Saturday, April 30, 2011

Big Boy Bed!

Nick has been sleeping in his big boy bed for a whole week now. A little over a month ago, Nick figured out how to get out of his crib. This started a whole chain of events, culminating in the purchase of a nice toddler bed for our boy here.

Between having to return the crib mattress and buy a new one, and moving furniture around, we finally got the whole thing set up for him. Nick was super-excited about sleeping in his new bed. We love his new quilt and sheet set, which was made by a lady who sells them on Ebay. I love that it doesn't have any wacky cartoon characters on it.

All day, he kept saying, "I seep in my big boy bed!" (He doesn't always pronounce his "l"s.) I was totally anticipating problems, because I've spoken to a number of friends about the transition from crib to bed. Some of them had their little ones wandering around the house at all hours of the night.

Nick slept just fine, though, and when Greg went into his room in the morning, he was sleeping in his bed, happy as a clam. One night, I guess, he woke up in the guest bed, which still hasn't been moved to the basement. But that's no great tragedy. Every other night, he's slept in his big boy bed with a stack of books and his favorite monkey beside him.

When it's time for bed, we just ask him, "Nick, what time is it?" He always replies, "Seepytime." Then he goes to sleep in his big toddler bed. Sniff. My little baby is growing up!

*Photos courtesy of Amanda Wiatr.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, April 25, 2011

Coloring Easter Eggs

Last Saturday, Nick's Auntie Mandy came by to help Nick and I decorate eggs, among other things. Eggs plus food dye plus stickers equals one giant mess, but Nick sure had a ball. Check out this picture; you can actually see the drops of blue dye flying onto his nice sweater.

Nick actually loves eating hard-boiled eggs. So it was hard to get him to dye them rather than eat them!

I'm not sure why I'm either making a face or have my eyes closed for all of these (perhaps trying to avoid splashes?) but Nick was really into the process.

He especially loved the sticker part. Adding stickers to eggs is fun!

I'm too tired to write anymore, but enjoy the pictures. I will post more pictures from Aunt Mandy's visit tomorrow.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

We had a great one! I'll have tons of pictures to post this week, but for now, enjoy the antics of Nick and the bunny ears. I hope everyone enjoyed their Easter. Nick certainly did, although the main food group he's been eating from today would be the chocolate group.


By the way, that's hard boiled egg stuck to Nick's bottom lip. He likes to eat the Easter Eggs we dyed.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Pregnancy Update: 32 Weeks

My sister came out today and took some excellent pictures. I actually like the way I look in this one, despite the huge belly. Plus, as an added bonus, Nick jumped in and posed at the last minute. So both of my boys are in this shot.  :)

Weeks Pregnant: 32 weeks, 3 days. He's about the size of a honeydew now, and the only fruit left is a watermelon! I went for a growth ultrasound about two weeks ago (see picture below), and the doctor said that he weighed 3 lbs., 12 ounces, which is right around the 50th percentile.

This ultrasound picture is 4D, so it is pretty cool. This boy is cute, but he definitely has my husband's big nose. What do you think?

Weight: (From starting weight) +18 pounds or +24 pounds, depending on how you count. I lost six pounds in the first trimester, and gained all of that back plus another 18. I could be doing far worse, considering the way dark chocolate M and Ms keep calling my name.

Here, look. Just because I'm brave, I'm going to post this hilarious picture of me, even though it's not very flattering. Check out my shadow. It made my sister and I both giggle when we saw it.

Movement: Since I had to go in for a ultrasound and movement check a few weeks ago, I've been careful about having Greg feel for movement once a day. This guy does move less than Nick did, but we've been feeling more rumbles and kicks as he grows. I'm not sure why Greg can feel movement sometimes when I can't--he's inside my belly, so you'd think I would be able to feel more.

Nick likes to feel his little brother moving around in there as well. He's starting to get excited. I've been on the lookout for a little baby doll for him, but I can't find anything appropriate. Nick loves to copy us, and just like he uses his toy vacuum when Daddy does the floors, we figured he could feed his baby doll a bottle or pretend to change his diaper.

Exercise: Hah! Getting up from a chair is exercise in and of itself lately. I have done a decent amount of walking around, and I've been trying to keep up with my stretches. I wouldn't say I've done any actual exercise lately.

Cravings: I've been wanting nice glasses of organic 1% milk in the last few weeks, as well as dark chocolate. I've also been craving caffeine in its many forms--iced tea, coffee, lattes, and frappucinos. Strangely enough, I have had smell cravings that are quite intense in the last few weeks. I keep spraying fresh linen febreeze all over the house, and I had to buy the Sea Island Cotton cologne from Bath and Body Works.

Sleep: I wake up every two hours to use the bathroom, and at that point I have to keep flipping back and forth, from my left side to my right side and back again. My arms and legs keep falling asleep. I've been really tired, especially if I stay up later than about 9:30.

Medical: Nothing has changed with my vitamins, and I'm not anemic yet. That is pretty good, because I was so anemic with Nick by this point that I had to do shots of liquid iron, per doctor's orders. My asthma's been kind of acting up in the last week or so, though.

Mood: Today we actually brought up Nick's old clothes from when he was first born. He had to wear preemie clothes for the first couple of weeks, and all of those tiny onesies and sleepers looked impossibly small when we pulled them out today. Greg and I couldn't believe that our big boy was once that tiny. Here he is when we were packing up to leave the hospital. Nick seems impossibly small.


Symptoms: Exhaustion. I've been getting progressively more tired as the days go on. I often pass out on the couch around 5 p.m. Oh, and I have some bad varicose veins. Do those go away after pregnancy? Man, I hope so. The nesting instinct has also set in. I usually never clean or organize, and I've been driving Greg crazy begging him to bring baby stuff up from the basement.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Future Gynecologist?

Nick went with me today for my 32 week OB appointment. My doctor asked him if he wanted to be a gynecologist someday. Probably because of how interested he was in all of the equipment in the room. Nick was especially fascinated with the plastic uterus model and the stethoscope. He kept putting the stethoscope up to his stomach, saying, "I listen to the baby in my tummy!" (Nick is obviously not quite clear on the whole baby-in-mommy's tummy thing.)

Apparently, from this point forward, I have to go in for an NST (non-stress test) once a week. After 34 weeks, I may have to go twice each week. The baby is looking great, but they're being extra cautious because I'm a high-risk pregnancy. I don't mind the NST, but I'm going to have to try to schedule them so I go when I don't have Nick. A doctor's office is filled with very expensive "toys" that he shouldn't be playing with, and it was way too tempting for him.

When you have an NST Test, they put two straps around your belly. One monitors contractions, and the other monitors the peaks and valleys of the baby's heart rate. The thing is, you can't move for at least 20 minutes during this test, and if your belly wiggles, it might register as a contraction. Nick kept trying to climb up my legs and wreak havoc in the room. He ripped up a bunch of magazines, took bunches of kleenex out of the box, and stole a pen out of my purse. Then, right after I'd been all strapped in to the machine, Nick announced, "I need to go pee pee in the potty!" Sigh. Poor timing. Between the NST Test and another 20 minutes of waiting for the doctor, Nick caused quite a bit of trouble.

First, he was fascinated with the sharps box, and I had to wrestle him away from it. (Such a horrible parent am I--I won't let my child play with a box containing used needles.) Then, he found the plastic uterus model, and decided that it would be good to throw at me. Thank goodness it wasn't breakable. By the time he got the stethoscope, I figured it was harmless enough.

It was pretty cute, though, how Nick was talking to the nurse. He announced to her, "I'm going to have a baby brother! He in mommy's tummy." Then he showed her his tummy. Nick got a sticker for his loquaciousness. Then he promptly wet his pants. Finally, we had to run outside in the pouring rain. A fitting end to an interesting doctor's visit.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dry Erase Markers, Being Too Busy, and Kicking

Last week one of Nick's pee-pee prizes was a little dry erase board and marker. Because I was naive, I let him take it with him to nap time. Frankly, I was exhausted and not thinking straight. The sudden, random tiredness that hit me all the time in the first trimester of this pregnancy has started returning with a vengeance, right on schedule in the third.

Do you see those cute little knees? Yup. Dry erase marker. Everywhere. He's been doing pretty well with potty training. He has even had several days without wet man panties. Nick has not, however, been able to go #2 in the potty. I have no idea why. I hope he figures that one out eventually.

Today Nick used his first urinal--Greg took him into the men's room at the Kohl's, and held him up, and low and behold, success! This does present a problem for me, though. You see, Nick is afraid of public toilets, and the ladies rooms never have urinals. Hmm. It was hilarious when Nick came running out of the men's room. He announced to everyone at the service desk, "I went pee-pee in the potty!" They were duly impressed.

Pardon my absence lately--the last two weeks have probably been my busiest in years. I have a part time freelance writing job and I am under deadline, so I've been spending lots of time researching and typing like a madwoman. I have 5,000 words due by Thursday, but I got a lot done yesterday and today, so now I only have about 2,400 left to go. I'm trying to earn some extra money for all the diapers we're going to be going through very soon. I seem to remember an average of 8-10 diapers per day--I shudder to think.

Then, I have two teacher friends working on their National Board Certification. It's the highest honor a teacher can get in this country, and the only way to get a Master Teaching Certificate in Illinois. I became a NBCT in 2008, and now I help mentor other teachers working on their portfolios. I remember how excited I was when I got my new IL Teaching Certificate, and it read, "Master Teacher." Can't beat that feeling.   :)  Anyhow, I've spent the last few weeks reading their papers and giving them suggestions. Their final portfolios were due last Friday.

To top it all off, I had to make a little visit to the hospital. The little boy inside of me was being kind of lazy, and my doctor had warned me to call if I didn't feel movement over a 24 hour period. This kid has never moved very much, and maybe it's because I was so busy, but I couldn't feel him at all for well over a day.

My obstetrician had me go in to radiology to get an ultrasound and have the baby pass some tests. He started moving right away on the ultrasound, though I still couldn't feel it. My placenta is in a weird spot, in the front, and I think that's why movement is so muffled. I guess he passed all of the test with flying colors. Aw, he passed his first test. The doctor said that with this good of a test, the chances of anything being wrong are practically Nil. Plus, especially in the last two or three days, the baby has been dancing a jig. His movements have become stronger and I'm having less trouble feeling him.

Anyhow, the trip to the hospital was just a precaution, but now I've been extra careful with tracking movements. We found out that Greg can usually feel him with his hands, even when I feel nothing. So he is now in charge of kick counts. Seems like a fair deal, seeing as I have the responsibility of carrying the baby 24/7. Oh, and apparently dark chocolate and caffeine help--this little guy dances when I indulge.

Speaking of dancing a jig--here's Nick dancing in his crib. This is probably the last week he'll be sleeping in the crib. Greg got the toddler bed together, and we're just waiting for the new crib mattress to arrive. (The original one we ordered was the wrong size.) Nick is thrilled, and every time he passes his toddler bed, he announces, "That's my bed! I gonna sleep in there!"

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Pizza Party for Two-Year-Olds

Yes, indeed. There is a family so courageous, so heedless of danger to their home and property, that they'd have a children's party for their two-year-old. They invited a lot of other two-year-olds, including Nick. This was an awesome party! It was also Nick's very first kid's birthday party.

Not only was this a pizza party, it was a "make your own pizza" party, from Homemade Pizza. There were hats and aprons for the kids to wear, and each kid got to make his or her own pizza. Nick loved this, although he kept eating the ingredients.

We thought the idea for this party was really creative. Our hosts had sliced grapes and strawberries, and the most delicious cupcakes. I'm not quite ready to brave having a kid's party, but at some point, when I do, I hope it's as fun as this one was--they even had little favor buckets for each of the guests.

Nick, however, was a little bit naughty. He kept stealing Hershey's kisses out of the other kid's buckets when we weren't looking. He likes chocolate a little too much. I wonder where he gets that from.  ;)

Here's Zosia (the birthday girl) and her daddy making a pizza. Would you believe that none of the kids threw pizza sauce or toppings at one another?

Now, planning for a birthday party is a lot of work, and you can't always expect things to go as planned. The birthday girl, Zosia (shown above in the adorable pink sweatshirt) wasn't feeling well, and slept through part of her own party. I can remember the same thing happening at Nick's 1st birthday party. You just can't predict what'll happen with kids.

Nick loved playing with the other kids, and didn't seem shy at all. Greg and I were both pretty quiet kids, so I'm not sure where Nick got his gregariousness from.  We're just glad he likes being around other children. . . you see, in about two months, there will be two children in our house all the time.

The pizza, by the way, was delicious.   :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Visiting with Gigi

During my spring break, Nick and I decided to take a day to go and visit my grandmother, who Nick calls Gigi. (G.G.=great grandma) She just had cataract surgery and we figured she could use some cheering up. Nick picked out pretty yellow tulips and cupcakes to bring for her.

I think Nick's favorite part of the visit was romping with Lucy, the Yorkie pup.

My grandma made us lunch and dinner, and we talked and watched Nick run around and try to destroy things. At one point, he kept sneaking into the living room and stealing Hershey's kisses from the candy bowl.  For a two-year-old, he can be pretty surreptitious--Nick would put the candy behind his back so we couldn't see it. He must've gone back seven or eight times before we finally put the candy bowl where he couldn't reach it.

That really brought back memories for me, because I can remember doing the exact same thing. In fact, one time, when I was about 5 or 6, I snuck a whole bunch of chocolate out of that same crystal candy bowl and hid the wrappers under the couch cushions. I was caught and I can remember having to write a silly sentence about 100 times. It was something like: I will not take candy without asking. It seems my son has inherited the tendancy to swipe chocolate whenever it is in the vicinity.

It was a sunny day, so we decided to go outside with Lucy for awhile. Even though it was somewhat chilly outside, Nick wasn't even a little bit cold. Too busy running full speed towards and away from the puppy, he got quite a bit of exercise. You can tell, though, that Gigi was a little chilled.

I really love this time in the spring when you can have the windows open and let in the fresh air. Spring is such a hopeful time, and I have to say that Nick is so much more mellow when he gets to run around and play outdoors.

Nick has quite a few doting grandparents--four grandmas and three grandpas--but there's only one Gigi. Since Nick lost his Grandma Marie in February, she's his only living great grandparent, and very special to him. You'd think he'd get confused with all of the relatives, but we have pictures up all over the house, and Nick can point to them and name everyone. He knew just who I was talking about when I said we were going to visit Gigi. In the car, he asked, "I see Gigi. Puppy, too?"

Yup. Puppy, too.

At times, I felt sorry for the puppy, because Nick was not very gentle with her. But Lucy kept coming back for more, and licking the heck out of my boy. He didn't seem to mind much.

I spent most of my spring break working on a very big freelance writing project, all while potty training Mr. Nick. I also had papers to edit for some friends and a Power Point presentation I was working on for work. Not very relaxing.

So getting to take a rest from the computer and drive up for some adult company was really nice. I think Gigi liked the company, too, though she looked pretty tired by the time we left. It's hard for anyone to get used to the energy of a two-year-old!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Gardening Update

We finally got the garden ready for spring on Sunday. Despite the threat of rain, we went to Lowe's and filled the cart with soil, compost, mulch, a new rake, and some anti-rabbit fencing. I'm determined to defeat the bunnies this year.

It didn't end up raining until after dark, and Sunday turned out to be lovely--it even got into the 70s. We added the good stuff into the soil and mixed it all up, and Greg put up the bunny fence. Do you think it will work? (Oh, how I hope so!) I'm so proud of how we all worked together to get the garden ready. Greg was really helpful, now that I'm getting bigger and can't lift anything.

I planted spinach, early peas, and tons of carrots so far. I also planted a bunch more seeds to go under the lights inside. I'm hoping we'll be able to eat some spinach this year, unless we have kamikaze bunnies who try to jump the fence. Last year they ate every single morsel of spinach.

Oh, and remember when I had to rake leaves with a snow shovel, because we didn't have a rake? Not only did Greg buy a new rake, we also found a little man rake for Nick. He loves it, though he hasn't mastered the art of actually raking quite yet. But he's trying.  :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Messiest Cookie Project EVER!

Last week, Nick's Grandma Toni came to visit, and she brought with a cookie-making kit she'd bought. Grandma Toni is very creative; she's always bringing special projects to do with Nick. He was mighty excited to do this one.

Here's the project Grandma Toni brought. It includes cookie cutters, cookie mix, and some funky powder that allows you to actually dye the dough.

Now, Grandma Toni is no fool, and she didn't underestimate the messiness of this fun project. So she planned to bake cookies while I was home on spring break, so that there'd be two adults to manage the mess. Smart lady. Nick helped with every single step of the process, from the mixing to the rolling to the coloring to the cookie-cutting.

Boy, did they have fun!

But I think this project wins for messiest EVER. Check out the countertop afterward. Yup. The dye stained the countertops and our hands, though some 10:1 bleach solution pretty much took care of the countertops.

The cookies? Pretty tasty, though the color was a little bright.
A fun time was had by all.  :)