Thursday, April 25, 2013

36 Week Update - Almost there

36 weeks
This will probably be the last "pregnancy" update I do until he is born. I know these aren't the most exciting things to read, but I really wanted to document some of this {not so} fun pregnancy.

How far along:
36 weeks. Here's your picture! (I know you're thinking, "Nice smile"!)
That's the color we painted the kids room by the way - it's a nice cheery happy yellow.

Size of baby:
He should be about 19-20 inches long - and about 6-7 pounds - I don't know what type of fruit or veggie he resembles now, but I can tell you it's "BIG" & I am ready. I had my 36 week ultrasound yesterday and all looks good. It's the one they recommend for all "Over 40" pregnant moms (aka; maternally ancient).We're in the home stretch. We think he'll be about the same size as Julianna - 7'10 - but we'll have to wait & see.

Weight gain:
Total weight gain has been 8 lbs up until right now. I just have not felt good this whole time - hard to eat meals and some days I just have zero appetite. My midwives tell me everything is fine and so is the baby, so I guess it's OK. With my last pregnancy, I gained 30 lbs because I was able to actually eat the whole time. The good news is, it will be easier to get back into shape afterwards.

Maternity clothes:
Everything is tight and some maternity clothes do not fit anymore. Can't wait to put that stuff in a box and give it away when this is all over.

  • Bloating still, every day, all day. I really can't wait to eat normal again. I am so uncomfortable every single day. 
  • My husband told me he can't wait until I am not pregnant anymore, because he feels bad for me every day to see me grimacing or making pained facial expressions. 
  • Feet aching, my whole abdomen aches, hard to stand up, I pee 50 times a day, my back hurts, I have this horrible taste in my mouth all the time, horrible heartburn all day and night, I have no appetite many days, and uh, did I forget any other pleasant things I'm feeling?  
  • Oh yes, Hips hurt at night, and I have to flip from side to side at least 10 times. 
  • The lovely nausea is back. Not like the first trimester where I couldn't function, but it's definitely back. 
The only thing that gets me through this all is knowing this is all over in 3 weeks. Just THREE weeks to go. I had a talk with the boy and told him, "Anytime you want to make your appearance is fine by me" - after all, he is fully developed now. We are ready for him and so is the bedroom- we bought all the stuff we need. Bring it on! 
I know this sounds a lot like whining (Sorry!) but it's just gotten so old to feel so crappy for so long. I had a few weeks, maybe a month where I felt decent in the 2nd trimester - sheeesh! 
Thank goodness I work from home. I do not think I could handle going into the office feeling the way I do every day. I work in my office, wrapped up in a blanket with the heating pad on my back.

Yeah right. I exercise my thoughts to hope this baby comes even a few days earlier LOL! Don't get me wrong, May 16th will be a fine day for a C-section, but hey, if he wants to come a few days early, it's all good.

Not much since nothing really makes me enjoy eating. I will say fresh fruit does make me feel good... and ice cream (when I can handle it).

Kicking like a crazy boy! You can see legs & arms - it's pretty cool. he is definitely running out of space now. At this point, he grows about 1/2 lb a week.

Some nights I still sleep OK. I wake up a lot and have to pee so many times. Par for the course I suppose.

Gender & Name:
Still a boy. We finally did decide on a name - but I'll reveal it with my FIRST post on his birth in a few weeks! :)  Boys names for us were very hard to choose.

Looking forward to:
Not being pregnant any more & having him here with us. We are so ready for him. It's funny, I watch TV or see people out in the store, and they look so "normal" & they can move around so easily. I honestly can not remember what it's like to be able to feel normal from day to day. Sounds silly but I look forward to all these symptoms going bye-bye. Call me a baby, I know.

No real worries to speak of. I know the baby is healthy, and so am I (blood pressure is low, no diabetes, no physical issues that are bad for us). I am starting to have some anxiety about the C-section and any complications I could have. But I know those are normal feelings to have and know everything will be OK in the end.

What's different this time:
Everything. I still marvel at how I had NONE of these symptoms the first time.

Best moment this week:
Seeing Julianna excited every day about her baby brother coming. She thinks he will arrive with his own Mama. She is having a hard time understanding she has to share Mommy & Daddy. Going to be interesting. Also, Knowing I am one week closer to the end makes me happy this week. Ha!

Something that bothers me: 
Disability Paperwork. Ugh! I can't believe the amount of "Maternity Leave / Disability" paperwork my job has me & my doctor fill out. I have learned from experience (last time) that no matter how prepared you are, it still gets messed up and I will need to make 40 calls to the state of NJ & my company's "Leave" group, after I have the baby. I know from last time, it can take up to 6-8 weeks to get your first disability check and we're prepared financially this time. You can be held back for ONE wrong date or code on one page (especially if you go early)... and then you need to re-fax and re-submit everything, and hope someone actually gets it. Have you ever had to deal with the state of NJ Disability? It's so much fun and they are all such a joy to work with (NOT!). The only saving grace is knowing I can take "Baby Bonding Time-Off" in NJ. I get an additional 'paid' 6 weeks off after my 8 weeks of disability. Plus I'm taking 2 more weeks of vacation time. All in all, I will get 16 weeks 'paid' time off once the baby is born. I am grateful for that. 

Do we have a Name?
Yes- it will be revealed once he is born :)  

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Things I have learned since having Julianna...

Funny how every mom I've talked to says almost the same thing -
You have ideas in your head on how you are going to raise your child or do things once the baby is here, but then once the baby is ACTUALLY here, you tend to change course and go off track as needed along the way. You do things you never thought you would do, and you don't do things you were certain you would do! Right?

Here are some things I have learned along the way since having Julianna (she is almost 3 years old now). These are just MY opinions only, so please do not take any offense. All parents do what works best for them and their families.

Baby #2 
I never really wanted kids. But then I did, and we had Julianna. I then said I would never have another. I was too old and was very content having just one, and very content with how our happy little family was coming along. Wrong again. Something took over my brain and heart, and I decided "Sure let's go for #2" - and here I am, 4 weeks out from baby #2 meeting the world. But I can surely say after this, we are done for real. No I really do mean it. It will be made medically impossible after this to have #3. And come on, let's face it - I am 42, my house is too small and I know I couldn't handle more than 2 kids anyway. Done after 2.

Organic Foods
Our family is fairly new to the world of Organic food as are most people in this day & age. I think it has really become "popular" in the last 3-4 years for many reasons. Everyone has their own reasons for buying or not buying organic.
One of the biggest reasons I started buying Organic is because of Julianna. I try not to let her eat anything "bad" (what I consider to be bad) since her little healthy body is growing and counting so much on every bite she puts in her mouth. I feel healthier now that we buy organic too. And heck, I gotta tell you, organic meat is so much tastier than the normal stuff you but in the supermarket.
I do have my limits though.
My personal guidelines for buying organic: 
I will buy everything "organic" that is grown from the earth or comes from an animal directly.
Such as; Chicken, beef, other meats & brown organic eggs. I will buy organic fruits & vegetables,  and canned tomatoes, but admittedly much harder to do so in the winter months.
I am not a believer in buying organic "processed" foods such as crackers or cereal. I feel (my opinion) that once it's processed in a factory, it kind of loses that "organic" thing anyway, and it then becomes overpriced processed food. I will however buy healthy stuff that is non-organic and try to stay away from anything with excessive sugars, high fructose corn syrup or deep fried things. I have found that many brands are now taking high fructose corn syrup out of their foods because we don't need it, and consumers are educating themselves about it.
Organic clothing - no thanks. Once you wash it in detergent, doesn't it then become non-organic anyway?? I don't buy into this theory.

Farmers Market 
I have jumped completely on the Farmers market bandwagon and local farm bandwagon in the past year or so! I prefer to buy from the Farmers market all summer long! Ours run from about June 1st through October here & we go every weekend. Even if some of it is not 'certified' organic, it's still fresh and way tastier than the stuff in the supermarkets. I am a huge advocate of the Farmers Market. Support your local farmers when you can - yes, it is pricier no doubt, but I feel it is totally 100% worth it! We also have our own garden and grow organic items like tomatoes, peppers, celery, beans, etc.

Fruit Juice & Sugary snacks
Brian and I have always been united on this. Julianna has never had fruit juice or sugary snacks. I am against it completely. I know I'm in the minority here, but something like ONE in every TEN children in America are obese and will get diabetes - I'm not willing to encourage Julianna to have bad habits if I don't have to. Yes, she will have soda and fruit juice one day- but by then, I can only hope she is educated enough to make smart enough decisions on her own.
Julianna has also never had candy - and I am proud of this. I know it sounds cruel but we feel very strongly about teaching her good eating habits. She LOVES fruit as a snack - and sometimes when she is offered a cookie, she asks for fruit instead. I love it.
I will tell you, we are not total monsters - {I know you're thinking it haha!} We do let her have ice cream, french fries as a treat once in a while - or a cookie. Funny because she is just not that crazy about anything sweet - job well done! We also let her have a few animal crackers after dinner at night.
I also do not buy anything that is made with artificial colors or flavors. Obviously once she leaves our house and goes to school or friend's homes, she will have access to this stuff- but I can only hope by then she will make good choices and have it in moderation.

DVD player in the car
I said I would never have a DVD player in the car. WRONG. We ended up buying one last spring when we went on a 12 hour drive to South Carolina. Let me tell you, it's a beautiful thing. No, it might actually be one of the top 5 inventions on the planet everrrrrr! Julianna loves watching her movies (Toy Story - 500 times) and it keeps her occupied. I think anyone with a toddler can relate. And yes, we have turned into THOSE parents that put the dvd player on for short rides to the food store LOL! YUP thats us! Oh well. Chalk one up against mom & dad.

I always said I would never ever buy a Minivan - and we have stuck to it. I had a moment of weakness last spring where I actually thought we needed one. We test drove the Honda Odyssey - and I did like it a lot - I totally GET the reason everyone has one. It's completely made for families - It had so many amazing conveniences. We came very close to buying one. Luckily I got over it and that idea will never be re-visited again. haha! When it comes time, I 'll just get a bigger SUV. Sorry minivan moms - I won't be joining your cause. It's just not for us.

We followed the Babywise method with Julianna (A Method of getting your child to sleep through the night by putting them on a schedule - gasp!!). You can get the "On becoming babywise" book here. Some parents are against it, and some are for it. We are totally all for putting our child on a schedule so he/she will sleep through the night and so we can plan our lives accordingly. We were out of the house after 8 days with Julianna and I plan on doing the same thing with the boy this time. Julianna slept through the night at 7 weeks and again, we plan on doing the same thing this time. I know it's not for everyone, but it worked very well for us. We are mobile people, and need to be out of the house - this helps us to continue living our life the way we want. Check it out HERE if you think it's for you. I will tell you, it works.

Bottle feeding, alternating night time feedings & diapers
Yes, we will be 100% bottle feeding again and using disposable diapers. Yeah, we are monsters again, I know. I just not inspired enough to be a cloth diapering mama . I know several people that use them and love them - but it's just not for us. Bottle feeding is a very personal decision to me and it worked well for us with Julianna, and we plan on doing the same thing again this time. One benefit of bottle feeding is the ability for my husband and I to alternate feedings at night. What we did last time is - Julianna was on a 3 hours schedule in the beginning. So, she would take a bottle  at 12,3,6,9, etc...
For instance, my husband would feed Julianna at 9pm. Then I would feed her at 12am... then Brian would feed her at 3am, then I would feed her at 6am. (She would go back to bed until 9am).  This enables us to sleep 6 straight hours with only getting up once each night, and then back to sleep for another couple hours. The next night we just swapped times so the other person got the full 6 hour sleep from 12-6. It works and we never had a night of lost sleep. We will absolutely do this again with the boy. I wish everyone's husband would be this involved and see how good it can be. We did this schedule until we were able to stretch Julianna out and she slept through the night, long after he went back to work. My husband is a believer in it's his child too, so he should get up at night as much as me, and we are 50% each on everything! I honestly do not think I would have gone for a second child if I had to do this all alone.

Kids clothes
Here are some baby clothes I like and dislike - Julianna is tall and skinny, so I often have to be careful buying pants/shorts/skirts/leggings because they are usually too wide for her. I think it depends on your child's body, but these are my opinions on certain clothing lines-
Carters - I love their newborn/baby onsies and PJs. I stopped liking their stuff once Julianna was done with onsies, and fitting into regular outfits (pants, tops, etc.) I don't care for the toddler clothes or how they fit. Their leggings often droop and stretch out, and their regular pants are always too wide for Julianna.
Children's Place - Used to love them and now it seems they changed their entire line of clothes, and cheaped out big time, but raised their prices. Their stuff shrinks big time, runs small and falls apart at the stitching. I only buy basics from them like leggings, and some jeans, shorts, etc. I do still buy their socks too.
Old Navy - I like some of their clothes but some stuff runs wide & long (even for Julianna!), so I need to go to the store itself to see & buy the clothes. If you catch their stuff on sale, you can score big time. I do like their fold-over socks a lot & love their jeans the best of any store for the price especially.
Gymboree - LOVE THEIR CLOTHES. They run slightly large, but their selection of colors and styles are very nice. Their clothes are made well, so I don't mind paying more. If you are smart, you can utilize their gym bucks or coupons and not pay a lot. I like how many of their selections all go together, so you can often buy 5 or 6 items to wear in several different outfits. This is by far my favorite store.
Baby Gap - Love this store and their clothes, but I really only buy if I can get a good sale price, as I feel $50 for toddler jeans is just to much to pay. We have some nice upscale kids consignment shops by us that I've bought some great gap clothes from for almost nothing. I do however buy their hoodie sweatshirts brand new every spring/fall season - they are the best fitting hoodie jackets I've found anywhere and well worth the money.
Kohls - I really like the Jumping Beans clothes line for everyday 'play' clothes - it's often very inexpensive, cute styles and on always on sale. I feel the sizes run just right for my daughter, but they do shrink up easily, so be careful.
Osh-Kosh-B'gosh - Dislike. I think they carry decent boy stuff, but I do not care for their girl clothes at all.
Walmart - Can't comment too much as I haven't bought much but the occasional onsie or Hello Kitty t-shirt. Quality was OK, but don't expect it to last.
Target- Way overpriced for very cheaply made clothes. I have never found anything I really like in Target and feel the styles are kind of weird looking. Anything I've bought from there has never fit Julianna right.

I know there are many more stores, but these are the main kids stores I've shopped at. I'm a believer if you can spend a little more on quality, the clothes will fit better and last longer. ALso, make sure you sign up for all the store's coupons & emails online. It pays off big time! I am the kids-clothing-sale whore!

I had to add a little something about this. I am a huge germ-phobe. I teach my daughter to use her foot to open the bathroom door when we are out somewhere... and also not to touch ANYTHING and stand in the corner when I bring her in the bathroom stall with me! Ha! Always have been a germ-phobe (but got worse once I had Julianna) and always will be. I'm well stocked in antibacterial wipes, soap, etc. I'm constantly wiping Julianna's hands and face... and trained her to wash her hands whenever we come home from being out at the store or wherever. Up until age 2, she had ONE cold... not sure if it's just good luck or just good hygiene habits .. but either way I think we are lucky!

Birth plans
Birth Plans hardly ever go as planned. Expect the unexpected when giving birth. I never in a million years expected to have a c-section my first time or for my daughter to end up in the NICU (with a Pneumothorax for 6 days). You just don't know what can happen, so please don't be disappointed if aromatherapy candles, playing spa music and sitting on a bouncy red ball doesn't happen. In the end, having a healthy baby makes the best birth experience (and mama being ok too!) It will still be the best day of your life.

And that's it for now - it's late and I need to go to stop writing. This was kind of long wasn't it?
Enjoy your weekend. Just a couple pictures from the past week or so ....

Lambertville, NJ 

 I was walking by this shoppe in Lambertville, and noticed this cute little doggy looking out at me.

 Julianna running in the park. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Evil Stomach Virus

I've been absent. I know it. It's been a rough week {or so} to say the least. Like "50 shades of hell" rough.

There is nothing I hate more than my baby girl being sick. It sucks. I hate seeing her so pathetic and helpless. We have really lucked out in the sense that Julianna has not been sick very often.

Two Saturdays ago, she came down with the evil stomach virus. It was so bad. Poor kid. She threw up all over the house & herself and her beloved baby giraffe. She was crying because she thought she did something wrong combined with the fact she HATES to be dirty; I was crying because she was so upset. Bad scene. Brian was racing around trying to clean up. She finally stopped being sick long enough so we could get her in the tub, strip her down, and clean her off. I handed over puky girl duty to Brian at that point because God knows I could NOT afford to get sick. She ended up being OK by Sunday morning, but it was a rough night for us trying to clean up and soothe her. She was so pathetic & my heart broke for her.

I sanitized & sterilized the entire house, bed sheets, stuffed animals, floors, furniture, door knobs, bathroom, etc.... but in the end, it didn't matter. IT GOT US.

Last Monday, Brian and I both got hit HARD with the stomach virus within a few hours of each other. Everyone jokes how we always do everything together- I guess it only makes sense we got this in unison too! Imagine being 34 weeks pregnant and bad stomach virus. I can tell you it's NO fun and just flat out sucks. Thank goodness our babysitter was able to take Julianna overnight (Bless her soul!) because Brian and I were in such bad shape, we couldn't have taken care of her and it was the worst night ever. We were both up all night sick as dogs. (Why do they say sick as dogs? I never saw my dog get this sick ever!!)

I got hit worse than Brian, simply due to the fact I'm pregnant. When I talked to my midwife on the Monday I started feeling lousy, she warned me it would probably be much worse for me, and man she was right. I was down for the count and out of work for 3 days. Even after I went back to work, I felt like I got hit by a truck through this past Sunday. Brian too. I am hearing from so many people now that have or had the same thing.

So anyway, that explains my recent absence... Oh and the fact that we are working daily to get ready for the baby. We switched bedrooms, need to paint, bought a bunch of baby stuff, de-cluttering the basement & attic to make room for yet more crap... and Brian has some things he needs to get done before the baby is born. Needless to say - blogging has been on the back burner.

So here I am.

I have a few posts lined up for the following week or so.... and should be back on track. I also desperately need to catch up on my blog reading. I've also been trying 2 different blog readers - "Blog Lovin" and "Feedly". Both work about the same to me - except I think I like the "Blog Lovin" app on my Iphone better.

And last but not least ... Some pictures from Easter (Told you I was way behind!) 

It was a chilly & rainy day - but we did manage to get in the Easter Egg hunt at my Aunt's house. 

Hope you are all doing well. I'll be posting again soon!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Away from home

I don't like being away from home. This week I had to go away for 3 days for work. Luckily I did not have to fly, and was able to drive to my annual work meeting about 2 hours from my house. And while it was nice to see my co-workers, I will be the first to admit, I really don't like being away from Brian & Julianna and I miss them terribly. One of the best inventions (of all time) got me through the day - and that is Facetime. Brian 'facetimed' me before Julianna went to bed, and we got to talk - and I got to tuck in my little girl (virtually). That was worth it's weight in gold.

We had a nice Easter weekend with some much needed warmer weather and outdoor time! The Easter bunny visited and left Julianna some really nice presents. The bunny also hid some eggs in the house with some coins in each egg - She couldn't wait to put them into her piggy bank. That makes mama & daddy so proud that she is learning to save money. haha! We told her she can save up to buy something really special for herself... she liked that idea a lot!
Julianna loved everything the bunny left for her and he even ate the carrots that she left out in a bowl for for him to munch on!

Sadly I don't have many pictures from Easter morning - I just wasn't motivated enough (too tired!) to pull out my camera. I did however take some pictures of Julianna doing the Easter Egg hunt at my Aunt's house later that day. She is such a fun age - just about 3 years old - I love how excited she gets over everything! She loved that the bunny came to my Aunt's house and hid some eggs for her there too!

Here are some pictures from our first day (of the season) at the park - Easter pics will be posted another day.
Hooray! Spring is coming soon!!

Giraffe wanted to look at the stream in the park - 

Jumping for joy about the weather. 

Sunglasses of course... stay on! 

I love my girl! 

Look how big the tree is!! 

Swings are her favorite still! 


But slides are still almost as fun...



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