she’s here!

DSC_0242Meredith Anne entered this world and our lives on 3/25, a Wednesday night at 9:12 pm, weighing in at 8 lbs. 9 oz, and stretching 19 3/4 inches long. Her middle name honors all the great ladies in Meredith’s life, past and present. Her grandma’s Julie Ann, her great grandmas Mercedes Anne, and Joyce Ann and even her lovely aunt Jill Ann gets to be in the mix! But most of all it was for my mother, Marilyn “Mar” Anne. We’ll call her “Mer” too, and can only hope her optimist, zest for life comes from my mother. One of the sweetest purest soles I know.

photo 4Yep, this girl already has a mind of her own. We had originally scheduled a c-section for March 29. But she obviously had other plans. I went to work as usual Wednesday morning, thinking my last day was just a day away. I was having my usual hectic day of way too many patients and way too little time to see them. As always, we moved along quickly; things were getting accomplished and the day was running rather smooth. It was around 10:30 am that I started to feel – different – not labor pains, but facial swelling, redness and stinging?!?  A walk to the mirror revealed my face was blotchy and pink. I managed to get more of my schedule done but was still feeling this burning sensation and a new pain near my inner left eye. Finally, and a little reluctantly, I decided to call my OB. It was 2:30pm at this point and if I could make it to her office, I wouldn’t have to go to triage. I left the office in a rush, saying I’ll be back to my nurses and office manager, leaving my regular clothes and office in shambles. I made it to the OB’s by 2:50 pm and they took me back, took my blood pressure several times, looked at me and said it’s time. My OB added, “you look horrible and your blood pressure is up, Sarah. It’s time. Let’s have this baby.” She’s great and honest and I heart her.

Because I had eaten lunch we had to wait until 9pm to start the c-section.

photo 1So, again the images of my delivery being scheduled and planned out had vanished. One more Saturday at home had vanished. I had plans to  grocery shop Wednesday, watch Wisconsin play Thursday night, pack my bag for the hospital Saturday, and later that day, welcome our family into town! Plus, Jack had an Easter egg hunt Saturday! This was not the plan!!

photo 5But if the consolation prize for this “not being the plan” is a beautiful healthy baby, I’ll take it! I will still try to plan my life and my children will continue to break it, but that’s just fine with me.

We spent the rest of the night just staring at Meredith, watching her open her eyes, figuring out who she resembles (where is that hair from?), watching her first bath, completely memorized that she is all ours. We are officially a family of four.

DSC_0308We are so so so blessed. She definitely has our hearts and apparently already ruled over our schedule.

girl’s nursery design board

We’re waiting for our countertops to be finished and installed, but this doesn’t mean I’m not without distractions. I have a baby girl in my belly, and I get to decorate a room to celebrate it!

I made this same type of mood board back before we had Jack, here. It was a fun way to gather up the pieces month by month to make a nursery and what we now call Jack’s room. We would budget for one or two pieces a month, so it didn’t feel like a hefty expense, and we had something to look forward to each month! We plan to do the same with this nursery space. This mood board is a little more tech-savvy than the cut-and-paste version last time, but it serves the same purpose.

Baby Girl Nursery Mood BoardSource list: artist in kiev knob – anthropologie, dresser – west elm, 3 spouts basket sand camel – target, baby peacock mirror – wisteria, let them be little – easy, malibu chandelier – serena & lily, ribbon mobile – etsy, cool mint  582 – benjamin moore, organized girl’s closet (minus the pink everything) – the container store, rug – urban outfitters, crib – baby mod marley 3-in-1 convertible crib. 

I have to say planning a girl’s room is much harder than planning a boy’s. There are SO many options, yes, but I also have that underlying voice to make sure it’s not too feminine so she grows up strong. Maybe I’m putting too much thought into the underlying effects of paint color on my baby girl’s self-worth and self-confidence. Just maybe. But I want her to be strong, independent, and know she can do anything she puts her mind to. Plus, the amount of accessories little girls can have! I can barely remember to put earrings and my ring on during the weekends!! Luckily, I expressed these concerns to a dear friend one night, and she calmly, more matter-of-factly said, you’ll teach her those things and she’ll accessorize you!

Simple as that. It made me smile and tiptoe off that edge of nervousness.

Back to the room, I plan on painting the walls Benjamin Moore cool mint 582. It’s a great pastel creamy-goodness, and I think our little girl will love it in the daytime and sleep well (hopefully) in it at night. I plan on applying some gold polka dots on an accent wall, as well. After thinking of these two colors; gold and mint, the other items above just came together!

I’ll keep you posted with the progress!!



6 months

Eating the Elephant

I could never have imagined what type of demanding schedule one little human could have. This motherhood gig is no joke. Between nursing, bathing, reading, talking, it can be a lot. BUT he’s been a pretty amazing addition to our lives, and I thank my lucky stars he has picked me to be his mama. I cannot quite believe it’s already been six whole months with this guy; it’s been wonderful.

Discovering Toes

Month six has been filled with fun new milestones. Jack’s able to sit up, he’s getting his first two teeth, he’s loving those toes, and we fed him his first taste of food on his birthday weekend (rice cereal and sweet potatoes!). He tolerated it well. Wasn’t loving it, wasn’t hating it… Jack’s a pretty easy going baby.

First Food - Sweet PotatoesHe’s talking and smiling so much; we’re loving watching him discover the world around him… and for the ever famous collage of Mr. Jack growing! Happy half birthday, buddy!

6 months

minimalist hospital stay


I thought I did the hospital stay right! Didn’t pack too much and used almost everything!

Here’s my list, plus some items I wish I would have packed.

Personal (think classic travel toiletries)

  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Face wash
  • Face lotion
  • Lip balm
  • Dry Shampoo
  • Make-up
  • Deoderant
  • Glasses/Contacts
  • Medium overnight absorbent pad. The hospital provides these, too.
  • Ponytail holder
  • Medula lanolin cream

Clothing – The delivery and first day, I just wore what the hospital provided. This was a gown and panties. Considering how much you sweat those first nights, it was nice just to use the hospital items. Each day they would change the sheets, too.  

  • 2 Gap V-neck maternity tees – put this over a cami during the day.
  • Nursing camis – great, easy access sleepwear. I love these even now.
  • Nursing bra
  • 1 Comfortable pants/shorts – I bought Gap Body cropped pants which worked great.
  • 1 Comfortable outfit to go home. Think early maternity.
  • Flip-Flops – I wore these (one less item to pack) to the hospital and they were great to walk the halls with.
  • 3 pairs of underwear 2 sizes bigger than your usual.

Other – We paid an upgrade fee so our room was a little bigger and included a roll-away bed for the hubs, pillow/sheets for him, stocked refrigerator (water, juice, yogurt), snacks (granola bars, cereal, fruit), mini-shampoo/conditioner/soap, and hair dryer. Think hotel amenities. Check with your hospital to see what they provide to help minimize what you have to bring! Plus we had room services.

  • Photo ID & Insurance Card
  • Hospital Registration Papers
  • Camera + charger
  • Phone + charger – I wrote my notes on my phone and had a book on my phone.
  • Baby Book – The nursery nurse put Jack’s hands and footprints in the book! Too cute!
  • Snacks for you and your hubs
  • The hospital provided a big water jug for me that I had the nurses refill hourly! I was SO SO thirsty! 

Baby Items – Jack was swaddled and in hospital diapers the entire stay. They gave us a pack of diapers, wipes, a zipper swaddle blanket, thermometer, and enema bulb when we went home.

  • Swaddle blanket
  • A going home outfit
  • Infant Carrier (remember to put the base in the car prior to delivery!)
  • Socks

Items that are on most lists that I wouldn’t (don’t need to) bring…

  • Boppy – I used hospital pillows to prop Jack up. It worked great.
  • Robe – I was really warm (sweaty even) my entire stay, so a cami or t-shirt and cropped pants worked great.
  • Computer – (slept most of the time or chatted with the hubs/guest and just used my phone), plus Back to the Future Trilogy was on during my stay! Bonus! ;)
  • Nursing pads – Your milk doesn’t usually come in when you’re in the hospital. I didn’t need mine until I was home.
  • Curling iron – I just didn’t use it.
  • Emory Board – The nurses don’t cut your baby’s nails, and I didn’t either. It wasn’t until Jack’s first bath at home.

I wish all those mommies-to-be the best of luck!! Remember, you will always have friends, family, and nurses around to get you anything you need or forgot, so don’t worry too much about the packing!! Get all the rest you can and have tissues close, there will be lots of happy tears! 

becoming the president (basically)

JSP Cover

When you become pregnant or have a baby, you are swept up into an unknown world of nursing bras and baby products. I find it comparable to (what I imagine) the president goes through in his first weeks of the presidency. The way he’s briefed on everything that is going on, brought into the mix of many US secrets from the past and present, and realizing that nothing from his actual campaign will ever make it through congress.

During pregnancy you were briefed on labor and delivery by your doctor and maybe got a hospital tour. You talked to numerous friends and family, read books and blogs referring to their and others’ past and presents experiences, and you realize when the actual delivery comes and that child is in your arms, those ideas you had prior about delivery and childrearing have all vanished.

I’ve been a mom for all of one month now, and I thought I had read all the books, blogs, and pinned enough stuff to navigate through this journey of delivery and having a newborn. Ha! I realize now, I’ll never know enough. But here are my Top 10 things that happened to me or helped me navigate through my new mom jitters, including a couple of products that have been working wonders for both Jack and I!

1. You will be crazy. I read about the possibility of baby blues and before delivery had marked in my calendar after two weeks “signs of postpartum depression?” but never did I realize the emotional roller coaster I would be on right after delivery. I cried. Cried over opening crackers, cried over not sleeping, cried because the baby was crying, cried when my in-laws left because my husband won’t have anyone sane to talk to. Yes. Crazy Town. I cried to my dad over the phone, over sisters in-laws’ text messages, or non-sentimental Facebook updates, commercials, and just how amazing and perfect this little man is. But don’t worry, you know you’re being crazy… and it all gets better! I think sleep has a lot to do with it. I went from 10 hours a night, with naps after work (I know, I liked my sleep) to one hour naps between feedings. It definitely messes with your psyche. For me, it was around Week 3 when I felt more like a human and less like a hormonal trainwreck/walking zombie. Each day you get a little more of yourself back, promise.

2. Breastfeeding is your new job or hobby, or maybe vocation? This is why women get maternity leave, I’ve discovered. You think about your boobs more than most adolescent boys. Too far? They will feel full, hot, and overall different. I even thought I had a fever, but it was just my milk coming in! 

Nursing is a dance between you and your new baby. It takes time, some babies less, some babies more. For me, Jack latched right away but nursed about 15 – 20 minutes on each side, feeding on demand every 2 1/2 – 3 hours. That leaves 1 1/2 to 2 hours between feedings. It gets to be a lot, but again, it does settle down and your baby starts giving you the nights off. Now, I nurse every 2 1/2 – 3 hours during the day, and (usually) every 5 – 7 hours at night! It seems manageable now and part of my regular routine! So, don’t give up! Plus, there’s this amazing bond that comes along with it. My heart melts when I look at him, and I feel lucky I get to spend 30 – 40 minutes just inspecting every inch of his beautiful face, hands, and body.


  • Soothies – This might be a little TMI but breastfeeding can hurt (at first), at least it did for me. These little lifesavers made me cry happy tears (see #1) the first time I put them on. I suggest them to all new moms now! They can be refrigerated, too! *Thank you to my friend Rachael for this amazing suggestion!


  • iBaby Feed app – Any one of the baby apps will work wonders! This app records your feedings, has a timer for each feeding, and analyzes the data. It’s actually nice to see Jack’s naturally trying to get into a pattern of feeding times. Plus, for the early morning feedings, when you pass out in the glider, you’ll have a little timer to help you know how long your baby has been feeding. It also documents diapers and averages them, for your pediatrician visits, too. They ask you this at your visits. It’s just one less thing to remember.

4. Start them in the crib. We got mad props from our pediatrician for starting Jack in his crib on day one. It was super hard that first night, I think I stared at that monitor until my eyes hurt. I zoomed in on his chest to check if he was breathing a zillion times, but it was wonderful in the long run. We don’t hear all his weird noises, so we get sleep. Jack got used to sleeping in his crib, so we don’t have to deal with the trauma or tantrums that may come if we would have had to transition him later. Plus, he slept longer. Week 2 we had nights where he slept 5-7 hours and by Week 6 he’s sleeping from 10 pm – 5am or 7am, consistently. Plus, the hubs and I have our own space.

Baby monitor

  • Smart Baby Monitor by Withings – We love this monitor because it’s just another app on your iPhone or iPad. It’s been great not having to carry another device around the house. Plus, the hubs gets to check in on a sleepy baby at work!

5. Point it down! This is for all the pregos having a boy; point it down! The hubs and I would pick up Jack and the side of his onesie or pajamas would always be wet that first week. We thought the disposable diapers were defective, or we weren’t putting them on tight enough. Turns out we didn’t point it down! Ha. Get ready to do a lot of laundry because of it! 

changing pad cover

  • Disposable changing table pads – This was good for new moms with boys but it could help all! I’ve blocked more pee than I want to remember, which reminds me don’t check a diaper in their crib in the middle of the night. It’s not faster if you have to replace their pajamas, the swaddle blanket, and a crib sheet. That being said, these changing pads help protect the changing table sheet in those first weeks so you don’t have to wash it twice a day.

Bath Sponge

  • Munchkin Bath sponge – We got this simple bath sponge instead of a tub or another contraption, and it has worked excellent for Jack’s baths. Considering we have limited space in our house (northerners we don’t have basements down here) and knowing that someday this kid was going to take over the whole house with toys, I liked how this took up a smaller amount of real estate in the bathroom, plus it was only a $6.00 investment!


  • Zipper vs. Button Pajamas – I’ll just go right out and say it! Get zippered pajamas! Those first few weeks when you’re a walking zombie, you don’t want to fiddle with buttons in the middle of the night, promise. Even now, it’s just nice to have a zipper. We are loving the pajamas I got at GapBaby, so cute and soft… with a zipper, of course!

6. Stock up. Check your cabinets for toiletries and other items you may be low on. The week before I had Jack, I loaded up on such things as tinted moisturizer, toothpaste, dog food, contacts, cotton balls, dish soap, and a couple other items. It was nice to have them stocked up and one less thing on my to-do list.  That being said, there is always Amazon Prime or the Target Red Card (free shipping with easy mobile sites) at 2am! I used it often, especially for those new items that the baby and a nursing mom may need.

swaddle blanket

  • aden and anais – I am in love with all of their products. They have swaddle blankets that I have used to swaddle with, nurse with, as a burp cloth, or as the base on the floor during tummy time. I love multi-tasker items! More bang for your buck. Plus, they have great crib sheets, changing pad covers, burp cloths, and bathroom towels and washcloths. I’m definitely brand loyal.

7. Go with your gut. Remember, this is nature! Somewhere deep inside of you, you already have all the answers. Somehow your baby figures out how to feed and your body responds, and this is the same with knowing what to do. Hug him, love him, and feed him. You can’t spoil a newborn.

8. Ask for help. Friends are amazing. Your friends and family are gold during this time. We had so many people come over, make us dinner, and open up their home just so we could get out. It was so kind and even had us asking ourselves if we deserved such great people in our lives. Plus, it’s nice to talk to people. When I didn’t want to talk baby, and just wanted to laugh, I would call my brother or friends without kiddos. Or if I didn’t know what I was doing nursing or baby-wise, I would text or call my friends or sisters-in-law for encouragement. It was wonderful to have so many outlets. Plus, the outpouring of folks that came over and had dinner with us, loved on the baby, and just talked over wine, was remarkable. Let them all in, even when you haven’t showered, and your house is a mess. I was a little scared but now I think my friendships have grown stronger because of this. Friends are gold.

9. Keep the packaging. We got a lot of cool stuff for our baby during all the showers. Though I tried to be a minimalist, there is just a lot of stuff the baby needs. On some things, you need to get ready before the baby gets here, such as clothes, blankets, and crib sheets, but some things you don’t have to get ready until he’s actually in the world. I say do what you can to keep the packaging. Luckily, we only had one item like this – I wish I would have saved the packaging on our bouncer. There are bouncers, swings, and combos, so we tried to minimize and I picked/guessed a bouncer to be on my registry. When Jack got here, we assembled it, and he was game… for about a day a couple minutes, and he hasn’t wanted to sit in it since. We went out and tried another bouncer/swing combo and he loves it… actually he’s been sleeping in it while I write this post. So my suggestion is either get them all or just one, and return the ones your baby doesn’t want.  Also, use refurbished models by the manufacturer or craigslist to save a little cash.

JPS Mamaroo

  • 4moms mamaroo Anything to be able to set your baby down during the day is worth it. Trust me. Jack loves the mamaroo, but I know friends that their baby hated it but loved their bouncer or swing.

10. Enjoy the crazy journey! Holy cow it’s a journey BUT it’s a fun one! Not only for you and your new bambino but for your hubs, friends, and family. I appreciate a lot more of life now and when all those crazy people said it’s worth it… it definitely is. It’s Week 7 and I’m more in love with everything and everyone… Jack, the hubs, friends, and family!

As you can see, this is much better than the presidency and will last longer than four years! Enjoy!

Have a wonderful week friends!!

he’s here!

Jackson PaulJackson Paul Snitker finally entered the world Monday night at 5:06 pm, weighing in at 8 lb, 5 oz, and stretching 20 3/4 inches long.

It was a long day and a long night beforehand. At 5 pm Sunday night, we had a date for cervical ripening at the hospital. We started the induction process at 6 am that next morning. 8 hours of dilating, followed by 2 1/2 hours of pushing, ended with an upward facing baby, shoulders shifting back and forth with each push, and a doctor with a grim outlook of getting him out vaginally. Eventually a c-section ensued.

So, the images of my labor being as easy as my mothers have abandoned me but the outcome of all these amazing events left me to believe it was all worth it. The hubs made a great point when he looked at me and asked me – When have we ever done anything the easy way? Why should we start now?



We spent the rest of the night and next day just staring at Jack, watching his first bath, completely memorized that he is ours. It’s amazing how your perspective on life can change dramatically in a couple of days. We are so so so blessed. He definitely has our hearts.


Paul & Jack

bags are packed! finally.

I don’t know what you have been doing all weekend but all I have been thinking about is tomorrow.

Tomorrow I become a parent.

The hubs and I checked into the hospital at 5pm tonight, where I’ll be monitored and starting my induction Monday morning…where we will emerge sometime that day (if all goes well) as a family of three.

To say I am nervous, is an understatement. I had sweaty palms signing into registration, questioning my answers to commonly known items such as gender and address. I am nervous.

But I’m so excited, too.

Excited to be on the other end of delivery and to shout out my two-cents about the dos and do nots of labor and delivery. To help new moms with their hospital packing list, and well, to have that baby boy in my arms.

I cannot wait to see what he looks like. How I feel after he is here. How I’ll be an emotional wreck until he’s 90… You know, the usual.

After tonight I know nothing will be the same, but I’m so excited to get this new life underway. I’ll keep you posted!

belly project part II

Just growing that baby over here! I cannot believe it, but I’ve hit my last trimester and am already considered full-term, that was at 34 weeks! I know I still have 4 weeks left but with all the uncertainty about me making to the Big 4-0 weeks, I wanted to get these photos up!

Week 21 – 36 have been a little more challenging than the first twenty, but still I have yet to complain (whole-heartedly) about this pregnancy process. A couple weeks ago, I finally had to stop trying to lay on my stomach to sleep (my preferred position prior to pregnancy), and I invested in a wedge pillow which has been awesome! I suggest it to all pregos! Then, while traveling to Pittsburgh to see a friend, I had my first experience with swelling! Cankles! It was super weird to have big ankles/feet/lower legs, but luckily it all went away when I was back on the ground in Texas. But they sprouted up again at Week 33. They look bigger to me but most wouldn’t notice, thank goodness.

Here’s Weeks 21 – 36. As usual most of my pictures were taken by my iPhone! It was just easier than having the hubs take them, but I did get into my t-shirt a couple times, too! It’s funny, before this experience, I felt bad for friends that would post their own pregnancy photos taken by themselves; now, I just realize it isn’t sad, it’s just more convenient… maybe I’ll invest in a tripod?

21 weeks

23 weeks

24 weeks

25 weeks

25.5 (26) Weeks

27 weeks

28 weeks

30 weeks

30.5 (31) weeks31.5 (32) weeks33 weeks34 weeks35 weeks

36 weeks

Otherwise, life is good, baby is good, and BIG, and we’re just getting really excited about his arrival which could be less than 2-3 weeks away, if the doctor has anything to do with it! Crazy! Oh, and I’ve been addicted to chocolate shakes or chocolate milk before bed… Justified by helping with my acid reflux! It works like a charm and yes, I recommend it to all my pregos out there!!

Happy Summer, Friends!

the benefits of measuring big

side profileBaby Boy’s Profile

Since my 26 week appointment, my belly measurements have been on the “large size”. Luckily, I’m tall, and I don’t think most people notice that at 26 weeks, I was measuring 32 weeks! And at our 34 week appointment, I was measuring 40 weeks. That being said, my OB is slightly concerned about the status of our bambino’s accelerated growth pattern. I’m consistently measuring big, and I don’t have any other risks for a big bambino, plus being tall, I should ultimately be measuring smaller than bigger. It may just be the way I like to carry my babies. Front and center, so there’s no mistaking I’m pregnant or there may be a bigger than gestational age baby in there (OB’s concern).

That brings me to the benefit of measuring big! I was ordered to get another sonogram last Monday to make sure he wasn’t already 9 pounds with 6 weeks to go! We were just excited to have another sneak peak at our baby boy! We (as always) got to walk away with a couple prints and a DVD of our bambino’s acrobatic performance.

nose, chin and a handNose, lip, chin, and a part of a hand.

breathing b.boyOpening his mouth… practicing his swallowing/breathing. 

As we recently found out, he is measuring big! Proportionately big, but big nonetheless. At 34 weeks, he’s already 6 – 6 1/2 pounds and considered full-term! At this point he gains about 1/2 pound a week making him 9 or 10 pounds (breathe, Sarah) if we go the full 40 weeks… The doctor did indicate this means a semi-early arrival, if I want any chance of a natural delivery. Maybe he doesn’t want to share the month of August with his mom and dad? Maybe he wants mom and dad to realize the joys of unscheduled things to come? We’ll keep you posted!

Otherwise, this little guy did not want his photo taken! His hands were covering his face or he was sucking on his fingers or he was moving so much the doctor (the sonographer wasn’t available which didn’t help) couldn’t take the correct measurements! So, the pictures we have look more like globs throughout this post than baby, but we’ll try again in 3 weeks! We did find out he does have some hair on his head, and he’s practicing his breathing and swallowing, which is a wonderful sign of a healthy baby getting ready for the real world! It just makes me more excited to see this little guy in person and hold him in my arms! We cannot wait for his real debut!

3D image

3D image of his face. right arm across his forehead and left hand is in his mouth .

wi baby shower

Baby Shower InviteHoly cow, I’m sorry; I’ve been a bad blogger lately. A couple of weekends ago, I was ever so blessed with yet another baby shower. This time it was in my hometown in Wisconsin, hosted by my sweet sister-in-law, Julie!

Julie & I

We had the event at City Grill, this cute venue downtown which actually catered our wedding! Full circle? I think so!

Gift Table

The shower was wonderful and beautiful! I was elated at all who attended and so happy to all be together again!
Shower PplAfter a fabulous lunch, we had cake! This cake is from a local baker Sweet Nothings that we’ve used in the family for a while. She does amazing cakes, and the inside is a raspberry filling to die for! I definitely recommend her cakes for the inside, as well as the outside!

The Cake!

B. Shower Cake

After cake, I had a little helper (my niece, Ellie) help with all the presents I had to open! She was such a wonderful lady for the job!

Ellie & I

It was one of those weekends I just didn’t want to end. From being able to see friends and family from near and far, to just feeling so blessed that our baby boy is welcomed by so many; it makes my heart happy. A big thank you to everyone, especially my sister-in-law Julie and my Dad for making this such a wonderful event and a memorable experience.