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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Baby Squish : 14 Weeks

So far, this pregnancy has been entirely uneventful, which I absolutely adore, of course (knock on wood). (Knock on ALL THE WOOD.)

It's also kind of a mind-fuck how completely different yet completely the same it is as my previous pregnancies.

Symptom-wise, all three of my pregnancies have been pretty similar, though I only actually threw up with Carys. This one has probably been the easiest in terms of how I'm feeling, though mid-way through the first trimester I was exhausted like I've never felt before. That's started to let up, however, and I'm feeling pretty much exactly like I do when I'm not pregnant (except for, and can I actually write this out for public consumption? It needs to be said. Except for the gas. Oh, god. TMI times a million, I'm sorry, but if you're ever thinking about getting pregnant you really should be warned).

The big difference comes from awareness. I feel like with Carys, I was constantly aware of being pregnant, and was very "present" with the pregnancy. This time, while I certainly know I'm pregnant, I remember I'm pregnant, I feel pregnant (when I can't button my jeans), but it's in a much more abstract, vague way. I thought it'd be the other way around - since I'd been through it once before, this time around would feel very concrete and solid and familiar. And it IS familiar, don't get me wrong, but it's also this gossamer, vague idea that is almost inexplicable.

It's like I KNOW, but somehow it's not the first thing that pops into my head as an answer.

Why don't my pants fit? Oh, I probably had too much ice cream yesterday. (Ok, well, that's probably true in addition to being pregnant.)

Why am I so tired? I must not have gotten a good night's sleep last night.

Why do I have heartburn? I must have eaten something wrong.

Why are my boobs sore? Shoot, I probably had my bra on too tight.

Instead of, you know, OH DUH I'M PREGNANT.

I think last time I spent all my spare time researching  baby things and baby gear and baby information and what a c-section was like and how to make a baby sleep and how to take care of a baby and info about breastfeeding and info about cloth diapers and information about everything ever written about babies in the history of the world that I never had a chance to forget I was pregnant. This time, I don't need to buy anything new (except clothes if this one is a boy, but if it's a girl, we're set), I don't need to know the difference between a prefold and a pocket diaper, I don't need to research which swing is the best or learn how to swaddle. I know all that. And since I'd never had a baby before, my mind was full of imagining what it would be like to have a baby around and specifically wondering what it would be like to have MY baby around.

Not to mention the whole raising a toddler thing - that kind of tends to keep one busy as well. Just a bit.

This time, I take a few minutes here and there to imagine having two babies in the house, of course, and I picture Carys playing with her little sibling, and I picture me having to pry her off of the baby as she attempts to strangle it hug it tightly around the neck, but it's not a constant daydream like I used to have.

Strangely, even the things that worry me haven't been forefront in my mind. Things like where on earth we will PUT things for the new baby since I feel crowded already, and things like whether I'll ever have time or energy to clean out our spare bedroom AKA The Storage Room of Doom, and things like whether I'll be able to handle two. Those thoughts briefly cross my mind, but quickly float away. Maybe it's self-preservation?  Whatever it is, it's keeping me calm in a time where wine isn't an option, so I'll just happily accept it and continue to ignore those things and then completely panic when the baby actually gets here. That seems reasonable and healthy.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Letters to Carrots : Month Twenty-Three

May 7 - June 7, 2013
Dear Carys,

This month was SO FUN. We had a busy month, and you are just speeding through milestones. You're taller and smarter and your hair is longer and you talk more and understand more and are funnier and it seriously blows my mind ever day what a big (little) girl you are becoming.

What do you love right now?  If we did your second birthday party based on your favorite things, it'd probably be "Motorcycles, Lawnmowers, and Babies" themed. If you hear a motorcycle or a lawnmower starting up outside the house, you'll immediately stop what you're doing and call out, "Motorcycle!!!" and run to the window or door to see it. And you can tell the difference between the sounds the two make, which is better than I can do half the time. We've quite literally sat outside on the porch for an hour watching the neighbor mow his lawn. I have NO idea why this is so interesting to you. Motorcycles, I get. They're fast and slick and cool. But lawnmowers? That's kind of weird, kid.

And of course, you still adore your babies,  and often can be found carrying one or two or more of them around, taking turns feeding them and changing their diapers and covering them up...and, of course, holding them up to see the lawnmowers and motorcycles. 

What else? Worms and bugs. You'll dig in the garden or look in rocks and under sticks for any bugs you can find. You carried around two worms for probably close to an hour yesterday before I finally pried their poor (probably dead) bodies from your hands. You want to pet and hold and feed every animal that we see - birds, rabbits, dogs, zoo animals, anything. There's a nest of baby birds outside our house and you ask me to pick you up to see them a dozen times a day, and you always tell them "hi" and "bye" and "night night."

You still love to color and paint, which of course, the artistic side of me LOVES. We got a wooden easel from Craigslist for cheap and your eyes just light up when I get it out. Of course, the dry erase marker side is your favorite side, and of course, those markers do NOT come out of clothes, so I have to hide the markers and only bring them out when you're fully prepped for the experience (read: no shirt and/or bib). And it's not just paper - you love painting anything. You even helped me paint the trim of the house, and completely on your own picked up the sandpaper and started sanding different parts of the wood on the house.

We've reached the "I do it!" stage, where you want to do everything on your own. And ok, you've been in this stage for a bit now, but it's something new every day. Climb into the car and your car seat on your own (which is saying a lot, since I drive a Tahoe where the carseat is sitting at a level three times your height), buckle the seat on your own (this is actually old news, as you've been obsessed with buckles for the last year), get yourself dressed and undressed (also not new, but the absolute insistence on doing it completely on your own with zero help and yelling "no!!!" if I so much as touch the fabric is new), pour the milk yourself (!!!!!), cook your food yourself (!!!!!!!!!!!!), get up yourself, get down yourself, just LET ME LIVE MY OWN LIFE, MOM.

However, despite the roaring independence, we've somehow also reached a second clingy stage (please tell me this is a stage) where if I am getting up or moving away from you, you literally jump on me and wrap your arms around my neck and say, "Hold me, mommy!" Getting breakfast? HOLD ME! Going to the bathroom? HOLD ME! Doing laundry? HOLD ME! You passed through the other clingy stages fairly quickly, so hopefully this one passes in the same vein, but dear lord it can be annoying.  How it is possible to want to do everything on your own yet want me to hold you at the same time is a mystery only the toddler mind can unravel.

You talk and sing non-stop, and I can usually recognize the songs you're singing by now. You know most of the ABC's and, while you can only count to two or three completely on your own, if I am counting you usually know what number comes next. You can actually count to two and love counting things with me. You also know most of your colors (your favorite is still yellow). We're slowly working on recognizing the letters and numbers in writing, but that's still a work in progress.

The movement never stops; you constantly are spinning or dancing or running "so fast mommy!" You can jump with both feet off the ground (barely!). You still climb everything, although you STILL haven't climbed out of your crib. You love to swing and go down tornado slides. I love seeing you at the park with older kids, because you follow them around and want to do whatever activity they're doing, and usually by the time we're ready to leave, you're hand-in-hand with them as you run around the playground.

This month marked the end of an era year-and-a-half long era. You graduated from the baby swim class (where I was in the water with you) to the toddler swim class (where you swim by yourself and I watch from the other side of a window).  It's insane to think that you've been swimming for over a year now. The transition usually happens after age two, but since you've been in class so long, they went ahead and did it this session, since you'll turn two in the middle of it. You're in class with Taylor and Annie, who have been in class with you since the start. The three of you are impossibly cute during class, sitting on the steps and kicking your feet until it's your turn to swim, and jumping to Miss Kerri when she calls you.

Kimberly and John went with you and I to a Renaissance Faire, where you picked out yellow butterfly wings and ate your way through the booths. You loved the miniature horses and stood on the fence rails, leaning over and singing to them. We saw a jousting exhibition, and it really stayed with you - you went home and told daddy about the horses and the owies and the BOOM! You wanted to look at the pictures over and over.

Your Nana came back for the summer in the middle of May, so we've been trying to cram nine months worth of quality time into these next few months, and see her as often as possible. I don't want you to forget how much she loves you or how much fun she is when she leaves for the school year in the fall - and I want to spend as much time with her for my own selfish reasons, too...like, she's my mom and I love her.

As part of our Nana-fest, she and Kimber and I took you up to Brownville for the world's largest garage sale, and you were SUPPOSED to sleep in the car, but apparently two-year-olds don't necessarily follow what they are SUPPOSED to do, because you did not. Instead you were just a grumpass the whole time we were driving. Once we got there, you were interested enough in the surroundings (and I kept you well-fed) that you were fine while we were there (but you did completely and totally crash on the way home).  There were miniature horses there to ride, and I was sure you'd want to, but you couldn't make up your mind. I'd get you near, and you'd pet them, then if I tried to sit you on one you'd turn away and grab me. If I walked away, you'd cry out that you wanted to ride. Finally, after literally a dozen back-and-forth maneuvers I gave up and left, and then you just started sobbing for the horses and that you wanted to sit on one. Toddlers. Make up your mind, already!

We had a big family picnic at Carol's for Memorial Day with Nana and all her side of the family, and you "played" kickball with the older kids and ate super spicy chips (and loved them) and about 100 pieces of watermelon and let Bella the dog lick your face....and then you licked her face.  The picnic is also where you got to be a star by being the one to make the big announcement that you're going to be a big sister this winter. You have no idea what it all means, but if I ask you what's in my tummy, you'll answer, "Baby!" I think you're going to be completely amazing as a big sister, although I do think I'm going to have to fight you to take care of the baby (this is 100% payback for me monopolizing my little sister when she was born and making my mom fight me to even hold her).

We celebrated Mother's Day, and you painted pictures for Nana and Grandma, helped me assemble them, and were SO excited to give the pictures to them. Daddy helped you make me some bacon and eggs, and you carried the plate and a card into the bedroom and were so unbelievably proud of yourself; you could not stop smiling and saying, "Yay, mommy!" all morning.

Daddy and I went to your first circus, and holy cow, were you ever enthralled. You watched the opening act with rapt attention, and cheered and clapped throughout the show. Your favorite part by far were the elephants, and you loved the girl flying out of the cannon too. You got a bit antsy during some slower parts at the end of the first act, but I took you out during intermission to run around, and you rallied for the second half. You had your first sno-cone AND first cotton candy - I'm either the best mom ever or the worst mom ever. Or the best worst mom. You still love to talk about it and routinely ask to watch circus videos on YouTube.

A few quick things I want to remember about this month:

- Yasmine taught you to "snap" and make kissy sounds to call her cats, and you now think that's an appropriate way to get anyone's attention, feline or not.
- You're still doing your hilarious whisper-answers to questions.
- You say, "Listen!" and put your finger up to your ear, which you learned at school.
- You still pretend to be a dog and woof at me and crawl around the floor.
- You absolutely refuse to let me be on the phone or computer or watch TV if I'm around you (all of which I really shouldn't be doing). You'll take the phone away from me and say, "No more phone, mommy!" 
- You want to be outside all day, every day.
- Bike rides - you LOVE them and we have gone several times. You love to wear your helmet and "steer" the bike.
- You love giving nose kisses and eyelash kisses, and when you do eyelash kisses you'll take my face in your hands and delicately bring my face to yours. Then repeat on the other side. Always do both eyes!
- Our "hundred kisses" routine that we do before bed.
- Sleeping with the giant teddy bear (THIS IS SO CREEPY.) 
-You love to help me clean. I got you a big squirt bottle of water and a sponge and let you go to town, and I don't think an inch of the house, inside or outside, was spared your cleansing efforts.
- And pretty much everything else that has happened with you in the whole history of ever.  Seriously, I wish once you became a mother you also suddenly became the proud owner of a perfect and never-ending memory to remember every smile and giggle and word and yes, even cry.

I want to remember it all, because it's all so amazing. Even the bad days usually leave me smiling, because it was a bad day spent with you.

And maybe a glass of wine.

Except not, because I'm pregnant. A bad day WISHING for a glass of wine, then. A glass of wine and a nap, because holy cow this age is exhausting.  So fun, but so tiring!

Carys, you are such a ray of sunshine in our lives, and I'm so incredibly excited that we get to share you with another little love in a few months - I know you're going to be a ray of sunshine in your brother or sister's life as well. You're bright, funny, silly, and wonderful. And, of course, absolutely beautiful. I love you so. so. so. sosososososososososo. SO. much.

Love forever and always times a million,

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Words Not Needed

Except actually maybe they are needed since that's kind of hard to read. It says:

expiring December 2013

And yes, that means what you think it means (and if you're an avid blog reader who subscribed to posts, you knew this weeks ago when I accidentally published a post instead of saving it as a draft).  We're having baby number two sometime around December 17, 2013!  As of today, I'm 12.5 weeks and everything looks wonderful - we had a great NT scan on Wednesday that showed a healthy, perfect baby.  Fingers crossed all continues to go well and Carys can put these nurturing big sister skills she's been practicing on her dolls to work!

I have a few draft posts that I'm publishing retroactively, so if you want to read more about this pregnancy, click on the "family of four" label. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Nursery...2 Years Later (Finally)

I never did a final nursery reveal or post when Carys was born, partly because I STILL don't consider it completely done. There's one wall that is crying for more art or decorations at the very least and it kind of drives me nuts. I have artwork I want to hang, but haven't figured out exactly how I want to do so.

It's an absolutely TINY room, like 9x9 or 10x10.  There's barely enough room for a dresser and crib and rocking chair.  And there are no unique architectural details to make the room fun - no vaulted ceiling, no bay window, no window seat, no alcoves, no nooks It wasn't in the budget to build anything out or change anything structurally (nor do I have the talent to DIY). It's literally a square box of a room with one tiny window.

When I see nurseries on websites and I'm pinning them and wishing I had the talent to replicate them, they're almost always rooms with a much higher budget and they almost always have one (or more) of those cute architectural details and are almost always much larger, so my personal challenge was to create an age-appropriate, fun, cute, bright, peaceful room in a tiny, boring square of a room.

Overall, I absolutely love her room (although let's be clear: I'd definitely love it more with a bay window or if it was larger).

I knew I wanted an aqua accent wall, and I knew I wanted birch trees on it. Totally THE trend of the 2010s, I know.  Put a bird on it, amiright?  The theme, if you could call it that, would be "bright woodland birds."  It's pretty loosely interpreted, other than the "bright." I think I nailed that part. The birch trees were hand-drawn and painted by me, my aunt, mom, sister, and grandma.  My grandma drew the trees on a standard piece of paper and I free-handed copied them onto the wall with chalk, then we painted the chalkoutlines.

The "white" walls are actually a super light gray, but they turned out WAY lighter than I wanted. I should have gone a shade or two darker.

All of her clothes are either hanging in the closet (shirts, dresses, rompers, sweaters) or in the white dresser in her closet (top to bottom: PJs, pants/skirts/shorts, and BabyLegs/accessories), which was like FIVE DOLLARS or some ridiculous awesome price on Craigslist.  Her shoes are in a bin under the white dresser. We also use under-bed storage containers under her crib to store next season's clothes.  The crib was a hand-me-down from an AMAZING friend.

I took off the closet sliding doors and replaced them with curtains from Target (I can't tell if the linked curtains are the exact same but they are similar). It makes the room feel much larger, and it's so much easier to access (plus it looks WAY better than two light wood sliding doors ever did).  The black shelf is from Target, but they don't make them anymore (or at least I can't find it). The sheepskin rug is from Ikea (we did lots of tummy time on it when she was tiny), and the activity cube by the crib is by B. Toys and I got it from Target and I love it.

The bunting over the bed is from Etsy; the yellow crocheted blanket on the crib was handmade by my aunt.  It's hard to tell, since they are lined with blackout curtains, but the window curtains are the same as the ones at the closet.  The black table is from Target and the bouncy bull (Benny the Jumping Bull) was on one of those "steal" websites but he's on Amazon too (for a bit more).  We added the ceiling fan, since it can reduce the risk of SIDS (something to do with moving the air around in the room?).  You can hardly see it, but behind the bull is a tub full of toys and stuffed animals.  One thing I would change is I'd hang the curtains up much higher, almost against the ceiling, and a bit wider, to fake the appearance of a larger window by a bit. I'd also love crown molding and a million dollars. The wool ball garland over the window was another DIY project.

I painted the back of her door with chalkboard paint, and we do her monthly pictures using it as a background each month.  The flower painting was painted by my grandma and given to Carys; the red bin and bins under the dresser are all Target; owl backpack is Skip Hop.  The over-the-door bird silhouette hook is from Urban Outfitters.

The dresser was another Craigslist find. Already painted yellow - SCORE. It has all of her cloth diapers and accessories and extra blankets and carriers.   The green chair is a Pottery Barn Anywhere Chair that she got for her first birthday, and replaced the rocking chair that was there when she was still nursing (see next pic).  The green "grass" tray on the dresser is by Boon and is actually a drying rack.

The number, LOVE, and color pictures were made by me. The "Live" painting and bird print are from Etsy.  The super cute little white tree with the teal pot is from Target's dollar aisle.  I can't remember where the orange bird vase is from, but how cute is it?!? The stuffed and wooden birds were decorations at my baby shower.

The bunting over the mirror was made by me for her birthday, the mirror is from Target, and the bird and birdhouse are more shower decorations. Hand-painted by friends!  The squirrel was a gift. Doesn't it make you smile? (He comes down when she goes to bed.)

The bird print is from Etsy, and I made the little hand-felted owl. I wish the little bird bowl was angled better so you could see how it's a bird perched on a nest - it was from TJ Maxx and I spray-painted it white.  The terrarium is from Etsy...although the original glass one broke so I ordered a replacement acrylic one from Amazon. The lamp is from...you guessed it...Target.

Since taking this picture, the "Love" sign has been spray-painted yellow. And I LOVE it. Ha. See what I did there?  The small owls were in Target's dollar aisle and spray painted white; the large owl is a piggy bank and I think it was from Urban Outfitters.  The stacker toy is by Sprig, and the rainbow toy is from Etsy.

Since there's very little closet space, we use baskets under the dresser to store extra stuff. The blocks she's playing with here are also by Sprig.

If I ever "finish" her room....or retake the pics with actual staging and shit, I'll do an updated post. But I know me, so I know that's not bloody likely!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Baby Squish : 12 Weeks

Today, I had my NT scan, which Squish passed with flying colors. NT measurement was 1.3, nasal bones were present and accounted for, brain was present and in the right place, stomach was there - and the kid was bouncing off the (uterine) walls. (I feel like I used that same joke with Carys at some point...) (I need new material.)

They also gave us a tentative sex guess. Already, I know, right!??! Are you ready?

Baby Squish is (probably) a.....


.......Ha, yeah right. Not sharing that news yet. But I do know with 80% certainty. And I'm very excited. Although either way, I'd be thrilled, honestly. I absolutely adore my sister, and would love for Carys to have that bond, too. A brother and a sister are awesome (I have one! He's great!) but there's something special that sisters share that I don't think any other sibling set can match. However, I also would love a boy, because I eventually would love at least one of each, so it'd be wonderful to get that out of the way in case something prevents us from having a third.

I will say that I have always felt like I was going to have two girls and then a boy. On the other hand, I've been feeling boy with this one, because I had virtually NO first trimester symptoms (never puked, etc.) and the heart rate seems to be slower than what Carys had at around the same gestation.

So which wins?  Dreams? Old wive's tales? It will be interesting to see (and I'm exceedingly curious to see if the doctor was right, since I tend to talk shit about early sex guesses regularly). Although he has a 50/50 chance of being right no matter what, so it won't be THAT impressive if he's correct.

Next appointment isn't for a VERY LONG four weeks.  However, I can hear the heartbeat on the doppler now so hopefully that will tide me over for a bit.