Monday, March 28, 2016

While Daddy was Away

Chris has been itching for an opportunity to travel overseas again since our first trip to Europe in 2012. He might not have said as much out loud, but once I got back from Australia in September, I knew he needed it. Around Christmas time, he started making plans to visit friends in the Netherlands and London. Maybe I'll have him tell you about it sometime!

He was away for 7 days and his mom offered to come to San Francisco to help me with William. At first, I didn't think that was really necessary, I'm home with William most of the time anyway although I knew I would be completely exhausted by the half-way point. Last year, Chris had traveled to NYC for four days and although I made it through alright, I knew this time would be more difficult. As the time got closer, I was so thankful she had decided to come! And now that she's gone, I don't know how I would have survived the week without her!

Chris left on Sunday evening, and I would be on my own until Tuesday morning. Monday was a very normal day. We played, read books and I worked. I had a friend over for dinner after William went to sleep and that was lovely.

Sheryl came on Tuesday around noon and played with William all afternoon. I had a dentist appointment which took much longer than I anticipated so it was nice not having to stress about the babysitter. William loved having all of "Nana's" attention and warmed up to her fairly quickly.

Sheryl had decided to stay in a hotel which meant she left shortly after dinner and William had gone to bed. This worked out really well actually because I think both of us just did our bedtime routines and went to bed early. A couple of nights this week, William got out of his bed and came out to ask for something (books, songs, water, potty). Tuesday and Friday nights were the hardest as he got up multiple times. Thankfully he didn't get up in the middle of the night at all and stayed in bed until almost 6 a.m. each day. Only once did he get up at 4 a.m. and needed his sheet tucked in again.

On Wednesday, I had an acupuncture appointment (my first since William was born) and then went to work for the afternoon. It had been away most of the day, but I'm not sure William noticed. Nana is an excellent playmate. I did witness William correcting her when she sang a song differently than I do, which was interesting. Apparently, he takes after his father who used to do the same thing with his teachers.

Nana took William to the Library's story time on Thursday while I went into work again. The timing of her being available to watch William worked out perfectly with some time-demanding stuff happening at the office. Being able to do face-to-face meetings was very helpful. I also ran a few errands that afternoon without a toddler in tow.

On Friday, I had my regular MOPS meeting and invited Sheryl to join us. Our meetings are still pretty small and it was fun to have her experience this newer program with me. The speaker shared about taking the power out of stress and the importance of saying "Thank you" to people as it often breaks down barriers and helps us have a more grateful attitude in nearly any situation. That afternoon we headed for the zoo for a somewhat brief visit. But it was a gorgeous day and really fun! William hadn't been since December and I think he was excited to see his animal friends again (the rhino is still the first on the list).

Sheryl left on Saturday morning after joining us for a leisurely pancake breakfast. William was quite sad when I told him today he had to say good bye. He received a lot of love and individual attention from Nana this week and that is something very special. Next time he sees her, she might be holding a new grand-baby . . . which someone might not like very much.

I was so thankful for all of her help caring for William and helping in the kitchen. I felt very relaxed most of the week and actually had time for myself.

We spent the rest of Saturday running errands and grocery shopping. Easter Sunday was a bit more eventful (in a good way), but you can read about that on a future post. And Monday ended up being a great day too. I had a physical therapy appointment so we had our usual babysitter come over, then I worked during nap time (which was extra long!). A friend and her daughter came to visit for a little while before we headed to the airport to pick up Chris.  And now, he's home in bed! So thankful he was able to get away for the week but even more so that he's back home with us!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter Activities for Toddler Boy

I had two reasons to spend so much time surfing Pinterest for Easter activities this year. 1) I wanted William to understand some of the story as well as have some fun activities to do and 2) I needed to come up with activities to share at our last MOPS meeting. Here's what I found and how they turned out:

1) Resurrection Eggs: Usually the use an 12 eggs but I new my little boy couldn't focus for that long or understand all of it, so when I found a set of 6, it was perfect. Most things were really easy to find or make as well which was a bonus! The link I used is here. I love free printables and this one even tied in the Jesus Story Book Bible, which William loves!

We didn't get through all of the Bible readings this morning, but he played with the eggs for a long time. I might keep them out for the rest of the week and see if we can get through more of it before packing it away.

2) Color Sorting Kit: Not all activities are gospel-centered. Some are just using the egg-theme. Like this one just uses the egg container. I colored the bottom of each section a different color and then piled in the coordinating pom-poms. So far, William loves it. He also loves playing with them like confetti. The more advanced style of this activity is to use numbers at the bottom instead of colors and have the child put that many of an item inside the container. Check out this blog.

3) Activity-focused Egg Hunt: Rather than fill the eggs with candies or prizes, I printed off a list of six silly activities for William to do when he found the egg. Super easy and really fun. You can change the activities based on skill/interest or even add some hard ones they haven't learned yet (like skipping or leap-frog). You could also add activities that take longer like draw a picture, play hide-and-seek or find 10 leaves outside. It could really take all day! I found the idea here.

4) This last one isn't really an activity, but was a fun egg-focused snack. I used the standard rice crispy treat recipe and molded them using the plastic eggs. The kids loved them! I used Pioneer Woman's post for reference as seen here. 

We had a lot of fun with this stuff this year and now I'm fairly well stocked to do it again next year, although we'll have to make some things more challenging I'm sure. It was really fun getting William involved with Easter this year and see him learn through the activities.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Baby B2: 27 Weeks

How far along: 27 weeks. Already at the end of the second trimester. This baby's life is already going too fast. I can't keep up!

How big is the baby: about 2 pound and 14.5 inches (from head to toe). The midwife said I'm measuring exactly as I should be!

Sleep: It's a constant struggle to be comfortable and keep my thoughts at bay. My mind has been going crazy lately with all the things I'd like to figure out before this child is born.

Best moment of the week: We had two mom and toddler play dates this week! Hanging out with friends (prego or not) has become an essential part of keeping me sane and happy. And William trying to talk to the baby through my belly-button. "Baby, come out!" he said.

Worst thing: low back pain-- it's getting worse. I've found myself on the floor and unable to get up a few times this month. I have appointments to start PT again next week.

Symptoms: Growing belly! Still get the occasional acid reflux but not nearly as often. Hungry all of the time and tired.

Movement: All of the time. And so much at night. Its a fun reminder in the midst of my day that life is happening inside me, but at night, I do wish baby would calm down so I could sleep.

What I miss: Being flexible. I'm a stiff mess these days.

Food Cravings: Cereal . . . multiple bowls a day. Raisin Bran and Frosted Mini Wheats lately.

Food Aversions: Healthy food

Maternity Clothes: A friend lent me some clothes and I got a big package from my sisters with their maternity clothes so I stopped fighting it and just started wearing them all! Why not! 

Things People Say: Its mostly about William being a big brother, although I did have one friend attempt to make a joke about me looking pregnant which i didn't catch, she apologized for the awkwardness, but I honestly wasn't even aware of it. I actually said "Thanks!"  I'm waiting for the men at church (who have been telling me it's time to have another child) to notice!

Exercise: Still not much and it's been raining more this week. I would like to be more disciplined about stretching or yoga.
Last Appointment: Today, March 9th. Everything was looking good! I saw a different midwife today, who took time to go over some things no one else had (blood test results, etc). She was older, sweet, and very encouraging. I'll be seeing her next month as well. I've appreciated hearing from multiple midwives/doctors there take on my previous birth experience and how that will affect my second. 

Next Appointment: April 6

I didn't plan on taking a photo with William this week, but he insisted. It was actually more challenging to take a photo without him! I'll tell you more about his growth and personality next month when I write his 30 month update . . . yes, he's nearly 2 1/2 years old!

Friday, March 4, 2016

4th Annual Oscar Party

The Academy Awards were already a week ago! It was a great evening with friends. We kept it a little more low-key, not going over board with the decorations, appetizers or games. With a few adjustments to our living room/bedroom we fit 11 people in our place! (We haven't had more than that since our bed moved into our hosting space).

We had a photo booth set up in our dining area. I couldn't skip that this year as I finally had invested in real props! (Although I did tell Chris that if I had known four years ago that this would be our annual party, I would have invested in a better Oscar.)

William and his friend Eden stole the show until bedtime. I don't think I actually sat down to watch any of the awards until then!

Chris ended up taking home the prize for selecting the most correct award winners on the ballot.  I wasn't too far behind surprisingly! Not sure how many movies we'll get to see this coming year but now we have a gift card to see at least one!