Thursday, November 18, 2010

The 23 Week Belly

How far along:  23 weeks   (I'm starting to get the feeling of having a beach ball in my belly when I bend over!)

Best Moment of the Week: Putting up our Christmas tree on Sunday!  Yes, it's way too early, but I really couldn’t wait and after a little begging and pleading, I convinced Kai to bring in the decoration boxes :-D  

BTW, we get another peek at our little guy tomorrow!!  I can hardly wait!  Maybe this time I’ll get around to scanning in the u/s pictures to share them.  I miss LLUMC and how they put them on a cd for us.  It made it so much easier to share online.  Oh well, enough complaining, I will definitely try to make it a priority ;-) 

Movement:  All the time!    

Food Craving: Nothing too out of the ordinary.  Lots of citrus still.   

What I'm looking forward to: My mom coming to visit, maternity clothes shopping this weekend, Black Friday, and seeing our little guy tomorrow! 

Weekly Wisdom:  Everything grows rounder and wider and weirder, and I sit here in the middle of it all and wonder who in the world you will turn out to be.
-- Carrie Fisher

Big Brother:  He’s becoming so helpful!  He has been “helping” me cook in the kitchen and loves it.  He’s also pretty independent.  If I take something away from him that he’s not supposed to have and set it on the kitchen counter, he’ll push a chair over, climb up, and retrieve it.  I tried not to laugh the first time he pulled that stunt, but it was hard.  Now I’m getting more creative. 

Our biggest battle right now is that he’s been trying to skip nap time every day for the last couple of weeks.  I gave in and figured he was done with naps, but the dr. said that he needed it and I needed to let him cry it out.  It’s agonizing to hear him cry it out, but I know he needs it.  He was a perfect napper until a few weeks ago.  So now I'm praying for strength and am very happy that the baby monitor has a volume control.  

Nursery: We’re going to pick out a few things this weekend…  

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Life As I Know It

Here's a brief snippet of my week:

  • When I picked K up from his nap this afternoon, he was in an especially cuddly mood, so I wrapped him in a warm blanket and we snuggled for a few moments.  He immediately fell right back to sleep in my arms for another 45 minutes.  The entire time, Baby #2 was giving playful little kicks and I was reminded that I am a mother to 2 very active, wonderful kids.  In those special moments I felt so blessed.
  • Made quinoa and Black beans with vegetable quesadillas for dinner and spice cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for dessert.  Won over the affections of my husband.  
  • Made Indian lentil stew last night for dinner and won over my own affections.  I thought it was great!  My dear husband was not so impressed--neither was K.  Note to self--make that one again only when I'm eating alone or when I'm really mad at Kai ;-)
  • Bought $500 in energy saving light bulbs and spent only $5.  Yes, it was a GREAT feeling once I assured myself that I was not actually robbing the store. 
  • Ordered my Christmas cards from Shutterfly!!  Very excited to see them!
  • Bought a gently used treadmill off of Craigslist and am loving it so far!!  Put it in K's playroom.  Tried to avoid stepping on the toy cars he kept launching down the center of the track amused by how they flew off the end.  

I've also been busy reading some more great books and thought I'd share:
Have a Little Faith: A True Story
Have a Little Faith 
This book was great!  I literally cried the entire last 2 chapters.  Pregnancy hormones?  Not sure.  Mitch Albom is a great author.  Tuesdays with Morrie was a previous favorite and I cried on that one too (and I wasn't pregnant then).  
The Secret Life of Bees
The Secret Life of Bees
Another good book.  I felt like I was transported to the time and place in which the story was set.  Great story.  
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
Eat, Pray, Love
I'm in the middle of this one right now and am not sure yet.  I know they made a movie of it (haven't seen it), but so far I haven't been overly impressed.  I'm still in Italy though--1st of 3 countries.  Has anyone read this one and does it get better?? 
The Associate: A Novel
The Associate 
Not so good.  You wouldn't miss much if you never read this one.  John Grisham, you disappointed me this time.  

I'm also in the middle of another long series, but I'm not sharing the details about it because I don't want to be judged ;-)  

    Sunday, November 14, 2010

    Mrs. Thrifty Claus

    I started my Christmas shopping last week!  After teaching for 6 years before staying home with K, I had been saving up bonus points from the Scholastic Book Clubs with the intention of using the points for books for our kids once I started staying home.  Well, I finally got on the website and decided to use some of those points for a few Christmas presents for K this year.  I came across some great books that I thought I would share with you.  Everything from potty training to Christmas books (which I'll give to him before Christmas).  The best part was that it was free--even shipping!  

    You may not be a teacher or have bonus points, but even so, you can still order from Scholastic and get some great prices on books.  They run specials for $1 books each month and always have prices far below the regular bookstore prices.  If you want me to let you in on a little secret, you could visit your child's school or your local school if your kids aren't school aged yet and offer to run the program for a particular classroom/s and start accruing bonus points for yourself.  I know for a fact that not all teachers take advantage of the program because it's an added hassle every month with collecting and placing orders, but it's a great program to promote reading in the school and earn your family some free books/toys/stuff.  Good luck!  Here are a few we got this time around:


    So far, my favorites are: Goodnight Train, The Crayon Box That Talked, Little Quack's Bedtime, One Snowy Night, and Have You Seen My Potty? (which is hilarious!)

    Saturday, November 13, 2010

    Shutterfly Christmas Cards

    I'm planning to order our Christmas cards soon and came across a great offer from Shutterfly featured on a blog I follow.  They're giving away 50 free Christmas cards to bloggers this year, which is a great deal because they have awesome cards.  Last year I wanted to order cards from them but since I was staying home with K and it was Kai's last year of school, finances were tight so I ordered from somewhere cheaper. The cards last year still turned out really cute, but I was thrilled to find out about this offer this year because Shutterfly has so many great cards to choose from.  Here are my top picks for this year.  The card we're getting isn't actually in this batch because I like it to be a surprise when we send them out.  Anyway, here they are!  And if you're a blogger, I hope you take full advantage of this great offer here.  


    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    My Midwest Trip

    As promised, here are some pictures from my Midwest trip to visit my MIL a couple of weeks ago.  As you may recall she had surgery and is recovering, so we went to spend a little time to try and help her out and keep her company as she was pretty much home bound.  We also got to see many friends and family while we were there.  I managed to get some great pictures between my MIL’s and my own camera, but there were several times I forgot :-(  We saw K’s cousins from 3 siblings and I only got pictures with 1 set and I also forgot to get pictures with others that we visited with, but they know we love them anyway!  Honestly, being a “single parent” for those 10 days was hard enough.  I’m surprised I managed to get any pictures!    

     K played at the park a couple of times and loved the new "toys"

    Helping Nini with her "Zoom-Zoom"!!
     He met my Grandparents horses which he wasn't too fond of.  I think they scared him because they were so big.  I have so many great memories growing up riding their horses.  These are not the ones I grew up with, though those horses lived into their 30's and had a long life.
     He liked this view much better from Great Papa's golf cart.  
     K with Nana--also known by me as my Grammy.  
    K with his Great Papa, my Grandpa, on his golf cart.  
     Playing peek-a-boo at Grandma and Papa's house.
     Riding Quick Silver.  I now frequently spend money on these rides.  In Meijers (one of my favorite Midwest grocery stores) you can still ride these same horses for $.01--yes a penny!
     K with his cousins on Kai's side
     K and Leethan during a playdate.  Leethan's mom is a good friend of mine from grade school!
    Nini got K a new construction set complete with power tools and a hard hat.  He LOVES them and plays with them all the time! 
     He discovered my blow dryer--under supervision of course!
     Gotta love the hair!!
     I learned a new piano part with my younger sister, Stephanie, who can play piano so well!!  You can laugh at my face--I'm concentrating really hard just to get it right.  Someday maybe I'll take lessons and be as good as her or my other younger sister, Katie.  
     K loved aunt Stephanie!
    Nini and K on the carousel.  He loved it!  

     Stephanie and K.  Kevin, Stephanie's long time boyfriend, took this awesome picture!  
     I LOVE this picture!  Kai's mom took this one.  
     And this one too.  
     Beautiful sunset on the Lake.
    Playdate with Kim, Samantha, and Kaden.  
     Practicing what it will be like in a few more months!  
     Making a mess of Nini's playroom.  
    But always having fun!  

    As you can tell, it was busy but so much fun!  We definitely need to do it again soon, except this time hopefully Kai can go too!

    Monday, November 8, 2010

    The Belly--21 1/2 weeks

    Do you see the growing bump??  Here's last time's progress.  I think I'm definitely bigger this time around.  

    How far along:  21 1/2 weeks   

    Best Moment of the Week: Finding out that after our big scare, everything is okay with our little guy.  Saw the doctor twice last week and got the gold star both times :-)  We have an ultrasound scheduled again next week, so we’ll get another peek and verify either the 85% or 15%.  Woo hoo!

    Also, we had a great date this weekend.  We went and saw the TSO, which was a lot different than what we expected, but we still had a good time.  We ate some great food, visited a new state, and started the Christmas season in our home.  Yes, the Christmas tunes are now playing regularly.  I’ll wait to decorate a little longer though. 

    Movement:  This little guy is a strong kicker just like his older brother!  He kicks K incessantly when he’s sitting on my lap for story time.  I think feeling the baby move is probably my favorite part of pregnancy.    

    Food Craving: Korean and Mexican food together also known as Kogi.  It’s way better than it sounds!!

    What I'm looking forward to: My mom is coming for Thanksgiving in a week and a half!  I can hardly wait to see her!  We’re also planning to buy a few big things this year on Black Friday, so I’m gearing up for that (hoping we can get a few baby deals too).  I LOVE Black Friday!!  Though this year will be much colder!

    Weekly Wisdom:  A mother's joy begins when new life is stirring inside... when a tiny heartbeat is heard for the very first time, and a playful kick reminds her that she is never alone.
    -- Author Unknown

    Big Brother:  I just have to share a super cute thing that K does all the time lately--SING!!  When we do our nightly routine of singing before bedtime, he has been singing along and doing the hand motions.  And when we're listening to music, or even when he's just playing, he'll belt out the tunes!   It's the cutest thing ever!!  

    Nursery: We’ve been debating having the boys share a room or just giving them separate rooms.  Also in the debate is whether to get another crib or give K a big boy bed now.  I go back and forth about both of these things almost every week.  If you have any words of wisdom on either of these issues, please feel free to share!  

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010

    Trick or Treat!!

    We had so much fun trick or treating again this year.  K actually understood what was going on this time.  We dressed him up as an astronaut (with his warm pj's on underneath since it had snowed that day).  When we took him up to the houses, he set his bucket down and waited for them to give him candy.  Once they gave him a piece he reached in their bowl and tried to pull out another!  No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't break him of this habit.  Everyone thought it was really cute though and gave him 2 pieces anyway.  I guess that's the advantage of being 20 months old and trick or treating ;-)  He thanked everyone by blowing them kisses and won over many new admirers.  

    Kai and I dressed up too just for fun.  Since we both have scrubs already, it made for an easy and cheap costume.  I was this close to buying us real costumes this year, but the ones I liked would have cost nearly $100, so I passed knowing that we could get by with the scrub routine for another year.  Kai ended up getting a patient from the whole ordeal--completely unexpectedly.  When we were at one of the houses, the owner of the house realized that the stethoscope wasn't just a dress up one and asked what Kai did for work.  We tried to explain that it was just part of the costume, but he pressed us, so Kai explained that he was the new dentist in town and the man wanted to set up an appointment.  Crazy!  I'm sure it was great PR--a dentist asking for candy!  lol!  

    Here are the pictures:

     Our little astronaut
     Waving to his fans--yes, he'll be around later for autographs ;-)  
     Even astronauts pick their noses sometimes...
     Peeking at his loot.  We hadn't given him candy before, but we gave him a Kit Kat after the day was done and I'll just say that it was love at first bite!  
     He was so excited and that made the night all the more fun!
     He kept trying to take his over sized hat off.  We eventually gave in and just put his warm hat on even though it didn't match.  

    Tuesday, November 2, 2010

    Early Morning Pregnancy Scare

    Yesterday morning I woke to find that I had had a little spotting during the night.  To say the least, I freaked and immediately called the doctor who immediately got me in for a checkup and concluded that everything appeared to be okay, but gave me a few restrictions until we can be sure the bleeding has stopped completely. :-(  I was thankful to hear our little guy's heartbeat (which was 150) and showed no signs of distress.  I also spent the day majorly tuned into counting kicks just to make sure he was still okay.  

    The good news is that he's still as active as ever, the bad news is that I'm not.  No longer can I go running until the doctors feel comfortable about the situation.  This news made me a little sad until I thought about the alternative, and then I realized a month or two of non-running is fine.  So in the meantime, I will be doing much more walking and maybe even some swimming.   I'm very thankful that my restrictions were fairly mild and that I can still carry on with normal life.  However, today I'm staying home and enjoying K, trying to let my body do what it needs to do in order to keep our little guy safe and sound for another 19 weeks.  I'm so excited to meet our new little bundle of energy, just not quite yet.  

    Monday, November 1, 2010

    Menu Planning Monday

    Last week I started a monthly menu hoping to solve the dilemma of opening the fridge to find lots of food but nothing to eat.  I'm toying with the idea of making 3-4 months worth of menu's and then cycling through them, but I'm not sure yet.  So far it's worked out great.  We used all the food in our fridge, and always had great nutritious, tasty, and different things to eat.  Other blogs I follow post their weekly menu's in order to get ideas from others about what to make and share their menu's with the rest of the blogging world for others to get ideas from them.  I can always use a little inspiration when planning my menu to avoid the rut I sometimes get in, so here's our menu for this week (feel free to share any ideas you have too!):  

      Lunch:  Leftovers
      Dinner:  Layered Applesauce, Fresh Berries, Kiwi, Yogurt
      Lunch:  Masterful Mac n Cheese (from the Sneaky Chef Cookbook), Veggies, and Grapes
      Dinner:  Veggie Chicken Chopped Salad
      Lunch:  IQ Tuna Patties (from the Sneaky Chef Cookbook), Raisins, Veggies
      Dinner:  Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili and Spinach Salad
      Lunch:  Leftovers
      Dinner:  Enchilada's and Broccoli
      Lunch:  Leftovers
      Dinner:  Teriyaki Tofu, Green Beans, Rice
      Lunch:  SLT Sandwiches, carrots, fruit
      Dinner:  Minestrone Soup and Corn Dodgers
      Lunch:  Special K Roast, Green Beans, Salad, Bread
      Dinner:  Open Kitchen