Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Our Memorial Day

Our pool opened this weekend so yesterday we took Lo for a little while.  We have a cute little baby pool that I knew he would like.  We packed up a bunch of pool toys and his new float that he got for his birthday.  Usually when we introduce him to something new, it's really hard to get a good read on whether or not he likes it.  He remains pretty straight faced the entire time but considering he never cried, I'll take that as a good sign!  Of all of the pictures I took, I got only one smile but hey, at least I got one!  In the big pool, he watched all of the big kids jump in and play.  I think he liked playing in the baby pool with his bucket and shovels the best.  Overall, I'd say it was a great first pool day of the summer!
And just when I thought he was getting so big and growing up so fast, Loyal made him look like a tiny baby again in his hands.


Growing up, the city always put out flags in honor of our towns veterans.  Our neighbor was a veteran and every year we would search for his flag.  Driving through downtown brought back a lot of memories from my childhood.  I always thought it was fun to find that flag but never fully understood the meaning behind it and the sacrifices that people have made for our country and for our freedom today.  
Thank you to all of the men and women who have served and are currently serving our country.

A little side note:
Lo learned how to give kisses a few weeks ago.  Sometimes he's in the mood and other times he doesn't even look your way when you ask for one.  He will usually do it if I'm holding him and we are eye level.  So last night while I was putting him to bed, I walked over to his crib right before I left his room.  I said "kiss?"  He looked at me for a long second, ripped his pacifier right out of his mouth, grabbed the side of his crib and stood up with the cutest little smirk.  Once he was on his feet he puckered right up and gave me the best goodnight kiss he's ever given!  It really made our day of no sleep, a lot of tears and a trip to the doctor seem to so quickly be forgotten. :) 

Also, in case you haven't noticed...I made the switch!  I decided to go with my gut and once I did it, it felt so right.  Thanks for all of the advice, couldn't have done it without ya! ;)
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Friday, May 23, 2014

Home with the Hoover's?

Hi everyone, I need some help!
This idea has crossed my mind a few times here and there but the other day it popped in my head so strongly and now I can't stop thinking about it.  I think I want to change the name of my blog.

Here's the thing...I started this blog 2 and a half years ago.  Loyal and I had been married for a while and I was really settling into my new role of being a wife.  Although I am still his wife, I have obviously taken on a few more roles since.  I guess I just feel like I have outgrown my blog since I started it.  I think that may have been a part of why I hadn't been that into it recently.  I have since decided that I definitely do want to continue with it and I really do enjoy expressing myself and sharing my thoughts, pictures and everything else.

So the other day, out of nowhere, a new name popped in my head while I was cooking dinner and I can't stop thinking about it.

"Home with the Hoover's"

I brainstormed about it for a little while, came up with some other names, but kept coming back to this one.  It just seemed like the best fit and most importantly, it felt right.  I think it covers everything that I blog about: being a wife and a mother, recipes, home renovations (if and when we ever move), pregnancy, new babies and my family, all of which takes place at home.  I think it sounds inviting too.  A look into our life at home.

So anyway, I need your help.  What do you think?  Should I make the switch?  I like the name but I am definitely open to other names, recommendations, suggestions, etc.

Also, I have asked a few people already (who I know are reading this) and they are all for it.  Just want to see what everyone else thinks too. :)  
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Thursday, May 22, 2014

16 Weeks (from the beginning)

I'm actually 17 weeks today but I had my 16 week appointment yesterday so we'll go with that.  I guess I should start from the beginning, the very beginning so this is going to be a long one.

Loyal and I have always thought that 18 months apart was a good age.  That's what him and his sister are and even though my sister and I are 4 years apart, it feels like we are much closer in age than that.  I am not exaggerating when I tell you that Loyal was ready to start trying for another baby the day we left the hospital.  Both of us loved the experience so much that we couldn't wait to do it again.  (Here is my birth story if you'd like to read about it).  I needed some time though, obviously.  My main concern with getting pregnant again was breastfeeding.  I had read a lot of stories about how some women lose their milk when they get pregnant and that was definitely not a risk that I wanted to take.  On the other hand, I had also heard of women who don't and continue breastfeeding just fine.   It seemed like a 50/50 chance so Loyal and I agreed that we would start thinking about it more seriously in January.

When January came around we decided to just wing it and see how that went rather than really "trying" since that can get so involved sometimes.  Once I sat down and really thought about it, I realized that I had not yet gotten my "cycle" back so there was a good chance that I wasn't ovulating.  I took a couple ovulation tests and nothing came back so I figured that I wasn't.  I put off the "trying" until March so that I could attempt to figure this out.  In February Lo was showing signs that he was ready to drop another feeding once he started eating more solids.  Towards the end of February I started to feel my body changing.  I felt like I was either ovulating or about to begin my cycle.  This was off and on for maybe 2 weeks and I still had some left over ovulation tests so I gave in and used one.  At this point it was beginning of March when I took it and I got a faint ovulation line!  I couldn't believe it.  I assumed that since I had cut back with the nursing that maybe that had triggered something.  Anyway, I ended up taking another test first thing the next morning and got even stronger lines so Loyal and I took advantage.  After that week, I waited as long as I possibly could (about a week and a half lol), took a test and...it was positive!!!  We were shocked!  It took us about a year and a half to get pregnant with Lo (story here) so this came as a big surprise.  I calculated my due date and it came back as November 27, Thanksgiving Day.

We found out super early that we were pregnant.  According to when I ovulated, I was not even 4 weeks yet.  I called my doctor and made an appointment which was set for the following week.  I was a little nervous because I wouldn't even be 5 weeks at the appointment so I was afraid that it would be too early to hear the heartbeat.  I knew that they would have to do an ultrasound to measure exactly how far I was since I didn't have a period to go by.  I remember my first appointment with Lo was at 6 weeks and he was this tiny little circle so I was expecting something even smaller than that but instead, this is what I saw...
You guys, it was huge!  This was no tiny circle, this was a baby!  You could see the body of the baby, the feet, the arms, everything!  Before it even registered that this was way too big for 4 or 5 weeks, the nurse said "ok, it looks like you're measuring to be about 9 weeks."  WHAT?!?!?!  Loyal and I were speechless.  All I could say was "are you sure?" and she said "Yep.  9 weeks.  Your due date is October 30th!"   Wow.  We were so stunned.  Apparently, we got pregnant sometime in the first week of February.  We weren't even thinking about it then because I was positive that I wasn't ovulating.  I had heard a million times to be extra careful because you get pregnant so easily the second time but I just never expected this at all.  I know this has become a long story but just in case anyone stumbles upon this who may have the same situation...apparently, according to my research, ovulation tests also detect the pregnancy hormone.  This would explain why I thought I was ovulating when I was already pregnant.  And the symptoms I was feeling were also pregnancy related.  Pregnancy brain at its finest, I never once considered that I was actually pregnant.
Here I am at about 9 weeks.

So after that appointment, we pretty much only had a couple of weeks until our 12 week scan.  That was really awesome not having to wait the dreaded 2 months until you are in the clear.  That's the worst part of pregnancy, in my opinion.  Everything else is pretty awesome, also my opinion.  

So anyway, this pregnancy has been really easy so far.  No morning sickness, no awful symptoms.  For the most part, I've felt pretty normal.  The only thing would be the exhaustion.  Holy moly, I've never been so tired in my life.  Breastfeeding and pregnancy at the same time will really suck the life out of you.  The only thing that has saved me was Lo taking 2 naps a day so I did too.  Some days I slept during both naps and some days only one but still had to lie down during the other.  It wasn't until about 12 or 13 weeks that I could make it with only one nap.  I still lie down during nap time but don't sleep.  I am hoping that once I stop breastfeeding I will have more energy.
So far I have gained 5 pounds.  I had gained 5 pounds at 23 weeks with Lo so it's a little more this time around.  What is interesting though is that with gaining 5 pounds I am now at the starting weight I was at with Lo.  I'm not worried about it at all.  I'm sure that everything will probably average out to be relatively the same in the end.
I haven't had any serious craving yet.  I am really into spicy foods.  Fire cheetos sound really good right now.  I am eating pretty healthy so far, splurging occasionally.  Once I found out I was pregnant, I started with the diet I had to do when I had gestational diabetes, which is basically just really well balanced and not over eating.  Normally you have to take the glucose test at 28 weeks, I believe.  Since I had it last time I have to test at 20 weeks and if I pass I have to test again at the normal 28 weeks.  Based on how my test went last time, that should be fun.
Everyone told me that you show so much sooner with your second pregnancy.  I don't really feel like I'm any bigger than I was at this point with Lo.  Maybe it's the breastfeeding?  I don't know.  Everyone's different I guess.

This pregnancy pretty much seems the same but so different emotionally, which I've talked about a little bit already.  I know that Lo is way to young too understand what is happening but we talk about baby brother every day.  When I ask him where brother is he points at my belly button!  Sometimes he will lift my shirt up to touch my belly button and then get really excited when he finds it.  Or maybe it's my excitement?  Either way, I love it.
I just can't wait for him to be here!  I think it's going to be so fun and I can't wait to see how the dynamic of our family will change.  My husbands moto has always been "the more the merrier," which we will most definitely be!
Just the 3 of us, hangin at the park.  

Oh and in case anyone is wondering, I have already started another pregnancy journal, and this one is even better.  :)

        

           
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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

12 Month Update

We went for Lo's 12 month check up last Thursday.  He weights 18 lbs, 10 ounces and measures 2'6".  He is in the 10th percentile for weight and 75th for height.  Needless to say, he is long and lean.  My mom said that this is exactly how I was.  I imagine that it will probably stay this way as he becomes even more active than he already is.

He is growing and learning and developing more and more each day.  It really is incredible to watch a child progress at this age.  So far he is only saying one word, mama.  He says it all day long, over and over.  Mostly just talking to himself, but every morning when Loyal brings him down stairs, he gives me a big "MAMA" as soon as he sees me.  What a way to start off the morning, right?!  I keep trying to teach him Dada, but he'll usually repeat with mama.  

He isn't walking quite yet.  He has gone from taking side steps holding on to furniture to now taking forward steps while holding on.  He has stood on his own a few times but definitely needs more practice.  The practice part is where things get a little tricky.  Every time I try to practice with him he gets really shy and won't do it.  He gives me this little smile and pulls his legs up.  I have decided not to worry about it at all.  This is exactly how he was with crawling.  I would try to show him, he wouldn't do it and then one day he just started crawling and hasn't stopped since.  I can tell that he is definitely progressing on his own so we'll just let him go at his own pace.

Eating.  This boy can eat.  I haven't given him pureed food, baby cereal or any type of baby food since February (he was 9 months).  He eats 3 meals a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner.  And a lot of it!  Sometimes I feel like he eats more than I do at dinner.  It's crazy.  I have no idea where it goes because he's still a skinny mini.  I usually give him a snack in between his afternoon nap and dinner.  

I am very proud to say that we have made it a full year breastfeeding!  There were a few times that I was ready to give up or start supplementing, but I did neither.  For the past 4 months or so he has been nursing 3 times a day and in the last couple of weeks we went down to 2.  First thing in the morning and before bedtime.  After going to the doctor last week and getting the go ahead with whole milk, I am in the process of weaning him (which didn't start off well).  This mama needs a break before the new baby comes, that's for sure!

Right now he has 9 teeth.  He has the front 4 on the top, 3 in front on the bottom and 2 molars.  These molars are no joke.  Man, they are rough when they cut through.  He got the first one within the last month.  The second one came the day before we saw the doctor, who also informed me that the other 2 are soon to follow.  Teething molars and 4 shots did not make for a very fun day.

Every day with him just keeps getting better.  His personality shows more and more as he gets older.  His little laugh might just be the best thing I've ever heard in my life!  His favorite toys right now are kitchen utensils, mostly wooden spoons and spatulas.  Whatever works, right?  He is obsessed with the teepee we got him for his birthday.  He crawls in and out of it all the time.  He loves to crawl inside and poke his head out to play peek-a-boo, always with a huge smile!  He loves his monkey book and reads it to himself a million times a day.  He always points to the monkeys which I find really fascinating.  He has formed a MAJOR attachment to his bunny.  I'm assuming that he can't sleep without it but I don't know for sure because we would be crazy to even attempt that.  If he's teething or having a cranky day, I'll go upstairs and get it for him.  When I give it to him, he lights up and hugs it so tight!  It is so cute.  I just really love him so much, even more than he loves his bunny. :)  I can't wait to spend the summer with him.  It's going to be a blast!   
He doesn't always flirt with the camera.

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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Mama

I didn't say much about my Mother's Day because my day ended up being devoted to Lo's first birthday, which was totally fine with me.  Loyal did walk in Saturday afternoon with the most beautiful arrangement of flowers.  He really covered all the bases with these.  Roses, lillys, sunflowers, carnations, daisys and so many more.  They were arranged so beautifully and as soon as I saw them, I knew that these weren't something he just grabbed off the shelf.  They really were stunning.  Anyway, as I was saying, Sunday was all about Lo.  The day just took off as soon as we woke up and didn't slow down for a second.  Well maybe there was one tiny second that it did.

We stopped for lunch on our way to the zoo.  We were in a big hurry so it was really just one of those "eat and run" type of lunches.  Not much time to enjoy it.  Lo was feeling pretty spunky as he sat beside me eating his Cheerios and looking around at all the people around us.  The patio kept catching his attention in particular.  And right then, as I was rushing through my meal, something stopped me dead in my tracks.  Lo grabbed my shoulder with his tiny little hand, looked me straight in the eye and said "mama."  Followed by a whole 'lotta mum-mum-mum-mum-mum's, all while holding my attention so closely.  He has said mama just a couple times before and not necessarily to me each time.  But this time was so different.  Maybe it was the touch?  I mean, this was one of those moments that makes 30 seconds feel like 5 minutes.  One of those moments that becomes the very best Mother's Day gift that money could never buy.


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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Baby #2

On Sunday I posted a video on Facebook with pictures from Loyal's first year. There was a little surprise at the end. Yep! We're having another baby!  Another boy!  We are so excited!  I am due at the very end of October and the boys will be 18 months apart, which is exactly what we have always wanted. So far, this pregnancy has been super easy and is flying right by. Physically, this pregnancy is very similar to the last but mentally and emotionally, it is so different. I have had a lot of people ask me if I'm going to blog about it like I did last time and honestly, I probably won't. Well maybe I should say that it just won't be to the extent that it was last time.  I don't see myself doing weekly updates this time.  Most weeks I don't even know how far along I am and have to look at one of my pregnancy apps, something that rarely ever gets opened these days. I remember reading those updates 2-3 times a week last time!  It's so funny how things change.  Life goes on just as it did before.  Pictures become far and few.  My one year old doesn't stop to enjoy the pregnancy, so I rarely do myself.  As much as I would love for everyone to follow along with this experience, finding the time to blog is the main issue. Followed by enthusiasm and excited I would have to admit. It's not that the excitement isn't there, it's just that it's an excitement for different things. Things that I know now that I didn't know before. All of the unknown and excitement of going through pregnancy seem to get overlooked and have become a thing of the past.  

But I am very excited. Excited for the end. To go into labor. To feel that very first contraction and know that it won't be much longer. Excited to meet this baby.  Hold him so close in my arms.  To smell him and feel his soft skin against mine. To lock eyes with him and tell him how much I love him already. To feel that love of your child being born, a moment that can never be replaced with anything greater. I can't wait for time to stand still as I hold him in my arms and get lost in the love. I can't wait to watch Loyal bond with his second son and feel all these moments for himself. To be alone in the hospital with Loyal.  Just us and our new baby. To hear nothing but baby breaths nuzzled in my neck. I can't wait for Lo to meet his baby brother and introduce them both to brotherhood. To watch them grow up together.  To bond and form a friendship that only a sibling can provide. I can't wait to bring this baby home. Home to a family of four. I can't wait to swaddle this baby and give him the warmth and comfort that is all he has known. I long for the days that he falls asleep on my chest and I am stuck until he wakes up. Ready for time to get away from me again. Where nothing else matters but a healthy baby and a happy family. 

These are all things that I didn't know before. Things that I didn't know how truly exciting they could be.  These things intimidated me once before but now I anticipate them with every ounce of my being. You see, when you know these moments are ahead, they make things like weekly updates and which body parts are forming this week seem irrelevant in comparison.  So for these next 6 months I will soak up every moment of being a family of three. Enjoy each and every day with just me and Lo.  I will make his last summer as an only child the best that it could ever be.  While we play this summer away and as I sit here and feel this little tiny life inside of me kick and move around in my belly, I am reminded that these moments that I long for will soon be here.
After everything I just said in this post, I look at this last picture and realized that we're about to have 2 of these.  Lord, help us!

A BIG thank you to everyone who commented, text/called, and wished us their well wishes after our fb post.  Thank you so much.
xo
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Monday, May 12, 2014

Birthday Recap

Loyal's birthday was such an incredible day.  The fun started first thing in the morning and continued throughout the entire day.  I spent all of last week converting our front room into a play room.  We got Lo a teepee for his birthday and gave it to him as soon as he woke up Sunday morning.  He absolutely loved it.  He had the biggest smile and kept crawling in and out of it over and over.  I made breakfast while he played for a little while and after we ate we went to Krispy Kreme for his very first doughnut!  Later in the afternoon, Loyal and I took him to the zoo which was something that both of us had been anticipating for quite some time.  I think he is still a little too young for the zoo.  He just looked around and took everything in.  He did love the giraffes though!  I think that as he gets older he will definitely enjoy it more.  Once we got home we opened more gifts from family and had dinner and birthday cake.  It really was such a great day and I can't wait to do it all over again next year!

And this is what happens when 4 people yell no at the same time as he is reaching for the candle.  Haha, poor guy.

Teepee from Land of Nod
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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy 1st Birthday Loyal!

Wishing my little guy the happiest of all first birthdays today!!!  This past year has been the absolute best.  I can't even describe what this little guy brings to my life.  He has changed my name to mom, given me so much purpose and has made life worth living.  He has taught me the true meaning of motherhood, something I will never take for granted.  I feel so lucky to be able to have this little person in my life each and every day.  Happy Birthday baby!   

Happy Mother's Day to all the mama's in my life!  Love you all!
xo
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