Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Better Late Than Never - A Mother's Day Post

So, I know Mother's Day was weeks ago, but my blogging has been sporadic at best lately, so this is when my Mother's Day post is going to happen.  At least it's still May, right??

My Mother's Day present from Evie

Our Mother's Day was a great family day this year.  We live too far away to conveniently visit either of our moms on Mother's Day, so it's kind of nice to just spend it the three of us.

Evie made me (with the help of daycare) the hand print flower in the picture above.  I cried when I opened it.  It's the first thing that she's ever made for me.  The pink hand print on the left is smudged because she was wiggly, but that's what makes it hers. 

For the day, M, Evie, and I went to a Brewer game.  Another loss....I've been to 3 games this year, and they've all been losses.  Well, the whole season has pretty much been that way, so I guess that's what I should expect. 

M and I are not too big on holidays.  We've never given each other extravagant gifts or made grand gestures.  In some ways, I wish that Mother's Day was a bigger deal, but that's not our style.  In the end, a Brewer game and hand-made gift are just right for us.  :)

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Perks of Baby #2

Over the long weekend, I was able to spend a lot of time with my sister and my new niece.  My sister and I talk pretty much every day (often twice a day), so I know how everything has been going.  Our conversations have changed so much in the past 6 weeks.  She asks me about my experiences when Evie was Natalie's age, but I have a hard time giving her advice.  She will find her own way, and I don't want to pressure her or lead her away from what feels right.  It just takes time to learn your own maternal instinct. 

Of course, I keep thinking ahead.  I will know so much more when this baby is born in November than I knew when Evie was born.  More than anything else, I will be more confident in my own abilities as a mom.  :)

I was feeling so good about my now experienced outlook on motherhood that, a few weeks ago, I made a mental list of all of the things that are better with a second pregnancy.  

  • I know that our current babysitter will be more than happy to take on our new little one.  It's such a relief to not have to think about looking for a new provider.  That's a whole lot of stress that I won't have.
  • I've done the pregnancy thing before.  I am not worried about losing the baby every second.  The "is this normal?" questions are a lot fewer and farther between...actually I don't know if that's even crossed my mind at all.  
  • I have given birth before.  I know that this is a tricky one, because many things could go wrong that didn't go wrong with Evie.  Evie's birth was an overall awesome experience.  I'm seeing the same OB, and going to the same hospital (it's been remodeled since Evie was born and now there are nicer post-partum rooms!!), so I'm hoping for the same luck.  
  • I'm not afraid of maternity clothes.  I now know comfort is the key.  Who cares if I'm in maternity clothes before 22 weeks??  "OMG, I must be a cow."  <-- Yes, I really thought that when I was pregnant with Evie.  I think I just have other things to worry about now.  (By the way, those people still make me want to barf a little.)
The best part is knowing that absolutely nothing will go as I expect, but being ok with it this time.  When I was pregnant with Evie and I dreamed of what she would be like, I was way off.  She is more energetic, rambunctious, outgoing, friendly, adorable, sassy, and amazing than I ever could have imagined.  This child will be too.  And I get to experience it all over again.

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Monday, May 28, 2012

14 Weeks

14 weeks is deceiving.  I'm starting to feel like I'm making some progress with this whole pregnancy thing, and then I look at the calendar and realize that my due date (November 26) is still 6 long months away.  One day at a time....

Feeling much bigger than last week.

Weight gain/loss: +3 lbs. from my pre-pregnancy weight.  I've remained constant for 3 weeks now. 

Fruit of the week: This week baby is the size of a lemon.  

Feeling: Tired, but the long weekend helped.  Going to my parent's for the weekend really helped.  I went almost all day Saturday without changing a diaper thanks to my mom and my sister (and M did a few too)!!!! 

Sleep:  I'm beginning to notice that I can't sleep on my back for long periods of time.  :(  I was dreading this.  I flop around when I sleep and being sentenced to sleeping on my side is like torture.  I've been putting it off for as long as possible.  

Food cravings: Strawberry rhubarb crisp.  I made it at my parent's with fresh rhubarb from my grandma's garden.  The downside to making it at my parent's is that I couldn't eat it all myself, which I definitely would have done if I'd been at home. 

Movement:  I think I may have felt a small kick on Saturday night, and again earlier this evening.  It's so much earlier than with Evie!!  I didn't feel her until almost 21 weeks due to anterior placenta/first pregnancy. 

Maternity Clothing: My sister gave all of my maternity clothes back to me.  Holy comfortable!!!  A lot of it is still too big, but it's much better than unbuttoning my pants on the way home from school.  :)

Gender? Still not thinking about it.    

What I miss? Having several Memorial Day weekend beverages with my family on Saturday afternoon/evening.  I bought myself some alcohol free wine, but seriously, not even close to the same thing.  

Best moment this week: My family surprising me with a birthday cake at our cookout on Saturday night.  My birthday is June 10th and I probably won't see any of my family until we get back from Spain at the end of the month.  I'll be the big 3-0 this year, so it was a neat surprise.  They even put 30 candles on the cake!! 

What I'm looking forward to:  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't counting down to the end of the school year.   

Next Appointment: June 8th.  I had to squeeze it in before we leave for Spain on June 11th.  Holy crap...only 2 more weeks!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Toddle Along Tuesday: Favorite Firsts

There are so many things that I looked forward to when I was pregnant with Evie.  I remember dreaming about what it would be like to hold her, and to see her for the first time.  Every milestone it amazing to me because, as Evie's parents, M and I are the only ones who will truly be there for it all. 

Some of the things that I looked forward to most were:

First laughs. 
Evie around 4 months old.
Evie has the greatest laugh.  (I know I'm totally biased.)  It's a crazy belly laugh that is so genuine and contagious.  She laughed for the first time around 4 months old.  I went back to work around that time, but I was so glad that I was still there to witness her first giggles.

Consistently sleeping through the night.

After one of the first times she slept through the night
Evie did not sleep through the night until she was 6 months old.  She did it one night, and then she didn't do it again until she was 9 months old.  Then she didn't do it again until she was 11 months old.   After that she was pretty consistent, and she still is.  Getting more than 3 - 4 hours of a sleep in a row at that time seemed like the most amazing thing that could ever happen!! 

Crawling for the first time.

Evie was a late crawler; she was almost a year old before she finally figured it out.  I think I looked forward to this so much because I felt so much pressure about it.  I wanted to say to everyone, "See, I knew she could do it!!" She walked around 13 months, and now she just runs everywhere.  Some days I miss immobility.  ;)

The best things about firsts is that there are still so many to come.  Now, I daydream about seeing Evie become a big sister, her first day of kindergarten, going to her first school dance, and even her graduation.  I can't wait to see the person that she turns out to be. 

I'm so excited to have the opportunity to co-host this week's Toddle Along Tuesday with Missie from Growing up Geeky!! 

This week's Toddle Along Tuesday topic is favorite firsts! What milestone was the most precious for you? Sitting up, talking, walking, maybe a 1st birthday party, or something else? Feel free to gush and/or reminisce. There are no rules here, except that you link up a relevant post (old or new) rather than your whole blog.

Monday, May 21, 2012

2nd Trimester - 13 Weeks!!

I can't believe that I'm 13 weeks already.  I remember feeling really pregnant when I hit 13 weeks with Evie.  I don't feel that way this time, but I think it's because I know what's coming.  ;)

New day, same bump.

Weight gain/loss: +3 lbs. from my pre-pregnancy weight.  Same as the past two weeks.  I am so glad that I only gained 3 pounds during first trimester!

Fruit of the week: This week baby is the size of a peach.  

Feeling: Tired, tired, and more tired.  I'm hoping that it's just the end of the school year, and that I'll have a 2nd tri energy boost in the next couple of weeks. 

Sleep:  Comfortable, but I just feel like I never get enough of it. 

Food cravings/aversions:Turkey and bacon sandwich on toast with Swiss cheese and honey mustard dressing.  Yes, it was that specific, and yes, I walked to the store and bought the necessary items to fulfill this craving last night.  Totally worth it!

Maternity Clothing: I strolled through the maternity section at Target yesterday.  I was incredibly disappointed.  I feel like my old clothes are getting too small, but all of that maternity stuff seemed to be for women who are much larger than I am right now.  Boo for this in-between stage. 

Gender? I've decided I'm not going to think about it for a while.  It's crazy that we'll be able to find out in 7 weeks!!   

What I miss? Feeling refreshed when I wake up in the morning.  

Best moment this week: Being productive this weekend.  I painted a bathroom, helped M build a fence around our garden, planted the garden, and ran a ton of errands.  I even  managed to take a short nap both days when Evie napped too! 

What I'm looking forward to:  Visiting my family for Memorial Day weekend.  My sister from Illinois will be there too!   

Next Appointment: This afternoon.  It should be a routine weight/blood pressure check.  But we will get to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time!  :)

Sunday, May 20, 2012


It has been no secret that Evie does not care to nap for us at home.  That is why I have hesitated to write this post for the past few months.  I think that we have finally kicked the 6 months long nap strike.  Everyone cross your fingers and knock on wood!!!!  Seriously!!!! 

At the end of February, I gave up.  I refused to try to get Evie to take a nap unless I was the only one here.  M has had better luck with her in the past, so naps were his job if we were both home.  It took me from September to the end of February to reach the end of my rope.

Before quitting, we had tried Ferber for napping, but she when she cried for an hour (or more on a couple occasions), I knew that wasn't working.  We had tried to let her sleep on us.  This was successful as long as she actually fell asleep at all.  We tried getting her to sleep and then putting her down.  This worked one rare occasions, but she usually woke up screaming when we put her down, and then it was back to the tries with Ferber...  It was a vicious, never-ending cycle of pure frustration.

I was too frustrated, and I decided that it she just wasn't going to take naps anymore, then I would just deal with it.  (Sidenote: Our daycare provider always goes on and on about how she's such a wonderful napper.  I know it wasn't intentional, but boy, did I feel like a crappy parent.)  On days that she didn't nap, she usually went to be earlier, but she was a bear for the last few hours.  We couldn't go anywhere or do anything because she was too crabby.

Finally at the beginning of March, it was like something just clicked.  One afternoon, I laid her down in her crib awake.  She screamed and tried to stand up, but I calmly laid her back down and stayed with her until she stopped fussing.  I left the room and she started crying again.  M offered to go get her, but I said, "No, let's wait just 5 minutes."  Five minutes passed and she was still fussing.  I said, "Let's give her 10 more minutes."  Ten minutes passed and she calmed down some, but she was still awake.  I said, "Let's just wait 5 more minutes."  By the end of that 5 minutes, she was asleep.

Cue "Hallelujah" music.  I thought for sure that it was a fluke.  That was a Saturday.  On Sunday, she did the same thing.  It took almost 20 minutes of crying, but she fell asleep.  The next weekend, same thing.  And the weekend after that, and so on.  She even took a nap for me every day over my spring break at the beginning of April.

Of course, I never really gave up on her.  I would probably still be trying now, even if she were still fighting me.  Today, I laid her down awake and without any fuss, she has been quiet in her room for about 30 minutes. I didn't do anything differently to try to fix the problem, it just sort of happened on its own. 

Happy baby = Happy Mama

Every time I go to put her down for a nap, I still worry that it might not work this time.  I know that in a few years I'll wonder why this was ever such a huge problem.  All I know now is that we are all happier.  I feel like a better parent.  Who knows if this is really permanent success...but I'm willing to take it while it lasts!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Crazy Pregnant Woman

I'm a little ashamed to share this with all of my dear readers, but here it goes....

Mint ice cream, a funfetti cake mix with funfetti icing, and a bag of Twizzlers

I made a special trip to the store earlier this evening, and this is what was in the bag when I got home.  Granted, I walked the 1/2 mile to the store with Evie (some exercise for me, and some fresh air for her), but I had absolutely no purpose in going to the grocery store other than going for a walk. 

Someone please call the Betty Crocker clinic.  I think I need junk food rehab.

Monday, May 14, 2012

12 Weeks

Another busy week!!  I can tell the end of the school year is coming because my work load feels like it has tripled.  I have to stay caught up with everything so that my grades are in on time.  Along with writing finals, helping kids prep for finals, grading final projects, and just trying to keep my classroom from imploding on a daily basis, May is always a rough time of year.

Actually, I am writing this post right now to procrastinate from grading tests. :)  I feel like a college student all over again...ha ha ha!

I feel like I'm still looking the same as the past few weeks
Weight gain/loss: +3 lbs. from my pre-pregnancy weight.  Same as last week.  I wanted to make it through first trimester without gaining more than a pound or two.  I'll take 3 lbs.  :)

Fruit of the week: This week baby is the size of a plum.  That seems really big!!

Feeling: More upbeat than last week.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel with school, and I leave for Spain 4 weeks from today.  I have a lot to look forward to!

Sleep:  Still pretty comfortable.  I'm trying to sleep on my back and stomach as much as possible because I know that will come to an end all too soon. 

Food cravings/aversions: Nothing major.  I'm feeling much less nauseous, but I still just want to snack all the time. I never feel like eating a full meal.

Maternity Clothing: Not yet.  My weight has fluctuated a lot since before I was pregnant with Evie.  (I gained 40 lbs. during pregnancy and then lost 60 lbs. after she was born.)  I own LOTS of sizes of clothing because of it.  I still weigh less now than before I got pregnant with Evie (by 5 lbs.), so I've found that I fit into a lot of clothes that I wore before my 1st pregnancy.  I will need some maternity stuff soon though.  My shirts are all getting too short! 

Gender? Now that I've told more people, everyone keeps saying, "I bet you're hoping for a boy."  It's been getting on my pregnant nerves. 

What I miss?  The nice weather has made me crave refreshing summer beverages....a mojito would be amazing right now!!

Best moment this week: Spending Mother's Day with M and Evie at a Brewer game.  They lost, but hopefully I'll see a win sometime this season!  ...and telling one of my high school classes the news today.  It's nice to not be hiding anything anymore. 

What I'm looking forward to: This weekend when we have NOTHING planned. 

Next Appointment: Next Monday, May 21.  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Cheap Entertainment

We aren't too fancy around here, so most of our entertainment (spare all of the Brewer games) is pretty cheap.  Some of Evie's favorites are the most simple things we do, like:

Going to the mall play area.  I discovered this on a cold winter afternoon, and it's one of Evie's favorite things to do.  This is inexpensive as long as I stay away from the baby clothes at Kohl's on the way to the play area.  ;)

Walking the dog last summer.

Taking the dog for a walk.  Evie loves going for walks, and last summer we went for several jogs too.  (She loved going fast!!)  The stroller was a little pricey up front ($100, so I guess not too pricey by stroller standards), and I bet we put on around 75-100 miles last summer alone. 

Reading books.  We frequent garage sales this time of year, and most of Evie's books are garage sale finds that cost us less than a $1, and many others were gifts.  Books are always on her Christmas list!!  She could look at books for hours and they help keep her entertained when we are out and about.

Going to the park.  Now that it's nice out most of the time, the park is where it's at!  Evie loves the swings, the slide, pretty much everything about it.  Seeing her laugh while she swings and saying "whee!!" when she goes down the slide melt my heart every time. 

It doesn't get much more simple than that!

What are some inexpensive activities that you do with your child?  
Link up with Missie at Growing up Geeky!

Monday, May 7, 2012

11 Weeks

It's been a busy week!!  We were gone all weekend at my in-law's farm, and Monday came all too quickly.  Fortunately, Evie was able to spend lots of time with her cousins.  She played outside all day on Saturday and even got to see some of the farm animals.

Evie & the cows

Time is just flying too.  I can't believe that in a couple of weeks I'll already be a 1/3 of the way through this pregnancy.  I'm not one of those women who loves being pregnant.  Being pregnant with Evie felt like an eternity.  I like the outcome much better than the process, so I'm glad that it feels like it's going more quickly this time. 

11 Weeks

 Weight gain/loss: +3 lbs. from my pre-pregnancy weight.  Yup, I gained 3 pounds in the past week.  :( Apparently my appetite is back. 

Feeling: Just eh, but more emotionally than physically.  School has been bringing me down lately.  There are a lot of changes happening, and right now it all seems negative.  I am trying to focus on why I teach and remember that I truly love my job.  Physically I'm feeling better: less nauseous, and a little more long as I drink enough water.

Sleep:  I'm losing sleep over school too.  I'm still sleeping comfortably though, which is a good thing!!

Food cravings: It depends on the moment.  Tonight I made M go to the basement freezer to get me three freezie pops.  On Saturday, I almost puked from the smell of Evie's hot dog.  Gotta love pregnancy!

Gender? Who knows!?!?!?!?

What I miss? Not gagging when I brush my teeth.   (Sidenote: I always gagged when I brushed my teeth when I was pregnant with Evie too.  A friend told me that the same thing happened to her.  Has this happened to you???  It's so strange!!)  

Best moment this week: Seeing Evie play with her cousins all weekend.  

What I'm looking forward to: Leaving for Spain 5 weeks from today!!!!!

Next Appointment: May 21.  After that I'm going to tell my co-workers and my students.  I can't wait to share the news!!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Our Bedtime Routine

Evie goes to bed at night REALLY well.  It took us a LONG time to get to this point though.  We did the Ferber method beginning when she was 6 months old, and I think that it's the reason that she goes to bed so well now. 

Our normal bedtime routine goes like this:
  • First a bath.  She only takes a bath every other night (more during the summer when she's been playing outside a lot).  She loves to play in the tub!
Her bathtub is beginning to look like alphabet soup!
  • After bath time, we put on her pajamas.  We take our time doing this and play around a little.
  • Once she's in her PJs we sit in the rocking chair in the living room, and offer her a sippy cup of milk.  She takes this about 1/2 of the time. 
  • When she's done with her milk, she says goodnight to Daddy.  She and Mommy read a few books in her bedroom.  
  • After the "good night book" (I always read this book last), I turn off her light and sing a few lullabies.  

  • I rock her in her rocking chair for a few minutes and then lay her down in her crib.  She usually settles in and goes to sleep right away, but some nights she fusses for a couple of minutes.  
We start our routine around 7:15 - 7:30, and she's usually in bed shortly after 8:00.  Most of the time she sleeps until 5:30 or 6:00.  I wish I had one of those kids that slept straight through for 12 hours a night, but I don't.  On the weekends, we usually keep her up later and she sleeps until 7:00 or a little after (when we're lucky).  She just hasn't ever needed as much sleep as what she is "supposed" to need, according to parenting books.  We've had a ton of problems with getting her to nap for us at home too (see here and here), but our bedtime routine has been rock solid for about 8 months now.  I'm grateful for that!  :)

What is your bedtime routine?  
That's this week's Toddle Along Tuesday topic.  
Link up with Missie at Growing up Geeky!