Tuesday, December 24, 2013

14 months, 14 weeks


May I remind you that I was both sick and exhausted in this picture.  When you're taking pictures with toddlers, you have to go with the one where they are actually looking and it doesn't matter what you look like.
I was really excited when I realized that both of my babies were in the "14s" this week.  Getting a picture of my belly while holding Penelope was a lot harder than I thought it would be. 
Sometimes I almost forget I'm pregnant because my belly isn't in the way yet and no kicks.  I know as soon as he/she starts moving a lot, it will hit me. 
We will have to move to a bigger house.  I have been waiting until after the holidays to be put on the waiting list for a 3 bedroom.  I don't know how long the list is though.  I've been trying to think of nursery ideas.  For a boy I want to do teal and gray with elephants.  No idea for a girl though.  I'll have to do some Pinteresting. 
Penelope is getting two more top teeth and possibly another bottom one.  I'm hoping that's why she isn't sleeping.  Yesterday, she only took a 25 minute nap.  She fell asleep at 810pm by sucking on some warm milk.  Then she woke up at 9, finished her milk and it took me until 10 to get her back down.  She woke up at 1130, then again around 3.  And I was so tired that I took her to bed with me.  We woke up at 8 when Daddy came into the room to get dressed.  She will either go to bed at a decent time and keep waking up, or will be tired and fussy, but not go to sleep until 1030 and wake up less times.  Sometimes when I take her to sleep with me, she is good and falls right to sleep all cuddly, but other times she tosses and turns for an hour and I think she wants to go back in her crib but that doesn't work either.  There is no winning with her.  I just really want her sleeping through the night before I have a newborn in six months who wakes up every 3 hours.  Josh works at night, so I will have no help and no sleep. 
I got Penelope her own little chair for Christmas and I cannot wait for her to open it tomorrow morning.  I know she will love it!  I'll have to post more after with our Christmas pictures.  My mom, dad and sister will be here on the 26th.  I think I might be more excited for them coming that I am for Christmas itself.  But both are good. 
Well I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and a safe New Year!  Here are some outtakes of our photoshoot.
When she realized she high up and started to freak out.
When she realized she taller than mama, and that was funny.

I love this one, too bad my hair is in the way.
How far along? 14 weeks and 4 days
Maternity clothes? Nope
Sleep: When I wake up, my pelvic bone hurts so bad.  Sometimes it pops. I don't remember it hurting this early with Peapod.  I have to hobble around for a while.  
Best moment this week: Trip to Bass Pro Shop because with Josh's schedule, the three of us rarely leave the house together anymore.
Miss Anything?  Sleeping on my back and energy.
Movement: No
Food cravings: I'm not sure.  I think I crave something, then I buy it and it goes to waste.  Like a giant bag of cereal or Honey Buns.
Anything making you queasy or sick: I'm sick right now, but I bad cough will make me gag.  Haven't thrown up in about 2 or 3 weeks.
Have you started to show yet: If I'm wearing certain clothes, yes
Gender: I guess boy
Labor Signs: No
Belly Button in or out? Out
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: I lose my patience sometime
Looking forward to: Gender ultrasound in 3-6 weeks

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas handprint ornament tutorial

Now that I'm a mom, I have to make holiday memories.  Literally.  My daughter doesn't go to daycare or preschool so she doesn't come home with cute handmade ornaments.  So made an ornament together, more so me than her.  I thought a handprint impression would be cute.  So here are the instructions so you make one with your little one, or even for your pet!

You will need:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup water
food coloring
wax paper

Combine flour and salt in a mixing bowl.  Add food coloring to water (I used red so it would be pink), then add to the flour/salt mixture. Knead dough well.  Should be smooth and stiff.  Form into ball and roll on to wax paper.  Dough should be about 1/2 inch thick. 
Next it's time to press your child's (or pet's) hand or foot into the dough.  I didn't get a picture of the actual act of impressing because it's all hands on deck and Penelope did not like it. The impression should be fairly deep because it will rise when baked. 

Use a butter knife to cut out the print.  Then make a hole at the top to string the ribbon.  I used a fine point Sharpie marker to make the hole.
There was a lot of dough left over so I rolled it out so you could see.  Enough to make two prints. 
Lastly, place on a cookie sheet and bake at 200 degrees for 2-3 hours.  After 2 hours and 10 minutes, I checked it and the bottom was still soft, so I baked it the whole 3 hours.  Timing will depend on how thick you make the dough.  The bottom was still a little soft, so I flipped it over and left it on the counter to harden. 

New cookie sheets are on my shopping list, don't judge.
Once it's cooled, you can write your child's name and year on the front.  Or give them markers and let them decorate it themselves!
String a ribbon through the hole and hang on the tree!

Friday, December 13, 2013

12 weeks

Yeah, how about I spent an hour typing this post on my phone and forgot to save it.  I hate when that happens. So instead of being like, "This is everything we did today!  We were so busy!" It's more like, "Eh, we did a few things."  But maybe that's a good thing so you won't get too bored with my ramblings.  Anyways....

12 weeks!  I feel like it's such a big milestone.  Only 5-8 more weeks until we find out the gender.  Only.... ugh. Going to take foreverrrrr.  Still not sick.  But I'm always tired and take a nap with Penelope every afternoon.  And just this week my skin has been awful.  I forgot that was a pregnancy symptom with all the hormones going crazy.  Don't remember that happening last time.  But I'm hoping it's just a first trimester thing.

I had an ultrasound at almost 10 weeks and the office I go to offers first trimester screenings to check for any defects or major problems with the baby.  Well, they actually give me a referral to somewhere and set it all up.  It's another ultrasound and with my insurance, I would only get two otherwise so I was like, uhh, yes!  Once they found out I was about 10 weeks along they had to make the appointment soon so it was scheduled for the next week.... in Kansas City.  That's 90 miles away.  They gave me the impression that it would be closer so I was kind of mad because I hate driving that far.  And Penelope doesn't like it either.  Josh works nights so I knew he wouldn't be able to go with me because he has to sleep in the afternoon so I asked my friend to go with me.  She went with me to Penelope's first trimester ultrasound too because Josh was in Airmen Leadership School at the time.  A few days before, I got a phone call reminding me about the appointment and they said children are highly discouraged from going.  I was like, too bad!  I don't want to leave her at a babysitters all day or pay for that.  Plus, they never said kids couldn't come.  And I had my friend to help with her.  But that morning Penelope woke up like she was in pain.  She slept awful that night and we wound up on the couch together at some point.  It seemed like every 20 minutes she would wake up and whine and I would shift her and pat her and she would go back to sleep.  When she woke up in the morning she wouldn't stop crying.  Like tears crying.  I had never seen her like that and have no idea what was wrong with her, even now.  She acted like she was in pain but we kept poking her and stripped her down to check for boo boos and couldn't figure it out.  We gave her some milk, so her tummy wasn't growling.  I suppose it could have been from teething, but that really seems extreme.  We gave her medicine and everything.  It took her about an hour and a half to calm down.  So I was thinking, there is no way I can take this poor child on a 90 mile car trip in two hours.  And to be honest, I wasn't that excited about it.  I had an ultrasound the week before so I knew baby wouldn't look that different.  If it had been weeks, then I would have been more excited.  So with Penelope being sick or whatever the heck was wrong with her, and then highly discouraging children from attending, I cancelled the appointment and didn't reschedule.  Afterwards my pregnancy emotions kicked in and I felt like I let my little one down.  Like, I only have a few chances to see him/her before they are born and I wasn't looking forward to it and cancelled.  I still feel really bad about it.  I keep thinking "what if they grow up and ask me why Penelope has more ultrasounds than they did or where is their 11/12 week ultrasound?"  How crazy do I sound right now?  This is what pregnancy does to you. So, my next ultrasound will be local and scheduled to determine gender when I am 17-20 weeks. 

Although I've decided not to do weekly photos, I will still try to update weekly, or at least regularly.  And sooner or later, I will upload the ultrasound pictures =]

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The breastfeeding issue

This has been on my mind for a very long time and I finally need to voice my opinion. The issue is breastfeeding in public and why it is or isn't accepted.

I see things all over the internet that show a picture of a woman with a ton of cleavage and it says "why is this ok in public, but this isn't?" (Picture of a woman with her whole boob out breastfeeding.) Well, first off, who said massive cleavage in public is ok? I know it would make me uncomfortable. I'm sure it would make my husband uncomfortable too if only for the fact that he has to notice since he is a male and doesn't want to get caught and start a fight.

I am a mother and I am all for breastfeeding.  But I don't want to see your boob out of your shirt for any reason.  I don't see the big deal with covering up with a blanket or nursing cover in public. At least for the respect of others around you, or respect for your husband or to not embarrass your older children.  Even if I'm good friends with someone, I would use a cover and want them to do the same thing too.

Some people argue that it's natural so people should be ok with it.  Well, a lot of things are natural but I certainly wouldn't do in public.

My point is, (most)  mothers who argue for bare public breastfeeding think people who are against it are totally against breastfeeding. That's not true. It makes some people uncomfortable to see a stranger's boob when they are at a restaurant.  If a man can't enter an establishment without a shirt, why can a woman take her breasts out of her shirt at the same place? 

I am pro breastfeeding and even in public but I don't see the harm in being a little conservative and covering up, especially when you are around people you don't know.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Baby #2!

That's right!  We are having another baby!  (First off I have to say that I left Penelope's stocking within her reach before the paint was dry and that I'm really proud that I came up with this idea all on my own!)
Baby #2 is due around June 20th.  We are both hoping for a boy but I know it would be great for Penelope to have a little sister 20 months younger.  And I have all the clothes for a girl already. 
I was 6 weeks when I found out I was pregnant.  It was two days after we got home from visiting family in Ohio.  The last few days before we left I noticed my belly button was sticking out more than usual and I thought "Oh no!  I'm getting so fat from eating out every night!"  I didn't think I was pregnant, just fat.  So I was really surprised that I was pregnant.  But super happy, because we had only been trying for about a month if that. Since I knew I could be as early along as 3 weeks, I waited a while to make a doctor's appointment because I wanted to be at least 6 weeks along so I didn't have an ultrasound with no heartbeat and freak out.  (Found out Oct 25, apt was  Nov 12)  I had an ultrasound the next week and it was determined that I was 9 weeks 5 days.  I was very happy with that. 
I keep forgetting that I'm pregnant because I'm not sick like I was with Penelope.  I don't think my belly is growing very quickly either with is fine with me because I gained 50 lbs. with her and after losing it all, I'm going to be more aware with this pregnancy.  But I have no energy.  I think that's my only symptom. I can't make it through the day without a nap.  But I also am up sometimes 645-1130 and I've always been the kind of person that needs my sleep. 
Speaking of sleep, I could go on and on now that I can finally talk about it!  But it is after 11pm and I'm tired so night all!
How far along? 11 weeks 3 days
Maternity clothes? nope
Sleep: not affected by pregnancy.
Best moment this week: announcing baby #2!
Miss Anything?  cold deli meat and red bull
Movement: no
Food cravings: cheeseburger quesadilla and donuts
Anything making you queasy or sick: nothing comes to mind
Have you started to show yet: barely
Gender:  boy
Labor Signs: noooo
Belly Button in or out? out
Wedding rings on or off? on
Happy or Moody most of the time: not moody, just tired
Looking forward to: gender in like 6 weeks. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Citrus Lane- 13 months

Citrus Lane is a company that sends a special box full of goodies to your child each month based on their age. They do birth- 5 years old. I pay $25 a month and this special box arrives on my doorstop around the middle of the month.  This is the third box Penelope has received.  What I like about this company is so far, everything that has come in the box, I have never seen in a store and many of the products are "green.''  Plus, there is always a little something included for mom ; ) You can also go to their website and choose to have a product added to that months package for a little extra.  I have yet to do this though.  They also send a description of each product along with a promotional code.


The first thing we both noticed in the box was a tug boat bath toy from Green Toys.  She loves bath toys and doesn't have many so I'm excited about this.  It can also be used as a pitcher to wash her hair. And can be thrown in the dishwasher!  It is on sale on Amazon for now for $9.09, but is regularly $12.99.  The promo code is for 10% off from their greentoys.com until 1/15/14.

Next was Zootensils from Skip Hop.  I think they are just adorable!  She doesn't have any toddler utensils yet.  I actually just ordered some forks a few days ago but they are not this cool!  They have chunky handles and soft grippers so they are easy to hold in little hands.  They retail for $5.99 on Amazon.  The promo code is for 25% off a purchase of $30 or more on skiphop.com until Dec 16.

As soon as Penelope saw the pouch of baby food, she grabbed it and started sucking on the lid.  (I haven't let her feed herself with a pouch yet because I'm afraid it will be a huge mess.)   Second Blends from Plum Organics is made with organic fruits and veggies.  The first time she tried Plum Organics was actually about 15 minutes before opening her Citrus Lane box.  My sister gave me one pouch after seeing it on sale in the store she works.  She had a cherry, sweet corn and greek yogurt blend.  I don't know how they come up with these combinations, but she gobbled it up!  These retail for $1.79 and did not come with a promo code.

Josh was just complaining that he doesn't like the baby food jars that I fill with snacks and throw in the diaper bag so it's lucky that we got two reusable snack bags from Bumkins.  These bags are eco-friendly and waterproof.  They can be washed by hand or tossed in the washing machine.  They retail for $6.95 on Amazon and the promo code is 35% a purchase from bumkins.com through the end of the year.

MY gift is a lip balm.  Lip Comfort from PurLisse.  This will be great for the winter time when lips are especially chapped.  When I looked up the price on Amazon, I couldn't believe it.  $15.37!  There was one lip balm that was $7 so I was sure that was the one they sent me, but nope.  They gave me the $15. 37 lip balm!  The promo code is for 20% off thru the end of the year.

When you add that all up, the box was worth $39.19 and I only paid $25 so I think it's a pretty good deal.  Plus, I love that they send me things I didn't even know I (she) wanted. 

They also send this coupon for tinyprints.com.  Four sets of address labels and free shipping ($30+ value with shipping). This is good until Jan 15. The catch is you have to spend $99!  So, I'm not interested in that because I can't imagine spending almost a hundred dollars on Christmas cards or stationary.  I think last month there was something like this, but it was just a discount on a magazine subscription or something. 

So I'll do this each month with the packages.  I know it's helpful to what you're getting into before you decide to spend $25 a month on a "surprise" package. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Amber teething necklace

Penelope has been wearing an amber necklace since she was six months old.  I feel as if every mother I know has asked me about them and if they work.  At her check-up a few weeks ago, I had two nurses ask me if it works.  Sometimes I get annoyed because I think it works and I don't know why so I'm always like, "Yup."  So I decided to do some research so I will be more educated on the subject and now everyone will know my opinion.

I don't remember where I first heard of these teething necklaces but I didn't want to be the only mom without one!  Turns out no one I knew used them.  I bought one off of Amazon for $20 and my husband thought I was crazy. Then I tried to explain it to him and did a really bad job.  "It's supposed to help with her teething, like the stones take the pain away." I've read the history of the necklaces before, but I always forget.  Well, Josh finally got on board when his barber swore by it.  He was the same way. His wife bought his son a "hippy necklace with healing powers" and he thought it was a waste of money, until his son lost his.  He said his son was without the necklace for two weeks before they bought him another one because he was so cranky.  So finally Josh backed me up.

One thing I worried about was the fact that the necklaces are supposed to be worn at all times and not taken off or else it won't work.  Obviously I was worried about her sleeping in it and strangling. The good thing about the necklaces is that it is just the right length.  Not too long to get tangled and not too short to be too tight.  When I lay her down I make sure it's loose but we have never had a problem with it and I haven't heard of other moms having a problem either. 

When people asked me if it worked, I would say, "I think so.  Her two teeth cut through before I noticed she was even teething." It's hard to tell if it is working because you don't know what it would be like if she wasn't wearing one.  Some babies teeth easier than others.  But if it is working, you don't want to take it off.  Penelope's nurse was telling me she asked one mom about the necklace and she said, "I don't know if it works but I'm not taking it off in case it does."  Makes sense to me!

Penelope lost her necklace once. I looked all over and couldn't find it.  It was right after my family visited and she is always cranky after family leaves because she is smothered with attention for a week straight then it's just mommy (and daddy when he's not at work).  She would not sleep in her crib for at least a week.  I had to hold her at nap time and bring her into our bed at night.  I was losing my mind and it didn't make sense to me.  Josh finally mentioned she could be fussy without her teething necklace.  I went to a local store the next day, bought her a new necklace and she was happy!  So that is why I tell people it works.  She is normal with it on and fussy with it off.  Teething sounds so awful and painful so if I have to buy a $20 necklace to sooth her, no problem.

So why does it work?  There are a lot of imitation necklaces made from plastic or glass but the real ones are Baltic amber with succinic acid. When against skin, it is absorbed and circulated to relieve stress and pain. It is said to reduce pain directly associated with teething such as pain, swollen gums, red cheeks... These remedies have been known and used for centuries and the amber necklaces are very common in Europe.  There are adult necklaces or bracelets to sooth aches and pains and stress.

There you have it!  I think it works and I'm not the only one.  There are plenty of articles and reviews on the internet if you want to research it yourself.  And if you see a child wearing an amber teething necklace, it's probably because it works!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Welcome back

Well, it's about time I bring the baby blog back into action.  Although she is now a toddler! GASP! My last post was when she was 6 months and in a week and a half, she will be 13 months.  I am not going to bother trying to remember or go back through everything since  then.  But a quick update: She is 20.5 lbs, 28 inches. 6 teeth.  Has been walking since 10 months old.  Can sign 2 words clearly, eat and more. She is always talking and babbling but doesn't say many English words, haha.  She has been in a wedding and made her second trip to Ohio.      

I have a few topics I've wanted to talk about, mainly the amber teething necklace and baby sign language.  That's what I get asked about most. But I couldn't just go on a hiatus for almost 7 months and come back like nothing happened.  Now that she is a little older, she is giving me more freedom so hopefully blogging regularly will come back into the picture.

Friday, April 19, 2013

6 months old!

Half a year old already!  My oh my.  It's crazy to think that she is now closer to being a year old than closer to her birth... if that makes sense....

We kind of celebrated her half birthday, but just by pampering her.  She reached two milestones on the same day!  Right on her 6 month birthday.

Let's see how she spent her half birthday....

Luckily my parents are here to help since we just moved into out house less than a week ago. My parents are sleeping on an air mattress in the nursery and for the first time ever this week, Penelope is sleeping in her crib!  She usually sleeps in a bassinet next to our bed.  Grandma must have the magic touch.  I also took all of her toys out of her crib because I used to leave her in there for a while to play, but when I would try to lay her down, she would wake up right away to play with her toys, so I think it helps that I moved them. 

So my mom has been happy to get up with Penelope in the mornings so I can sleep in a little.  But I still can't sleep any later than 8:30.  So I woke up yesterday at 8 and she was already awake for a while.  For breakfast I gave her oatmeal mixed with strawberries, bananas and apples. 

I always open my mouth when I feed her, lol.

Then I had to leave for a doctors appointment.  My ears have been bothering me and I have a swollen throat gland.  When I got back, I started steaming butternut squash to make her baby food. We played and hung out for 2 hours or so, then it was time for her 6 month doctors appointment.  While we were getting loaded in the car, the mailman pulled up and handed me a package that was addressed to "Princess Penelope" and said "Happy 1/2 Birthday!"  I put it in the house and we headed to the clinic. 

Her check-up was basically the same as it has always been.  She has to get more shots next week.  She weighs 16.8 lbs (69th percentile) and is 25 inches long (39th percentile).  Her head measures 16.14 inches and the only reason I'm mentioning that is because she's only in the 14th percentile for that.  But her daddy has a small head too. 

The doctor did say she has a herniated umbilical.  As far as I understand it, there is a small hole that is about half a centimeter big, behind her belly button where her abdominal muscles were not fully formed.  Her belly button sticks out A LOT (when she is standing) and it's from her intestines pushing against it.  The doctor said it should close over time and we will look at it again in 3 months, but it can be fixed with surgery.  The only thing to worry about is if her intestines get stuck in that little hole some how.  The doctor didn't really seem worried about it, so I'm not going to really worry either because it can fix itself and it doesn't seem to bother her.  Plus, the hole is only half a centimeter big; something larger would worry me.

Then we went home and opened her half birthday package from Auntie Shala and there were all sorts of goodies!  2 outfits, sunglasses, bibs, wipes and lots of baby food.  I can't wait to start trying some of the foods.  Well, have her try it... =]  So then I finished making her squash and froze it. 

We went on a little road trip with Grandma next.  I had to drive an hour to try on and order a bridesmaid dress for my friend's wedding in October.  Penelope slept the whole way there.  We probably spent 20 minutes or less at David's Bridal because I knew the color and style I was getting, just needed to see if I fit into a smaller size since I first tried it on in February.  And I did!  So I ordered it and we were out of there.

 Since we drove all that way, we had to make a stop at Hobby Lobby while we were in the area.  Penelope was happy riding in the shopping cart and looking at everything.  I bought fabric for my mom to make my living room curtains because I can never find curtains I like.  I haven't sewed anything in years.  I might be able to figure it out, but it's just easier for her to sew them, and I borrowed my friend's sewing machine. 

She looks JUST like me in this picture, fyi.

We got home around 5:30 and didn't do much the rest of the day.  She had carrots for dinner.  She was playing on the floor and she went from laying on her belly to sitting up!  (First milestone that day).  She is really trying hard to crawl.  She always gets up on her knees, then rocks forward and backward like she is trying to swing herself forward, then she falls on her belly and does the "army crawl".  I was not expecting her to go from laying on her belly to sitting up.  She just started sitting up on her own about 2 weeks ago.  It does seem that after she figures out how to do something, it's easy for her.    

Baseball started!

Later that night Penelope was in her crib, Josh and I were in the dining room and my parents were in the nursery hanging curtains.  My mom yelled at me to come quick and when I got to the nursery, Penelope was STANDING in her crib!  She pulled herself up on her own!  I couldn't believe it!  I thought she was too young to begin that.  We lowered the mattress after that so it might be tougher for her to pull herself up now.  But I don't want no babies falling out of the crib!

That was pretty much the end of the day.  Just hung out the rest of the night and I think she fell asleep about 10:30, which is late for her but she did sleep the whole car ride and probably was wore out from all the excitement but was fighting sleep.

A couple nights ago, she has her first big girl bath.  Her infant bath sling just couldn't contain her anymore.  I haven't bought her a larger bath tub yet but saw something where you can put her in a laundry basket so that's what I did.  She had a bubble bath and played with toys and loved it.  She was splashing and making quite a mess.  We also went to the park for the first time.  She loves stroller rides and going on the swing.  

Penelope can say Dada now!  We were saying it to her for about a week and she was just mouthing it.  Then she finally started to say it!  I would say it's been about two weeks now and I have to say that this is my favorite accomplishment to far.  I love hearing her talk.  We just have to work on "mama" now =]

Easter photoshoot
 We didn't do much for Easter.  I had to work until about 1pm then I came home and gave Penelope her basket and made a ham for dinner.

She is sooo wiggly and it's almost impossible to change her diaper and clothes now.  Sometimes I have to take her off the changing table and lay her on the floor because I don't want her fighting me and rolling off the changing table.  She is very alert and loves watching the baby channel.  When strangers see her the first thing they say is "look at those eyelashes!"  She does have long eye lashes and beautiful blue eyes.  She is so pretty =]

This has been an eventful month and congratulations for making it all the way through this post.  I'm sure Penelope with be crawling on her knees by next month.  Not sure if I'm ready for her to be pulling herself up and standing yet though...

Last day at our old house!