Category Archives: mom

Almost Ready for Baby – 38 weeks

So, as I write this we are 5 days away from meeting our little one! And, since he has stayed put inside, I have accomplished everything to date on the list from a few weeks back… baby prepI actually ended up adding a few things along the way too. So here are a couple of the highlights…

We decided to set the Dining Room up as a dual purpose room. My thoughts are baby will sleep in there nights until he sleeps through the night, 11-12 hours. For Isaac that was around 10 weeks old. A 2nd crib was purchased (actually it was a gift!), bed made, blackout shade installed, and some baby items brought in.

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The buffet that I wanted to add doors to for ‘safe’ storage is in process; it still needs paint and handles. Doug may finish this weekend, but at least is usable to store some baby things.

Isaac has a big boy bed and has been experimenting with sleeping on it. I would say he’s 70% big boy bed, 30% crib depending on how tired he is. I am fine with letting him get comfortable. He stays in and calls me in the morning to come get him. So far so good!

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Baby clothes (0-6 months) have been washed, sorted, and put away in the boys’ closet and dresser (some in the dining room cabinets too).

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Our cars are prepped with car seats; grandparents also have a car seat for Isaac. This is big! I won’t feel the pressure of driving both kids all the time and we will not have to move car seats to do it. HOO-RAY! Grandparents are scheduled to help fill in for the first couple of weeks. We are blessed! Don’t know how we would do this without them!

more baby prep 10Hospital bag is packed. Baby’s gift to Isaac is wrapped. I even have some Valentine’s Day gifts for Doug and Isaac ready.

Baby log is made. Isaac notes for helpers are prepped. (Both probably deserve their own post)

more baby prep 8We even have diapers! Friends, volunteers, and family have been stocking us. Our small group even planned a MealBaby for us. Awesome.
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I also did a big stock up of our pantry. Hopefully this will help in the first few weeks when I cannot drive. Doug can go grab milk, bread, and fruit, etc. I think we have enough cereal to last through summer, thank you coupons and sales.

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All the paperwork has been done. And, I even had my LAST dr. appt. That really made it feel final since I have been spending hours there each week.
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While looking for batteries and a key chain I got frustrated one day off and even got organized our junk drawer. Which turned into all the kitchen drawers, then all the cabinets. Not really on the agenda, but hey?!
more baby prep 3Our last thing to do is name this baby. We are down to a short list. Doug has a firm favorite and Isaac is calling him that, too. I like the name but like a few others better, so we are waiting until the moment to make it final.

Overall I am feeling pretty good about the tangible prep. I wish I could prep Isaac like I can the house and baby stuff. I am hoping he isn’t too jolted. I also hope my healing is quick and easy so I can be a functioning mom of two! I cannot wait to hold a sleeping baby again.

The February Abyss

feb 1While February was a huge month for our family of (now) four, I cannot quite explain where it went. I know it’s only 28 days, but it felt like 12 to me! I have been writing blogs in my head while I nurse and cannot wait to get them to screen. I even have a few that I wrote pre-baby, that never made it out of drafts. So here is my brain dump of blog posts coming soon…

  • Baby Prep – DONE!
  • My baby logs
  • Basement Project – Phase 3
  • The Potty Training Chronicles
  • Isaac 2.5
  • Luke 1 month (already!?!?!)
  • My recovery spot
  • Luke’s newborn & family pics  (may even do a #tbt with Isaac’s newborn pics)
  • The Living Room (house tour)
  • My baby sleep strategy
  • My birth stories (maybe… I would like to document bits of these monumental days)

feb 2I am just beginning to navigate the world with 2 kiddos. It’s not like I don’t have experience doing this with my nanny kids. In fact I have wrangled more than 2 many times. However, nursing trumps all my strategies. I never thought I would be one of those mom’s with a blanket over a herself hiding baby in public… but here I am. The lack of sleep at night that carries into my patience for the next day was non-existent in my nanny life. Thank God my Isaac is potty trained and adores his brother. I don’t know what I would do if I had to buy and change 2 sets of diapers or deal with jealously/guilty feelings for messing up my only child’s life. It has been so much easier than I expected and as I get more and more sleep, I feel like I am gelling into this mom of two role…and really loving it. I can already picture the day when they are entertaining each other and sharing with each other, quietly, while hugging. OK, so maybe there will be a lot more wrestling and screaming, still, I cannot wait.

P.S. My favorite things about life right now: Meal Baby, maternity leave, and the promise of Spring. Bring it!

Baby To Do List

It’s January! 5 weeks or less until we meet our next son. Now that Christmas and my crazy holiday work schedule is over, it is time to starting prepping for this baby! By the way, baby #2 planning is way different from baby #1. Right, moms? Especially since I am having another son, I really only NEED diapers. A few other things are helpful, but the preparation is far easier. baby prepI have been making a Baby Prep list for the last week in my “Reminders” App for the iphone/ipad. My list is in the cloud! I sat down tonight and pulled out my Pregnancy Binder from a few years back to finalize and tweak the list. I love a good list!
baby prep 2So here is what is left on the agenda, by week:

Week 33
- Get extra crib for baby and twin bed for Isaac
- Paperwork: hospital, maternity leave, pediatrician
- Print hospital packing list
- Print baby log sheets / schedules

Week 34
- Order breast pump
- Pick up 2nd car seat for Isaac
- Install base for infant seat, adjust straps
- Calendar of help needs (1st two weeks)

Week 35
- Set up sleep space: basics, monitor, noise machine, black out shade
- Stock ottoman with nursing supplies
- Wash baby clothes
- Pick a name!

Week 36
- Isaac info. on paper: schedule, food ideas, play ideas & locations
- Pack hospital bag
- Family/friends call/email/text list

Week 37
- Big grocery run – pantry stock up
- Re-read “Twelve Hours Sleep By Twelve Weeks Old”

Week 38
- Change sheets & wash towels
- Clean house

Nothing on the list feels super pressing except the crib/bed and car seat. Oh, and I have no diapers yet. But all that would be manageable by a family member if this baby were to come now. I am now into the weekly doctor appointment phase… that is the final stretch!

Good and Grateful.

Life is good. Not always how I planned it. Not always easy or fun. But I have so much to be grateful for. So why not stop a minute and account for some of those things. To remind myself that I have it good.

I am grateful for a long-overdue date night with my favorite man on earth. We have so much to toast: my birthday, his birthday, a new job, and even a new loved wine. 
good1I am grateful for conversations with my husband. That after 8 years together I still have much to learn about him and with him. I love that he knows me and I am my complete self with him. We still have fun, romance, and dreams.
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I am grateful for a son that is easy-going. He loves an adventure and is thrilled with a loud room. He is comfortable sleeping in other’s houses so long as he has a blankie and a good story. 
good9I am grateful for Tuesday mornings off from work. That I get to experience Mommy things with my son, rather than working every day of the week. Working part-time reminds me to appreciate every story time, museum trip and playground moment with Isaac. 
good10I am grateful for a great house with a huge yard. Isaac is safe to run and play and push his truck to his hearts content. And though I sometimes complain about living in “the country”, our home is perfect for our family right now.
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I am grateful for a good family. So many people that support us and love us….and ADORE Isaac. He will grow up with good people who treat him well and teach him well. Family that love God and follow Him.

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I am grateful for new rhythms and moments of rest. Like sweet tea on a warm spring day while my car gets washed. Where the sun beams and reminds me that a hot summer is on it’s way. I take a moment to close my eyes an think about sitting in the water as Isaac plays and laughs. Good times are ahead.
good7I am grateful for Sunday family day where time seems to stand still. And, even thought I do get jealous when Doug gets the baby cuddles, my heart also explodes. The fact that my boys love each other as much as I love each of them. It is a gift.
good8I am grateful for every new experience with Isaac. I often say things like “this is his first picnic!” I love to watch him get excited about everything. The awe of bubbles, the confusion over loud rain, and the humor of talking while his head is under the bath water. His zest for life is pure joy and it is addictive.
good5I am grateful for roses. Especialy when they come with love. A symbol of thought and beauty and also the brevity of life. A gentle reminder to enjoy the beauty while you can, because moments pass.
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Beyond all else, I am grateful to be a mom and wife. It is the greatest calling…to be part of this family team – to follow and lead with purpose and love.
good12I have so much to be grateful for…big and small things. God has been so faithful to me and so gracious.

 

Quick Tip: DIY Flashcards

So, I accidentally fell into a quick project today. Isaac as coloring (err, playing with crayons) at the table while I was cleaning out and organizing the dining room closet. In a trash pile I had some checkbook backing which I had ripped all the deposits slips off of. I always save those to shred them because I am too afraid to just throw them away with our account number on them. Isaac loves letters, and the thought just came to me… I should give him these cards with letters… flashcards! photoSo I simply wrote the letters in his name and gave them to him. He loved them! The thick edge gave him something to hold onto and the cardboard was thick enough that he didn’t crush them like paper. He loved to look at them and say the “alphabet”, which sounds the same every time, no matter what letters are in front of him… “Ay, Eye, Ay, Ooo, Eye”. For some reason he likes those vowel sounds. Even thought he is a little young to be learning letters, he is intrigued by them! I guess that comes from his book obsession.

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When you can…. USE WHATCHA GOT!

foods to try

Toddler Food Funk

A few months ago, I would proudly claim that my son would “eat anything except mashed potatoes and avocado”. I was proud that he was such a good eater. But, now? My he’ll-eat-anything-son has quickly turned into a he’ll-eat-that-maybe-some-of-the time-son. I wouldn’t call him a picky eater, because he still eats many things, but he is slowly getting preferential to some foods at certain times. He has also taken on a deep passionate affair with his milk. He walks to the fridge and looks at me, signs “please”, and asks me in his way to give him his milk….20 times a day!
He is a healthy boy, weighing in at 28 lbs and 3 oz. a couple weeks ago; I am not at all worried about his health. I do, however, want to make sure that I am giving him enough variety and trying things enough times to give him the opportunity to like them.

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Back when Isaac started eating solids, I made a sorta cheat sheet to hang inside the cabinet. It was helpful for Doug and Isaac’s grandparents when they were wondering what was OK to feed him. It has evolved into a short list of his staple foods. I’ve updated it a few times over the last year.

I thought I would add another list – “foods to try” to help me think creatively when preparing foods for him, especially breakfasts & lunches. For dinner we mostly have him eat what we are eating and since we don’t eat the same thing every night, neither does he. Also, his appetite is lowest at dinner.

What did moms do without the internet? I spent 15 minutes searching online and got some good ideas. My favorite finds were Wholesome Toddler Food, Toddler Lunch Ideas, and Feeding the Picky Eater - 17 Tips. I also spent some time reading about toddler nutrition reviewing toddler portion sizes. As I made some notes, I tried not to discount foods that I don’t like, since Isaac already loves things that I don’t care for (like yogurt).
foods to tryI also updated Isaac’s staple list.
staplesI hung them both back in the cabinet where I keep his plates, cups, snacks and etc. I see these notes on a daily basis. I feel like now if I am ever feeling the food funk, I can try  one of these ideas.
cabinet doorI think that the best thing that came out of this little project was being reminded that I already knew a lot about toddler eating. Yep, Isaac is one!! He should be picky, he should be grazing, and it is all OK. Plus, it’s not like I haven’t been down this road with many kids before, and they have all turned out just fine. Through my experiences as a nanny I followed a few unwritten principles. I think that writing them down will remind me to live by them with Isaac as well.

9 Principles to Feed By:
1. Don’t focus on each meal for nutrition, instead look at what the child ate in a day or even week.
2. Don’t stress about food, kids will pick up that
3. Everything in moderation.
4. Keep offering foods over, and over, and 14 times over.
5. Try foods in different locations and served in different containers.
6. Model nutrition.
7. Don’t discount foods I don’t like myself.
8. Sit and eat as a family – enjoy the experience!
9. Kid portions are small.

I plan to relax a bit and remember lessons I have already learned. I also plan to try new things with the boy and new things myself.

A Nasty Game of Peekaboo

photoIt happened. Isaac’s first injury.

It didn’t happen how I would have though….

My boy is active. He is aggressive, fast, and strong. He falls hard but rarely cries. He’s  been climbing on everything and standing up. We have to watch him in the dining room as he can get up on the chairs and up on top of the table. He’s still negotiating how to get down off of things, but that doesn’t seem to stop him.  He also loves steps and I’m nervous that we will leave the basement door open because he wouldn’t be scared to try to go down. But he was not hurt trying these. Instead… a game of peekaboo, a NASTY game of peekaboo.

Isaac loves to get up on our bed so he can look in the mirror at himself. He will play peekaboo with himself hiding behind the footboard. I am always close behind him; I’m afraid he’ll lose his balance and tumble over the end of the bed. This day he was playing his game, squealing and hiding and “boo”-ing. Then…. BAM! I was right behind him so I saw his head hit the footboard. The loud crash, then the crying. He turned to me and I saw blood. I grabbed him and took him the the kitchen. He as crying hard as he rarely does, so I knew he was really hurt. I wiped the blood from his mouth, but more kept coming. I took him into his room and laid him on the changing table to try to get a view in his mouth. I told myself “be calm for him” even though I was freaking out on the inside. That is when I saw a hole – where his front, right tooth used to be, there now was nothing. His gum was fat and my first thought was that his tooth was shoved up into his gum. “Oh my gosh, where is his tooth?!!” I was thinking as I calmly said, “it’s OK honey.” He was still crying and bleeding and it was hard to get a good long look. I brought him back to the kitchen and got a cold wet washcloth to hold on his gum. I sat in front of the TV to distract him so I could call the doctor. It was while I was on the phone with the pediatrician that I thought to look for a tooth or part of a tooth. Oh, and I found it… root and all!

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Oh my goodness that had to hurt!! He had to hit our bed so hard!? Poor baby. By this point Isaac was calm, smiling at the TV and drinking water, still bleeding but not as bad. The Dr. wanted to see us and got us in right away. I thought we would be making our first trip to Children’s Hospital for sure. Turns out they will not put the tooth back in as his mouth as it is still growing and it may hinder the next tooth. The kid ejoyed himself at the doctor’s office though.

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I still want to get him into the Pediatric Dentist ASAP to get their opinion, but it is likely he will have a little gap until that adult tooth comes in.

I feel so bad for my boy! Will he have a gap until he is 5 or 6? That is so sad right? I know that there are a lot worse injuries and that we are blessed to have a healthy boy, still, I couldn’t help but feel sick last night. Even after he went to bed I couldn’t shake it. The sound of him hitting that bed and the first site of his gap. This kid has ruined me.

I saw this quote today, and I think that it is so true. ‎”Making the decision to have a child – it is a momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” – Elizabeth Stone. My heart was breaking over this.

Doug tried to make me feel better by making a few jokes about him really looking like he is from the country now. It didn’t help :)

This mom stuff is hard sometimes.