Being Brickner : April 2018

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

20 Weeks: Baby B Three

We are halfway there, baby girl!!!!  Most of the time I still cannot even believe this little lady is real, I am starting to think that it probably won't hit me until she is born and especially when I see all three of our girls together.  20 weeks still feels like forever away, but the way life moves these days, I know I will blink and she will be in my arms -- goodness I am so, so excited for that!


Some updates on the second trimester of this pregnancy, you can find my first trimester update here!  Just like the other two girls, I am feeling waaaay better now, most of my energy came back by about week 14, thank goodness.  I'm almost already forgetting how nauseous and sick I was for the first couple of months, funny how that works!  In general though, physically this is definitely my hardest pregnancy so far.  Both the first two were pretty much free of anything out of the ordinary and this time, I had a subchorionic hemorrhage around week six (which is common, but can be serious) that put me on light rest and then last week got some major swelling in one of my legs that was super painful and made it pretty much impossible to walk.  I was sent immediately to the hospital and tested for a blood clot, thankfully I did not have one, but was put on light rest again since the swelling only got worse.  I am seeing a vein doctor later this week and am hoping that it's just caused by some varicose veins, which I did get a few of with Avalon near the end, but they just are here earlier and worse this time.  Guess that's what happens on your third pregnancy.  Either way, I am feeling optimistic about it already as it seems to be improving, and of course so thankful that it's issues with me rather than the baby.  This is also such a good reminder that you should never compare pregnancies (which I find hard to do!), they really are so different, just like the babies they bring at the end!

Baby girl is growing and moving around more everyday, hands down my favorite part of pregnancy!!  I started feeling flutters here & there around week 15, but just the past couple of weeks have been able to make out distinct movements.  We had our big anatomy ultrasound last week and she looked perfect, but was shy and covered her face the entire time so we did not even get a glimpse.  I cannot wait to see which of the girls she looks more like, we talk about that all the time, along with which personality she will favor more!  The girls are soooooo excited, Waverly shrieked with joy when I picked her up from school the other day with the ultrasound pictures (and said she looked like Mickey Mouse), and Avalon's preschool teachers tell us that she talks about her baby sister all the time and even "made" our family out of play dough the other day and included the baby.  They are constantly giving my belly kisses and talking about her, most often what we will name her (which at this point, we have NO IDEA!!!).  Experiencing it with both of them is really the sweetest and that part of this pregnancy has been so special, completely making all the physical hard stuff completely worth it.


I really do love being pregnant, the miracle or beauty of it all really never gets lost on me and even with everything else going on, I am making it the biggest point to soak every little part of it in.  She may be the baby that we are least prepared for, at least so far, but goodness she is sooooo loved already!  Our sweet surprise, September baby girl.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Car Seats // Sirona M with SensorSafe 2.0

Somehow, I am 20 WEEKS pregnant, halfway to meeting our newest baby girl!!  I'm pretty sure at this point with Waverly, I had a good amount of her nursery done, registry complete, and was spending most of my free time righting down baby to-do lists before her due date.  So not the case this time around, especially since we aren't even currently living in our house.  But I have been collecting some fun things for her, she already has quite the collection all stacked up in the trunk of my car along with a couple boxes in our storage unit! :)  Including this car seat, the Sirona M with SensorSafe 2.0 from Cybex, big sissies might even be more excited about this than I am (or maybe just the thought of her actually being here & in it!).


This car seat is sooooo good, by far my favorite part is how safe it is.  It uses new technology developed to both prevent the rising number of infant deaths from hot cars and also to continuously monitor the child while the car is in motion.  If a child is either left in the car or unbuckles herself, an alert will go off through both the vehicle receiver and through an app your cell phone.  The app is actually not required to receive alerts, so it is also promoting safe driving, especially important when our babies are in the car!  I still can't even believe I am going to have THREE of them piled up back there, so every bit of piece of mind I can have I love and appreciate.

The car seat is so pretty too, I love the grey color and how streamlined it is!


To read more about the Sirona M with Sensor Safe 2.0, you can visit the Cybex website here.  Happy driving, friends! XO

Thank you to Cybex for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own. 

Friday, April 20, 2018

Our New Home // Before Pictures

It's been a little over two weeks since we closed on our new house and even though we are very still much in the trenches of renovations (and won't even be moving in for at least a couple more weeks), we are finally starting to see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel and it feels sooooooo good!  I thought I would share some before pictures, I did a really bad job documenting the progress we made on our last house and want to be able to remember how far we come this time around!

First some background on our house search, which started back in October and lasted SEVEN MONTHS, until we made the offer on our house mid-March!  The entire reason that we started looking for a new home was for a better school district, we had just done a ton of work on our house and honestly loved it more than ever, but our priority was getting our girls to some of the best schools in the area (which especially as a teacher, is so important to me!).  This narrowed our options way down, some other things that I really wanted in a house were natural light, hardwood floors, four bedrooms, and if possible, a house that was unique & had some charm.  Especially after looking at so many houses, they all started to look alike to me and I hated that!  My husband's non-negotiable was a garage, and we both agreed that we wanted a big yard for the kids and somewhere that we could make our own, that needed some work but not too much work, if that makes sense.  We both love old homes and the idea of making them beautiful again, but we also didn't have the time to do a complete gut job with three kids.

Turns out those requirements were a lot to ask for.  We walked in house after house and almost every one we knew pretty much immediately, it just didn't feel like home.  We came across a lot of houses that had recently been flipped by investors (which we hated the idea of!), some houses that we knew the layout would never work, and other houses that were in neighborhoods that we just didn't love.  Right around Christmas, we found a major fixer upper in a really good neighborhood, made an offer and it was accepted, and then decided to decline the following week after finding out it was way more work than we thought.  We were so discouraged at this point, especially after selling our house and realizing we would be homeless within a couple months.  But also knew we did not want to settle on anything we didn't love, so we planned to look for a little bit longer and then find a rental until the perfect house came along.

And thankfully, just a few days later, it did!  Funny enough, the house had been listed for a while and we never went to see it because it was a little more than we wanted to spend and also because it only had a one-car garage (my husband really wanted a bigger one).  But after we finally decided to go and  saw it in person, we both immediately could envision making it our own and how much potential it had.  The house is definitely a fixer upper, which is kind of crazy starting back at square one after we just finished our other one, but we love the bones and are so, so excited about the neighborhood, school district, and huge yard for our little girls to grow up in!

A few before pictures taken right after we closed, so everything is pictured how we bought it, including paint and floors -- things look completely different now!  We have hit quite a few road blocks, which has been stressful and we still have a long ways to go, BUT we know it's all going to be worth it!  I am already dreaming of summer days here with the big girls, with most of the big work behind us and doing all the nesting for their baby sister on the way.


And the progress pictures, taken late last week, after we uncovered this brick wall (best surprise!) and knocked two walls down to open up the downstairs.  Cannot wait to share more soon!


Happy weekend! XO

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Gender Reveal Dinner

A little overdue, but I have been wanting to share about the night that we that told our family & closest friends that we were expecting a little GIRL!!  This was also the last time that we hosted anything at our house before we moved, and ironically looking back now, it was also the exact day that we found and went to see our new house for the first time.  Such a special night to remember forever!

A little bit about how my husband & I found out earlier that week.  We both agreed that we wanted to find out on our own this time, just the two of us.  With Waverly, we had the big gender reveal party and then with Avalon we went to a 4D ultrasound place to find out early, and Waverly came with us.  Both experiences were perfect in their own way, each so different which I really liked, and I can still remember every little detail about both and exactly how I felt each time.  I wanted this to be different too, and also for whatever reason I was probably most anxious and nervous to find out this time around, so being with Joe and no one else, and then soaking it in all on our own for a few days afterwards, just felt right.

Since we did the blood test, I was literally waiting for an email, which came right in the middle of teaching my seventh bell one Monday.  I was dying.  I knew I could press the button to find out immediately and it was taking EVERYTHING in me not to, but I knew it would be worth it to wait (and also chose not to since I texted him after I got it and asked if he would rather me find out and surprise him, and got a big hell no!).  After school, I took the girls to my parents and then met Joe for an early dinner to open the email!  We sat on the same side of the booth and clicked the button to "find out the sex of your baby" and there it was, it's a girl.  A completely healthy little girl!  It's still so surreal to think about it and feels like such a dream.

We waited to tell anyone (especially Waverly & Avalon, who would have told everyone immediately), until that weekend.  I am the worst secret keeper ever, so it was hard, but I was excited to share the news in a fun way.  We decided to go with silly string, which was SO MUCH FUN, also a huge mess, but the timing worked out well since we were getting ready to start packing and live in chaos for a little while anyways.  I got a bunch of pink silly string from Party City and wrapped them so no one could tell before we started spraying, super easy and the kids really got into it.  It would also make for such fun pictures, which we got zero of with all the craziness and also because we were planning on doing confetti ones later that week!  We did take a video and I will love it forever, I can't wait to share it with her one day!


Both the girls thought it was a boy from day one, right up until the confetti came out of the cans, so I was excited to see their faces when they saw pink instead.  They are both so happy about a little sister, probably Waverly way more than Avalon since she just gets it more.  The next day after the dinner she wore head to toe pink to school and also carried a post-it with a stick figure colored pink to "make sure everyone knew it was a girl".  Sweetest ever, I just cannot wait to see the three of them together!

PS -- I LOVE reading old wives tales for gender, and did this religiously for a solid three weeks before we found out.  Most of them were right for me this time, as well as the other two times before!  The Chinese Gender Calendar said girl all three times (so crazy to me!!), I had really hard first trimesters as well as the same exact cravings & aversions all three times, and all three little girls had high heartrates (this one being the highest, 172).  My mom intuition for gender is waaay off though, if you would have asked me before finding out with any of the three, I would have totally said boy, and my husband guessed right all three times!!!!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Roman Numeral Necklace // Sincerely Silver

Happiest Friday!!!  I'm stopping in to share one of my favorite new necklaces, I am all about having fun with accessories these days as with my growing bump, my wardrobe is getting smaller & smaller!!  Sincerely Silver reached out about sending over this roman numeral bar necklace, and I love the idea of picking a special date to have close around your neck everyday.  I chose our anniversary, and am excited to wear it along with my favorite necklace with both my girls names on it (that will have to be updated with another name soon!!).  


It's dainty enough to wear everyday, but still makes a fun statement, especially when layered or paired with other pieces.  My other necklace is gold and I love the combination of the mixed metals together, but also love it equally all on it's own!  


You can see all the pieces from Sincerely Silver here, any of these would make such a fun gift for Mother's Day coming up!!!  Happy shopping & HAPPY weekend, friends! XO

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Easter 2018

After a few weeks of non-stop packing and cleaning and all the things that come with moving, I was so ready for a weekend with lots of family time!  I just love Easter and all the excitement that comes with it, the florals and the pretty colors and the weather finalllly warming up after a long winter!!

I will always remember this Easter as the one where we were between homes and were technically homeless, but thankfully had family who were sweet enough to take our entire circus in.  The girls bunny pajamas were packed far away in a storage unit and instead were replaced with mismatched tees & pants from a tote box, but of course they never knew they difference and thought the fact that the Easter bunny found us at Glamma's house was about the coolest thing ever.  I will always remember this Easter as the one when after each egg hunt, Waverly divided up her eggs by color and saved most everything for later, and Avalon ate every single piece of candy from her eggs within three minutes.  And then tried to take Waverly's.  And of course, I will always remember this Easter as the one where our third baby girl was in my belly, I cannot believe she will be crawling around for all the fun at this time next year.

Girls Dresses -- Girls Shoes
Hope you had the most wonderful Easter! XO

PS -- My dress is from Mia Tango Maternity, I have been wearing their pieces this pregnancy and am loving them all!  Use the code ASHLEY10 to get 10% off your order.