Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Baby H: Baby Sprinkle

It's been almost three weeks since we celebrated Little Brother at my sweet Baby Sprinkle! Since this is baby #2 (not to mention the same gender) this get together was much smaller than Mark's shower but it was just as sweet and special. My small group of special ladies did fantastic at making little brother and I feel so loved as we ate a delicious lunch at a local restaurant, chatted about big brother Mark and pregnancy number two and enjoyed each others company. 
We picked Seasons 52 as the location because they have fantastic food, tons of wine (which the three pregos in the room were jealous of!) and a perfect space for a group our size. I stuffed myself silly with the most delicious crab meat wedge salad and eyed all the flatbreads and tacos and wine around the table. The room we were in was gorgeous with just a hint of baby shower with some balloons and touches of blue for baby brother. 

My mom picked up a book (that we didn't already have in our collection) from our favorite book author Nancy Tillman and all the ladies signed it with sweet messages for our newest addition. They also guessed baby's birthday just like last time because it was so fun seeing who got it right with Mark. We played one game where everyone guessed if I would prefer this baby to have certain traits, like hair color, sense of humor, athletic ability, etc etc, that took after myself or after daddy and the winner got a little gift card. 

Baby brother was gifted some awesome presents, including the tiniest pairs of shorts, a bunch of diapers and books and his own duck to snuggle with in his crib... all of which had me daydreaming of his tiny, little self! We ended the afternoon with bundt cakes from the same place we had for our wedding and party favors each with it's own blue nail polish in honor of our family growing by one blue boy. 
A huge thank you to my mom for coordinating/hosting, my MIL for decorating and providing the yummy desserts/festive favors and my favorite ladies for helping this momma feel loved and special as my life is about to change again forever. 

Baby H: 17 & 18 Months of Mark

One and a half years with our first born! I can't believe it! Time sure is flying these days between Mark growing and changing and learning new things on a daily basis as the weeks count down to adding our new boy to the mix. It just doesn't seem possible that he's been here, in our family, for so long already. This is probably my favorite age so far!

[+] is a short chunky guy with a big noggin according to the growth charts from the doctors office. From his 15 month appointment which ended up being 6 weeks late, oops, he was 30 inches (16th%) for height and 25#2oz (61st%) for weight. We still have no idea why he's such a shortie especially because he's got what seems to be long legs and big feet so it'll be interesting to see how this all shakes out as he grows.

[+] wears size 18 month clothes, 2T pajamas (not sure why they seem to run so small) and size 6 or 7 shoes depending on the brand/style. He is still rocking size 4 diapers and I have no idea when to even try size 5s for him. It seems like there's a huge weight overlap between these two sizes (more so than between other sizes) so for now we're sticking with 4s as he's not leaking/exploding minus the few times at night where his diaper is just filled to the brim.

[+] still has 12 teeth and I have no idea what's happening with his next set. Some days we're convinced they're making a move because he's cranky as all get out, chewing non-stop on anything (including his fingers which drives me bonkers!) and even sometimes running a low-grade temp but those teeth have yet to show themselves so who knows.
[+] knows the "sounds" of so many different things now. On the list (which weren't here before) is cat/kitty, duck, moose, fish, tiger/bear/lion (they all say the same thing). He also says waaaaa for "what a baby says" and shhhh (with his finger to his lips) for "what a mommy says" as well as honk and/or beep for cars/trucks.

[+] knows so many of his body parts which makes this future-doctor momma so happy. He knows, from head-to-toe... hair, head, ears, eyes, cheek, mouth, tongue. Arm, hand, fingers. Tummy, heart (which is by far one of my favorites!), butt, diaper, weenie. Leg, knee, feet and toes. He will point to all of his own body parts as well as momma/daddy/stuffed animals' and will also name them if you say "what's this" and touch his ___. In related news, he also knows what owies/hurts are thanks to a few scrapes/smashed fingers and will point to them if you ask him.

[+] got his second haircut on March 19th because it was getting a bit out of control. We randomly decided to stop by the shop on our way home from breakfast one Sunday and goodness does it make a huge difference in him looking like a baby vs a kid. He cried big fat tears at the beginning because she started with the clippers for the back which I think he was scared of but once she pulled out the scissors instead he was perfectly content. Maybe he'll just be old-fashioned and have to have scissors and single blade razors like a gentleman?
[+] loves when we sing to him but is very particular about what song it is. J often asks "do you want me to sing, Mark?" and he'll shout yeah! which is just adorable. But then if its a song he doesn't like/know he says, "no, no" while you're singing until you stop and switch to something else. His favorites, by far, are The Wheels on the Bus, Happy Birthday and Old McDonald.

[+] is starting to understand things related to his new baby brother. He realizes baby brother is in my tummy, will lift my shirt to "see" him, pushes my belly button in and tries to put his paci or juice cup in my belly button to share with him. He will hug and kiss my belly if I ask him to. He realizes baby brother has a crib in his room too, is obsessed with climbing in it to jump and play with his duck and says his version of "brother"/his first name when we mention baby brother. I don't think he has ANY clue what a baby "actually" is and that he'll come out some day but the bits and pieces he does understand are so cute.

[+] is ALL BOY and there's no doubt about it. He face-plants into the snow and laughs but screams bloody murder when we come inside and take off his coat. He points out every single trash can no matter where we are and is obsessed with the garbage truck on pick-up day. He throws balls like a champ, loves dinosaurs and runs everywhere. He gets the goofiest grin on his face when he farts and/or burps and has a mean side to him sometimes with pinching/hitting. He already has stinky boy feet and laughs when someone smells them.

xoxo, Momma

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Baby H: Week 35 (times two)

Another week (and bump picture) with snow on the ground and goodness sakes is this momma sick of it. I was curious how it would be being pregnant in essentially the opposite time of year with this babe compared to Mark and realized a few months ago that I'd gladly take the seasons of spring into summer than fall into winter. I know it seems odd as most ladies avoid being pregnant in the dead of summer but I'd take that over winter any day. It's been harder to dress this bump for cold weather, my coats no longer zip, my belly often feels constricted with all the layers and waistbands, I have to wear socks and shoes more often, I feel larger without some color to my skin, etc etc etc. Can you tell I'm ready for spring weather to stick around?!

After my last doctors appointment that included a cervical length check I was on a high because I had a few days of feeling great. I don't know if it was in my head because I officially knew everything was okay or if something being "near" my cervix made it "lift" but it seriously seemed like I had a new pelvis. Then I got hit by a truck and had one of the worst days I've had yet. Since then things have been fine, nothing great nothing horrible which I'll take because dang am I sick of complaining. I think my better mood might also be coming from some better sleep recently. It's been weeks since I've found myself awake for hours and for that I am so thankful. Plus my heart burn seems to be stable which I've been nervous about. I figured since it came on so much earlier this time, it would be that much worse at this stage but it's not and I'm thrilled. I even had Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner and only needed two Tums in the middle of the night! 

In other updates, we are officially registered at the hospital to make check in come baby-time that much quicker. I've finally gotten in contact with our photographer and am hoping to get our session scheduled with her in two weeks and I'll be calling the spa later today to set up my massage. I did the load of laundry that has all of baby boys new clothes (seriously preppy baby shorts and polos in mini size are the cutest things ever, I totally don't need a girl!), his coming-home outfit as well as all the hand-me-downs from big brother I can't wait to see our second boy wearing. The car seat base has been re-installed in my car ready to hold a backseat of boys and J and I have started discussing middle names but haven't decided anything yet. 

We celebrated Easter, our last holiday as a family of three, over the weekend and it's crazy to think the next holiday will include our newest boy. We spent the day with multiple family get togethers, naps in the afternoon, way too much food and a smashed toddler finger (oops!) but it really was a great day. I love holidays and festivities so my mind kept wandering to next Easter, picturing both boys in collared shirts, toting around their personalized baskets, dominating the fruit salad at brunch. Then my mind wandered to the margarita, lets be honest multiple, that I'll be enjoying for Cinco de Mayo after this baby is born at our next holiday celebration. Oops! 

Between 4 and 5 weeks till we meet you sweet baby and this momma can't wait!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Baby H: Week 34 (times two)

Every week that goes by seems to be a shock to me. I think being busier this time around has made parts of this pregnancy really fly by and I can't believe we're already at 34 weeks. And the even crazier part is that realistically we only have 5ish more weeks left since I'm anticipating an early babe. 5 weeks seems insane!

At my doctor's appointment this week we chatted, again, about all the contractions I have been getting. Thankfully they do decrease when I make sure to be very hydrated but they never quite go away completely no matter how much I drink. We talked briefly about how labor "started" for me with Mark and were advised (like we didn't already know!) that should any "real" labor signs start, to call immediately. I did ask for them to check my cervical length, not because anything could be done about it at this point but just so I knew where I stood, which meant an unexpected ultrasound a peak in at our little boy. The tech did some quick growth measurements and little man is looking great weighing approximately 5lbs already, 42nd %tile with his head low, low, low! My cervical length is thankfully perfectly normal which eases my mind a ton. All these contractions and nothing's really happening down there yet. I'll be singing a different song in a few weeks I suppose but for now he's nice and tucked up tight in there which I'm thankful for.

Symptom wise this week has been about the same. It totally depends on the day how miserable my pelvis feels as some days I can barely go from sitting to standing without TONS of pain and pressure through my pelvis and some days I'm up and down on the floor chasing Mark without question. On the tougher days it is really hard for me to accept being "slower" and taking it easy. For example, one afternoon we all ran to Target to pick up a few things and I was winded, with my belly as hard as a rock, feeling like I was literally chasing my boys and yet I was walking as slow as a grandma. It's definitely frustrating that something as easy as a Target trip can be so hard for me now. Otherwise this week, my appetite has still been hit or miss with most of my intake usually being in the first part of the day with tiny meals for dinner. The plus is I haven't changed weight recently which is always nice at this stage. I'm still swelling free, for sure have stretch marks above my belly button and get exhausted by the end of the day. Thankfully my sleep has been a little bit better, usually involving one bathroom trip and lots of waking to toss and turn and fight with my body pillow but I think that's all to be expected at this stage of the game. I haven't had any of my hours of insomnia in a little while which is a huge relief (or just a sign of being that much more tired than before).

I'm starting to get a little anxious with all there is left to do before this boys arrival. Its definitely tough trying to balance weekend activities we have going on, fitting in study time for my inevitable tests and handling baby related items all while being super pregnant and having a toddler to chase around. Granted there aren't that many "essentials" that HAVE to be taken care of before he arrives (ex he won't be using the bouncer for quite a while so it doesn't matter if it's washed) but the uncertainty of how life with two-under-two is going to look has me wanting to take care of EVERYTHING sooner rather than later. At the top of our list of things to do that has to be done however is deciding on this little man's middle name! I'm also waiting for a response from our photographer about setting up round #2 of maternity pictures and also hoping to get my prenatal massage scheduled sometime in early April as well.

Time sure is flying by baby boy and this momma can't wait to meet you! Looking back at pictures of your big brother in the hospital the night he was born and those first few days has me so excited to hold you in my arms and love on you the best way I know how. I can't wait to see who you look like, what your little personality is, how you fit into our family. So so soon my sweet boy!

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Cry Room: Little Man's Quilt (times two)

It was only fitting that baby brother get a quilt made with love just like big brother Mark did. I have such fond memories putting the blue quilt together, a little boy growing in my belly while I was working, that I had to do it again. Mark's quilt was used in my maternity pictures, his newborn pictures, his monthly updates and finally in his one year photo shoot and I love seeing it's bold pattern as a measure of how he's grown. I briefly contemplated making a quilt entirely different for baby boy #2 but when I thought about it, I much preferred to use the same pattern and simply change the color scheme. 

Since these boys are opposite season, I originally started working on this quilt over Christmas break. I had finished the top, quilted it to the batting and backing and it sat, until just last week, without the binding finished. What can I say, I've been busy! (And truthfully, dread binding most of all.) Just like the first quilt, the fabrics are all 100% quilting cotton with traditional weight batting in between. The front has 2 neutrals and 4 greens and is quilted along the borders of the darkest green triangles. The patterned fabric is the same on the front in green and the back in gray and since I was "short" a neutral color on the front I decided on a gray binding fabric instead of an additional green hue. 

These quilts have become one of my favorite baby items for each of my boys and now I can't wait to use this one in the coming months/years for our newest addition. 
You would think I'd have this pattern down now but I'm sure there are plenty of mistakes in my second quilt. Regardless there's just as much love for this sweet little boy and anticipation for his arrival. I'll be doing a full nursery post soon (enjoy the peak at his feature wall art until then!) but am thrilled to have this item checked off the list for his arrival.

And if you follow me on Instagram, be sure to check out #hollandboysquilts to see real life pictures of both quilts!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Baby H: Week 33 (times two)

Hello baby brother bump and hello big brother photobomb! Ha!

Symptom wise this week has been pretty much the same as the last few. Unfortunately my rings are officially on my necklace instead of my fingers but this was the same week it happened last time too. I had a feeling they were starting to get snug but kept avoiding actually trying to take them off in fear of them being stuck. Well it turns out I should have tried last week because I definitely got the sweaty, claustrophobic, uh oh! panic when they wouldn't come off. Thanks to some cold water and butter (literally) they are off. Also this week I finally started taking my PPI for heartburn and goodness, it took all of three days to make a difference! Hallelujah! The first two days I wasn't sure if it was helping because my symptoms vary depending on what I eat but after three days and no Tums plus being able to drink a diet Coke without burping/feeling the carbonation in my throat instantly/getting heartburn afterwards I was convinced. And it feels so good!

At my appointment I mentioned all my BH contractions, their increasing frequency, the fact that sometimes they're painful, etc etc and while my doc wasn't extremely concerned at this point she did tell me to really listen to my body. She pushes to making it to 34 weeks (I don't know why it isn't longer than that, really) and told me to sit as much as possible, rest when I need to and up my water intake even more than I already have to see if that helps. She told me we can always check my cervical length which I declined at this point but will probably request at my next appointment just for sanity sakes. In all honesty it was a hard pill to swallow that I have to rest more, that there are things I should no longer do, that I'm not capable of the go-go-go I'm used to. I've always been such a go-getter always trying to do something at every moment but I'm trying to give myself grace, knowing that the end is in sight and allowing myself to nap when I need to or rest on the couch without feeling guilty.

In better news this past weekend was my absolutely lovely Baby Sprinkle for little brother. It will get a post of its own but it was such a nice afternoon spent with some fabulous ladies celebrating the littlest boy in our family. It also meant I was in full-nesting-mode after sorting through our gifts and got a handful of other things done for baby's arrival. We picked up all the butt paste/gripe water/mattress pad last minute necessities we needed. J pulled out the bin of Mark's old clothes and I picked through it figuring out what items will work for this little man in the opposite season. I finally finished the binding on his quilt and hemmed his curtains which means I have two sets of photos/blog posts to write for each of those. It feels really good to get a handful of items checked off because in reality time seems to only be speeding up.

49 days or less, little boy!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Baby H: Week 32 (times two)

We're 80% of the way done, baby boy! I can't believe it! I remember this time in my last pregnancy, being into third trimester, that much closer to the big day, found almost in awe of how quickly the last  7 months have flown and the feelings this time around are no different. It's truly amazing what our bodies are capable of and the changes that seem to quickly appear when forming a new life.

This week sleep really has been hit or miss and unfortunately it seems like every night it's something different keeping me up. Whether its raging heart burn, an aching pelvis, having to get up to use the restroom multiple times or the lovely pregnancy insomnia, I've been counting my blessings if I'm up for less than an hour at random times throughout the night. Weekend days I try to be good about getting a nap when Mark does but week days definitely don't allow for that. Oh and it seems like every time I'm awake in the night, so is this boy in my belly as if to say "I'll keep you company momma!" He's still a huge mover and shaker all. day. long! to the point of wondering if other people/patients in the clinic can see my belly bouncing and changing shape with this boy's stretches and jabs. We've thankfully stayed away from all the rib pain Mark put me through but in exchange I get the lightning bolt cervix punches instead.

I am patting myself on the back this week about my increased water intake although I'm not actually feeling any different from it. I don't know how it keeps slipping through these updates but for the last month or so I've been craving all things "grainy"... yogurt with TONS of granola mixed in, Nature Vally Oats & Honey bars, etc etc. Something about the crunch (without the overwhelming salt like chips) is just hitting the spot. I've also been enjoying green smoothies in the mornings even if it means I have to share my "moooo" with my toddler! My appetite is still down in general with most of my hunger occurring earlier in the day and come dinnertime being almost nonexistent.

Unfortunately I've still been having my fair share of Braxton Hicks contractions and they're actually something I'm going to emphasize at my appointment next week. My doctor told me to call/come in if I have more than six in an hour which hasn't happened at this point but I'm still quite concerned some days. For example, in the evenings sometimes going from sitting on the couch to standing will make me have one but resting makes them stop. My question is, does it count if I were to go from sitting to standing six times in an hour and essentially cause the contractions to happen, does that count? Not to mention that they seem to be getting stronger and more painful when they do happen. I'm almost wondering if hooking me up for an NST after my appointment would be warranted at this point just to check things out.

On a related note, the concept of possibly having something to worry about with early labor did get J and I thinking about what all we need to get done before this boy arrives, specifically getting a bag together to take to the hospital. I decided to make two lists, one of things to-do and one of things we need to buy, and hang them on the baby's closet doors so I can add to them when I think of things. So far we have things like buying diapers and breastmilk storage bags and washing clothes/jumper seats and contacting insurance for a new pump. It's crazy to think we have less than 60 days till this little boy arrives and we become a family of four! 


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