Monday, February 29, 2016

38 (Almost 39) Week Update

I'm a bit behind on posting this as I'm actually rounding the corner on Week 39, but I wanted to share one last update before our little guy makes his arrival later this week! After discussing several factors with my doctor at my last appointment, we decided to move up my scheduled C section which means that unless he decides to arrive on his own before this Thursday, he will officially join our family on March 3, 2016.

And is it just me or does the bump seem to be getting higher? He's definitely changed position in the last week or so proving that he is just as stubborn as his sister. Oh well, at least he comes by it honestly.

Size: A swiss chard. Baby is weighing in around 6.5-7 lbs and is between 19-22 inches in length.

Gender: Boy

Maternity Clothes: So ready to fit into my regular clothes again! I can't wait for warmer weather, tank tops, and maxi dresses.

Sleep: I have to fight to keep my eyes open most afternoons since Taylor has been waking up earlier with each passing day. But I don't care. I'll take her snuggles and morning serenades over sleep any day of the week!

Best Moment of the Week(s): Taylor has been such a sweetheart lately, talking nonstop about her brother and all of his things. "Dis bwuver's paci." "Dis bwuver's swing." "Dis bwuver's blankie." "I see bwuver soon." We are all so ready to meet this little man!

Miss Anything: I miss agility and being able to breathe. I miss cocktails and sushi. And I really miss bending over without feeling like I'm never going to make it back up. Taylor has gotten very good at helping me off the couch though.

Movement: My doctor commented again this week how strong our little guy is, and I'm pretty sure my bruised ribs and hip bones would confirm that statement.

Cravings: Terrible to say, but I'm over food at this point. That doesn't mean I'll pass up a bowl of Rocky Road though. Or a glazed donut. Or really anything that contains sugar.

Sickness/Symptoms: Round ligament pain, a few contractions here and there, nonstop heartburn, and lots of kicks and jabs from our little karate kid.

Looking Forward To: As if I even need to answer at this point. I cannot wait to see his sweet face!

And because it's too good not to share, perhaps the sweetest photo ever captured of me and my girl. She must know that something big is about to happen, because she has been on a-whole-nother level of adorable lately. Every morning for the past week, she has climbed into our bed, cupped my face into her little hands, and said "I dub you, Mommy" and then covered my face in smooches. Melt my heart, kid. Please stay this age forever.

Friday, February 19, 2016

36 & 37 Week Update

I can't believe we're less than 20 days away from meeting our sweet bundle of joy! Even Taylor has started to ask "I see brother?" so it's safe to say, we're all ready for his arrival.

Size: A melon. Baby is weighing in around 6.5 lbs and is between 19-22 inches in length.

Gender: Boy! So excited to share his name (and him) with the world soon.

Maternity Clothes: Wearing the same five outfits to work each week has gotten super old. So excited for 70 degree weather and the ability to wear this maxi dress from my last pregnancy! Also, we Face Timed with my mother-in-law last week and her immediate response was "I can't believe how big your belly is!" I laughed and told her that my weekly photos really don't do it justice. This thing is out of control! I am constantly being asked if I'm having twins.

Sleep: Oh, you mean that time at night where everyone is resting peacefully and I'm tossing and turning and staring at the wall? Yeah, I miss sleep.

Best Moment of the Week(s): Hearing that baby is head down! I'm so excited that I may actually get to experience a vaginal birth this time but, honestly, labor scares the crap out of me. I feel totally unprepared since I never felt a contraction or experienced a single sign of labor with Taylor.

Miss Anything: Not being able to play with Taylor the way that I used to. The look of sadness in her eyes when I told her I couldn't play Ring Around the Rosie with her was heart breaking. Poor girl just doesn't understand.

Movement: My last checkup confirmed that his heart rate is still in the 150 range and he is measuring on target. Also, I was fortunate enough to have Braxton Hicks contractions continuously throughout a two hour meeting this week which proved just how difficult the next few weeks of work are going to be.

Cravings: I've gotten to the point where the side effects from eating make me so uncomfortable that nothing sounds good any more. Also, trying to be a little more health conscious after my weekly weigh in. It was not fun.

Sickness/Symptoms: Mostly round ligament pain and Braxton Hicks contractions. Also, intense heartburn in the evenings which is one of the only similarities to my first pregnancy.

Looking Forward To: D Day! The nursery is ready, our bags are packed, and I am so very ready to hold him in my arms. I think Jake has finally begun to mentally prepare for his arrival as well, so now we just wait for him to make his move.

And just for fun, a pic of big sis being her entertaining self and experimenting with her wardrobe. She is obviously ready for swimsuit season.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

An Ode to Jake

With Valentine's Day come and gone, I thought it only appropriate to write a little something about the man in my life who went above and beyond all week to make me feel special while my pregnant self did nothing for him in return. Wife fail, I know. Even though I've promised to make it up to him on Father's Day/his birthday/anytime I'm not 9 months pregnant, I thought I would express my feelings for him the best way that I know how, through words. And what better way to do that than by making a list of the top 10 things I love most about my Jakeeb?

1. He's a man's man. Nothing is sexier than knowing your guy can scoop you up in his arms and save the day, if needed. I know I comment a lot on the massive size of my husband, but in reality I love it. I love that he towers over me and has broad shoulders and callouses on his hands. I love that he isn't afraid to get dirty or spend an entire day working himself to the bone. I was raised by a man who literally broke his back to make a living for his family and has never failed to help someone in need. I'm extremely thankful our children will grow up with a father like that as well.

2. He can fix things. Jake's handyman skills never displayed themselves until we moved into our first rental house where he ended up fixing one random thing after another. We like to refer to that rental as our "trial house," because a lot of lessons were learned (mostly on what not to do). Within the first year of purchasing the house we live in now, he installed new toilets and faucets in the bathrooms, painted every door and piece of trim, and installed new light fixtures in every room. When we decided to completely overhaul our kitchen two years ago he did the majority of the demo and installation, and just last fall he drew the plans and constructed Taylor's bed even though he had never built a piece of furniture in his life. Seriously, the guy is amazing. I'm pretty sure there isn't anything he can't accomplish once he sets his mind to it.

3. He knows his way around an engine. Growing up, Jake watched his dad tinker on one Volkswagen after another and thankfully he picked up a few things. He's quick to change a bulb/spark plug as soon as it goes out, and he's always concerned that our vehicles are safe and running efficiently (after all, we do have precious cargo to worry about). And since purchasing his dream truck back in 2012, he has been very particular about the condition and overall appearance of his prized possession. I secretly love that he takes such good care of something he worked so hard to obtain, but that doesn't mean I don't give him flack for having an unlimited car wash membership which he uses at least once a week. #heisthatguy

4. He is incredibly motivated. Although the guy partied his way through high school and has no college education, he is one of the smartest and most driven people that I know. He took an entry level position at his current place of employment and has worked tirelessly to earn every promotion he has received. He is constantly searching for ways to better himself, his employees, and his company even if it requires sacrificing time away from his family and friends to do so. He never shies away from a challenge and has embraced every opportunity that leadership has provided to him. He works so incredibly hard to provide for his family while continuing to expand his professional role in a thriving industry. Simply put, he is a force to be reckoned with.

5. The man can cook. And better than I can, might I add. While we have always taken turns preparing meals, it's safe to say that Jake has made more than his fair share over the course of our relationship. He is always willing to try something new and isn't afraid to admit his failure if it turns out less than desirable. Plus, he will eat anything that I make and offer a compliment no matter how awful it may be (and trust, there have been plenty of failures on my end). Plus, he can whip up my great-grandma Bernice's cherry cream pie as good (or better) than any woman in my family. Now that is sexy.

6. He does housework. I do the bulk of the indoor chores while he takes care of the outdoor chores (as if he'd ever let me touch his precious grass), but it's a tag team effort when it comes to the nightly dinner and bath time routine. He loves to mow the grass and takes great pride in his yard, something his Gigi would be oh so proud of! His only downfall lies in the messiness of our garage but eventually the clutter becomes too much even for him and he spends a weekend reorganizing it. And even though we each do our own personal laundry (as previously noted here), we both tackle the kids' laundry, towels, and bed sheets. Long story short, he takes a giant load off my already full plate, and I absolutely love him for it. Because let's face it, no one enjoys doing laundry.

7. His sewing game is on point. One thing is for certain, his mom raised him to be independent in every sense of the word, and while he is a man's man through and through I'm fairly certain he can sew on a button better than I can. In fact, this past weekend he whip stitched a hole in our couch cushion like it was nothing. While his hands are hard and calloused, they are also gentle and steady. He never ceases to amaze me with his capabilities.

8. He's the life of the party. And anyone who's ever hung out with the guy will say the same. If the energy is lacking, he's quick to whip out his dance moves, buy a round of shots, or engage everyone in a round of "Jake's Game of Fun." He can't stand for someone to be left out and will go to great lengths to ensure that everyone has a good time. Fortunately, this is a trait that Jake and I have in common, so you can imagine how ridiculous things used to get in our early 20's. And even though we're old now and rarely go out due to the kids, we still know how to have a good time when it counts.

9. The guy makes me laugh. Rarely will I actually admit this but Jake is genuinely funny, and I love that we can still make each other laugh no matter how stressful life gets or how shitty our day has been. And every now and then we end up in a complete spiral where one of us starts laughing and then the other laughs because the first person is laughing and the vicious cycle continues until you're both laying on the floor crying from laughing so hard. This happened just last week over a simple game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, which is obviously how we determine who is going to the dishes and who is going to give Taylor a bath. Both of us kept throwing the same sign every. single. time. (A clear indication we know each other entirely too well).  Eventually, I let him win because I had to pee so bad that I couldn't stand it any longer. Note to self: pregnant ladies shouldn't test their bladders in intense laughing situations. The bladder will always win.

10. His family is everything. While he's rugged and outdoors-y and can chug beer with the best of them, he is also incredibly loving and sensitive. He has always had a soft spot for me, but his love for Taylor is the purest and sweetest thing I have ever witnessed. He is incredibly patient with her and even when he gets frustrated, one look into her big blue eyes makes all of his anger melt away. It's clear just how wrapped he is around her little finger through every game of dress up and Ring Around the Rosie he endures for her. He is the absolute best dad, and I cannot wait for him to teach our children everything he knows.

Happy belated Valentine's Day, babe. We love you more than you'll ever know!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Taylor's Big Girl Room

Once we discovered we were having a boy, I (somewhat) let go of my disdain for pink and decided to incorporate some bright and bold colors in Taylor's big girl room. We kept the same wall color since we knew we would have to paint the nursery but decided to spruce up the space with light pink, coral, raspberry, and gold accents. I came across this tassle garland in the exact color palette I was envisioning and ordered it right away. It's great quality plus I didn't have to spend an afternoon hovering over our kitchen island to make it!

Once we selected a color palette, our next task was to find a bed. We knew we wanted a twin bed but after shopping around and not finding anything we really liked, we decided that building a frame would cost a fraction of the price and add sentimental value as well. Plus, Jake likes feeling manly and tinkering around with his tools in the garage on the weekends. So, with a little help from various Pinterest finds, we drafted some plans and Jake went to work. I was surprised at how quickly the entire thing came together and have been amazed with the hubby's craftsmanship. Seriously, the guy can create almost anything! As for the mattress, we ended up getting an incredible deal on this memory foam mattress & box spring set and have been extremely pleased with the quality and comfort, especially for the price. It's amazing how much you can save with sales, coupons, and your Target Redcard!

For Taylor's bedding, I wanted something classic and simple that would grow with her over time. After scouring every store in Columbia and spending weeks searching online, I finally came across this white and gold duvet cover from PB Teen. It is young and feminine and can easily be paired with different color schemes as Taylor's tastes evolve. Simply put, it was exactly what I was looking for! We paired the duvet cover with a lightweight Ikea comforter and white, microfiber sheets from Target. Everything is machine washable and has held up great so far! For the colder months, we've added a mint throw (which we already owned) to provide extra warmth. The combination has been an all around success, because there is no place our girl would rather be than snuggled up in her bed!

We knew that we would be moving her dresser into the nursery in order to use the top as a changing table again, so we purchased an inexpensive (yet surprisingly sturdy) dresser which we jazzed up with some colorful glass knobs. We added new artwork (most of which came from Hobby Lobby) and incorporated some fun prints from the cutest Etsy shop using the luxe frames that were previously in her room. Hint: you'll likely see a few prints from this shop in the nursery as well.

Since the amount of toys in our house has quadrupled over the past year and every free inch of our house is now consumed with baby items, I wanted to ensure that all of Taylor's toys could be stored in her room in an organized yet easily accessible manner. We utilized the space under her new bed by storing all of her stuffed animals/babies/Barbies in wheeled totes with snap on lids. We replaced the lavender square bins in her storage cubicle with dark teal to go with the new color scheme and then filled them with all of her puzzles and coloring books. She uses these items frequently, so it was important that they be close to her play table and easy for her to get out and put away every day. As for the 500 dishes/silverware/pieces of food that go to her play kitchen, they are stored either in the kitchen itself or in her shopping cart. Her dress up clothes, jewelry, and shoes are stored in bins in her closet along with all of her baby accessories. I can't tell you how nice it is to have her toys out of our living space and neatly organized in her room! She has her own space to play and we aren't constantly yelling at her to clean up her mess.

While the overall room has come together, there are still a few pieces that remain a work in progress. I have searched high and low for a new rug but have yet to find anything that really fits the space or that is worth its expensive price tag. If you have any recommendations, I'd love to hear them! Also, her play kitchen (which was gifted to us and has been one of the tot's favorite toys) is starting to fall apart, so we'll likely be getting her a new one for her birthday. I love this retro one in white or maybe even that fun blue!

Overall, the tot loves her new room. The first thing she does every evening when we get home is ask for a cup of juice and then runs to her room to play. Most nights she will put together puzzles or ask me to come in and read to her, but other nights she climbs straight into bed, burrows under the covers, and rests for a while. We were mindful early on to teach her where each of her toys go and so far she has been good about cleaning up after she plays, but every now and then she needs a friendly reminder. ;c ) I love that we've created a fun yet functional place for our girl to learn and grow. And with her brother's arrival just around the corner, I'm glad she has a space that is all her own.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

35 Week Update

It's been a long day of cleaning, laundry, and errand running for this pregnant momma which means a black and white photo to cover up the sheer exhaustion on my face. My goal is to get back to weekly updates throughout the remainder of this pregnancy since the hubby surprised me with a brand new MacBook Air after listening to me complain for months about how much I hate our old laptop. He calls it a Valentine's Day/push present. I call it my saving grace. Clearly, my hormones are winning.

Size: A melon, which always reminds me of the line from So I Married An Axe Murderer, "Heathcliff, move that melon of yours and go fetch the newspaper." My dad will likely be the only person to even understand that reference. #insidefamilyjoke

Gender: Boy! We've been calling him by his name around our house which feels incredibly surreal. Also, Taylor believes that she has a baby in her belly, so any time I acknowledge a movement or symptom she is quick to point to her stomach and say "Me too." That girl.

Maternity Clothes: I'll wear anything that will cover this wide, low hanging belly. When Taylor was in utero, she sat with her head by my ribs and her legs crossed on my hips bones for the last 8 weeks, so carrying him low and wide is all new territory for me. I just can't get over how different things are time around!

Sleep: My body is clearly preparing me for those early newborn days of little to no sleep, because even when I do manage to get comfortable at night my mind just won't shut off. And snuggling with the tot has become increasingly difficult with this giant bump. No matter how many times I remind her, she still doesn't comprehend that my belly (and her brother inside of it) are extremely fragile.

Best Moment of the Week(s): Quite honestly, just being able to stay home and relax. Work consumes every ounce of energy I have these days, so I'm more than happy staying in my PJ's and not leaving the house from Friday night to Monday morning.

Miss Anything: I long for the day when I can walk across the room without getting winded or play with Tay without having her help me get up off the floor. I also can't wait to have an ice cold Corona & lime on the patio at Agave. But I guess not all of that is pregnancy related.

Movement: Our little man has officially dropped, as people so kindly keep pointing out. ;c ) He's still sideways with his head near my left hip bone and feet up near my ribs, and he is constantly practicing his karate moves. I can't wait to see him in action outside of the womb!

Cravings: Rocky road ice cream and Cherry Coke

Sickness/Symptoms: Heartburn, shortness of breath, leg/lower back pain, and Braxton Hicks contractions all. day. long. It's safe to say I've hit the super uncomfortable, "Am I done yet?" part of pregnancy.

Looking Forward To: Finishing the last few loads of baby laundry, washing/sanitizing bottles, packing our hospital bags, and then relaxing until this babe decides to arrive. Next week I begin weekly check-ups which means we're officially in the home stretch. I can't WAIT to see his little face and smother him with smooches! Can you tell I'm getting anxious?!