More + Less

A few weeks ago I wrestled the Christmas decoration boxes down from their newfound perch in our storage shed. It was a crisp and clear fall day. The sky was a brilliant blue, the air chilly but the sun was warm. It took me three trips back and forth into the house to get everything inside. Lastly, our artificial tree still in its original box from purchase. After several seasons the tree sort of haphazardly resided in the box – mostly stuffed in askew, contained in large part due to the odd cable my husband had wrapped around it to create a carrying handle.


We purchased that tree the year we got married. We had a gift card and a 20% coupon to the almighty Bed Bath & Beyond. It was pre-lit with white twinkly lights and had various pine cones and sticks glued onto the branches. In a word, it was ugly. But we were thrilled. As newlyweds we had very little expendable income, and we walked out of the store that night with our tree and a box of plastic multicolored ornaments for $12. We excitedly drove home, our shoppers-high in full effect from getting such a steal of a deal. We immediately assembled and decorated the tree, our first as husband and wife.


Once adorned the tree transformed. It was no longer wispy and sparse. The tree proudly glowed from its perch in our small living room, and all at once our home felt warm and cozy and magical. As we admired our work I told my husband I wanted to start a new tradition. Each Christmas I wanted to add a new keepsake ornament to our little tree. Something to commemorate the year, that we could build over our time as our family grew. That year it would be a simple handmade circle, etched with The Murphy Family 2012 – Our First Christmas as Mr. & Mrs.


On Christmas Day that year, we told our families that we were pregnant with our first Son. I immediately viewed the Nativity and Mary in a brand new light. Christmas would never be the same once having children. Nothing is ever the same, truthfully. And each year we’ve added a new unique ornament to our bargain tree. A First Christmas for each of our Sons. And this year, a new memory to mark in time.


This will be our first Christmas in our new home. In our new town. In our new state. A year ago this was a dream. 2 years ago it was a conversation. 3 years ago it wasn’t even a thought. How did we get here?


I’m often asked, why did you come here? What made you choose Flagstaff? And after almost 6 months I still don’t have it wrapped into a cute little answer – but most of the time I reply, we just wanted to do it. It’s with wide eyes starting back at me that I elaborate – We wanted more and less of everything at the same time. 



NewMerfbaby is a Beachball!

NewMerfbaby is 37 weeks!beach-ballScreen Shot 2013-07-08 at 3.00.42 PM

He’s the size of a beachball. Yea. Sounds about right.

How I’m Feeling: I’m ready. Well, physically I think I’m just finished being pregnant and ready for the next stage to begin. It’s harder and harder to do daily life with a toddler. I was still going into the office every day at this point in my pregnancy with Riley, and I can’t imagine that now. But then I think about it, and Riley sort of is like my job?

Belly/Weight: 38lbs gained so far. And I think I’ll probably stick to that. It’s been fluctuating the last few appointments between the same numbers so I’ll probably hover around 40lbs, same as Riley. New stretch mark over my bellybutton is kind of sad :(

Life Changes: Kelly’s back to shooting his show, so it’s just me and Riley most days and evenings. Sometimes we get to see Kelly in the morning before work, or he’ll get home just in time for Riley’s bedtime which is nice. Riley and I have slowed down a lot. I’m mostly nesting around the house, and Riley’s helping me “un-nest” and move things around after I’ve set something up. He can sense the changes coming and he’s been a little clingy and whiney – seems to be totally normal toddler behavior, but I am a little sad that the time with just us is coming to an end soon. But I can’t wait for him to have a brother – I think it’s going to be awesome!

Movement: I tried twice to get a video tonight of my tummy bouncing all over the place, but both times he got camera shy!

Sleep: Slept hard last night, and thankfully Riley even slept in until 7am today! I make it a priority to lay down every day during Riley’s nap – sometimes I nap, sometimes I just rest. It’s been awesome. I know I need to conserve any extra energy for labor and the early days.

Cravings: In N Out – we had it for lunch today after my OB appointment.

Exercise: Zero. We walked around the neighborhood over the weekend and that’s about all I have in me. Did some swimming (floating) in our pool.

Favorite Pregnancy Moment this week: This is a strange one…my OB appointment. I didn’t think she would “check” me today so I wasn’t prepared when the nurse asked me to undress…and I had Riley with me. Caught with my pants down (literally) with a cranky toddler that was “all done” (his words) with the Dr’s office. He sobbed and tantrumed while we waited for her to come in…I’m sure the other people in the office loved that :) Finally I convinced him to let me hold him and he rested his head on my shoulder and calmed down. Dr came in and asked how I was doing and I explained his behavior, and she said her oldest did the same thing right before she had her second. I figured it’s all normal behavior, but she reminded me that they can sense that everything is going to change. Broke my heart a little. He was fine the rest of the visit, and when she checked me I was 1cm – so that’s something at least! She also doesn’t think I’ll go past my July 29th due date which sounds amazing, and scary all at the same time. Sort of makes me feel better about all the cramping and contractions I’ve been having.

On My Mind: I’m totally at peace with whenever labor begins. I was really anxious about it all a few months ago. Worrying about Riley, and if Kelly would make it home in time. But, the closer it gets I feel totally fine about it. I can’t control it, so we’ll just deal with it when it happens. I have some plans in place for everything so we’ll just roll with it. Totally doesn’t sound like me, huh?

On another note – I’m preparing myself for becoming the leader of a legit 3 ring circus. Just this week we’ve had TWO major public “situations.” The first was Monday at the bank. Riley was playing while I did our banking – our bank has a child area in the middle of the lobby next to the tellers, it has legos and iPads. After I was done I went to get him and a bank employee caught my attention to ask me a question about my pants (she’s expecting and wanted to know where I got them) so we chatted while I kept one eye on Riley. He took off toward the entrance off the bank so I quickly ended my chat to chase after him. He ran into an empty office just as I got to him, then he spun on his heel and ran FULL STEAM into the glass wall of the office. Smacked his forehead, which sent him flying backwards so the back of his head hit the desk. WAM-BAM. It was so sad, poor kid. The same employee comes tearing around the corner explaining that it happens a lot with kids. Hm. Glass walls maybe not so much? Luckily we use a small bank and were the only customers in there, but man. What a scene. It all happened so fast, and I was like .5 seconds behind him. So, today we’re waiting in the lobby of my OB’s office and I get up to use the restroom and Riley goes trotting ahead of me a step and a half. He pauses in front of the door and just as I’m reaching for him to pull him back a nurse opens the door at the exact moment he turns toward it and WHACK! Another hit. What are the odds? The nurse was horrified, but I scooped Riley up and told her over and over again to not feel bad, we’re learning not to stand in front of doors. Seriously – it’s been something he’s having to learn the hard (aw, pun) way. So. Screaming. Pain. Tears. Yea, 3 ring circus and we haven’t even added our newest act yet. The really ironic thing is – Riley rarely walks in public, since he prefers to be carried or ride in his stroller. Lately it’s a lot of stroller riding since I can’t carry him much. And he’s not a kid that bolts away from me. But both those situations happened in places that we visit weekly and he’s comfortable. So, yea. The Murphy Circus is coming to a town near you!


NewMerfbaby the Ukulele

NewMerfbaby is 36 weeks!Screen Shot 2013-06-27 at 12.51.47 PMukeforblog

At my Ultrasound last week he’s clocking in at 7lbs. Yea – as my OB said, I grow ’em big. He’s not measuring ahead – just in the 90% of his growth range. Riley was the same at that point, so I’m expecting an almost 9lb baby. The best news – he’s BIG all over…head, torso, legs. Yay for giant babies!

How I’m Feeling: I’ll be honest. Rough. I’ve not been feeling well the past few days – or weeks really. Thus, the lack of chatter around here. For an “easy” pregnancy it’s still hard. Chasing a toddler and surviving this Valley heat is a challenge. I ended up calling the doctor last Thursday (after my Wednesday appointment) because I had major lower abdomen cramping. They told me it’s normal since he’s so super low and wedged in there. Thank goodness he’s in the right position! Then, we had Riley’s party on Saturday and I tired to take it easy, but still more than normal. I ended up having super sharp right side pain – like a side stitch from running? That settled down, but then Sunday night (after an easy day) I woke up twice in the middle of the night with pain in the upper ride side of my stomach, just under my bra strap. I could hear my OB’s voice in my ears…if you have upper right side pain, blurred vision, headache or vomiting those are signs of Preeclampsia. Ugh. I walked around for a bit at 3:30am, drank some lemonade and laid down to get the baby to wake up and move around. He moved and I felt better. I called my OB in the morning and they had me come in for a Blood Pressure check just to rule out the Pre-e. By that time everything had settled down. My BP was all good, but they told me I really need to slow down, and not lift/carry things. Um. Toddler? I’ve been trying to get him to lay down on the floor for diaper changes, and he’s always in his stroller if we’re going anywhere – just so I don’t have to carry him around. I was an emotional/hormonal hot mess yesterday morning and my stomach hurt. I had my normal OB appointment and she said everything looks great, and all my vitals are beyond perfect. It’s just normal stuff I’m experiencing. The thing is, I feel like a crazy pregnant lady. I was so laid back and easy when I was pregnant with Riley. I remember people asking me if I was miserable, and I always told them I felt great, and I did! This time around, I get it. But I don’t want to whine or complain, because I truly am lucky – this has been a very easy pregnancy. But I know I’m getting to the point where I’m done being pregnant – and ready to meet this baby.

Belly/Weight: Slowed down on the weight gain, which is good. Right around 40 gained for the pregnancy, which is the same for Riley. My stomach is rock hard a good portion of the day. I’ve been having Braxton Hicks and regular contractions off and on. I even had a contraction yesterday when my OB was listening to his heart. She commented that I was having a contraction right then…yes, yes I am. There’s also some new stretchmarks. Which bum be out a little, but aren’t a big deal. I know they’ll fade.

Life Changes: Slowed way down. Riley and I don’t get out of the house much on our own anymore. And I’ve started using for grocery delivery. It’s life-changing. It’s $10 for a delivery over $150, and free delivery if you order diapers or wipes. I’m sold. It’s the most amazing service ever. And I get all my normal discounts with the club card. I remember using the service when I worked at Disney – we would stock our department kitchen that way – so I knew it was legit. So glad to have that now. I’m writing this while sitting in the glider in the nursery. I did some more nesting today, and have pretty much everything ready. I need to grab a few things (and pack) for my hospital bag and we’ll probably put the carseat in this weekend.

Movement: Dude’s got moves. This morning I was sitting on the couch and scrolling through my phone with my hand over my belly and he was kicking it all over the place! I do get some sharp pangs every now and then, and I know he’s just running out of space.

Sleep: It’s OK. I’m going to bed around 9:30pm and getting up at 6:00am so it’s a pretty solid amount of sleep, it’s just not uninterrupted. I wake up once to go to the bathroom, and a few times to roll over. Thank goodness we have A/C, but I still kick the covers off every night.

Cravings: Ice cream! Mostly sweet stuff. Mexican. In N Out.

Exercise: After all the crazy cramps and pains I’ve finally concluded my weekly workouts. I’m sad, but I know that I need to start resting and really conserving my energy for labor. I had a realization the other day that if I went into labor at that point I was already exhausted, and labor is no easy task – it’s exhausting. Crossing my fingers I get to labor for a shorter amount of time….8 hours sounds nice :)

Favorite Pregnancy Moment this week: Nesting and getting ready. I found a super slick 4Moms Mamaroo for sale through a Mom FB group I’m on – and I’m super excited I got it! Our last swing didn’t make it since it had raised 2 kids even before Riley. I didn’t want to buy a new swing, knowing how expensive they are, and how quickly they outgrow them. But I know it’s vital for the early months. I’ll probably hand this one down to a friend when we’re done with it.

On My Mind: I’m starting to get my head wrapped around labor, and less about the logistics. Since I’ve been having all these funny cramps and I’m 36 weeks I know it could happen in theory at any time. I don’t think I’ll be super early, but I also don’t think I’ll be very overdue either. I’m not so concerned about when labor will start, like I have been in the past – I know it’ll happen when it’s supposed to. I’m thinking more about how I need to mentally prepare for labor, and start resting up for that.