Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The ups and downs

Well we got down to New Orleans on Wednesday and things started off reeeeally slow.  We had a lot of motivation, really high hopes and quite a few road blocks.  We knew that the first thing we needed to do was baby proof the house and most importantly, put baby gates up at the top and bottom of the stairs.  We also knew that we wanted to get the bedrooms painted pretty quickly so that we could start setting things up and hopefully have the upstairs done.  We had quite a few other things on our list and needless to say, nothing was accomplished.  I think I underestimated how overwhelming and exhausting moving would be while I was pregnant.  Add a toddler to the mix and that really didn't leave much time to get anything done.  It all ended up catching up to me and resulted in one big pregnant, hormonal break down.  Anyway, it's been a pretty slow and frustrating start but we are finally getting some things crossed off of our list.  Here are a few pics of our time here so far...

Over the weekend, we finally got out of the house for something other than a trip to the paint store or to get groceries.  We went to the Riverwalk area to check out their new outlet stores.  I had only been once before and I must say that it has definitely turned around!  They had some pretty good stores inside, one of which was Carters.  Their clothes seem to fit Lo pretty well and they always have great sales so I imagine we will be there quite often!
We also got our first snowballs!  Man, they were so good.  I got pina colada which was incredible.  The ice was shaved so thin it was like powder.  I've honestly thought about it every day since.  Unfortunately, Loyal and I made a new rule about only eating sweets once a week and it has to be on the weekend.  Something to look forward to I guess?  It's going to be a long week...

Story of our lives these days.  The never ending paint selection...
Paint is by far the most frustrating thing we have dealt with so far.  Actually, lighting seems to be the real frustration.  You love a color in one room and then put it in the room it's going to go in and it's awful!  I can't even tell you how many times we've been to the store in less than a week.  And don't even get me started on how many samples we've purchased that didn't work out.

One of the highlights: I've wanted a bright white desk for so long.  I can't even remember when we got it because it was so long ago.  It has stayed in the box until last night when I finally got around to putting it together and I must say, I'm in love!
(The not so bright side of this accomplishment was that I somehow busted my knuckle open while I was putting it together.  So annoying.)

Well that's about it so far.  Not much, I know.  I feel like under a huge mess, things are very slowly starting to come together.  We have FINALLY decided on a paint color for Lo's room and are getting it painted today so I will share his bedroom plans later this week!  So excited!!!


Thursday, August 14, 2014

3D pictures and briefly breech

As I said earlier this week, we went for our 3D ultrasound last Saturday.  The baby was not cooperating at all.  He had both hands and both feet covering his face.  We saw a tiny glimpse of his nose but nothing close to enough to have an idea of what he looked like.  We went back in for a re-do session on Tuesday night and this one was much better!  He still had an arm up but we were able to see much more of his face this time.  The appointment was at 8 p.m. so I made sure to eat a big dinner since he is usually pretty active in the evenings.  I also shoveled about 6 spoonfuls of ice cream in my mouth just before I walked out the door.  I was determined to get a good look at this baby!
It's hard to see in this picture but apparently his feet are crossed and Lo's were too at his 3D ultrasound!

He was moving around so much during the ultrasound.  He kept puckering his lips up which was so cute!  We didn't really feel like he looked much like either of us or Lo really.  We couldn't figure out who he got those big lips from, or his nose.  When we got home we looked back at Lo's pictures and realized that they look so similar!  Lo had those same lips!  This babe's lips seem to be slightly bigger.  I see a resemblance in the nose too.  He's going to be a cutie!
^Here is Lo's picture.  Do you see the resemblance?

At our first appointment, the baby's head was right underneath my rib cage.  I just had this feeling for the past week or so and the ultrasound confirmed that he was breech.  Last pregnancy and this pregnancy, this has always been my biggest fear.  Between this news and not getting any pictures, I left the first appointment in tears.  The tech told me not to worry about it all because it's way too soon and he still has so much time and room to turn.  In the back of my mind, I knew she was right but I just couldn't shake it.  I did some research over the next couple of days and came across the Webster Technique.  From what I read, this is a chiropractic adjustment that focuses on the pelvis, relaxing it and opening it up to make more room for the baby, and also providing more comfort for both baby and mom.  I found it really interesting and it is definitely something I would like to try out.  I decided to wait until my next ultrasound to see what the status was before I started making appointments and luckily, he turned!  He wasn't head down on Tuesday but he was sideways with his head on the opposite side of my stomach that it was on at the Saturday appointment.  I guess this explained all of the somersaults I was feeling at 3 a.m.  Anyway, I am still planning on seeing a chiropractor when I get a little closer to the end but I figured I would share this in case it might help anyone.

In case anyone is wondering, I had the ultrasound at Baby's First Images.  We did Lo's at our doctor's office and in my opinion, the doctor's ultrasound was definitely worth the extra money.  The ultrasound was much clearer and the pictures came out a lot better than these did.  Just my opinion but you can look at Lo's pictures here and decide for yourself.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

28 Weeks

I had my 28 week doctor's appointment yesterday and it went really well!  First things first...I passed my glucose test!!!  I had a feeling I would but I was still so nervous all morning.

Glucose Test:
I had to take the glucose test once already this pregnancy, at 20 weeks, and I passed that one.  What I learned when I had gestational diabetes last time was that your body needs carbs to break down the sugar.  Before my test last pregnancy, all I ate beforehand were scrambled eggs and I failed.  So at the 20 week test this time, I ate scrambled eggs, an english muffin and some grits.  It seemed to do the trick because I passed that test.  This morning I was so nervous that I made sure to go back to the very same place that I ate last time and ordered the exact same thing in hopes to better my chances of passing.
It worked!
After I drank the drink, which is sugar overload by the way, I had the biggest sugar rush straight to the head.  For me, it takes a lot of focus to keep it together.  I threw up after one of the drinks last pregnancy so I tried my hardest to avoid that happening again.  Anyway, I think the sugar went straight to the baby because he started rolling around in my stomach which made it even harder to keep it together but luckily I got through it.  I always knew in the back of my mind that there was the possibility of failing this time around.  Not that it would have been that big of a deal but I just didn't feel like dealing with it again.  Needless to say, I was pretty ecstatic when I left the doctor!  And now I could finally give in to Starbucks again! :)

Weight gain:
I've gained 20 lbs so far and I'm not worried about it in the slightest.  Despite gaining 5 lbs more than last pregnancy at this time, I still feel smaller than I did last time.  It's just really weird.  I'm anxious to see how everything plays out in the end.

Some of my less than desirable pregnancy symptoms are back.  I had horrible rib pain last time and that has made its appearance once again.  It's so awful.  My hips have been a little sore lately too.  Especially after sleeping on my left side all night.  Speaking of sleep, I wake up on my back and sometimes my right side just about every night.  I never sleep on my back when I'm not pregnant so this is always something that is strange to me.
Oh, and just a side note: my belly button is on the verge of making the cross over to an outie.  

This baby has really started to move!  When I was on vacation last week, he was moving around so much.  My sister and I could feel body parts and limbs running across my stomach.  It was a little freaky!  He was just rolling around so much.

The babe has been getting the hiccups all the time now.  I almost forgot about them but I quickly remembered how familiar that feeling is.  I remember Lo getting them a lot and this babe is too, about 2-3 times a day!  I can't remember how it was with Lo but when I feel the hiccups now, they feel really low.

We had a 3D ultrasound on Saturday and it definitely didn't turn out the way I expected it to.  I had every intention of posting the 3D pictures here but unfortunately, we left with none.  Turns out that the big hard lump that I was feeling underneath my rib cage was the back of his head.  We couldn't really get a good look at his face and if that wasn't difficult enough, he had both hands AND both feet blocking his face.  All we saw was a little tiny glimpse of his nose.  It was a big bummer.  I was really looking forward to getting an idea of what he looks like.  I felt like it would help visualize and form a better connection.  We have a follow up appointment tonight so fingers crossed that it goes better.  He's been moving around a lot so hopefully he found a better position. 

Here is me and my step sister, due just a couple months apart!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Family Vacation Part II

We really had such a great time the entire week.  It was so much fun for the entire family to be together again and really spend some good quality time.  The "big kids" stayed up late playing card games after the littles went to bed.  We laughed so hard every single night that I'm surprised we didn't wake anyone up.  We all took turns cooking family dinners and those nights ended up being far better than the nights we went out to eat.  There is just something about congregating in the kitchen that can make for a really great time, especially when we are all hovering over a big bowl of guacamole!

One of the highlights of the trip for me was one afternoon that we played putt-putt golf.  We were all itching to get out of the house and this seemed like it would be something fun for all of us.  It was a blast!  It was so fun and a little hilarious to see the littles play putt-putt.  You see, my Dad is really big into golf so doing something like this is pretty much like knowing that you have absolutely no chance of winning if he is playing.  We didn't keep score this time or take it very seriously.  This game was all about having a good time.  My Dad let Lo play for him and I know it was a dream come true for him to teach him.  My sister and I never had any interest in golf whatsoever.  It really was a great moment to witness between the two of them.  And if I wasn't mistaken, Lo seemed to actually be interested in the sport!
Another highlight was this delicious fudge!  Oh how I wish I could say it wasn't that great and I turned it down after the first bite.  But I can't.  It was soooo good.  Like, melt in your mouth good.  Our first purchase didn't last us the whole week so we found ourselves back for round 2 the day before we left!
I am so thankful that we were all able to go on this trip.  We made some great memories and I think we are all pretty excited about the next one!


Friday, August 8, 2014

Family Vacation Part I

Last week we went on vacation with my Dad's side of the family.  My step-sister lives in Nebraska so we all agreed upon something in the middle since we would all be driving.  That brought us to the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.  We rented a big lake house that accommodated everyone.  It was so fun to see all of the kids interact and run around all week.  My niece, Sydney, is 3 and a half and her a Lo were best buds by the end of the trip.  They were just so darn cute together!  It made me so excited for when the new babe gets here and is able to play with his big brother like they did.  Speaking of new babes, my step-sister is also pregnant!  We are about 2 months apart!!!  Family trips are going to get better and better with more and more littles added to the mix. :)
Here are some pictures from our week...
^^These two shared breakfast every morning^^
^^Lo fell really hard for Dawn!^^
Who knew that a pillow fight between Nonna and Sydney would bring out giggles like we've never heard before!
^^Caught mid twirl^^
I meeeaaann, the cuteness is unreal!

I'll be back with a few more pictures and some highlights from our trip on Monday.  Also, I have my second glucose test Monday morning so wish me luck!!!
Have a great weekend


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Road Trip Necessities

In the past couple of weeks, we have made several road trips with the babe.  We've been commuting between New Orleans and Atlanta (about  a 7 hour drive) and last night we just got home from a 12 hour drive.  Needless to say, we have figured out how to make long road trips work for us.  Here are a few of my tips and necessities that make for a smoother drive.
(These are just my person opinions based on our experiences.)
Before I get into our necessities, let me start with a few things that are so important.  First would be the schedule.  For us, winging it just doesn't work.  The last thing you need is a hungry toddler in the middle of nowhere with nothing to eat for miles.  I make sure that we stick to our schedule and don't veer off.  To achieve this takes a lot of very detailed planning.  I use Google maps, or the map on my phone, to map out our stops.   This also helps me figure out what time we need to leave the house.  I make sure that there is somewhere to stop at breakfast time and also lunch time.  One stop would include: eating, diaper change, bathroom break, get gas and then we get back on the road.  That way, you knock everything out in one stop and keep your stops down to a minimum.  A lot of stops can really add to the length of your trip, trust me.  Even if you have half a tank, fill it up.  We've made the mistake of not getting gas and having to stop 20 minutes into nap time which resulted in Lo waking up, not falling back asleep, getting hungry sooner than he would have, etc etc.  It's just a really bad ripple effect that can easily be avoided.
So this brings me to what time we get on the road.  We learned the hard way that taking advantage of sleeping babies is a must.  The more driving time we can get behind us while the baby is still sleeping, the better.  It makes all the difference in the world.  Here's what we do when we drive to New Orleans:

We leave at 4 am.  Lo wakes up at 7 am and we stop for breakfast at 8.  Back on the road at about 8:45 to do the last 3 hours which will put us in New Orleans at lunch time so we don't have to stop and eat again.  It really sucks to be out of the house by 4 and in order for that to happen, we wake up at 3 am.  We have tried it other ways and Lo usually gets pretty fussy towards the last hour.  It also helps to keep it to one stop.  During that last leg of the trip, Lo will play with toys for a while and then take a nap.  He usually wakes up just before we are home and it's really nice to not feel like you are stick in the car all day long.

So here are a few of my necessities:

1. Meal & Snacks
I like to have his meals ready to go before we leave.  I pack things that are really easy and that I know he will like.  Even if we stop at Panera, I still have food for him.  Basically, I can eat eat anywhere or anything but he can't.  This way, if your schedule gets thrown off and there isn't a Panera, or whatever you planned on stopping at, you won't freak out.  I usually cut up some fruit the night before and have it in a container that is ready to go in the morning.  I also bring a banana and some cheerios since those are easy too.  Also, I can get him started on breakfast while Loyal is ordering for us.  Every minute counts!
These Dr. Browns Containers are great for travel.

2. Travel High Chair
I grabbed this just before a trip once so that I didn't have to worry about a high chair.  I picked up a super cheap one thinking that I would only use it once or twice and boy was I wrong.  This is honestly one of the things that I feel is a true must have in terms of all baby products.  I keep it in the back of my car at all times.  Remember how I said above that if your schedule gets thrown off and there is nowhere to stop?  No problem!  We have fed him his breakfast in the back seat while Loyal pumps gas.  This is also great for wherever you are going.  Grandparents house so they don't have to have one for you.  It has also been a lifesaver when we have gone to restaurants that don't have high chairs available or are broken.  We have run into both situations.  Actually, on this last 12 hour drive, our lunch place didn't have high chairs at all. 
The seat that we have also turns into a booster seat which is what I will put Lo in when the new babe is old enough for a high chair.  I'm telling you, best $30 I've ever spent.
Fisher Price Booster Seat

3. Bedtime/Naptime Necessities
Since we leave so early in the morning, Lo goes right back to sleep.  This child can not sleep without his bunny.  If we ever forgot this, we would be so screwed.  I make sure to replicate his sleep set up the best I can.  For us, that includes his bunny, a pacifier and I usually throw in a blankie.  Another key point is that I take them away right after he wakes up.  Since he is still napping during the day, I give them back to him when it is time for a nap and this helps to distinguish play time and nap time since both take place in the car seat.  Once I hand him bunny and a pacifier, he's knows it's time to go to sleep and it really makes for an easier transition.

4. Neck Support
This is something that I wish I had figured out sooner.  Once we moved him out of his infant car seat, the new one sits him more upright.  Because of this, his head would fall forward while he was sleeping.  He didn't get a good nap like he normally does and would end up waking up early.  I finally decided to give one of these a try and they made all the difference!  We bought the Boppy one and only use the circular neck pillow.  I give it to him when I give him his bunny and pacifier.  He seems to really like it and his head hardly ever falls forward.  With this, he naps anywhere from 1.5-2 hrs, which is what his nap normally is.

5. Diaper bag & Changing pad
I like to have everything on hand and my diaper bag is a great keep all for that.  It has pockets on the sides which are great for drinks.  My snack container fits right in perfectly.  I also have it stocked with diapers, wipes, etc.  My diaper bag came with a changing pad and I use it the most on road trips.  It's great for the changing tables in public restrooms but I can't tell you how many times I've changed him in the back seat during a stop for gas.  It's a must!

6. Toys, toys & more toys
I figured this would be a given but I'll share a few details about our toy routine.  I usually have 2 or 3 different buckets of toys and here's why...
I'll give Lo one bucket of toys and he'll play with them for a little while.  Eventually he will get bored with the toys he has and one by one, they will go flying down in between the seats along with the bucket.  Rather than trying to round up all of the toys that are scattered everywhere, I just hand him a new bucket of different toys.  This buys us some time.  Once all the toys and buckets are on the floor, it's usually time for our next stop anyway so it seems to work out for us.

7. iPad
I like to save this as my last resort.  We usually make it without needing it but it's great for the longer trips.  Once Lo is completely over playing with any and all toys, this works like a charm.  I just don't want to run the risk of whipping this out too soon.  Movies are great but sometimes he likes to just swipe the screen back and forth.  Whatever works!

So that's about it.  Those are my tips and necessities!  One last bit of advice I would give would be to not hesitate to pull out all the stops.  Use anything that does the trick.
Here is Lo with a new tooth brush and an empty Chic Fil A cup.  These kept him occupied for a good hour. :)

Good luck and I hope this helped a little.
For more tips and other opinions, check out the rest of the
One Year and Beyond link up.
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