June 30, 2014

We better order a crib soon...

We're in the "home stretch" almost! 32.5 weeks feels that way. At 34 weeks all the major major worries start to assuage as the baby gets bigger and lungs get stronger. I am thinking a nice 39-40 weeks would be wonderful, just like with Sienna, but we will see what the future holds!

We have no crib. We have no baby room set up. Last time I am pretty sure we were all set by 33 weeks. This time? We will be lucky to have the rock n play up from the basement by my due date! 
{Excuse the random sink faucet, snapped this quickly at work}
Weeks:  32 weeks, 4 days.
Feeling: Overall, pretty good! My OB put suggested taking 2 zantac a day and it is amazing what it does to help with acid reflux. I feel really pregnant and wonder how I can last another 8 weeks, but otherwise pretty good!
Belly:  Belly button half popped out. Measuring around where I should, if not a teeny bit big.
Movement: We have moved from the nice gentle kicks to the whole entire body rolls and pushes where I feel hands and feet and a butt pressing out. Still super super active.  
Craving:  Cold water. Cold gatorade. Cold lemonade. These things still. Occasionally a cup of hot coffee or a latte which tells me third tri is really here, I never crave caffeine early on. Loving cold fruit and ice pops too!
Gender: As far as I know, still a little girl.
Other symptoms: Braxton hicks still happening all the time. Especially after a long car ride this weekend. Restless leg syndrome at night like crazy. Tired, but not awful. Starting to nest and think about baby's room and outfits and what life will be like when she gets here!
Random thoughts: The pool is my BEST FRIEND. We should really finish our kitchen table before the baby comes and we have even less time.
Looking forward to: A short work week for 4th of July, a wedding this weekend, hopefully some pool time on Saturday and Sunday, and napping when Sienna does for sure.

Some time for Us.

When we stood and said our vows at the altar, the words that brought me to tears were these;
With all that I am
And all that I have
I honor you.

Some days, all that I am and all that I have is...
enough energy to squeak through the day, put together some semblance of a dinner for Sienna, tuck her into bed cozily with her blankets, and dive into my own state of comatose with my book. 

Some days, all that I am and all that I have is...
enough energy to text Jamie to say "come home." Some days, all that Jamie is and has is to get through the crazy work days that have somehow been laid out in an uneven path in front of him lately. 

I don't mean it negatively, it's a life we built together and that when we take a step back, we adore. When we had Sienna, in the newborn days, when J got home, we'd all cuddle together on the couch before the witching hour began. We'd take in those quiet sweet moments. But toddlers are not into that, and most evenings we play hide and seek or how to keep the kid at the dinner table. We laugh and squeal and run around the house, a house filled with so much love- all that we are. All that we have.

But sometimes, once in awhile, a good break is needed to regroup. To reconnect. Last weekend, we packed up. We took less baggage than usual and planned for the theme of the getaway: low key. 

We had no agendas. No big plans. One dinner reservation was the only standing time set for anything. We didn't need to travel to St. Lucia or Hawaii. A speedy drive down to Rehoboth and a little garage apartment was the absolute perfect setting for our recharging. 

We slept when we wanted. We had no alarm (and no toddler alarm).
We didn't move some mornings until 10am.
We talked. About life. About marriage. About our kid(s). About the new baby coming. 
We worked on but didn't pick a baby name.
We watched too much OITNB and never turned on the news.
We sat on the beach, reading to ourselves, with the sound of the waves.
We soaked in the sun (too much the first day, oops).
We walked on the boardwalk to get ice cream, to get lunch, to just walk.
We I ate ice cream for dinner
We tried new restaurants. 
We recharged. We got back to us.

After four days together, we are rejuvenated.  Ready to take on this parenting thing and work lives and everything else in front of us.

But really, it was a much needed weekend.

(P.S. thanks mom and dad for watching sienna! she had a fun vacation too!)

June 16, 2014

{T E N} weeks to go!

Thirty weeks pregnant. Ten weeks left and this pregnancy is flying by much faster than the last one. It's also reminding me why third tri exists- to prep you for baby and remember how nice it felt to breathe without something pushing on your airway.

Weeks:  30 + a few days.
Feeling: This week I am feeling pretty good. We had an amazing father's day weekend with the family and got to have a little downtime both days during Sienna's nap. I find that if I have an hour or two to rest during the day, I overall feel better. I'm totally looking forward to meeting this little one and find myself talking to her more these days (sometimes about random things, sometimes to tell her to please move away from my ribs).
Belly:  My belly button looks like it may pop out this time! It never did when pregnant with Sienna. At night it feels heavy so I need a pillow under it even when on my side.
Movement: All the darn time. It's honestly such a great feeling. Last pregnancy S gave me a run for my money and even landed me in triage one night to check on her. This pregnancy it's so nice that every few minutes I get a "tap tap hi mom!"
Craving:  Cold water. Cold gatorade. Cold lemonade. It's getting hot. I am wanting less heavy food and more really cold beverages. I carry my insulated cup around 24/7 and am a water monster. Soon I'll float away.
Gender: Still a girl. Sienna now calls her baby SISTER. AH! Adorable! 
Other symptoms: Braxton hicks any time I have to pee. Sort of weird. Insomnia circa 4 am.  Oh and I get random periods when she must be resting funny on my airway but I really can't breathe- I have to take these slow exaggerated breaths. It also happens after dinner but I should blame that on the decreasing stomach space and food and not the baby maybe? But... also a dose of the happy hormones- really getting excited to meet this little girl and picturing her and Sienna loving each other.
Random thoughts: We did join a pool as I said we needed to a couple weeks ago. It's still hot.  What do you do with a toddler on the 15th rainy day of the summer? I have to bring Sienna to my OB appointment tomorrow, I'm terrified.
Looking forward to: A little pseudo babymoon this weekend with J- Rehoboth for a few nights and leaving Sienna with her two favorite humans- grammy and grandpa. Wish I could indulge in a nice glass of wine!


June 15, 2014

happy father's day, daddy

{Two years ago Sienna guest blogged on father's day, this year she's back at it with lots of words. Happy father's day, Jamie. You're one of a kind!}

Dear Daddy,

Hiiiiii! I love you so much. I like to call you daddy but sometimes if you don't answer lately, I call you JAMIE WALLS. That usually gets your attention.

You are the best daddy! I love waiting for you to get home from work and holding the door open for you. Speaking of which, thanks for always letting me play with you the minute you get home. Without even taking off your shoes, I have you running. We play hiding and you make me fly around the house. I can't stop laughing. My favorite hiding place is in my crib when you climb in with me and we hide under the covers- mommy can never find us there! Oh, by the way, I'm really sorry that one time I pooped on your jeans when we were playing in there. Diaper mishap, ya know...

I love your hugs, I love that you always kiss me goodbye before work (And I remind you if you forget now!) You help me learn new things and let me explore. You let me tackle you and jump off the stairs or off the edge of the pool into your arms.

When I get hurt, you scoop me up and give me kisses even if I say I don't want them. You're kind and patient and you really really are good at letting me make up games and following along. Also, I love finding worms outside with you. Some people say they are gross, but we both seem to know how awesome they are.

Most of all, I am thankful that you always put me first. You always want to give me a hug and a kiss. You want to keep me happy, but you also sort of tell me when I can't have what I want. I don't love that, but it helps me understand how this house works a little more.  It seems like sometimes you come home and are really tired, but you play with me anyway. On the weekends, you bound out of bed to get me and bring me downstairs for cartoons and you build tall lego towers with me while mommy sips her coffee slowly and acts like she is still fast asleep. Good thing we have each other, huh?

Daddy, you're my favorite. Thanks for being such a good dad to me. And also, can we please work on you staying in my room until I fall asleep? I mean, what else do you have to do? You can just sit in my chair and we can talk until I am sleeping, okay?
I love you tons and tons,
(Age 2 yrs, 4 months)

June 11, 2014

10 Things I'll do differently with Baby #2.

Last time I had a newborn, I was a new mama. I had no idea about the joy, or the worry, or the countless other emotions that come with having your own tiny little being come home with you from the hospital for the first time. I think we did a pretty good job- we tried our best.  But looking back there are things that I think could have.  And things I'll try to do this time. I say try because we all know what life with a newborn looks like.

1. Pumping: I was so engorged and everyone told me not to pump because I'd produce more milk. That statement was correct- but turns out I needed more milk! Those first few months my supply waxed and waned and I was joyous on the nights I leaked and had too much milk. So I'll pump earlier on if I am engorged. It will be relief and also help me start building my supply and the freezer supply.

2. Nursing in the evenings: I tried really hard to nurse on demand, but between the hours of 6pm and 10pm I often got frustrated. In my mind, if I could hold Sienna off another half hour between feedings I'd have a little more milk and she would be more full. I need to go with the cluster feeding in the evening, especially if it means less screaming from the baby. And there's that supply thing too.

3. Saying no to guests: I was bad at this. ONCE I said no but made Jamie say no for me. This time, if you text or call and I'm crying or nursing and it isn't a good time for a visitor- I will say no. This means at the hospital too. That time is so precious and so exhausting and sometimes the best thing is to have no one bothering you (except you mom, you're welcome anytime).

4. Saying YES when people ask if I need anything: Since becoming a mom, I make every attempt to help my mom friends when their newborns come. I shoot a text saying I'm dropping off dinner. I bring over little presents for the siblings. I throw their dishes in the dishwasher if they are in the sink. Last time when people asked, I would always say I was fine. This time? Yes, please bring me a frozen dinner. Yes, you can indeed throw that load of baby clothes in the washer. Yes, you can take Sienna outside for a half hour. Yes, to whatever you are offering.

5. Not letting it all fall on me: I was under the impression with Sienna that because I was nursing anytime she cried it was totally up to me to make her stop. Jamie was (and is) the best dad and offers continuously to help anytime I need it. I am determined this time to hand her off at 4am if I have already nursed the baby and she's still crying. I'm determined to go take a long hot shower while my dad offers to sing the new little one to sleep when she's fussing. It's too much to do it all alone, and I still struggle with that daily with Sienna. This time, I hope to start off on a better foot.

6. Be more gentle and kind to myself: I beat myself up last time if I ended up a bawling mess when Sienna was crying, or if I was so tired I couldn't see straight. This time, I know it's coming. The crazy hormonal crash after the joy. The feelings of Oh god what did we do... And I know that my mom friends will text or call me back saying, "it's so normal". I also think that due to a few close friends going through it, I will be better prepared to know what is normal vs PPD/PPA and make sure to deal with it if it comes my way.

7. Getting out of the house sooner: I don't mean heading to the club. I mean heading to Target without fearing the newborn will wail. Because she might- but she will be fine and so will I. Taking a shower and walking outside with Sienna to play, going to the grocery store. I might need help, but moving instead of just sitting has always been a good thing for me- no matter what it is that's difficult at that point in life. This shouldn't be any different. And I can take 3 minutes to shower, even if it means frizzy hair, because it makes me feel like more of a person.

8. Taking more photos with me in them: I don't care if I look tired and bleary eyed. I don't care if my hair is a mess- in 20 years I know 100% I will look back thinking I looked way better than I thought. And probably way better than in 20 years.

9. Showing up to groups- breastfeeding, play, whatever before 6 months: Social support has been my #1 gift as a mom. My mom, my friends. My closest mama friend is moving this week (tears) and I know that I will need others to hold me up and share my joys. Since we are keeping our amazing nanny on, there's no reason I can't kick myself out of the house at 8 weeks to get to the breastfeeding groups at the hospital or show up to a 2-4 month old parents as teachers playgroup. Never know where a new good mama friend is lurking. And no one judges if you show up in yoga pants and non-matching shoes. While I'm at it, making sure to thank my friends who support me, whether it be via text or phone calls or showing up with lunch.

10. Be less crazy about sleep (Sarah! don't laugh at me, I said TRY!): This is kid #2. There will be days car naps are necessary. There will be days when I will likely be nursing #2 when #1 wants breakfast and we have to take a break. Sleep is my biggest source of anxiety as a parent, probably because S thrives on good sleep and is so cranky when she doesn't get it- true for all kids but especially true for her. I am going to try to relax. I am going to remember that sleeping "through the night" means 5-6 hours, not 12. I am going to remember that this baby will be happy and loved, and while I will 100% still keep her on a schedule when possible, the days of nazi sleep mom may have to be relinquished. Someone remind me of this when I am texting people at 4 am saying that this is it and I am running away to a convent. 

I'm hoping this will make for an easier newborn transition for me and for the new baby. 10 weeks to go until we try all of this out!

(Then again... doesn't look like we did so bad, right?)


June 2, 2014

Taking it in...

We took Sienna to a pool party Sunday. She woke up an hour into her nap, which was pushed way late, screaming. She managed, between sobs, to tell me she needed milk and for me to rock her in her chair. The glider was going to be moved to the baby's room but each time I consider it,  I end up with a situation like this and think my pregnant back and legs are glad we've got somewhere to cuddle up.

I took my girl in my arms, wrapped in her "auntie sarah" blanket, with her two lambie lovies (carefully given the names"old" baba and "new" or "soft" baba), and pulled her into me. I rocked her until the tears stopped, after some milk and singing. I kissed her head and her soft now-dry pool hair. I usually get annoyed by these mid nap fits, but not yesterday. Yesterday I curled up with her, put the blanket over us, and closed my eyes. She must have sensed my calm because she molded into me, her head on my chest as if she was a newborn again, but this time her feet reaching over the ends of the glider sticking out from her blanket. She fell into a deep sleep- I breathed in with her and felt her little heart beat on mine. For over an hour, we napped together, cuddled in her chair, just like when she was a newborn.  When she woke up, she looked up at me and closed her eyes again. She said "hi mommy" through her heavy eyelids. Then, realizing she did not want to have nap time anymore, she hopped up and said "Go downstairs and play?"

And just like that, my sweet cuddly moment was over.

These days, the toddler days, aren't always easy. I find myself doing internal checks, sometimes by the minute, to keep my cool. I find myself searching for patience that by evening has left the building sometimes.  I don't think they are the terrible twos- just the trying toddler moments. I know she wants control. I know she is seeking my attention and approval.  I have to call my mom or text my mom friends and ask if feeling crazy is normal by the end of some days. I need to take a deep breath and realize I may lose a night of sleep or get a few more grey hairs or even have days when we both end up in tears, but overall we are really lucky to have such a great kid.  And, I'm doing my damn best to be a really good mom. Because kids need that.

Maybe, just maybe, if I can just curl up and smell that sweet little one, take more small moments out of my day, and give her just a few more minutes of cuddles, we will both be better off. The days are slow, but the years are fast. I'll miss this, I know I will...

Two years old.

Four weeks old.


Third Trimester Home Stretch (or so I tell myself as the heat creeps up...)

Friday marked the 28 week third trimester rites of passage. Third trimester is lovely in some ways- no one doubts if you are pregnant, you know there is an end in sight, the baby moves all the time so the worries -for me at least- are easier to keep at bay. It also comes with a bigger belly, more weight to carry around, and the thoughts of oh sh&%t, are we really prepared? Also it appears my cut off jean shots from Pea in the Pod & this GAP long sleeve maternity shirt that is making its second round of wear (a fav during my pregnancy with S too) are my go-tos. Hoping these shorts survive summer!

Weeks: 28.5
Feeling: Pregnancy wise? Pretty good. A little bit of leg cramping and needing to put my feet up once in awhile but have been able to still run around and play with Sienna. Otherwise? I pulled a muscle in my back/shoulder the other day (okay fine maybe from lifting Sienna soooo much) and in the past the best way to cure is to sleep flat on my back with a heating pad. Since that's a no- go and so is ibuprofen, having a little bit of trouble getting it under control. Advice wanted.
Belly:  Bigger daily.  My toes are still in sight, but soon they may be gone too. Belly button is half popped out which actually never fully happened last time!
Movement: Still a ton of movement, mostly at night when I am cuddled up with S reading stories which is adorable, at work in the late morning after tea, and anytime I eat sugar.
Craving: Sweets cravings have FINALLY subsided. Maybe it was that disgusting glucose test that kicked them to the curb. But lately I'm back to menu planning and just trying to put a lot of savory foods on there (side note: make this Orange Chicken in your crock pot- you'll thank me. Throw some broccoli and other veggies in with it too).
Gender: Girly girlfriend, who has been lucky enough lately to collect a few new outfits. Sienna picked out a pair of pink pajamas with cats on them, proudly declaring they were for the baby.
Other symptoms: Braxton hicks are actually less frequent lately, so maybe I'm hydrating better. Still a little bit of leg/butt pain that comes and goes. Reminder not to gain this much weight when not pregnant!
Random thoughts: The glucose test was *as* horrible as I remember. Shaky and nauseous for awhile afterwards. Summer is going to be really hot- we are joining a pool ASAP. Also these pics tell me that my mirrors are dirty and need a good cleaning.
Looking forward to: Sleeping on my stomach again (though last time I nursed that didn't happen for another 6 months post baby), a cold glass of rose on the deck , meeting this little one.


June 1, 2014

Disney World Part Three: Magic Kingdom with Two Year Olds

We decided before we booked our trip to Disney that we would stay somewhere central to Magic Kingdom. Next time we go back, with older kiddos, we will explore more parks. But MK certainly has the most (from my perspective) for toddlers. We stayed Wilderness Lodge so we could take the ferry over. I would seriously highly recommend staying somewhere close to MK with toddlers- either a hotel on the monorail or the ferry. The lines for the other buses and boats looked awful and are a much longer trek to Magic Kingdom. Here are some tips & how we navigated Magic Kingdom!
Get there early: 
1. By 8:30 or 8:45 because you can see the opening ceremony with Mickey and because despite the park saying they open at 9, it is really around 8:45.
2. If you don't stop at the shops on Main Street and take your good old time, you can walk straight to fantasy land and get on rides with no wait (with no fast pass).
3. Bring a stroller. Early day means a long day. Toddlers cannot walk Magic Kingdom.
1. Have some sort of plan, but be flexible. We were told by a cast member as soon as we walked into Fantasy land that Dumbo's line wouldn't be long until 10 or 10:30 and our best use of time was to hit some of the usually longer lines.
2. Book your fast passes ahead of time and if you can, book them in afternoon. In the morning you can get away with finagling your way through without it.
Day 1. {We barely waited for any ride starting at 9:00am}
-Winnie the Pooh
-Dumbo x2  (because we couldn't stop the crazed girls from going there!)
-Ariel's Grotto
-Small World
-Meet Minnie & Daisy at Pete's Side Show (shortest line to meet characters AND air conditioned- we waited about 10 minutes but it was cool and the girls could play around us)
-Note* I wish we brought bathing suits/change of clothes for girls for the water area next to Pete's Side Show*
-Break for lunch & naps-
-Dumbo again
-Carousel (never really a line)
-Dinner at Crystal Palace
-Fast Pass Small World (worth it bc super long line)
-Shops on way out
Day 2. {Also very minimal waiting}
-Peter Pan
-Small World x 2 (girls were obsessed, we had no control)
-Carousel & ice cream break
11:00 Move it! Shake it! Celebrate it! Dance party in Town Square
(get there at 10:50, sit on the sidewalk next to the road. Kids can dance with characters in the street)
-Enchanted Tiki Room bird show (it was hot and this was A/C break)
-Lunch at the Plaza-
- We skipped going back evening #2 because it was 95 degrees.
Food in Magic Kingdom:
- If you can either make reservations for lunch OR head to lunch a half hour before your kiddos normally eat. We actually liked our non- reservation lunch better than our reservation lunch.
-Peco Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café is tucked right inside Fronteir Land and was perfect for all of us!
-The Plaza restaurant for lunch was WAY too slow for toddlers. Good menu but poor service for little ones. We saw a lot of tantrums in here.
-Dinner at Crystal Palace with Winnie the Pooh & Friends. The girls LOVED this. Jamie got food poisoning so I sort of will never be able to go there ever again. But it was awesome for a meal with characters.  Take your chances ;)
-You can bring in your own water, food, etc. Do it! Bring a little soft cooler and attach it to your stroller. We curbed many break downs with some cold water and pretzels/fruit snacks.

Toddlers and Naps
-Let it be known I'm a sleep Nazi crazed mama. But I had heard (and know Sienna) that skipping naps is a horrible idea because of the cranky tired factor.
-Because our hotel was so close to things, the girls napped daily. Not as long some days, but they did. They were much happier after naps.
-If you can't swing getting back to your hotel, get a stroller fan and find somewhere shaded. There are also baby care centers at each park that are air conditioned- take advantage!
-We bought one stuffed animal in the gift shop at the hotel the second day there. Sienna loved it and didn't ask for anything else until the last night when she told my parents she needed a Mickey Mouse Bank (she does love it so guess it was money well spent)
-We brought a few Disney items with us on the plane and those staved off the random asking.
-Avoid the shops and you'll avoid the expensive souvenirs. No need to go in them if you don't want to. Easiest way to save your money.
-1-2 days in Magic Kingdom is plenty for a two year old. But 1-2 days is definitely worth it!
-Bring snacks. Bring water. Lots of water.
-Take breaks. Get ice cream. Know when your kid has had enough
-Be flexible and take a billion photos; the girls smiled so much we could barely keep up!
-If the grandparents offer to go, take them up on it immediately. Extra pairs of adult hands (and arms to carry little ones sometimes) were AMAZING!
Ferry ride to MK
Meeting Pooh!
Waving good morning to Mickey & crew with Grandpa!
The castle early morning
Girls + Grandpa at Dumbo!
Carousel happiness

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