Monday, September 29, 2014

16 Weeks

 Backyard Belly, September 16, 15+0

September 25, 16+2

September 29, 16 weeks 6 days
What Fruit are you? Baby is the size of an avocado this week!  (Last week it was a navel orange).
Due date:  March 10, 2015 
How far along:  16 weeks + 6 days 
Gender:  PB is still team blue.  I'm leaning more toward team blue but I can't name a boy to save my life.  I'm sorry baby.  You have no name.  Mama's trying. Promise.
Total weight gain/loss:  Think I'm up about 5 pounds, though I haven't weighed in a few days.  Started about 143, now I'm at 148.something.
Stretch marks: No, but still using Palmer's stretch mark cream religiously.
Swelling: None.  Wedding rings still fit.
Maternity clothes: Embracing the maternity stuff. Wondering why all pants don't have elastic waists.
Belly button: Popping out! It's popped out a lot in the last week but it isn't so bad yet that you can see it through my shirts.  Soon though.
Sleep: As long as PB is in the guest room or I'm in the guest room or PB is at work, I sleep great.  Like sleep-so-deep-you-don't-remember-where-you-are-when-you-wake-up deep. 
Food cravings:  Candy! All the candy.  Especially the fruity kind I love.  Fountain sodas.  I'm sorry baby.  *Guzzles more diet Pepsi.*
Symptoms:  No more headaches, knock on wood, but the dreaded pregnancy sciatica started rearing its ugly head yesterday.  Thankfully it seems calmer today (I guess because I've been sitting more at work than I was at home yesterday).  I know we aren't in the clear yet though.
Movement: I've only had 2 episodes of definite movement.  I had a bunch of movement right at 15 weeks but then nothing since then except one tiny little flutter.  This is a quiet baby!
What I miss:  Not a lot right now!
What I’m loving:  Ira is saying "truck" constantly.  But the "tr" sounds like an F.  No wait, it doesn't sound like it, it IS an "f" sound.  So when you ask him what daddy does and he says "Truck! Woowoowoowoo [siren noises]" it's pretty amazing.
What I’m looking forward to:  I NEED to find out.  Boy or girl.  Right this minute. (Not changing this answer from last week.  Still on my mind.  Can't even think about names til I know.  Have to know.)
Best moment this week: Nana has been in the hospital this week, so I won't lie, things have been a bit rough.  Ira misses Nana, I miss Nana, we all miss Nana taking care of us and I'm not even that good at taking care of me and Ira and PB so I feel like I can't do much for her.  But despite that, things have been okay.  She got out of the hospital after a week and is home now.  We went to see her the other day and Ira had a great time seeing the cows with Pa-Pa.  
[Insert obligatory weekly photo dump here]:

"Come, cows.  Treat, cows.  Moo, cows!"

Seeing Nana in the hospital.  Ira hearts Nana.

Ira also hearts Pa-Pa and nearly passed out while having his little hairless head rubbed.

Ira likes to put "face make" on Peggy while I get ready.  Peggy is amazingly tolerant of this.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

13/14 Weeks

Never let it be said that I only showed you my "highlight reel" and not the grungy, scary reality, because here it is folks.  13 weeks after a long day in the sketchy work bathroom.  

Perhaps we should start with the differences between baby 1 and baby 2.  Baby 1 - you get weekly updates complete with every burp, toot, and doctor's appointment.  Baby 2 - you maybe get one update a trimester (I'm sorry baby 2, I'm trying for you) and you barely remember your doctor's appointment because Baby 1 thought that either a) he was going to get a shot while you were there or b) they were going to kill mama and cart her away, never to be seen again.  So there was a lot of screaming and crying, despite PB's best efforts at distraction via fruit snacks.  

But now that we are past the "you don't really look pregnant, just maybe like you drank a lot of beer and ate a lot of pizza" stage, I'll try to be better about updating.  And remembering.  And not ignoring you, baby 2.  We do love you so! 

What Fruit are you? Baby is the size of a peach this week! Too bad my belly is MUCH LARGER than the size of a peach.
Due date:  March 10, 2015 
How far along:  14 weeks
Gender:  PB swears it's another boy because most of my symptoms have been extremely similar.  Me? I'm still leaning girl...but I'm much less convinced.  I don't know! I'd like another boy, honestly, but we will see on October 10!
Total weight gain/loss:  I've kind of yo-yoed in the past week but as of today, I'm up about 1.5 pounds from pre-pregnancy weight.
Stretch marks: No, but the belly has started itching from time to time so I busted out the Bio Oil and Palmer's Stretch Mark Cream.
Swelling: None.
Maternity clothes: Ohhhh are we ever in maternity.  I can still slide into non-maternity shirts but it just looks really weird and like I'm a big fatty so I prefer to wear the tighter maternity stuff at this point.  
Belly button: In for now.
Sleep: I've been passing out on the couch by 9pm.  It's really cut into my tv habit! So don't tell me what happened on the end of Big Brother last episode because I still haven't found time to watch it after I passed out during our initial viewing.
Food cravings:  Those have calmed down a lot.  I still want subs occasionally...and now that I'm in a fall mood I've been buying pumpkin everything (but I do that when I'm not pregnant so I don't know that that's a craving).
Symptoms:  The headaches have been killer in the past couple weeks.  I haven't gotten more than 4 or 5 but when I have them, they're terrible.
Movement: I haven't felt much of anything yet, but maaaaaybe a few flutters I could classify as movement? It's starting to be uncomfortable to lie on my belly at this point because I can definitely tell there's a baby in there.
What I miss:  I would love to have a Harvest Pumpkin Ale, especially since teachers eat free at the wing place on Tuesday nights and that would go SO well with some spicy wings!
What I’m loving:  That my job is a bit lower stress this year.  I don't go home every day feeling like I want to run away.  
What I’m looking forward to:  I NEED to find out.  Boy or girl.  Right this minute.
Best moment this week: Taking Ira to the fair! He loved the pumpkin funnel cake, the fried fish, the spinning pirate ship ride, the train (until it broke down), and all the animals.  He especially liked the "puppies" (large goats in the petting zoo).

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Some news...

We are pregnant again!  Yep, Ira is going to be a big brother to a new little person due March 10, 2015.  Last time, I was due March 5 so the little folks will be almost exactly 2 years apart.  We were going to wait and try to have kiddos 3 years apart, but PB and I sort of decided all of a sudden that we both felt like 3 years is too long to wait.  We want them to be buddies (even though I know they'll give each other a few black eyes over the course of things).  Two years just seemed like a better time, so a few weeks later we found out we were having another little friend!  I'm seven weeks as of yesterday and haven't been to the OB yet, but I figure now is as good a time as any to start weekly pregnancy updates.  I so loved having these with Ira! 
What Fruit are you? Oh, the fun fruit question.  This week, baby is a blueberry!
Due date:  March 10, 2015 (Ira was due March 5 but I went into labor at 39 weeks and he was born February 27, so I'll be interested to see what happens this time around!)
How far along:  7 weeks
Gender:  No ideas at this point! 
Total weight gain/loss:  I've lost about a pound (though I'm still up 10 pound from my prepregnancy weight with Ira...such is life).
Stretch marks: No, and hoping I can avoid them again. Fingers crossed!
Swelling: None.
Maternity clothes: I'm not showing at all yet (just have residual baby weight from last time) so everything pretty much still fits.
Belly button: In for now.
Sleep: I've been having crazy dreams about twins and having babies in a sailboat and all manner of insanity.  And when I'm not dreaming, I can't sleep!
Food cravings:  The other day I had to go immediately to Jimmy John's for an Italian Nightclub sub and it was amazing.  And I'm already thinking about another one. Other than that, I've been eating a lot of fruit, just like last time.  Also I made PB go get me a witch doctor from What-a-Burger the other day, which I haven't had in years!
Symptoms:  I've been slightly more nauseous this time than last, and I find I wake up feeling a little gross but I get better as soon as I get some food.  I need to eat every few hours but otherwise I'm doing ok!  I've also been really tired, which I think is exacerbated by chasing a crazy toddler.
Movement: To be honest, I've been feeling some little strange flutters here and there.  But then I convince myself it's just gas and move along.
What I miss:  I do miss a nice cold beer every now and again.  And not feeling gross and exhausted!
What I’m loving:  Being home with Ira this summer! We have been to the beach, the lake, the splash pad, toddler story time at the library, and the park.  I absolutely love this age - he's so much fun to play with.
What I’m looking forward to:  Our first appointment next Thursday to hopefully see this peanut!
Best moment this week: Taking Ira to the park and watching him climb on the equipment and slide all by himself! 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Can't believe I have a one-year-old

I had such major birthday anxiety, and I blame Pinterest, and maybe the moms group  board on Facebook that I’m in – so many banners, themes, custom outfits, and all manner of other things that give me anxiety.  I did not inherit the crafty gene.  Or the pre-planning gene. Or the organized gene.

So in true Ira’s-mama fashion, I threw us together a birthday party in about an hour on a Sunday morning.  I picked up chicken from Mr. C’s a delicious cake from Harris Teeter (and a smash cake, so it could be a true one-year-old birthday party).  Nana made green beans and potato salad and we called it a day.
At first you were a little skeptical about what to do with the smash cake, but then you dove in full force and just put your whole head down in the cake.  At one point I’m pretty sure you were trying to nurse the cake. Awesome.

You were so exhausted after that and you were absolutely covered in blue icing.  I’m talking blue icing in your hair, blue icing in your ears, blue icing in your shoes.  It required a major bath while all the guests were still there because it was pretty rough. 

Pam, Jessica, Tim, Blakely, and all of your grandparents, plus Nana and Pa-pa came.  It was fantastic!
I think everyone thought a magic switch would flip when you turned one and you would automatically start walking on your own, but that didn’t happen, and I’m perfectly okay with that.  I think I could say that you were *capable* of walking at that point, but it definitely didn’t happen spontaneously as a means of transportation until probably April 8 or so (so a little after you turned 13 months old).

You also started sleeping through the night with *some* amount of consistency about two weeks after you turned one.  You’ve all but stopped nursing, which makes me sad, but I know it’s what has to happen.  My goal was always one year plus however long you wanted to go beyond that, so I guess I can say we made our goal.  It doesn’t make it any easier when I offer and you stick your paci back in and roll over to go to sleep though!  I can convince you to nurse but it’s hit and miss.  

 You still let me wear you, but you prefer to be on my back.  It's fun until you start pulling my hair (I think in an attempt to get me to go faster.)

 You'll still fall asleep on me...and it's still the sweetest thing ever.

The climbing.  Lord help us all, the climbing. You're a mountain goat.

You love your Chillafish quadie bike.  And you're so darn adorable on that thing.

What you love more than that is snacks.  Snacks snacks snacks.  You require me to pack snacks like we are going on a three day camping adventure to go on a three mile walk.  

You also (after months of ignoring stuffed animals) have taken a new interest in Frank.

Every age you've gotten to has been my new favorite, but I swear this one really is.  You're a mess and you're into everything, but it's also so much fun to watch you navigate new situations, laugh at things you think are funny, and try to say new words.  You have quite a few these days - Nana, Dada, Mama, Baba (which is what you call Poppa), cheese, yeah, boo, boom (which you use when you wrestle on the bed pillows with someone), out, up, and Sue.  We love you so much, little friend!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

11 months - a letter to my buddy

Buddy, you're getting awfully, awfully close to a year old.  I could cry thinking about it.

We've had a lot of changes around here lately, the biggest one being that we bought a new house!

For now, we still live in our happy little two bedroom brick house.  The one with the big side yard, the owl decals over your crib, the one where we brought you home from the hospital and sat your little orange car seat down in the living room.  I can promise you that I'm going to cry big, ugly buckets of tears when we have to take down the owl decals in your nursery.  Even though you won't remember this house, I will remember all those baby snuggles and sleepless nights that we had here.

But you're getting bigger, and we could use more space, and we finally found a place that's perfect for us.  It's in a super wonderful neighborhood, it's a short walk to the greenway and the park, it backs up to acres and acres of woods, and it has so much room.  Right now, your daddy is working night and day to get it remodeled and we've only had the deed for two weeks.  It's a come a long way!  No more paneling, closed off pocket doors, 1960s cabinets and countertops, or gross smelly carpet.

Let's get back to our usual check-ins though -
Height: 29.5 (I think? I haven't taken you for a check up in almost 6 months now!)
Weight: Right around 20 pounds - you just keep getting taller and skinnier
Clothes - You're so skinny that you can usually wear 12 month pants, and you can wear a few 12 month shirts...but your overall height means that one piece anything usually has to be 18 months.

You have 5 teeth - the front two on the bottom and top, and one to the left of your top front tooth.  The other one is so, so close and you've been slobbering like crazy every day to try to get it out, but it hasn't officially appeared yet.

I don't think I would say you actually *crawl* as most people would define it - but you finally got mobile!  You put one knee on the ground but pull the other one up and scoot forward with your front foot on the ground.  It's the funniest thing I've ever seen, but you're fast.  Particularly when you think you can make a break for the dog food bowl.

You know how to clap and will do it if I ask you or if you see other people doing it.  You also really like to play with your play house toy that plays music, and you'll clap along to it.  The ABC song is your special favorite.

You hate sleeping.  Hate it.  Only want to do it if you can lie right beside your mama.  We sleep perhaps 2 hours at a time most nights.  It's pretty rough, buddy.  People always say "Oh you should have another!" and my response is always "When this one still doesn't sleep?! Ever?!"  You also hate the car seat, and if you have to ride in it alone, I hear loud screaming and crying and complaining.  I finally figured out last week that I could rig up the iPad with an episode of Sesame Street and that will keep you happy about 85% of the time.  Thank you, Lord!

You took your very first steps all by yourself on February 1, when we went to the fire department banquet.  Sitting still and listening to the mayor talk about the budget while you listening quietly was so not happening.  So you and I walked around in the foyer near the bathrooms, and there was a huge mirrored wall.  You absolutely LOVED looking at that handsome baby in the mirror, and I got two real steps out of you, no holding on involved.

Of course since then, it hasn't happened again.  You took a pretty nasty spill a few days after that where you fell straight backwards and hit your head on the wood transition in our kitchen.  It scared you (and the rest of us) half to death, so I think you've been slightly more cautious.  But you will still stand on your own, especially if you don't realize you're doing it, like if you're clapping to music, or if you have a toy in your hand that you're really loving.

You still take food in spurts - some days I will give you something and you can't get enough of it, and you can't eat it fast enough.  If I offer the same thing a few days later though, you look at me like I'm crazy for ever even considering that you might eat such horrifying nonsense!  I can always get you to eat goldfish crackers, baby cheetos, and usually Ritz crackers.  Everything else is hit and miss.  You do love Nana's spaghetti sauce though, and chili is another particular favorite.

You have a little plastic bus that you straddle that you do a pretty good job of riding around the living room, although someone has to help you get on and off of it.  You can walk behind a walker even if you aren't 100% wonderful at steering it around the furniture.

You say mama, dada, Ira, and nana with a lot of frequency, but that's about it.  You make a lot of other noises and babble a lot.  You like to crow and laugh.

We love you so much!

You took your first steps by yourself at the fire department banquet on February 2, 2014.  We ended up out in the lobby because all you wanted to do was make crowing noises during the mayor's speech (which I did too, if I'm being honest...snore).  They had big, full-wall mirrors by the bathroom and that cute baby in the mirror was enough incentive to get you to let go of me and take a few steps on your own! You have to be majorly tricked into doing it at this point though - there is no choosing to walk on your own at all.  

You still love walks and will tolerate a very long one in any stroller we have.  I think you like to be nosy about what's going on in the neighborhood.

Oh, and this picture.  This picture reminds me of the terrible night we had the stomach bug.  The dreaded, dreaded stomach bug that had you and me both up all night throwing up while Daddy was comfortably asleep at the fire department.  Me and Brenda do not ever want to revisit that night.

You love cats.  Most cats do not love you.  Brad and Kim's cat, Chevy, is the only one who will get near you.  You are very pleased about this.

The swing at Myers Park is still a big time favorite.  Produces lots of squealing.

And while you were 11 months old, snOMG 2014 happened!  We had about 5 inches of snow and no school for three glorious days.  You and the weenie girls just wanted to be outside playing in it all day long.

You love snow.  Even if you won't wear gloves and make me look like a bad mama.  Gloves make you very angry.

Peggy is also the snow's biggest fan.

And Brenda.  You enjoyed watching a lot of  epic weenie battles.

We tested out the wagon in the is not a snow vehicle.  That was tough on your mama.  But then you didn't want to come inside.

So I strapped on my boots and a big sweatshirt and did some babywearing.  That was a crowd pleaser.

Racecar carts at the grocery store: one of your new favorite things.

Babywearing: still one of your favorite things.

Playing drums on the air filter cover - another favorite.

As is chewing on packaging.

And observing kitties at Kitty City.

This face kills me! 

So does this one.


I still love taking you to restaurants and watching you shove food into the giant piehole.

And oh, the wonder of Discovery Place Kids.  We had so much fun! You thought it was the most glorious place you'd ever been.

I really want to find some of these shape blocks.  They're another favorite.


So much exploring.

Including an actual firetruck.

And a water table!

And a big squishy flower garden!

11 months old is lots and lots of fun.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

How to make a Stroller Snuggle Sack

Ira has a thing for stroller walks - like a really big thing.  He hates being cooped up inside, and he will beg to go over to the front door and at least look out.  If you get the stroller out, he starts breathing fast and waving his arms like a Jack Russell terrier who just ate 15 pixie sticks. 

But with the weather getting cold, it's getting hard to take him out as often as he wants to go.  Because if there's one thing Ira hates, it's mittens.  And also being cold.  So we have a Catch-22 - the mittens and the hat and the clothes make him nuts, but he wants to go outside, and he hates being cold.  We usually wrap a blanket around him, but then he kicks it down in all of his excitement and you're rolling it through sidewalk smut or running over it and almost dumping Ira out into the street.

I saw a pin on Pinterest for a stroller blanket, but it just linked to a website where you could buy them, which was sold out.  But I started thinking...come on, how hard could it be?  It's just fleece!  Every 12 year old girl in the world can make a knotted fleece blanket - why can't we make a stroller snuggle sack out of fleece?  After searching high and low on the interwebs, we couldn't find a pattern or a how-to page, just some pictures of things that weren't quite what we wanted.  So I bring the great how-to-make-a-stroller-blanket tutorial, courtesy of my mom's excellent execution.

First, I highly recommend picking a fleece that doesn't have an "up side" and a "down side". I love the skulls and they face both ways so we didn't need to worry about which way was up!

You're going to be making a sort of sleeping bag for your stroller that is seen halfway up so that little toes don't kick off blankets and get cold.

Fold your fabric in half so that it's still long but half as wide - "hot dog style" as I would tell my 6th graders. Then, turn it inside out and

sew the edges together so that you're hiding the "wrong side." 

You will end up with a nice edge like this one. Thanks for your sewing and modeling skills, Mimi!

Now you need to sew a box around the top so that your stroller snuggie will stay on the back of the stroller seat. Put your fabric on the chair and leave 4-5 inches or so hanging over the back.

Then you just sew one line on each side of you snuggie so that it fits over the back of your seat, sort of looking like the closed end of a pillowcase.

Leave your snuggle sack on the stroller and fold the bottom part up to where you'd like the top of the blanket to hit.  I recommend leaving enough room so that it can be snapped up higher when your baby is taller, but still leaving enough length in the foot part so that he can use it when his legs are longer too.

We folded ours up and then sewed up to about ten inches from the bottom, so that the sewn part is just over the legs. We then attached snaps on the upper part to make it easier to get baby in and out, or leave it unsnapped and just have a lap blanket for warmer days. 

Finally, make sure your snuggle sack is snugly over the stroller seat just like you want it, feel for your stroller straps, and cut holes for them. 

Then either use your sewing machine to zig zag around the holes for reinforcement, or hand sew around them.

Then put baby in your stroller and get your tail out there in the cold!