Archive for December, 2013

Goodbye 2013

Time for the annual recap post!

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?

I watched my tiny baby grow into a full-blown toddler, right before my eyes. I threw a first birthday party. I took a baby on a plane – not once, but TWICE – AND took him out of the country for our first trip to Costa Rica.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Kind of. My resolutions from last year included losing weight, taking a family vacation, taking more photos, and throwing a kick-ass first birthday party for my little man. I lost some weight, but never made it back to my pre-baby weight goal. Then I got pregnant again. Everything else? Nailed it.

As for 2014, my plans is this: Have a healthy baby. Recover from my c-section. Work really hard to lose the weight. Save money. And enjoy life to the fullest.

I don’t need to have the most organized house. I don’t need to “eat clean” or “go Paleo” or “workout every day”. I don’t need to read 10 books, or travel to 5 different cities, or come up with a cleaning schedule, or go to church every Sunday. I don’t need to make a long list of detailed to-dos that may or may not contribute to my overall happiness and most likely won’t get accomplished anyway. I just need to take care of myself, my family, and enjoy each day of 2014 the best I can. And really hope that no one close to me dies this year. That would be great.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes!! One of my best friends gave birth to the cutest little boy with the biggest blue eyes you’ve ever seen in your life. She now has two boys, pretty close in age, and I dream of the day all of our boys are big enough to take on a trip together. It’s going to be complete chaos with 4 little boys running around, and I can’t wait!!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Once again, I have to check the yes box here. My wonderful mother-in-law passed away in July after a long battle with multiple sclerosis. Losing my grandpa in 2012 was incredibly hard for me. But that was just me (and my side of the family, of course). Losing my MIL has not only been hard on me, but hardest on my husband, and when I think about my kids never getting to know how awesome their Grammy was, it just breaks my heart.

5. What countries did you visit?

Costa Rica!!

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

Last year I wrote: A promotion at work, a new SUV, and a smaller pants size.

My promotion finally came over the summer, and as of last night, we’re in the process of buying a new-to-us SUV that I am in love with! So all that’s left is a smaller pants size.

Then I’d like to add another healthy baby to the list and a slightly bigger bank account. (Hey, might as well throw it out there.)

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

April 20 – My first speaking engagement (at Type-A Parent Advanced in Philly). D and the hubs came with me so it was also D’s first plane ride and we made a mini-vacation out of it. He was a great little traveler.

May 12 – My first official Mother’s Day!

Week of May 30 – D’s first birthday parties. Yes, plural. We had one in STL for family and friends, and one at my SIL’s house in Ohio for hubby’s side of the family.

June 7 – My cousin’s wedding in Nashville. It was our first time there so we had a great time exploring the city.

July 2 – My grandma’s birthday dinner. We buried my grandpa on her birthday in 2012 so it was nice to do something happy this year since 2012’s birthday was ruined. (This was also around the time we officially started “trying” for baby #2.)

July 17 – Found out our little family would be growing!

July 26 – The day my MIL passed away. I was working at BlogHer in Chicago, and the hubs and D were exploring the city when he got the call. We never had the chance to tell her we were expecting again.

Oct 12 – A friend’s wedding in Colorado. We took my FIL with us for his first-ever flight and first time seeing the Rocky Mountains.

Dec. 14 – 22 – Costa Rican vacation

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I was pretty happy about my promotion but if I can be schmoopy for a minute, I’d have to say I’m most proud of how the hubs and I have grown as parents AND as a couple. He’s the best dad in the world, and he thinks I’m a really great mom, and those are the biggest compliments either one of us could ever receive, so I’m glad we honestly feel that way about each other. Parenthood has brought us closer together. Not to say that we don’t have our fights, but for something as challenging as raising and caring for another tiny human being, we each think the other person is doing a pretty fantastic job and admire each other for it.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Budgeting. Our finances changed significantly since late 2012 and yet we spent most of 2013 oblivious to those changes. Now reality has hit us and we’re finally cutting back on our spending habits.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Just a nasty cold that stuck around for about 2 weeks in early December. The hubs had his wisdom teeth removed earlier in the year, but he recovered quickly. And I had a couple of moles removed for preventative purposes, but it was an in-office procedure that didn’t require much.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

I’m hoping it’s our new-to-us SUV that we bought last night.

12. Where did most of your money go?

Traveling. Philly, Chicago, Nashville, Colorado, Costa Rica and several trips to visit my husband’s family.

13. What did you get really excited about?

Getting pregnant again and D’s first birthday parties

14. What song will always remind you of 2013?

What Does the Fox Say and Gangnam Style

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– happier or sadder? Happier. If for no other reason than I stopped pumping around January/February and finally felt like I got my body back. Wrecked as it was, it was all mine again.
– thinner or fatter? Fatter. But that’s only because I’m 7 months pregnant, so cut me some slack!
– richer or poorer? Definitely poorer.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

More exercise; more nice things for others.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Spend less money; waste less time – be it on social media, the Internet, watching crappy TV or movies, etc.

18. How did you spend Christmas?

At my FIL’s house with my two SIL’s and our 7 nieces and nephews. After presents we ate brunch. That night my SIL watched D while the hubs and I and my FIL went to see Anchorman 2.

19. What was your favorite TV program?

The Blacklist

20. What were your favorite books of the year?

Let’s see… I didn’t read a ton of books this year but I did enjoy Gone Girl and The Cuckoo’s Calling.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

I’m so bad with music right now. The only time I’ve really had the radio playing was when there was non-stop Christmas music on.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?

I think we’ve seen maybe 4 movies at the theater this year. Identity Thief, Iron Man 3, The Hunger Games 2, and Anchorman 2. I’d say The Hunger Games was the best one out of all of those. Doesn’t look like I’ll have many opinions on the Oscars this year.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 31. It was Memorial Day. I went to the cemetery to visit my grandpa and had dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Just like last year when I said not losing my grandpa would’ve made it the best year ever, not losing my MIL would’ve made this one 1,000 times better. It’s the only really bad thing that happened this year.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

Comfortable, simple, solids. (Exactly what I said last year.)

26. What kept you sane?

My husband will always get top billing here, but my two best friends and my small group of “mommy friends” were also a huge help. There’s something to be said for finding friends in a similar stage of life. They get what you’re going through because they’ve either been there recently or are in the throes of it with you, right now. They know what a big deal it is when your kid hits a big milestone, and they know how sucky it is when your kid is teething, or sick, or just won’t go back to sleep in his own bed at 2am.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.

Never, ever, take your health for granted.

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28 Weeks – Bumpdate

How Big is Baby:  About 2.25 lbs – or the size of an eggplant.

Big Developments: Baby boy can now blink, has eyelashes, and may be able to sense light in the womb.
Food Cravings:  Despite my aversion to all things Asian food, I had a serious craving for Thai food at the beginning of the weekend. Fortunately we have good friends that live near a decent Thai place and they met up with us for dinner on Saturday night. I may have eaten my share of TUMS later that night, but it was nice to satisfy the craving.
Food Aversions:  Fast food. I’ve had to eat it a few times while traveling for the holidays and I just felt like poo afterwards. So glad to be home and can’t wait to get back on a meal planning schedule.
Other Symptoms: Surprisingly, I still feel really good. I’ve had moments where I feel like my feet or hands are swelling but when I look down, it’s nothing. I know this will likely change later in January, but I’m so happy that I traveled as well as I did.
The bad news is that I failed my one-hour glucose test. The cutoff is 140 and my results were 174. YIKES. The nurse told me “it could’ve been worse” and asked if I wanted to do the three-hour test, to which I said no. I was deemed “borderline” gestational diabetic after my three-hour test when I was pregnant with D, and yet he still ended up in the NICU for insulin issues because I didn’t monitor my carb intake as seriously as I should have. In my defense, I had no idea what the risks were for even just being “borderline” gestational diabetic, so this time I’m going all out by taking a 3 hour class, meeting with a nutritionist, and regularly seeing fetal monitoring specialists. This also means I’ll be given a glucose meter and will need to test my blood a few times each day. And most importantly, I’ll have to change my diet. That part is going to suck most of all because my sugar and carb cravings are INTENSE. I already have terrible willpower and self-control so I fully expect to be a cranky, miserable mess these last couple of months. If anyone out there has experience with gestational diabetes and/or would like to recommend some delicious low-carb meal ideas, I’m all ears.
Sleep:  Hard to say. I’ve slept in 6 different beds over a two week period with a fidgety 18 month old. Yes, we had to co-sleep while we were out of town. When we had access to a king-size bed it was pretty great. But in a Queen it’s been tough. As expected, he now refuses to sleep in his crib at home so we’re slowly transitioning him back to his crib. And by slowly, I mean we haven’t started yet.
Maternity Clothes:  I wore a lot of maternity dresses in Costa Rica, most of which were either borrowed or left over from my first pregnancy. Because we’re trying to recover financially from the trip/holidays, I’m resisting the urge to buy anything else right now, though I may need to cave and buy one more pair of maternity jeans before March gets here.
What I’m Looking Forward To:  Purging/decluttering the house. We’re turning the office into a second nursery, which means we need to turn the guest bedroom into a multi-functional bedroom/office, which means we need to get rid of a lot of crap before we can buy another crib. The hubs didn’t want to start on this until after the holidays and bam, here we are, almost January. It’s time and I’m so ready to get rid of stuff. Look out, Goodwill!!
Thoughts: Crazy to think that in just 11 weeks we’ll have a new baby. I’m two weeks away from single digits! At the same time, I’m a bit overwhelmed with all the stuff I’d like to get done as well as now needing to plan out healthier meals, limit my carb intake, and monitor my blood sugar. I also need to fit in a weekend trip to visit my grandma before I get too far along and can’t travel anymore. And that’s just a fraction of what’s weighing on my mind lately. Just trying to take it one day at a time.

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Costa Rican Vacation

We’re finally back from our week-long trip to Costa Rica! Well, we’re back in the states but I’m writing this from my FIL’s house, about 9 hrs from home still. And on my phone so it won’t be a terribly long post and pics are at the end.

So how was it? Well if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you’d think it was the vacation of a lifetime. And it kind of was. A ONCE in a lifetime thing because I don’t ever intend on vacationing with my parents AND FIL while almost 7 months pregnant and toting around an 18 month old toddler. For every awesome thing that happened, something awful would happen.

The trip started out rough with D catching my nasty cold which developed into an ear infection the day before we had to leave. Fortunately, we were able to get antibiotics to take with us. Then we had to drive about 6 hrs to my parents’ house since we all wanted to travel together. And good thing we did because just a few hours after we left, STL got hit by snow and ice, delaying most flights the next day.

Our flight out of Louisville the next morning was super early but not bad, considering we were flying with a sick baby. He slept most of the way to our layover in ATL and from ATL to San Jose, CR. When he wasn’t sleeping, he was content to play on the iPad.

Once we arrived in CR, our family friend was there to pick us up in our rental van, but the car seat was too small so we had to make a quick stop for a bigger seat. Except the seat would only fit forward facing since they don’t have the same strict car seat rules there. And the drivers are the craziest I’ve ever seen. Seriously terrifying in the city. We even saw a fatality. So my nerves were a wreck right off the bat.

We were all a bit hungry so we stopped by a Mexican restaurant for a late lunch. Before we ate, I gave D his meds. Not sure if it was giving him his meds on an empty stomach, something he ate at the restaurant or the crazy roads/driving, but on the way to our hotel, he vomited. It was everywhere and we didn’t have anything to really clean it up.

That put a damper on our plans for that night so my parents and FIL and family friend all went out to dinner and got a tour of the area while we stayed in the hotel with our sick baby.

Things eventually got better but the whole trip was a give and take of events. I’ll try to just hit the highlights.

– Pro: Costa Rica is a beautiful country and the people are super friendly. Con: The roads aren’t great and in the city, the drivers are crazy. And there’s no such thing as a direct route anywhere. It’s also crazy expensive because they tax everything. When you go out to eat, there’s an automatic 23% tax added to your bill. Every time. 10% tip and 13% sales tax. And it cost $160 tax for D to sit on our laps. And $30 per person tax to leave the country. We had to stand in a long line at the airport when we left to pay our “exit tax” before they would let us leave. Most expensive trip ever.
– Pro: Our resort at the Volcano Arenal was one of the nicest places I’d ever been. It had 22 pools, many of them hot springs. And a small zoo just off the property where we could see toucans, sloths, cougars, monkeys, etc. Apparently Beyoncé had stayed there just 2 weeks before so you KNOW it’s swanky.
Con: We had to share a room with my FIL and W, our family friend. That sucked. Especially since my FIL’s breathing machine mask fell off 2 of the 3 nights, so let’s just say I didn’t sleep very well. And even though our room had the most spectacular view of the volcano, it rained so much that we only saw it for a couple of hours the day we arrived. The rest of the time, it was covered in fog.
– Pro: the spa was fantastic. My mom and I both got massages. Con: all of the restaurants and amenities were about 7 flights of stairs away. Not fun.
– Pro: The beach is only 120
Miles away from the mountains. Con: because the roads are so curvy, it took us about 4 hrs to get there. And lots of Dramamine. We also had to drive almost 6 hrs back to San Jose. So we basically wasted a couple of days of vacation simply because it took so damn long to drive everywhere.
– Pro: our beach condo was nice and spacious with fantastic views. And we had our own room there!! The beach was also fantastic and D LOVED it. Con: the trade off for great views on the bluff was easy beach access. We had to drive down every day, or at the very least, walk down and eventually have someone come get us with the rental van.
– Pro: we got to take a trip and spend time with our parents. And (we hoped) built in babysitters for at least one night. Con: Everyone travels and vacations differently. So having so many personalities on this trip was not ideal and resulted in a minor blow up on the last day at the beach. Also, we never got our date night. We had one night at the volcano when my mom and FIL traded off watching D for a total of 2 hrs while we went into town for dinner with family friend W. Not exactly romantic. I’m still a little bitter about that.

So while this trip clearly had its ups and downs, we somewhat expected that. And we still had some awesome
moments and made great memories.









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On Being Sick While Pregnant

It started Wednesday. The subtle pain in the back of my throat. Always a sure sign that I’m about to get sick. I started to mentally prepare for the worst. At least one, maybe two sick days from work. A trip to the doc for a prescription. Homebound for the next couple of days. Pretty standard stuff, really.

I had plans to get a haircut on Friday, but decided I shouldn’t take my chances so I called and made a last-minute appointment for that night (Wednesday night). Good choice, because I was about to be knocked on my ass for the next several days.

Thursday morning I woke up with a sore throat and lots of sinus pressure. Since most of my colds turn into sinus infections, I figured I would get a head start on this one and call my OB. (My primary doc moved and I’ve been too lazy to find another one.) The nurse at my OB’s office called me back within the hour (a miracle in itself!) and after I convinced her that I was dealing with the beginnings of a sinus infection, agreed to prescribe a pregnancy-safe antibiotic (Z-pack) and told me to take some Sudafed. By noon I was off to Walgreens, practically skipping because I had outsmarted this sickness and would be better in NO TIME! hahahaha!!! Also, I’m not sure how it is in other states, but Missouri is one in which you have to buy Sudafed from BEHIND the counter and must show your ID and sign some big legal document which I assume says “I am not a meth maker,” in legal terms. There are many reasons to hate meth-heads, and inconveniencing sick, pregnant women is now topping my list.

Anyway, once I got home and took my medicine, I delightfully hopped back on my laptop to get some work done. But later that night, my nose started running. On Friday, my roll of Charmin wasn’t cutting it for Kleenex anymore so the hubs had to run out to buy some because I was starting to give Rudolph a run for his money in the red nose department.

By Friday night, I was completely miserable and starting to realize that this sickness was something nasty. Something viral. I tossed and turned all night long getting MAYBE an hour of sleep, total. I got up at 6am and took a hot shower.

Saturday was much worse. Constant nose blowing. Headaches. Pressure. Sore throat. Loss of appetite. Congestion. Couldn’t nap. Just awful. I had to miss a friend’s PJ playdate, which I’d been looking forward to for weeks.

Saturday night was much of the same until I finally moved downstairs to the couch so at least the hubs could get a decent night’s sleep, because I certainly wasn’t. I watched as the clock hit 1, 1:30, 2, 2:30, 3, 3:30 and so on until I was just so damn frustrated I couldn’t stand it. Then the coughing fits started. I can handle just about everything else, but coughing until gagging just puts me in a bad place. So then I just spent the day moping around, pissed that antibiotics weren’t working and that someone out there got me sick. And whoever that person was, I wanted to kick them in the shins. Hard.

Because here’s the thing about being sick while pregnant. YOU CAN’T TAKE ANYTHING! No DayQuil/NyQuil. No sleep aids. No nasal sprays except saline. And even cough drops are used at a minimum since they make my stomach hurt after about 3.  On top of that, a pregnant woman’s immune system is much lower than a normal person’s so this means that viruses hit us much harder and last much longer because our bodies aren’t able to fight them off as well.

So what have I been using?

A combination of things. I only wish I would’ve purchased some of these things a bit sooner. If you’re pregnant and feel the sickness coming on, do or buy these things:

1. The most important thing so far: A warm-mist humidifier. My house is SUPER DRY. If you don’t have a way to measure the humidity of your house, get a digital humidity gauge. We bought a combo temp/humidity ditial reader so we could monitor the temperature and humidity in D’s nursery when he was an infant and it’s astonishing to me to see that in the winter months, our house’s humidity level is around 10%. This is too dry. Comfortable humidity levels should be around 35%-40% in the winter. Even with D’s humidifier running at full blast all day long, his room only ever gets to around 25% humidity. I had no idea how much of a role this would play when battling a cold, until I tried taking a nap and couldn’t sleep because the air was so dry on my throat that it would send me into coughing fits every 5 minutes. Once we bought the humidifier and cranked that puppy up to reach 40% in our room? I took a solid 1.5 hr nap without any issues and woke up feeling 10 times better. Still ridiculously sick, but able to sleep and breathe.

2. Good Kleenex. And lots of it. When you’re blowing your nose every 2 minutes, it’s important to have good quality Kleenex on hand. And not just one dinky little box. Buy a HUGE box or do what I do and buy a bunch of smaller boxes to leave in various rooms of the house so they’re always just within reach. I went through two boxes in less than one day.

3. Juice, soups, and warm beverages. I’m not a big tea person. I can tolerate about one cup a day but for some reason, it makes me nauseous. So I rely on decaf coffee, and an assortment of juices. I’ve been loving my “fake mimosas” lately. Orange juice and Sprite. So tasty, so full of vitamin C. Cranberry juice is another favorite. Water only makes my itchy throat more itchy so it’s hard for me to sip water all day to stay hydrated, but I imagine some lemons added to the water would be nice. As far as soups, I’m all over the place. It’s just important to make sure that you eat. Colds have a way of tricking the body into not feeling that hungry. Maybe it’s all the snot draining into the stomach, which is gross, but true. So I rarely feel like eating, but know it’s important because I feel so much better after eating a bowl of nice warm soup.

4. Sudafed is great and pregnancy approved, if it works for you. It didn’t seem to do much for me and may actually be a cause of my insomnia since they promote their “non-drowsy” formula. So I stopped taking it after day 2. But for some people, I know it works great.

5. Vicks Vaporub. Seems to help clear the nasal passages a bit, even if only for a few minutes. I rub it on my neck too, and the cold sensation feels soothing on a sore throat.

6. Warm salt water. Gargling warm salt water several times a day seems to help with the sore throat.

7. Cough drops. I try not to use them much because as I said above, they tend to make my stomach hurt after too many. And I’m also really picky about cough drops. I despise Halls and throat lozenges that are basically just candy. I prefer Vicks. They’re hard to find and come in a small box. If those aren’t available, then I suggest Burt’s Bees Honey & Pomegranate flavor.

8. Hot showers. It’s so easy to just lay around in your sick clothes (aka pajamas) and wallow in your own filth for a few days on the couch. But I’m telling you that a nice, hot shower can do wonders for your body and sinuses. That hot steam is just heavenly. And blowdry your hair. I’m usually too lazy to blowdry my hair if I’m not going anywhere, but a wet head and cold hair while sick just drives me nuts, so I make sure to dry my hair. And then I put on clean pjs and get back on the couch.

9. Sweet oil. This was a tip my SIL shared with me when her kids are coming down with an ear infection. She swears by just a few drops of warm sweet oil in the ears. When my inner ears started itching and feeling clogged, I figured it was worth a shot to try to alleviate some of the congestion. And believe it or not, I think it worked!! It at least stopped the itching.

10. Saline nasal spray. I didn’t use this until Sunday evening and while it provided only very temporary relief, it’s better than nothing I suppose.

11. Lots of pillows. I’m usually just a one pillow person but with all the drainage that comes along with being sick, I find that being propped up a bit more helps. So I like to use two big pillows propped up so that I’m on a very clear incline. I sleep much better this way, even if it feels like I’m almost sitting straight up sometimes.

12. Chapstick. A necessity for winter months anyway, but more so when I’m sick and become a heavy mouth-breather.


Any pregnancy-safe cold/flu remedies I missed?

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The Thanksgiving Menu

I know this is already more than a week late, but I don’t care. I want to make sure I document a couple of the recipes we used for Thanksgiving so I can reuse them again in the future.

So here’s what was on the menu:


  • Chips & dip
  • Chips & salsa
  • Cheese & crackers
  • Variety of green olives

Main Course:

  • Turkey (Butterball – about 15lbs) – My mom handles this, but she basically removes the giblets and cooks them down in a small pot on the stove for gravy. Then she sticks pads of butter and fresh spices under the skin all over the turkey, rubs it with oil and we put it in my turkey roaster for a few hours.
  • Ham (Kentucky Legend, I believe. Don’t remember how big.)
  • Rolls (Sister Schubert’s brand. The best!)
  • Cranberry Jelly (from the can, which I hate and we also forgot to put out. No one missed it.)
  • Green bean casserole (my grandma always make this and brings it to my house. She doesn’t do anything fancy though so it’s basically just like this recipe, minus the soy sauce.)
  • Baked mac & cheese (The cousins I’d never met before brought this and it was REALLY good but I don’t have a recipe, sadly.)
  • Stuffing (My mom’s recipe which I’m pretty sure she just makes up in her head every year. All I know is she uses a mix of regular bread pieces and cornbread, finely chopped onions, carrots and celery, chicken stock, butter, breakfast sausage, and a mix of herbs & spices. It’s always delicious.)
  • Mashed potatoes (We always make mashed potatoes from scratch for the holidays, using your basic butter and milk recipe. HOWEVER, once I saw The Pioneer Woman’s mashed potatoes and that her secret ingredient is a package of cream cheese, I just had to try it. And hot damn was it delicious. I even forgot the seasoned salt and they were still amazing. Highly recommend.)
  • Sweet potato casserole (I can’t seem to find the exact recipe again but I essentially did this one without the topping and just sprinkled pecans and marshmallows on top during the last 10-15 minutes of baking.)
  • Kale and pancetta (My mom insisted on having some “greens” so this was our first attempt at making kale. We basically used this recipe, adding pancetta and leaving out the vinegar. While I didn’t have any of it, she said it was good.)


We had delicious pumpkin pie and pecan pie. From…Sam’s Club. I should be slightly embarrassed to admit this but you guys, their pies are SO GOOD and so big – not like the pies you buy from the grocery store. And they’re better than anything either of us could make homemade, which is saying something since we both love to bake.

My great aunt also brought over some peanut butter fudge and a cheesecake pie that was pretty tasty.

So that was our menu! I only wish I wouldn’t have been so crazed with everything so that I could’ve taken pictures. My place settings weren’t particularly fancy, though I did use my good/hand-wash only dishes, but I was just happy we could basically fit everyone at one big table, using real plates and silverware. When you’re catering to 12 people, this is much harder than it sounds!!

However I should probably also point out that I’ve already declared I’m not hosting again next year. I’ll gladly volunteer to bring the pies. :)




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24 Weeks – Bumpdate

How Big is Baby:  A little over a pound and a foot long – about the size of an ear of corn.

Big Developments: My uterus is apparently the size of a soccer ball, according to BabyCenter. Well. That explains a lot. His taste buds are developing, so I hope he’s been enjoying the root beer floats I’ve had this week.
Food Cravings:  Sweets, sweets, and more sweets. I couldn’t resist the pecan pie on Thanksgiving (and the day after) and lately, nothing sounds better than a warm brownie or chocolate chip cookie. I probably can’t blame all of this on the pregnancy though.
Food Aversions:  Anything greasy. I’m considering this a good thing.
Other Symptoms: I’m feeling a lot more movement, most of it being pretty low, but he’s certainly active! For the first time this week, I could actually feel it on the OUTSIDE. The hubs has yet to feel the movements but there’s still plenty of time. Another, less cool symptom? Sore boobs. Like whoa. And if I’m on my feet too much, my back starts to hurt, particularly my sciatic nerve.
Sleep:  Not great. We reverted back to co-sleeping with D when my folks were in town because we didn’t want to put them through “crying it out”. And most nights I wake up around 3 or 4 completely restless and awake for at least 30 minutes. Pregnancy insomnia, I suppose.
Maternity Clothes:  Most pants and shirts are now maternity, as is my winter coat. I had to retire my demi-panel maternity jeans because they kept rolling down under the belly when I sat down or bent over, so now I’m rocking the full-panel maternity jeans all the time now. I kind of like them.
What I’m Looking Forward To:  Getting my glucose test over with next week. Other than that, this stage is my favorite part of pregnancy so I’m just trying to enjoy it as much as possible before the dreaded third trimester hits.
Thoughts: I had high hopes for escaping this pregnancy without getting sick, but mother nature had other plans and decided to play yo-yo with the temps, causing some serious sinus issues which developed into a sinus infection. Wonderful. So now I’m taking a Z-pack along with Sudafed (both are safe for pregnancy) and just trying to survive life with a very energetic toddler while I try to kick this thing.

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Dear D: One and a Half

Dear baby D,

I guess I can’t really call you a baby anymore. You’re a full-fledged toddler now! At 17 months and 1 day, on Halloween night, you finally took off walking. I couldn’t understand what was taking you so long, but now I think it was your fear of falling holding you back. You knew your balance hadn’t quite developed enough yet and you absolutely hate falling down, even if you just land on your diaper-covered butt on a soft, plush rug. So you took your time until you were confident you could walk without falling. I realize this now because you rarely fall. In your first full day of walking, you were already stepping on and over your toys without tripping. When you do fall, we can usually blame the dog as his large, bushy tail tends to knock you over frequently. That tail has been known for knocking things over for years, and I guess now we can just add “babies” to that list.

Now that you’re walking, so many other cool developments are happening. You’re saying more words, sprouting more teeth, and expressing your personality in big, big ways. Speaking of your personality, you’re quite the character. If your grammy was still around, she may even call you a “catbird.” She used to say that about your cousin Joey all the time and I think the same thing would ring true for you too. You already have a fantastic sense of humor. You love to be teased and chased, and you also love to do the teasing. The other day at Target, you quickly learned that momma didn’t want you licking the handle of the shopping cart. Apparently my germaphobia was hilarious to you because it was suddenly all you wanted to do, just so I would continue to stop you. You laughed until you had hiccups! Most of the time you’re pretty easy-going about things, but when you’re upset about something,  you let us know it. Sometimes you yell, and a lot of the time you’ll hit your head either with something or on the floor/couch/bed. It would concern me if you actually hit yourself very hard, but you’re far too smart for that. You’ll either hit yourself lightly with something soft, or get really close and not even make contact with the floor. But you still look directly at me to make sure I’m watching you do it and that I understand that you are very angry with me right now. You’re finding your own ways to communicate and get your point across and believe me, I get the message! But sometimes it’s not good to keep the refrigerator door open so you can remove every item from the door and then put them all back. You LOVE to do this, and I guess I’m just glad that you actually put everything back rather than throwing everything on the floor.

You’re not huge on stuffed animals at the moment, but you sure do love your stuffed Mickey Mouse. You made me buy it during a road trip to visit your daddy’s side of the family a few weeks ago and you still play with it every day. If you’re not holding onto it when Mickey Mouse Clubhouse comes on,  you’ll go find it and keep it close to you while you watch TV.  Your second favorite things aren’t even toys, but rather BOOKS! In today’s world of iPads, and iPhones, and TVs, I think you would always choose a good board book over any of them. Your daddy and I both read to you every day, but sometimes you’re just perfectly content flipping through the books all by yourself. Even when I read to you, you love to help turn the page. And thanks to some of these books, you’re learning to make animal sounds. Right now you can moo like a cow, hiss like a snake, baa like a sheep, and cock-a-doodle-doo like a rooster. I crack up every time. You also know all of your body parts. Well, all of the parts we’ve been willing to teach you. Nose, mouth, teeth, hair, eyes, ears, hands, toes, and tummy.

The days are getting shorter this time of year so I no longer get to enjoy taking you to the park after I get home from work. However your daddy still takes you almost every day when the weather is nice and you guys have a blast together at the playground. You’re finally big enough to go down slides and climb through tunnels – with daddy’s help of course. And you still love swinging in the baby swing and feeling the wind on your face. You’ve always loved being outside. Even as a newborn, when you would get inconsolable, the magic trick was to just walk outside with you. I have no idea how we figured that out so quickly, but I’m glad we did. You love going places and never fight getting in the carseat unless it’s time to go home and you’re not ready to stop playing. (This happens a lot when it’s time to leave the park.)

You’re still shy around new people or people you don’t see very often, but as long as you’re in mommy or daddy’s arms, you’re okay and eventually warm up to them. It helps if they have toys.

Your sleep habits have improved tremendously. I still read “Goodnight Moon” to you every night, along with a variety of other books, and you’re pretty good about putting yourself to sleep once I walk out of the room. You still cry out a couple of times a night but most of the time you still seem to be asleep so we leave you alone. Occasionally you’ll get a tummy ache or your gums will hurt from teething so we let you come to bed with us. You LOVE sleeping in our bed and it’s a hard habit to break – for all of us. I love the extra cuddles, but could do without the extra kicks in the ribs. In the morning, you usually wake up about 15 minutes before I need to leave for work and I am almost always late because I have a hard time passing up morning cuddles. You’re most cuddly in the morning or when you’re tired or sick, so I take my opportunities when I can get them. Otherwise you are just too darn busy for momma cuddles, what with dogs to chase and books to read and refrigerator doors to reorganize. But I guess that’s okay because before long, it’s going to be really hard to carry you around all the time with your little brother getting bigger and bigger in my belly. I haven’t quite processed what it will mean to have TWO little boys in a few months, but I’m sure it will wonderful. Loud and chaotic, but wonderful.

Love you, cuddle bug.









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The Thanksgiving Post

Now that my month-long daily posting of what I’m thankful for is over, allow me to complain a little.

Thanksgiving was not much fun.

Rather than give you a play-by-play of the entire day/weekend, I’ll just recap a few of the sucky parts in bullets.

1. Hosting any event is a lot of work, whether it be a play-date, a birthday party, or just dinner for a couple of friends. Hosting Thanksgiving for 12 people is not only a lot of work, but it’s also EXPENSIVE. The turkey and ham alone cost a small fortune, but it’s all the little ingredients you’ll only use for this one day that you have to buy because somewhere, someone said that there must be 12 side items, 10 different desserts, and all of them must be made from SCRATCH. Or else. This is also why I have ONE photo from Thanksgiving. Just one.

2. Figuring out seating for groups larger than 8 is nearly impossible in your typical American home. I think there should be a new rule that whomever has the biggest house and the biggest amount of disposable income should host Thanksgiving in each family. Most of us cannot compete with these Pinterest-worthy table settings. Between the salad plates and the dessert forks and the table runners and elaborate centerpieces and the wine and water glasses…where does one put the food? It all worked out in the end, setting the food on the countertops in the kitchen and having everyone go at it buffet-style, but the amount of time we spent rearranging our living room to be a large dining area so everyone could sit together and making sure we had enough (matching) dinner and silverware for everyone was a bit stressful.

3. Trying to time everything so that each dish is warm and done on time is also stressful. Especially when you only have one oven and far too many side dishes.

4. My mom is a great cook – and was a HUGE help in the kitchen. But what she lacks is the ability to clean up after herself as she cooks, so as I was cooking my own assigned items, I was also picking up butter wrappers, putting utensils in the dishwasher, wiping up flour and cornstarch, and just trying to keep the counters clear so we could have a place to set the food once it was done. This is exhausting.

5. Walking around barefoot on tile floors all day – while roughly 6 months pregnant – was not my smartest decision. Sciatic pain had me limping around that evening and most of the next day.

6. I did not know 4 of the people that came to Thanksgiving dinner prior to their arrival. They’re relatives from Alabama and while incredibly nice, their 2 yr old daughter was extremely sick. As in couldn’t stop coughing to the point where I thought they may have to take her to urgent care. I assumed it was either croup or whooping cough, it was that bad. I felt awful for her. Considering she had JUST come down with it that day, I knew she must be highly contagious, which is EXACTLY what I wanted around my own 18 month old and my pregnant self. I cringed with each and every cough, so imagine her coughing every 30 seconds and me cringing every 30 seconds. Fortunately, D was napping when everyone arrived and we were able to keep him in his room for the first hour and 15 minutes they were there. Unfortunately, that little girl played with almost every single toy we own and roamed throughout the house coughing all over everything. We used a lot of Lysol after they left.

7. My stepdad did not leave my house – or more specifically, my couch – from the moment my parents arrived Wednesday night until they left Sunday around noon. The TV was on non-stop and there was a permanent two liter bottle next to my couch for 4 days. I guess he stopped believing in cups or something. We didn’t interact much because that would’ve interrupted one of his many couch-naps or one of his 35 favorite TV shows. In his defense, I assume he was just trying to stay out of the way, but damn. I’ve never seen lazy like this before.

8. My uncle must’ve gone hiking through the woods before he came over because I kept finding clumps of mud from his boots all over my floor within just a few minutes of their arrival. At least I hope it was mud.

9. Plungers were needed. That’s all I have to say about that.

10. I didn’t get to do much shopping or decorating on Friday. Why? Because cleaning your house after hosting Thanksgiving takes an entire day. Even though you just cleaned before everyone got there.

Basically, I never want to host Thanksgiving again.


EDITED TO ADD: I want to make it clear that I love my family and I’m glad we got to be with so many people for the holiday.  BUT family can drive you nuts, especially around the holidays, and especially when they stay with you for prolonged periods of time, and especially when they have possibly brought the plague inside your house. I’ve very thankful for family. But I’m also thankful when they leave. :)

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For the first time in MONTHS the hubs and I had a date night. My parents were at my house to keep an eye on my sleeping baby while the hubs and I grabbed a drink and appetizers at one of our favorite restaurants and then caught a late night showing of The Hunger Games Catching Fire.

I don’t really feel like we miss out on much now that we’re parents, but enjoying a quiet moment in an adults-only, upscale bar and a night at the movies are two things we can’t do with a baby. So I’m glad we had the opportunity to sneak away for a few hours.

I’m also thankful that today my little man turned 18 months old!! 1.5 years. Crazy.

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