Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Vincent's Nautical Bedroom Tour

This summer, we finally got around to re-decorating Vincent's room! It was so fun to pick everything out, most of which we got on sale at Hobby Lobby. I painted the four little canvases above Vincent's bed and I eventually plan to use the fabric we got to make some curtains and a blanket. I LOVE the theme so much and it will go perfectly with the toddler bed we plan on getting Vincent once he outgrows his crib; a ship bed! We plan on getting it for him once the baby is ready to move into the crib...I just hope that Vince will be ready for the toddler bed by then! *crosses fingers*
Next to the crib, we have a couple of totes with Mike's things. It's the only place in the house we can store them, so I used the opportunity to put Vincent's noise machine, a homemade frame from his auntie and some hand sanitizer up on top, out of his reach.

His room does have a closet, but the arrangement is very odd. Our dryer hook-up is in it (don't ask me why), so we aren't able to store much in it, other than his hoodies, jackets and dress shirts, which are hanging up.
The rest of his clothing is in this plastic dresser, which is working great for the time being! We've kept the futon and my brother's old mattress in his room as well, for when my mom comes to visit.

We are still getting great use out of the changing table! In the cubbies on the top shelf, we have creams, personal care items, diapers, wipes, diaper pail inserts and pacifiers. The bottom shelf is stocked with extra wipes, diapers and the tote that contains all of his mega blocks. 

We keep all of his books, pajamas, sheets, shoes and socks in this cube storage shelf. I like for him to be able to access his books! Not to forget Twilight Turtle! :)

The rocking chair has been so wonderful to have. It's been great for nursing, bottles, bedtime stories and those awful nights when rocking is the only thing that would bring comfort. It was more than worth the purchase! However, once the new baby comes, we will be moving it back into our room and putting the rocking foot stool in it's place, in case Vince has a bad night and needs to be rocked. The wall hanging is part of a collection from a little German cartoon character named "Vincelot"! He is a knight and that is his flag. My dad and stepmother brought it over from Germany for Vincent's birthday and it's so adorable!

And that's it! Although he doesn't spend a whole lot of time in here during the day, I'm so glad that he has his own space to play in! It's 100% baby proofed (after I put the lotions and diapers up on top of the changing table lol) and the only thing I have to worry about is him pulling everything off the shelves. And closing the door on me! :D 

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

17 Weeks Pregnant - Baby #2!

How far along?: 17 weeks pregnant
Total weight gain/measurements: 143.8 lbs (+4.8 lbs), belly 39.5 inches around
Maternity clothes: Here and there. Regular pants have become a little bit uncomfortable around the waist! 
Stretch marks? No new ones.
Sleep: Good!
Best moment this week: Two fun things this week: Vincent's first time at Musikgarten on Wednesday and going to COM Aquatics this weekend! And Mike was off again, so he was able to go along this time :)
Miss anything? Nope
Movement: A bit less movement this week compared to last. It always makes me so nervous! I've been tempted to order a fetal doppler just for peace of mind.
Food cravings: Still pasta and salad xD
Anything making you queasy or sick? Just certain smells make me queasy. And pretty much all meat other than chicken!
Gender: Unknown 
Labor signs: Nope!
Symptoms: Occasional back/tailbone pain and a few headaches this past week. Other than that, nothing!
Belly button in or out? In
Happy or moody most of the time: I've been a little bit moody this past week.
Looking forward to: Our ultrasound!! Two more weeks until we know baby bean's gender!

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Friday, September 25, 2015

First Year (and a half) of Parenthood - What I've Learned

You know you're a parent when you find unfinished posts that were supposed to be posted 6 months ago in your draft folder. Whoops. Better late than never, as I always say, particularly on my blog! :P 
A year ago, I was sitting on the couch in yoga pants and one of hubby's band shirts with a big, pregnant belly, wondering if I'd ever give birth or if I'd just be pregnant forever. I was a nervous wreck about becoming a parent, wondering if I'd know what I'm doing and if I'd be a good mother. But I wanted nothing more than to finally go into actual labor and meet the little person who had spent the past 9 months in my belly. 

I spent months preparing for motherhood - I read three pregnancy books, joined three online pregnancy groups as well as two online communities. I did my homework, in attempt to prepare myself to the best of my ability. But honestly, no amount of studying and research can fully prepare you for parenthood. So much of what I've learned has been from experience and a LOT of trial and error. Do I have it all figured out? Absolutely not. Not even close. But learning is all part of the adventure, and I wouldn't have it any other way!

In this past year, I've laughed, cried happy, angry, sad and confused tears and wanted to rip my hair out quite a few times. But it has been the most incredible year of my life! 

I will never forget the first moment I looked upon my child's face. Time stood still and when I close my eyes, I can still see those beautiful blue eyes looking up at me! 
Never judge another parent. It is absolutely none of your business how a parent decides to raise their child and not your place to intervene unless the child is in danger. As long as you love and care for your children, it does not matter how you raise them. I have seen SO many arguments, wars and hurt feelings over things as simple as bottle or breastfeeding, cry-it-out or attachment parenting, pro or anti crib bumpers...even over organic mattresses. Seriously. I could go on for hours. As parents, it's important to stick together and support one another. If you don't want to be judged for your choices, you shouldn't judge others for theirs. It's that simple.

Sometimes it's okay to take a breather. I learned this pretty quickly. Mike was in Texas and I was 100% responsible for Vincent. There were nights that the crying would not stop. No amount of nursing, diaper changing, rocking, bouncing or singing would stop it. I would put Vincent in his bassinet, make sure he was safe and leave the room for a few minutes to have a short meltdown. I felt like the most horrible mother on the planet for doing this, but I know if I hadn't, I likely would've gone insane. 

Let unimportant things go. This is a hard one for me. I am the type of person who can't sleep well at night if I know that a chore has gone undone or something is out of place. I also tend to let our animals' misbehavior ruin my day. I will often walk into the living room in the morning to see dog pee and feces all over the floor, the garbage can emptied out and strewn through the house and cat vomit on the couch. It puts me into a fit of rage. I am STILL working on not letting the little things bother me and simply letting things go. It's not worth being in a crappy mood over something so minor and letting it affect your child's mood. 

On that note: your attitude and mood affects your child. If I am in a crappy mood or having a bad day, Vincent is in a crappy mood, too. If I cry, Vincent cries. If I laugh or smile, Vincent does! Notice if a baby smiles at you, she expects a positive response. If you don't react, the baby will become uneasy and upset. I had no idea that a baby that young could be so greatly affected by your mood and attitude. This has made it even more important to me to let things go and work on my attitude.

Schedules really do help. I was convinced that Vincent was impossible to get on a schedule, until I put my foot down and disciplined MYSELF to follow through with one. Since then, Vincent started sleeping and eating better and eventually sleeping through the night. It was worth setting my alarm every morning and for every nap and feeding for two months straight, to get us into a good routine! Even now at 18 months, Vincent does best when we stick to his schedule.

Quit comparing. Just like every pregnancy is different, so is every child. It's not a competition. Just because someone else's child is already walking, doesn't mean your child is behind because he is still crawling. There were so many times that I worried about Vincent being behind, when really, he just wasn't quite ready yet. I was so anxious to have him finally start crawling, when I saw so many other babies his age do it. Once he started, he started getting into everything! Not to mention when he started walking. ;) Now, same situation with speech, I remind myself constantly that he will eventually get there. No rush!

Don't be hard on yourself. This was a big thing for me, particularly when my milk supply dropped. And I can admit now, that a big factor was stress. I was so worried and stressed about my supply dropping, that I couldn't get it back up and had to eventually stop nursing. Even now, I still feel disappointed thinking about it. But then I try to remind myself that I managed to exclusively breastfeed my son for 8 months. That's a great accomplishment. I did the best that I could and that's all I can do.

Drop unrealistic expectations. I have done this in the past and still find myself doing it often. Saying things like: "I will NEVER let my child..." or "My child will..." ... Not necessarily. I swore I'd never let Vince watch TV before age two. I also swore he'd be potty trained by age two. Ha. Haha. Hahahahahahahahaha....
Yes, I sometimes turn the TV on as a last resort for my sanity. And *gasp* sometimes I turn it on, just for it to be on!! Oh the horror. And no, I do not see him potty trained by two - he is not showing signs of being ready yet. And you know what? THAT'S OKAY. As I said above, every child is SO different and every child has different needs. And children learn and hit milestones at their own paces. It is not worth beating yourself up for not doing things exactly the way you imagined and it's not worth pressuring your child into something he or she isn't ready for yet. No parent is perfect. And no child is perfect. You can't possibly expect that. (Repeating this to myself over and over again...)

Pick your battles. Is it really worth freaking out over the mess he is making with his yogurt? Toddlers are messy. Yogurts are messy. Go freaking figure. Is it really worth telling him to not play with that thing that isn't a toy, when it's causing no harm? Yes, there are limits, absolutely! And safety is #1 - no matter how hard he cries and screams, I will never let him play with cords or electrical outlets. Sorry, kid. Just trying to keep you alive. But saying the word "NO!" all day over every little thing is just not worth it 90% of the time. Hence why one of the cabinets in our entertainment center has been completely cleared out, so he can use it to put his things in. xD

If I could offer any advice to a new parent, I'd say this:
When you feel like your child will never stop crying, you will never sleep again or you're completely losing control of everything, stop for a moment. Take a deep breath. Look at everything around you. Is everyone breathing? Check. Is there a roof over your head? Check. Is there food in the kitchen? Check. Then it is going to be okay. And no matter how rough things are going, I can promise, you're doing a MUCH better job than you're giving yourself credit for. Take a moment every day to breathe, give yourself a pat on the back and remind yourself: you're human, you're a good parent and someday, I PROMISE you'll sleep again! ;) And never, ever hesitate to ask for help if you need it. Because there's no such thing as a perfect parent.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

16 Weeks Pregnant - Baby #2!

How far along?: 16 weeks pregnant
Total weight gain/measurements: 143.8 lbs (+5.2 lbs), belly 39.5 inches around
Maternity clothes: Off and on. Fortunately a lot of my clothes work during pregnancy! But I've had to put a handful of shirts up to hibernate because they are definitely not working anymore! LOL
Stretch marks? No new ones.
Sleep: Pretty good! I still have my new pillows to thank for the most part - they are SO comfortable. And I am actually still able to sleep on my stomach somewhat comfortably!
Best moment this week: Having Mike home for the weekend :) I also had a fun shopping outing with my mom yesterday that I really enjoyed. Miss anything? Nope
Movement: Lots more movement this past week! Baby seems most active at night, just like Vincent was. :) 
Food cravings: I am still craving that salad that mom and I made the other night! We've made more since and I love it. I could eat it every day! And of course always alfredo pasta. 
Anything making you queasy or sick? Same smells still make me queasy, but not sick! I doubt it would make me sick anymore, but I will still stay away from hamburger meat until after the baby. It grosses me out so badly. Actually I haven't found most meat in general very appealing!
Gender: Unknown 
Labor signs: Nope!
Symptoms: Hardly anything this past week! I have to say, I'm really enjoying pregnancy this time around! :D
Belly button in or out? In
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy for the most part! 
Looking forward to: The gender ultrasound, even if it's still a few weeks away! I can't wait to find out what we're having :D

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Sunday, September 20, 2015

15 Weeks Pregnant - Baby #2!

How far along?: 15 weeks pregnant
Total weight gain/measurements: 143.8 lbs (+4 lbs), belly 39 inches around
Maternity clothes: At home I mainly stick to tank tops and boxer shorts and going out, I've been favoring my stretchy black shorts and my maternity shorts! But I still fit in regular pants fine. There are some shirts that aren't working as well anymore, but only a couple that are short.
Stretch marks? No new ones.
Sleep: Sleep has been better! Vincent has been sleeping through the night again since he has been feeling better and my bathroom trips seem to be less frequent. 
Best moment this week: Getting to see my baby!! <3 Here are some of the ultrasound photos:

Miss anything? Not really!
Movement: Little pops here and there! I notice it a lot when I drink cold water.
Food cravings: Still alfredo pasta. Always. And olive garden salad - although my mom and I made a REALLY good salad the other night and I ate almost the entire bowl by myself.
Anything making you queasy or sick? Certain things make me queasy and I still avoid them - certain soaps, litter box (I try to scoop it as soon as Tombstone makes a stink), Vincent's diapers and hamburger meat. But I haven't been getting sick anymore and nausea is thankfully very rare! :D
Gender: Unknown 
Labor signs: Nope!
Symptoms: Very occasional nausea, tailbone pain, breast soreness and one that I keep forgetting to mention: nose bleeds!! As in at least every other day. The other day it was twice. They only last 1-2 minutes, so it's not a big deal, but a strange new symptom I never had with Vince! 
Belly button in or out? In
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy unless super hungry, nauseous or sleepy
Looking forward to: Mike being off! He has gotten the past two weekends off and will get this one off as well! It has been SO wonderful to get to spend some extra time with him! 

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Friday, September 11, 2015

14 Weeks Pregnant - Baby #2!

How far along?: 14 weeks pregnant - woohoo! Second trimester!
Total weight gain/measurements: 141.8 lbs (+2 lbs - my weight fluctuates SO much.), belly 39 inches around
Maternity clothes: Same as last week
Stretch marks? No new ones.
Sleep: Sleep has not been very good this week, but only because poor Vince has an ear infection and is teething BIG time! So I've been up with him a ton. 
Best moment this week: Mike ended up getting the whole weekend off! So we were able to spend a lot of time together. I also really enjoyed spending some time with my mother in law! My mom arrived today, which was also a huge happy moment! And to top it off, Mike and I splurged and purchased our first brand new TV together - a curved Samsung 4K HGTV. It's been a great week!
Miss anything? Not really!
Movement: A little bit more movement this week, particularly while in bed or in the car!
Food cravings: Alfredo pasta. I need.
Anything making you queasy or sick? No vomiting this week! Nausea has been a lot better as well. Hamburger meat and one of our hand soaps still really makes me queasy, as well as the litter box and Vincent's diapers, but manageable!
Gender: Unknown 
Labor signs: Nope!
Symptoms: Nausea off and on and tailbone pain. 
Belly button in or out? In
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy for the most part unless I'm really tired!
Looking forward to: My ultrasound next Tuesday! :D I can't wait to see this bean again!

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Monday, September 7, 2015

Vincent's 18 Month Update

The reason I never posted this even close to on time, was because I was waiting until I finally got around to taking his 18 month photo. Which never happened! >.< So I will just let that slide and go ahead and post this regardless, 4 months late lol! I definitely plan on making an update at 2 years and if I can manage, another at 2.5 years, even if it's without the chalkboard! :)

Height/Weight: At his 18 month appointment, he was 24lbs 5oz (9%), 31.5in (17%) tall and his head circumference was 50cm (95%). 

Daily: Vincent's daily routine has stayed the same for the most part! He takes one nap around mid-day for about two hours. Since I got pregnant (particularly in the first trimester), we've spent quite a bit of time at home and unfortunately, I've totally failed at weaning him off the TV. xD Lately we've been watching old Winnie the Pooh episodes. But he doesn't sit and watch, it runs in the background when we have it on. About a month ago, we got Vincent a really awesome play kitchen and play food! He LOVES it. He will pretend to cook all day. He makes sounds for pouring drinks and drinking and when he pretends to eat, he says "MMMMM!!" He likes to "pour me coffee" and bring me food. :D I believe we might have a little chef on our hands! When we aren't at home, we are running errands or occasionally going to play dates. Vincent went to COM Aquatics for the first time last month and he had a great time! This week, we started Musikgarten, which will be every Wednesday morning for the rest of the year. Vincent was super shy and a little freaked out in the beginning, but after we sang the first couple of songs, he really enjoyed himself!

Sleep: Vincent wakes up anywhere between 7:30 and 9 AM (with 9 being the norm). His nap has been from about noon until 2, however we are in the process of changing it to be an hour or two later, so that he can eat lunch before his nap. Bedtime is around 8 AM now, since Mike's schedule shifted, bringing him home a little earlier. Unless he is sick or teething badly, he sleeps through the night every night! Our bedtime routine is the same, if we are doing a bath that day, bath, new diaper, lotion, pajamas (no more zippy!), reading, while allowing him to take sips of his milk when he reaches for the cup, rocking while singing a few songs, then bed. He likes to be tucked in with more lovies now: his kitty and mouse from Granny, Pooh Bear, Piglet, his froggy and his scentsy elephant. He does really well going to sleep on his own once I tell him goodnight and leave the room! But it HAS to be that exact routine, or he struggles. One evening my mom offered to put him down, so Mike and I could get a chance to visit a little bit before he went to bed and Vincent was not having it! She did the exact same routine, but I guess he needed me to sing to him! <3

Throwing all of our friends and blankie out of the crib!

Eating: Eating has been great! For breakfast, we do a banana and oatmeal or a couple of waffles. He LOVES his "nana"s. As a matter of fact, you can tell when he wants to eat, because he will reach for the kitchen or his high chair and say "Nana!! Nana!!" very loudly! For lunch he usually has a cheese and ham or turkey sandwich and a yogurt or fruit. He loves strawberries, grapes and apples! We do them for snacks as well. For dinner, he was having Gerber Graduate meals, but he got bored with them, so we stopped. So he eats what we eat or I make him some noodles (ravioli, mac & cheese etc.) or hot dogs if we plan to eat later. He also does great with leftovers! I always include a veggie - corn and green beans are his favorite! Carots and peas not so much.
He still dislikes regular milk, although I do sneak it into his oatmeal ;D. So we do soy milk and other than that pretty much just water! I very rarely give him juice anymore. He LOVES drinking from things with straws. Any time he sees any beverage with a straw, he immediately thinks he needs to have it!
For a snack, we do pretzels, goldfish or fruit.
He has become VERY good at feeding himself with a spoon and fork. He has become fascinated with the concept of stabbing your food with a fork. He thinks it's hilarious! 

When in doubt, pinky out!!

The straw face xDDD

Sizes: Vincent wears 18 and 24 month clothing, depending on the brand. Some 2T shirts fit, but only a couple. His growing slowed down quite a bit around the beginning of the year, so clothing has been lasting a lot longer! He now fits in size 4 shoes pretty well. He will likely still be in size 4 diapers for a while!

Milestones and Changes:

  • As you all know, Vince has begun big brother classes! :D His sibling is due the day after his 2nd birthday, on March 8th! I can already tell he is going to be a fantastic big brother. 

  • Vincent finally graduated to big boy pajamas with NO zippy! This was a HUGE deal for us. Since the day he was born, he really only ever slept swaddled or in his zippy, once he started rolling over. Now, he sleeps with a blanket! :)

  • We bought a potty. He is not near ready to start potty training, since he still hasn't fully grasped the concept of what it means to pee or poop, but we figured it wouldn't hurt to at least get him introduced to it. He actually really likes sitting on it, but nothing has happened yet! Most of all, he likes sitting on the big toilet, while I help him brush his teeth.

  • Vincent has become quite the climber! I had to start taking all of the cushions off of the couch. I am still SO paranoid about him getting on top of the cushions on the couch and either flipping over off the back or the arms of the couch and busting his head open on the floor. So we only use the cushions if we're sitting on the couch! And I put the coffee table on top of the fireplace, to keep him off of it as well. Because honestly. What's the point of even having a coffee table when you've got a toddler.

  • We went to COM Aquatics for the first time! Vince had a TOTAL blast. We will be going again this weekend!

  • As I mentioned above, we got Vincent a play kitchen and play food and it is a hit!! He has learned how to make cooking and eating sounds and learned the meaning of many food at kitchen related items, which he will fetch for me if I ask him where they are.
Eating some pretend pizza
Drinking some pretend milk
  • Vincent adores his rocking horse. He has learned how to rock back and forth by himself! He can't get up by himself, but he only needs a little help to get back down. 

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

13 Weeks Pregnant - Baby #2!

How far along?: 13 weeks pregnant
Total weight gain/measurements: 140.8 lbs (+1 lb - my weight fluctuates SO much.), belly 38.5 inches around
Maternity clothes: Just here in there. Still not needed. Most of my shorts and pants are either stretchy or have a little room to grow and most of my shirts are long. I don't have too much of a bump yet, so I've still got a little bit until the maternity clothes are an absolute must!
Stretch marks? No new ones.
Sleep: Sleep has been pretty good for the most part. I have still been taking Vincent's nap with him nearly every day. I'm happy that I am still able to comfortably sleep on my belly. :)
Best moment this week: Getting to hear baby's heartbeat! It was 160, just like Vincent's. :) 
Miss anything? My pre-pregnancy hair!! This pregnancy my hair has been getting oily super fast, whereas last pregnancy, it took several days to get oily. I tend to have very dry and brittle hair, so I go a few days between washes to prevent split ends. And since the smell of dry shampoo is incredibly unpleasant right now, I've been having to just sort of deal with the greasiness! :P
Movement: Still some popping here and there, but not often. And I only really feel it when I am lying in bed. 
Food cravings: Still buttered toast - although it's not so much a craving as it is something that I can just about always eat, no matter how I feel. One thing I have been seriously jonesing for is alfredo pasta from Olive Garden!! O.O Also their salad. If I could have any food delivered to me for free every day, that's what I'd pick, hands down.
Anything making you queasy or sick? Certain smells and the famous gag cough. And with this pregnancy, I've noticed the vomiting is completely random. The other night, Mike picked me up a big mac and I went to TOWN on it. It was so good. Until I got to the last bite...all of a sudden I thought "Oooohh s***'s coming back up" and I got sick. I honestly can deal with that type of vomiting no problem! It's the everlasting nausea that eventually maybe possibly leads to vomiting that makes me feel like I'm going to die. 
Gender: Unknown 
Labor signs: Nope!
Symptoms: Nausea & morning sickness comes and goes, depending on the day. Other than that just a little bit of fatigue and breast soreness.
Belly button in or out? In
Happy or moody most of the time: Moody some days and happy others! Again - it just depends on the day.
Looking forward to: Mike will FINALLY have a couple days off this weekend, which I can't wait to spend with him. Also, my mother in law and a family friend are coming to visit this weekend as well and I'm super excited to see them! And at some point next week, my mom should be coming back to stay with us for a little while! AND of course entering the second trimester next week. :D Lots of fun things to look forward to!

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