The End is Approaching

Yes, my blissful maternity leave is almost over.  In a little less than a month, I will be back to work full time with both boys spending a full day in day care.  However, the director at the daycare said a week or so ago that Jack was demonstrating readiness to move to the Preschool program from the older toddler room this fall.  She said he has hit the milestones and would be great to move up with the other children!  We are so proud of him!

So much has changed since Jack was an infant and started in daycare.  No more glass bottles (we use Coddlelife glass bottles as we feel they are safest for our children), only sleep sacks, no blankets and the list goes on and on.  Jack never used a sleep sack, so we just bought one from Baby Gap that was on sale with an extra 40% off!  Go me!  And yes, I bought the 6-12 month one to get the most use out of it.

I have so enjoyed my maternity leave with my little ones.  We were really able to spend the time together that was desperately needed.  Jack has been able to spend more one on one time with me and Max has gotten to know his Mommy and his brother, as well as his Daddy.

Some of my projects that I have been working on have been completed or almost completed while I have been home.  The cleanout?  Well, that is an animal all in itself, but it is getting done.  The dumpster will arrive Labor day weekend and many of the weekends in September will be spent cleaning everything out of the garage, attic and basement, as well as other areas.

One project for me that was very important was to create a photo book of all of the pictures with my Mom and Jack so that Jack can have that and look at it to remember her.  That should be completed and ordered sometime this week from Shutterfly, and I just got a free photo book code, so it is a win-win!

Many of my days these past few weeks have been spent choosing things for our new house; tile, plumbing fixtures, granite, cabinets, siding, shingles, stone for the front, shutters, and the list goes on.  Trying to get as much done as possible before I go back to work full time as I know that we will only have the weekends to get any major planning done as I will not have any vacation time left for the remainder of 2012.

The house is coming together and we should be going to settlement next week!  We can’t wait!

Although I am going to miss all of this extra time with the boys, I know that working will allow me to be able to provide for them and also allow us to build and live in this beautiful house.

So, for now, I am cuddling with my little Max and enjoying some extra time with Jack while playing with cars and trucks.  These are the moments that are most important for me.

Summer Update

Max is almost a month old, and we have finally taken Jack swimming in a real pool, gone for walks with the kids until we thought that our legs would fall off, and just enjoyed time with the boys.

Jack swimming with Daddy

Chris and I agree that it feels like Max has been a part of this family since day one and we can barely remember what life was like before he came along.  I can’t say that our family feels complete and that we wouldn’t add at least one more child to our growing family because I absolutely would in a heartbeat.

Daddy and Max taking a little nap

Jack is still loving going to school a few days a week and being home with Max and I for a few days as well.  We are getting on a schedule with Max, which means that it is all going to change after I publish this post, but I’m sure it will all be fine.

As I see all of my Mom’s flowers blooming in the backyard, I am reminded that she is here with us and watching us always.  Jack still asks for her and uses a play phone to call her and talk to her.  When he asks for her, he now completes his sentence with “Mom is sleeping a special sleep in a special bed.  I miss Mom.”

Chris and I have officially settled on the land for where we will build our house and just signed the contracts last week for the plans on the house.  The construction loan process begins now and we should be living in this house in about 180 days or less.  6 months until we are in our own home again, and I am looking forward to it.  Decorating, budgeting, unpacking…it is going to feel so new again and I couldn’t be more excited!

Speaking of packing, I have been working on bits and pieces of cleaning out my Mom’s house since May.  It has been a long and sad process, but it absolutely needs to be done.  The time is coming where everyone needs to choose what they want, what goes in the trash, what will be donated and what will be sold in the estate sale.  My goal is to complete the full clean out before our house is done because once we are in our new house, I want to be able to focus my time and energy on that.  We are still not sure about when the house will officially go on the market, but I am hoping to list it sooner rather than later.

I’m already dreading going back to work and leaving Max at daycare.  It breaks my heart that I can’t be with him all of the time, but I know that we are making the best decision that we can to better our children.  They will both be well-rounded, independent adults someday with all of the tools and knowledge to be successful.  That is the greatest gift that I can give them.

My friend Pam made these great shirts for the boys and I was so excited to have them both wear their shirts today.  So adorable!  Check out her shop on Etsy by clicking here.

Brotherly love

Baby brother Max (4 weeks)

Big brother Jack- (2 years, 7 months)

 

 

 

Turning 30

Yesterday (June 13) was my 30th birthday. It was also my sister Lisa’s birthday. She and I are 14 years apart and both of us wanted to welcome this baby to the world on our birthday, but alas, he is content where he is.

It was a bit different waking up in the morning yesterday just knowing that my age now begins with a 3 instead of a 2, but knowing how special my mother made every single birthday feel, it was difficult to remind myself that I wouldn’t be seeing her or hearing her sing “Happy birthday” to me the minute that she woke up in the morning. I really did think about her much of the day, and knowing that I would be doing this, Chris and friends of mine tried to make my day as special as they could and focused on happy and positive things. I am so lucky.

I arrived at work, and my coworkers decorated my office with everything from banners to signs and confetti on everything! The fun continued with a few of my work friends taking me to lunch and surprising me with tiger lilies. I come back from lunch, the staff has a cake for me and then I get an order of a dozen roses from Chris, Jack and Baby G2! It was such a wonderful day at work! Lots of cards, hugs and love to go around.

Chris and the boys also bought me a beautiful pearl necklace that I will cherish forever, and if I ever have a little girl, I will be able to tell her that this was my 30th birthday gift and make it a wonderful heirloom to pass down through the family. 🙂

My friend Jared met us for dinner at Olive Garden, which was wonderful, and we ended the day with Dairy Queen ice cream cake. My sister Kate also joined us for cake! I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Just a wonderful day with the people that I love.

Don’t get me wrong, I still miss my Mom terribly, but I know that she was right alongside me celebrating the day away.

This morning, I wake up with a big smile on my face as I begin the second day of my 30’s with the happiness in my heart leading the way. Lucky doesn’t describe how I feel to have these amazing people in my life. 🙂

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Nearing the End

After a great appointment with the doctor on Monday (I got myself crazy over nothing), we are ready to finally meet this baby!

Baby G2’s heartbeat is strong and although his movement has slowed and is not as dramatic, he is still growing and seems to be happy in there, for now.

My OBGYN checked me also on Monday, and I am currently 2cm dilated, +1 station and 50% effaced.  So, what does this all mean?  The doctor said the baby can come any time he decides to make his appearance.  It could be tonight, tomorrow, next week, etc…  He did also mention that the baby is already measuring big (44cm belly measurement) and he wouldn’t want him to grow much larger than Jack to ensure that he could be born vaginally.  I personally wouldn’t care for that either.

So, we scheduled another appointment for next Monday morning, and my hope is that the doctor just tells me that we will schedule an induction, if I don’t go naturally before then.  The contractions are still strong and are mostly timeable, but they seem to go away after a while, but the pain is pretty good with these.

Something that I don’t remember is feeling all of this pressure in my bottom.  I sometimes feel like I am sitting on the baby a bit and have the very sharp pains in my bottom that practically make me jump out of my chair.  (Always funny to see in a meeting at work)

The other concern is that Jack came pretty quickly and that I would probably go quicker this time than I did with him.  Labor with Jack was from 9:00am when they broke my water and started the pitocin and Jack was born at 3:50pm that afternoon!  Quick for a first delivery!

My heartburn has kicked back up a notch recently, which is funny as the baby is descending and not ascending.  Even Gatorade gave me a terrible case of heartburn the other night!

Other possible labor-type symptoms:

  • Lots of lower back pain
  • Increased frequency to use the facilities
  • Constant pressure in my pelvis and bottom
  • Small amount of additional fluid retention
  • Slowdown of weight gain and lack of interest in eating
  • Lightening has definitely happened
  • Tired all of the time- exhausted explains this well!

A few friends keep recommending that we begin with the Old Wives Tales to get labor revved up, but so far, we haven’t done anything to try and get labor started.

So, what are your thoughts?  Should we host a little baby pool on the old blog and see who is right?  I will say that it would be pretty cool to have the baby next Wednesday (June 13) as it will be my 30th birthday and my sister Lisa’s 44th birthday!

Checking Off of the List

Since we are now officially in the third trimester and the baby will be arriving in a mere 10 weeks (YIKES!), now is as good a time as any to try and finalize a more permanent home, get the baby clothes and the crib set up, and begin purchasing the items that we need before this little one arrives.  One major purchase can finally be crossed off the list.

After asking everyone who reads this blog and other friends who have already taken the plunge for two or three more children, we finally bought our new double stroller.  We decided on the Maclaren Twin Techno, which will really be able to suit our needs with its lightweight yet sturdy frame and its portability, which is great for our family on the go.

We had looked at a rental property a few weekends ago, but after seeing the amount of work needed on the house for the crazy amount of money that they asked for rent, we decided against it.  However, we are still checking out what is available and getting our ducks in a row to hopefully purchase another new house soon.

Our settlement was official on April 19, but I was able to complete the deed paperwork ahead of time so as to not get tied up in the paperwork and settlement mess in Philly.  My Realtor has the paperwork, the house was packed and the movers came and took everything on April 14.

Baby clothes and sleepers are purchased, the bassinet is back, Jack is sleeping in a big boy bed and trying to go on the potty all of the time and my maternity leave paperwork is completed and submitted.  It seems like a lot, but according to my To Do List, it is only a few of the minor things that have been crossed off the pre-new baby checklist.

This weekend, we will probably order diapers, begin organizing space for the new baby’s clothes and possibly installing the car seat.  32 weeks already!  Where does the time go?!

Jack officially went on the potty again yesterday, so we are keeping up with encouraging the potty, etc…  He is officially also in the Pampers Pull-ups and we bought some new big boy underwear.  Although the progress is slow, it would be WONDERFUL to not have two children in diapers.  I was cloth diapering for a long time, but since Jack’s school doesn’t allow them, much of our money goes to disposables each month.  And with two children in diapers…we will be spending about $100 a month!  We can absolutely afford it, but it is always better to  use the money for something else.

The house hunt continues and we will be meeting with a builder this morning since we can’t seem to find an existing home that we would like to buy.

We also decided on a name (FINALLY!) and our 32 week ultrasound to see our little guy will be on Monday!  🙂

Still awaiting a deal on the Hygeia EnJoye pump and my coveted Coddlelife glass bottles, but they will come with time, especially since the new little one won’t be going to daycare until September.

Although things are getting done, I can’t help but wonder if I am forgetting something or if there is something else that I should be doing?

Work is Sometimes Fun

This past week, I flew to Salt Lake City, Utah for work.  I have to begin with saying that it is a beautiful area!  Snow-capped mountains surrounding the city, beautiful buildings, the Mormon church and more.  Just breathtaking!

The Mormon Church

 

Just beautiful!

One funny thing about the city though.  Some crosswalks are equipped with bright orange flags to carry from one side to another to ensure a safer crossing.  After going to dinner with about 20 of my coworkers, most from other countries in Europe and South America, we all had to try the orange flag crossing!  Here are a few photos following dinner (and a lot of drinking for some people) with the crossing.

Flag crossing!!!

 

Here we go!

 

My flag and I

 

A few friends with their flags

Jack Went on the Potty!

On Monday March 5, Jack finally went on the potty!  No photos as we were at work and he did it at school, but very exciting milestone!

We have been working on going on the potty at home and at school while influencing training pants and big boy underwear, and the time finally came when he went on the potty!  Everyone in the class, including his teachers all did the potty dance and celebrated with him.

In the evening, Chris and I took him to Baskin Robbins to celebrate with some ice cream.  With a small cup of birthday cake ice cream in hand, he proudly told everyone who walked in for ice cream that night that he went “pippies on the potty!!”

Chris and I are so proud of him and he continues to try to go on the potty and is still showing many potty readiness signs, so we will continue to encourage him, but not to force the issue.  However, it has to be said that it would be awesome to not have two children in diapers at the same time!  😉

Here are some photos from our ice cream celebration:

Yay! Ice Cream!

 

 

27 Weeks

Between the St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations, traveling to Utah for work and everything else in between, I have been rushing around so much that I haven’t had a chance to post any updates, and believe me…I have a ton of them!

Now that I essentially won’t be traveling for the rest of the year for work, this will help me to free up more of my time and allow me to focus on my family and our search for a new home.  (Nope, haven’t found anything yet!)

27 Week Questions:

How far along? 27 weeks
Estimated size of you: A head of lettuce
Maternity clothes? Yes, and some of my maternity shirts are already getting to be too short in the front!
Stretch marks? Not that I have noticed, but Chris has been slathering on the belly butter for me at night.
Sleep: In Utah, it was TERRIBLE.  Now that I am home, it is much better!
Best moment this week: Completing the last trip for work for the rest of the year.  Looking forward to not traveling for a while!  😉
Miss Anything? My mother.  This week with St. Patrick’s Day has been exceptionally hard.  This holiday was considered to be the high holy day in our family and it just was a constant reminder that she isn’t here with us.
Movement: You are still a bit more relaxed than Jack was as far as movement.
Food cravings: Deep fried pickles with ranch.  To.  Die.  For.
Anything making you queasy or sick: No.
Have you started to show yet: Absolutely.
Gender: BOY! (But I keep having dreams that the ultrasound was incorrect…weird)
Labor Signs: Braxton Hicks.
Belly Button in or out? Out!  As much as it will be.
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Moreso happy, but this week has been a tough week emotionally.
Looking forward to: Holding you in the next 3 months!!

High-Tech Milk Maid

Even though I had so many issues with breastfeeding Jack, I still plan on breastfeeding this new baby and due to the fact that I will be returning to work a mere 12 weeks after having him, I will need a solid and reliable breast pump.

I never took the plunge with buying a pump the last time because I truly didn’t care for many of the pumps and options available.  I rented one from the hospital for a while, which was bulky, difficult to travel with and not something that I was happy with.  However, I did appreciate some of the features of the hospital grade pump that was not offered with other standard pumps: varied suction settings and the fact that it was sanitary amongst users.

A major issue was pumping when Jack was not around.  I had no issue running to the mall on my lunch break at work and while perusing the Baby Gap racks, a baby would begin to cry and my shirt would be soaked.

Being the researcher that I am, even after I was finished with nursing Jack, I began learning about the Hygeia EnJoye breast pumps.  I knew immediately that I wanted one.  They have every feature that I have been looking for: portable, quiet, varied settings for suction, you can record your baby’s cry to help with letdown and the best part?  It is a green product and can also be used by other people.

The Baby Guy, from www.babyguygearguide.com is giving away a brand new Hygeia pump!!  I am dying to win this!  And if I don’t win, I am stalking Zulily on Twitter to see if they will go on flash sale on their site anytime soon, but I would love to win one!  Anyone can enter, so be sure to throw your name in the hat if you would love this pump.  To read more about the pump, click here.

Good luck!

18 Weeks

Here we are.  22 weeks away from having this baby in our arms.  Almost halfway there.  Wow.

This week was a blur again with work.  I have been working almost nonstop and extremely long hours because of many organizational changes that my company is currently going through.  There are many uncertainties, but I just keep hoping that my work and my drive shine bright and I will be able to keep this job at this amazing company that I love so much.  This week has marked tears, triumphs, decisions that are good and bad and a lot of heart-wrenching decisions.

I just know that God has a plan for me and whatever the next branch of my life and career is, He will see me through it.  My husband will stand next to me and we will get through it all.  The next few weeks are sure to be difficult, but I am looking forward to once it is all over, regardless of what the decision is.

With the tears this week, I was on my way home from work on Friday and all of a sudden, my tire blew on the major highway home.  I lost control and swerved all over the road for a few seconds.  Turns out, the coil spring popped and cut the whole tire.  Not only are we down a car for over a week, but I’m sure it is going to be a fortune to fix.  Just another thing to add to the list.  Since we have had this car, it seems to have been in the shop quite a bit and I am wondering if for a car that only has 62,000 miles on it (almost all highway), maybe we have a lemon on our hands.  I’m going to wait and see what the mechanic says, but this is enough already!

Our little jellybean has been starting to move more and I’m sure it isn’t long until Chris and Jack will be able to feel the little jabs and kicks.  🙂

18 Week Questions:

How far along? 18 weeks
Estimated size of you: You are the size of a bell pepper
Maternity clothes? Yep.  No pre-maternity clothes any longer.
Stretch marks? Nothing new
Sleep: Eh, starting to get worse, especially with back pain.
Best moment this week: Feeling you move, maybe doing somersaults, during one of my meetings.
Miss Anything? My energy.  If you see it, please ask it to come back.  It is supposed to come back for the second trimester, or so I thought?
Movement: Yes, occasionally.
Food cravings: Tuna noodle casserole, and chocolate
Anything making you queasy or sick: Not so much this week
Have you started to show yet: Yep, and getting bigger
Gender: We will find out January 27!!!  No feeling on girl or boy this pregnancy.  Hubs is convinced its a girl.
Labor Signs: None
Belly Button in or out? In.
Wedding rings on or off? On and loose.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Getting better with the moodiness, but the breakouts are terrible!!
Looking forward to: Hopefully selling our house and decorating a new nursery.  🙂

Yep, getting bigger!

Jack giving the baby some love