Monday, January 31, 2011

Now we are 33 weeks....

So, now we are 33 weeks considering unless my body goes into labor or I have complications, we are not moving my c-section date from 7 weeks from today.

Not much has changed since my last "33 week" post. I am still super uncomfortable, miserable and pretty down on pregnancy! I had a brief moment over the weekend where I tried to be positive and change my thinking from "this stinks" to "this is the last time I get to ____." That worked for about a day and then I was cranky again! I mostly think I just need to keep myself busy these coming weeks so I am not thinking about how much longer I have and I am also trying to remember I at least need to do 4 more weeks. I can do 4! stay busy this week....I am having coffee with a couple of mom's from a mom's bible study that I am in tonight, doing some shopping/errands tomorrow while Peyton is at school, bible study/church on Wednesday, Thursday night is a small group social event for the mom's bible study I am in, Friday is gymnastics, and then Saturday there is a Valentine's Making Party at our church for the little kids, then I have my baby shower and then dinner with some good friends! I am thinking that is a good, full week to take my mind off baby!

I am also trying to make a better list of things to do before the end of February so I will be working on that as well as starting to look into prices for Summer vacations so we have an idea of what we can or can't afford and what we will need to save. So, I am figuring that between my normal job of being mom/wife/cook/maid and my other commitments this week and other stuff to plan....I should keep my mind off baby for another week and then next Monday I will come up with some new tasks to keep me occupied!

Now I have to get everyone dressed and out the door so we can go by the bank, and Target before Kindermusik!

Have a happy Monday....oh....and apparently we might get snow later this week....weird....I will have to look into this rumor!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Doctor Appointment Update....add one more week....

I had my doctor appointment today and all is well with Graham. I am growing (aka..gaining weight), his heart beat is normal (134 bpm) and my blood pressure was fine. She looked over my chart that I have been keeping with my daily blood pressure readings and although they are mostly low, there are occasionally high readings and so she is officially stating that I have transient gestational hypertension. I am to keep monitoring my blood pressure three times a day and documenting it. Essentially my body is doing exactly what it did with Peyton at the end just a month earlier. I also have an ultrasound next week to monitor fluid levels and will probably be having an ultrasound every three weeks and my doctor appointments every two to keep monitoring fluid levels and my blood pressure. Same stuff we did with Peyton.

As for my due date....they are not adjusting it as I thought. Based off my 6 week and 10 week ultrasounds, it puts me at or right around March 22 and standard practice is not to adjust past those ultrasounds because of the room for error. And since Caucasian boys lungs develop slower they really don't like to adjust boy due dates unless there is clear evidence that it needs to be which right now there isn't. And both the high risk doctor and my doctor mentioned that given all the stuff my body is starting to do, they would be surprised if I made it to my scheduled c-section date anyways. They really see me having increased blood pressure issues, starting to see diminished fluid levels and delivering because of fluid levels....just like Peyton.

As of now we are back to March 21.....a day before my due date. You may be asking....Why isn't it a week earlier like most scheduled c-sections? Well, that is because my doctor will be on vacation for Spring Break! So, we are all hoping, my doctor including, that I don't go into labor on my own (that would be interesting) the week she is gone and that I hold off until she is back in the office on the 21st! In the end I know that babies come when they want to and we can plan as much as possible and he can come at a completely different time. I am still sticking with my "have everything done by 36 weeks" plan which puts us at February 21 and will be working out arrangements based off of delivering March 21. But at the same time I will be thinking through the "what if I go into labor" scenarios and have an idea of what we would do if that happens. In the end, all I want and pray for is a healthy little boy and as much as I wanted to get this pregnancy done earlier, have Graham here when my sister Shannon was home from college on Spring Break...I keep reminding myself what the most important thing is.

So, please say prayers for my blood pressure to stay manageable, and that my fluid levels stay high for as long as possible so we can keep Graham cooking longer and for him to arrive when it is the right time!

Kindermusik and 33 Weeks

This week has been kind of quiet and low key so not much to write about. But I will say that I have had one pretty agreeable and happy toddler on my hands. We have had some weird crying fits after nap time on Sunday, Monday and then some afternoon crankiness on Tuesday but today was fine. I don't know what those were about but for the most part I have had a happy, silly little girl on my hands! This was us running some errands today.....

On Monday Peyton started a Kindermusik class at a church in the area which we are excited about. She did Kindermusik about a year ago or so and enjoyed it but since then we have done other stuff such as swimming over the summer and then gymnastics. We are still doing gymnastics until the end of February. I HATED stopping gymnastics since Peyton loves going but since I will be unable to take Peyton for six weeks or so once Graham comes due to my recovery and then the more I thought about it, I didn't see how it would really work carrying around a newborn and helping Peyton in her class since it is pretty much parent led. So, we are stopping gymnastics and I hope that maybe next fall we can do it again and in the meantime will be doing lots of their open gyms!

So, in place of gymnastics we decided to do Kindermusik again since I can easily incorporate Graham into that activity. Monday was our first day and she had a blast. She did great and it was amazing to see how much she has changed in a year and the way she was participating in the class this time as opposed to last time. I am looking forward to this new activity together and watching her pick up more and more each week!

She was dressed in a Valentine's Day themed shirt and leggings and I tried to get a good picture of her while we were walking out the door but she wasn't cooperating and just wanted to leave for "music" so this is the best I could do....I loved her leggings and boots!

Today I am 33 weeks pregnant and completely uncomfortable. Nothing new going on with me and Graham besides him growing and me growing as well. I feel like I have gotten huge lately. I am having difficulty sleeping and am essentially not sleeping at all (maybe 3-4 hours a night) which is getting old. My blood pressure has been low though which is good and I have an appointment tomorrow with my doctor.

I did spend some time cleaning out his closet and organizing it which felt great. All of his clothes are organized by month/size and then his blankets are organized and everything finally has a place in either the baskets/hanging organizer/the plastic drawer thing in his closet or in his dresser in his room. We are really getting ready and I feel like we have most everything we need for him besides all of the disposable stuff you got through such diapers/wipes/soap/lotion and diaper cream and various other little items. I love the look of an organized closet.....
However, to organize the closet, I had to take out everything that was being stored in there that in the end will not be kept in there such as the swing, car seat, car seat adapters and stroller. Since it is silly to put all of that out already they are just sitting in the middle of his room. So, his closet looks nice and put together and his room has become a dumping ground!

I keep telling myself that come February 16 (when I will be 36 weeks) I can put out the swing, pack our bags for the hospital, put the car seat by the door and extra adapter in John's car, the bassinet in our room, bring the pack n' play to my parents and just start getting things more in place. I know from the last time that when you find out at the last minute at 37 weeks that you are having a baby it is nice to know that the only arrangements you have to make in those 24 hours is adjusting your dog's boarding and vacuuming the house!

So, things I would like to accomplish this week ( mostly once I get our new c-section date) is finalized Peyton's arrangements for the day of Graham's birth, print out her information/schedule etc, make arrangements for Titus and start a list of cleaning projects to be done by 36 weeks!

Then we only have 3 weeks to do all of that cleaning, pack our bags, make some meals to freeze, create a master grocery list with brand names etc to pass off to John/family, pick up a gift for Graham to give Peyton when she comes to the hospital to see him, send out notes to family with all of the details of when and what to expect, get everything washed and in the right place before my self imposed 36 week deadline! Crazy! These next three weeks might be a little more busier than I thought...which hopefully will help them fly by!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Stroller Has Arrived....

After a long wait, my stroller finally arrived yesterday afternoon!!! After getting over the initial burst of anger that the Fed Ex man rang the bell during Peyton's nap causing our dog to go crazy....I calmed Titus down, made sure Peyton was asleep and then dragged the box inside to start investigating.

First impression, the box was small that it came in (more thin than small) which was encouraging already. Pulled it out and it was super easy to put together. Quickly realized that the basket underneath is useless and you can unsnap some of the snaps on the side when you need to get in and out which will probably happen when we are on a long shopping trip when you don't need anything after you buy it.

Second impression, it fit through all the hallways and arches of my house. Did not fit through the door of Graham's room when I went to store it but overall pretty compact for a double stroller. A little more difficult to fold, kind of have to pull and wiggle but maybe that is just the newness?

LOVE the canopies! Very big and provide super coverage!

Now onto the accessories that cost a fortune when you added them up and turns out to not be very impressive and I am returning half of them.
  1. Accessory #1: Parent Console - only goes on one side, a little weird to put on but all in all, I good purchase and design. It has two deep pockets with a Velcro lid so things don't dump out when folding etc and a cup holder. Satisfied!
  2. Accessory #2: Bumper Bar - didn't realize how nice two separate adjustable bumper bars would be since they are both going to be such different ages but oh well. The only stroller that had that was the Bumble ride Indie Twin and that folds HUGE! In the end Peyton will probably be the primary user of the bumper bar to pull herself up and when Graham will need it she will either not care or maybe not even be in the stroller very much. Result...keeping it.
  3. Accessory# 3: Snack Trays - STUPID DESIGN! They snap onto the bumper bar and then Velcro to secure. Seemed like a good idea but they are way too high even for Peyton and then when you adjust the bar, they tilt. And I noticed that they have to sit off to the side and not in front of the child which annoys me and causes me to mildly freak out that it isn't straight. Also, realized that two don't really fit on the bumper bar and it just seemed annoying. Result...returning to Amazon ASAP! I will be using these straps that I had for Peyton on my jogging stroller that Velcro around the cup so it won't fall out of the stroller and then using snack cups when they want a snack.
  4. Accessory #4: Rain cover - it is a rain cover, nothing too exciting but it does fit well and is easy to put on.
  5. Accessory #5: Car Seat Adapter - kind of disappointing on that as well which at 10:00 PM at night when you are putting it together almost made me want to return everything and cry out of pregnancy hormones. We finally got it together (pictures and directions were horrible) and got the car seat out and on it and it wasn't as secure as we would like and you essentially can't really fold the stroller with it on. It folds but it has this huge adapter hanging out there and is impractical for traveling. It would work if you have the time to be careful putting it in and out of your car but not when you are boarding a plane etc. Travel was the main reason I got it because if we were flying a long distance I would probably pay for Graham to have a seat, bring his car seat and he could sleep there so I wouldn't have my hands full with him while trying to care for Peyton and if by some miracle of God they both were sleeping, I could sleep as well without worrying about him. Well, we talked about it last night and realized that if I flew to Canada (most trips) I wouldn't pay for a seat for him since it is a short flight and I would just check his car seat like I did with Peyton. The stroller seats recline fully so he can use it from day one. If we were doing any other kind of travel then chances are John would be with me and we could do several options.... #1 use the double and he carry the empty car seat through the airport.... #2 use the snap and go and check the double and Peyton walk.....#3 use the snap and go, and the single umbrella for Peyton and check the double (silly as it would give us three strollers when we arrive somewhere) although those seem silly, it showed us that we have some options, it isn't as critical as we needed it and since I cant find a stroller that meets the car seat adapter function without compromising on weight and fold then I would rather just return it and get some money back....result...being returned!

So....after I return everything, I am going ahead and getting the travel bag so if I do want to check it or even store it etc I have that option.

Peyton loved it and climbed in and watched Dora yesterday afternoon while sitting in it and made sure to tell me that the baby will be going beside her. I love how small it folds, it only weighs 26 lbs which is heavy enough and the folding strap to keep it closed is a little annoying but easy to find and do and seems like it would hold it well enough.

Looking back the only other option that I think would have been a contender is the Bumble ride Indie Twin but especially now that I am returning accessories it would have been a whole bunch more and I can't over the additional 10 lbs it weighs and how big it is when it is folded and I just don't think that is practical when traveling. I am glad I didn't go with the Stroll Air My Duo because I love how Peyton can crawl in and out of the City Mini without any assistance and the Stroll Air seats were higher and also just seemed more appropriate for babies not tall and active toddlers.

So far, it is what I expected and hasn't exceeded my expectations but I am not disappointed (just with the accessories that I have to now return and deal with).

Stay tuned for when we really test this out...March and then hopefully more so this summer with some trips!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Someone please have a boy!

I can't sleep tonight so it is 1:30 AM and I am on the internet and I come across this adorable shower idea!

So, I would like to request that one of my friend's get pregnant and have a boy so I can put together a shower inspired by this Bow Tie Baby Shower I saw on Hostess with the Mostess. Isn't this adorable! I love the colors and the details! So much fun!

Oh how I wish I could just plan parties for a living....

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Get it....

This morning Peyton asked to see the baby, which means that I need to pull up my shirt and she looks and rubs my belly and gives the baby a kiss.

This is what our conversation looked like....

Peyton: "Baby, hello, baby...mmmm....kiss."
Mom: "Can you say Graham? That is your brother's name."
Peyton: "Graham...luv you"
More rubbing and poking at my bellybutton by Peyton.
Peyton: "Mom...."
Mom: "Yes"
Peyton: "Get it...get baby"
Please note that when Peyton wants something in the car and my response is that it is at home she has now been telling me to get it. Or if she wants to go see Granny and Papa, she says get it.
Mom: "Well, I can't get the baby out, he needs to grow inside mommy for a little longer."
Peyton: "No...get it...get baby now."
Mom: "I am sorry Peyton but he has to stay inside and soon he will come."
Peyton: "No...Peyton hold it"

Apparently we are both just as patient with this whole pregnancy process. Oh I wish I could just go "get" Graham!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

32 Weeks

We made it another week and have between 49-56 (49 puts me at 37 weeks and 56 is at 39 weeks when my c-section will likely be scheduled) more days! After my appointment last week and my subsequent visit to the hospital I am keenly aware of how much can go wrong these last few weeks and how important it is to keep Graham inside and give him more time to grow.

As I left the hospital on Friday I was given a couple of things I needed to do, one, was see a neurologist that my doctor got me into to just go over my MRI and just do a follow up since I am still having headaches and spots/stars in my vision and then the second thing was to rest and try to not get my blood pressure up and if it was to go over 140/90 to call her immediately.

Neurologist....was able to get in yesterday and was told that my headaches and spotty vision were caused by pregnancy....Really? The doctor was very nice and thorough and went through a whole bunch of tests to test my neurological response and went through my history and just said they were likely caused by hormones and pregnancy. He agreed with me being very conservative in what medicine to take to help relieve the pain and we agreed on sticking with regular Tylenol and if they are unbearable to prescribe me Tylenol 3 which even he as a conservative doctor would be fine with giving me. Some doctors would prescribe Vicodin or something stronger but I won't take it pregnant and he agreed with me. He said if I am still having headaches and I am done breastfeeding to come back. For now...5-7 more weeks of headaches that don't completly go away with Tylenol but are manageable for now. Fun...another reason why Graham might and probably will be my last child!

Blood pressure management....the weekend was not so great but this week has been pretty good. It hasn't gotten to the "call the doctor" range but it is not low like the hospital. I don't think my doctor expected it to stay that low as she has kids and understands how hard it is to relax/do nothing with a two year old. It starts low at the beginning of the day and consistently rises as the day goes on. I am taking it three times a day and documenting for my doctor and I will be interested to see what she says when I show up next week with my numbers. It really fluctutes and makes no sense to me but anyways...I am trying to relax, trying to not do too much, trying to find ways to entertain Peyton that don't always involve TV/movies. Pray, Pray, Pray that it stays down!

Other than those issues, I am hanging in there. I am uncomfortable, have constant heartburn, feel like I am HUGE (these past two weeks I all of the sudden just feel gross and huge which is why I am in no mood to do a picture) and just kind of down on myself.....just trying to make it 5-7 more weeks...

A Day in the Life....

My friend Kim did a post called "A Day in the Life Of..." and so I decided to go ahead and document today for everyone! This is our typical Tuesday/Thursday since those are the days Peyton goes to school. I will have to do a "regular day" another time.

6:30 AM - Mommy wake up and start getting ready

7:00 AM - Peyton wake up and I change her diaper and put on a pull up. Peyton goes and sits on the couch to watch some cartoons on PBS while I make us both breakfast

7:30 AM - Mommy and Peyton sit down at the table and eat breakfast together. Once done, Peyton goes and either plays in her room or watches some more cartoons while I clean up.

8:00 AM - We both get dressed and ready. Peyton typically "helps" me get ready by running around my room and hiding in my closet and then sitting in the bathroom with me pretending to put on make up/do her hair etc. We brush our teeth together and then move into Peyton's room to get her dressed for the day.

8:30 AM - Attempt to start making it towards the door to leave for school. Mommy gets Peyton's lunch box, backpack and all other belongings while Peyton puts Titus up in his crate. Get every one's shoes on. Peyton insists on closing the door and locking it with the keys by "herself". Get the door locked and everyone into the car

8:45 AM - Arrive at Pee Wee School, walk in and after stopping at the toys in the hallway, the phone booth and the fish tank, get Peyton into her classroom. Stop and chat with her teachers and then completely random moment and Peyton does not want me to leave and starts to cry and yell "mommy." I quickly reassure her that I am coming back and run out of there!

9:00 AM - Get to Panera Bread and get a bagel and some fruit and start reviewing notes for our adult married small group that John and I lead on Wednesday night. We are discussing the book Twenty Essential Christian Beliefs by Grudem and are going over the Trinity tomorrow. Go through my notes, rearrange questions, look up scripture and then start re-reading for next week on Creation. I try to stay at least three weeks ahead of group prep so I have time to reflect, change and really have a good grasp on what we are studying.

10:15 AM - Leave Panera Bread for my appointment with the neurologist as a follow up from my stay in the hospital (more tomorrow on how it all went...pretty much...pregnancy caused head aches...hope they go away when I deliver in 5-7 weeks).

11:00 AM - Leave the neurologist and stop at Babies R'Us on the way home to get a couple of stuff for Graham

11:45 AM- Make it home and update Quicken (our budget software) with the weekends purchases etc, balance the budget. Start a load of laundry. Make myself some lunch.

12:30 PM - Sit down with my lunch....leftover chicken/broccoli/rice casserole, and watch the soap opera the Bold and the Beautiful. Yes, I waste 30 minutes of my day watching a pointless soap! Blame my mom for watching it when I was younger and now me carrying on the tradition!

1:00 PM - Check my blood pressure before I start doing anything.....128/87...bottom number is a little high...ugh! Switch laundry, do the dishes, make the beds since we were running late this morning and I didn't have time. Look at the weekly household cleaning schedule and notice that today errands/grocery shopping (check...none to do), vacuum (can't do because it takes too much out of me so John does it when he gets home) and clean living room (Peyton can help me this afternoon since she loves cleaning and it will give us something to do).

1:20 PM - Get a bowl of ice cream and check Facebook....

1:25 PM - Think about dinner and realize that I was planning a slow cooker meal for tonight...opps! Hurry up and start defrosting chicken and reading through the recipe for Chicken Ratatouille....and start cutting veggies...cut chicken, through everything in slow cooker and get it going before I have to leave! Whew! Glad I remembered and was able to get it done!

1:50 PM - Leave to pick up Peyton from school. Bring the book Doctrine by Mark Driscoll to read while in the carpool line. Reading through a chapter on Creation...good stuff! Realize that I am excited about our Valentine's gift to each other next month....a I don't have to keep up with the multiple books and carrying them around with me! Hurry up Valentine's Day!

2:05 PM - Peyton loaded up in car and I am informed by her that she would like to go to Granny and Papa's to play "monster"....a game where Papa hides, Peyton goes and finds him, they yell/scream at each other and he chases her back to "base" which is Granny. I don't know how it started but it is her favorite game. We get to Granny and Papa's and Peyton starts acting cranky so no "monsters" and instead watch some cartoons and then she goes and gets the mail with Papa and hangs out.

4:30 PM - Head home.....Peyton plays by herself in her room while I do some work in Graham's room organizing. End up talking with my best friend Megan on the phone instead about being pregnant...she is due one week after me with a boy as well. I am super bummed that I am not allowed to travel to her baby shower in Beaumont due to all the complications I have had in the early parts of my pregnancy and now with the whole blood pressure stuff. I wanted to be there so badly!

5:15 PM - Start making dinner for Peyton since I know she won't eat Chicken Ratatouille and is acting like she feels kind of icky/tired so I am going to be nice and make her pizza with veggies.

6:00 PM - Peyton eats dinner and I sit with her at the table trying to have a conversation about her day. Not getting much dialogue back.

6:30 PM - John gets home late from work (he is in a turnaround so he has been putting in some long hours) and since I didn't want pizza I waited to eat with him so we eat dinner together.

7:30 PM - John gives Peyton a bath while I write this blog post and then relax by watching TV.

8:15 PM - Peyton gets her PJ's on, we read three books, sing "Jesus Loves Me," say our prayers and off to bed she goes.

8:45 PM - Fold laundry from earlier in the day, get snacks together for my Mom's bible study tomorrow morning, pick up the house, finish up this blog post and then am off for a lukewarm bath (joys of pregnancy), sit down and talk with John about tomorrow and what our plans are and then off to bed...probably will be in bed around 10:00 PM and will fall asleep finally around 11:00 PM!

That is our least a Tuesday/Thursday!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Waiting on my stroller...

So, I ordered my stroller (Baby Jogger City Mini Double) a couple of weeks ago and have gotten all the numerous accessories in the mail (bumper bar, snack trays, parent tray, rain cover and car seat adapter) but still no stroller! I know I don't need it for awhile but I really, really want to see it and start getting used to it!

Well, when I was in the hospital I got an email saying that Baby Jogger was delaying the launch of their 2011 models and that they wouldn't start releasing them until MARCH! And the color I wanted would be late March....some of the other colors go into April! Ugh!

So, the reason I went with the 2011 model was for one main change...addition of a PE board (plastic board) in the seat backs to prevent slouching, then they also added a Velcro strap to make the seat even more upright and the only other change I found was that you could remove one canopy and not the other unlike before were you had to remove both.

Well, the website that I ordered the stroller from sent out an email offering the 2010 models at a discounted price with two free PE boards (plastic boards). Since the canopy issue is not that big of a deal and the reviews on the Velcro strap were modest and nothing great I decided to take up the offer. It ended up saving us just under $100 which is worth not having the two other changes. Stroller should ship tomorrow or Wednesday and hopefully be here soon! I am looking forward to practicing folding it, seeing how it fits in my car and putting all the accessories on it!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

One Night Stay at....SE Memorial Herman Hospital

I will be honest...I have been wanting a night away! A night to sleep whenever and for however long I want, a night to enjoy pampering, watching TV (not Dora cartoons) uninterrupted, gourmet food and a relaxing time away. I got a night away on Thursday night but not really in the accommodations I was hoping for.

I went to my doctor's appointment on Thursday and similar to a couple of weeks ago my blood pressure was elevated but this time it was elevated even more and it although it went down while I was there, it didn't drop low enough so I was awarded a 24 hour urine collection and observation at SE Memorial Herman Hospital. And I also mentioned some headaches and spotty/starry vision I had been having which made her even more concerned since that is a side affect of Pregnancy Induced Hypertension. I had a similar observation with my pregnancy with Peyton but at 35 weeks so she was also concerned that my blood pressure was becoming an issue 4 weeks earlier than before.

I rushed out of the doctor's, grabbed some lunch and went to pick up Peyton from school, dropped her off at my parents, went home and packed some stuff for myself and then drove myself to the hospital. I got checked in, tons of blood drawn, hooked up to monitors to check the babies heartbeat and any possible contractions I was having (little to none). It was nice that this time I was only supposed to have my blood pressure taken every two hours but while I was awake. Last time I was woken up all night so at least I was able to get some sleep. Later that night I had an ultrasound to check for fluid levels, breathing, placenta, cervical dilation and for baby movement. Everything looked fine and Graham is still a Graham which is always reassuring. He is also still breached but his legs are either straight down or in a fetal position so he has some room to move around.

The next day, more monitoring and just waiting for my 24 hours to pass. Finally I was done....or so I blood work and urine came back fine, my blood pressure readings were fine but she was concerned about my headaches/vision issues so she ordered a MRI (since they have no adverse reactions on the baby as long as you don't have contrast which I didn't) just to check for any issue that could be there. Got that done and was told that it was all clear but possible chronic sinutitis....really....sinuses? Anyways, I was finally discharged around 7 PM with instructions to take it easy and monitor my blood pressure three times a day at home and call if it is near 140/90. Hopefully we can keep it down and not be too stressed but that is super difficult with an active toddler and a husband in turnaround at work and my list making/busy body self!

Peyton was super excited to see me when I went to my parents to get her and I missed her so much! It was miserable being away from her especially since she is a little under the weather. John took her to the doctor yesterday morning since I wanted to make sure nothing too bad was going on before we hit the weekend and she just has a cold but I hated her being sick and me not being there for her. True to her strong self though she has been hanging in there and is in pretty good spirits and a trooper!

So, glad to be home, thankful everything is fine, praying that it stays that way and that Graham and I can continue to be healthy! I did enjoy (as much as I could) the hospital and the nurses were amazing which is reassuring since I had never been to that hospital and am a little more comforted with going there in hopefully 8 weeks and not any time sooner!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Baby Book

On Tuesday I didn't really have much to do when I dropped off Peyton at school so I wandered around aimlessly for a little bit and then decided that perhaps I should work on her baby book considering it is pretty much not started at all and we are about to have another one! I started writing, pulling picture files and by that night had made a really good dent into it. I still have a ways to go but I took really good records of her first year through pictures and writing developments etc on a calendar so it is pretty easy to fill out the book.

I had a hard time finding a baby book for Peyton and actually didn't find one until she was about a year old when my mom got her one. So, I decided that maybe I should also look into some books for Graham and decided if I can have whatever I want that I would like this one....with his name on it obviously!

It is from a seller on Etsy and you can check out the inside pages by clicking here. It looks like it has really nice pages inside to fill out, already comes with a calendar in the back and has extra blank pages to add in stuff that they don't have a spot for which I am having to do with Peyton's and then if you purchase the additional page packages (I like the outings and holidays one) you have a pretty comprehensive and easy to keep up with baby book.

Unfortunately when you price it all together for the book and extra pages it came to $80...not we will have to see! But I thought I would pass along my find of the day!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

31 Weeks

I am 31 weeks today! Which means we have just over 60 days until we meet Graham and that is if I go 40 weeks but considering I am repeat is under 60 days....UNDER 2 MONTHS! WHAT!

In all honesty in regards to baby prep...such as the nursery and supplies...we are really ready. Since a friend is graciously throwing me a shower in February, there are a couple of things I registered for that we apparently didn't have very much gender neutral of (mostly bibs and blankets) but for the most part we are set. I also met with a friend...Sarah from My Spare discuss the quilt for Graham's room and I am so blessed that she is going to do it for me and am excited to see what she puts together. When I decided to make his bedding I resigned myself to the fact that it would mean he might not have a quilt and so I am so thankful she is going to do one for him and I love it even more that I can tell him how she blessed him with that.

What I am not prepared for is the whole birth/hospital/what to do with Peyton stuff. I am starting to freak out slightly about undergoing a c-section again. I very vividly remember the pain the next day even though the nurses told me I would forget by the time number 2 came around. I remember the nasty medicine I had to swallow before the surgery, the epidural experience was scary for me and I didn't do well (sobbing) and the whole scariness of it all. I am not at peace and am praying hard for some peace and calmness!

I have also not finalized any plans for Peyton. We know that my parents are watching Peyton the nights we are in the hospital but I do need to think through who is watching her during the day, what happens if I go into labor earlier than the scheduled day etc. I need to start thinking about making a list of what we need to pack for both me, John and Peyton. I need to book Titus at the boarding place. I need to talk through again how and when Peyton will come to see us and make sure family all have the details of where/when etc. At the same time...all of this is kind of on hold though until we at least have a date to start with which hopefully I will be getting at my doctor's appointment tomorrow or at least talking with her about rescheduling with the hospital. Once we get the new c-section date we can put all the plans in place knowing that he could come whenever...great....and now I realized that if he only made it 37 weeks like I did with Peyton (remember how I had less than 24 hours before we were in the hospital having her?) that would be 42 days....that is crazy!

Some stuff that I did do to prepare for the whole hospital stay is purchase some nursing bras since Motherhood Maternity was having a great sale this weekend and this time I do have some nice new PJ's to wear (several actually) as I learned last time that wearing the hospital gown for three days doesn't help with the whole...I still look huge and pregnant even though I just had a baby feelings!

I am also in discussions with John on how I didn't get a "push present" the last time (mostly because I thought it was silly and a waste of money) and since this is my second and most probably last (I am at 93% sure right now), he should look into something...specifically a new MacBook since my old iBook died about a month ago and I miss having a laptop! Side iBook lived a long life and I was greatly impressed. I got it about 6 years ago and used it constantly! The battery started losing power and for about the last 6 months you always had to have it plugged in so it was essentially a desktop until it finally wouldn't turn on at all. We will see if he gets my hints and surprises me! I still think it is kind of silly and a waste of money and am partially kidding about the computer! A girl can dream...right!?!

Other than realizing that we are getting near to meeting this little guy...Graham is kicking up a storm even if his head is up under my ribs and his bottom is sitting on my bladder. I am taking iron supplements since my latest blood work showed I was slightly anemic. I was
hoping it would solve my tiredness issue completely but that is not the case. I think the active toddler counteracts the iron! It did solve my headaches and some blurry vision.

So, please pray for my doctor's appointment tomorrow and for some peace with the whole c-section and planning for the hospital stay in approximately 42-60 days!

Friday, January 7, 2011

And the winner is.....

The Baby Jogger City Mini Double

After MUCH deliberation and many, many spreadsheets (I couldn't manage to capture pictures of them to post and show you) we decided to go with the Baby Jogger City Mini Double Stroller in Stone/Black.

Here is how it won....

  • It is side by side

  • It has two fully reclining seats that are easy to recline and with the 2011 model they add a back board to offer more support and solve an apparent slouching issue that parents complained about in the past

  • It has two separate, retractable canopies with significant coverage and with 2011 model, they apparently fixed an issue where when you used the car seat adapter you had to remove the canopy. Now the canopy can remain in place with the adapter in use.

  • It is small enough to fit through most doorways

  • It is one of the smallest when folded with wheels still on and is only 10" inches high when folded which is considerably smaller than most strollers in this category

  • It is also pretty light and was the lightest of my finalists which makes me picking it up and putting it in the car easier

  • It doesn't have an automatic lock when folding but for putting it in/out of the car it holds its fold and when traveling it does have Velcro straps that you can attach and we might look at getting a travel bag depending on how we feel the straps hold up when the same time that would be a pain to deal with at the end of the Jetway boarding with two kids!

  • Not as easy as I would like for a fold as it does require two hands but for the category of stroller it is in, it is the easiest. The only way to avoid a two handed fold would be go with Maclaren Triumph which is an umbrella stroller and didn't have the smoothness for long walks that I wanted

  • It is compatible with my car seat. Although it took buying an adapter for more than I would have liked to pay, it is adaptable and after talking through scenarios with John we feel it would work best for us and was worth it. And since this was the cheapest option of my finalists, even with the adapter we stayed lower than some of the others.

  • The storage is there but completely not accessible other than small things. However, when I evaluated how much storage I need now, I realized it wouldn't be that big of an issue....or at least I hope so!

  • Able to handle brisk long walks, as well as trips to mall/zoo etc. Will not be able to be used for jogging but as I thought about it more and more, I stopped taking Peyton jogging awhile ago because she was so heavy...why would it be any different with two kids! And I have a wonderful jogging stroller for me and Graham and whenever I get a dose of super mom strength and decide to take Peyton.

  • No adjustable handlebar for John but honestly I use the stroller more than he does so it became void

  • It did take about $100 more in accessories (rain cover, parent console, snack trays, bumper bar) but again the price point was the lowest of my finalists so when I added all of those (and considered what accessories would need to be added to other strollers) this stroller still came out the cheapest

  • Finally....I have seen it in person and Peyton liked it and I have several friends who highly recommended it that have used the single version and now bought the double for their kids.

After a LONG time researching I finally did it and ordered the stroller but since I wanted the 2011 model (they made several modifications that I feel were worth the $30 price increase) I have to wait....they said they start shipping January 8 but we will see, for now I am on a pre-order list expected to arrive 1/13-1/19.

I am so happy to have that baby to-do checked off of my list....and even happier that there are very, very few more baby stuff left to do!

30 Weeks and 1 Day

We had another ultrasound today because my doctor thought I was measuring big and we finally figured out the mystery between the two due dates that have been floating around of 3/22 and 3/16. Apparently, the ultrasound doctor put my due date at 3/16/2011 awhile ago based off of the ultrasound at 10 weeks. My doctor had 3/22/2011 off my ultrasound at 6 weeks and didn't adjust when the ultrasound at 10 weeks was bigger. So, I will be talking with my doctor next week about adjusting the due date and the doctor today is putting that in her report.
The ultrasound went well and it was kind of weird because it was hard to see Graham because he is so big now that it is all really squished. I didn't really know what I was looking at and we ended up with a bunch of pictures of stuff we can't identify. But he is healthy, growing and doing fine. My fluid levels are normal, my placenta is normal and everything is great. He is right around 3 lbs 3 oz and is breached just like Peyton with his head under my ribs. Apparently that is how my uterus and pelvis positions babies.

We took Peyton with us and she was a little interested in the pictures and did really like hearing the heart beat. She was more interested in pointing out the doctor to me.

When I go next Thursday to my appointment I will have a better idea of when they will be scheduling my new c-section date. I am really, really hoping for the week of March 7 so Graham will be here before my sister comes home from college for Spring Break but we will see what the doctor decides and in the end, all that matters is that he is healthy!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My quest for the perfect stroller

So I have been searching off and on for a couple of months now for the "perfect" stroller for our soon to be 2 kids. I really thought it would be super easy but as I am finding the stroller that meets all of my needs either doesn't exist or is not out yet and when it comes out will probably be way too much and pretty much to get what I want I will have to either eliminate a whole set of needs or buy two strollers.

Before I go into this quest more I will tell you about an amazing stroller I found that is not out yet but I would so want called the Bugaboo Donkey. Weird name but exactly what I want (minus the whole jogging part). Check out the promo videos here! I love how versatile it seems, how fashionable it looks and I just love it! But considering their single versions are starting at $880 and this is a new must have and hot item that I am sure will be in the thousands, I am not going to think about it anymore! Oh..... and this isn't even out yet....although they did say Spring 2011!!!!

To give you an idea of my journey thus far (and just to let you know I still don't have a stroller picked out)......

Here are my must haves:
  • Would prefer a side by side double stroller as opposed to tandem or the jumper seat styles
  • 2 fully reclining seats
  • 2 separate and retractable canopies with significant coverage
  • Small enough width to fit through most standard doors (usually 30" or less)
  • Small folded size to fit in small cars (with wheels still on) as well as my 4 Runner
  • Easy to fold as I travel with Peyton a bunch by myself and would probably do so with both kids and need to be able to fold it with not too much work
  • Automatic lock when folded
  • Would like it to be compatible with my current car seat (even if I have to buy an adapter) but not a must have as long as it fully reclines for an infant.
  • Accessible under seat storage. Doesn't need to be a whole lot of space but I need to be able to get to the space I have.
  • Able to handle brisk walks around the neighborhood (would prefer ability to jog as well but would compromise since I have a jogging stroller and probably wouldn't want to push two kids) as well as trips to the store, around airports etc
  • Adjustable handlebar for John
  • Finally, comes with some accessories so I am not adding $100 plus to the cost for cup holders, snack trays, rain covers etc.

Here is list of the brands I started with: Combi, PegPerego, Valco, Britax, MacClaren, Phil&Teds, Mtn Buggy, Inglesina, Baby Jogger, Bob, Tike Tech, Abie, Bumbleride, Chicco, StrollAir, EasyWalker, Zooper, Joovy, Mutsy, MaxiCosi, Micralite, Bugabo, Orbit, Mamas&Papas, Guzie&Guss, Uppa Baby, Teutiona, Quinny, Cybex, i'Coo and Aprica.

Here is the brands/models that made the next list: Baby Jogger City Mini Double, Baby Jogger Elite Double, Easy Walker Duo BOB Revolution, Tike Tech All Terrain X3 Sport, Valco Tri Mode EX Twin, Valco Latitude EX, Mountain Buggy Duo, Stroll Air My Duo, MacClaren Twin Techno

Here is what I don't like about my above finalists or at least the ones still in the running:

Baby Jogger City Mini Double: Although one of the smaller folding it is still pretty large folded and certainly not easy in my opinion to fold or at least I had a hard time figuring it out at the store and there is no automatic locking mechanism. You can not access the storage below at all, very hard to get to and use. For the size and style, I would like it to have the ability to be a running stroller as well. No adjustable handlebar. No accessories included and although car seat compatible, when you add the adapter and other wanted accessories you add $188 to the base price.

BOB Revolution Dualie: Slightly wider at 30.8" and although it is only .8" I wonder how much that would affect going through spaces. Seems easy to fold, no automatic locking mechanism and it seems pretty big when folded even when you remove wheels. Nice storage in both seat backs and underneath. I can run with this one! And since you can either have swivel wheels or fixed (and change at the touch of a button) it would make running errands easy as well. Not adaptable with my car seat and again accessories add about $80-100 to base price. Since the accessories are not as much as Baby Jogger City Mini, it does help compensate for the increased base price of the BOB.

Valco Tri Mode EX Twin: The narrowest of my top choices at 28". Can't find a video of how it folds and they don't sell them in any stores around here so I am not sure how that works. I think it has an automatic lock or at least a better system for manually doing it but not sure. Does have smaller folding dimensions at 28x29x18 but without seeing it still can't have a good grasp on how it would fit in the Civic. Seems to have decent storage and easily accessible. When you add the accessories you would want you add about $60 to the base price making it the most expensive one on my finalist list which is hard for me to swallow since I still couldn't jog with it but it is small enough for errands, brisk walking and seems like it could travel well.

Stroll Air My Duo: I stand corrected...this is the most expensive option and since it is not sold in Texas, I am having a hard time buying something I can't see even if I really like it. It is narrow at 29", it folds easily from the videos I have seen and small at 29x29x10 and has an automatic lock when folded. It has an adjustable handlebar, easy to access storage. It can't be used for jogging. It does have a really nice feature of two separate removable seats so I can have one kid facing me and one kid facing out, both facing me or both facing out. Comes with most accessories I would need. I am a little worried on seat width and height since I have a tall toddler. Mostly I really like it but don't know why I don't LOVE it.

Maclaren Twin Techno: An umbrella style stroller which compromises on the ease of pushing with brisk walking and totally eliminates any potential for running but I have a Maclaren single for Peyton and it is perfect for trips to the mall etc. Great accessible storage, fully reclining seats with separate canopies, compact, small folding, automatic lock when folded. Pretty much great but I would like something easier to walk with for exercise etc. which leads me to think that I would need two strollers to solve my problem, this one and then an exercise/more SUV like stroller but who wants to collect strollers?

So, I leave you with these questions....
  1. Anyone with two kids or more have any recommendations on strollers?
  2. Anyone...two kids or not....have a brand that they are so incredibly happy with so I can look into their double options?
  3. Any good sites for reviews? I have looked at Baby Gizmo, Stroller Queen mostly.
  4. Any other comments, help?

Have to take a break from the quest for now as Peyton is waking up from her nap.....hopefully I find something before Graham comes!

Happy Birthday Papa!

Today is my dad's birthday and Peyton got right into the celebrations and much to my surprise mastered Happy Birthday by the time we did cake. Enjoy!

Monkeys and Giraffes

Today I decided to be spontaneous and Peyton and I packed up and headed to the zoo. I had been wanting to take her to the zoo for awhile but with all of the issues early on in my pregnancy I was pretty sure that the zoo would be on the "don't do" list and then lately I was questioning whether I could handle it but I decided that if I didn't do it now I wouldn't do it before Graham came as it would only get harder. So, we woke up, I packed some lunches and got ready and then I asked her if she wanted to go to the zoo and I was given an emphatic "yes" and was promptly told she would like to "hold monkeys, pet, self," which means she wanted to hold and pet the monkeys all by herself. I just told her she would have to talk to the zoo keeper and that appeased her.

We made it to the zoo and yes I was worried about the whole walking/physical exhaustion part of this experience but honestly I was also just nervous of having to deal with breakdowns and temper tantrums by myself BUT I didn't have one! She was so agreeable, sweet, obedient and we had so much fun together. It was such a good day of quality mom and Peyton time and I had a blast with her. She is so much fun and she is funny and she finds humor in so many things. She laughed so much at the animals! Every mom needs one of those...... everything goes right and you feel like you are doing a good job and not failing horribly.......kind of days and I didn't realize how much I needed it!

We had a blast and even managed to hit up a kids store in the area to check out some strollers....a post to come on my never ending search for the "perfect" and apparently non existent double stroller!

A fun day had by all!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Welcome 2011

Happy New Year! I am so excited about 2011 mostly because we get to meet precious Graham this year!

I normally really enjoy making New Year's resolutions but this year I have decided that my only resolution is to make it through the year! I know that may sound silly but with all of the known changes (adding another member to our family) as well as all of the unknown to come, I would be so happy and content if at this time next year we are doing as well as we are now.

This year has brought tremendous growth in regards to my relationship with God and when I look back 2010 ranks as one of the top years where I learned more about God's character, my relationship with him and my need to depend on Him consistently rather than myself. I grew a bunch! Also, this past year John and I invested a large amount of time to working on and strengthening our marriage. I am happy where we are and we have a wonderful God centered and God dependent marriage. We are doing good and it feels so nice to be able to say that! I am blessed that Peyton is healthy and growing up to be a sweet and very strong willed little girl. I am finally finding my groove in disciplining her with grace but sternness and we are having much more good days than bad. With all of the changes that I know Graham will bring to our lives (all good but still change) and all of the unknown to come in the new year, I will be happy to be just as we are now.

So, Happy New Year to everyone and I pray for blessings for you and your family this coming year!