A crafty Christmas.

I like to think I am a crafty person. In actuality I am more creative when it comes to words than anything else. Of course this does not mean I don’t try to get crafty from time to time. So when our Christmas wreath began to get a little sad looking last year, I took it upon myself to try and find a way to come up with a way to create new, yet inexpensive one for the house this year. And thanks to places like Pinterest and YouTube (seriously what would we do without them?) the task wasn’t as daunting as once thought. Of course by the time I found my inspiration last year it was three days before Christmas, and no way was I going to start a project when I had other things to do, like last minute Christmas shop!

So this year I decided to start early. Early being the day before Thanksgiving. I watched a couple YouTube variations of an ornament wreath, all of which seemed really simple. So simple I could do it. After recruiting Anderson to help, w12274242_10153728471680883_224130543247459037_ne were off to the local  Dollar Store to stock up on cheap ornaments. Depending on the size of the ornaments, you will need about 50-80 of them so keep that in mind.That, and an old wire hanger (got ours from a dry cleaner run) and a little ribbon is really all you need to make this!

Undoing the hook so that the frame came apart, we formed the wire into a circle, no need to be perfect and then we began sliding the ornaments through it, I liked mixing up the sizes to add a little variation and depth to it. While you can do a pattern, we decided to go an whim and see how  it turned out just the way we stacked them. After the circle was stuffed as far as we could go, we twisted the hook of the hanger back together, closing the loose end and tied a bow. Not only that, but as promised it was super quick! The entire thing took us maybe a half hour at most. I will give the credit to Andy for the wonderful bow, which also hides the hook from view.

And that was it, my craft project was complete!

The only criticism I had was because these ornaments were pretty cheap, they came undone from the top of the bulbs really easy and fell off. Still, for a cheap and inexpensive holiday craft, and my first attempt at this I didn’t think it turned out half bad, in fact I really like it. It is proudly displayed on our door.

Happy Crafting!

Appointments, Showers and Snuggles.

We started the weekend off with our 33 week appointment to find out how much baby girl has grown and to check on her vitals once more. And again just in the past two times that we had gotten measured, she grew another 8 ounces, measuring now about an ounce or two shy of 3 Lbs. If she keeps up and continues to gain at the rate (which is still tiny by standards) she will be sitting at 4 Lbs if we are lucky when she arrives. Other than that, she looks good and is thriving in every other way. While we were there we got the final arrangements to check in to the hospital on the evening of the 16th of December. I am still finding it incredibly hard to believe that we are just about three and a half weeks away!  I am currently trying to debate if this pregnancy has flown by, or dragged on. At times, depending on the month I believe it has done a little of both. Of course now that I say this, and know that we are approaching the end, with Thanksgiving on Thursday and the holidays around the corner, I assume it will fly right on by. While I am ready to be done with doctors appointments, I am also trying to enjoy every moment while I can, knowing these moments will never come again.

12249973_10153415203923439_6069192554152156706_nSaturday was a quite the busy day, as it was Baby Shower day! It was amazing being able to share the excitement with so many friends and family. There was games, and good memories and a lot of laughter shared by so many. And while I obviously wasn’t able to participate and enjoy the Sangria, from what I heard it was quite fabulous! My sister who’s restaurant was the host of the party , should be really proud of that, a lot of people raved about it. And thanks to my mom, she did not forget about me and my love of Strawberry Daiquiri’s, even if it was virgin, I gladly enjoyed it. They both did such a wonderful job. Thank you to all my family and friends who came out of their way and took time out of their busy schedule to celebrate with us! We appreciate it so much.

12274308_10153721037680883_2412869695442624472_nNow, comes the hard (yet unbelievably fun) part, it is time to organize, clean and figure out where everything goes. Thankfully we are just about finished with the baby room, so we have that going for us.

With all the excitement surrounding the upcoming arrival of my little princess I try to make sure I spend as much time as I can with Logan, who is thrilled to be a big brother but I get the feeling he is beginning to fear he will be left out. As it is, with all these doctors appointments, especially the ones in the early mornings, he spends a lot of time with my parents so that I can make them and he can make the bus. So while my nephew asked if Logan could stay the evening with them, Logan opted to spend the evening with just mommy to get some snuggle time in, watching the Caps game on the couch. I do not know who enjoyed it more, he or I.

IMG_4754I know the time one on one and as an only child is coming to an end but I promised him we would not forget about him, and that he would still be able to spend some time with us just himself from time to time. I also told him that just because he is my oldest doesn’t mean he isn’t important. He has a big role coming up, and he is going to be fabulous at it, and that I am super proud of him! I think he really needed to hear that as he went to bed a lot happier of a camper. Once he was down for good I made sure to make a mental note to reassure him that he is just as big a part of my life as this little girl is.

After all, he is still my baby. No matter how old he is.

 

The Leave Question

Yesterday I was stopped by a coworker who looked at my stomach and started the usual questions that I have gotten so accustomed to. When am I due? Is it a boy or girl? Have we decided on a name? These are the typical questions that usually turn in to 5 minute conversation about everything from how I am feeling to if I am ready.

Somewhere along the line the conversation turns to maternity leave, how much time am I taking off and when (or if) do I plan on returning? It is a question I have been dreading and thinking about since we first found out I was expecting in May. With my first child, I took a total of 10 weeks off which didn’t seem quite long enough, then again it never does. I promised myself if I was ever to be blessed with a second that I would take the full 12 I was allowed. Because I learned that the time with my newborn was precious. It is time I will never get back.

“12 weeks hopefully.” I state and smile.

“Well that is good. That means by the time you come back you will be climbing the walls and itching to return. You will be ready.”

To which I do not know how to respond. Because itching to return isn’t the first thought that comes to mind at the moment. Not when I am  just trying to get through the next month before this little lady is born,  that we have everything together, our ducks in a row and making sure she is doing well. Not to mention returning to work was hard the first time, I doubt it will be any easier this time around. As for climbing the walls? This remains to be seen. I loved having the time with my son just the two of us. Yes adult interaction is great, don’t get me wrong, but there is something about being needed that makes me feel welcomed. Wanted. And the introvert in me doesn’t need to be surrounded by a thousand people all the time.

“I don’t know about that.”

“Oh believe me, you will..every mother is ready by then.” She nods her head as if that is a definite and I am not to argue with her.

“Well the one thing for certain, it will fly by.”

This is the only thing we both agreed on.

On Paris

422134_10150748297595883_158768076_nThree and a half years ago I had the opportunity to take a trip of a lifetime to Europe. We spent a weekend in Paris, a city I will say I wasn’t sure about but my husband convinced me to visit. It turned out to be one of the best weekends and he was absolutely right, I fell in love with it. I instantly understood why people called it the city of love, of romance. It was truly magical. I watched as the city came together to support a cause, I believe it was for breast cancer. How everyone stopped and cheered and came together. I saw how wars, and disagreements in the past had taken the toll on the city, and yet not stopped the people of the city from surviving, rebuilding and moving on. They may have been changed, but they did not let it stop them.

They were a city united.

Seeing the city go through the pain once again that it has in recent days  breaks my heart. Yet they are not letting the attacks stop them in their determination and dedication and their love. They are not running from it. And it  amazes me and makes me truly  honored that I got to see that strength, courage and the togetherness of the city first hand years ago.

I did not know any of the victims, and I do not know any of their stories personally. But I know those that were lost will not be forgotten. I know they will live on in all of hearts. I wish there was more I could say that would bring them back, but I know no words can. I just hope that they have touched us all and brought so many people together.

I know they will rise above and make it through, and become stronger and more passionate. Because they have done it before. And they will do it again.

 

4 Things I am tired of hearing.

Just eat more: Look I get it. I didn’t understand the concept of exactly why my little one wasn’t growing myself. But suggesting I eat more isn’t going to help her grow. We have tried that, we have tested, monitored and seen specialist. None of them know exactly why she isn’t growing at the rate they would like her to. Thankfully she is growing, and how much I eat, or don’t eat has nothing to do with it.

Why don’t they just let you go longer? It is amazing the number of people who have asked this. Everyone from myself to coworkers who know what is going on ask. Some on a daily basis. But the truth is, keeping her in there longer may not be what she needs. I remember asking this to the doctor one afternoon who informed me that it is probably safer for both little girl and myself to have her early. After all, as she stated some babies do better on the outside than on the inside. They thrive more. And seeing that the specialist we saw at Children’s Hospital agreed, I will take their word for it. Maybe it isn’t exactly what we planned, and perhaps it is a little sooner than what we would like but ultimately if it is what is best for all of us, then that is what we are going to do. As it is, they were just concerned with getting me to 28 weeks there for awhile. So 37 weeks is a lot longer than they had once thought.

Do you really need to go to 2 appointments a week? (This is usually followed by is that common??) Yes, I do. I admit I have a love/hate relationship with getting monitored twice a week. One hand I love seeing and hearing little one that often. There is something comforting in knowing she is there, happy in her own little world at the moment. Yet at the same time we still hold our breath when they measure her. Has she grown? Is she doing alright? And even if I am just sitting there, with both the heart and contraction monitors hooked up for 20 to 40 minutes and a measurement appointment later in the week, it has a tendency to be emotionally draining, it plays on every emotion I have. At times I want to just sleep through it, and at times I want to jump up and cheer at the small victories.  No it may not be common, but I doubt it all that uncommon as well. I know there are other couples who have gone through the same thing.

Why don’t you just have a C-section? I had a  lot of people assume I would be having one, several thought because I am over 30, which apparently automatically means I am having one. But here is the thing, unless I have to have it for medical reasons., I don’t plan on having one. Nor do I think as some believe, it is the easy way out. But I have had one two many other medical surgeries to really want one. Obviously if it came down to it, if we absolutely needed to get one done then yes, but otherwise being induced is not a c-section.

And we have a date!

31 weeks

31 weeks

And we have a date! Well sort of.

We knew very well the likelihood that I will not make it to the full 40 weeks was high, so perhaps it came to no surprise when the doc told us we were going to be hard stopped at 37. Even if she had gained a little bit more weight and was growing to now just about 2 and a half pounds, they are still not changing the plans of us being induced early.

That being said, we were given a four day window of when we wanted to go in. While it didn’t really matter to us, we decided to select the  evening of December 16th to start the induction, though we were warned the full process probably won’t take place until the morning of the 17th.

There was truly no reason this date stuck out in our mind other than the fact it would be a week away from the holidays, giving us a greater possibility of at least being home to celebrate. And okay, so yes, if all goes well, we are looking at the possibility that little one will be coming on my father’s birthday. Of course this also means if it is the 18th, she will born on the Star Wars release day. Somehow this seems quite fitting for the family. Even if it was unplanned to work out that way. I have apologized to both Anderson and Logan a thousand times as this pretty much guarantees they will in fact not be seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens on opening day, or opening weekend even. Believe me, I know they have been looking forward to this movie for the past year. Little girl and I just spoiled their father-son bonding time.

I suppose they will have to get used to it.

Walking out of the doctors, knowing I had six weeks left  was a bit scary. Yes, I knew it was coming, it is not like I didn’t. But saying I am having a baby on one of these two or three days is a whole lot different in my mind that saying I am due on ___for some reason. Perhaps it is the knowing vs. the unknown.

Now there truly is a countdown, which is safe to say…

Just under 6 weeks!

This is Halloween

Here is hoping you had a wonderful and safe Halloween! IMG_4708

Ours was rather busy as the day saw us finally starting to get the baby room in order. Probably a good thing seeing we are just under 7 weeks to go before little one is scheduleed to make her appearance.

My mother in law was gracious enough to help out, spending most of the day with him as they painted, trimmed and chatted away. I know now that his parents live farther away, the time spent with them oneon one is precious and welcomed. And we were shocked when the room got finished all in one day. So far we are thrilled with the outcome

As you can see we are opting for a light purple, a far cry from the blues, greens and neutrals that are dominant throughout the house,  honestly I think he was happy to have a paint palette that was not our typical norm.

Logan had been anxious all week for this day. If I wouldn’t know better I would think it was Christmas morning as he has been counting down on the calendar since the beginning of October.  His costume, had been patiently hanging on the closet door, itching for him to get a hold of. This year he choose to be a StormTrooper, which really is no surprise. The kid eats, sleeps and breaths Star Wars.  He had been going pretty strong all day and to no surprise by time it cane to actually trick or treating he was already winding down.  He managed to make it around our neighborhood and a good portion of my own parents neighborhood before deciding he had, had enough and called it a night.

IMG_4704The only causality of the evening was this BB-8 pumpkin. As we came home from trick or treating, we discovered that teenagers had hit our house, and decapitated him! A bummer for Andy who had worked really hard on it the past two days, but   he survived the good portion of trick-or-treaters and was around long enough for Logan to enjoy so at least we had that going for us. Still it is a shame to see that kids decide to do this, because really it isn’t necessary to do so.

Still, I know teens are going to be teens and when no one is around, well it leaves the door open for these things I suppose I should expect these things. Next year we just be ready for them!

And now begins the adults favorite time of year, the day after Halloween when we all sneak in to the kids candy bags to get our fixes. Admit it, you have done it at least once this morning. I am fortunate to say Logan immediately dove in and found the one 3 Musketeers to share with me claiming he wanted the baby to enjoy it and get her taste of candy..

She is a lucky little gal already.