Thursday, May 31, 2012

Jack at 2.5 years

Piercingly precious,
Completely irrational,
Jack: 2 and a half

Those are his two sides for sure!  What is most precious about him lately?
  • His speech patterns: lots of intonation and ending sentences on a high note
  • The way he now knows/shows remorse and will apologize for things and give you unprompted kisses to "make it better" (i.e. after he doesn't listen or scratches you)
  • His memory - it's pretty good so don't tell him anything you don't intend to do!
  • The way he says "You will be so proud of me?" when he talks about pooping, being good, being kind, etc.
  • The way he says "That will be a good idea?" :)
  • How he randomly reached for me one day and pulled my face in for a kiss - melt my heart!
  • His voracious book appetite - we read and read and read over here.  He loves 70 page books like The Cat in the Hat, loves/loves/loves Curious George, and is slowly getting over a Cinderella fetish.
  • His recognition of good/evil and the way he looks to label characters in the books he reads.  Stepsisters: not nice/Cinderella: nice, Queen: evil/Snow White: nice
And the completely irrational side?  That's an easy one to write about at this particular moment as he is crying hysterically at 3:00 because I gave him exactly what he asked for when presented with two options: bops in his bed for nap or read books, no bops.  He changed his mind over and over and after crying hysterically when I took away the bops THAT HE WILLINGLY HANDED ME, he is now crying hysterically because he has his bops but is supposed to be in his bed napping.
  • I'm 100% convinced that he still NEEDS a nap, but he mostly refuses to TAKE one.  As my mom affirms, you can't MAKE a child take a nap, and do believe me I've tried.  The afternoons can be long with a grumpy, disagreeable 2 year old.
  • He is 95% potty trained for #1 but will not go poopy in the potty even though he has done it before.  We are several months into this, so I'm starting to lose hope it's going to change anytime soon.  He had no accidents on a 15 hour car trip to SC, peeing in the toilet every 1 1/2-2 hrs when we'd stop, and he'll go put himself on the toilet to pee, but he will hold his poop until he has a pull-up on for school or a diaper on for bedtime.  We have very cool incentives for pooping which he'll tell you about excitedly but he'll also ask for a diaper so he can poop.  When asked why he won't poop in the potty ... "tuz I don't want to".
  • On that note, that is his reason for most things "tuz I DON'T want to" or "tuz I DO want to", emphasis Jack's
  • He has become increasingly attached to his pacifiers (bops).  This is not a battle I feel is worth fighting right now as he basically only has them for sleeping, the baby is about to be here, and she most likely will get to have them.  On the other hand, it's no fun going through bop separation in the morning and post nap.  Of course there are times, he happily and willingly hands them over, but the irrational, meltdowns are more common.
Here's some cuteness:

Shots from a Saturday in Jack-land

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

36+ weeks

36+ weeks pregnant (5/29/12)

This weekend we took a quick trip to Gulfport, MS to spend a little time as a family of 3 before the big switch to a family of 4 comes.  I am SO GLAD that we did this.  At the very least, I'll have a helpful way of remembering some of the last moments where I was primarily mother to 1 child, rather than 2.  Plus I think it's good for us to just get away in order to really all focus on each other (rather than the yard, the house, our many projects, etc.)  I'm hoping there is another beach trip in our future this summer.

It wasn't a glamorous trip, but it was perfect for Jack.  It was only a short drive, there was a fun children's museum, our hotel was across the street from the beach and had a pool, and the ocean was essentially a big tidal pool which was a great set-up for Jack to play in the water.

The downsides to the trip were that 1) Jack got sick at night but managed to perk up for more morning fun in the beach and pool and 2) we got unknown emergency warning lights in our car both on the way there and back that resulted in a 2.5 hr pit stop at the New Orleans Toyota dealership on the way home.  Jack was sick enough to be docile during this stop, but 2.5 hours for a 2.5 year old is a LITTLE long!

I'm glad we got to fully focus on Jack for one more trip.  There are definitely some things I'll miss about being a mom of one, like:
  • having such simple priorities when my child is sick or needs me - everything else has been able to take a back seat when Jack has been sick (from big sicknesses to small) and I can imagine it won't be quite that simple when everything else includes an equally loved child
  • no competitions for snuggle time - Jack likes to snuggle and we have spent LOTS of time curled up together/rocking together/me holding him in the last 2.5 years.  I may have just carried all 35 lbs of him all wrapped up in a towel all the way from the pool to our room (+25 lbs of baby) just bc I wanted to relish him being my baby a little longer.
  • the mom/child buddy system - we are definitely best pals and have had lots of special adventures just the two of us
  • how easy it is to stretch out and enjoy the various routines of the day because I only have one child that needs me at those times (Jacob has the maturity and patience, usually, to wait)
But I know we are exchanging one special set-up for another and I can't wait for me and Jack to get to know Cora together and to just add more love to our family.

Jack's Memorial Day Trip video

Week Thirty-Six Stats:

How it feels to be pregnant at 36 weeks: My back gets really stiff when I stand for more than a minute or so or when I'm sleeping.  I get a shooting pain when I move after either of those things.  I'm having more contractions this week, but they are still irregular.

My healthy pregnancy intentions for last week (how I did): 

1) Midwife appointment on Tuesday (went well - Jacob and I talked through our birth plan and I really appreciated the time our midwife Esther spent with us as well as the advice she had to give)

2) Eat healthy, go to prenatal yoga, and do Bradley exercises 4 times (There were a few chocolate croissants and some guilty pleasures on our trip, but otherwise...., yes, 3x)

3) Continue deep cleaning my house to satisfy my nesting instinct and so I can bring baby home to a dust free house! (yes!)

My healthy pregnancy intentions for this week:

1) Midwife appointment on Wednesday where I'll get an exam to see if these contractions are actually doing anything

2) Checking off lots of final things on baby to do list (washing bedding and diapers, finishing Cora's room, etc.)

3) Keep walking daily even though I'm starting to feel more tired/winded overall

4) Bradley exercises + relaxation practice

Saturday, May 19, 2012

35 weeks

35 weeks pregnant - 5/21/12

Okay, now I finally feel like Cora's arrival is getting close.  I think she'll be here in about 4 weeks and when I think back 4 weeks (just as we left for our trip), I realize that is NOT that much time!

This week was pretty difficult.  After five months of being well, Jack came down with 3 different sicknesses: an ongoing cold that we think is actually a sinus infection, some type of virus that gave him ulcers, and a stomach bug.  We started the week with the first two and the bug hit on Wednesday, though it took me until Thursday to think his Wednesday upchuck wasn't just a fluke.  I had to juggle a busy week at work with a child who couldn't go to school and a husband who was out of town for a night.  Somehow, it actually all went really well and Jack and I had some very special 1:1 time this week.

I got a big surprise on Saturday when the doorbell rings and my MOM is standing outside...with my sister Kristen in the driveway!  (Both live in SC.) I feel like I'm a hard person to surprise, but the two of them + Jacob completely kept this visit from me and it was such a great surprise.  I abandoned my boring weekend plans of cleaning and we went out to lunch and then they babysat Jack while Jacob and I went out on Saturday night (combination of porch furniture shopping and dinner at Tamarind).

On Sunday we went to breakfast and then Jacob and I went to church.  When we get home, Jack and mom/sister are gone, but I assume they are at the park.  Then they pull up...with my sister Claire in the car!  Claire who lives in Jackson, WY (but happened to be in SC this week).  Double surprise for me!  Mom, Claire, and Kristen all came to go to my baby shower.

So to cap off a great weekend, I had a baby shower on Sunday afternoon.  Nash Crewes, Maya McLaughlin, Emily Steffan, and Julia Dezen: thank you for such a nice afternoon!  Cora's closet has a lot more pink in it now and Jack is temporarily adopting 4 new "friends", the giraffe, doll, elephant, and kitty cat that Cora got as gifts.  (Seriously, he calls them "his friends" and took all 4 (PINK) stuffed animals to the park with him yesterday - I may have made them ride in a plastic  bag :) )

Week Thirty-Five Stats:

How it feels to be pregnant at 35 weeks:I can't figure it out but as soon as I lay down, I am SO uncomfortable.  Every position seems to make my back seize.  During the day I feel pretty good unless I stand for a long time and then my back hurts.  I just ignore the contractions now, but still have them every day.

My healthy pregnancy intentions for last week (how I did): 

1) Be healthy!  Eat well, go to prenatal yoga, gym, and do my Bradley exercises 4 times this week. (Um, no, no, and almost - I drank a lot of (homemade) strawberry lemonade this week, ate okay, chose deep cleaning my kitchen over going to prenatal yoga, didn't make it to the gym, and did an okay job with the Bradley exercises)

2) Finish Bradley book and do at least one relaxation practice with Jacob. (yes and no)

3) Focus on being in the present even as I'm working a serious to-do list at work and for baby - I know this is a special time and I don't want to squander it focusing too much on getting ready. (Yes!  This was a surprising achievement bc this week did not go as expected with Jack sick, but the time home with him really helped me slow down and pay attention to how precious he can be - it made me look forward to the slower speed of my  maternity leave and summer in general!)

My healthy pregnancy intentions for this week:

1) Midwife appointment on Tuesday

2) Eat healthy, go to prenatal yoga, and do Bradley exercises 4 times

3) Continue deep cleaning my house to satisfy my nesting instinct and so I can bring baby home to a dust free house! 

35 week belly with Jack
35 week belly with Cora
Belly Comparisons!  I'm starting to think I'm about the same size this time with Jack

Sunday, May 13, 2012

34 weeks

34 weeks pregnant - 5/13/12

In my very pregnant state with my very active 2 year old, I want to stop and give a shout out to all the mothers in the world.  It might take being a mother (or at least living with one, which btw encompasses pretty much everyone) to fully appreciate them.

I feel infinitely blessed to get to wear these shoes.  I have yet to have a day without overwhelming moments of love and gratitude for Jack.  I am now at the point in this pregnancy where I'm truly very excited to meet Cora and to get to watch her go from the point of brand new baby in my arms to inquisitive, talkative, independent child.

Just as good a Grammy as she is a Mom
It is also SUCH a DIFFICULT job.  I feel like this gets said a lot, but I wonder how much people really value this role.  Motherhood is such an awesome responsibility as you not only are entrusted with forming a human life, but also loving and molding as well as preparing that life for independence.  There is no "off duty".  Even if you are working or not with your child for whatever reason, you still are responsible for them and, hopefully, very much concerned with how they are acting/what they are learning/how they are being treated/whether they are safe/etc.

Grammy and Jack
I don't know how my mother raised 4 children.  FOUR!  I could possibly see a world where we have four kids, but I think two will be keeping me mighty busy for a while.  I want my children to have a happy childhood like I had.  There are many, many reasons why I can categorize my childhood as happy, but nearly all of those originate with my parents.  My mom exemplifies the role of motherhood and has willingly adapted to all the stages of parenting, continuing to be such a supportive, loving, and daily presence in my life now, even when I'm an "adult" and she lives 12 hours away.

So it is for these reasons and many others that our baby girl will be Cora Beth after my mom Beth Ann.  Now I hope I can be to her what my mom has been and is to me :)

Week Thirty-Four Stats:

How it feels to be pregnant at 34 weeks: Days are generally good except for my sore back; nights are uncomfortable; still have contractions every day, but I ignore them for the most part.  Have no idea how my belly will accommodate 2-3 more lbs of baby.  I have room in my upper abdomen, but I'm doubting the baby will "rise up" at this point in my pregnancy. 

My healthy pregnancy intentions for last week (how I did): 

1) Finish reading Bradley book and do Bradley exercises 4 days (Almost done and did exercises 3 days)

2)  Do Bradley relaxation exercises 2 times (1 time + prenatal yoga)

3) Midwife appointment on Tuesday (everything looks good and definitely know that Cora has her head WAY down,  is facing my left side with her little but on my right side, feet on left)

4) Try to make the return to cooking fun by coming up with 3 healthy meals (I can hardly remember - I think I bought hummus, made grilled cheese, and we grilled out 1 night; I did do a good job of eating lots of salads for lunch though)

My healthy pregnancy intentions for this week:

1) Be healthy!  Eat well, go to prenatal yoga, gym, and do my Bradley exercises 4 times this week.

2) Finish Bradley book and do at least one relaxation practice with Jacob.

3) Focus on being in the present even as I'm working a serious to-do list at work and for baby - I know this is a special time and I don't want to squander it focusing too much on getting ready.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

33 weeks

33 weeks pregnant - 5/5/12

Top 5 reasons why parents should periodically go on trips without their children:

#5 - Your days won't revolve around anyone else's schedule/needs/whims but, instead, your own - how NOVEL!

How did we take advantage of this?  We went shopping, ate at nice restaurants at the time of day that appealed to us, went on walks without having to take a stroller, went on a hike, spent an entire day at a spa, read, went to a beer festival, listened to music, went Contra Dancing (!), and made impulse decisions.  It.Was.Awesome.

Me contra dancing at 32 weeks pregnant

#4 - Bedtime and waketimes can be determined by how tired you are rather than the particular sleep pattern of your child.

We got ample sleep though I would recommend also taking these trips outside of pregnancy bc a baby inside you can also determine your sleep patterns.  Cushiony, king size bed at the Hilton was comfortable enough for both Cora and I to forget our pregnant state, but double bed at our Victorian B&B was not as much a success.

#3 - You can eat leisurely at restaurants, have meaningful conversations with your partner, and if you get lonely for a child, you can just look at the tables that do have children and remember again why eating without children is so relaxing.

Jacob would have been fine with a 2 meal a day plan; Cora and I requested the full 3 meal plan and enjoyed it!

#2 - When your days aren't revolving around a little person, you can actually focus in on your partner and reconnect.  You find them cuter, nicer, funnier, and more interesting in this light :)

It's so easy to just want to hand off your child to the other parent at the end of a long day to get some much needed alone time OR to want to do things as a family, but that leaves quality time for just the two of you happening infrequently.  A few days alone with Jacob easily reminded me why we fell in love and how much he is my best friend.  
Post walk at Furman University, my alma mater

#1 - Everything wonderful about your child will still be there when you pick them up and take them home, but you'll be re-energized as a mother/father and more in sync as a couple/parenting team.

I was entirely convinced that it was healthy for us to take a trip before the big arrival of baby Cora.  Thank you to my parents for making it so easy for us to leave Jack.  He seriously had a blast and hardly missed us.  They also saved us from a sleepless night when Jack came down with a bad cold and my dad even got to run out to a 24 hour drugstore to get medicine - I'm sure they are enjoying their rest now!

Week Thirty-Three Stats:

How it feels to be pregnant at 33 weeks: My main complaint right now is that it is hard to sleep comfortably.  I'm so stiff when I wake up, especially in my back and I wake up a lot!  During the day, I'm still feeling good for the most part.  My back is definitely my main issue.  Still having about 20 contractions a day though I'm no longer counting them

My healthy pregnancy intentions for last week (how I did): 
 1) Finish reading Bradley book and do Bradley exercises 4 days (almost finished reading and did Bradley exercises some, but could have done more)

2) Do relaxation exercises 2 times (Does my massage count?  I went back to prenatal yoga this week and we did some relaxation there, but otherwise, still no.)

3) Finish making my plan on how to roll out first LLL meeting in June (Yes, now I need to distribute flyers and start spreading the word - June 5 at 7:00 at Zuka Baby for any locals that are interested)

4) Don't have the baby while on vacation :) (Check!)

My healthy pregnancy intentions for this week:

1) Finish reading Bradley book and do Bradley exercises 4 days

2)  Do Bradley relaxation exercises 2 times

3) Midwife appointment on Tuesday

4) Try to make the return to cooking fun by coming up with 3 healthy meals