Monday, March 31, 2008

The Weigh In

Now that there are only 4 weeks to go, I have weekly doctor visits. I am happy to say that I was successfully able to put on 3 pounds since my last checkup and my stomach gained a whopping 4 cm!! (when else in my life will I be happy to tell everyone such news?) The doctor said everything looked great and he had no concerns. Her head is down in the correct position and I've started dilating to 1 centimeter. I have a feeling it is going to be a long four weeks if she chooses to wait that long.

Anna's Fashion Show

Anna was the center of attention at the baby shower as she modeled for us the Spring Peaches-N-Cream clothing line, showing us which ones were appropriate for sliding. Needless to say Anna's head was a little big for the hat.

Baby Shower - March 2008 Baby Shower - March 2008

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Fully Stocked

I had another baby shower yesterday and baby's closet is now well stocked. We have diapers, wipes, bottles and cute little clothes - I can think of nothing more we need. It seems so much easier the second go around. Now we just wait on baby's arrival - 4 weeks to go!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Easter Vacation Part 2: Food, Food and more Food

One key activity that always seems to be prevalent on our Easter vacation is eating. Perhaps this is because there are 20 of us afterall and mealtime is when we are all together - or maybe it's just that the food is so yummy! I am sure to make my doctor happy when I weigh in at my appointment next week! Anna greatly enjoyed the food as well, especially breakfast. Every morning we would walk over to the breakfast buffet where Anna would spend an hour eating fruit and muffins and watching the family come and go from the breakfast table. For dinner the family all dines together as well, but small kids stay back in the rooms since it is a formal coat and tie setting (this is just the way it has always been even when I was little).

Anna stayed back in our room with her Rent a Nanny. Yes, I said Rent a Nanny and it really isn't as scary as it may sound. The resort had recommended a nanny service to us and I was able to make all of the arrangements before arriving in Florida. The service provided us with the same nanny for all three nights and gave me lots of information about her. When the nanny arrived she went right to where Anna was eating and took over - it was nice to see her comfort with Anna. I have only left Anna with family and my best friend so I was a little worried how well Anna would do - but Anna seemed to really like her which helped me enjoy my dinner. Each night when the nanny came back she would bring toys for her and Anna to play with. To me it was a great experience, though we definitely paid for it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter Vacation

We are now home from our Easter vacation to Florida. We had a wonderful time visiting with family, enjoying the weather and eating lots of yummy food.

Travel: Anna did great on the airplane both ways (she is still in our laps) and on the hour flight needed little more than a snack or two to keep her entertained. I was a little worried that her ear may bother her from the cabin pressure but she didn't seem to notice. Our flight to Florida was rather turbulent but Anna thought the plane going up and down was fun - I'm pretty sure she was the only one on the plane that felt that way. This go around we decided to have the car rental agency put a car seat into the car rather than lugging ours down there - this turned out to be a good decision and was reasonably priced ($30ish for the long weekend).

Beach: Anna loved the beach. This was the first time she had been in the sand since she was 8 months old and it was a much different experience since she could walk and was not putting it in her mouth. Anna enjoyed picking up seashells and having a wide open space to run around. She did make it down to the water once and fell, brrrrrrrr - that was the end of that.

Ponte Vedra Easter Vacation

Walking Around: Another favorite thing of Anna's this trip was simply walking around holding someone's hand. I think half of the pictures I took this vacation having Anna doing just that. She would walk to breakfast (talking up a storm), walk to lunch and walk anywhere else we needed to go.

Ponte Vedra Easter Vacation

There's more to share but I have a little girl who got accustomed to much more exciting things than hanging around the house with her mommy so off we go to play.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Mom's Night Out

Last night was our monthly Mom's Night Out. The third Tuesday of every month some of us mommies get together at a local restaurant to have a good dinner and chat. It is so nice to get together in a different setting and just hang out. While much of what we talk about is the kids, I can't imagine a better topic - we are mommies after all. I also enjoy coming home and hearing what Anna and her daddy did that evening. Here's my husband's blog on last nights activities.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Anna's First Ear Infection

Anna has had a cold for a little over a week now - mainly a runny nose and a vicious cough. I took her to the doctor yesterday to have her checked out before we head to Florida. Turns out she has a mild ear infection in one ear. The cold/ear infection has not kept her from playing as hard as she can, but I have noticed a difference in how well she is sleeping, a lessening in appetite, and increased fussiness. I was given a prescription for Amoxicillan but per doctor's recommendation I am waiting to have it filled. The hope is that she is on the upswing and that she will not have to take the antibiotics. We were given the ok to go ahead and fly so our trip is still on to spend Easter with my family. - sunshine and beaches here we come.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Neighborhood Egg Hunt

Yesterday Anna went to her very first Easter Egg Hunt. Our wonderful neighborhood seems to have an event for every holiday and Easter is no exception. There was the obvious egg hunt and easter bunny but also pony rides, a "train", baby chicks, and a few activities for older kids - it was a blast. We were even able to meet up with all of Anna's neighborhood friends to share in the experience. The events started with the egg hunt where tons of colored plastic eggs were strewn about through the gated playground for the 2 and under crowd. When it was time for the hunt to start it was so cute for most of the kids wanted to play on the playground rather than pick up the eggs. We found Anna a spot out of the way and let her pick up the ones around her.

Egg Hunt

We then tried out the pony rides and train, Anna enjoyed them both.

Egg Hunt - Riding a Pony Egg Hunt - Choo Choo

An hour from when it started (though it felt like 3!) we were back at home. What a fun time!

Friday, March 14, 2008

A Pound a Week

I went to the doctor today for my routine appointment and once again the doctor had a few comments about my weight gain, or lack thereof. My weight took another little dip from my last appointment though I'm not sure it is too surprising considering the stomach flu I had - putting me at a 12.4 pound gain overall. I have definitely been eating everything I have wanted, including a trip to Krispy Kreme last weekend, but don't seem to be putting on the pound a week that they would like. There doesn't seem to be any risk to the baby for she is steadily growing along in the 50 percentile range though the doctor doesn't think she will reach the stature of Anna who weighed in at 8 lbs 2 ounces at birth 5 days before her due date. The suggestion was for me to eat 6 small meals a day, each meal containing a protein. The doctor is fine if I still don't pack on the pounds but she wants to make sure I'm doing all that I can do to eat enough - makes sense. I just need to be more aware of my food intake during the day (and maybe have an extra milkshake or two :)) before my next appointment.

Surprise!

Yesterday Anna and I had a wonderful surprise. As we walked up to our weekly playgroup we noticed balloons on the front porch of our friend's house - sure enough it was a surprise baby shower for us. What a blessing to be surrounded by wonderful mommy friends!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Starting Young

I was at Target yesterday and forgot to take Anna's juice with us. We ran into another friend who had a cookie, so Anna wanted one too and got even thirstier. We were about to have a breakdown and I stopped by the Starbucks counter and they gave me a small coffee cup with a lid and the standard Starbucks green straw. I thought it was cute, but I'm sure there were other moms in Target thinking I was starting Anna off early!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Slide

As I mentioned before Anna is a slide fanatic. She greatly enjoys playing on the little slides in the church nursery so we decided to get one for her to play with at home. We bought the Little Tykes Easy Store Jr. Play Slide from Toys 'R Us (and bonus it was on sale!). Anna has been on and off of it ever since we got home and it is a great way to get energy out when it is too cold to go outside. A few things I like about this slide in particular is that it folds up for easy storage, the sides are low enough that Anna can get her leg around by herself to slide down, and it is compact for use in our family room.

Here's a video my husband made of Anna enjoying her slide (minus the blooper footage from her fall :( ).

video

Monday, March 10, 2008

Our Trip to Toys 'R Us

We decided to take a family trip to Toys 'R Us to look for Anna a slide. I call it a trip because there is not a Toys 'R Us in Raleigh so we had to head out to Cary. I had forgotten how much fun a Toys 'R Us store could be and on every aisle I saw something that I would have loved to buy Anna. I showed restraint and we only ended up with some sidewalk chalk and a slide (blog entry on the slide to follow). While we were in the store Anna played on the slides, threw a ball around the store, played in a miniature kitchen and tried to ride on every pink tricycle - what could be more fun? When it was time to leave we put a slide in our cart and headed to the check out lane. When the lady took the slide out of the cart to ring it up Anna completely lost it. She started screaming and tears flowed down her face - this continued for 20 minutes! I noticed other parents around the store with crying children and even had a lady comment to me that she too had once left the store with a screaming child. I wasn't embarrassed or mad - I felt bad for Anna because she couldn't understand that we had bought the slide for her.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Bring on the Rain

Raleigh has been in a drought this winter, so we welcomed the much needed rain yesterday. Anna celebrated by wearing her new spring raincoat from Gymboree. So cute!

Bring on the Rain

Friday, March 7, 2008

Daddy is Home!

My husband got home last night after being in London for the week. We were so glad to have him home! Anna and I went to pick him up from the airport and as soon as she saw him coming down the escalator she ran over to him with a big smile and arms in the air. Of course daddy brought home gifts which is always excited. He found Anna this adorable Noah's Ark at Hamleys, a London toy store. She has enjoyed playing with the little wooden animals - I have a feeling they will soon be all over the house.

Pictures Galore

A friend of mine took her twins to Portrait Innovations and the pictures came out so cute that I had to take Anna as well. I had heard many good things about Portrait Innovations and with an advertised special on their website of $9.95 for tons of pictures I thought we couldn't go wrong. They do not have a studio in Raleigh but do have ones nearby in Cary and Durham. I decided to go to the one in Burlington so that Anna's Mimi could come with us. We dressed Anna in her Peaches 'N Cream Butterfly dress, wetted down the cowlick and off we went. I had high hopes for this place since they advertise on their website photographers who can make portraits that are moving. I thought this would be perfect since Anna doesn't like to sit still. I don't know what I was expecting - them to follow her around while she played? - I'm not sure, but I should have judged from the pictures on the website that they still want them to sit there in the cute little wicker chair or to hold the flower and gaze into its center. Needless to say this was not on Anna's agenda - she wanted to play with the lady who was taking her picture.

I am starting to see a pattern with having Anna's picture taken:

1) I get excited, pick out an outfit or two and start to envision these beautiful pictures
2) We get there and Anna wants to do her own thing and definitely not sit on the box that all the studios undoubtedly have (do other 16 month olds?)
3) I feel frustrated and my motto becomes "we just need one good one"
4) The photo session is over, I'm sweating and thinking we will not do this again (this would be my 3rd go around :))
5) There are 1 or 2 pictures that make me smile and think the whole experience is worth while
6) I forget I said I wasn't going back!!

This experience was no different - there were 2 photos that melted my heart. It took awhile for me and the sales lady to get on the same page about the $9.95 special (my package started out over $100!) but I felt in the end it was worth the $40 I did spend. In a previous blog entry I mentioned our trip to Picture People. I felt my experience at Portrait Innovations was far superior though it is probably unfair for me to compare the two now that Picture People has too gone digital - hopefully it makes for better quality photos.

I think we are done with pictures for awhile. I can't imagine trying to do this with two little ones though once we pull out the matching dresses, it may be hard for me to resist :).

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

"Comeback" Toys

Anna and I have been spending some time in the nursery lately going through Anna's old toys and clothes (can you say nesting!!) There were two toys in particular that I must have put away prematurely for Anna pulled them out and for the first time actually used the toys as they were intended.

Fisher-Price Baby's First Blocks: Anna loved to chew on and carry these blocks around with her wherever she went when she was younger. Now, she actually puts the shapes through the holes.

Comeback Toys

Fisher-Price Little Superstar Classical Stacker: Another toy that Anna loved to carry around, the stars were often found all around the house. I moved the toy up to the nursery once Anna was able to pick up the stacker and throw it (not good for the floors). Now, Anna loves to stack the stars on the stacker.

I have a feeling that Anna will gravitate to many more of her old toys once the baby is here.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Pregnancy Cravings

Last night Anna and I sat outside under the stars and enjoyed frozen custard mixed with pineapple; today it was a slice of a cookie cake. Thankfully my husband comes home on Thursday and I'll be less inclined to indulge my every whim. As I thought about the topic of pregnancy cravings tonight I found myself wondering - do such things really exist? I know the stereotypes of pickles and ice cream and a BabyCenter article reported that 85% of women have at least one pregnancy craving so I know they are legit.... just maybe not for me this go around. With Anna I craved anything spicy - I loved getting nachos at baseball games loaded with jalapenos and my main meal ordered out was buffalo wings with extra sauce. This pregnancy I never seem to know what I want to eat and if I'm honest would say eating sweets is more about being able to (no one can tell which pound is ice cream and which is baby :)) rather than an intense craving. The other issue is I have little eyes watching me that want to eat or drink everything I am having. This is actually a good thing - it keeps me walking around all day with a glass of water rather than tea or fruit punch and has allowed a bag of easter candy to last over two weeks when normally it would have lasted two days. I think for tonight's snack I'll have some grapes :).

A Mother's Prayer

I have jumped head first into the world of podcasts. I enjoy listening to them while I'm cleaning up around the house or when I have a few minutes of downtime. One podcast that I have been enjoying as of late is by Dr. James Dobson and Focus on the Family. Today's topic was about stay at home moms and there was a great poem by an unknown author that I thought I would share as an encouragement to moms out there.

Dear Lord, It's such a hectic day,
With little time to stop and pray,
For life's been anything but calm,
Since You called me to be a Mom,
Running errands, matching socks,
Building dreams with matching blocks,
Cooking, cleaning, finding shoes,
And other stuff that children lose,
Fitting lids on bottled bugs,
Wiping tears and giving hugs,
A stack of last week's mail to read,
So where's the quiet time I need?
Yet, when I steal a moment, Lord,
Just at the sink or ironing board,
To ask the blessings of Your Grace,
I see them in my small one's face,
That You have blessed me
All the while...
And I stop to kiss that precious smile!

— Author Unknown

Monday, March 3, 2008

Trendy Tykes

My friend and fellow neighborhood mommy just started a really nice web site, Trendy Tykes, to show the latest in children's clothing and accessories. Check it out (and see the cute pictures of Anna's friend Taylor)!