiting room and Bella goes, "Hi people! See your doctor? I have Mommy's phone!!" hahaha Once again, they all smile and humor me. Yes, I give Bella my Iphone when we are there because it occupies her. Little does the entire waiting room know that they will now be serenaded by the entire song list of every Disney song ever written as Bella sings along....

We are called back, I get weighed (my LEAST favorite part of the doctor's visits....and I always seem to gain more weight in the first trimester than most women, and then it slows down for me. I am up about 6 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight. Blah.) I step off the scale and Bella steps on too. ;)

We get back into the exam room and this appointment is the first one the nurse listened with the doppler for the baby's heartbeat. Bella threw a fit. "NO! I don't like it! I don't like the doppler!" Thankfully, baby 2.0 was cooperative and we found the heartbeat really quickly at 162bpm so Bella didn't have to have a coronary. haha.

Dr. Flora said everything looks great, my uterus is right below my belly button already so I'm definitely measuring a couple of weeks ahead but she also said that is very normal for a second time Mom. She told me to keep taking all of my old lady pills as I call them to help with all the nausea and other digestive discomforts this pregnancy has plagued me with. I go back for my 4 month checkup on July 15 and then the big 20 week appointment and gender ultrasound is August 12 at 8:00am!! I can't wait!!!!

We are heading out of town this weekend for a destination wedding to Puerto Rico!! We are really looking forward to the beautiful photos we are going to have the opportunity to take but it's going to be a long 4 nights away from my baby girl!! I have never left her for that long... I am going to miss her terribly. Safe travels to's hoping I don't puke on the plane ;)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Painted toes, tigers and cold lemonade

I had something fun happen this weekend. Bella finally allowed me paint her toes :) I've been waiting for this day ever since I found out I was having a daughter. The girly stuff.... pedicures, makeup and shopping... makes me all giddy inside :) Before now I was too scared to ask her because she is a busy little girl... but I finally just asked her and said she "ok!" She sat super still during the painting and when I told her not to move until they dried, she didn't budge. Sweet girl :) And look at how cute these little piggies are ;)


One of the biggest cravings I have had this pregnancy so far is cold lemonade. I think about it all the time, ahha. However, I really don't want to drink 400 calories so I have been resisting. I finally broke down and indulged on Friday night when we went out for dinner. I got an ice cold raspberry lemonade and it was delicious :) And I only had one so I didn't feel guilty at all!


Jerry and I had a wedding to shoot on Saturday so Bella enjoyed the day with my parents. They went to PBS in the park and saw Super Why, and she had a blast. On Sunday we picked her up and headed straight to the zoo for the morning. It was a beautiful day and we had a great time visiting the new tiger exhibit! One thing I am really trying to stick to this year is a "no working on Sundays" rule. It's really easy when working for yourself to overdo it and never take time off. I have had to use a few Sundays as rain days when I've been rained out for a shoot but other than that I've been good about my rule and it's been really great for me and my family.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The first "looks"...

There is that stage in pregnancy that every woman goes through... where your body starts changing and you start getting the "looks"... The "is she pregnant or just a bit on the thicker side?" looks. Yep, even as early as 11 weeks, I have begun getting them.

I was at the gym this morning (I will most likely be talking about continuing to exercise throughout pregnancy in a future blog post).... and went to Turbokick class. Turbokick is a high energy, pretty high impact workout that I've been doing for years. I say that, because if you are newly pregnant and have never done Turbokick before, I wouldn't recommend jumping in a class. BUT, like I said, I've been doing it for years. I am actually certified as an instructor and used to teach classes---so my body is really accustomed to the punching, kicking, and pumping ;)

I was in class this morning and after one of the sections, the girl next to me turned and said "Are you sure you should be doing that?" haha! I just smiled. I knew exactly what she was talking about. I assured her that I wear my heart rate monitor and that my heart rate actually doesn't go above 150 during the class and if I start to feel like I'm working too hard, I step back. And I do. I just found this amusing. Here I am, sporting a little bump already at 11 weeks and getting comments from strangers. A bit weird, but at least she noticed "pregnant" when I really am ;)


In other news, we have a wedding to shoot this afternoon and evening so Bella is off to spend the day and night with my parents. She LOVES her Mimi and Papa and the are going to take her PBS in the park this morning... she is really excited about seeing Super Why-- so I really hope he is there.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Baby #2 is on the way....

It's hard for me to still believe, but we are expecting our second child this winter. I am due on New Years Day...which means it should be an interesting holiday season ;) I was two weeks early with Bella, and wouldn't mind if this child follows suit... but I know it's ultimately not up to me so we will see! Baby will come when he/she is ready :)

I am closing the first trimester soon and I am happy about that. I've been feeling a bit rough this go around. Lots of nausea, lots of fatigue. Both of those things are harder to fight off when chasing around a toddler and working a 12 hour wedding in 95 degree heat too...whew. However, I feel super blessed to be here and we couldn't be more excited! I can't wait to find out if we are having a boy or a girl!

I've taken all the gender prediction tests so far.. well there are still a few more out there. I've taken the ring test--GIRL. The Chinese Gender Prediction Chart (both lunar and regular age) said GIRL. The baby's heartbeat at the first ultrasound points towards GIRL. But then I took Intelligender which clearly said boy... soooo WHO KNOWS?!! I surely don't. I go back and forth on my feelings about it. When I first found out I was pregnant I thought girl right away... but then again, it's all I know! As time goes on I lean more towards boy, but I really have no clue. If you ask Bella what we are having... she says we are having a girl and we should name her "Mommy Nemo"... haha!!

I'm starting to show much sooner this time around. It's a bit hard mentally to handle that! I'm ready for the baby belly though so I'll embrace it :) With Bella, I really didn't have a bump at all until 14-15 weeks. This time, though, I am not even 12 weeks yet and definitely already have shape change going on. I know it's the second time around--uterine muscles are already stretched and muscle memory kicks in. I guess I should just be happy my body knows what to do. I mean's REALLLLLLY cool what the female body does to have a baby. :)

I borrowed the doppler from my friend Megan this time around and have easily found this baby's heartbeat on the doppler almost daily lately. It's a great reminder that everything is going great! I find it easier and it's louder each day! Yesterday we listened and I found it right away, loud and clear at 169bpm. We also heard the baby moving around in there...Jerry says they all hate the doppler, which is probably true!

I go back to the doctor this coming Thursday for my 12 week appointment..and then we'll greet the second trimester with open arms!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bella-isms Part 1

Oh Bella, how we adore you!! This little girl lights up our lives every single day. There isn't an hour that goes by that she doesn't say something to crack us up. I know this is a strange way to start the family blog... but here is where she is at right now...

-Bella is currently 2 years and 9 months old
-She is potty trained completely during the day. She wakes up dry from a nap a few days a week. She has no interest in being dry at night.
-She sleeps in a toddler bed
-She speaks in complete sentences, repeats everything we say, and does start conversations. "Hi Mommy where have you been? Did you have a good day at work?" "I missed you Mommy." "Can we watch a movie on the big tv?" It is a completely different experience having a child who can converse with us so much. It remind me how big she is getting, but its SUCH a fun time too!
-She is starting to play with other kids really well--at the park, at the gym, pool etc. Kids she just met. This is a new thing for her
-She no longer freaks out and screams when I take her to the gym daycare
-She LOVES the zoo, swimming, the Children's Museum, dance classes, and going to the park
-She has a best friend named Staci. She loves her dearly. She also has a good friend named Jasmine that she asks about frequently
-Her favorite person in the entire universe is her Papa (Steve)
-Her favorite food is Chobani yogurt followed by a close second with Cheddar Bunnies
-Her favorite drink is Almond Milk
-Her favorite movie right now is Tangled
-She knows she is going to be a big sister, although I don't think she really knows what that means yet
-She wears a size 2T and a size 6.5 in shoes
-She is 28.5 pounds and about 36 inches tall (finally)

A New Place...

Hello blog land!

I've been thinking about this for awhile but decided today that it was time to have a PERSONAL blog for personal ramblings, updates on on our lives and a fun place to share pictures and milestones of the kiddos. For those of you who may not know, I am a photographer, a busy one at that, and have a photography blog for work..that takes up most of time... but I really want a place for just personal stuff ;)

So this blog will be about me, Jerry, Bella and for those of you who don't know yet... Baby Leonards #2 who is expected January 1, 2012 :) So lots of exciting things happening in our live right now to share! I'll try to update in a series so it all makes a bit more sense and less ramblings!

Thanks for following :)