Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Its a...

Happy Leap Day everyone! Today is an uneventful day for this family, Lon and I both work so we don't have anything really planned. Alan and I did some more cleaning and organizing (I reluctantly got rid of all of Alan's baby clothes, won't have use for those) but other than that, nothing exciting.

However, I DO have some exciting news for you, my dear blog readers. :D

Profile shot of baby

Yesterday at one, we had my ultrasound appointment. Lon, Alan and I all went together. Let me tell you, it was quite the adventure having a toddler come to an appointment like that with you lol. He was a handful! He was interested in the ultrasound at first, then wanted to run around the room and play the rest of the time. Thankfully, he fell asleep on Lon halfway through the appointment.

Baby's Face

I had two technicians who did my ultrasound and then the doctor who checked me out afterwards. I guess the first was there to gather all the information on Baby and the second was there to show me all the fun photos and that good stuff, but no one told me this lol. So when the first technician took forever looking at Baby's heart, I got anxious. But after cautiously asking her, I was reassured that Baby's heart looked perfectly healthy and she was only following her routine checklist. *Huge sigh* She told me that everything looked developmentally great and Baby was measuring right where it should be. Yay! Then it was time for the fun part.

Little baby feet!

The second technician took her turn and started showing us Baby's face, little arms and legs, and the feet. She also took a few 4D photos of Baby for us. Looking at them, I think that Baby will look a lot like Lon, just like Alan does. :) She then asked the special question of the day, "Do you want to know the sex of Baby?"

4D Photo

We answered with an excited "YES!" and she told us the news.

Another profile shot of Baby

Can you handle the suspense yet lol??? We are having...

A GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!

We are very shocked but extremely excited! I haven't stopped smiling since we got the news. :) Alan is confused (he is still calling her brother lol) but happy as well. I showed him the pictures again last night and he keeps talking about them. "Baby pictures? Baby Belly pictures, Mommy?"

And Lon, my husband who so badly wanted another son, is surprisingly on cloud 9 lol. He is very happy to have his own baby girl to spoil and protect, and has already picked out her name. But that is for another post lol. :)

So, how many of you were right? When I had last tallied my votes, both boy and girl were pretty evenly matched. I am honestly still in shock. I thought this baby was going to be a boy and we would try for our girl with Baby #3, but I was blessed with my beautiful future ballerina now! :D Oh I can't wait to meet her! Hurry up, last 20 weeks of pregnancy lol!

If you liked this post and this blog, please click on the link below to vote for my blog at Top Baby Blogs. In only about a week I have dropped from the 300s down to Number 296! Thanks to everyone who is voting for me!

Vote For Us @ topbabyblogs.com!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Pregnancy Post: Week by Week! Week 20

Halfway there! Waaaaaaaahooooooooo!!!! :D I honestly cannot believe that it has gone by so fast, it seems like just the other day I got that positive test. And now we only have 20 more weeks (if we go full term, which I believe we will) until we meet our little one! :D

Today is also an exciting day for my pregnancy and my family. We have my twenty week ultrasound scheduled at one, and we will be finding out the gender!!!!!! We are hoping for a boy, but will be elated as long as baby is healthy. I just can't wait to find out! I am ready to start buying gender specific things! You, my wonderful readers, will find out tomorrow asap! But for now, comment on this post what you think we are having. Boy or girl?????

Here's my 20 week post!



Via


How far along: 20 weeks and 2 days

Size of Baby: 10 1/2 ounces and 6 1/2 inches long or the size of a can of Red Bull

Developments of Baby: Baby's organs are adjusting to their correct placements. Kidneys have developed to look like their normal "bean" shape. Teeth are beginning to appear in the gums and Baby now practices swallowing. They now have a consistent sleep and rise pattern, and may even have already found their favorite sleeping position. Baby's main focus now is gaining weight! 

Weight Gain: A total of thirteen pounds

Belly Button In or Out: Still in, thank goodness :)

Maternity Clothes: I broke down this weekend and bought some, but have yet to actually wear them! I'm sure it'll happen before the end of this week though, I only can find one pair of non-maternity pants that I can wear lol!

Morning Sickness: Had terrible morning sickness the other morning, but the night before we had mexican so. Most of the time, as long as I get in my Vitamin B6 pill before I get sick then I am good.

Stretch Marks: Still only the few that I found the other week.

Gender: We find out today!!! Any guesses???? :D

Movement: Tons of movement in the morning and night. I think Baby sleeps in the afternoon and early morning, because the rest of the time he/she is kicking up a storm! Very active, just like their big brother! 

Sleep: Sleep is still a joke. Starting to think that I won't get a break before Baby comes. Oh well, I'll be used to the sleep deprivation by then! Positive thinking lol! :) 

Best Moment This Week: Finding out Baby's gender and seeing Baby for the first time ever!!!

What I miss: Being able to eat spicy food, I could do it when I was pregnant with Alan. Why not with this one? Poo!

Food Cravings: Salmon, cheeseburgers, cheesecake, pizza, Laffy Taffy, tacos, Cool Ranch Doritios, Starburst, Skittles, Snickers, chocolate, cake lol, tator tots, chai tea, milkshakes, Salt and Vinegar chips, grilled cheese sandwiches, and definitely lasanga lol!

Food Aversions: Eggs, my husband's AWFUL beef jerkeys, salad or lettuce in general, spicy or Mexican food and raw meat. Yuck to the extreme!

Symptoms: Morning sickness, feeling weak or light-headed, round ligament pain, all around exhaustion, the need to pee ALL the time lol, out of breath easily, food aversions and nausea, major forgetfulness, odd dreams, heightened sense of smell, lower back pains, cluster headaches, leg and butt cramps, overly emotional at times (gotta love pregnancy hormones!)

What I’m looking forward to: Finding out the gender at one!!!!!! AHHHHHHH!!!!! :D

What I'm not looking forward to: Still the Glucose test. My midwife gave me a month for it finally, ugh. :( Its in April. No likey!

Here are my belly pics for this week. I am expanding more and more each day! Thanks to my workout schedule it just seems to be in the belly area, yes! But now people are noticing on their own! Big milestone for me there lol (I'm not normally one to just yell it from the rooftops lol, most people have to ask so now that they notice it'll be easier)!

20 weeks and 1 day



So now here's the fun part: everyone comment and tell me what you think...

Boy or Girl???????

Monday, February 27, 2012

Our Weekend Adventures

Happy Monday everyone!

I am in a great mood today! Lon works from 8 to 2, so Alan and I cleaned the house some (Alan helped me with his toys mostly). Then I work in Child Watch from 4 to 8. I am very excited for tomorrow, when we have our twenty week ultrasound and find out the gender of Baby Andersen #2! :D We can't wait! We had a somewhat busy weekend. Saturday morning was mostly uneventful, as poor Lon was really sick. That afternoon, I had to host a birthday party at the YMCA and then we had a dinner with my parent's and grandparents.

We went over there around 6. Lon stayed home because he still was feeling sick and didn't want to get my grandparents sick with anything. Alan and I hadn't seen my grandparents since we told them about the pregnancy on Christmas Eve so we were pretty excited. As soon as Great Grandpa Louie sat down, Alan was in his lap, showing him just about every toy he had in the house lol. Then he went over and told Great Grandma Marcia a bunch of stories and even counted to sixteen for her! She was quite proud.

For dinner, my parents made ribs with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes, baked beans, and coleslaw on the side. It was absolutely delicious! The meat just fell of the ribs and I just kept eating and eating lol. :P Unfortunately, the Mr. Picky Pants Alan Man didn't touch a single bite. :( So we made him and peanut butter and jelly sandwich lol. Oh well, you can't always win! :) For dessert we had chocolate ice cream and Snickers cream cake. Total yum! Alan sure liked that part lol, he ate half of Great Grandpa Louie's as well as his and mine! Little piggy!

We had a great time having dinner with my family. My grandma was very excited to find out the gender tomorrow and is convinced I am having a girl lol. We will see. :P Then Sunday came morning came and I made the boys waffles and scrambled eggs (I know and with my food aversion to eggs), which we had oranges, strawberries and bananas with. Alan thankfully had no problem eating this meal, he had seconds! We watched several movies together until it was time for Alan and I to get ready for Apryl's baby shower.

Apryl's baby shower was quite fun, even though Alan was the only kid/boy there lol. We were a little late because I got lost, but I found a park to take Alan to afterwards as a treat for behaving at the shower. Apryl was so happy to see us and she thought Alan was adorable, even though he was too shy to talk to her. I think he was also a little confused because she has the same name as Aunt April. When I told him that Apryl has a baby in her belly, he gave me a weird look and said, "No mama. Aunt April no baby in belly!" So that took a while to explain lol. :P

We played two games at the shower. A game where you guess how many baby bottles are in a container (108, I guessed 28 lol. Fail!) and another game where you finish the nursery rhymes the fastest to win (with this one, I had to keep chasing Alan around so I only got 4 out of 10 lol). But they were really fun anyways. The baby shower host noticed I was having issues entertaining the little wild monkey lol, so she offered me several things: a few balloons for Alan to play with and a "puppy dog" bowl, as Alan called it, with snacks. She was my life-saver lol!

Alan playing with the balloon (I love the reflection caught in this pic!)

Eating like a puppy out of his bowl lol

After the games, we had cake. Alan loved the cake, of course lol, he ate his whole slice and half of mine! He then went over to Miss Apryl herself and started propositioning her for some bites! What a little piggy lol! Apryl found it just hilarious and adorable, I was glad she was such a good sport. :) Once we had finished cake, Apryl started opening her massive amount of gifts.

I was a little apprehensive about this and not sure how Alan would react. The last time he watched someone open presents (Christmas Day), he threw a huge fit because he couldn't help and they weren't his. We had had a discussion about it in the car, me basically telling him about Apryl's special day and how Alan wouldn't even want the gifts that she had because they were for babies and he was a big boy. But sure enough, he hovered and stood right next to her for most of the presents and he DIDN'T fuss or try and open anything. I was very proud of him! :) However, he quickly realized what I was talking about in the car and got bored with watching presents. He started trying to explore the community center again. So I pulled out his cars and got him interested in the fake plant next to me. And he sat there, playing, while Apryl finished opening her gifts.

Alan's new buddy: the Fake Plant :)

After the presents, I got a chance to sit down with Apryl and chat with her some. It had been quite a while since I had talked to her and even longer since I had actually seen her! I worked with Apryl when I was pregnant with Alan, almost three years ago lol! It was nice catching up. :) Then Alan discovered one of the helium balloons and he started walking it around like a puppy. Everyone thought he was so cute and funny, they were all laughing and talking about him. He accidentally walked the balloon into a ceiling fan and that scared him real bad, so he spent the rest of his time with the balloon keeping it low to the ground lol. :P

The center of attention, as usual lol

Then it was time to go. Alan had behaved well enough, so I took him to run around at the park for a few minutes. We got there and all the playground equipment was for bigger kids! What a disappointment! :( I kept him busy anyways by having him chase me all around the park. Let me tell you, I think it was more exhausting for me than him lol! But thankfully it did the job and he fell asleep on the ride home.

I left Alan at home to nap with Lon, and then met up with my family at the mall to do some shopping. I finally did it! I bought some maternity clothes lol! I had been in denial about my expanding belly all last week until Friday when I couldn't fit my regular jeans on. So yesterday, I bought two pairs of pants and two cute dressy shirts for this pregnancy. Haven't worn them yet though lol. :P

Once Alan had woken up from his nap, we went out to dinner with my family at Dos Machos. It was the perfect way to close a great family weekend together! :)

Tomorrow is Baby Gender Day, but you fine blog readers won't find out until Wednesday. So tune in tomorrow for this week's Pregnancy Post and place your guesses on the gender!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Five Question Friday! February 24, 2012

Happy Friday everyone! Today is another quite busy day for Alan and I. We are meeting Kelsie and Kelton at the YMCA for Open Kids Gym again, and then we are looking at several potential rentals later with Lon. This weekend I also have my old coworker Apryl's baby shower. Pretty fun weekend!

Here's this week's Five Question Friday!




What's your favorite way to spend down time (alone or with a significant other)?
I like to read, meditate, stretch, do yoga or pilates, draw, blog or scrapbook.

Are you the kind of person that wants things more as soon as you know you can't have it?
No not at all. I am a Buddhist, so I am not materialistic and have trained myself to not desire items. I only desire peace, positive energy and love.

If you were given $1000 to spend on yourself, what would you buy?
I honestly wouldn't no what to spend it on, if I had to spend it all on myself. Now if I could spend it on my family, the things would be endless. Stuff for Baby, a toddler bed for Alan, maybe something for Lon and I's cars.

Maybe something like this for him...


Via


Practical things though. :)

Do you ever go out to eat by yourself?
No that would be weird lol. I don't even think I have ever had the chance to go out to eat by myself. I always have Alan or Lon with me, or both. But I think it would be awkward going out alone. I would just sit there and not know what to do lol. :P I need to socialize!

What company would you want to do a blog review for?
Erm, maybe Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula for Stretch Marks or the Moby Wrap. I would of course have to wait until Baby came before I tested the Moby Wrap, but it is one of my must haves for this baby so! :)


Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula for Stretch Marks

Via




Moby Baby Wraps

Via


Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! I am pretty excited to spend time with my family this weekend, we should have a fantastic one! As usual. :D Tune in on Monday for the Our Weekend Adventures Post! And remember, Tuesday is Baby Gender Day so I will be posting the gender on here next Wednesday. Exciting things to come! :) If you liked this post and this blog, please click on the link below to vote for my blog at Top Baby Blogs. Thanks!


Vote For Us @ topbabyblogs.com!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pregnancy Meditation Revisted, A Courthouse Trip, and Midwife Appointment

About a month ago, I wrote about meditation during pregnancy. At the time, I was really interested in the book Pregnancy Meditations: 36 Weekly Practices for Bonding with your Unborn Baby by Michelle Leclaire O'Neill. However, through my searches around town and online for a nicely priced book (new copies with the cd ran about $99 a pop, ouch) I found a much better book written by the same woman! It is called Nine Glorious Months: Daily Meditations and Reflections for your Pregnancy. Here is what this book looks like:




Via


Here is an example of what some of these week's mantra's were.

Yesterday's Mantra:
Spirals of hair are developing on your skull; the main one is at the crown of your head. Do draw in the heavenly forces. May your body be filled with a divine energy, your own true self.

Today's Mantra:
Now you also have soft, fine hair on your back and arms and legs. A gentle furry creature you are.

Tomorrow's Mantra:
Your soft covering of hair has a name. It is known as laungo. So fine and downy it is. You'll probably shed it in your first week of life.

Well I purchased this book, and yesterday I received it in the mail! It is exactly like the other book, but instead of weekly mantras relating to your baby's development it has daily mantras. Love it, love it, love it! Couldn't wait until later that night when I got a chance to try it out.

After work, I meditated with the book for a half hour and it was better than I ever thought it could be! Baby  actually was kicking my hand on my belly while I was meditating, it was such a glorious experience! I loved it so much! Once I had finished meditating, I did some yoga to stretch my body out and prepare myself for bed. What a perfect way to calm down from the day and to connect with Baby! Oh I just love it, I can't wait for tonight's journey.

Today before my midwife appointment, Alan and I had to go to the courthouse to renew my vehicle registration. I had almost forgotten about doing it this year, and was endlessly grateful when they sent me a second reminder for it in the mail. I was a little apprehensive about going with Alan, because the vehicle registration area of the courthouse if infamous for being crowded and taking forever. I was not in the mood for this, but I prepared none the less. I packed crayons, a notebook, extra cars, a snack, and a special treat for if he behaved well. We also planned on having to spend two hours there so I went extra early in the morning. But our experience there was nothing but fast and enjoyable!

We got inside and there was only one other couple there, so I took my number and was seen immediately! No need to take out any of the hidden toys lol! Alan was great about standing next to me at the desk, even though I couldn't hold his hand the whole time. He was quiet and polite, the ladies there loved him. :) They even gave him his OWN treat, so that mine could be saved for later. Score! He even said please and thank you to them! Then as we were leaving, Alan discovered the old fashioned looking telephone booths and wanted to explore it. Since he was so well behaved, I let him and took the chance to snap some cute little photos of him lol. You'd think I could actually get him to smile for the camera though, fail! Oh well, they are super cute pics still!

Alan checking out the phone cord

My attempt at getting him to smile and say cheese

Relaxing in the booth

I am so glad that it was so easy for me to take Alan with me, made my day a lot better! :) After going to the courthouse, we grabbed a quick lunch and then I took Alan to daycare so I could go to my midwife appointment. I was nervous about him being there without me, but was later told he did a wonderful job! My midwife appointment was routine and fairly short. The nurse checked my blood pressure and she had to check twice because the first time she couldn't find my pulse. It was a little low 94/151 but she assured me it wasn't anything to worry too much about, unless it became common. Then my midwife came in again. She measured my belly, and I measured 20 weeks instead of only 19. Then we listened to Baby's heartbeat. It took a moment to find it because Baby was moving around A TON, but when she did it was a normal 140 beats. Then we discussed the upcoming ultrasound next week and what to expect in the next month. A short but sweet appointment. Once Alan and I got home from everything, I popped in Cars and the three of us snuggled. We ended up falling asleep for several hours, and then woke up to eat dinner lol. :P We went out to eat at the Alpine with my parent's. What a busy but great day! :)

Toddler Talk Thursday! February 23, 2012

Today is my midwife appointment, and before that I have to go to the courthouse with Alan to get my vehicle registration renewed. I am worried about having him with me, but I know if I am prepared we will be okay. :)

I'm participating in Toddler Talk Thursdays again. Here is this week's post. :) Enjoy!









Here are the Link- up Suggestions:

1. We ask that you follow all three hosts.That way you can keep up to date on future Toddler Talks.
2. Feel free grab the Toddler Talk Button and display it in your post or on your blog.
3. Stop in to other blogs that are linking up.Leave a meaningful comment if you visit, and follow if you would like.
4. If you have a topic you would like to suggest, please leave it in the comments sections of this post!
5. If you want to post the link up on your blog – please do! Maybe we can draw in more people to participate and share tips!!

This Week's Topic:
Your toddler's favorite songs

Alan is really into singing your basic "hand gesture" songs, for example the Itzy Bitzy Spider and Patty Cake and Little Bunny FooFoo or even Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. We do quite a lot of them at Child Watch and Alan has learned them over the year he has spent there. He has started to even get a hang out do the gestures with the songs. He also knows his ABCs, Old McDonald and Bingo.

He also enjoys a lot of songs from his favorite television shows, like Pirate Rock from Jake and the Neverland Pirates or Elmo's Song from Elmo's World and Seasame Street. He will sing along with them and dance. Silly boy. :)






Via


Idea for Next Week's Topic:
What are you doing to prepare your child for preschool?

Last week, I signed up for Top Baby Blogs. I am currently at Number 325, 60 less than just two days ago. Thanks everyone who voted! I just need more votes now! :) If you like this blog, please click on the link below to vote for my blog. Thanks!




Vote For Us @ topbabyblogs.com!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Pregnancy Post: Week by Week! Week 19

This week is kinda a busy one for us. Yesterday wasn't too busy, but today I have to clean the whole house and sort through Alan's clothes. We are moving him from the size 24 months to 2Ts or 3Ts now because his little arms and legs are so long lol! Tomorrow I have my midwife appointment, and Friday Alan has his play date at Open Kids Gym and then we are looking at several potential apartments for rent. Saturday I don't have too much planned except for a friend's Scentsy party that I will try to make it too, but Sunday is one of my old coworker's baby shower. Phew! :) Hopefully every night I will be so exhausted from the day that I won't have any problem falling asleep! Hopefully. :)

Here's my nineteenth week Pregnancy Post! Enjoy everyone!






Via


How far along: 19 weeks and 3 days

Size of Baby: 10 1/2 ounces and 10 1/2 inches long or the size of a large tomato

Developments of Baby: Arms and legs are finally proportional to each other and the rest of the body now. Baby is covered in vernix, a white, cheesy "cream" that protects her skin from the long bath in amniotic fluid. The hair on their scalp is growing. 

Weight Gain: A total of eleven pounds

Belly Button In or Out: Still in, thank goodness :) 

Maternity Clothes: Probably next week, my pants are pretty tight today! :)

Morning Sickness: Had some this morning, had some yesterday morning. But last week I had almost none. *Sigh* I think it will be back and forth like this for a while. Oh well.

Stretch Marks: I am starting to see some light stretch marks on my belly. :( Guess I really started growing this week.

Gender: Only a week til we find out!!!!!!! :D

Movement: Baby has started kicking up a storm. If I put pressure on my belly, they will punch and kick rapidly until I move lol. Seems earlier than when Alan did that... :)

Sleep: Sleep is just awful. I toss and turn, never finding that comfortable spot to rest on. I don't wanna talk about it anymore, it depresses me lol.

Best Moment This Week: Alan kisses my belly goodnight when he gave us our kisses. This boy melts my heart!!

What I miss: Not constantly being uncomfortable. I feel like I am either achy or sore or crampy or nauseous  or just blah in general. Its only started though! 

Food Cravings: Salmon, cheeseburgers, cheesecake, pizza, Laffy Taffy, tacos, Cool Ranch Doritios, Starburst, Skittles, Snickers, chocolate, tator tots, chai tea, milkshakes, Salt and Vinegar chips, grilled cheese sandwiches, and definitely lasanga lol!

Food Aversions: Eggs, my husband's AWFUL beef jerkeys, salad or lettuce in general, and raw meat. Yuck to the extreme!

Symptoms: Morning sickness, feeling weak or light-headed, round ligament pain, all around exhaustion, the need to pee ALL the time lol, out of breath easily, food aversions and nausea, major forgetfulness, odd dreams, heightened sense of smell, lower back pains, cluster headaches, leg and butt cramps, overly emotional at times (gotta love pregnancy hormones!)

What I’m looking forward to: Seeing the midwives tomorrow. Alan will be coming with me and I am very excited to see his reaction to hearing the heartbeat!

What I'm not looking forward to: Glucose test, its only nine weeks away now! :(

Here are my belly pics for this week. I don't like the front views, but they are a necessary evil lol. :P You can really start to see my bump though!


19 weeks and 2 days

I hope everyone has a great day! Mine will be busy but I plan on making it a good one still!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Preparing Older Siblings for a New Baby

The other day I was at work with Alan. He was running around the room, yelling and terrorizing like he normally does lol. I had a coworker come up to me and ask me if I was nervous for when the new baby comes. Confused, I asked her why. What she said kinda offended me, but only really because I am pretty hormonal right now. She said that because of how active of a toddler Alan already was and quickly paused searching for better words to use. I told her she had permission to call my son a wild child because that's what he was. She laughed and said that she was just concerned that I might have my hands full with a toddler like Alan and a new baby. I told her we would be fine, by that time Alan would be almost three years old and would be going to preschool in the fall. But it really kinda bothered me. To me it seemed like she didn't want to directly say Alan was wild, and why she would even be concerned in the first place? I work at a daycare and have dealt with multiple babies and toddlers before. Or was it not me she was really concerned about?

But I'm hormonal, and thankfully I realize that. So I have just chalked it up to me looking into it too much. No biggie lol. However, it does give me a wonderful topic to write about.

I am actually not at all worried about how Alan will react to the new baby because Lon and I have already started talking to him about it. There are some specific things that we have already done or plan on doing, to help Alan understand this new chapter of our life. I am also going to post some other ideas as well, ones that don't work for my family but maybe will work for your family. So enjoy and feel free to comment any other ideas you mamas have!

*** One of the easiest things you can do to prepare your child(ren) for the new baby is get them books, DVDs or sign them up for Big Sibling classes. Alan is too young for Big Sibling classes (most places will require the children to be at least 3) but we got him the Elmo's World Babies, Dogs and more DVD.








Via


We also ordered Alan the What to Expect When Mommy's Having a Baby book on Amazon. We have yet to receive it but we can't wait to read it to him!








Via


*** The next step, is talking with your child(ren) about the baby as if it was your child's as well as yours and your husband's. Refer to baby as "your baby" or even "our baby" when around your child. This makes your child feel more involved in the pregnancy, and even in the raising of your new one. Alan already calls our baby his. :) Its one of my favorite things to hear lol.

*** When you next go to your OBGYN or midwife, ask them when it would be appropriate to bring your child to an appointment. It is recommended normally only for children over two, but taking your child(ren) with you to your doctor appointments and even the ultrasounds can be very beneficial to older siblings. They get the chance to hear baby's heartbeat and even see baby on a screen! This definitely helps make things more real for them.

*** If your child is a girl, or your husband is not so against it like mine is lol, give your child a baby doll set to practice on. This should include the baby, clothing and a diaper, and a bottle. Let your child pack the baby around places like you would, and encourage them to take care of their baby. Show them how to properly change their baby and feed their baby. If you plan on breastfeeding, explain to your child that baby will get food from another way than just the bottle. From mommy. Like I mentioned above, Lon is totally against this idea lol. He still thinks dolls are only for girls. :P My silly husband!

*** As your due date nears, try these fun little crafts with your child. Together the two of you can make a Countdown Calendar for baby's due date, and then be sure to check it with your child each day. You can also get together a Big Sibling Pack, something that will have all the things a big sibling would need. Pick the items out together and pack the bag. Things like crayons, coloring books, cars or small dolls are good ideas, as well as extra wipes for baby (to help mama out, your child will love this idea) or even a diaper and an extra outfit! Don't forget to have your child take her Big Sibling Pack with her when you go to the hospital.

*** Another thing that we plan on doing with Alan to prepare him for Baby is taking him shopping to get Baby a present for when he/she comes. Have your child pick out the gift, help you wrap it, make a special card together, and be sure to have them bring it with them when they come to visit you and Baby in the hospital.  You should pick out a special gift for them as well and wrap it, from Baby. These gifts should be exchanged during the first meeting together.

*** I am also planning on having no one else present when I have my children's first meeting. Only Lon and my mother, who will be caring for Alan while I labor and deliver. I want their first meeting to be personal and special for everyone, and this will become a challenge if I have several other guests wanting to meet Baby at the same time. I want a good hour of us alone, as a whole family finally, before anyone else can come in. Sounds maybe a little greedy, but I know how small those hospital rooms are and I know how fast they can become a stress zone. Plus remember this is Alan's Baby too. :)

Is there anything else you did to help prepare your child(ren) for the new baby's arrival? Please comment below and let me know! I love new ideas! :D

Last week, I signed up for Top Baby Blogs. I started out way high up at Number 386, but that's to be expected lol. I just need more votes now! :) If you like this blog, please click on the link below to vote for my blog. Thanks!



Vote For Us @ topbabyblogs.com!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Five Question Friday! February 17, 2012

So I chickened out today and didn't take Alan to Open Kids Gym lol. I was still exhausted and didn't really wanna chase him around. But my siblings are out of school until Tuesday, so hopefully we will do something fun with them later today. If I am feeling up to it lol. I seriously have been so beat lately, its sad. I don't think it helps having a wild toddler to chase everywhere either. Oh well.

Here's this week's Five Question Friday!






What do you do when you are really upset to calm yourself down?

I meditate or do yoga and pilates. A lot of the times my stresses seem so huge and awful, when they are actually small and petty. Meditating helps me realize this fast and clears my mind. Which has worked wonders for me during my super crazy, hormonal times. I feel like I would be a lot more unbearable if I didn't meditate as much as I do.




Via


Do you go all out for V-day or is it just another day?

It is just really another day for us. I've never been super materialistic so the idea of gift giving for Valentine's Day seems pointless to me. I would way rather get a handmade, thoughtfully written card and have a nice dinner with my husband for Valentine's Day than anything. This year, we made cards for whoever Alan wanted us to and then went out to dinner. Lon did get me flowers, candy and a laptop but I would have been okay if he had just given me his love. :)

Are you more or less productive when Hubs is away?

Before I was pregnant, I believe that I was more productive when Lon is out of the house. I would start cleaning one thing, then go on to the next and the next, and before I knew it the whole house would be cleaned. However now that I am pregnant, I feel that I have become less productive when he leaves. Its become an adventure just caring for Alan now. And it will only get better too lol...

What is your favorite time of day and why?

Between two and four, the couple of hours that Lon and I get to spend together once he is off of work for the day and before I have to go to work myself. Some days, that is the only time I get to see him except for when we are sleeping. We don't ever do anything but hang out with Alan and watch tv, but I cherish every moment that I get to spend with him. And he gives me a break with taking care of Alan!

What is your go to karaoke song?

Uhhh... Can I say that I don't do karaoke?

But I guess if I had to choose one it would probably have to be "Wannabe" by the Spice Girls.



Via


Lol I know, totally ridiculous song! But if I am already having to do karaoke, thing I will choose a ridiculous song that I can easily remember the words too. I used to sing that song over and over like all the time when I was twelve lol. And lastly, don't hate! The Spice Girls are awesome and you know it! :P

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Pregnancy Post: Week by Week! Week 18

For some odd reason today, I was just absolutely exhausted! I slept in until ten and still took two naps! I dunno what got into me, but I am glad that Alan behaved well and wasn't too difficult for me today. I hope tomorrow I have more energy, I want to try and take Alan to Open Kids Gym in the morning and I work for a couple hours at night. Since I don't have too much more to post about, here's the late Pregnancy Post for this week. Enjoy!








Via


How far along: 18 weeks and 4 days

Size of Baby: 6 ounces and 6 inches long or the size of a grapefruit

Developments of Baby: Baby's nerves are making more and more complex connections. The sense of smell, taste, sight and hearing are all developing. A protective covering of myelin (this makes nerve connections travel faster) is beginning to form around Baby's nerves, a process that will continue for a year after they are born. If you're having a girl, her uterus and fallopian tubes are formed and in place. If you're having a boy, his genitals are noticeable now, but he may hide them from you during an ultrasound. Your baby's ears are now facing forward and are completely formed so they can actually hear you talking now. This week is also the beginning of ossification. Ossification is a fancy word for hardening of Baby's bones.

Weight Gain: A total of 8 pounds, yes!

Belly Button in or out: Still in, but with Alan it never popped out. Just got super grossly close lol. :P

Maternity Clothes: Not yet, but in maybe a few weeks! I feel like you can really see my belly this week and my pants are starting to get snug. :D

Morning Sickness: Not constant anymore, but when it hits me it hits me HARD!

Stretch Marks: No new stretch marks that I can see! Maybe my Palmer's Belly Butter regimen is working for me this time around! :D

Gender: Only twelve more days until we find out!!! Oh my goodness, I can't believe its only that far away!

Movement: So that night after I posted my Movement update for the PP Week 17 post, I actually felt movement! Little popcorn pops in my belly! :D I am so excited to feel it finally, it feels exactly the same way I remember it feeling. Yay! 

Sleep: Its been alright, only I have a new issue to fight with every night. My ever growing belly. Ugh I toss and turn waaaaaaaaaay more than I originally did and can never seem to find a position both is comfortable and works for my belly. I need a belly pillow I think!

Best Moment This Week: When Alan told me he wanted to make Baby a Valentine's Day card. :) He is already so invested in his little brother/sister and it is so sweet!

What I miss: My sleep! Lol I know I have already posted this once, but I am really missing sleep. Bed please be my friend tonight!

Food Cravings: Salmon, cheeseburgers, cheesecake, pizza, Laffy Taffy, tacos, Cool Ranch Doritios, Starburst, Skittles, Snickers, chocolate, tator tots, chai tea, milkshakes, Sour Cream and Onion chips, grilled cheese sandwiches, and definitely lasanga lol!

Food Aversions: Eggs, my husband's AWFUL beef jerkeys, salad or lettuce in general, and raw meat. Yuck to the extreme!

Symptoms: Morning sickness, feeling weak or light-headed, round ligament pain, all around exhaustion, the need to pee ALL the time lol, out of breath easily, food aversions and nausea, major forgetfulness, odd dreams, heightened sense of smell, cluster headaches, leg and butt cramps, overly emotional at times (gotta love pregnancy hormones!)

What I’m looking forward to: My next doctor's appointment next week. Its always nice to check up on Baby and to see my midwives again.

What I'm not looking forward to: More possible morning sickness. Can it be over soon please??????

Here are some belly pictures since I have been neglecting to post them the past few weeks.


18 weeks and 4 days

Tomorrow I am hoping to finish a post that has been under construction for a bit, that's about helping your older children prepare and cope with the new baby. So keep an eye out for it but if not, I will be participating in this week's Five Question Friday. Check back tomorrow! Have a great night everyone!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day 2012

Yesterday was of course Valentine's Day. I am somewhat particular about Valentine's Day, I don't believe that it just for lovers anymore. I believe that Valentine's Day is a day for you to share your love with everyone that you love! :) This is how I've celebrated my last three Valentine's Days and I honestly wouldn't want it any other way lol. This year was no different. Unfortunately, Valentine's morning wasn't too fun for me. I woke up around four in the morning with morning sickness, which continued until about eleven. Ugh, not fun at all.

You know the alien movie The Thing??? The alien cell that took over your body and imitated your cells? Please tell me you've seen the old or new version so I don't feel like a total Sci-Fi nerd lol! Well, yesterday morning I felt like an "infected" person right before the alien cells explode through their body to attack its next victim. Yeah, fabulous lol. :P

Lon had to work from 8 to 2 today, but he was still a total sweetheart though, and surprised me by surrounding me in my gifts from him. So I woke up to potted flowers, chocolate, and a brand new LAPTOP!! :D Thanks babe! Made me feel quite a bit better. :) As soon as I felt fully human again, Alan and I ran to the grocery store to buy some cupcakes for his daycare. I had originally wanted to make cupcakes for everyone, but being pregnant, this made it virtually impossible lol. So I gave in and bought some at the store's bakery. Someone baked them right? Do you think I can get away with saying I did???? Lmao, totally just joking!

Then we came back home and finished up the last of Alan's cards. He still technically has another year until we have to do classroom Valentine's so this year I just asked him who he wanted to make a card for. And boy did I just love the responses! :P

A few of my favorite answers: 
Buster (Grandma Amber's dog lol)
Mater
Elmo
Korbin (His BFF who lives in Washington, awwww!)
Finn McMissle
Doctor Wazowski (His pediatrician, Dr. Muznoyski. Don't you love how he says her name?)
Bear N Mouse (from Bear in the Big Blue House)

Thankfully, I did get some normal easier to deliver recipients as well. Like the baby in my belly (sooooo sweet), Grandma Melanie, Aunt Ariel, his cousins Connor and Sophie, and Daddy. But man, did I have fun making the wild ones! And I have yet to figure out where to mail the cards addressed to Mater, Elmo, Finn and Bear N Mouse but who knows, those might just go in Alan's scrapbook lol! They were too much fun and too adorable!

Then we went to Child Watch. All of Alan's favorite staff members were working, as well as several of Alan's friends. In addition to the cupcakes we brought, there was cookies, candies and another dozen of cupcakes. Alan played for a while and once he had finished his afternoon snack, he was given one of our red cupcakes to eat.

I took off his shirt, because obviously white shirts don't mix with red dye. ;)

And he starts to chow down!

All done now Mom! And look at my smile!

Once he was cleaned and re-clothed, we sent him back out to play with his friends that had also finished. He played cars, bouncy balls, stations, coloring and games with them until my mother came to pick him up at six. What a good little Valentine's Day he had at school!

After I got off of work, Lon surprised me (for the second time lol) and took me out to dinner. He had arranged with my mother to watch Alan for a little bit longer than normal, so that we could do a real date. :D What a sweetheart! We aren't normally too fancy of restaurant eaters lol, so when he let me pick where to eat I chose Red Robin. :P Thankfully I had to work until eight, so by the time we got there it was slow. We only had to wait maybe five seconds to be seated and received our drinks right away. Of course, I ordered the freckled strawberry lemonade. My absolute favorite! Yum! Our food didn't take too long either, which was awesome because I was pretty much starving at this point lol. I ordered the Southwestern Chicken Pasta and even though it was darn spicy, it was delicious! I had a great time on my date with my sweet hubby and it was an awesome way to end my Valentine's Day!

How was your Valentine's Day?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

CHD Awareness Week Day Eight: Ewan's Journey

Today is the eighth and final day of CHD Awareness Week. It is also Valentine's Day, the ultimate Heart Day! :D For my final day, I will feature Miss Kirsten and her son Ewan @ Team Ewan.







Via


I discovered Kirsten's blog Ocotober 2010, almost a year and a half ago. I am a pretty dedicated reader of her blog and I also have befriended her on Facebook. I care a lot about Kirsten and her family. Kirsten has two children: Ewan and Austen. Ewan has CHD, specifically two types called Tetrology of Fallout and Pulmonary Atresia.

Pulmonary Atresia: A type of Congenital Heart Defect where the pulmonary valve does not form properly. A solid sheet of tissue forms where the valve opening should be and the valve remains closed. Because of this defect, blood from the right side of the heart cannot go to the lungs to pick up oxygen.

For those of you that aren't familiar with these posts already, I will only be sharing a summary of Kirsten and Ewan's journey because I encourage you to check out her blog. I think that Kirsten's blog is a wonderfully informative heart blog and I think everyone with children should check this out!

Ewan was diagnosed with TOF and PA when Kirsten was 20 weeks pregnant. Ewan was born September 18, 2010. He was almost instantly taken away to the NICU and was shortly afterward transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Seattle Children's Hospital. When he was five days old, Ewan was sent to have a routine cath lab that turned deadly. During the lab, his oxygen levels became so low that he was sent into an emergency surgery. Ewan was quoted a 30% chance of death. He had three different shunts placed in him before he was able to come out of surgery into recovery. He was placed on a heart machine called the ECMO, and went through several more procedures in the next few days. Kirsten's life was a constant roller coaster of ups and downs, good days and bad days. Then October 3, things got bad. Ewan had not been neurologically responsive all day and the doctors told Kirsten that Ewan had a blood infection. They put him on a broad spectrum antibiotic, though he continued to have difficulties. He was basically on full life support, thus Kirsten and her husband were given a hard decision. To continue with life support or to disconnect him. On October 4, 2010 Kirsten and her husband made the decision to disconnect Ewan's life support. Sweet baby Ewan earned his angel wings.

Kirsten is incredibly strong to have gone through the trials and tribulations of sweet Ewan's short life. I don't know if I could have been as strong as she was, and I admire her for it. I wish her and her family nothing but happiness and love. Please check out her blog!

This marks the end of CHD Awareness Week. I hope all my readers learned something this week and will continue to spread the word of CHD Awareness. More people need to know about CHD, because it affects so many people daily. I hope everyone has a great day! Happy Valentine's Day! Tune in tomorrow to see how mine went.

Monday, February 13, 2012

CHD Awareness Week Day Seven: Annabelle's Life

Today is the seventh day of CHD Awareness Week. For the seventh day I will be feature Miss Krista and her amazing daughter Annabelle @ One Woman's Dream.





Via


I first started reading Krista's blog in March 2010, almost two years ago. I think that Krista is a very strong mother to have her youngest be diagnosed with CHD. She has gone through so much with her little one and in just under two years! Krista has four children total: Karalynn, Lacy, Gabriella, and Annabelle. Annabelle has CHD, specifically a variation of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome called Atrioventricular Septal Defect.

Atrioventricular Septal Defect: A failure of any of the tissues that help divide the chambers, leaving one or more "holes" and possibly one leaky valve instead of two developed valves.

I plan on only sharing a brief medical history on Annabelle and her condition, but that is simply because I urge you to check out her blog out!





Photobucket


Annabelle was diagnosed with AVSD when Krista was 26 weeks pregnant. Annabelle was born July 20, 2010. She had her first surgery, the Norwood, at six days old on July 26, 2010. She was recovering okay, with only a few small hiccups 2 nights after the surgery and once in September. She was having issues being extubated and they had to continually put her back on the ventilator. In October 2010, the doctors decided that this issue might be because of a leaky valve and so they scheduled her for her Glenn surgery early. Unfortunately when she was taken back to the OR for the surgery, her O2 stats dropped so they decided to change her shunt to a bigger one. After several tries, Annabelle successfully came off the ventilator. In December 2010, because of severe reflux and an inability to eat by mouth due to fear of aspiration, she had a Nissen/GTube surgery as well. They were finally sent home for the first time on Christmas Eve, but she came back shortly afterward because of a high fever. A week later, Annabelle had a heart-cath, then she was set to go home again. This time, she was rushed to the ICU due to respiratory issues on the morning of the intended home return. While speaking with her doctors the next week, it was decided that Annabelle most likely wouldn't survive her Glenn surgery, due to decreased heart function and the moderate to severe AV Valve regurge. Her best option would be to go on the heart transplant list.

On January 13th, 2011, Annabelle was officially added to the Heart Transplant list with a 1b status.
The next day however, she was rushed to the ICU for respiratory complications. They placed her on special IV heart medication, and her status was moved to a 1a status, the most urgent transplant status. They waited for three long months, until April when they received a call telling them that a heart match had been found! At 4:30 that same afternoon, Annabelle received her heart! She spent a little over a month in the hospital recovering and was released to go home May 24, 2011. However fearing rejection of the heart, a heart-cath was done June 8, 2011. No rejection was found but a few issues were discovered, so she went in for another heart surgery the next day. She spent ten days in the hospital before she was again released to go home. She spent her first birthday at home, and it was miraculous. But three days later, she was taken to the hospital again for low O2 levels. By the time she had arrived at the hospital, Annabelle was non-responsive so they life-flighted her to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. She stayed in the hospital for only eleven days this time, and has been home ever since. Since then, Annabelle and her mother's focus is on working on her development and enjoying time spent with their family.

Krista has been through endless stress and worry, with all those trips between home and the hospital. She is definitely one strong mother. And to have three other children in her life to worry about during all of Annabelle's turmoils? Wow, what a strong and wonderful mother she must be. I wish that I had half of the strength these heart mothers have! :)

One more reminder to check out the CHD Awareness fun on Pinterest! Okay, maybe I lied. You'll get one tomorrow too lol. But do check it out! Hope everyone has a good day.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Traveling Red Dress: Found My Dress!

I had mentioned in an earlier blog that I had found my dress for the Traveling Red Dress Project. Its a beautiful red dress with a beaded decoration across the top. The lovely Miss Bella donated it to me for my own photo shoot, and sent it out Monday morning. Here is a picture from her of it, its nothing too super fancy but I think that it will be perfect for me! I went outside yesterday and it was here, sitting on our porch! I am endlessly excited! :)


I have also been successful at finding a photographer. Remember the wonderful Jeff Bryson who photographed my wedding? Well he volunteered to do my red dress photo shoot! We have yet to set a date because I was waiting on finding my dress first but now that I have on en route, we will set a date. I still plan on being photographed on the Rims but there is snow right now, and I'm not sure how long I will last in the cold lol. Pray for warmer weather for my photo shoot!

All I need now is some fabulous accessories and a friend to do my hair and makeup. But of course, that is for another post lol, the tales of me searching for something pretty to go with this gorgeous dress.  I will prevail though, I am confident!

Please be sure to tune in Monday for my continuation of CHD Awareness Week. Monday I will be featuring sweet Annabelle. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Alan's Open Kids Gym Adventure

I figured I would take a tiny break from CHD Awareness Week and post about the happenings of my family, since I realized I haven't done too much of that this week lol. Oops! :) We are all doing good. Lon was given more hours this week, which is a total blessing for our family. This means that I can cut back on my hours and take a little break. This pregnant mama is happy! :) Alan is doing good, going stir crazy with the weather. It keeps changing from really nice to snowy. Ugh. This morning, Alan was especially rowdy. I dunno if it was because of the newly fallen snow, or the fact that he knew he had a play date scheduled with his buddy Kelton and mommy Kelsie. But from the moment he woke up, he was jumping and climbing and hollering and dancing lol. Wild man. :)

We met up with Kelsie, Keith and Kelton at the YMCA around eleven. The YMCA has Open Kids Gym for members and non-members every Friday from 9:30 to noon. Open Kids Gym is the coolest place for kids under five to come play. They set up an obstacle course and a zip line and have a ton of fun exercise toys for the kiddos. Alan loved it. :)

Alan in a foam circle at Open Kids Gym

Kelton was surprisingly shy when we first arrived, but Alan took off immediately. Alan has been to Open Kids Gym several times now, so he knows the drill. He started climbing the mats and running all over the gym. Kelton opened up more and started playing with balls, then Alan showed him the cool tents. Before we knew it, Kelton was exploring the gym as much as Alan was. :)

Alan in one of the tents

Neither of the boys would do the zip line however, but they were both very intrigued by it. They would watch the kids grab one, and then run the whole length of the zip line with them lol. It was silly. Alan and I started playing balloon games, which he really got into. And boy is my little guy coordinated! He can bop the balloon better than some preschoolers I know! You'd think I would be able to get a pic of him doing it, but nope. :)

Alan waving his balloon, I think it looks cool blurred like this!

He kept making me nervous too. He'd climb up onto the foam mats and jump onto the hard ground, ugggh made me grit my teeth. He also was into climbing over or around kiddos and placing himself in not the safest positions. I can't tell you how many times I thought he was going to fall lol! He at least had fun though. :P

Bouncing on the big mat

Kelton and Alan would not stay together for the life of us lol! Kelsie and I hardly spoke two words to each other the whole time because Alan was at one end and Kelton would be at the other end lol. But Alan made friends with a few other boys, and was pretty content crawling and exploring by himself. But he was back and forth and all over the play, I got so exhausted following him around. At one point, I know that he was avoiding me on purpose because he kept giggling and running when I got to close. Little turkey. :P

Overall though, the boys had a blast together

I am beat from chasing him around and yet, he is STILL running around with energy. Ugh, so much for exhausting him lol. Guess we are going to Grandma's house tonight to do the trick. :) Tune in tomorrow for my Traveling Red Dress update and Monday for the continuation of CHD Awareness Week. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

CHD Awareness Week Day Four: Joshua's Tale

Today is the fourth day of CHD Awareness Week. For our fourth day, I will feature Miss Jill and her beloved son Joshua @ The Real Life of a Red Head.






Via


I first began reading Jill's blog October 2010, almost a year and a half ago. I have been very invested in reading this blog and I care so much about Jill and her family. Jill has four children total: Caleb, Hannah, Joshua and Luke. Joshua had CHD, specifically a type called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.

Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome: A type of Congenital Heart Defect that refers to when the whole left half of the heart (including the aorta , aortic valve, left ventricle and mitral valve) is underdeveloped.




The Real Life of a Redhead


I will only share with you a short history of Joshua and his family because I want you to check out Jill's blog yourself. Jill has been through a lot with Joshua and since and the more people who read her story and support her, the better. Please check her out!

Jill had a rough pregnancy with Joshua. At 11 weeks gestation, she was diagnosed with a subchorionic hemorrhage and was told that she would most likely miscarry by 18 weeks. She miraculously did not, and made it to her 18 week gender ultrasound. She found out she was having a boy, but the surprise was soon clouded when the technician couldn't get a good view of the left side of Joshua's heart. After showing the ultrasounds to Jill's OBGYN, she was sent to a fetal/pediatric cardiologist. At 22 weeks gestation, Joshua was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. Jill and her family only had so much time to prepare, Joshua was born a few months later on August 16, 2010. Joshua had his first surgery, known as the Norwood, when he was only three days old on August 19, 2010. His second surgery, a shunt revision, took place September 27, 2010. Despite everything the doctors and his parent's did for him, Joshua earned his angel wings October 6, 2010.

Jill and her family have been through a roller coaster of trials and tribulations in the past few years. I respect her and think that she is incredibly strong for going through what she did and still being there for her children. I greatly admire her and wish her family nothing but peace and happiness. Please take the time to check out her blog and show her some support!

Of course another reminder to check out the CHD Awareness fun on Pinterest!