Friday, January 29, 2016

38 Weeks

Running out of shirts that will cover this belly. Also, because it's so big, unless there's a draft, sometimes I don't notice that my belly is hanging out until I walk past a mirror. I'd like to think of myself as super trendy, rocking the crop top. 

This week has been rough. Week 34 was pretty rough - a lot of pain and one of those "I'm never going to make it any longer" weeks. Then I had a few weeks where I felt pretty good! This week was back to "I'm never going to make it." Hoping it's just a low point and I start feeling better again soon. Either way - we will meet this little lady within the next 4 weeks. Which also sounds so long!

Planning to drag out all the baby items - bassinet, bouncy seat, car seat, etc. from the attic, wash the covers, and let Dan play 'how the eff does this cover fit back on.' It's one of his favorite games. I plan to leave him alone while he is playing.

Then, I plan to spend the rest of the weekend simply keeping myself, Olivia, and baby sister alive. Hopefully I'll cross those items off the to-do list as well.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Big Sister Practice

Olivia is so thrilled about being a big sister. (She has no clue what she's getting herself into). She'll pretend her baby dolls are "baby sister." When she sits in a cart, stroller, high chair, she asks if "baby sister" will be able to sit next to her when she's here. She already wants baby sister to sleep in her big bed with her. Its really sweet. I hope she loves real baby sister as much as she loves hypothetical baby sister.

Takes a sip of her water, and then says that baby sister is thirsty too.

She stopped every ten feet to check on the baby and make sure she had everything she needed. RIP being able to zip my coat.

Babies love to color.

This is a normal scene around our house. Dan and I change more baby doll diapers than Olivia's and they go potty way more than Olivia. You can't tell me this girl isn't ready to be potty trained.

And, lastly, strolling two of her babies, plus "Baby Braxton" aka his birth announcement. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Preparing Family Visits After the Baby

Someone posted this article on Facebook and, for the first time, I didn't feel alone.

Those first few weeks with a newborn are crazy. They are wonderful and crazy and I cried every single day because of how perfect she was - so I know I was a little crazy too. 

We had my parents come for two visits. And then Dans family, being all over the U.S. with different schedules, came in and out - that the first 5 weeks we had someone staying with us or in town to see us almost everyday. 

I was so thrilled to introduce everyone to Olivia - for them to see (and maybe cry over?) how perfect she was. I couldn't wait for people to come in town. But there was always this anxiety. 

Our house was a disaster, and, even though no one cared at all, I thought about it while they were here. 

I was happy eating a protein bar at 9 pm and calling it dinner, but they needed a real meal at a real time. And many were happy to cook it themselves, but kitchen still needed to be cleaned, or, incredibly selfishly, I didn't want to share freezer meals that friends had made, with people who came over. 

I felt like I would get her fed, nursed, changed, finally calm, and then have to hand her over to people who would "hold the baby so I could get showered and some cleaning done." But I  wanted to hold my baby. And I really didn't care about showering. 

The best was the day I showered and washed my hair AND put on make up - and someone said "let me take that baby so you can go shower." Ummm.

I nursed Olivia and would have to take her upstairs and sit alone in the dark nursery trying to keep her calm from all the noises downstairs, while people were watching TV and having dinner. Dan would bring me a plate. I would cry in the dark feeling more lonely than ever. 

I know that hormones had a huge part in how I was feeling - but it was how I was feeling. 

This was my time to sit with my husband and coo over our sweet newborn. To talk about what she would be like (we'd never have guessed all that dark hair would turn so blonde!). But instead, his after work time was spent entertaining people, cleaning the house, throwing in laundry - and then he needed his sleep so I handled all of the middle of the night duties myself.

She would cry and people would question whether I should give her formula, whether I was feeding her correctly, whether we should hold her a certain way - everyone was being super helpful with their advice, but it really just added to my anxiety.

I regret not having told people how I was feeling. I know they all wanted to help - and would have accommodated if I just spoke up. I'll never have one newborn again. Life will be crazy because we will have Olivia and another little one, and that peaceful evening cooing over a newborn will be rare. I feel like I missed out on that chance in my life.

This go round we have so many of the same caring people offering to help with Olivia - help make dinners - etc. And with a toddler, I might be crazy in thinking that I don't want the help. But with those offers came that flood of anxiety. 

This time, we have told everyone that four days is all we want to plan for. That maybe we'll call them saying "nevermind - SOS - come back!" And I know I will be so thrilled to introduce her to everyone - and let them hold that sweet bundle - and will probably take them up on a shower offer whenever I can. 

But there will be time for me, Dan, AND Olivia to coo over baby sister. And for me to sit there in sweatpants in our disaster of a living room, crying over how perfect she is - with Olivia looking at me concerned saying "mama, otay?"

I had friends who wanted their families to stay for months. That with all of these offers of help, I thought I was the crazy one who wanted to turn it down. This article made me realize that everyone is different. Everyone handles the crazy newborn stage differently. And  what is 'helpful' all depends on the individual.

But telling them what I need - what is most helpful - has been the biggest relief of all. That I will get time to settle into life as family of four - sweatpants, dirty living rooms, and fruit snacks for dinner. And that we do have wonderful family members who will drop anything for that SOS call when we just can't handle it anymore. 

Was anyone else in a similar boat, or did you all just want all the help you could get?

Monday, January 25, 2016

Olivia's Second Birthday

Wanted to share this little story and pictures. We had her party just a few days prior to her actual birthday. On her birthday, my mom came in town, and we knew we had to do a little cake for her to blow out a candle.

I had bible study (Olivia comes too) and had to rush home with a hungry toddler. We stopped in the grocery store to get a little cake. I saw one covered in sprinkles, went to grab it and Olivia yells "NOOOOO." So I tell her, okay what do you want? Silence. I offer all the different cakes, ice cream cakes, cookies, brownies. She yells no at all of them. I tell her "Olivia - today is your birthday. We have to pick something to put a candle in so we can sing you happy birthday and you can blow out your candle." She SPRINTS to the cinnamon rolls and says "here go!"

So, cinnamon roll with a candle it was.

She must have remembered her first birthday and she immediately stuck her face in it.

When we asked her how old she was, she said "TWO" holding up both thumbs and pointer fingers. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

37 Weeks

Still feeling great. I am craving fruit and eating giant bowls of berries. Why are they so good right now? I don't think they are in season.

The hospital bag is packed and so is Olivia's bag. There's a good chance my parents won't make it on time and Dan will be entertaining Olivia in the waiting room while I deliver this child. But what can you do? 

I'm feeling pretty ready for this baby. 

Excluding the name front. We don't even have a list. We toss around names. And we'll agree that a name is pretty and then a few weeks later one person no longer likes the name at all. We at least had 5 first names going into the hospital with Olivia. This time could be interesting. It's just so hard for me to name a baby that isn't here yet. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Thanksgiving 2015

In the interest of catching up ...

We went to Atlanta for Thanksgiving to my parent's house. It was so wonderful. Olivia loved being with her Papa and Doda (we can't quite figure out what she says for grandma .. for some reason she avoids using a name if at all possible). 

They had the basement decked out with her little toys, and added a tunnel with a ball pit this year. She would constantly say "come'on papa, balls!" and make him go play with her. Then, she would have to clean up all of the balls, because this girl likes everything in its place.

She got to see her cousins - they all just adore each other, that wish we could see them more often. 

The food was delicious, and I may or may not have eaten apple pie for breakfast. 

My mom made the cutest turkey cheese plate for the day after Thanksgiving. 

And, of course, Olivia spent most of the time trying to steal her grandma's shoes. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

36 Weeks

I feel great. Now that Olivia has been back in school - it's given me a break from chasing her around half the day. I feel like I can actually make it through these last few weeks.

My ultrasound this past week showed that the baby was 6.5 pounds, which is about half a pound bigger than Olivia at this point. They think she'll be anywhere from 7.5 to 8.5. Olivia was 8 - so my guess is she will be on the higher end of that range. 

I told Dan, can you believe this baby is already the size of an average newborn. He looked directly at my stomach "yes. I can." Thanks.

In our free time ;) we're just focusing on washing all the baby clothes and getting the hospital bag packed. There's really not a whole lot to do to prepare for the second. 

Olivia is so excited though. Anytime there is an open seat she will say "when baby sister gets here, she will sit here?!" 

And any time the door bell rings, for some reason she yells "Mama! Dada! Baby sister is hereeeeeee!" and runs to the door. I'm not sure if she thinks we Amazon Prime-ed her little sister. But it's always a disappointment when I tell her baby sister is still in mama's belly. 

Maybe she's hoping for free returns if it's not all its cracked up to be.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Halloween 2015

Again, a little late on this one. 

Olivia carved our pumpkin with her dad. She ran into her play kitchen to get a knife to "help" him. When it came to scooping out the seeds, they both got grossed out and mom had to step in. 

Olivia went as a lady bug. She was pumped to get candy. But the shy little thing that she is, she wasn't thrilled about having to speak or see people to get it. She didn't want pictures. There were also other kids out and about, and she wanted to stare at them instead of smiling. She got frustrated and ripped most of her dots off before I could capture many pictures. But at least the costume is documented.

She did great! She made her little friend Adrian do the door bell ringing. She was super shy and quiet the first few houses (which took about 45 minutes, toddler paced). And then she totally got the hang of it once it was late and most people had put away their candy. We have some pretty cute videos.

We had a bonfire in the driveway afterward - ate a ton of candy, and roasted pumpkin seeds. No crazy costumes for Dan and I this year - but it was a fun laid back Halloween.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Apple Picking 2015

This was awhile ago. But wanted to get the pictures up. Sweet Olivia had a blast - she still talks about going. "Apple. I pick apples. Mama and Dada pick apples too. I eat donuts." I think she did a great job summarizing the trip. 

It was pretty muddy, so we pulled her around in the wagon. She played on the playground for quite awhile, and we had brought lunch and picnic-ed while she was playing. 

We couldn't call it a day without some apple cider donuts (and my pregnant self standing in a 30 minute line for them) - and a picture next to the growth chart. Its always my favorite day in the fall and this year didn't disappoint. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Christmas Family Photos

I have been the worst about getting blog posts up. I had a moment when I realized that Olivia went from saying "wah wah" to "water" without us ever getting "wah wah" on video. She's growing up so fast, and I feel like the blog is the only way we will remember these little things. So I have got to be better about posting. Something tells me that adding another little girl in the mix will only make things harder.

But - I wanted to quickly pull together the family pictures we took for the Christmas cards. Family pictures are always so hard. We had a few recommendations of places to go from "photographers" (quotes because they CAN'T have known what they were talking about). There was so much dappled light from the sunny day and trees. 

We finally found one spot, in a parking lot (not the background I was going for) Olivia was STARVING and the brownie in the car could only be used as a bribe so many times. I'm bummed we didn't get a full family shot to get the belly in it. And after stumbling around in high heels all morning, that they never made any of the pictures. But we had a crying toddler on our hands and had to hurry out. Why do family pictures always end up being a mess of a day? But having these pictures with our precious girl is priceless.