Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Growing Up, Lately

Pajama Day!

I have to confess that I went to the store and bought him four new pairs of pajamas because I couldn't decide which ones I liked best for pajama day. (Both school days were pajama days last week, so we needed two pairs.) If that doesn't say first time mom, then I don't know what. Or maybe that's just my type-a showing. Anyhow, we're good on pajamas for a while.

This evening I asked Jack to pick up his blocks, and he immediately looked up at Mr. G and said, "Hep me, Daddy!" It was one of those moments when I really considered that he is growing up before my very eyes. He's singing his ABC's, counting up a storm, and my favorite is still when he asks for something and says, "Peeeeeez, Mama!" It melts my heart.

These are sweet days. I love this boy.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

35 Weeks

Well, we made it to 35 weeks! I went back to my Jack files, and it seems like I got the same inkling to start packing the baby's bag during that week too. Annabelle's is completely packed. Like, pick it up and go straight to the hospital packed. Her coming home outfit is sweetly and carefully tucked in, with her shoes and ruffled socks. And some hair accessories, of course.

This week I also worked on my house a bit and may have overdone it putting it all back together after the floor installation. I've been paying the price all week. But I love the floors! My admin also started my maternity leave paperwork, and I've begun turning some things over just in case we have an early bird baby lady. Crazy!

We still have a few things to do to complete her room. I ordered one of those beautiful vine monograms that will need to be painted and hung once it arrives, and I need to find a mirror for over her dresser and a basket or some kind of cute container to keep her diapers, wipes, and other various items at the ready. I have high (probably too high) hopes that most of this will be completed this weekend.

Next week is my first weekly visit with my doctor which means I'll likely know if we've made any progress, if I'm remembering the last go-round correctly. My comfort level is at an all-time low, so I know we're getting close.

But I'm just weeks from seeing my sweet girl for the first time!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Shower for Annabelle

I truly have the most wonderful church family. Last Saturday they threw Annabelle and me a sweet little shower to celebrate her arrival and all things pink to come at our house. Everything was so thoughtful and sweet! They used the colors pink and grey, which are the colors of her room. I don't know if I have yet mentioned on here that her room matches my blog. Not on purpose.

I'm sad that I didn't get a pic with the eight hostesses before I left, but here are some of the pics my sweet friend Amy (who opened her home for it) sent me.

My friend Allison created a hot chocolate bar with homemade marshmallows and cinnamon whipped cream.
She talks about it on her blog What This Mama Eats!

They served cake balls and delicious brunch food like quiche, sausage balls, and a fruit compote. It was all so good!

Nearly every picture I'm in, I'm making a crazy face at how cute every gift is. This is one of my tamer moments. My Grannie gave us a Vera Bradley bag that I'd been wanting for my girl. It will be her bag for the hospital, but it will also be one that she carries forever! I have this same size duffle that has been travelling with me since 2001. The pattern is called Ribbons, and I can't wait to stock up on some of the matching accessories for her.

Annabelle's sweet little Beaufort Bonnet from my parents.
I am so excited to see her sweet face in it!

I love being part of this community of believers. Some of these ladies are my age, and some of them have grown children and have already traveled this road. I'm so thankful to them for their love and encouragement during these early years of motherhood.

We are ready for our sweet Annabelle with all things pink!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Mama Monday: UppaBaby Vista Stroller Review

Note: This is not a paid advertisement for Uppababy (don't I wish!), but while I was researching strollers 2 years ago, blogs and personal experience were what interested me most. Obviously, I'm dabbling in baby item research again now that I'm thinking of a least a few things I think would come in handy with two kids, so that prompted this post.

When we were preparing for Jack and picking out his stroller and whatnot, we decided to go with kind of a cadillac of strollers. I didn't register for it because I didn't want anyone to think I was expecting to have big $$$ shelled out on it, but we had high hopes that God would bless us with another baby within a couple of years, so to us, it was a good investment (let's face it - mama spends a lot of time at the mall when she's not shopping the internet.)

I picked the Uppababy Vista for multiple reasons:
  • It comes with a bassinet so it converts to a pram.
  • There is an additional infant carrier converter for purchase.
  • It has a great toddler seat with one-handed recline.
  • It is fairly lightweight for its ginormous size.
  • At the time we purchased it, the basket underneath was the largest on the market {shopping!}
  • With one-click, the handle can extend for my tall husband.
  • It has an additional rumble seat for purchase to convert to a double stroller.
Clearly I haven't had a chance to try it out with the rumble seat, but I'm pretty excited to get to add it just like I had hoped two years ago. I just placed my order on Amazon. Jack will have the rumble while we still have Annabelle snapped into the infant carrier converter.

I've been meaning to blog about the Vista for a while because we've really enjoyed it. I loved it so much that I picked up their G-Luxe umbrella stroller for travelling, and it's great too. Last spring when I bought it, it was one of the only umbrellas on the market that had an almost full recline.

I love this kid so much.

And I've had great experience with their Customer service. When I started walking the neighborhood to exercise during Jack's early weeks, once I hit a certain speed (not running) the front wheels started to shimmy. I contacted Uppababy immediately (because, hello $$$), and they dispatched a new set of front wheels, and a new frame to resolve my problem. All I had to do was box up the original frame and call UPS to pick it up. I've not had an issue since!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

34 Weeks

I don't have too many updates this week. Annabelle's room is still a work in progress, but it's a super fun work in progress!

I had a doctor's appointment yesterday. I saw my doc's newest associate in case she's the on-call when I go into labor. We measured right on track, and Annabelle's heartbeat was 140. She gave me the impression that I will have a baby before 40 weeks, which means we're 5 weeks or less away.

{I'll just be over here trying not to get my hopes up.}

I am trying to ignore that my left foot looks like it is swollen right now (barely, and at the end of an evening of shopping.) I mean, the only part of my body that is slim right now are my ankles, so I would prefer they stay that way as long as possible. But as I remember from Jack's pregnancy, the ankles are the last to go, which means we're getting closer. Excitement.

I'm also pretending that my house isn't in total uproar right now. We're having new floors installed which means that the living room is in my kitchen, the study is partially in our room and Annabelle's, and the entry is in the garage. We are on a crazy train. But how much crazier would it be if I had a toddler and a newborn while it was going on? It will all be put back together by Friday night.

Her baby book came in! I had decided I wanted something that wouldn't show dirt, and by the end of my appointment I had picked out off-white with pink polka dots. It was just too sweet and adorable, and I couldn't help myself. So I also had them add a plastic cover for it, so here's hoping.

Anyway, I love it and of course have it completely filled out up to the "Day You Were Born" page already. Yay!

Mr. G laughs because he likes to ask how well I've kept up with Jack's book. I have a stack of things that need to be added to it, but I'll get there. Do you keep up with a baby book for your kids? Or have intentions to?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Day My Heart Went to "School"

So 2013 is a year of big change at our house, obviously, with our family growing in headcount. It's also a year of big change because our childcare situation has changed too. We've been very, very blessed that God sent Jack a wonderful caregiver that we loved and trusted for the past almost 2 years, but she has some fun and exciting changes in her life as well this year, so Jack needed a new place to be. Change all over the place.

Looking like such a big kid. {Sigh.}

In his faithfulness, the Lord delivered a new situation that is perfect, such that part of the time our sweet boy can attend MDO/pre-school/whateveryoucallit Tuesday and Thursday. It's an environment we're comfortable with and run by people we know and trust.

First day of school pic.
Napmat and lunchbox by the fabulous SheSheMade.

Because he had been sick the first part of last week, Thursday was his first day. We put on his backpack (jackpack), packed his little lunch, and grabbed his nap mat. It was wear grey day, so he wore grey stripes. He really had no idea what was going on, even though we have talked and talked about it.

When I dropped him off, he didn't even look back and went straight to play. I have eyes on the ground there, so I got a few pics sent my way throughout the day of what he was up to. My biggest concern was that he wouldn't stay on his nap during naptime, but in true firstborn fashion, he followed instructions, stayed on his mat, and even took a good nap.

When I got home, he was all smiles all evening, which tells me he had a good day. Our sweet boy is growing up!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Mama Monday: Post-Partum Belly Binding

So one thing that bears mentioning on here is that my best friend is getting married! She is a beautiful person, both inside and out, and she is going to be the most beautiful bride. Her wedding is April 6th, and I'm so honored that she asked me to be part of it! It's going to be a wonderful day and a great celebration.

For those of you keeping track at home, that's exactly one month and 5 days after my Annabelle is due.

The bridesmaid dress is a formal gown with a full skirt and high waist, which I think will be very forgiving. However, of course, I will be pulling out all the stops to make myself as small as possible within the timeframe I have, which brings me to the topic of belly binding.

If you're curious as to what this is, it's basically a girdle, and the thought is that you wear it night and day for several weeks after delivery to speed the process of tucking your baby belly back in place. It's not a weight loss solution of course--just a little something to encourage your abs to return to their former spaces from being stretched. The best known brand in the US is called the Belly Bandit, and you can even find it at BRU or Buy Buy Baby. I do believe that the Kardashians are the ones who made it famous, so do with that what you will.

I would love to hear if you have any experience with this! I know it's common for C-section patients to come home with a belly binder to help support their mid-section post-surgery, and the little research I did said that in Eastern cultures, they've been doing this for years.

Anyway, I'm no expert. I've just been doing a little research on the web and would love to hear what you think about it. Torturous? Common sense? I find it a bit fascinating and am curious to know if it works!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

33 Weeks

The weeks are flying by now, it seems.

I feel like we are more prepared for this kiddo at this time than when we were expecting Jack. I know it's because we already have the gear, we know how to install a car seat, we don't have scheduled classes to learn how to bathe a baby, and we've even lived through that "oh my gosh the contractions are 5 minutes apart grab the bag let's go" moment (and the remaining 17 hrs of labor after that moment.) So I think we're a little more calm than we were two years ago.

I've been going through clothes that my friends have brought to me, laundering them, pressing sweet little smocked dresses, and organizing her room. I was so excited to find that her headboard was delivered today, and tomorrow her dresser is coming. (It's a week late, but still!)

Untitled #12

Just a few of my bag contents.

I have a pile going in a corner of our bedroom of things to pack in my bag. It occurred to me earlier in the week that I not only have Annabelle's and my things to pack -- I'll also have to pack a bag for Jack. That's one more thing to think through, but of course it will all get done.

I haven't mentioned many pregnancy woes on here because I know ladies who have had much worse symptoms than me, but let me tell you that I have heartburn that is like the fire of a thousand suns. It wasn't quite this bad with Jack. I can actually set my watch by when the medicine wears off. I'll be curious to see if she has a lot of hair based on that wives' tale.

Praise be to the Almighty God, the Creator of those who created heartburn medicine.

Amen and amen.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Mama Monday: Baby-Wearing


Moms, I need your advice.

I had a friend ask me if there was any baby gear I didn't have that I might need for Annabelle. The one thing I can think of that would be super useful is maybe a Baby Bjorn, sling, or some other baby wearing device that would keep me hands free whilst chasing a handsome, yet rambunctious, gentleman of two years.

{Note: I did not baby-wear my boy. I held him, nearly non-stop, for 3 months while I was on maternity leave. Because he was mine and I could. He was/is not spoiled. He self-soothes great. We are both none the worse for it.}

I feel like a sling has its great moments, and a Baby Bjorn or Ergo has its time as well, once the little lady can hold her head up. And Moby? I don't know that I can even go there. Too complicated for me.

Do I need BOTH?

Also, if sling = yes, then is Baby Bjorn > Ergo?

Do tell.


Thursday, January 3, 2013

32 Weeks

It has been a wonderful and relaxing week. Vacation does that, if you'll let it.

For the first time in a very, very long time, I sat around and watched TV for two days straight. It was just what I needed: a good break before going into these last, most tiring days of pregnancy.

While I sat around, Mr. G did not. I finally found that perfect silvery grey I was talking about. It's Silverpointe by Sherwin Williams, and we now have a room covered beautifully in it. Her bed is assembled, and her bedding is on. (I at least did that part.) I've ordered the headboard for the queen bed that will one day be her big girl bed, and her dresser should be here by Friday. I was getting all itchy about not having a place to put away her folded clothes, but that feeling is starting to wane, knowing a delivery date for the dresser.

Wednesday I finally made it by to order her baby book with rush delivery. Both our wedding book and Jack's baby book were made by Jan Sevadjian Designs, and I honestly couldn't imagine not having Annabelle's by them. It usually takes a month or so to process, so I paid up to have it here since I need/want it by the 19th. (Available for order through Paper Affair on Lovers Lane in Dallas, one of my favorite places.)

All that is left is some wall art, frames, and recovering a chair I bought 5 years ago that I've been holding on to for just the right spot in my house, and her room will mostly be done. Then I'll move on to Drefting her pajamas and blankets! I've really crossed a lot of things off off my to-do list this week, thanks to my super husband.

I've started thinking about packing my bag this week too. I have quite a few irons in the fire between now and Annabelle's birthday, so I want to have my L&D and post-partum needs covered a little along the way. Surrounding myself with things like my favorite bath and hair products, and cute and comfy loungewear goes a long way in ministering to me. It deludes me into thinking I'll be a little put together, despite the fact that I will probably be swollen up like a watermelon, post-partum.

This afternoon I had a doctor appointment, and she confirmed what I've been telling people who ask how I'm doing: "I'm great--just getting bigger by the minute." Annabelle is head down already and quickly running out of space. She kicked and kicked against the doc as she felt around to check her position. We both appear healthy, and our next visit is a short two weeks away!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Christmas Day

Before I get started on Christmas Day, I have this one other pic from the 24th after we opened presents. We got Jack a 100 piece set of blocks which I think are his favorite gift of the year. This really captures how he feels about them. Almost every day since then, his first word of the morning (after mama) has been "bocks!" Who knew?

Certainly not the genius who ordered her child one hundred blocks for Christmas, which do not stay corralled in the same area.

He loves them. (I have to repeat this to myself.)

As I mentioned in my Christmas Eve post, we spent the night in our own beds before rising to see that Santa had visited us.

Santa must've read my mind because we were both all over the Melissa & Doug toys this year. He brought an M&D train set that Jack has had a ton of fun with, among other things.

We drove to Corsicana as soon as we were dressed for turkey and dressing at my Grannie and Pop's. In fact, both my grandmothers were there, as my Memaw spent Christmas with us too. Jack really cleaned up - everyone was so generous!
My mother couldn't resist these Carhartt overalls for him. Such a little man.

I think that is the only picture I took the rest of the day. Sad! While we were down there, it snowed in Fort Worth such that when we got home Wednesday evening, there was still quite a bit in our backyard. So we actually had a white Christmas!
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