Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Straws!

The kid loves straws...and big person cups.  These cups = toddler perfection (the straw does not come out.) :)

Monday, June 25, 2012

17 Months

I now have a 17 month old.  Kayla turned 17 months last Friday.  Honestly, where has the time gone???  And when do you stop counting in months??? :)

So I took this amazing picture of Kayla on my iPhone on Friday.  Since she hates when I try to take pictures of her, I turned my camera front facing and she had this huge toothy smile and she was just sitting there waiting for me to take her picture.  A few hours later when I went to email it to myself, I accidentally deleted it.  #mommyfail

Anyways, so in order to meet some new mommy friends, I joined about a month ago.  I've joined a few meet-up groups but I wanted to create a group that would hopefully draw in women around my age and same situation, so I started my own meet-up.  Our first meeting was last Wednesday and I had found this park in Glenview nearby called Gallery Park.  When I got there and waited for a few other ladies to show up, I snapped a couple pictures of Kayla in her adorable romper from Baby Gap.

It was fun!  I met a few moms (whose kids were a bit younger than Kayla) but I can't wait to meet some of the other 25 or so moms or moms-to-be in my group!  What I didn't realize in picking this spot was that there was a little water splash pad area.  Kayla is a very serious water baby and kept trying to run towards the water in her cute little outfit while my 6+ months pregnant self kept having to chase her.  She thought it was funny.

So Justin and I took her back there, bathing suit and towel in tow, yesterday.  She is in LOVE!

So happy!!

Running and laughing

Kayla is a quiet observer most time when we are in public with other kids.  It's so cute.
She spent most of the time running across the pad away from me and then running back towards me to give me a big wet hug.  Honestly, it's amazing how happy it makes you to see your child full of so much joy.  #howisitevenpossibletolovesomeonethismuch

Friday, June 22, 2012

28 Week Update

A little late, but here's my 28 + 4 days week update! ;) Oh and Hello third really snuck up on me there!

  • Baby is the size of a:  26 weeks: English hothouse cucumber (apparently not a normal cucumber); 27 weeks: head of cauliflower; 28 weeks: Chinese cabbage
  • Total weight gain/loss: Pretty sure I weight as much as I did when I gave birth to Kayla at this point...but I'm thinking about starting to step onto the scale backwards at the doctor's office....
  • The bump: I've lost count of how many people have told me how big I am.  Three people have asked if I'm having twins, after I have already told them I'm having ONE baby.  But I actually feel like I'm standing straighter and my posture is better since seeing the chiropractor this week so I think my growth is slightly slowing down, or showing less :)
  • Symptoms:  Lots and lots of baby movement since seeing the chiropractor.  Braxton Hicks are also less painful and more like the were with Kayla since then.  I'm liking the things that have happened since seeing the chiropractor.
  • Food cravings: Burgers.  Good thing Justin got a new grill for Father's Day :)   
  • Anything making me queasy/nauseous:  Only occasionally the smell of Kayla's poopy diapers.
  • Sleep:  This is very up and down.  My midwife told me if I propped myself up a little I could still sleep on my back and that is really helping a lot as I'm cooler and more comfortable that way.
  • What I miss:  Wine
  • Wedding rings:  Still pretty easily wearing my wedding band.  I sorta stopped wearing my engagement ring to work but I wore them together at a friend's wedding at the beginning of June. :)
  • Maternity clothes:  Mostly.  I can still wear some normal pants/capris to work with my belly band.  I wore my green capris from Gap to work the other day.  I would love to get some maternity capris for work but unless I can find some super cheap I think I'll live without them.
  • Labor signs: Nope.
  • Best Moments: Going to see the chiropractor.  I feel a lot better and really think it will be very helpful!  
  • What I am looking forward to:  Spending quality family time with Kayla and Justin  outside this summer.
  • Worries?:  So I'm sure most of you read my post about my long list of worries.  I should probably add to it my fear of my husband not being able to stand my moodiness in the coming weeks. :)
 28 Weeks + 4 Days:

P.S. I have a 17 month old today!!!  I'll post about her later tonight!  

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday (Night): Gigi's Special Touch

Kayla has NEVER been a baby I could ever see falling asleep mid playing or anything like that...except the last 2 Tuesdays while Gigi has been baby sitting.

I have gotten these two photos while at work.

Mid-undressing baby doll

One sandal on.
Honestly, when I get these photos, I smile and then I want SO badly to go home and cuddle with my sleepy baby.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day Weekend

So to preface this, I switched jobs from my outpatient clinic to the hospital part time.  Therefore, I work almost every Saturday.  I thought since Justin is such a pool/beach-type guy, he and Kayla might like to take swim classes on Saturdays while I am at work.  So this Saturday was their first swim class!

I don't have a picture because obviously it's hard for Justin to take a photo and be in the water with Kayla at the same time.  He said that they had fun, although it seemed like some of the other parents already knew each other and there wasn't really any interaction between kids/families (I was kinda hoping we might meet some friends).  He said Kayla was probably mid age range for the kids that were there, but she was by far the one most in love with the water.  Three or four kids apparently screamed the whole time.  He said she kicked and she drank some water and when he put her on the edge to jump in she kinda ran the other way (probably not out of fear, probably because she thought it was time to go.) :)  He said her lips were turning blue by the end of the 30 minutes and she was shivering so clearly, she was cold, but she just loves the water.  I'll get to go with them one Saturday in July so I'm really looking forward to that.  I'm sad I can't be part of this, but so excited Justin gets to share something with her!

When I got home from work, Kayla was taking her nap so Justin and I were discussing what we wanted to do when she woke up.  I told him for his big birthday present this year, I thought he would really like a grill, but thought he might want it earlier in the summer so we could get some good use out of it this summer.  I had a patient tell me about this place called ABT Electronics, so since we had already looked at Lowe's and he stopped at Home Depot with Kayla, we decided to check this place out.

The place is like heaven for electronically minded adults.  Like, Justin and I could go there to just hang out.  And the people that work there are SO knowledgable, helpful and nice!  Well, we ended up spending a little more on a grill and some supplies for Justin (Father's Day, 30th birthday and maybe part of our anniversary gift), but he really deserves it.  He works so hard without complaining about anything (including my current state of moodiness), and hardly ever gets anything in return.  I know how much he has wanted a grill and I can't wait to use it this weekend! :)

After purchasing his new grill, we found a little family kitchen type place to eat and then got Kayla home (as quickly as possible) to get her to bed.

On Sunday, we woke up and I made pancakes and cheesy eggs for breakfast.  Kayla got up a little earlier than normal and we eventually decided to go to the nearby children's museum I had heard so many good things about.  So we decided to put her down for a longer morning nap so we wouldn't have to worry about getting home in time for an afternoon nap.  It actually worked out quite well!

The Kohl Children's Museum is Glenview is AWESOME!  I think Justin may have liked it as much as Kayla did!

We started in the art area where we made Dada a Father's Day card (and tried to keep her from taking all the crayons out with her.)

Then we headed to the car area.  All the little boys seemed to be in here, but Kayla and I walked through the car wash and she took a little drive (no hands!) :)

Then we headed to the grocery shopping area.  Kayla wasn't too interested in shopping.  She wanted to take the items out of other kids carts, talk on the phone, and play on the cash register (computer) clearly.

 Oh she is also HUGE right now on screwing and unscrewing things, so she was VERY unhappy to learn these milk jugs tops didn't come off.

Then we headed to the Vet area, where an older girl was cleaning and tending to the wounds of the stuffed animals and was trying to teach Kayla about everything.  Kayla is such an observer she just quietly watched this little girl wrap up the dog who had his stomach "torn open."  (To which this girl's mom said, "Well that's violent!") :)

After that we spent some time blowing up balloons with buttons and pumping bars and popping balls into a bucket with buttons.  I'm not sure where we were when I took this but it's cute either way.  Kayla is also very big on "sit" (which sounds more like "dit.")

We headed to the play house where you could paint, which I tried to teach Kayla but she wasn't interested at all.

After that, we thought Kayla might like the music area where there were a bunch of ways to make music.  Kayla liked the drums, the xylophone, and the little steps she could climb to reach all the exhibits.

Then we decided it was probably time to get some lunch at the Cosi inside the museum (which is completely kid friendly with lower tables and a lower bar.)

After lunch we headed inside to the water area (see swim lesson story above to understand how much Kayla likes the water.)  They had little smocks you could put on your kid to keep them more clean in most of the areas, but Kayla loved splashing and I didn't really care if she got a little wet.

Kayla LOVED the balls, but was a little frustrated the current kept pulling them away from her.  So she just ran around trying to collect all the balls and then throwing them.  Which she followed with some (a lot) of splashing.

Unfortunately, she got a lot wet and I was worried she would get cold. So after the water works area, we headed outside to walk around.  This area would be great for kids who like texture and, you know, grass.  But, as we all know, Kayla does NOT like grass.  We checked out the webbed climbing things, the tunnel and the little maze with overgrown grass where I got a couple great pictures of my 2 favorite people.

Series of photos Justin and I couldn't cut down because it is this great series of Kayla trying to avoid the grass touching her as she walked down the walkways:)

We ended in the cityscape area, where Kayla enjoyed the peg board, the magnets, and the floating balls.  Then she found the computer and screamed (the only time in THREE HOURS we were there) when we tried to take her away.  So we thought it was time to go (after a quick stop in the baby nursery area where Kayla took all the diapers (a real cloth brand!) off the babies and tried to take the babies away from all the other little girls).

We may very well be getting a membership to this great kids museum!

Oh, did I mention what an AWESOME man I am married to?  He is the best Dada to our little girl.  I don't know if it was growing up with only a sister or what, but he has always been so great with my girl friends when we were in college, with my mom and my sisters and now with our daughter.  Part of me wants another little girl because I honestly can't imagine anyone as a better dad to daughters.  I love you very much Justin.  I cannot imagine my life without you.

Monday, June 11, 2012

How I really feel about pregnancy #2.

In my weekly pregnancy updates, I know that I have been putting off the "worries" portion of this little survey for a while now (well 27 weeks to be exact.)  Really, it's because I've become so emotional about the whole situation that I think it deserves it's own post.  Did you know there was such a thing as PRE-natal depression??  I don't generally think of myself as a depressed person, however something about pregnancy and new babies makes me a big pile of "the blues."

So I was slightly overwhelmed with getting pregnant the first time, but most of this was due to Kayla being a complete surprise, as you may recall.  This time around, we were actually trying.  Well, we didn't have to "try" for very long so I guess that was a bit of a surprise, but still, we were at least semi prepared.  No one tells you that even when you are trying, getting pregnant is a bit of a shock and comes with a whole slew of thoughts and emotions.  First, you look at the pregnancy test and think, Yes, I'm pregnant!  I'm so excited.  Shortly after, you think ALL of this (at least this is how it feels to me):

First, you think about pregnancy, labor, and actually having two kids instead of just one:

  • I have to go through 9-10 months of getting fat and all those annoying pregnancy symptoms again (for me, this was more about getting fat, when I never really felt I got back into shape to begin with, since I actually loved being pregnant with Kayla.)
  • If this baby is overdue too I think I might die.
  • Don't think for a second I forgot about the pain of labor.
  • This time, try being huge and hot through the summer while you are at it.
  • Remember all that post partum bleeding...oh yay!
  • There were all those breast feeding problems too (throwing up blood twice, the pain)
  • Don't forget the post partum depression, which when you have it one time, it becomes very scary that it will happen again.  And Lord knows you don't want to have all the regrets you had last time.
  • These kids are NOT going to sleep/nap at the same times.  I am never going to sleep.  Will Kayla still sleep through the night or is everything in her head going to be completely messed up?  Do you KNOW how long it took to get Kayla to sleep through the night??
  • Day care for 2 kids, can we even afford that?  Can we even afford 2 kids period?
To be honest, this first portion is the least of my worries and emotional concerns.  We will figure things out, just like we did the first time around.  I will do anything I have to for my family and my babies.

Then you think about how you are completely uprooting the life of this little person you love so much:

  • How is it even possible to love another human being as much as you love your first baby?
  • I am completely uprooting her life, will she still be my happy, smiley, social baby who is relatively easy and almost always enjoyable to be around?
  • Will she still know how much I love her, or will she think I love her less when BH2 comes?
  • She won't be my baby anymore.  This is all moving a little too fast for me.
  • I feel bad because I was such a wreck when she was little and I'm going to feel bad if I'm "better" with baby #2 than I was with her.

Then you think about how much less this new baby will get than your first baby:

  • I got to spend 8 months with Kayla without having to go back to work.  This is completely not feasible this time around and in fact I may need to go back to work even earlier than I would like.
  • BH2 will never get as much 1 on 1 time with either of us as Kayla got.
  • Will BH2 know how much I love him/her when I have to split my time between 2 babies?
  • Will I be able to breastfeed as long as I did with Kayla when I have to go back to work SO much earlier?  Can I even pump that much at work?
  • BH2 won't get to spend the quality time with family that Kayla got.

Not to mention how do you make time for the FIRST person you loved in your family, your amazing husband, who has been such an incredible dad and father and husband?  How do you show your appreciation and love to him?

Then, finally, you get to the selfish part and think, "How in the world am I going to find ANY time for myself and my goals and what I want to do?"  You know, things like actually feeling good about the way your body looks by eating better and working out, reading, finding friends and actually getting to see them, showering.

I know this post may be slightly depressing but I really needed to get it out.  And there's something I realized in talking to some friends about all of this:  ALL of these fears and worries are pretty much par for the course.  Not everyone may feel the emotional struggle as much as others, but the thoughts cross almost every pregnant-for-the-second-time moms mind.  So knowing all these worries I have, I made a few small goals to keep my mind on the positives and ways to actively make sure my family knows I love them.  Because, in my head, I know many of my worries and fears are pretty silly.  I mean, I'm the second child, so I really hope both my Mom and my older sister love me and have since the day I was born.  :)

I want to make sure I spend some time alone with Kayla, especially when BH2 is little and requires so much of my time and attention.  I want to make sure Justin gets to spend quality time with both kids too.  And I want to make sure that Justin and I get to spend time together without our kids.  It seems like a very simple solution to the major worries I have, but the more I keep telling myself how important it is to get quality time with my whole family, the better I feel and more capable I feel to get through this.

I also want to make some mommy friends this summer so I have a small network of support close to me who I can talk to after BH2 comes.  I want to make it a priority to get out of the house with both kids more than I did with Kayla when she was little so I feel like a normal human being who participates in society.  I want to not be afraid to ask for help or support from my family, who we moved here to be closer to.

I think of all the fears I mentioned about, my biggest is that Kayla will somehow feel less loved by me, and I absolutely refuse to let that happen.  I loved her more than I could imagine loving anyone the minute she was born and my love for her has only grown over the last 16 months.  I will not let her feel otherwise.

Friday, June 8, 2012

"In progress" and "To-do this summer" Goals

I'm trying to re-focus on some of my 101 list this week.  After reading through the list, I'm actually not so impressed with some of the ones I have on there so some goals may be changing, but for now here are the goals I am in the middle of completing or hope to complete this summer!

"In Progress" Goals:
#70: Read 10 books recommended to me by friends.

  • The Hunger Games
  • The Girl on Fire
  • Mocking Jay
  • Game of Thrones
Up next: 50 Shades of Grey. :)  Any other suggestions?

#89: Document each task completed on my blog (with photos as appropriate.)

#101: Back up all my photos and music.

"Summer To-Do List" Goals:
#7: Eat at 5 restaurants I've never been to.
      Hoping to make a list so I can focus this goal a little more.

#8: Don't complain about anything for a week.
      I want to do this one this summer since I know it will be extra hard being pregnant during the summer and I want to focus on the positive.

#10: Learn to cook 10 different dishes.

#13: Learn to sew (hems, holes buttons.)

#27: Make a list of 10 places to see before I die.

#42: Write done 100 things that make me happy.

#51: Go to a concert.

#52: Meet a new mommy friend.

#54: Take Kayla to the zoo.

#67: Plan weekly meals for 3 months.

#68: Make a list of friends to keep in touch with regularly.

#73: Visit a friend out of state.

#79: Shop at a farmer's market.

It may seem like a lot of goals to try to finish this summer but most of them should be relatively simple and not take a ton of time.  I think it will help me to narrow down the goals for shorter periods so instead of trying to remember and think of 101, I'm focusing on 10-15. :)

My First Book Signing

So, I found out last week that my favorite blogger/author/photographer/mom combo was going to be doing an impromptu book signing in Chicago, and it just happened to be at the Barnes & Noble 15 minutes from our house!

Many of you know how much I love Kelle Hampton's blog.  She's just a great writer, very honest but very positive at the same time.  And she incorporates her beautiful photos into her blog so perfectly.  When I finally got the chance to pick up her book, Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected, I was thrilled.  I read it in less than a week probably.  It was very funny and moving; very similar to her blog!

I was afraid I wouldn't be able to go since the signing was on Tuesday and I am now working 2 10 hour days at the hospital during the week (I'm not sure I've mentioned my job switch on the blog yet...) I work until 7 which is when the Q&A session was supposed to start, and I often can't finish all my notes exactly on time to leave at 7.  Well, my last patient had cancelled, and Justin convinced me that I should go.

I'm so glad I did.  I was running late obviously, but I caught the end of the Q&A.  It was nice to hear her talk about her experiences having a child with Down Syndrome, not just reading it.  Towards the end of the Q&A, a lady came up next to me and asked me how old Nella was (that is Kelle's daughter with Down Syndrome.)  I told her 2 years and 4 months and the only reason I knew was because my daughter shares a birthday with her.  Then she said to me, "You mean you have a daughter with Down Syndrome who was born on the same day?"  I said, "Well no she doesn't have DS, and she was born the same day but a year later."  Then she said, "Oh!  I just assumed everyone here had a child with Down's Syndrome.  I guess I was wrong."  It kinda seemed silly to me that she thought everyone would have a connection with Down Syndrome, but I guess it's not that silly.  But I think so many people love Kelle and her family and her blog because she makes it not JUST about Down Syndrome.  It's about all different struggles (and joys) of parenting.  I think I felt connected at first because I was going through the PPD at the time.

After the Q&A, I got in line to get my book signed.  I waited probably about 45 minutes or so, but that was ok.  I chatted with some ladies around me and got to experience a once in a lifetime opportunity.  I love Kelle, I kind of want to be her. :)

Feeling very pregnant and gross after 10 hours of work, but oh well!
Her husband and two daughters were also there so I got to chat with them for a bit too!  He was SO nice to everyone and the girls dealt with so many women oogling them so well!  Nella was clearly ready for bedtime but they were such good sports!