Thursday, October 27, 2011

Redeeming the time...

I'm 37 weeks as of yesterday and October is almost over! I just knew September & October would fly by but I couldn't have expected it to pass this quickly.

Normally I'm not one of those DIY people who prides themselves on all that they accomplish, although in actuality I wish I was a bit more that way.  However, call it nesting or call it just getting down to business, Greg & I have been busy getting things ready in our home for baby #2, even if it still sort of resembles a train wreck around here.  (The problem is getting things out & then putting them away, it seems. A good lesson for all of us in this family!!)  Lately we've been very DIY-y around here, much thanks to...

My brother & sister-in-law who graciously took Mia off our hands on Saturday and to the zoo. She had SO much fun and the pictures they took with her were incredibly precious. Greg & I were so appreciative of the time they spent with her and how they made her feel special. She is so blessed to have local aunts & uncles who take an interest in her. Here's some of the fun they had!




Ranger Mia


Her new giraffe - she requested Allison take her picture & show her!


Looks like she had a pretty stinkin' good time.  Allison said she sang the whole way home -- not in the least surprised!


While they were busy exploring the zoo, Greg & I had a quick Starbucks date, ran by Home Depot, and then hurried home to work on hanging curtains in 2 rooms, setting up the crib bedding (again) and framing some new artwork that had just arrived.
The curtains that we put up in the bambino's room were from Ikea and as such, were "no-sew" hemming, meaning I had to iron on adhesive at the hem where I wanted it to fall, and then cut it off. Having never done such a thing before I was very nervous I'd mess it up, so I probably spent about 50% longer on that project than was really required, but they turned out pretty well!

New curtains with tie-backs

Arbor artwork from art.com, frames from Ikea

New Anthropologie knobs on dresser/changing table

artwork as it is hung

Greg meanwhile hung up a double curtain rod in our room so we could hang some gauzy, airy, almost sheer and off-white curtains that will be the base of another set of curtains (to eventually be selected and purchased).  We have sliding glass doors off of our master bedroom, and with it come those pretty much unattractive vertical blinds, and the gauzy curtains soften up the look of the room quite a bit, while adding a touch of privacy.  Sorry, no pictures of that yet!

Since then, most of my time has been spent trying to enjoy these last days with Mia before everything changes again.
Last Friday, after my 36 week dr's appointment, we spent the morning with Miss Ashley & Amelia, Mia's little buddy. We completed a fall art project that included finger painting paper, stenciling out leaves, and creating a fall wreath.  Mia had a blast painting and running around with Amelia, and as always I loved spending time with Ashley. She is such a warm hostess and makes amazing cider!








Other than that, we've spent much more time outside as the weather has been beautiful...a slight breeze and sun, and Mia & I have taken our fair share of excursions outside of the house.
One morning to Wiregrass, another morning to the library, a stop at Walgreens (oh so fun), and yesterday, we redeemed a Groupon at a local German restaurant! Not your typical lunchtime destination for a mom & a 2 year old, but it was quite an experience and totally worth repeating.  I'm trying to make these days memorable ... not only for myself but also for Mia.  I hope she doesn't get cabin fever after the baby is born but there will only be so much that can be done initially. And since I'm all sentimental I've been snapping as many pictures as possible!

Train ride at Wiregrass - Ticket: $3


Sharing a lemonade from pretzel stand: $1.69



Lunch at Mr. Dunderbak's with Mommy: $10 (for Groupon) + $4 for tip
they have excellent homemade "pommel frites"

hopefully the only picture of Mia at a bar you'll ever see! ;)


 Enjoying a snack & my chai frap at Starbucks: $5.97


Running through the   "fields" of our front yard and picking "flowers": priceless
Greg would probably like everyone to know that on the day this picture was taken,
the yard was later mowed.
We do not live in the wilderness :D

I'm thankful we've come this far and have all the mixed emotions that come with being so close to the end.  I have my 37 week appointment tomorrow where all the normal stuff will be done plus another biophysical profile and a growth scan.  The bambino's looked pretty good thus far, and despite my fundal measurements not vastly increasing at this point, the amniotic fluid levels look good, which mean his growth is less likely in jeopardy.

If there was ever anything to complain about (and I shouldn't, because it could ALWAYS be ten times worse), it's that I've switched to Heparin now instead of Lovenox, which means I have to give myself injections twice daily now.  And since the syringes don't hold the full vial of Heparin, it means I actually have to give myself 2 injections, twice daily.  Yep, that's right, you did the math correctly: 4 injections. Aren't I lucky? I'll be put back on Lovenox for 6 weeks after the baby is born, so in a way, I'd actually prefer to deliver earlier than later if it means only one shot a day.  We'll see what happens though.  Everything else is pretty stinkin' good.

Enjoying this time while it lasts!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Crazy Life

The days are whizzing by are they not?  It's late in the afternoon and I'm finally sitting in a sunny family room, with my legs propped up and the fan whirring above me.  Even though it's cool outside for Tampa, I got a little hot this afternoon in my SuperNanny attempts to keep Mia in her big girl bed for naptime.  It worked but I also worked up a little sweat in doing so.

So much has changed since Monday and Tuesday, when we set up Mia's room.  Her room is her room. She's thankfully very proud of her new room and isn't much interested in the old room.  I must admit it feels weird to walk into this old guest room and see it all set up for a little girl.  We're still figuring out how things should be set up and where some things might go, but as of now, almost all her belongings, clothes and shoes are in this room.  She doesn't even want her diaper changed on the changing table in the nursery anymore. "On the bed, Mommy," she told me earlier today.

We walked by the crib this morning when we were getting something from the closet and she pointed to the crib and said, "baby brother sleep in crib."  There had/has been anxiety about all these transitions; how will she handle it, what will we do, who will hit their breaking point first? (quick answer: usually me!), but thus far we've been okay! I attribute that much more to others' prayers and my requests for wisdom from God & more experienced parents more than anything else.  I'm really still such a newbie in all these transition times.

In terms of Mia's actual sleeping in her bed, she's done quite well at night the last two nights.  Naptimes always prove a tad more difficult either because a) it's mommy and not daddy, b) it's not dark outside, c) I've become lax in some of my handlings because I'm "tired and pregnant" (not always a good excuse, my friends)! or d), some combo of all of the above.  Yesterday she finally did nap, but didn't go down in a way I'd really like to replicate daily.  Today, we did the Super Nanny method (keep returning the child to the bed) and it eventually worked out.  I'm hoping we're on the start of something positive.  She will play in her bed for quite a while and be quiet (nice!) but then start to get up (not so nice).  Sleepy/Quiet-time needs to last more than 30-40 minutes, in my opinion.  

Mia's first night in her big-girl bed
"Playing" at nap time

Reading books to herself at naptime
We've had a great day overall.  The weather is cooling down and we took a walk through our neighborhood and then spent an hour at the park this morning. I noticed she was much more tolerable today at home than she has been otherwise...I think the lack of sleep from skipping naps and feeling cooped up in the house had been getting to her.  Today after lunch she entertained herself while still keeping a close distance to mommy.


Getting ready for the walk! Down with cabin fever





girl gon' love her swing!


Coloring while I scan some documents


Asleep today after a modified SuperNanny session

Beyond that, we're just heading into another weekend. As always--there is still more prep work to be done before bambino arrives but thankfully the list is a lot shorter than it was a week ago!  I have my 36 wk appt tomorrow (awfully bright and early I might add!) and some plans with some friends after that.  
Mia has an adventure planned with Uncle Luke & Aunt Allison on Saturday and I know she'll be jazzed about hanging out with them. I'm so thankful they offered to take her for an outing; it'll be good for her to spend time with them and for us to get some more things done around the house or just spend time together.  

This is my latest belly shot, pictured below with my friend Jenny, taken at church.  Currently at our congregation, there are at least 6 women who are pregnant between now and early April.  Crazy!  Thus far, 4 out of the 6 pregnancies, the moms are carrying boys.  And two other boys were just recently born in September.  ¡Increíble!  It's going to be a crazy nursery class pretty soon.  I'm so thankful for these friends though...it is a major blessing to be going through pregnancy and early childhood development with some good women.  I did not know this until after I had Mia and now I will not take it for granted!

pregnancy buddy at church -
JB: 27 weeks
MEC: 36 weeks

I'm documenting this all now because shortly so much will change and before I know it, 2011 will almost be over.  Blogging seems silly at times, especially when the blogs are lengthy, or uncharacteristically short, but for me, it is nice to be able to look back and see what was going on a couple of years ago.  Things change. People change. iPhones change.  But I don't want my memories to fade! Being verbal is my form of expression so I'll continue to let it out while I still have a voice! ;)


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ch-ch-ch-changes!

Cue David Bowie.

And cue a movement.

At least for now, we're celebrating one tiny step in Mia-kind.  The "transition" to the big girl bed.  We know full well it could backfire on us later tonight, or sometime tomorrow, and while I'd be discouraged I believe I'd understand.  Little kids can only do and fight through so much before they just need some comfort.

But today we got much more done in Mia's room and made it more like her own and tonight, after a little while of waffling and getting up, Mia laid down in her bed and fell asleep!


SO proud ;)

After Greg painted the room over the weekend, it was time to set up the furniture that had been awkwardly huddled in the middle of the room.  Greg and I started set up the basic bones of the room while Mia looked on (and eagerly tried to help) and after she went down to sleep (in the nursery) we came back to review the progress. 

Furniture huddled in room / a peek at the paint color
(and where the chair rail will go)
 It still felt a little cold and I was worried it wouldn't warm up.

walking into the room

my old desk! (and greg's old sunrise alarm clock)

view from the desk/closet corner

However later today, Mia and I started to move things from the nursery that were clearly "hers" that will stay with her into this room and it immediately started to warm up.  I put some artwork on the wall -- conveniently there were still some holes in the wall from the former artwork that was hung there, and started adorning the shelves on the desk, as well as decorating the nightstand & dresser.  It's still not yet finished, but it looks a lot more FUN and childish than it did before.  The quilt at the end of the bed isn't even the original quilt I have in mind for the room's theme (it's in the laundry), but it still adds a necessary pop of color to a green room.



playing on her new bed
(not pictured: the bed rail installed after this picture)


I had to run out after dinner to pick something up and Greg started the bath and bedtime routine with Mia while I was gone, and when I opened the door when I got home, I could hear Mia excitedly shouting at me, "I in Mia's bed, Mommy!"

It took a little cajoling and soothing but after some encouragement Mia fell asleep in her bed.  These changes aren't just big for her -- they are big for us too.  It feels crazy to see my little girl sleeping in such a huge bed all by herself.  She seemed a little scared sitting in her bed in the dark when I walked in at one point to help her get settled, and I felt so bad for her. It made me realize even though she's a "big girl" just how tiny she still is.  She's just two.  I don't want to force her to grow up but I do want to encourage her to enjoy her new room, new bed and these new milestones.  So even if she gets up in the night or toddles into our room at an early hour ... we will recognize this very BIG achievement of falling asleep in the new bed.

And now, I must find cute ways to adorn bambino's room.  It looks SO bare with all of Mia's accessories gone.  Hopefully when the artwork arrives it'll help.  But poor guy is about to move into a modern minimalist room...for now!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Freezer Meal Suggestions?

I'm now polling you, my dear but small group of readers, to see what you suggest for meals that can be frozen.  I want to make some batches of meals I can easily thaw for the days after the baby is born when there's just no way I can make dinner.

Here's what I'm currently thinking might work:

  • Cheeseslave's Lentil Soup
  • Nourishing Gourmet Chicken Quinoa Stew
  • White Chili (minus the creams--to be added in later)
  • any beef stew
  • Chicken & Cheese Enchiladas? (Just trying to figure out how to make real enchilada sauce without funky additives--suggestions welcome)
That's my running start.  Now it's up to you! What have you put in the freezer that still tastes pretty good when it comes back out??


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Friday Fun ... and a full week

It's been a crazy week; can I get a witness?  Greg drove my childhood bedroom furniture down from Indiana last weekend and it's been sitting in our previous "guest suite" this week while we figure out paint colors & art work and designs and all that fun jazz.

Here is the guest room as it was "full":
Loved it while it lasted

Now it's not:
Bare & being prepped for la Chiquita

I had a doctor's appointment on Wednesday and all went well...even if my doctor sort of conveniently freaked me out by thinking we don't have much time left for this baby to cook.  I know I could sit at my current level of "progress" for weeks so I need not hype myself up, but this weekend, Greg's painting, I'm organizing clothes (hand me downs & other such things) and trying to get a grip on our house before it throws up on itself.  Or should I say, it already is.

So last night as a quick, easy and relatively cheap diversion, we went to the FCA Fall Festival and had a good time.  Cheap tickets, lots of little activities for young's, and several familiar faces.

Hayride - Mia's not sure what to think!

It sort of looks like "fall," right?  Pretend I'm not wearing shorts.  I mean, pretend I'm wearing pants & a hoodie instead.  We'll get our "fall time"...eventually!


Yesterday, Mia and I "blazed" (as much as one can blaze) through Ikea and picked up a few odds & ends and stopped by Anthropologie to pick up these cute drawer pulls.  Since she's moving out of the nursery, we need to de-girlify the room a little bit so her former Anthro knobs will be replaced by these guys.  Greg says we should eBay her old knobs but I'm not ready to let go of them just yet.  

purchased in blue & green
previously adorning the dresser in red & orange


I also ordered some artwork for the kids' room walls; hopefully I didn't make a huge mistake and if so I am instilling faith in an easy returns process.  I wish I could have everything set up STAT but it takes paint a while to dry, artwork a while to ship, and more than just a pregnant lady to hang curtains.  If I could multi-task in my sleep, I would.

This is very vintage-y but I could not pass up this little gem for the Bambino's room!


And besides that, I need to be getting ready for childbearing.  My chiropractor thinks I've dropped, and I sort of do too.  Baby's in a good position (head-down) and I hope he stays that way, so I'm trying to keep him as engaged as possible.  Squats, pelvic rocks, upright seating?  Here we go!

Speaking of the bambino, I think we have narrowed down our list of names to 2.  Mia can say both names but when we ask her which she likes better, there seems to be a clear winner.  Interesting.  It has been our stronghold name all along, but obviously the reason we're still so torn is because we really like both, regardless.  

In time, in time.  

That's it for now.  I'm going to go pick up dinner for now.  It's been one of those Saturdays and Mia is still asleep after a whole week of not napping since Monday so time is of the essence.

This is seriously how she fell asleep today.
I had to contain myself from busting out laughing when Greg fixed her blanket so she'd be able to breathe.


Peace...from the Southeast.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Feeling the change

You'll have to excuse me if the next several posts are baby-related.  It's just where I am, and it's hard almost to think about anything else.  Getting ready for a baby is just one of the most life-changing things.  All these moments of preparation leading up to his arrival and the one day he's here, and you never go back to that side of life pre-baby again.  You just keep moving on.  Almost every day with Mia now I look at her and realize soon she won't be the only one.  There'll be one more.  I put her to bed tonight (usually Greg does but he was gone) and as I held her in the dark quiet room, I realized soon she won't be the only little person for whom I do this.  I also realized...I won't be sleeping quite as much anymore but let's not talk about that.  That's one aspect of new parenthood that can be quite hard to overcome but I think knowing it's coming and that I can cope (and that it "doesn't last forever") will help during the exhausting stages/phases.
I'm excited, I'm anxious, I'm overwhelmed (there's still so much to do!!).  And I might partially be in denial.

I had my 34 week appointment earlier in the week with a new-to-us doctor.  So far I'd met 5 out of the 8 doctors that deliver in my OB/GYN group and on Tuesday, we met the 6th.  We first had an appointment in sonography for another growth scan.  Little guy's looking good and is still on track.  I was a little anxious when they said his percentile had gone down a bit, but when we met with the doctor and they said they only really get concerned when the percentile is below the tenth, I really eased up.  (He's in the middle third of the bell curve, for what its worth.)
Back to the doctor, though...from all outside appearances, and by the amount of time we had spent waiting to see this doctor in the waiting room, Greg & I had lost hope of much of an exciting appointment.  Whether we want to admit it or not (and now I'll go on and admit it!), we make judgments based on appearances and this doctor was old, wiry-looking, and have a few funny mannerisms.  I didn't think he'd be very friendly.

However, he shook my hand, sat down, acknowledged this was our first meeting, greeted Greg, and then for the next 20-30 minutes, sort of explained how their practice works, made comparisons between now and 30 years ago (yeah, I guess he's been around that long!), explained what they do now for people of my situation, and what we could expect.  He really laid out the big picture for us, which I sort of had been missing the whole time, including things like why I have not seen a midwife for this pregnancy when they have midwives in the group (my risk level cancels me out from seeing them), and who I'll see on call, and how they figure out what the plan is for peeps like me and what all the additional monitorings really mean.  He was also warmly funny, making jokes about different things here and there and including Greg.
We left feeling very at ease and like he completely erased our preconceptions and as if it'd totally be okay if he delivered our baby when the time comes.

So, the plan is, weekly biophysical profiles until I deliver, and another growth scan in 4 weeks.  I was pleasantly surprised when he said they'd induce at 41 weeks, because I just assumed because of my Lovenox status they'd want to induce earlier, which would not be my preference unless medically indicated.  I'm hopeful and expectant and confident that God will send this baby down at the right time when he needs to come, and while he may not be 3 days early like Mia was, I trust God's timing.

I want to write more, but this is getting lengthy and there are a million other things I could do, so I'll conclude with a few pictures of the bambino for now!  Who is this guy?  And what will he be like??