Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Wrap-up

So the holidays are almost over and we're about to embark on a new year with some new beginnings (still hasn't really sunk in that we are expecting another little munchkin in 2013).  Before we get ready to say goodbye to 2012 here are some pictures from our quiet family Christmas:

First up is our attempt at getting some free pictures with Santa.  Clearly Charleston cheaped out when it came to finding a Santa for the farmer's market:

We have been laughing about this picture for weeks.  The 'WTF?' look on Andrew's face takes the cake.

We were able to get my mom to take a picture of the three of us in front of our tree to use for our Christmas cards this year.  I wish I had gotten one with him smiling, but I guess I'm happy that he was at least looking at the camera:

We were dressed up because we were about to head to my company Christmas party.

This past Saturday we decided to suck it up and fork out the cash to get some real Santa pictures.  After waiting in line for 2 hours I was praying that we wouldn't have a meltdown on our hands.  Andrew did remarkably well:

We had a quiet Christmas with just the three of us and it was nice.  Christmas Eve after Andrew went to bed J stayed up and put together the train and village on the coffee table in the back room.  Christmas morning he showed it to Andrew and they spent some time back there playing with it while I made us some cinnamon rolls for breakfast:

 Then it was time for presents.  With some help he got the paper off of his workbench and went right to work playing with it:

After playing with that for a while we tried to get him to open the rest of his presents.  Once he saw the blocks and books he went to town scattering them all over the place:

I'm hoping eventually he will actually play with the blocks instead of just putting them in the bag and dumping them out (and tossing them everywhere).  But I guess at least they are foam so it doesn't hurt when I step on one.

And finally, here are the salt dough ornaments I made with his little handprints.  One is for us and the others for the grandparents.  They didn't come out too bad if I do say so myself:

So there you have it - most of our holiday season.  Now I just have to get through the next 4 hours of work and it's another 4 days off.  We're heading to Myrtle Beach tomorrow to do Christmas with my family since my grandma's funeral put a wrench in our earlier plans.  And we're still trying to figure out what we're doing for New Years. I'm leaning towards our friend's family friendly get together like we did last year, but we'll see.  Whatever we do I'm going to have to be stealthy about not letting anyone know I'm not really drinking since there is no way I want anyone to know I'm pregnant yet.

So happy holidays to you all and I hope you have a wonderful New Year!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Here We Go Again

Andrew has a little announcement:

Yep, that's right.  He's getting a new title because I saw these this morning:

My current reaction is "Holy shit!  What did we just get ourselves in to???"

I'm also a little apprehensive about even saying anything here because I had some spotting last night and I'm scared that it won't last.  I have had zero symptoms and am kind of in disbelief that I even saw positives tests today.  I'm sitting tight and will be taking more tests over the next few days and will call my OB after the holidays.

So right now I'm excited/scared/freaking out/and about a million other emotions. Praying that this baby holds on and that we are able to handle two.  Oh boy... or girl.  Aaaaahhhhh!!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Moment of Silence

This morning at 9:30 there will be a nationwide moment of silence to honor the 20 beautiful children and six heroic educators that senselessly and tragically lost their lives last Friday.

I haven't posted anything about the tragedy because to be honest, I have a hard time thinking or talking about it without tearing up.  From the moment I was made aware of it (by a text from a friend as I was leaving my grandmother's funeral) I have had a knot in my stomach and those 26 souls have not been far from my mind.

I pray for peace and comfort, for them and for their families and loved ones.  The pain their survivors must feel is unimaginable.  I can't even let my mind go there - it's just too much.

And now I'm crying again...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

We Made It

After five days of travelling, a viewing and funeral, eight total flights, one football game, a three mile walk, countless tears and tons of emotions I made it back home.

I don't have the energy to recap the events of the past five days right now.  I will say that being away from Andrew was hard, but I survived.  And I am really looking forward to some quality time this long holiday weekend.

I'll recap all of the Pittsburgh/Dallas adventures soon.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

First Night Away

Up until now I have never spent a night away from Andrew. Yes, we've had babysitters here while J and I had a date night, but I've never not been here to see him in the morning.  This weekend was supposed to be the first time, when J and I fly to Dallas for the Steelers/Cowboys game.  I was already getting anxious about it, knowing I won't see him for 48 hours.

Well, my first night got bumped up by a few days. I'm heading to the airport shortly to catch my 10:11 AM flight to Pittsburgh for my grandmother's funeral tomorrow.  My parents both said I didn't have to go (they both explicitly said that we are NOT to cancel our plans for this weekend), but I felt like I need to be there for my dad.  The viewing and funeral service are both tomorrow morning and then my return flight isn't until 7:43 PM (getting me in at 11:38 - ugh) but I may try to see if I can get an earlier one.  We have to get up Saturday morning, pack up and head to Myrtle Beach to drop off the munchkin with my mom (my dad will still be in PA) and catch our 1:45 flight to Dallas.

So anyway, it's going to be a crazy busy few days. Hopefully it'll take my mind off of how much I know I am going to miss my little dude.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bad Timing (and I Suck)

On Saturday evening my mom came down to babysit the munchkin so J and I could go to my company Christmas party. Yay date night!

Anyway, about 30 minutes after getting here my mom informed me that my grandma will be dying this week. Yep - that bluntly.  For a little background, my grandma has been in and out of hospitals for the last 6 years. New years 2006 my dad drove up there (my grandparents are still in PA) to find my grandpap sitting at the kitchen table writing out her obituary.  Obviously he didn't need it then. Or the next dozen or so times that she has gone to the hospital. So when my mom said she's dying this week I didn't take it overly seriously.

It turns out this might actually be it, though. She is out of the hospital and back home with hospice care to make her comfortable.  I'm sad because it's always sad when someone dies, but to be honest it is a little bit of a relief.  She hasn't really been "living" for years, she has been simply existing. My grandparents need to be in a nursing home or assisted living, they are not able to take care of themselves, but they have refused. It has been hard of my dad and his sisters and has caused quite a bit of tension in relationships that were never that great (my dad and his sisters have never been very close).  So now it appears that the end is near for real.

That brings on the part about bad timing and me sucking.  J and I are flying to Dallas this weekend for the Cowboys/Steelers game.  This was planned three months ago and $1200 has already been spent between plane tickets, game tickets and hotel.  We leave Saturday and get back on Monday.  So what happens if my grandma passes away in the next couple days?

Yesterday my mom sent me a message saying she and my dad had been discussing it and that I am NOT to cancel my trip.  I said if something happens and I miss a funeral I am going to be judged. Hard.  Her response was that my dad is the only one who matters and he is saying I should go.  Ugh.

Oh, and my parents were the ones that were supposed to watch Andrew this weekend, which was perfect since we are flying out of Myrtle Beach because it was half as expensive as flying out of Charleston.  Now my dad is leaving today to drive up to Pittsburgh and if she does pass my mom will go up for the funeral.  We have my mother-in-law on hold as a backup and she can come down if needed.

Yes, I suck.  I'm thinking about how this is going to affect our plans instead of crying about my dying grandmother.  Don't get me wrong, I am sad that she is dying, but the grandma I grew up with died long ago. I'm most sad about how this is going to affect my dad.

Ok, enough rambling.  Time for me to get back to sucking as a human...

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Moments That Really Matter

There are days when nothing seems to go right. Days when I feel so rushed and overwhelmed that I am barely keeping my head above water.  It seems like prior to becoming a mom I had just enough time to do everything that I needed to do in a given day or even week.  Now that I am a mom that time is gone. I constantly feel like I am letting things slide and slip through the cracks. And it feels like I'm not measuring up to where I should be - as a wife, as a mom, or just as me in general.

Those days are hard.

But I try not to judge myself too harshly.  I know in my heart that we are doing ok. Our house might not be as spotless as it once was. There might be an errant goldfish cracker that he finds from who knows how long ago and pops in his mouth before I can stop him.  There might be little hand prints on some of our windows and a sippy laying here or there.  The toys might not all be put neatly away at the end of every day, and that's ok.

The fact is, if I spent my time worrying about these little things that in the grand scheme of things don't really matter, I would miss out on special moments like this:

Who cares that Santa is face down on the floor or that there are pine needles that need to be swept up under the tree? My two favorite guys in the entire world were having a little quiet time before bed and I wanted to take a moment to bask in the love that I feel for these two.

The cleaning can wait...

Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Decorating with a Toddler

All the Christmas stuff that has been up in all the stores and decorations everywhere were annoying in November, but now that it's December it's time to get to decorating.

To say that we have a lot of Christmas decorations is a bit of an understatement.  Our walk-in closet in our back room is half full with those big rubbermaid tubs chock full of decorations.  The funny thing is that they were mostly J's from before we even met. He LOVES Christmas decorations.  Anyway, we have a lot and this weekend we dragged them all out and dug in.

First up was the tree. Now, I'd like to be able to say that we took a nice little family trip to some quaint local Christmas tree farm and spent the afternoon picking out the perfect one, but yeah - we went to Lowes.

We were in and out in under 30 minutes and on our way home with our 9' tree.  We waited until Andrew was down for the night before we tackled bringing it into the house figuring it would be easier without him under our feet.  Thankfully we got it up pretty easily (and it's still standing).

In the morning Andrew was very interested in the new addition to the living room - and probably wondering what happened to all his toys.

We let it stand without any decorations until he went down for his nap. There was no way I was going to try to put lights on the tree with him running around yanking them back off.  He took a nice long nap which gave us plenty of time to get the 9 strings of lights on (it's a big tree) and the tons of ornaments.  Then it was time to wake up the munchkin and give him a look.  He wasn't overly impressed:

He was much more interested in climbing all over the tubs and finding himself a fun new seat:

That tub will obviously not be out all month, but for right now it is his favorite seat in the house.  He likes to sit on it and try to poke at the Snoopy, which will have to be relocated outside before he pulls all the fuzz off his hat.  Luckily so far he has left the tree alone.  He does like to point out the bulbs close to the bottom, yelling "Ball!" every time he notices one, but for now he is leaving them on the tree.  It helps that daycare has their tree up already and they are good with 'No touch." when he gets near it.

One thing that he is allowed to play with is the singing and dancing Santa.  I bought it a few years ago just because I thought it was hilarious. last year it kind of scared him, but this year he is enthralled by it. And he figured out how to press his hand to turn him on and off.  I'm not exaggerating when I say he sat and did this for 20 minutes last night:

He doesn't let Santa get very far in his song and instead of dancing he is laying on his back practically having a seizure.  We finally  made him drop Santa and go to bed last night.  J relocated Santa to the foyer and Andrew didn't discover him this morning (he did go running into the living room and I assume he was looking for him), but I'm sure he'll be back at it tonight. Now the question is, how long will those batteries last???

I guess as long as Santa keeps him out of the tree I'll be grateful. Now if only I could get "You better watch out, you better not cry..." out of my head.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Big Fat Negative

This was the second cycle of really trying to add to our family (prior cycles were just kind of a 'if it happens it happens' attitude).  I've been doing the standard stuff - charting my temperature, using OPKs, drinking green tea and paying close attention to what has been happening with  my body.  We got busier than normal this cycle and according to FF (Fertility Friend - a charting app) our timing was great.

Because of that I had high hopes. Like really high.  I was obsessively comparing my chart for this cycle to the one from the month that I got pregnant with Andrew.  The similarities in my temperature pattern between the two were crazy.  They weren't spot on, but they were amazingly close.  In my heart I knew this had to be it - I was going to take a test and see those two pink lines and then get to dress Andrew in the "Best Big Brother" shirt that I got for him and send him out to find daddy so he could tell him the news.

I woke up this morning at 4:30 and couldn't fall back to sleep.  I went and took my temperature and took a test, no longer able to hold off.  When my thermometer beeped I looked at the temp and was shocked to see that it was a full 1.5 degrees lower than yesterday.  I brushed it off as being much earlier than my normal time and being taken after I had tossed and turned for a little bit.  Then I looked at the test and saw a stark white test strip.

I still had high hopes remembering that I am 12 DPO and I didn't get a positive test with Andrew until the evening of 12 DPO with a stronger positive the next morning. It's still too early is what I told myself as I crawled back in bed.

A couple hours later I woke up to go the bathroom only to see that this was in fact not our cycle.  I had tears in my eyes as I crawled back in bed and I told J that it was official - this cycle was a failure.  He gave me a big hug and a kiss and assured me that it's ok, we have plenty more chances.  When I protested saying I'm not getting any younger and I'm upset because based on my data we had great timing and still failed he kind of chuckled.  I don't give him all the details of my charting so he doesn't really know what "data" I'm talking about besides me taking my temperature. He kissed away my tears and held me for a while until Andrew finally started stirring.

Seeing Andrew's smiling face when I walked downstairs helped me to feel a little bit better.  I know that we haven't been really trying that long and there are plenty of people who have longer roads than this, but with my "Advanced Maternal Age" I feel like my clock is ticking louder and louder each and every month until it's almost deafening.

I guess I could look on the bright side - I won't have to pretend to drink at my company Christmas party this next weekend.  And our trip to Dallas in two weeks for our first trip alone since Andrew was born should come at the perfect time to try again to give him a sibling.

I'll just have to keep my expectations realistic going forward so I don't end up in tears every month.  Too bad that is probably easier said than done...

Friday, November 30, 2012

Mommy's Little Smarty Pants

Lately I have been working with Andrew on some of his letters during bath time.  We have the foam letters and numbers that float and stick to the wall.  I haven't been drilling them into him or anything, just saying what letter it is and what color it is when he picks one up  I didn't know if he was even paying attention, until he started doing this:

It takes him until the 0:25 mark to get going, but it's worth the wait (at least to me!).

I kinda love how "U" is "oooo" and I absolutely love that he says "W". I mean really, that has to be one of the hardest letters to say, right?

We need to continue working on these every night and add in the rest of the letters and the numbers, but for right now I am basking in pride that my little munchkin is learning so many new things. This mommy gig really is amazing.

Monday, November 26, 2012

20 Months!

Seriously - could time go any faster?  I swear I was just planning Andrew's 1st birthday party and now here we are, four months from his 2nd birthday. Yeesh.  Whoever set time to warp speed, could you kindly slow it back down???

Stats: I assume he is around 32" and 26ish lbs.  We don't have another appt with his pedi until 2 years and getting him to stand still long enough to weigh him is like trying to nail jello to a tree.

Clothes:  He wears a variety at the moment.  For the most part he is in 18 month shirts, but he does wear some 24 month size. Those ones run big so he has some time to grow in to them.  Most of his pants are 18 month size although he fits into some 12-18 month size jeans. He has some 18-24 month jeans that are huge on him so again, he has some growing to do.  He's in size 4 diapers still, but we may move to size 5 with the next box. He doesn't leak out of the 4's, but I assume we should move up soon.

New Words:  His latest favorite word is "star".  He has a star wand from a birthday party a few months ago, a little yellow plastic ball with blue stars, a star bubble wand, and countless books that have stars in them.  Anytime he sees one he yells "stars" and he is constantly carrying one of these items around.  He also learned "pizza" (pee-zaa), "basketball" (bah-di-ball), "bubble" (booboo), "baby",  and the letter "U".  He also moos when he sees a cow, which is one of the funniest things ever. I'm sure there are others, but these are the ones that I can think of right now.

Latest Tricks:  This kid is a freaking daredevil.  I posted recently about his penchant for climbing on anything and everything.  Well, his latest is also hopping down off of things frontwards, and doing diving somersaults over my legs when I'm sitting on the couch with my feet up on the ottoman.

I have to catch him before he hits the ground and make sure he lands softly on his back instead of directly on his head (which has happened a few times so far).

Favorite Toys:  He is obsessed with a couple of bubble wands that he has and will carry them around everywhere.  Even down to the farmer's market this weekend:

He still loves his Dut (and his Tigger that he's holding above) and he has finally gotten into books.  He loves to go in his tent in the living room and look at his books.  Lately he is loving his little glowing seahorse that he's had forever, too.

Favorite Foods:  Sad to say, but it's still hot dogs.  I give him turkey dogs and he only gets one a week (sometimes two), but I still feed bad giving him hot dogs.  He also loves homemade mac n' cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, fruit bites, those little fruit pouch things (especially applesauce), mashed potatoes, greek yogurt, pancakes, french toast and anything with peanut butter.  Getting him to eat is still a challenge, but we're getting there.

20 months of fun down and a lifetime to go!

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Climber

If there is one thing that has become apparent over the last few months with Andrew it would be that he loves to climb.  On everything.

If there is something that he can get his little leg up on he will climb it.  The couch is easy peasy nowadays. He gets up on it in two seconds flat (and of course hops back down just as fast).  We made the mistake of buying him this little yellow stool at IKEA a few weeks ago and now it's one of his favorite things to climb on:

(Yes, I grabbed him down as soon as I took the pictures - I don't need him busting his head open!)

Outside he likes to crawl up on the chairs on the deck and the bench:

Pretty much anything he can get on top of is fair game.

I can only imagine that in the near future he is going to try to climb on Baxter (yellow lab in the background) and go for a ride.  Maybe we should buy a saddle?  :)

So yeah, this kid is a climber - and possibly a little daredevil.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we don't have any ER visits in store in the near future.  Oh, and I'm hiding that stool.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Oh the toys...

Christmas is coming (although I'm trying not to think about it until after Thanksgiving next week).  And with Christmas comes presents, which means that Andrew will more than likely be getting a slew of new toys.  Because, you know, he doesn't already have enough of them:

(Disclaimer: we did NOT buy all of these toys - there are a lot of hand me downs from my sister)

This is the current scene in our living room.  We don't have a separate play room to put all of his toys in, so they are spread between our living room and his room.  We have four of those bins filled with little toys and then all the ones that don't fit in are lined up every night after he goes to bed.  There's another bin in his room as well as the ones on the bookshelves.  Nothing stays in them for very long because as soon as Hurricane Andrew gets close they're spread around the room.

We do have my grandmother's cedar chest in our back room that is currently empty. We've been debating refinishing it and moving it to the living room as his toy chest. It should hold the bulk of his toys with no problem.  Of course before we do that I think we need to start weeding out the toys that he no longer uses and/or is too old for now.

It'll make me sad to pack away his toys, just like it makes me sad to pack away more and more of his clothes as he grows out of them.  I could donate them/take them to a consignment shop since we clearly do not need this many toys, but I can't bring myself to part with them just now.  Plus who knows, maybe there will be another munchkin down the line who wants to play with them.

So yeah, we have an overabundance of toys and it's only going to get worse.  Of course this year he is still too young to really understand the whole Christmas present thing, so maybe we can just get him clothes.  Nah - where's the fun in that??

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

"Where's your cheese?"

This is a statement that was repeated over and over again last night as I learned a very valuable lesson.  That lesson is:  Don't hand your kid a string cheese and then not watch him eat it.

Last night while I was making dinner Andrew was underfoot and whining. To shut him up appease him I gave him a string cheese as a snack.  He scampered off into the living room to be enthralled by Sesame Street while snacking on his cheese.  While he sat there I quickly ran out to let the dogs out.  When I came back in (seriously less than 5 mins later) Andrew was sitting in the living room playing, with not a piece of cheese in sight.

I glanced around to see where he threw it. Normally when he's done with something he just drops it.  It's not uncommon to find a snack or sippy just laying in the middle of the floor.  So I fully expected to find his string cheese tossed aside.


I spent the next 15 minutes alternating between checking on dinner and walking around the house saying "Andrew, where's your cheese?" while searching his tent, toy bins, the couch cushions, the bathtub, the garbage, his hamper and a dozen other places he could have shoved it.

I know it's possible that he did actually eat it all, but I'm having a hard time believing that.  Of course the speed with which he can down a hot dog proves to me that he is capable of inhaling a food if he likes it.  So yeah, it's possible that it ended up where it was supposed to (his belly), but something tells me a week from now I'm going to find a piece of petrified string cheese tucked away somewhere. I just hope I can find it before he does!

"What cheese, mommy?"