Tuesday, November 24, 2015

24 & 25 Week Update

Happy Thanksgiving week, all! As you can tell by my face, I'm a little worn this week with Taylor catching a cold and the hubby putting in long hours at work already. But none of that matters, because turkey day is almost upon us and so is a weekend full of shopping and family time. I don't know about you, but we desperately need this four day weekend to recharge before December begins. And this year, we certainly have a lot to be thankful for.

Size: A rutabaga (which Google tells me is a cross between a cabbage & turnip)

Gender: Boy (and he may have a name before long, too!)

Maternity Clothes: There should be a clause in company dress policies for pregnant women, because most days it feels nearly impossible to throw together a polished look. I like to think my maternity leggings and house shoe combo is quite stylish and (although more on the casual end) definitely qualifies as "business casual."

Sleep: Being woken up at 6:00 AM on Saturday and Sunday morning this weekend royally sucked. Thankfully, "Doc McStuffins" and a sippy of milk bought Jake and I a solid 45 minutes of extra sleep.

Best Moment of the Week(s): Making some major progress in both Tay's room and the nursery. Our house no longer feels like a war zone and I am so very thankful! The tot is in love with her big girl room and spends all her free time cooking "eggs" and "cupcakes" in her little kitchen and singing songs to her baby dolls. I wish she would stay this age forever.

Miss Anything: Work has been absolutely crazy lately. I could really use a bottle glass of wine to unwind at the end of the day.

Movement: My OB commented this week how active our little guy is and said I should probably be fearful when he starts to run out of room and almost immediately I pictured my 6'4" husband curled up in a ball in my uterus. Ouch.

Cravings: Apparently waiting a few more days for pumpkin pie was too long, because even though I was dog dead tired last night I managed to whip one together. And it was totally worth it.

Sickness: Tay has a cough, sore throat & runny nose (all of which I'm sure she picked up from daycare), Jake is still healthy, and as for me? Well, I'm fighting it off as best as I can.

Looking Forward To: Eating lots of food and spending time with family this weekend. Also looking forward to finishing my Christmas shopping, putting up our decorations, and making my first batch of gingerbread cookies. My mouth is watering just thinking about all of the festiveness to be eaten!

And last but not least, we are extra thankful this year for our new bundle of joy who received a gold star at his check up last week. He is healthy and growing faster than any of us can keep up! As for Taylor, she loves telling her brother secrets and giving my belly hugs & smooches every day. She really is going to be the best big sister ever.

Wishing all of you a holiday full of love, laughter, and good food. Happy Thanksgiving, friends!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Counting Our Blessings

I have gone back and forth for months on whether or not to write about this since it's so near and dear to my heart and effects those I love the most, but then I realized that God brought us to it (and more importantly, he brought us through it), so there's really no reason not to.

As many of you know, my family encountered a dark time earlier this year when my dad suffered a massive heart attack that nearly took his life. My father spent seven days in a comatose state, which is an excruciatingly long time to sit by someone's side, hoping and pray they will wake up and resemble even a fraction of the person you once knew. My father spent two long weeks in the ICU where we are certain God worked one miracle after another. I will never forget the flood of emotions that filled our family throughout those 14 days. We were told he may never wake up. We were told he may not have brain function if he did. We were told to prepare for the worst. Eventually, he did wake up - it was a long, slow, painful process to watch but the end result was worth every tear that was shed. And little by little, day by day, he progressed and eventually was released to a rehab facility where he continued to blow everyone away with his progress. Three weeks after the worst day of our lives, he returned home and we were all able to breathe again.

Throughout it all, my mother, sister, and I never left his side as we relied on friends and family to manage our homes and our five small children (because as we learned, the world does not stop no matter how bad you want it to). Even now as Dad continues his road to recovery, it is truly amazing to see the overwhelming out pour of love and support from our family, friends, and the community that I grew up in. The generosity that has been shown to our family is something that we will never forget and will forever be grateful for. So to each of you who sent a card or said a prayer, thank you. Thank you so, so much.

Since Dad has returned home, family has remained our top priority, and we are all about soaking up every minute of family time that we can get. If the past four months have taught me anything, it's that family is and always will be the most important thing in life, second only to God who has renewed each of our spirits with his healing power. Life is a funny thing, always throwing curve balls when you least expect them. I'm just thankful that we're all still together, happy, healthy, and so very appreciative of all of life's blessings.

Friday, November 13, 2015

23 Week Update

Size: A papaya

Gender: Boy

Maternity Clothes: Maternity clothes are basically all I wear anymore, especially pants and tank tops. This little fella is a low rider, so my regular pants are totally out of the question.

Sleep: Since moving Taylor to her big girl bed, I wake up like clock work at 3 AM to check on her every night. Between that and getting up to pee, sleep is hard to come by.

Best Moment of the Week(s): Spending lots of quality time together as a family before Jake starts rush in a couple of weeks. I'm dreading him being gone so much, and I'm concerned as to how it will affect Tay.

Miss Anything: More than one cup of coffee per day. Most days I could drink a gallon and probably still be tired.

Movement: Turns out this babe likes Mickey Mouse just as much as big sis, because the back flips and elbow jabs seem to increase whenever Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is on.

Cravings: This pregnancy is so much different than the last. I don't know if it's because he's a boy (or the fact that I'm probably growing a giant in my uterus), but I feel the need to eat all the time. It's like I can't get enough food into my body.

Sickness: Nearly everyone around us has a cold, so I'm just waiting for that excitement to join our household.

Looking Forward To: Painting the nursery this weekend! Once we paint, I can start moving furniture and hanging things on the wall and getting some semblance of what the room will actually look like. Things are happening, people!

And a little sneak peek at our family pics taken by the one and only Crystal Arellano Photography. I don't know how she does it, but she always manages to capture the most beautiful images despite the chaos. Thanks again, friend.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Toddler Transitions

It's official, our sweet little girl is now a full-on toddler and there isn't a single thing we can do about it. Since her physique has long outgrown the baby phase (with dangling limbs to prove it), we thought it was appropriate for her to transition on a few other levels as well. We are constantly underestimating her, so we decided to throw caution to the wind and just try each transition to see how she would react, just like we did with weaning her off the bottle and the binky (both of which she did with ease). Thankfully, 2 of the 3 transitions have been a total cake walk, but we're definitely struggling a bit with the last one.

First up, her sleeping situation. We decided to make the transition from crib to toddler bed on a whim a couple of months ago and, like usual, Taylor handled it like a champ. She took one look at her new bed, smiled, and then immediately jumped in it and covered up. She loves her pillow and the quilt her granny made and insists on sleeping with both every night (along with her glow worm, Mickey, a stuffed hippo, her Idaho teddy bear, and her baby dolls, Penny, Abigail, and Nora). At night when I ask if she is ready for bed, she gives her dad hugs and kisses, walks to her room like a big girl, and waits for me to come tuck her in. In the morning when she wakes up, she gets out of bed and knocks on her door until we come get her. On Saturdays and Sundays when we're trying to sleep in, she repeatedly reminds us that she's awake by yelling "Daddy! Mommy! I OUT!" until one of us finally gets up and lets her out of her room. If she somehow manages to get the door open by herself, she beelines it to our bed for snuggles and cartoons. Nap times have been a bit harder since she's usually too wound up to lay down and go right to sleep, but after singing songs and talking to her stuffed animals for a while, she usually wears down and falls asleep. We make certain not to go in her room unless she gets out of bed or gets too rowdy. If we leave her alone she's usually out within 15-20 minutes, but if we go in and let her know that we are awake she'll fight through her sleepiness and stay awake causing all of us to have a very long afternoon. Overall, she's handled the transition extremely well. I was concerned that she would wake up in the middle of the night and get out of bed to play, but that has yet to happen. I sure hope her brother takes notes, because Tay is an absolute rock star when it comes to sleep. We definitely lucked out with her!

The next transition actually happened at daycare without Jake or myself even knowing. Our sitter just happened to mention how well Taylor was drinking out of a big girl cup one day to which I responded, "She does that now?" Turns out, she does! And quite well actually. We still give her a sippy cup when we're in the car or snacking anywhere other than the kitchen table (mostly for my own sanity because I don't like cleaning up more spills than I have to) but, for the most part, we try to let her drink out of a regular cup during meals. Her favorite is when we go out to eat and the server gives her a cup with a lid and straw. Girlfriend goes crazy over having her own straw and insists on taking a drink out of it every 5 seconds. She is still a toddler so spills and "uh oh's" definitely occur, but for the most part she enjoys getting to drink out of a regular cup just like mom and dad. And I love to watch her little hands as she holds the cup ever so carefully, making sure to get every last drop!

The last transition, and this one we're still working on, is the move from diapers to underwear. Since she's been easy breezy on every other thing in her entire life, I knew a challenge would appear sooner or later and this just happens to be it. Tay will almost always go on the potty if we make her (as in, strip her naked, put her on the toilet, and make her try), but rarely will she vocalize it to us before she needs to go. She absolutely hates getting her diaper changed (and lets us know by kicking and squirming the entire time) and has gotten pretty good at telling us when she needs to go but only after she has gone. It's frustration city, and my patience is wearing thin. Part of me thinks that maybe she's just not ready while another part of me thinks she's just being stubborn (a trait she comes by honestly). Either way, we're still knee deep in pull ups and diapers and likely not getting out of them any time soon. My mom keeps assuring me that we need to just tough it out by throwing underwear on her for a 2 day boot camp and forcing her have a few accidents so that she learns not to do it again. Others suggest easing into it and waiting until she is truly ready. As of now, we're taking it one day at a time and celebrating every tiny potty victory that comes our way. By my calculations, we have approximately 4 months to get this potty training thing in the bag before baby no. 2 arrives in the spring.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

22 Week Update

Happy November, all! Jake has begun the long and tedious process of not shaving for a month, and I have begun the long and tedious processing of nesting. We save money on razors and our house is impeccably clean - everybody wins!

Size: Spaghetti Squash & baby officially weighs 1 whole pound!

Gender: Boy

Maternity Clothes: Loving these open front cardigans from Target (wearing the green one above). They are so easy to pair with a maternity tank, dress pants, and a fun scarf/statement necklace for a comfortable work outfit. Also loving these full-panel leggings that are made of a nice, thick material which will be perfect for the coming months.

Sleep: Meh, about the same but I have definitely had more energy over the last couple of weeks. I don't know what has brought it on, but I'm taking full advantage and crossing some things off my ever-growing To-Do list!

Best Moment of the Week(s): Making lot of progress on the nursery and Taylor's big girl room. I am so excited to start painting and moving furniture soon!

Miss Anything: No real complaints this week. Shocker, huh? ;c )

Movement: So much movement lately! I'm convinced this little guy is going to be just as active as his daddy. Unfortunately, he still won't move whenever Jake touches my belly, so clearly he's going to be stubborn like his father as well.

Cravings: Oh, just eating my way through our stash of Halloween candy. I was almost embarrassed by the amount of mini candy bar wrappers that lay at my feet one night earlier this week, but then I remembered I just don't care!

Sickness: My allergies are going crazy with the ever-changing weather, but it sure beats having a cold or the flu (which I'm certain is just around the corner).

Looking Forward To: Making some major progress on the kids' bedrooms this weekend. We have had packages arriving at our house nearly every night for weeks. I'm so excited to start pulling things out of boxes and start bringing my visions to life. Designing the nursery is by far one of my favorite parts of pregnancy!

I'll leave you with this sweet snap of big sister giving smooches to her baby brother, immediately followed by "I give knuckles, Moppy." I love my little tomboy.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween 2015

After months of preparation and excitement, Halloween has come and gone. But all of our time and energy spent scouring the internet for the perfect costumes paid off, because Taylor and her cousins were a huge hit as the Three Blind Mice! And to make it even better, these outfits were super easy to put together: sweatpants/shirts from Target (with a little quilt stuffing tacked onto the bellies), ears/tails/bow ties from the party store, and cheap gloves & sunglasses from the dollar store. We had planned on the girls wearing matching black shoes, but the rain called for mismatched rain boots and old tennis shoes instead.

Overall, the girls were good sports about wearing their costumes (since they were warm & comfy), but they are toddlers which meant my sister and I spent the majority of the evening gathering discarded sunglasses, gloves, and walking sticks. Note to self: next year plan for a costume with fewer removable accessories.


We started our evening off at church where the kids played games and ate entirely too many snacks. Next, we made a brief stop at the school's trunk or treat before heading out to do some door-to-door trick or treating. We were concerned the girls would throw in the towel due to the rain and cool temps, but these little ladies were straight up champs and only complained when they were tired from walking. And who could blame them? This pregnant momma was exhausted by the end of the night as well.

Not long after sundown, we headed back to my parents house so the kids could eat their treats and play inside where it was warm. The sheer joy radiating from Taylor the next morning made the lack of sleep and sugar hangover totally worthwhile. All of the kids had an absolute blast, and I'm so glad they were able to dress up and spend the holiday together.

And if this picture doesn't say it all, they really do love each other to pieces.