Monday, January 28, 2013

#2: 34 Weeks

{I'm just being real, here, folks}

How far along: 34 weeks

How big is baby: A butternut squash. Baby can now recognize and react to simple songs. Less cute news: She now urinates about one pint per day.  

Weight gain/loss: At least 30lbs. We'll find out this week. I did love it when someone came up to me and said I looked small and that I'm "all baby!" Unless that equates a 10lb baby. Then, maybe not.

Stretch marks: I think I've got one emerging right below my belly button. It was inevitable. 

Sleep: I'd actually say a little better. I just got a new pillow, which is helping a bit as well as the fact that I'm wearing myself out and am so exhausted everyday that I can't help but sleep.

Diet/Cravings/Aversions: Desserts in general. Though, ice creams with bananas and chocolate syrup still sounds really good.

Movement: Slowing down a little I think but he/she definitely reminds me he/she is in there often!

What I'm worrying about: Transitioning Evelyn to her big bed. I've been working non-stop to get her room ready - hence the lack of posting - and I'm about there. I think the switch will happen sometime this week. Any tips on how to do it? I'm freaking out about it!

What I'm loving: Still nesting! Though I am really tired. 

Symptoms: A lot of hip pain. If I could have someone walk around squeezing my hips together all day, I'd be happy! Also, my gall bladder is still giving me a bit of trouble, but it's tolerable.

What I'm looking forward to: Holding this baby. Finding out if it's a boy or girl. As selfish as it sounds, maternity leave.

Best moment of the week: Date night with Rob! Though are we totally lame that we were home by 9? We just kind of ran out of things to do and were tired. Thanks, Mom, for watching Evelyn though!

Monday, January 21, 2013

#2: 33 Weeks


{ ^ 33 Weeks compared to 26 weeks  ^}

I know I shared the same pic last week for comparison, but I liked the idea of seeing the same shirt. Baby's definitely growing!

How far along: 33 weeks

How big is baby: A durian fruit (approx. 19.4 inches long and 4.4 lbs). Things are heating up inside as well: baby may grow up to a full inch this week alone and his brain is developing like crazy. Pretty soon, he'll be able to coordinate breathing and sucking and swallowing. Also, his bones are hardening and he's starting to keep his eyes open when he's awake. 

Weight gain/loss: At least 30lbs. According to the doctor's scale it's looking like about 33. So we've slowed down a bit, but still gaining. 

Stretch marks: I think I've got one emerging right below my belly button. It was inevitable. 

Sleep: Meh. I just can't get comfortable. I'm not going to lie, we just got the mattress for Evelyn's room and I'm very tempted to sleep in there. By myself. Without Rob or dogs. A whole full-sized bed to myself sounds lovely.

Diet/Cravings/Aversions: Ice cream with bananas and chocolate syrup. Mmm....

Movement: Still lots. This kid is very active! I'm working on getting it on video to share. But, I think he/she is still kind of settling into the same position Evelyn was in with his/her butt in my ribs.

What I'm worrying about: Again, just how quickly things seem to be going. Not much else though thankfully!

What I'm loving: Nesting! I am on a roll! I've pretty much purged the main level of our house. Evelyn's room is coming right along. The kitchen has been reorganized and I'm seeing progress toward my goals! It's wonderful.

Symptoms: Again, aches and pains. I'm pretty tired every night and have been going to bed earlier. My gall bladder has been a little cranky lately, but that seems to be due to baby's position more than anything.

What I'm looking forward to: Getting the dreaded big move to Evelyn's big girl room done. I'm terrified of how she is going to handle it and I just want it to go smoothly and to not affect her sleep too much. What am I thinking!?

Best moment of the week: I don't know if I could pinpoint a single moment. I'm just loving things right now. Evelyn is so sweet and is constantly giving hugs and kisses. Life is good! Can't wait to introduce another little person to this family.

Oh, wait, I take that back, I think we've decided on names! That is a good feeling. We're letting them settle for a few days but I kind of love them.

Monday, January 14, 2013

#2: 32 Weeks


{ ^ 32 Weeks compared to 26 weeks  ^}

How far along: 32 weeks

How big is baby: A squash. Ready or not, baby's getting ready to emerge. She's probably in the head down position with her bottom facing up. This is the comfiest way for her body to fit in your increasingly cramped womb and will make her eventual exit (only a few months away now!) much easier. 

Weight gain/loss: At least 30 lbs 

Stretch marks: I think I've got one emerging right below my belly button. It was inevitable. 

Sleep: A little improved this week though still not very restful. 

Diet/Cravings/Aversions: Sweeter things.  

Movement: I'm starting to feel very much like I did when I was pregnant with Evelyn. The kicks and rolls seem to be much in the same place with (what is hopefully) a little bum in my right ribs. Not much on the right side anymore. Hopefully this one doesn't stick posterior, but I'll take that over breech!

What I'm worrying about: Not too much. More than anything, the major changes that are coming and how Evelyn is going to cope with them. Also, how freaking fast time is going. I can't handle it. Slow down! I'm not ready!

What I'm loving: Decorating Evelyn's big girl room! Going through baby items. The nesting instinct. I've been accomplishing so much lately!

Symptoms: Still hip and pelvic pain. Just your typical 3rd tri aches and pains. Still loving being pregnant though.

What I'm looking forward to: Hopefully a nice date night with Rob soon. Also, just spending the next few weeks with my girl. I'm absolutely excited about meeting our baby, but I want to soak up every last second of her time as our only baby. She's so awesome right now. 

Best moment of the week: Finally making progress on Evelyn's room! Curtains are up and the bed frame is assembled. Now we need to get a mattress and box springs and do some finishing touches! I can't wait to share it. It's coming together nicely.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

My Breastfeeding Journey: A Year and Beyond

When I got pregnant (well, before really), there was no question that I would be breastfeeding my baby. As with everything else I've done when it came to pregnancy and parenting, I researched and educated myself on everything breastfeeding related. I read blogs and articles. I watched YouTube videos. I took a class. I knew of all the benefits of breastfeeding and prepared myself to take every step needed in order to make our breastfeeding relationship successful. In fact, it was probably the one thing that worried me more than anything when it came to having a baby. I had no doubts about my abilities to birth a baby, but the anecdotes you read and hear about moms who didn't produce enough or the baby didn't latch, etc. were terrifying. I wanted this so badly. So, I prepared myself for the "booby traps" and hoped for the best. Here's a post outlining my adventures with breastfeeding in the beginning.

I thought, however, it might be helpful to someone to get an idea of breastfeeding beyond the typical beginning troubles. It seems that once you overcome those initial hurdles, it's just business as usual. But I know I still had questions along the way and I never imagined I'd be where I am now. Staring in the face of tandem nursing (dum, dum, duuuummmm....).

There, I said it. I never claimed there wouldn't be controversy in this post! I'm just sharing my experiences and what is working for us. That doesn't make it right for everyone, but it's right for my family and I stand by that.

Let me back up. Start from the beginning - and by that I mean after the real beginning. Things were pretty uneventful for the first 6 months. I was working part time and Evelyn took a bottle just fine while I was gone. I was pumping about 20 oz a day over what Evelyn needed and storing it "just in case." The end result when I finally weaned myself from the pump at about 7 months was a freezer stash consisting of about 3000 oz of breastmilk.



I was so lucky to have it. I was even luckier I didn't need it and was able to gift some of it to a friend. Evelyn was drinking it from sippy cups until about a month ago. Let's just say the the pump and I have a love-hate relationship. I was not sad to put that thing away.

At 6ish months, we started Evelyn with baby led weaning. She took to food extremely well.

{This picture cracks. Me. Up.}

No issues. I just kept nursing on demand and my supply remained perfect. I never experienced mastitis though I did verge on plugged ducts a few times that I had to work out in the shower and with nursing. Weaning from the pump was a rough few days. I went cold turkey and eventually my body adjusted though I did encourage Evelyn to eat just a little more at that time to relieve the pressure a bit.

I continued to lose weight and stuff my face with obscene amounts of food to compensate. I know, rough problem to have, right?

Then, came the day everyone warned me of. Evelyn started teething. And she bit me. It wouldn't be the last time, but I think my utter shock and scream scared her enough to not try it again right away. Thankfully, it never became a huge issue like I know some moms experience, but my best trick in dealing with it was to just pop her off and put her down. She would be mad at me and I would wait a few minutes, then let her latch back on and if she did it again I would repeat it. She seemed to get the hint pretty quickly. I was a little on edge for a little while during that time (I mean, who likes to get bitten?) and just as everything difficult with babies, that stage passed. She now has 10 teeth - two on top, four on bottom, and four molars - and doesn't cause me any issues. It is very true that when a baby is properly latched, the teeth won't be an issue. So, don't let anyone scare you when they say, "Just wait until that baby gets teeth!" Totally not worth the fear.

My goal was to make it to a year. At that point, I would play it by ear. Before getting pregnant, I used to hope that I'd have a huge oversupply and be able to wean her at 6 or 7 months and be done. Wow. Little did I know how naive I was being. How much I would just adore this relationship. How much it would mean to me to hold on to those precious baby moments as long as humanly possible. To continue to give her a little boost in immune protection and a way to comfort her when nothing else works. Not to mention the benefits to my body!

My first thoughts of weaning came when Rob and I started talking about when we would want to try for another. My cycle returned at 9 months postpartum and low an behold, I was ovulating. We weren't trying really and my cycles were getting progressively longer. So, I went ahead and made an appointment with my OB to see, more than anything, if there was something I could do to at least keep things regular without any other interventions that might affect my nursing relationship with Evelyn. Little did I know that at that appointment I was probably implanting. Five days later, I got a positive pregnancy test.

{Hello, baby #2!}

Well, I wasn't going to wean her just for that. I started researching nursing while pregnant and talked to my OB about it. There was no medical reason for me to stop and Evelyn certainly didn't magically stop benefiting from my milk when she turned one, so we kept going. She has slowly dropped herself to twice a day (and not always that) - morning and night. She sleeps through the night and if, on the rare occasion, she wakes up I do still nurse her.

I prepared myself for her to wean because of my milk changing with pregnancy, but she hasn't. I'm so amazed at my body. My milk is now almost completely back to colostrum and ready for the new one. It will continue to be tailored to the new baby's needs so there are no concerns there. I'm actually pretty happy because that means that Evelyn is getting some pretty awesome antibodies and such during the flu season.

So, what is the plan, then? Well, I don't know. Rob, at this point, is completely on board with us continuing. He knows the benefits and couldn't be more supportive and I love him for that. It's hard to say that I would never nurse her past 2 when I used to tell myself that I would wean at 7 months if my freezer stash were big enough to do so. I thought it was weird when moms would nurse their toddlers and here I am. I will certainly be setting boundaries when the new baby comes. His/her nutrition will come first. And I'm mentally preparing myself for the possibility that she could wean at any time. But, I think I'm just going to follow my gut. It's yet to lead me astray and I remain confident in my choices for our family. I also remain confident that I will not be nursing my daughter through college. So, for now, I'm just going to keep enjoying the peaceful moments and making memories of her waving at me and "blowing me kisses" while nursing. One day I'll miss it.

{A little vintage Evelyn from her first swim in April, 2012}

Friday, January 11, 2013

Evelyn's Big Girl Room: Before

You've been hearing me mention Evelyn's big girl room a lot lately. We're on a deadline to the tune of March 11ish and I still have barely started on it. I have plans and decorations and a pinterest board and everything, but not much progress. Thankfully, we've started to work on it this week.

This room has been through a bit of an evolution in the five years (really!? five years!?) we've lived here. When we moved in, it was a nice, organized office. Then an office + a sewing room. Then an office + sewing + piano room. All the while housing ridiculous amounts of junk. Seriously. Please tell me everyone has a room in their house where they just stick the stuff they don't know what to do with? That was this room.

Now, out of necessity - and an increasing itch to make it presentable to house guests instead of an eyesore upon which I close the door - it is going through yet another transformation into a girly, yet not too girly room for my first born.

Here is the room before. Actually, this is more in the middle. Seriously guys, this room could have been on an episode of hoarders. Minus the dead animals and such. It feels good to purge.


Plans:

When I first thought of Evelyn's big girl room, I got excited about painting and such. Then I realized that I kind of love this paint color. It's just the perfect shade of blue. Light enough to certainly not be considered masculine, yet feminine enough to not be girly. I'm team no-pink over here. Well, to an extent.

I also thought about furniture. Do I go buy her furniture? Convert the crib and buy a new crib? Use my old furniture? I couldn't resist the cheapest option which is handing down a very old family heirloom (sorry for the terrible pics):

{Headboard - OMG, my basement! This was in the midst of what I"m referring to as the great purge} 

{Chest of drawers} 

{Footboard} 

{Vanity}

This set is old. As in over 100 years old. Handed down through the generations and in really great condition. I considered painting it white until my mom nearly had a heart attack and I saw the sheer amount of laquer I'd have to sand off of it. So it will remain in this state though I might change the knobs. I wish I could replace the mirror since it really looks kind of worn and yucky, but I think that would be difficult.

So, wall color - check. Furniture - check. Now comes the fun part. Decor! I seriously suck at interior decorating. I'm a math teacher for crying out loud. My creative gene doesn't exist. That, and all I see when I'm shopping for decorations is dollar signs. Then I came across this on clearance at Bed Bath and Beyond:







I know. It's pink! But, it has the perfect accent of blue in it to match the walls with a nice vintage feel to go with the furniture. At least I hope that's how it all works out. 

I've also got some other ideas brewing such these cute wall hangings made of simple fabric in embroidery hoops:

{Courtesy of Apartment Therapy}

Some cute little paintings that I thought Rob could do. Only I was thinking a countryside scene instead of Paris:

{Courtesy of Lemontree Creations}

We'll see how it all turns out, but I'm excited to finally get started on the more fun stuff!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Miscellany


  • I love Christmas, but I'm glad it's over. It's like going on vacation but being glad to sleep in your bed when you get home. It's chaos, glorious chaos, but makes you appreciate the routine days throughout the rest of the year.
  • I finally got all of my decorations put away. 
  • I'm nesting. Bad.
  • This is a good thing as Evelyn's room is finally getting some attention and our basement is getting more organized by the day.
  • I'm a little freaked out by the fact that I'm having a baby in two months. That is not enough time to get everything done. I'm trying really hard, but not being very successful.
  • Rob has been hearing yet another round of layoff threats. This one sounds legit, but when you hear them at least once every four months you begin to ignore them. God will take care of us.
  • I don't think Rob would be disappointed to have to find a new job considering how much he dislikes his. Maybe this is God telling him to move on?
  • I am finding my job harder and harder. My body is protesting sitting all day staring at a computer. I feel tired and frustrated. I miss teaching. I miss my baby. 
  • Evelyn has begun with the tantrums. She's attempting to scream/cry and fall on the floor when she doesn't get her way. Fun, no? At this point, we are both just completely ignoring the behavior or telling her that when she is ready to be kind we can do an alternative activity.
  • I'm struggling with the idea of Evelyn weaning (yes, she's still nursing). She is beginning to drop morning sessions and I've noticed changes in her habits as my milk changes back to colostrum (aren't our bodies amazing?). Outside pressures make me question how I'm handling it, but I know deep down that it's a positive part of our relationship and that someday she will wean and I won't have these moments anymore. This may be a whole other post in and of itself though.
  • Parenting is hard stuff.
  • How the heck am I going to handle two?
  • I often feel like I don't devote enough attention to certain activities. I stink at remembering people's birthdays and sending cards. I want to take more pictures of life and keep my photos organized. I want to be crafty or keep my house cleaner but I feel like I can never keep up. I think this is common with moms. But, it's hard when others seem to make it look so easy. 
  • Example: I'm 3 years behind on putting our family photos into our annual ornaments. Also, I desperately want to make a photo book for Evelyn's first year, but I feel like I have to be doing so many other things that I can't focus on it. I think the part of me that can't stand to start a project and not finish it in one sitting is my greatest detriment in this department.
  • If people call me a procrastinator, I'm not sure what I'd label Rob. His incessant habits of procrastinating are grating on my every last nerve right now. I can't get going on Evelyn's room because his desk covered in his crap is still in there and I, obviously, can't move it. Also, him and trash is probably topping my list right now. Is it really that hard to take two steps to throw the wrapper of a piece of candy away? Also, when I ask you to take the trash out (because you yell at me when I do it - being pregnant an all) that means actually taking it outside and putting it in the can, not setting it in the garage for morning. And then not doing it in the morning either. I might as well have just done it myself.
  • Thankfully though, when he does get motivated, there's no stopping him. He's been working hard on the basement and it's finally getting there!

Monday, January 7, 2013

#2: 31 Weeks

{I actually like this picture!}

How far along: 31 weeks

How big is baby: A pineapple. Baby is going through major brain and nerve development these days. His irises now react to light and all five senses are in working order.

Weight gain/loss: At my appointment last week I was at 159. I think that makes a total of 30 lbs and somehow no real gain in the past 3 weeks over Christmas. I'm calming down a lot about my weight now. 

Stretch marks: None yet this time. But, I'm sure they'll come.

Sleep: Rough. I don't have problems falling asleep but I've been in a bit of pain overnight. My mattress seems to put a lot of pressure on my hips and sleeping with a pillow between my legs leaves me with a feeling like my pubic bone has been bruised in the morning. On top of that, I've been experiencing a popping sensation in my pubic bone for a couple of weeks now. This definitely leads to a restless night and a tired mama.

Diet/Cravings/Aversions: More sweets than anything. I still want some molten chocolate cake with ice cream and an ice cold glass of milk. 

Movement: Seems to be moving more toward those rolls and "alien" moves you get toward the end. Baby is in a different spot than he/she was last week though. I'm not sure if he/she flipped back over or what, but I'm not feeling the kicks in my right side so much anymore. There is definitely something hard in my right ribs. Hopefully it's a butt and not a head.

What I'm worrying about: There have been talks of layoffs again with my husband's job. That's always scary but it's in God's hands and I know we'll be taken care of. Getting everything done before the baby comes. Mainly finishing Evelyn's room and getting her switched over. I still have a lot of work to do around the house with organizing and purging. Hopefully we'll get it finished soon! I did get a big burst of energy and cooked a month's worth of freezer meals yesterday! Here's to a month of meal planning done. I hope it works out well and we stick to it. We spend way too much money on food because we don't plan well.

What I'm loving: Starting to get out and go through the little things again. Clothes, socks, diapers. There is nothing to get you going like looking at baby clothes.

Symptoms: A lot of hip and pelvic pain. General achiness. Everything else is great!

What I'm looking forward to: I feel like I've said this before and never have anything to show for it, but working on Evelyn's room. We have to get it done eventually!

Best moment of the week: My dr. appointment. I felt good about my weight and a lot better about my delivery plans. Now just waiting for the baby! Down to bi-weekly appointments! Yikes!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Evelyn June: 18 Months

Even later than planned since the internet stopped working over the weekend. But, what a milestone! You are such a big girl too. The way you change before my eyes every day is astounding and I love you more and more every passing second.

Overall, you are awesome! So well-behaved and loving. You are so sweet and kind and love to give kisses and hugs. Spending Christmas with a toddler was both exhausting and refreshing. Nothing like the joys of Christmas through the eyes of a child! We went and saw Christmas lights and you sat on my lap in the car while we drove through the park. After the initial curiosity about the front seat wore off, you spent the whole time trying to stick your head out the window saying "Oh, wow!" It was amazing. Christmas morning was even better. You slept super late (that's my girl!) and when you got up and walked down the hall you immediately spotted your baby doll stroller and made a bee line. I don't think you've stopped pushing it around the house since! You enjoyed pull-apart cake for the first time and loved it (who wouldn't?) and were a trooper through the rest of the day's festivities. Even without a nap you kept going until about 9:30 pm. Crazy. The following week we spent the day at Maw Maw and Paw Paw's for Christmas and you were thoroughly enjoying playing with your cousins. Overall, it was an amazing holiday and I can't wait for next year.

{Santa came!}

{Not sure what's up with her face in this picture, but it's hilarious} 

{Loves her stroller! And the headlamp, very fashionable} 

{Pull-Apart Cake!!}

You still eat so well. Unfortunately, we've had to cut most acids out of your diet to try and avoid diaper rashes. This includes tomatoes, strawberries, pineapple, etc. all of which you LOVE. I actually considered trying elimination communication, but gave up pretty quickly. I must say, you looked pretty cute on the toilet though!

{You'll kill me for this one day}

You'll eat just about anything and I think the only thing I can really name that you dislike is sweet potatoes.

{You are certainly comfortable at the table. And the baby belly? Dead.}

You have started throwing some little tantrums here and there, but I feel like we're navigating them well for now. I think a lot of it boils down to communication. You want to talk so badly but just can't find the words all of the time. We joke that you talk all day and have nothing to say because it's a lot of toddler jabber. Your vocabulary has definitely grown to include Oliver, bye bye, yes, wash, and a. You can correctly identify the letter "A" as well as make sounds for and identify dogs (woo), monkeys, snakes, and elephants. You love to go through your picture books and look for things I ask for at which point you say "there we go!" and clap for yourself.  Speaking of books, you love to read. You would read all day if I had time to sit with you!


{We read Jingle Bells at least a thousand times!}

You still sleep amazingly, though we've had a few hiccups here and there. I mostly attribute it to when your schedule is a little off. The other night after you had woken for the 3rd time since I put you down, I picked you up to comfort you and while sitting in my lap, in between sobs, you let out a giant fart and said "there we go!" It was so pitiful and hilarious. I laid you back down and you slept the rest of the night! Generally, you are down at 7:30 and up at 8 without any wakeups. You go to sleep well and we broke the pacifier this month! You love to sleep with your blanky but I've had to put "bed only" limits on it since you were wanting to take it everywhere with you.

{Christmas Morning}

{You slept till 9:30 this morning!}

{Gotta have the blanky}

{Bedhead! I love you in the mornings. So sweet}

I can't get enough of your smiley personality and I'm enjoying every last second of these fleeting moments I have with just the three of us. We're going to rock your world in a couple of months and I only hope my sweet girl sticks around through it!




Tuesday, January 1, 2013

#2: 30 Weeks


Wait, what day is it? I got lost at some point over the past week and realized that I'm somehow late with not only Evelyn's 18 month post, but my 30 week post! Ack! I thought I was doing well!.

I might have to add a picture later.... Sorry folks!

How far along: 30 weeks (eek!)

How big is baby: An cucumber. As baby's skin smooths out, her brain keeps getting more wrinkled. All those grooves and indentations increase surface area, meaning more room for that oh-so-essential brain tissue. She's also adding some brawn - her grip is now strong enough to grasp a finger. 

Weight gain/loss: Not sure. At least 27 lbs. I'd say I'm definitely over 30 lbs by now. Deep breaths....

Stretch marks: None yet this time. But, I'm sure they'll come.

Sleep: Still sleeping all night but not feeling very rested. I usually wake up sore in the morning. That's par for the course though!

Diet/Cravings/Aversions: Nothing sticks out in particular. Although I did thoroughly enjoy some molten lava chocolate cake with ice cream. It was divine.

Movement: Tons of kicks on my right side. Still not 100% sure where he/she is at right now though.

What I'm worrying about: Just taking the time to enjoy this pregnancy and these last few months with Evelyn as my only. Big changes are coming, fast.  

What I'm loving: Everything. My little family. Being pregnant. Evelyn. I love it all.

Symptoms: Heartburn seems to have subsided just a bit. Some swelling and general achiness. Much to be expected!

What I'm looking forward to: Welcoming a new one to our family!

Best moment of the week: Christmas with my parents. It was a great time!