Friday, September 30, 2011

It's a...


We are thrilled to announce that Big Bro Asher is going to have a Lil Bro!

All looked great on the ultrasound. Lil Bro is measuring right on time, weighs about 12 oz. and is quite the wiggler.

Thank you for all the prayers. We are very thankful to have another healthy boy on the way.




Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dear 17-year old Asher,

Yesterday, kid, you turned 17 months old.

And boy, let me tell you, you are awesome.

Your dad and I look at each other all the time and say, "Wow! He is so freaking awesome/cute/smart/adorable/whateverotheradjectivefitsatthemoment." I texted your dad the other day and told him that you are the best thing we ever did.

But, I realize you are now 17 years old reading this. You are probably rolling your eyes at the sentimental stuff. I get it. It's not stopping me though. So bear with me, please.

Right about now, I'm imagining...

You have probably convinced your dad that a new car is a good idea. And I'm probably still disagreeing. And I'll tell you how these days you drive your cars up and down your little ramps making vroom motor noises. Your little fingers grasp those little cars so proudly. And you will roll your eyes again, probably. 

I'm certain you are a fabulous big brother. Right now, you're learning to say 'baby' (among your rapidly growing vocabulary). You stroll your baby doll and share your sippy with it. You have no idea what is about to come your way, as I'm almost 20 weeks pregnant with your little sibling. I hope that we do a better than good job of introducing you to the notion and reality of a new addition to the family. I hope you always feel loved. Each minute of every single day.

I'm certain our love for you will have increased at a rate and pace that we can't even fathom now. You will have touched so many lives by now. You will be so close to being a man.

I hope you beg to sleep in on the weekends so that I can go in and wake you up. Payback, kid, for your lack of sleeping skills thus far. When I peek in on you to be sure you're home from wherever you went that night, I'll remember how it is today. In the last few weeks, you have almost welcomed your bed. You lay your head on your pillow, pull Nemo or Ames up under your arms and fall asleep with your bottom in the air. And sometimes, you'll pull the blanket up and around your shoulders and tuck it in underneath your chest. Seriously, it makes me melt. 

I know, I know you're probably groaning and want to stop reading the sappyness right about now and looking at your unmade tangled bedsheets (since I'm sure you'll take after your dad in that department) and wanting to crawl back in and take a nice, long nap.

I trust you'll keep your sweet manners and treat everyone with respect and love. You've been saying 'thank you' since about a year of age. And now, you are so polite it makes my heart explode. I'll hand you your sippy and you'll say 'thank you' in that sweet voice. You'll thank the grocery store clerks. Waiters and waitresses. Ahhhh, seriously. So sweet. You seem to know the appropriate times to say it. It's pretty awesome. 

I plead with you, please don't ever be too cool or too grown or too anything to tell us you love us. I want you to be as happy to hug me as a teenager as you are right now. I hope when your dad gets home from work, you still (somewhat) show him how excited you are that he's back. You've just started to say 'I love you' in toddler speak. We'll say 'bye' and you'll say 'bye. I love you.' It may not be clear to everyone, but we know what you're saying. 

I want you to know, 17-year old Asher, that we have thoroughly loved each and every moment with you these first 17 months of your life (despite any rantings you may read about on here). We are so honored to call you our son. And we can't wait to see the man you will become.

The other day, I was listening to Pandora Radio (I'm sure you are thinking, what? Pandora Radio? Huh?) on the computer while I was working. A version of Simple Man began to play.

I stopped what I was doing and thought of you and the words of this song. They are so powerful and yet so simple. And they ring true in my heart.

So, please (pretty please?) go online or on your phone or to the magical music world in the future and listen to Simple Man by Shinedown.

Do it for me.

And if you do this, it'll help you some sunny day.
And don't live too fast.
And don't forget that there's someone up above.
And be a simple kind of man.
Oh, don't you worry. You'll find yourself.
Follow your heart and nothing else.
And you can do this, oh baby, if you try.
And all that I want from you my son is to be satisfied.
And be a simple kind of man.
Won't you do this for me, son, if you can?

We love you, Asher Ray. Since before you were even 17 seconds old. And now 17 months old. 17 years old. And every millisecond in between and still ahead.

Love,
Mom


Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Baby Dos Experience

I keep getting asked how this pregnancy compares to the last one. Good question.

Here's the skinny (which, in this case is not so skinny):
  • Way sicker in the first trimester with this pregnancy. Once the sickness went away (completely around 15 weeks), I feel pretty great. Just tired.
  • No terrible teen acne with this pregnancy like I had with the first. So, that's good.
  • First pregnancy, I had terrible sciatic nerve pain from the beginning. Walking sent shooting pains up my leg and into my hips. My feet hurt, too. I think this time around, my hips are already spread out and adjusted down there so Dos is just comfy as is. That's nice.
  • Don't sleep great. That happened with both pregnancies. And not expecting any improvement in this area.
  • Starting to get heartburn here and there. Didn't have it this early with Asher.
  • Weight gain came on fast(er) this time. Wowzers. I swear I was showing at 10 weeks, if not before. Seems to have leveled out now though (hopefully).
  • Far more exhausted this time. Probably something to do with chasing a toddler and running my own biz. You know, those minor things.
  • Way more congested this time with constant sore throat. Not sure if it's a cold (Rusty's vote) or allergies (my vote) or pregnancy rhinitis (please no). 
I haven't bought anything for Dos yet. At least not that I can think of. Not sure what I'm waiting for. Probably to find out if it's a boy or girl. Boy, I don't need to do much shopping at all. Girl, I will need to restrain myself and try to borrow as much as possible from Hadley. (Thanks in advance, Christal!) Anyways, we already have much of what we'll need. Some of the items on my wishlist, though, are a Britax double stroller, Angelcare monitor and a SnuzaGo! monitor. Those are biggies! Yep, these things will be invaluable to me. Peace of mind is hard to come by for me with a newborn. I'm so thankful for these resources and plan to use as many as I can.

Baby Dos won't have a nursery. I know, I know. What? But we don't have room since I'm working out of the house. Asher stayed in our room downstairs for the first six or eight months (until we all relocated upstairs and moved office downstairs). I love this new upstairs sleeping/downstairs living arrangement. But that leaves no bedroom for the newest addition. So, I'm going to make a little nursery corner in our room until it's time to regroup. (This would have NEVER been an option the first time around. Funny how things change.) 

If we can get this beach house sold, we'll be able to buy a lot (fingers crossed), sell our house and start to build our dream house. (More on that later.) But, at this point I don't think the beach house is going anywhere anytime soon. And, so, I'm trying to work my hindparts off alongside Rusty to start saving money as a back up plan. 

All is well though. Better than well! We are blessed with each other, good health, a great home, awesome family and friends and work to keep us busy - among many other things. So, I'm trying to not stress over this space issue and make TONS of room for Dos in our hearts, which is what's most important anyway. We are very excited to meet this kid! 

 

I'm sleepy now. So, that's all the rambling I've got in me for now. Night night!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Feeling extra thankful tonight.

Working with my music playing.

And this. I had to replay.


Yours are the sweetest eyes I've ever seen.



And you can tell everybody, that this is your song.
It may be quite simple, but now that it's done.
I hope you don't mind. 
I hope you don't mind that I put down in words.
How wonderful life is while you're in the world. 

Go Ask Mom & North Hills Kids event

On Saturday, we attended the GoAskMom event at North Hills. It was lots of fun! Asher had a great time playing with the him-sized chess pieces. Climbing on the foam shapes and making Rusty chase after him in the hot sun.

When we were leaving, Sarah (GoAskMom editor) asked Asher to wave 'bye' to end the recap video for WRAL's site. He did brilliantly. Him and Rusty certainly are not camera shy.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Anxiety: I hate my bedtime rituals.

If you or anyone you love struggles with OCD, you'll be able to relate to this post. For years, as I have dealt with my anxiety, there is always one thing that is of peak concern that becomes my current obsession. In middle school, that was the need to confess compulsively. In college and high school, it was blood and the risk of HIV. After college it was securing my apartment (since I lived alone). Even as a newlywed, this night time securing ritual was still pretty bad.

I dreaded bedtime, as much as I loved to sleep. When living alone, I would get up and check the locks. And go back to bed. And get back up. And yell at myself or start to tear up. And repeat it over and over. I would finally either wear myself out or tell myself, "It's your OCD, Kira. Everything is fine." Then there were the days that I was afraid to even so much as leave a light on (much less the curling iron or stove) for fear that I was going to burn down my apartment building, and harm Jax. I'd get out to my car and go back in to check everything. Then check the door locks, over and over. It was awful.

Some of you may be reading this and thinking, what the hell? But it's very real to me. And to many out there who also struggle with this sort of anxiety. So, I knew when I became a mom that I'd be more anxious than the average mama bear. I knew I'd sleep less. Check more. And just have a hard time settling down in this head of mine. Boy did that turn out to be true. Times 100. My usual anxiety coupled with post partum issues sent me into a tailspin. Now, I'm back to what I'd consider a better than normal amount of OCD anxiety. (Thank you medication.)

Lately I've been thinking... Each night, Rusty goes to bed and falls peacefully to sleep. He doesn't need to check baby gates or even peep in on Asher. And I know he loves that boy as much as I do. But I can't do that. I have to go through my nightly rituals. I know all moms check on their babies, right? But my process is over the top. And it's exhausting. And I hate it.

It goes like this:
  • Check all downstairs locks.
  • Check to be sure Jax is in the house and collarless and has water.
  • Be sure all gates are closed keeping Jax off carpeted areas.
  • Be sure all Scentsy warmers are either turned off, or nothing is close to touching them.
  • Go upstairs. Close gates on the stairs. Check that they are double locked. (Asher has figured out the normal shut lock mechanism. So, we now have to do the little toddler proof double latch.)
  • Go into bedroom. Find red flashlight next to my bed. Check Asher on video monitor.
  • Tiptoe into his room.
  • Shine the flashlight on him. Check to be sure Rusty remembered to remove his bib.
  • Shine the light on the outlets and power strips. Be sure no toys are on top of anything and that all outlets are covered.
  • Shine the light on the video monitor cord and be sure it goes over the window frame and down the other side with no way for Asher to get ahold of it.
  • Check what's in the crib with Asher. Be alert for anything that may be a choking hazard within reach or on the floor (in case he gets out).
  • Check room temperature. (This leads to going back down to adjust the thermostat about 50% of the time. Which then leads to a repeat of most of what's above.)
  • Check Asher again.
  • Tiptoe back out. Shut his door, be sure it's shut all the way. Or, leave it cracked and be sure the gate in his doorway is double latched. (Yes, we have a lot of gates. But I have this fear that he'll figure out how to crawl out of his crib and venture out and around upstairs without us noticing. The idea of him falling down the stairs or getting into something electrical or a choking hazard petrifies me.)
  • Take a bathroom break. Check gates again.
  • Put flashlight back next to the bed. Check the monitor. Try to sleep.
So, there you go. A not so pretty look into this head of mine and my nightly rituals. Just now, I should be in bed. But I dread the process. Sigh.

What's the point of this post? I'm not really sure. For other moms out there to know that some of this extra anxiety is normal. And some could benefit from some treatment if it's extreme. For other really anxious moms out there to know they are not alone. To hope that someone reads and comments that they are the same way and I feel less crazy and alone. Any of those things would be a good outcome.

Well. Goodnight, world. :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Cute overload. Park date with the triplets.

There are not enough words for the loveliness in these photos. These sweet triplets may be the most photogenic babes ever. So fun to capture them playing at the park with Asher!

To me, this park date was exhausting since everyone now knows how to roam, where they want to roam, what they want to climb, what they want to pick up and eat and where they do not want to go. And, we had three adults to four kids. Yes we needed that many adults - there was no fence around the perimeter and multiple play areas for the kids to choose from. I had my workout, for sure.










Thursday, September 8, 2011

Our week. In mobile photos.

New shoes. New shoe size. Park adventures. Toddler chasing adventures. Snacks on the go. Typical work day.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Baby necessity (at least for me): Clean Shopper shopping cart cover

As much as I try, I just can't plop Asher in the shopping cart without his cart cover. I've read articles about the bacteria and feces and such found on shopping carts. And think about it, these things are never washed. Unless, they happen to ride out a good rainstorm in the parking lot and a good drying out from the sun.

Anyways, I found an awesome cart cover at a consignment sale before Asher was born. Without realizing it, I had purchased a Babe Ease Clean Shopper cart cover. These things retail for more than the covers you'll find at Target or Walmart. But, their coverage and durability is fan-freaking-tastic. They have fit every size of cart I've ever put them on. They velcro around the edges. And machine washing is a breeze.

Recently, I picked up a second one for $4 at the big kids sale at the fairgrounds. Now, I can alternate which one is in the wash and which is riding along the car. I also ditched my Fisher Price high chair cover and just use the Clean Shopper. It's a little baggy, but it does the trick (especially on those funky shaped high chairs at K&W Cafeteria).

I just saw on Facebook that effective Sept. 15, Babe Ease is closing down so the owner can pursue a dream career in screenwriting. What does this mean for all of us? We need to go get Clean Shoppers now before they go away forever. Consider this your tip from me. And right now, they are 35% off. I imagine that will likely increase.

Enjoy germ free shopping!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Amazon Mom & Subscribe and Save

Ok ya'll. I am all for saving money and cutting corners. But, I do not have time to do all that crazy coupon clipping. Nor do I have the patience. I gots otha stuff ta do, right. (Sorry listening to old school rap over here. Rubbing off on me.)

Today I just wanted to share a few pointers. I signed up for Amazon Mom a while back and enjoyed the benefits immensely. I received free two-day shipping on all of my purchases (provided that I made Mom purchases every now and then, nothing crazy). The amount of money I saved on shipping alone was insane. I found myself ordering smaller items (like paci's and diaper pail refills) on Amazon, getting them the next day and never having to leave my desk. You know I love an online purchase. Oh, and it's free to sign up. Did I say that already?

Last month, I checked our prices for Huggies Overnight dipes on Amazon. (These bad boys are critical in our house.) They were comparable to other places or even a little less. I ordered a box and this time chose to enroll in the Subscribe and Save program. So, I chose how often I wanted to receive a box of the dipes (every 3 months) and I got 30% off (15% for Amazon Mom and 15% for Subscribe and Save) and free shipping. This month, the box landed on my doorstep right on time (running low from first box) and I got them for something ridiculously cheap like $14.64. I even got an email from a friend asking me if I was signed up because she got a giant box of Pampers for dirt cheap too. Depending on what kind of diapers your use, this may be worth checking out!

Last night, I added my Huggies wipes to my Mom Subscribe and Save account. I am weird and not only prefer Huggies wipes over the others (b/c of the thickness) but there's this one smell that I love. And they are not easy to find. I'm pregnant and my nose is crazy, so I stick with what smells good to me. Now, I'm getting a supply of the wipes sent to my door every 3 months at 30% off the already cheap Amazon cost. Score!

Amazon prompted me at checkout (smart) to check out their other Subscribe and Save products. There's a whole ton of products that you typically use routinely that are all 15% off if you subscribe. I checked out my Baby Dropps laundry pouches and again, the savings was better than the others I found. (These Dropps became an addiction when I first got them from babysteals.com. They are so easy to use. No mess. And safe for Asher's sensitive skin. I can't afford them full price with my budget, but this savings worked.) I plan to look into other products we use (like contact solution, etc.) and compare prices.

So, in summary. Check it out. It works for me - an online shopper, busy working mom and trying-to-stay-on-a-budget-and-keep-hubs-happy-wife. Happy saving! Oh, and if you find a kick booty deal, do share.
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