Friday, June 27, 2014

Bumpdate on Babe #2

Oh, I think it's about that time for another bump date. 

And on that note, I'm hoping to do much better in other areas with Baby #2 in terms of keeping up with storing memories like I did with big sis, Lyla. Because so far, I have a horrible track record already with blogging and tracking the happenings during my pregnancy in general. 

Too tired. Too "busy". Working, chasing around a toddler when I'm not working, and traveling on the weekends for the past 2 months {boo-hoo, I know}. 

One thing I'm not doing? Working on a nursery that is currently serving as a storage room or transitioning Lyla to her big girl bed. Oh, and not working on the whole potty training thing, which would be the goal before baby #2 arrives. We obviously have lofty aspirations around here. But at the rate we're going, we'll be lucky if the crib gets moved to the nursery. 

But let's get on with some pregnancy #2 tidbits, shall we? 

- I still can't get over the fact that I no longer have morning sickness. I was robbed of any joys of my first pregnancy due to being sick for 7 solid months. The funny part about it was that I felt amazing in my last trimester, in the thick of sweaty, swollen, August. With this pregnancy, however, my morning sickness went away at the 14 week mark. It's so strange to be pregnant not hurled over praying for some relief. Thank you, Lord!

- On that note, the nausea may be long-gone, but respiratory issues have decided to take over that particular vacancy. I have had more than one breakdown {that I am not proud of} over the sickness in our house this season. Lyla has been sick in two week increments since JANUARY, with the evil culprits being colds, stomach bug, sinus infection, and ear infections. And an allergic reaction to antibiotics for good measure. Her pediatrician {and Google} assure me that it's common for toddlers to catch 8-10 viruses in their first year of daycare. Well, we're somewhere around 10. And unfortunately, with me being pregnant and all of my immunity going to babe #2, I'm catching everything Lyla gets. With the inability to get proper rest to recover. So, I haven't been able to enjoy pregnancy like I'd hoped...yet again. Boo. *Except of course in the healthy moments. I feel on top of the world!*

- This baby may only be 23 weeks old, but I have felt it more in the past few weeks than I ever did with Lyla the entire time I was pregnant with her. Doctors would usually look at me with concerned eyes when I told them I would go weeks without feeling her. My mom says I was the same way in utero - she rarely felt me kick. Oh, but this babe is a little mover and groover. Just all over the place. And I'm so in love. 

- I've noticed two things have happened significantly sooner than last time I was preg: I've gained weight quicker and my belly popped much sooner with this one, and I'm experiencing symptoms that never reared their ugly heads until third trimester. I've already got heartburn, I'm sleeping with a body pillow, I've got some joint and muscle aches, and I've felt a few Braxton Hicks already. It's too soon for these things! 

- I'm actually starting to *gasp* be ok with my body. I don't know, it's something about my belly getting rounder, that really makes me feel pregnant. And I kind it. Not all the time, but some of the time. I get so mad at myself that I'm not a chick who loves pregnancy - it definitely does not make me feel beautiful. How can it when I'm either fatigued, dry heaving, gaining weight in places {other than my belly} at a rapid pace, or experiencing just about every pregnancy symptom written about in Jenny Mcarthy's Belly Laughs? But because this will be my last pregnancy, I am really trying to take it all in and savor the sweet moments. Ones that I'll never experience again. Because as much as I really did not like being pregnant with Lyla, I missed it the moment she was born. I'm sure I'll doubly feel that pain when this babe makes its debut. Ironic, huh?

- I had a little pregnancy "incident" last week. I've felt dizzy on and off throughout both of my pregnancies. Very normal, especially for second trimester when all your blood heads straight toward the placenta. And on a normal, non-pregnant day, I can often get dizzy or feel light-headed thanks to low blood pressure. Well. I was at work last week, feeling a bit queasy in the morning. My co-workers started talking about blood, stitches, and trauma when I couldn't take it anymore. I felt really hot and went to sit next to the air conditioning. A co-worker asked if I was alright {knowing that I am never, ever, ever hot}, and I said I was fine. We got into a conversation to keep my mind off the queasy, when I cut her off and told her I needed to go to the back of the office because I didn't want to cause a scene if I passed out. Luckily she followed me, because the last thing I remember is asking her to grab me a bag of pretzels...when suddenly I went down and she caught me and laid me on the floor. There I was, pregnant and passed out cold. Apparently I was out for over 2 minutes. I awoke to a co-worker shaking me and yelling my name and paramedics with all their equipment, stretcher included. Oy. After I fully came-to, I refused to go to the hospital and Gabe took me to my regular OBGYN instead. I simply had low blood pressure (lower than my normal low), low blood sugar, and a heart rate that apparently marathon runners would kill for. Doc told me to eat more protein throughout the day and to immediately lie down on my left side if I feel dizzy...rather than standing up to walk away because I feel embarrassed. 

Well. Embarrassed I was. 

- This pregnancy is absolutely flying by at a hare pace. It could be the fact that we've been gone every single weekend, or it could be that we have a toddler and everyday life to keep up with. All I know is that October will be here before we know it, and I have never felt so unprepared for anything. Ever. {And by golly, it feels kind of good}. 

- Speaking of being unprepared, I'm not quite sure what to do if Babe #2 is a boy. Which I'm fairly confident it is. Not because of any particular feeling, simply because I picture Lyla with a baby brother. I picture little boy Chucks and a mini Gabe rough and tumbling around the house. Oh, but a baby sister would be quite the sweet surprise as well! But this whole not-finding-out thing is just so fun. It doesn't seem to be too fun for anyone else in our lives, but we sure are enjoying the guessing game! However, if it is a boy, we have absolutely nothing. Not one boy thing. Yikes. 

Well, here's to hoping for a bout of health and feeling good over the next few months. 

Sigh. The things our body endures when we're carrying our wee ones. Totally and completely worth every bit of it, of course. 

You hear that, babe #2? You're worth it!

Friday, June 20, 2014

21 & 22 Months

I truly can’t believe I have an almost two year old. 

Time seems to have a bone to pick with me, with no signs of ever slowing down. I haven’t even begun to plan your second birthday party, let alone gotten my act together to work on your big girl room. And let’s not even talk about the fact that “the nursery” is really just a half-painted free-for-all-room where clutter goes to die. 

Your little brother or sister isn’t even here yet, and I feel stretched so thin. {As evidenced by my lack of blogging and inability to keep up with your monthly posts.} 

But here is my best attempt to document the past two months, both equally awesome and awful. 

We dealt with quite a bout of illness in our house, not once but twice. Actually caused me to throw an all-out tantrum comparable to yours when I tell you “all done” with your plate of cheese. It all started with a double ear infection, which resulted in quite the allergic reaction to your antibiotic. Then a couple weeks later, you came down with an evil sinus infection that lasted nearly three weeks. One that kept you from sleeping for those three weeks. And because we’ve been working on sharing, you decided to give your yucky infection to mom and dad. So the whole house was in poor shape for a week or two. And the funny thing about sickness and not sleeping is the brutal reality that life and work and “maintaining” a house doesn’t let you stop, take a break, and get the rest you need. The show must go on!

Luckily, we’re all finally healthy, happy, and enjoying our summer evenings and weekends together! 

Little Sponge
Every single day seems to bring new adventure and learning.  As you’ve done since you were a baby, you are careful and deliberate with your actions. You impressively think before you act, and love to solve a good problem. You step over cracks, find the most efficient and safest route up and down stairs, bring us your plate and scoot in your chair when you are finished eating, and you endlessly open and close or find objects that fit together. We’ve started playing with big legos, and you’re obsessed. Anything you can put together and take apart and build keeps you occupied for days. But your all-time favorite thing? Transferring toys/cars/seashells/tiny objects from one container to the next or scooting those objects around in your stroller or shopping cart. You also take your coloring and reading quite seriously, and your favorite word at the moment is story. You would read 3 dozen books before bedtime if we let you. 

Although we’re still working on phrases and sentence-forming, you know a countless number of words, can name most objects, and repeat everything we say. Your current favorite, said with the biggest grin I’ve ever seen, is Big Sister! You always know exactly what we’re saying and asking you to do, and you can point to just about anything we name in a room or a book. You consistently know a few letters, shapes, and colors, and can count to three. We can hear you counting in your room at night, uhn, who, tree - FIVE TOES. And you’ve grown leaps and bounds in patiently making requests, help please GiGicheese pleaseall done pleasenight-night mama, and with intense enthusiasm, BREAKFAST! Overall, I'd say you're a fairly quiet child - not the chatter box like your mama was *and still is*. But hearing you talk in your sweet, quiet, little voice is just about the sweetest sound I've ever heard in my life. 

Cute Factor
You’ve done some pretty cute, notable things lately. You started showing that you are “surprised” by dramatically opening your mouth and eyes really wide and gasping. Where, oh where did you learn to be a little drama queen? ;) And we bust into stitches every time your run - you wiggle your hips back and forth and look just like Cam from Modern Family. Although you haven’t quite mastered on “solid ground”, you have developed a love for jumping. You “jum-jum-jum” in your bed every night after we tuck you in. And although you don’t really understand, you love to pull up your shirt, stick out your belly as far as it will go, and point to it and say “baaaby” because your belly looks exactly like mine these days. Maybe you are starting to understand that your world is about to be rocked? 

Running like Cam with "The Hip Wiggle"


Wild and crazy hair after nap time 

We have good days and bad days. Good weeks and bad weeks. You tend to act out when you’re tired or not feeling well {rightfully so}, but it can be beyond perplexing and downright maddening. We’ve done everything from ignoring to timeouts. *Funny story* You absolutely know you’re not supposed to throw your milk, and you did it anyway one morning. Dad sternly told you, “we do not throw our milk, Lyla”. And put it back on the table. You did it again. So, he put you in the corner, had you put your hands on the wall, and counted to 10.  After timeout, you went back to your little table, chucked your milk across the room, and immediately put yourself in timeout and put your hands on the wall. Giggling the whole time. 

A work in progress, I guess. 

Foodie Regression
I have no idea what happened to my diverse-palletted baby who was desperate to try any and all cuisines. I felt so proud having such a good little eater. You used to eat everything we gave you, no matter the texture, color, or flavor. Now? It's a crap shoot. Some days you like green beans. Most days you spit them out. You used to eat peanut butter sandwiches on the daily. Now, you will only eat them when I pull off the crust...and even then you may turn your nose up. You despise vegetables and meat all of a sudden, and you pick and choose when you want to use a fork and spoon. The only food items I can always count on are fruit and cheese. Some days, that's all that goes in your belly. *Sigh*

You aren't a huge fan of the car. Sometimes you fuss, sometimes you scream. You always beg for the little strap that has silk on it so you can soothe yourself and suck your thumb. Again, this is something new. All I know is that no matter what, you absolutely, positively will not sleep in the car. And if you do, it's for approximately 6 minutes, and then you won't nap the rest of the day. 

Although you do love babies, you absolutely dislike when I'm holding them. This may present a problem in a few months. 

You are most definitely not a morning person. Just like your dad, auntie, and GiGi, it takes you quite a bit to warm up in the mornings. You're usually quite needy and cuddly, and do not tolerate much of anything in the mornings besides our laps and breakfast. 

You aren't a huge fan of anything that is sudden, loud, or unpredictable. Like bubbles and sprinklers. You've started to warm up to bubbles, but you just don't like them to come near you. And the hose or sprinkler? Goodness. Way too unpredictable {and cold} for you! And it took you awhile to get used to your little kiddie pool. But once you did, we waited until you had pruney fingers and toes, and you still threw a tantrum when we had you get out. 

Dad can always help you get over your fears 

Hating the sprinkler ...

...even while running through with Dad :( 

Hating the kiddie pool {Gabe is going to kill me for this picture} 

See. Now that's not so bad


I love everything about you, Little Lady Ly. Every moment spent with you is so sweet. Excited to see what these next couple of months bring until you are "tee-eww"!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Eight is Great.

Super-quick, semi-last-minute anniversary trip to D-Town...for those of you who plan to yell at me for not getting together in the lightning flash we were there. Next time!! ;)

I can't help it. I absolutely must share what's on my heart and flowing through my soul at the moment.

And I promise I'll completely understand the eye rolls, the gag faces, and clicking on the little red X in the left corner of your Macbook Pro.

Because today marks eight years of marriage. And things are about to get mushy.

Eight years.
That's like going to college twice. {But way better}.
In fact, I remember so many telling me to "Live college up, they're the very best years of your life. Nothing will ever compare!" Albeit, this was true to an extent as college was definitely four incredible years. But the very best of my life and nothing more after that?

Luckily, I can say that I disagree.

Now the past eight years, however? Those have truly marked the best of my life to date. It may sound trite, but I simply love who I am, who I've become, since I got married to one special guy eight years ago. I like married life. I really like my husband. And throw having a couple kids in there? Now that's my mecca.

And every passing anniversary, I find myself thinking, No really, how can it get any better? But somehow, it finds a way. I get more and more settled, our friendship grows stronger, I become more knowledgeable of who my soulmate truly is, and our connection and bond only gets deeper. And over these eight years, I've developed more confidence, have become a better person, and have found a love for who I've become. All of this thanks to my better half.

That doesn't go without saying there haven't been plenty of growing pains. Holy moly, we've got all kinds of marriage stretch marks. I mean, we did get married at the ripe ages of 22 and 21. Absolute babies.

We both are completely different people than we were eight years ago. I look back at that young bride and think how naive, how immature, how young I was. It sort of feels like Gabe and I used the medium of marriage to learn who we were not only as a couple, but as individuals. That's quite difficult to do with another person - to navigate life after college, life as a civilian after fighting in two wars as a Marine, life as a married couple, life with responsibilities and adulthood. I had never even picked up a pot or pan, and everything we owned fit in my 97' Honda Civic on the trek to California.

Luckily, we grew together as we "grew up", rather than growing apart. Even after eight years, I still learn new things about Gabe.  We still spend hours talking. Only now, our conversations are much deeper. And our opinions are much stronger, and at times, completely opposite of one another. But it's these conversations that began at ages 17 and 18 as long distance phone calls from my college dorm room and Gabe's bunk in the barracks. It's these conversations of reminiscing on the past, thanking God for the present, and dreaming of the future that keep our marriage happy, alive.

That and the laughter.

Goodness it's so easy to forget to laugh while living the day to day. And today was no different. Our eight year anniversary - the most ordinary of days. Rolled out of bed at 5:15 a.m. {this, I have decided, should absolutely be illegal in all 50 states}, went to work, picked up Lyla, threw dinner together, and spent the evening at home by myself because Gabe had a special work meeting. Woe is me. But. There was quite the perk in our day. We decided to celebrate with a special lunch date. Went to one of our favorite local restaurants, dined al fresco on the cutest little patio, and took an impromptu walk to the donut shop across the street. Because no date is complete without jaywalking, cinnamon streusel & maple donuts, and a latte. And there was a sweet {one-way} gift exchange that made my day. I sure do LOVE my new bracelet, Babe. ;)

Bad decision making: sugary donut treats after already feeling like I might bust at the seams

And we did get to celebrate a couple weeks early by taking a quick {and by quick, I mean quick. As in 24 hours.} trip to our old stomping grounds in Dallas. For the record, this was road trip #3 so far this summer. And I have no shame in admitting that it was more than refreshing to have time alone with my love...without a toddler in tow. Oh my goodness how easy *and quick* road trips can be with just two adults. And conversations without interruptions - who knew?!?

No. I am not actually drinking this beer. Gabe felt I needed a prop. 

The moment we got into town we hit up the first local coffee shop we could find for some iced lattes. We did some shopping in the cutest little Bishop Arts District and not only bought Gabe his first professional "man bag", but we also got the kids {yes, kidS} a souvenir of sorts. Of course we stopped for some local brews at a couple of spots, even though I couldn't partake in the fun, and we had some of the best Mexican {and ceviche} I've ever tasted at Mesa Veracruz. We stayed at a lovely hotel downtown, woke up the next morning, and headed to Uptown to the best breakfast place ever -  complete with the some of the most fabulous outdoor seating we've experienced and a unique and tasty toast spread of strawberry butter. Then, and let's be honest the real reason for the trip, we headed straight for the outlets and Ikea.


20 weeks preg with babe #2. And no, I didn't intend to look like a mime.

20 weeks...feeling a bit more like 35 weeks.

It's little memories like this one that I tuck away and revisit often.

Life is a whole lot more adventuresome, fun, and sweeter with this guy.

Happy anniversary to my one and only.

Friday, June 13, 2014

On the Road Again.

Apparently our 12 hour road trip to Colorado wasn't quite enough.

Because we decided to pack up a few weeks later and do it all over again. Although this time, our trip was lessened to 7 hours. And we went to St. Louis this time to visit Gabe's sis and her husband. But the road part of the trip looked completely identical to our time on the road just a few weeks earlier: overpacking {because it's so easy to do with a car}, multiple stops for snacks {that I normally wouldn't allow myself to eat}, and a toddler who will.not.sleep. in the car. At all.

Still HAPPY even with a terrible nap

You guys. This not sleeping in the car thing really has me baffled and quite frustrated. Don't all children practically beg to doze off for hours on end on the lull of a long car ride? Not my child. Even  if we leave in the middle of the night. Even if she's rubbing her eyes and exhausted. Even if she's so tired her head is nodding back and forth. The kid won't sleep in the car. {I later learned that it's apparently genetic as Gabe's sister never ever slept on road trips either}.

But the trip home was particularly...miserable. There was no napping and lots and lots of fussing, crying, and screaming. And wanting to change activities every 10 minutes. We went through every flashcard, every animal magnet, every book, every game, and at least 2 and a half times through Despicable Me on the Kindle.

We later found out the day we returned home, poor thing came down with a sinus infection.

Snuggling with Auntie Abi makes it feel better :(

Regardless, our time in St. Louis was absolutely delightful. In fact, it made Gabe and I feel "the itch" for a moment or two. The one we get every so often - the desire to move around again, explore new places, dig into a new city, and uncover local treasures. Those feelings, of course, always go away once we get back into the hustle and bustle routine of life. But it's nice to reminisce of the time we spent in other places and dream of potential in the future.

 The best family pic we got all weekend : /

The thing is, we are quite settled in our hometown. I'd even go as far as to say we love where we live. We are near both of our parents, have incredible friendships, and feel more content than ever with life in general. But sometimes, we really miss culture! All the unique restaurants and boutiques, outdoor concerts and festivals, local coffee shops on every corner, endless options for parks, family-friendly neighborhoods where the houses have charm and don't all look exactly the same, restaurants "up the street" that you can walk to and bring your dog. It's simply a reminder of how much we love these things when we visit other cities. And although we do have many of these things where we live now, they are just a bit harder to find. But, I'm inspired and determined to get back on the Local Challenge bandwagon and love my city! :)

I'm not exactly sure where that tangent came from.

Oh yes. We were talking about the lovely time we had in St. Louis.

Overall, we had a weekend full of play, story-telling, relaxing, walking, and coffee-drinking. Our guest bedroom welcomed us with freshly-cut-from-the-garden flowers. We had wonderful hosts, who made some delicious meals and even more delicious lattes every morning. We spent over three hours one night chatting on the front porch swing. We walked everywhere everyday. We went to one of the best zoos I've ever seen in my life. We frequented the local coffee shops - at least two a day. {Don't worry, I balanced all of this coffee drinking out with decaff and nearly 100 ounces of water drinking}. Lyla found a treasure of a book at a local bookstore. The "fun adults" went to some local breweries while Lyla and I took naps. We made a hefty grocery stop at Trader Joe's. We explored the adorably charming neighborhood where we stayed. We spent our evenings watching movies. And we dined al fresco.

Oh. And Ly made three new friends all with the same name: Meow. She went to bed asking for meows. Woke up asking for meows. Wanted the meows to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with her. Although, if she had to pick a favorite, it would most definitely be Richard. They became insta-besties.

In other trip news, we developed a love for raw fresh peppers, we decided we must purchase an espresso machine, my belly doubled in size, and we are determined to get a Trader Joes to Wichita.

It was a lovely time, and we're already looking forward to going back for another visit.

Maybe by then, we'll have taught our little stinker how to sleep in the car.