The Taynors

The Taynors

Saturday, December 28, 2013

38 weeks

I can't believe baby is actually almost here. This pregnancy flew by! I guess we were busy this year :)

Generally I feel about the same. The last few days I actually have been feeling better than the two weeks leading up to Christmas. I guess I'm doing a good job taking it easy, because I have less cramps and Braxton hicks contractions.

The new weird symptom of the week is my incredibly sore hands. Both hands hurt in my joints from the wrist down through my finger tips. They are a little swollen, but the ache pain is worse then the swelling. It wakes me up in the middle if the night and I can't move my fingers. Very strange.

We have officially reached the "baby came come at any minute" and I still don't have a real feeling about the sex or the name.

Things that make me think its a boy...
- I'm carrying all in my belly
- I can picture my life as the mom with boys
- Based on when I conceived, it would be boy
- The wedding ring test said boy

Things that make me think girl...
- my face is breaking out pretty bad
- worse morning sickness in the beginning
- craving sweets, not salts
- when I day dream about meeting the baby it's normally a girl

As of today the name choices are Charlotte, Reagan, Patrick, or Davis. I know it's crazy but we are still playing around with different options.

Tomorrow is the equivalent of when Ryan was born, so it really can be any day. I'm not rushing anything... Babies seem happier when they stay in longer ;)

Technically this is last week. I'll take a new belly picture tonight!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, December 27, 2013

Falling back in love with our home

Over the past year, we have spent many hours dreaming and thinking about all of the great things we will have in our new house.  Oh I can't wait to hang stockings on a fire place... We can get Ryan some bigger new toys since we will have a basement... lets host a big party since we will finally have the space to entertain...etc etc.  Once we made the decision not to move, we had to convince ourselves that we still really do love our home and that it still fits all of our needs!  That's a hard task considering we spent almost a year hating on it.

There are obviously some things we can't change, and that I will continue to be frustrated by (the busy road, small property, lack of basement) but I am really happy with all of the things we have done over the past month to help us fall in love with the house.

1.  Immediately we bought a new stove.  It was the last of our kitchen appliances that needed to be updated and it is wonderful having an oven that takes less than an hour to preheat!



Also in the kitchen we cleaned out all of the cabinets, consolidated to what we really needed and used, and made more room to work with.  In the process we have created a great "sell at a garage sale" pile in the attic.

2.  Then we moved to the garage and the utility closet.  We only have half of a one car garage (the other half is my salon).  Mike re-organized the garage to make to most storage space as possible for the kitchen/household stuff that we don't use on a daily basis but we don't want to get rid of.  The motivation for this is because we wanted to empty out our utility closet on the first floor so we could use it as a toy closet for the kids. 

Obviously, we can't make our house bigger or add extra rooms... but we really really needed more space for toys and kids things.  By cleaning out the kitchen and garage, Mike was able to totally empty the closet and we can now use it as a toy closet.  This helped soooo much!  We still have all of the big things in the "play area" of our family room, but having a place to hide all of the smaller games, crafts, random toys is a huge help. 

Here is the toy closet after Santa came to help us fill it up:

3.  Home office-  Mike and I both work from home, so having a real home office work area is a must.  We needed to find space for a desk, book shelf, work supplies, two printers, a fax machine, file cabinets... you get the picture.  But the place was for Ryan to move into the old office/guest room, and for the new baby to use the nursery. 

The only option was to move the whole work station into our master bedroom.  I was not happy about it at first, but now that we made the move I actually love the set up.

Old (hard to tell but it was kind of wasted space on the other side of our bed):


Next step with our bedroom is to update the décor... new lamps, duvet cover, wall art. (** We have actually updated this even more, but I can't seem to find the pictures)

4.  Ryan's Big Boy Room-  I guess its a good thing that I painted the guest room with yankee pin stripes and decorated it sports themed, because it made for a very easy transition into a Big Boy bedroom.  We basically ordered the furniture, bedding, curtains, new fan, and a few little extras and it turned out great.  Ryan loves it!  We set up the furniture so that we would have room to keep some toys in there, we are literally out of space in the play room downstairs.

5.  Baby's room-  Once we finished the moving of the office to the bedroom, and Ryan into the new room, the baby's room was pretty simple.  I am waiting until after the baby is born to really decorate (depending on if its a girl or boy), so it was just some fresh bedding, fresh paint, and organizing the infant stuff and its ready for baby to come home. 

6.  Last step will be the back yard.  Mike had a few ideas on how to improve the kid friendly area, created a play zone, without taking away from the entertaining space.  Since we don't have a front yard, or a neighborhood to play in, we both want to back yard to be as useable as possible for young kids!  But one of the huge perks about staying is that we still have our pool :)

In the process of doing all of this, it did happen.... we fell back in love with our home!  It seems comfortable and cozy, not cramped and crowded.  I still have no plans on staying here long term, but for the next couple of years it will be just fine!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

House decisions

I should have known when I started blogging about making house decisions that I was getting to attached.  Can you blame me... for 9 months we have been talking about, planning, prepping, and meeting with the builder about our new home... we were in a contract, we had an estimated move in date.  I knew things could change and that there were still some variables that might effect the new home, but I was finally letting myself get excited and imagine life with our growing family in our new home.

Welllllll it happened.  Life came into play and we have to back out of the house.  Its been official for  about 2 weeks now... we told the builder and the lawyer is working on voiding the contract.

If I wrote this post back on Thanksgiving weekend, it would be much more emotional.  When we first really started talking about backing out, I was devastated.  I cried a lot for 3 days.  But I have calmed down and I see the reasons for making this decision, and I know in my heart its the right decision.  So instead of writing about how I "feel", here are the logistics of the decision.

1.  Mike lost his job... even though we know he will get something soon and by April he will be working again (fingers crossed, he has some offers on the table), it is still very scary to make a huge financial investment and decision when Mikes career is not settled.

2.  If Mike gets a new job, we don't know with what company, what he would be making, what area he would be working in... so much unknown..

3.  Our mortgage commitment is technically void because it was given based off Mikes income and history with the old company.

4.  We were at a point where we had to make our next deposit and pay for all of the upgrades we picked out in full.  That would mean putting a good chunk of money into the house, with no guarantees that we would get a new mortgage.  It became a huge risk.

5.  We still didn't sell our home, and we haven't had any offers.  Back in the summer and early fall we felt confident we would sell our home.  But we dropped the price twice, had a lot of people looking, but not one single offer.  If we didn't sell the house we would be faced with another huge decision to make (rent it?  sell to Jerome? back out of the new house?). 

It just hit us that we had a million signs surrounding us and they all pointed to backing out of the new house :(

Once we made the decision, we went right into project mode to do as much as we can to optimize the space in this house.  We moved the office into our master bedroom, set up a big boy room for Ryan in the old office (conveniently already painted in sports colors and pinstripes), we started to set up Ryan's old room as a nursery, we cleaned out closets to have a place for the increased amount of toys and baby gear we have (especially with Santa coming next week), and we pretty much started to clean out every drawer, cabinet, and closet in the whole house to remove clutter and make space.

I'm still sad about...
-Not having the basement
-Not having a bigger property in a bigger neighborhood
-Not having a master bathroom... I can't image sharing our little bathroom with a toddler and an infant
-Not being neighbors with the Eberhardts

Reasons I"m happy about this decision...
-Gives us some financial freedom and flexibility
-We took the house off the market!! Woo Hoo... no more showing it and trying to keep it clean
-We could finally set up the baby things and start settling in
- We will still have the pool this summer!

The slogan of the past few months has been "Everything happens for a reason"  ... and I am totally believing in that.  Things seem to be working themselves out and decisions made on their own... so I am going with the flow and trying to have confidence that its all happening for a reason and it will bring us to where we are suppose to be in the future!

36 Week update

Yep, I"m officially super pregnant.  I went for my 36 week check up, they did the group B strep test, and then a quick check to see if anything was going on.  Dr. was surprised to say that I was 2 cm dilated.  I know you can stay dilated at 1-3 cm for a long time, but my body is giving me plenty of signs to say that things are already starting to happen.  I'm kinda nervous.  I envy first time moms who have no idea what is about to happen when the baby is born.

I stopped working at the office on Friday, and I was supposed to work this week doing hair, but with the doctors advice to relax and get off my feet, I decided it was time to be officially on maternity leave.  I hate cancelling appointments, but I don't think its a good idea to keep working all week.  So its official.  I am on maternity leave!!

Here are a few more happenings :

-I know this is repetitive  but heart burn is my worst enemy right now
-My hips are definitely stretching.  I wake up every morning feeling sore like I had a hard workout the day before
-Lots of cramping and Braxton Hicks contractions, but I don't think any real contractions just yet
-Gained 25 pounds so far
- The swelling has started... by the end of the day I have big feet and hands.  My rings are officially retired til after the baby is born.
-I am done with my Hypnobirthing classes, birth plan is prepared, and I am mentally ready to go
-The girls gave me a surprise Sprinkle last weekend.  It was great to get some time to celebrate the new baby.
- I am in need of a double stroller!  I still think I want a good double, not just the sit and stand kind, but I have to do some research and see what kind of money we want to spend
-The nursery finally got painted yesterday, so I can set up a gray and white neutral  nursery.  I"m not doing anything major right now, I'll wait to meet the baby before really decorating

I'm excited, nervous, anxious... all of the above.  Fingers crossed the baby waits til after Christmas before making its big entrance!

(36 weeks with Ryan on the left, Baby 2 on the right)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Just when we thought things were crazy enough... Surprise!

Life has been unsettled this year... so much up in the air.  I am pregnant and preparing for a new baby, We are trying to buy a new house.  We are having trouble selling our current house.  Its been kind of stressful doing it all at the same time.  Just when we were starting to think we had enough... we got a huge surprise, Mike lost his job.

Long story short, his entire company got laid off about a week before Thanksgiving (when I was about 33 weeks pregnant).  We were expecting some big changes with his company, but we were literally shocked when he was let go.  He has a great reputation with the company, his numbers have been great, and he has had several discussions with management about him training to move up as a manager himself.  But I guess none of that matters when they left go of the entire division of his company.

We went through a roller coaster of emotions.  First was shock and fear... would he lose his benefits right before the baby?  Would he get any kind of severance package?  What happens now?  But then a few days later he got his "package" that explained everything that was going to happy.

There are a lot of great things and opportunities that can come about with this layout, but there are also plenty of really scary parts.

The good news first-  Because they laid off so many people, they have to give a 60 day notice.  That means he stopped working immediately after that phone call, but they company has to pay him until the end of January.  For our particular circumstance, that works well because he will be home around the holidays and home more often when the baby is born.  This is the perfect time for us to have Dad around more often.  We also found out that because he was with the company for so long, we get to keep his health benefits until July.  That takes off some of the pressure because we know the family will have insurance for a while.

The other positive is that I really feel like it will lead to a better long term position for him.  Mike has been extremely loyal to his company for 8 years, and recently they were not offering any opportunities for him to grow.  So this lay off will force him to step outside of his comfort zone and find a new opportunity that will be great for our future! 

Bottom line, its not the worst thing in the world.

The bad news-  For right now we are trying to be super positive.  Things are not bad as long as he gets a new job and has something lined up to start in February.  Of course there is always the chance that  he won't get a job right away, and that will change everything.  But for now... lets think positive... he will get a new job after the New Year and things will be great.

Then there is the car situation.  We lost his company car this morning.  We are officially a 1 car family from now until at least February 1.  I'm a little bit nervous about this, 2 months is a long time to only have 1 car, especially with our crazy schedules.  It doesn't make sense for us to buy a new car in the mean time, because almost all jobs Mike is looking at will also offer a company car.  So for now we wait.  We will take it one week at a time and have to be really really good at planning out our schedules in advance.  Tonight is night #1, Mike is out at a holiday party with the car and Ryan and I are home hoping we have no reason to need to leave.  The next few weeks before I go on maternity leave will be extra interesting.  Wish us luck.

And last but not least... the new house.  This new situation changes everything.  Do we still buy the new house?  Can we even get a mortgage on the house?  What if we don't sell our current house, we definitely can't get a 2nd mortgage now?  What if he finds a new job in a different location?  Ugggghhhh just when I thought this decision and process was hard enough, this bomb shell has put me over the edge!!  We have lots to decide and with my due date quickly approaching and our next payment towards the home right around the corner... we have to decide like right now!

In the meantime.... while we are weighing all of this out... I am trying to work as much as possible.  With Mike being home, I can go into the office more and try to build up my hours before leave.  The days are busy and hectic, but soon enough we will both be home and able to concentrate on the holidays and the new baby.  It is very very strange going to work every day while Mike is home being a "stay at home dad"... not going to lie, I am a bit jealous!

Quick Ryan Post

In the mix of everything going on with the baby, Mike, the new house... I don't want to forget about some Ryan updates!

-We are 99% potty trained.  Day time he is great and rarely ever has an accident (and if he does, its normally just a dribble on his way into the potty), he wakes up dry from his nap, and he has mastered poopy on the potty.  The last step is overnight potty training, but I don't think he is ready for that yet.  So for now its still pull ups at night.

-He is having some 2.5 year old sleep regression.  Getting him to settle at night is hard!  He frequently calls out to us, cries, and does whatever he can to get us to go sit with him.  I think he is going through an "afraid of the dark" phase.  He just seems very unsettled at bedtime. Then once he is finally asleep, he has been waking up a few times a night.  Some time crying because he is scared/nightmare, some times with this awful lingering cough, some times for no reason at all... but he is not sleeping through the night (just what I need with a new baby on the way).

- He has some of the cutest things he says (or at least they are cute to us)
When I ask him what he wants for Christmas he says, "Underpants!"
When he is being silly the answer to every question is "apple juice"
He can quote a silly commercial on Nick Jr. and is always saying "Awkward"
If he doesn't know the answer to a question, he formally says "I do not know!"
He keep saying "ho ho ho, Merry Christmas everyone, Bad boys get nothing"

I am sure there is so much more, but thats what comes to mind.

-I think he is excited about the baby coming.  He is always asking questions, helping us set up, and showing me things that are for the baby.  He also likes to pretend that his Tiger is his new baby.  At night he will sing songs to my belly and give it kisses. 

-We are already enjoying Christmas.  He looks forward to finding Jack the Elf every morning, watching old Christmas movies on TV, playing with his Santa's sleigh toy, and today we got his picture with Santa.  I am looking forward to cutting down and decorating our tree tomorrow and going to Storybook land for the Christmas parade. 

-He is a little fiesty these days, spending a lot of time in time out.  He has a mind of his own and we are frequently in battle... I guess that is just toddlers.

-My favorite time of the day with him is cuddle time in our bed first thing in the morning.  We normally have a few minutes before getting ready for work/school to watch a little TV and cuddle.  I love this time!

Thats it for now, on to some cuteness!

35 weeks prego... what!!

I am officially 35 weeks pregnant today.  I can't believe it.  I am definitely feeling the anxiety and anxiousness of having a baby soon.  Here are some updates...

-I have gained like 23 pounds
-Heartburn is my worst enemy
-The baby is super active and moves all over the place, all of the time
-I am pretty sure the baby is in good position, head down and ready to go
-I am pretty uncomfortable, but that is to be expected.  My hips and low back hurt a lot.  I am grateful for  a good chiropractor and a a good prenatal massage every once in a while
-I feel waves of nausea and exhaustion, but it is not all of the time
-I get up to pee 3-4 times a night
-I feel pretty light headed and see sparkly stars floating around a lot, but I felt that way with Ryan too.  I have to be extra careful with what I eat and drinking plenty of water
-I am still working a lot.  One more week in the office and then one week after that for hair and then I am finally done!!  I am soooooo over it, but circumstances are crazy and I don't get a true maternity leave, so I am trying to work as much as possible.  Hopefully I can get some relax time before the baby is born.
-Baby has the hiccups very often, such a weird feeling
-Hypnobirthing classes and preparation is going well.  I am happy we decided to do this.
-Life has been super crazy the last week weeks... more about that in the next post.  But I am doing well staying calm and going with the flow!

I am starting to get anxious/anxiety about the baby.  Of course I am excited, but I am also well aware of what life is like with a new born.  Ryan gave me such a hard time  as a baby... colic, hours and hours of crying, didn't sleep for months, trouble breastfeeding, eczema, awful cradle cap....he just was not an easy, happy baby by any means.  I know all babies are different, but I"m nervous to start the process again.  I am kind of envious of new moms expecting their first child, because they have no idea whats about the change lol.  Plus its just so hard to believe its actually here... this pregnancy went SOOOO fast.  I have gotten so comfortable with our family of 3, that I can't imagine what life will be like with our new dynamic.

I know these are all normal worries for pregnant moms, but I had to get it off my chest!

Week 33

Week 34

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Attempt for a Natural Labor and Deliver

When Ryan was born over 2 and half years ago, I thought I new a lot about labor and delivery and how to have a healthy pregnancy.  I took the childbirth classes, asked the doctors lots of questions, researched all my questions online, read the breastfeeding books, you get the point.  But what I have learned and the people I have met over the past 2 years has taught me soooooooooooo much about whats really going on.  I consider myself lucky to work in a place where I am surrounded by amazing, smart, professional, and knowledgeable birth experts.  I have decided that even though I had a pretty good labor with Ryan (all things considered), I want this birth to be different.  Here is my recap on how things went with Ryan, my new goals, and what I am doing to prepare myself!

Without re-telling my birth story, the short version is this...
My water broke at 3:30 am when I was just over 38 weeks pregnant.  Almost immediately I started with contractions about 4 minutes apart.  We left for the hospital at 4:30 am.  From 5 am- about 9:30 my labor progressed pretty normally.  Regular contractions, progressed from 1 cm dilated to about 6 cm in those 4 hours, and I was managing the pain.  Of course as the contractions got closer together and stronger, the pain increased... but nothing abnormal to labor.

At that point the nurses asked me again if I wanted an epidural.  I felt like I didn't truly NEED it at that time (I have a pretty good pain tolerance), but I wasn't sure if I could get through the next part without it.  She then told me I could get it then or I would have to wait a long time.  There was only 1 anesthesiologist working and he was about to go into surgery.  I felt like she gave me a now or never offer.  So I wimped out and got the epidural.  Without knowing ahead of time, they also gave me some Pitocin through my IV along with the epidural shot.

This is when things got interesting.  Since epidurals tend to slow down labor, they normally give the Pitocin along with it to keep things moving along (I know, that's crazy... the more interventions the more chance for troubles... but more on that in a minute).  This process caused two issues for me.  First the Pitocin made things move along very quickly... too quickly.  I went from 6 cm dilated to ready to push in about 30 minutes.  It got very intense very quickly.  Second issue was that the epidural didn't 100% work for me.  I still felt all of the pain on my right side, I could still move my legs, it didn't really offer any relief.

After these two drugs, I was pretty much ready to push... the problem was my VaJayJay was not quite ready because it didn't have time to prepare considering how fast things changed.  I did a few rounds of normal pushing, which lead to considerable tearing.  At that point Ryan's heart rate started to drop and the doctor got very nervous when we couldn't get it back up to normal.  So it became an emergency situation.  They gave me an episiotomy on top of the tearing I already had, and then used the vacuum to help deliver Ryan.  At 11:17am he was born.

It took about 45 minutes of stitches, I didn't get skin to skin time with Ryan, and before I knew it I had a room full of visitors. Its all a blur, but the naive me at the time thought this was all normal/standard procedure.  And of course, I was super happy to have a healthy baby in my arms.

Why I want something different...
What I have since learned about inductions, Pitocin, epidurals, assisted deliveries, C-sections, etc.  is that as soon as you do anything at all to interfere with the normal birth process, you are much more likely to cause distress to mom and/or baby which will then lead to even more interventions.  AND all of these interventions end up having lasting effects on mom and/or baby.

For example... I was proceeding with labor totally normally until I got the epidural...

-Once I got the epidural they thought things would slow down so they gave me Pitocin
-The Pitocin then made things speed up, but much faster than my body and the baby was ready for
-Because things moved so fast, Ryan wasn't in the right position to be pushed out (leading to the cord being wrapped around his neck and him going into distress with the heart rate)
-Also because it moved so fast, my lady areas were not prepared to push out a baby... leading to lots of tearing and an episiotomy
-Then because he was in distress they needed to use the vacuum
-The vacuum ultimately caused more damage and pain to my lady parts and ultimately caused neck and muscle issues for Ryan
-Once he was finally born, because I had so much tearing and the episiotomy I needed to be worked on for at least another 45 minutes
-Also because Ryan's birth needed intervention he needed to be with the doctors immediately for extra help/evaluation
-Because I needed to be stitched for so long and Ryan needed to be with the doctors, I didn't get to hold him in my arms, attempt to nurse, or do skin to skin time during the first hour (which is the most critical time to bond and get nursing off to a good start).

It is now very clear to me that the way Ryan was born definitely influenced my struggles to nurse, his mouth/jaw/latch issues, and my very long healing process.

Unfortunately, this is a common story.  Women are induced all of the time for many different reasons.  These inductions interfere with the normal process of labor and delivery, and complications almost always arise.  Because of these complications, you almost always end up with an episiotomy or an assisted delivery, or severe tearing, or a C-section.  The baby very often goes into distress because of the addition of all of the drugs and then of course the doctors have to step in to help the baby.

Don't get me wrong, I totally agree with intervening with there is truly an emergency... do anything to keep mom and baby safe.  I just feel like most of these issues could be avoided to begin with if we weren't so quick to interfere with natural labor.  If I did not get the epidural, leading to the Pitocin, I am sure I would have continued to labor normally... suffered through the pain and discomfort, but could have delivered Ryan without all of the other complications.

My attempt at a natural deliver...
This leads me to why it is important for me to try for a more natural delivery.  I have NO idea what will really happen when the day comes.  So many things can go wrong or I could totally wimp out and start screaming for the drugs.  But because of what I now know about the importance of natural delivery, the long term effects on the mom and baby, the importance of skin to skin bonding time immediately after delivery, the impact on post pardum depression, etc etc ( I could write a whole separate post on the long term effects of assisted deliveries and C-sections on the health of moms and babies, but I'll save that for another time.  It is definitely not as "side effect free" as people have been lead to believe).... I am really determined to be strong and to deliver this baby as close to naturally as I can!  Honestly, its a scary thought, but it is super important to me. 

How I am preparing...
The biggest thing I am doing differently is with my childbirth preparation.  With Ryan, I just took classes on birth and standard deliveries.  This time I am doing research and taking classes that are specifically geared towards a natural delivery.  I have been listening to webinars and interviews of midwives, doulas, OB's that all specialize in preparing for a natural birth.  I read blogs from moms that have had natural labors.  The information is priceless (thanks Dr. Rob for the connections to all of this information). 

We are also working with a Doula and taking her Hypnobirthing class.  I have worked with Nicole over the past 2 years through the chiropractor, and we have become friends.  This connection has helped because of course I trust her, but she is also giving me a great discounted price for both her doula and hynobirthing services.  Its now something we can afford and I feel its definitely worth it.  Having a support person in the room during labor, helping me through the hard parts and  keeping me calm and focused will be a huge help.  Tonight is our first hynobirthing class, so I will be able to explain in better after we do it... but my understanding is that it is a class based on teaching expectant parents how to stay calm and relaxed, the best birthing positions for an optimal labor, and what to really expect/how to get through all of the hard parts.  She will work with me to develop a birth plan, answer my questions, and give me things to do before labor to prepare my body.

Lastly, things are different this time because I am being more proactive.  I still exercise and stretch  a lot.  I do my kegels every day:)  I get adjusted weekly.  I am doing perineal massage to help avoid tearing/episiotomy.  And soon I will be doing whatever Nicole recommends at the hypnobirthing class.

Again, we will see... know one can predict how their labor will progress, but I have a much clearer picture of what I can control when it happens.  I will post all about the outcome when it happens!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

31 weeks

Not sure what happened, but I hit 31 weeks (exactly on Friday) and all of the pregnancy symptoms kicked up big time.  Overall, I still really feel pretty good... but now I feel super pregnant!

- Heart burn is officially waking me up at night.  Yuck, I am sleeping sitting up now.
-My back hearts (and of course Dr. Rob is on vacation this week, I sooo need an adjustment)
- The baby moves A LOT!  I really think it might be an octopus in there because I am feeling movement all over the place, and all the time. 
-The movement is starting to really hurt.  I have pretty tight stomach muscles, so the pressing and kicking against the tight spots gives me pretty sharp pains.
-I have officially gained 20 pounds as of last week.
-Baby's heart rate is about 155 still... pretty constant the whole pregnancy
-Sitting for any length of time is uncomfortable.
-Rolling over and getting in and our of bed is hard work... which is making my 10 pee breaks in the middle of the night more difficult
-I think my blood sugar levels are low again (like normal and like what I experienced with Ryan at this point).  I"m pretty light headed, and I see twinkly stars floating around when I start to feel yucky.  I need to be good with my diet from here on out!
-I am thirsty alllll of the time. 

My only other concern is the baby's position.  I really really want a natural delivery (more on this next post) and I know its still early... but I am starting to feel like the baby is not making its way into the head down, anterior position just yet.  I will talk to Dr. Rob and my doula about this next week just to make sure we are proactive in doing things to help the baby find a good position.

Lastly, I am trying to really enjoy these last 2 months of pregnancy.  Life goes by sooo fast (pregnancy, children growing up, all of the stages) and I want to take it all in and enjoy the special moment.  It is so easy to get caught up in the hard parts of being pregnant, but its such a short blip on the radar of my life, I don't want to rush it away.  Who knows if we will do this again or not, so I'm going to try to push away the other stresses and life in the moment of excitement and anticipation!

30 week picture

 30 week comparison... looks pretty much the same to me
 Not the best picture, it was the end of the night... but Mike and I at a wedding at 31 weeks

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Building our Home- The First Decision

The process has officially begun!  We are building this house.  I am super excited, but a part of me is still not letting myself get to excited/attached until we know for sure what we are doing with our current home (Dear Lord... please send the right buyer to buy our home as soon as possible).

Anyway, in order to stay positive and excited, I want to document the whole building process.

A little bit of background....We have been eyeing this neighborhood for a couple of years now.  Our best buds have lived in the neighborhood since it started being built about 5 years ago.  Over the years we have considered buying at least 5 different properties in the neighborhood, but for one reason of another, all of the other homes have fallen through.  In May, we saw the listing for the property we are now in contact to buy/build.  A builder came in and bought 4 lots and was building a custom home on each of the lots. 

On May 7, 2013 we met with the builder and fell in love with the basic home they were offering... and even better, the price was right.  As we all know, that was the same week I found out I was pregnant.

Anyway, to make a long story short.  We went into contract in May but it was contingent on the sale of our home.  On September 1 we removed the contingency and gave them a go ahead to start the process.  It took about 6 weeks to go through all of the different permits and they officially broke ground on  October 18.

Here is the lot before anything was touched. 

Here is the lot the day after they started clearing.
And here is the lot as of this week... its hard to tell but the basement is dug our for foundation.

So now that the process has officially started, we need to start making some decisions.  The first upgrade we made right from the beginning was for a deeper basement.  We want to make the space very usable, so we upgraded for an additional few blocks of basement.

We met with the builders again 3 weeks ago to start picking out some of the options.  They went over things like exterior siding, roof, kitchen cabinets, floors, etc.  At this meeting we also approved the home design and added any changes we want to the structure of the home.  For the most part, we stayed with the design.  Two changes we did make were 1.  We are not going to have a wall that separates the living room and the dining room, instead we opted for the open floor plan where one room just flows to the next.  2.  We added additional cabinets to the kitchen to include a pantry.  This make the kitchen a little bit bigger and the dining room just a little bit smaller.  For the most part we can make a lot of these options decisions as we are going along, but we do have to pick out the exterior choices now.

Siding, roofing, shingles, and stone-  This is the first official decision we have to make.  Who would have thought it would be a hard one.

Since May, I kind of had my heart set on a darker gray siding for the house.  Here is an example of what I had in mind (this is not our house, just and example of the color I found online).

Buttttt of course, that color is not one of the basic options.  We have about 20 colors to choose from, but the darker gray is not one of them.  We quickly decided and upgrade on the siding color was not something we wanted to do (we would rather save that money for the kitchen and bathroom upgrades).  I needed to get past this color and pick one of the basics.

Our top two choices were the "Sterling Gray" and "Natural Clay". 

At first I was leaning towards the lighter gray color, but the more I saw example of it, the more I was leaning towards it being to light.  I really want some kind of color to the house, not a super light, blah color.  Here is an example of the "Sterling Gray".

That left us with "Natural Clay" as the winning siding color.  We like that it is not too light and still pretty neutral.  Here is the color  and an example of a house with the siding.

Lets hope we made the right decision once it is done.  Pictures to come in a few weeks.
After we picked the siding, the shutters and roof were pretty simple.  Because of the layout of the front of the house, we only have two windows with shutters.  That made it easy, because if we really hate what we pick, its not an expensive change in the future.  We picked a very dark brown/taupe kind of color.  Its sticking in the neutral families but a nice dark contrast against the house.  Then, I let Mike pick the roof color because I am pretty clueless.  He went with a darker brown/gray color... again to give a contrast against the siding.
I can't wait to see it all put together.  We still need to pick the stone color for the little bit of stone that will be on the front of the house, but we need to go back to the sales office to see the options first. 
Phew... glad step one is done :)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

7: The Experimental Mutiny Against Excess

7: The Experimental Mutiny Against Excess

This was our most recent book club selection and it really stirred up a whole lot of thoughts and emotions.  A very general recap of the book is that Jen decides that her life is filled with excess... excess food, clothes, stress, calendars, etc.  She decides that she is going to try this crazy experiment for 7 months where each month she makes a huge change  and gives something up or limits herself to 7 items....  The 7 themes are:

Food.(only eat 7 foods all month)
Clothes.(only wear 7 items of clothes all month)
Possessions.(give away 7 items every day all month)
Media. (get rid of 7 items of technology for the whole month)
Waste. (she did a lot this month- recycling, starting a fresh garden, shopping only local, eating all left overs...)
Spending.(can spend money in only 7 places all month)
Stress.(honored the Sabbath day and stop 7 times a day to pray and reflect)

Now I couldn't do this experiment to the extreme that she did!!!  I was really impressed at her dedication to the whole process.  But I did get at least 1 or 2 mini goals and changes from each chapter.  Here is my list of new goals and changes I want to make!  I figure if I write them out, I am more likely to hold myself accountable.

1. We are going to tighten our grocery budget and try to eat more of what we have in the house.  We have a pantry full of food and a fridge/freezer full of options, but we always feel like "there is nothing to eat".  Both Mike and I are trying to be more aware of when we actually need groceries.  I am trying to meal plan around what we have in the pantry, eat more left overs, and be flexible with meals instead of eating the same thing as we always do.  I have realized that we don't have to run to the store as soon as one of our staples runs out, and when I do go grocery shopping I stick to a tight budget and only buy whats on the list.

2.  The clothes chapter led me to realize that even though when I"m getting dressed to go out I feel like "I have nothing to wear",  I really do have a closet and dresser full of clothes.  From now on, I'm going to try to live by the "Do I need this or do I want this" motto.  I do not need to buy clothes just because its cute, or just because its on sale.  To help with our budget and saving money, I need to be smarter with all of my little purchases (for both me and Ryan).

3. I want to purge our entire house!  I want to clean out closets, cabinets, toys, drawers etc.  Between the book, and nesting, and the thought of moving soon.... I can't wait to clean out house.  I am not sure I can be as generous as Jen was by donating everything, even big pieces of furniture, but I do plan on separating my whole house into 4 piles: keep, sell, donate, and trash.

4.  I will not be giving up technology, or media, or TV... but it did force me to be aware of how much I use it.  The two things I really want to change are 1) Not checking facebook/instagram/email/pinterest when I am super busy.  All of those things are great time killers and I need to resist the urge when I'm having a stressful day trying to get a lot accomplished.  2) I will stop playing around on my phone when I am around friends and family.  It is sooooo easy to constantly have to check something on the phone, but it really is rude to spend time playing on your  phone when around company (and we are all guilty of doing it).  SO I will try to be more present when around other people and save my phone time for when I'm home by myself.

5.  I really want to start a garden!  It is one of our projects for the new house.  Having your own garden will help accomplish two goals... eating natural local food and saving money.  I have never ever had any luck with gardening and I am clueless on how to start, but I look forward to learning.

6.   The Taynors need to spend less money.  Period.  We are already on a tight budget, and watch all of our spending closely, but I still feel like we are over extended every month.  No more excuses, we need to cut back.  Like I said with #2, I need to be more aware of my purchases and really decide if its something we "need" or something we "want".  I don't NEED to get that pedicure,  I can do it myself.  I don't NEED to get another pair of pajamas for Ryan when he already has a drawer full.  I don't NEED to order out, we have a fridge full of food.  I don't NEED to stop for that Pumpkin latte from Dunkin.  I'm refocused, we are going to spend less money.

7.  Last was her stress chapter, and this one was important to me.  Just like most families we are caught up in the craziness of life.  Every day is packed from morning to night.  I am balancing 3 jobs and being mommy, Mike is balancing his two jobs and the stress of work, we book all of our free times with family and friends and errands and scheduled stuff.  The days and weeks are just flying by without taking much of a break!  So we need to really do this.  I loved her idea of honoring the Sabbath day (whether you are doing it for religious reasons or just as a way to refocus on spending quiet time with your family).  I also loved her idea of stopping multiple times a day to pray.  Again whether its for religious reasons or just as a way to take a pause and refocus on whats important, I think its a great idea.  Sooooo I'm going to do both things.  I am going to try to make sure we have one day every weekend that we have a quiet, relaxing family day.  And I am going to try to stop several times a day, take a deep breath, be thankful for what I have been blessed with and to clear my head from the chaos of day to day life.

The topic came up about the theory that what you put out into the universe comes back to you, and I totally believe in it!  Sometimes its easier said then done, but I am going to be more aware of this each day.  I am going to work on being positive and patient and grateful each day.  I am also going to pray more often, put out in the universe the things we need help and support with.

Obviously the book was a good read for me, and it really made me think.  I hope when I read back on this post, I will feel like I have made these changes and ultimately have helped bring my family to a better place.  Lets give it a try!

Things I am loving...

Its easy to get caught up in the busy days and time is flying by... so I wanted to take a minute to breath and be thankful for some of the things I am currently loving!

1.  Fall!!  The weather, the pumpkins, the apple picking, the Pumpkin Spiced coffees (even if I am drinking decaf these days), the time spent with family doing fun activities, getting ready for Halloween and my birthday... I pretty much LOVE fall!

2.  Keeping the windows open as much as possible, ahhh fresh air.

3.  Having a 2 1/2 year old... I love this age.

4.  The fact that I am almost done Christmas shopping.  This is the first time I started so early, and its a little weird doing it before the official "holiday season" but it will definitely make the end of my pregnancy a bit more relaxing.

5.  All my favorite TV shows are back on, we have something to watch every night.  Parenthood and Modern Family are my current favorites.

6.  The land has been cleared on the property of our new house and we are starting to pick out options.  Super excited about this next step.

7.  Pinterest-  The process of designing and decorating an entire house can be overwhelming, but Pinterest has been my obsession.  Apparently I'm a visual person so seeing examples of kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, etc is helping me make all my decisions!

8.  Freezer dinners (Thank you freezer exchange).  I love having pre-made dinners in the freezer ready to just be warmed up.  Its awesome to have home made yummy dinners without the prep work!

9.Home made air freshner.  I found it on pinterest (of course) and its made our house smell fresh and yummy all week.  I pretty much put an apple, an orange, a lemon, Cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice in a small crock pot with water, and keep in on low all day.  The house fills up with a fresh cooked fall smell!

10.. Last but not least, the last book club book! We read "7: The Experimental Mutiny Against Excess" by Jen Hatmaker.  and I loved it!  Which leads to a whole other stream of thoughts.  Check out my next blog post all about the book and the changes we are making in the Taynor house!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Third Trimester... here we go!

When people ask how far along I am, I seem to always say "I"m still pretty early, newly pregnant".  I don't know why, but I feel like I just got pregnant.  Well I guess its time to stop saying that, because I am officially in my 3rd trimester.

Here are the updates and happenings of my pregnancy as of now...

- I have gained 16 pounds so far, not bad
- Heart burn has returned this week and its been ugly
-Generally I feel really good, pregnant, but good!
-The baby gets the hiccups every night around 8-10pm, just like Ryan did
-I have to pee every 5 minutes 24 hours a day
-No gagging when I brush my teeth :)
-I am starting hypnobirthing classes next week, more about that another day
-I am "nesting" already.  I just want to clean and organize!
-This baby is a mover... kicks, jabs, rolls, flutters... their is a lot going on in my belly

One new development is that I failed my 1 hour glucose test...booo!  I am scheduled to go for the 3 hour test on Thursday morning.  This whole process is a little bit frustrating to me, because I have had blood sugar issues my whole life.  I am aware of it, and I know how to change my diet to feel better and level out my "sugars".  So I am not surprised that my blood sugars are out of whack after they make me drink an awful sugary drink in 5 minutes and then test my blood and hour later.  I don't have high expectations for my 3 hour test either.  I have to fast from midnight the night before until the test is over.  Then they will make me drink that sugar crap again (on an empty stomach) and test my blood every hour for 3 hours.  I am sure I will have the shakes big time and its going to make me sick.  I don't really know the point.  What are they going to tell me...I have gestational diabetes and I have to watch what I eat... well duh, I do that all the time anyway.  I guess we will see what happens.

As I am getting further along, I am still changing my mind all of the time about what the sex of the baby is.  First I thought girl, then I was sure it was a boy, and now I"m back to undecided.  I feel like a lot of people are thinking girl these days.  I took a silly online quiz that predicted 80% girl and 20% boy.

Apparently the way I am carrying, my skin, and the lack of change in my face shape all point to it being a boy.  But my hot feet, small boobs, pee color, sweet cravings, and thicker hair are all reasons why its a girl.

Only a few more months and I guess we will know! 

28 weeks

 29 weeks

Friday, October 18, 2013

Ryan 2.5

Stupid blog press app! Yet again I wrote a 75% complete post, then Ryan woke up so I left my phone unattended, and when I came back my phone was in shutdown mode and the post was gone. Ugh
Lets try again...
Here are some fun happenings in Ryan's world.
- he is officially 31 months, just over 2.5
- he has turned into a real "big boy". When I ask him what happened to my baby ( meaning him) he simply responded "baby is in your belly silly mom". I guess he is right.
- yesterday he told me, totally unprompted, that I was the best mommy in the whole wide world. Awesome mommy moment.
- he is 36 inches, 34 lbs, wears a size 2t but almost ready for 3t, and his shoes are a 9W (big fat feet).
- he still takes a good 2 hour nap from about 1-3 and goes to bed between 7:30-8. Normal wake up is still 7am. Can't complain about that schedule!
- potty training is going well. He is totally trained during the day and peepee, but not overnight.
- he likes to be "nakey"... I'm going to be in trouble when he gets older.
- he is in Mrs. Ennis' class at Westminster Nursery school and really loves it as far as I can tell. He is going to have another speech eval next week to check out his drooling, speech, and fine motor skills.
- he talks ALOT! I have gotten pretty good at interpreting his sentences. It's fun to be able to have back and forth conversations. Especially in the car, he talks non-stop.
- some of his favorite things are construction trucks, cooking, "helping" mom and dad, building with blocks, and making forts with the couch pillows.
-he is pretty excited about Halloween, he is going to be a monkey.
- our favorite time of day is Saturday/Sunday morning cuddle time in bed with mommy and daddy
- his cousins JJ and Sophia were born last month. It helped make him understand that we are going to have a baby like that at our house soon.
- he is really curious, asks lots of questions, and remembers everything! He surprises us everyday with his thoughts.
-favorite shows are still Disney Junior (Jake, Mickey, Einsteins) but he also likes Super Why and Go Diego Go.
- favorite color is "blue"
- and that's all the pops into my head for now.
Some random pictures from my phone!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Ryan 2.5

Monday, October 14, 2013

Breaking Point

It has finally happened.  I have reached a breaking point.  I spent the last 1/2 hour in the bathroom just crying it out.  The stress of all of the things we are juggling, and have been juggling, since the spring time has finally caught up to me.  I have been so good, positive, going with the flow, trying soooooo hard not to over stress about the things that are out of my control... but I hit a wall this past week.  Here is my quick vent to get it off my chest.

1.  This house!  Selling this house is going to break me down.  It's like a snow ball affect and we can't take the first step towards progress until we sell this house.  Simply put...
-we have to keep our house clean constantly
-that means this exhausted 27 week pregnant mommy has to spend most nights cleaning and organizing the house after Ryan goes to bed
-because it always needs to be clean and ready to show (you never know when someone will come see the house), I can't do any of the projects I want to do
-I can't start cleaning, purging, or packing until after we sell because  we all know the process of doing these projects makes a huge mess with lots of junk before it actually looks clean
-I also can't set up a nursery.  Same thing as above.... if we start this project of moving furniture, painting, moving the office into our bedroom, etc. etc. the house will be a disaster for a while... and that is not a going to help us sell any faster.  Plus what is the point of putting this time and effort into setting up a new nursery if our goal is to be moving into our new house shortly after the baby is born.

The fact that our deadline is slowly ticking closer makes me nervous and anxious... we don't exactly have a plan for what will happen if we don't sell (they are breaking ground on the new house this week!!!).

The fact that I can't set up a nursery and start putting together my baby stuff kind of makes me sad... that's one of the fun parts about preparing for a new baby, and it makes it feel real!

And the fact that its out of my control makes me crazy!  I am trying to be patient, I pray every day, I put out positive vibes every time we get a new showing... but so far nothing.  I hate that I can't do something to be more proactive.  We already lowered the price, made some cosmetic changes, de-cluttered.... you know all of the things they tell you to do if you want to sell fast. 

Uggghhhh I could go on and on, but I think I made my point.  Selling a house, with a 2.5 year old, while very pregnant, with a specific deadline IS NOT FUN.

Ok breath Shannon!

2.  To add to the pressure, this past weekend was one of the biggest work events I have ever planned.  I was the main coordinator of a BabyLife Expo.  We started working on this almost a year ago. It was a year of planning, trial and error, coordinating people/speakers/vendors, creating budgets, starting up a non-profit organization...and the actual expo finally took place on Saturday.  So on top of all of my other stresses, the past 2 months of work have been insane.  I am doing way more hours, coming home with piles of work, and literally thinking about Baby Expo details 24/7.

It went pretty well... as always with a first event there were great aspects and some areas that need to be improved.  But overall I was happy with they day... exhausted but happy. 

3.  I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with my "pre-baby" to do list.  There are so many things I want to do, figure out, plan ahead, prepare, blah blah blah... I guess normal nesting feelings.... but I just don't have the time or the energy.  Between the house stresses and the work stresses, I don't have it in me to spend time concentrating on what's really important to me.  So instead of feeling excited, its making me feel overwhelmed. 

4.  And add to the mix, Mike's company just got officially bought out by another big company.  After 8 years of a being 100% loyal and having a reliable salary with benefits, he is suddenly unsure of his future.  He has to re-interview to keep his same position later in the month.  We really have no idea what to expect... this could lead to great things and new opportunities, or it could lead him to the unemployment line.  Yet again, timing couldn't be better with a baby and a new house on the way.

5.  Last but not least MONEY.  The stressed of money, our budget, the extra expenses, and keeping it all together is wearing me down.  I know, I know... everyone is facing the same issues, but its been a rough year.  Both Mike and I are extremely organized, so we are on top of every dime we spend.  But the constant effort and worry is exhausting (and I won't even get started on my maternity leave... or lack there of... concerns). 

I guess that sums up my mini melt down.  I'm pregnant, tired, stressed, and generally have a 1000 pounds of pressure on my shoulders.  I'll cry about it today, but tomorrow its time to go back to "go with the flow, don't get upset, everything happens for a reason, it will all work out" Shannon. 

Again, just breath!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Pregnancy Update Week 24

Not much new to add since my last pregnancy post.  I generally feel good and things are flying by.  A couple of notes...

1.  Heart burn has officially started.  Luckily its not a daily thing yet, but when I get it, I feel like I'm going to burp up fire.

2.  Braxton Hicks have officially started too.  I know I got them early last pregnancy, but I feel like this is even earlier.  I get them almost every night, and they are pretty strong.  My doctor says its pretty normal... rest, drink lots of water, and lay down if they get really bad.

3.  I have had a few random days of spotting.  I did see the doctor and she  thinks everything seems fine, but it may be a sign that I need to take a step back and rest more.  So at this point I'm not really running anymore, just walks and occasional jogging, and I'm not going to All-Star anymore.  I can't do nothing... so I"m still working out but just at a slower pace.  Sticking with pre-natal yoga and my prenatal workout videos and some fast walk/slow jogs.  Plus I am really trying not to let the stress of work and trying to sell the house get to me.... when I"m tired, I need to take a break.

4.  The name game is not going well.  Girls we are okay... Charlotte or Reagan.  I am even okay with the idea of going to the hospital without a decision and waiting til we meet the baby to pick.  But our boys name list keeps getting longer and longer and we are not even close to deciding.... help!!!   On the list currently is (and this is always changing)...

Uggh boys names are hard!

5.  I am back to having no clue what the sex of this baby is... and even better... it 100% doesn't matter.  I really thought I would care, but there are times that I feel like I totally want another boy and others where I know I would want a daughter one day too.  Its no longer just a bunch of bull... I would be thrilled with either a girl or a boy!

6.  I registered at Babies R Us and Amazon Wish List for the few things we need to prepare for this new baby.  We are currently looking for new big boy furniture for Ryan so the new baby can get the nursery furniture.  I scheduled maternity and newborn photos.  And I started Christmas shopping already so I don't have to worry about it at the end of pregnancy.  Those are some things off my to-do list!

Otherwise, Life is good!  I am one of those crazy ladies that love being pregnant!

Our Awesome Summer recap

This summer was awesome... one of my favorites in a while (which is crazy to say because I didn't get to enjoy a single cocktail).  I think Ryan was just at a great age to enjoy a lot of fun things, and I was working a decent amount but I made the most of the off time.  Whatever it was, we had a great summer.

The down side is it went WAY TO FAST.  At the beginning of the summer I made a list of things we wanted to do.  I am assuming next summer will be totally different since we will be adding another young baby to the mix, so I wanted to make the most of this time with Ryan.  Before I knew it, the summer was over and their was few things we just didn't get to.  I  know we can still squeeze these things in this fall, but realistically its not going to happen. This time of year our weekends really become Saturday only because Sunday is saved for football, and Saturdays are filling fast!

Anyway, here are the highlights of the summer-

- Lots of beach time!  We pretty much went at least once during the week and one day over the weekend.  We made the most of living by the beach!

-Boardwalk time.  We did several walks and dinner at the Seaside boardwalk, and then would go up to Pt. Pleasant boardwalk for the rides.  Ryan really liked the boardwalk this summer.

-Pool days... We got a lot of use out of our pool this summer.  I think I spent more time in the pool then I have any summer that we lived here.  It was great to go in for an hour or so in the morning if Ryan was getting bored, or for a quick swim before dinner, or spend some family time out back on the weekends.  I loved having a pool this summer.

- Blueberry picking.  We started the summer with a trip to a local blueberry farm and it was a huge hit.  He pretty much ate the blueberries faster than I could collect them, but he loved it.  Unfortunately we never made it back... next year!

-Monmouth Racetrack.  This year was also a fun age to bring Ryan.  We go every summer but he really understood it this summer.  We are lucky to go when we can join a group in a picnic area, which gives us a nice space that Ryan can run around and play and we can see the horses race up close.  We had a great day and Ryan was great a picking the winning horse.

-Lots of fun parties... Noah's birthday party, Michelle's Baby Shower, Laura's Bridal shower and bachelorette party, and Coombs Chiropractic kids day.

-Lots of weddings!  We have a total of 7 this year, 4 of them this summer.  Gave Mike and I a good reason for an adults night out.

-Family golf outing.  It was a 100 degree day, but I played awesome, was reminded that I really like playing golf, and we got to go to the after party without Ryan.  Nice to spend some time with my family without chasing around a toddler.

-Frankie's fight... he finally got a win!

-  Blueclaws Baseball game-  We only  got their twice this summer, but Ryan is really into baseball so having the stadium so close and so affordable is a added plus to our summer.

- 4th of July was my favorite in a while.  We normally travel around 4th of July so it was fun to be home, BBQ at the Hecht's, and take Ryan to see the fireworks.  It was a pretty picture perfect 4th of July.

- Our 2nd annual OBX vacation... and it was just as perfect as the first year.  Great weather, great friends, great beach.  The kids had a blast.

-Circus.  We went to the Coles circus that came locally.  It was pretty cheesy as far as quality goes, but Ryan loved the elephants and the motorcycles and the acrobats and we had fun hanging with Charlie and Noah. 

-Yankees Game.  We went with the Arzonico's up to Yankee stadium when they played the BlueJays one night.  I love when we are able to do things as adult couples, and it happened to be an awesome game.  Yankees won, the weather was beautiful, and we got to see Mo pitch one more time before he retires.

-Our last summer pool party at our house (hopefully we will be moved out by next summer).

I am sure there was more... but looking at this list I am not surprised that this was my fav summer. 

The few things we didn't get to...

-Seasame Place
-Cape May Zoo
-Water park or splash park
-Please Touch Museum
-Adventure Aquarium

Oh well, we will get there at some point.  For now, it is on to our Fun Fall Festivities!!

Pictures to be added soon!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Potty Training Adventures

Last Friday we officially started potty training (RJ was just short of 30 months old).  Up to that point, he was showing some interest in going on the potty, and he would do it occasionally if we initiated it, but we were not actually in training mode.

I think the hardest part about it so far is that I was clueless.  I have never had a toddler before, I had no idea how the process should work.  I did a little bit of research, I know there are a million different methods and strategies available on the internet.  But there was not one certain plan that worked for our schedule.  I can't do the 3-4 days home with no where to go and nothing to do but potty train, our schedule is way to busy.  And I am not strict enough to set timers to remember to go every 20 minutes.  But I also wanted to be consistent so that he understood the change and knew what was going on.

So my plan was this... we started on a Friday because I was off from work from Friday-Sunday.  We made a big deal about starting to wear big boy underwear and getting rid of the diapers leading up to Friday.  That morning when he woke up, we took off his diaper, threw it out, and never put one on again.  To get use to the idea, I let him run around with no clothes except his new undies.  Then I would just bring him to the bathroom every 20-30 minutes.  He was off to a good start... he only had 2 accidents that day and he did actually go to the bathroom every time I brought him there.

This idea continued, but on Saturday and Sunday we had things to do so we couldn't just stay home and potty train.  For the most part he did well, but I found the more I transitioned back and forth between pull ups when we were out in public and underwear when we were home, the more confused he got.  He wasn't doing awful, but he wasn't getting the idea of telling me when he had to go and he was confused about when he was allowed to go in a pull up vs. when he had to make it to the bathroom so he didn't have an accident.

So I refocused on Sunday night and planned to put my inlaws to work on Monday since they were in charge all day while I worked.  The rule was only underwear all day, no pull ups allowed, even if they wanted to go out.  He had a really good day, went on the potty every time he had to go, but still wasn't the one to tell us it was time.  He did have one accident, and of course it was while they were out of the house at the StrideRight buying sneakers (I'm sure it wasn't the first time they had an accident in their store).  Overall it was a good day.

Then that night we had another revelation.  After his bath I let him run around naked for the rest of the night.  After a little while, he was in his room playing and I was doing laundry, and I heard him call "Mommy, Pee-Pee!!" and he ran to the bathroom.  We made it in time and he did his business in the potty.  This was the first time he made the connection he had to go, and got to the potty all by himself. 

The next day I was home with him again so I cleared the schedule and declared it NAKED DAY!  No clothes at all, not even undies.  If the night before he was able to feel the urge to go when he was naked, maybe thats what he needed.  It was worth a try.  Again, things were not disasterous, but we still had work to do.

Well naked time worked.  Every single time he had to go, he told me first and he made it to the potty.  He had a perfect day!  Wednesday morning, he had to go to my Aunt Lindas house when I went to work.  I was a little bit worried because this was the first real test.  My aunt said she did have errands to run, so she put him in a pull up so that she did not have to worry about it.  As I thought would happen, as soon as he was in the pull up, he forgot about using the potty and had a few accidents in the pull up.  That afternoon when we got him back home, we went back to naked time and he went back to only using the potty.

Thursday morning was the next test.  I told my inlaws no pull ups no matter what, only naked or underwear!  They did a good job and followed my rules!  But the true test was that he had an hour car ride to Grandma and Grandpas house and then another hour ride home.  Both were successful with no accidents!!!  Yay!  I feel like he is definitely getting it.

To sum up, its now Saturday afternoon and he has been accident free since lunch time on Wednesday.  We have been to stores, my dads softball game, in the pool, and in the car and he has told us every time he has to go to the bathroom.  I know we are not totally in the clear yet, but we are definitely in good shape and I am super proud of him.

In conclusion, here are my tips that seem to help the process....

1.  Try (even with a busy schedule) to get at least 3 days in a row to stay at home and practice
2.  Be consistent!  Changing back and forth from underwear to pull ups to swim diapers and then back to underwear doesn't really teach them.  They get easily confused and don't start making the effort on their own.
3.  Go totally naked!  For some reason that is what he needed to be able to recognize the "I have to pee" urge.
4.  After a good stretch of going potty all by themselves, its okay to start going out and doing things again, as long as they are still in underwear... don't switch back to pull ups!
5.  Be okay with accidents.  There are going to be some messy days, and accidents in public or in the car, but that's okay.  It was better to have an accident in public and he understood what happened then it was to be inconsistent and go back and forth between potty and pull ups. 
6.  Stay strong!  Don't give up!  Stick to it!  haha how many other encouraging thoughts can we come up with.  But I mean it.  Being strong and consitant and not easily phased is the trick to success (just like it is with most mommy moves).

Hopefully we are in good shape and he will continue this stretch of success... but I am happy to say that the hardest part is (probably) over.

Friday, August 30, 2013

From baby to big boy

This summer has been all about transitioning Ryan from a baby (well really a toddler) to a big boy.  I had a few things that I knew I wanted to accomplish before the next baby was born in January, but once I made a few of These changes, everything else pretty much followed.  All of a sudden I look around the house and realize we have put away almost everything baby related!  I didn't really do this on purpose, it kind of just happened.  It's a good thing, now I feel like we have the next 4 months to just enjoy our "big boy" before we start the whole thing over again.

First change was the crib to bed change.  This went so super smoothly that I kept waiting for something bad to happen. It was a seamless transition.  We told him for a week he was going to move to a big boy bed, and he told everyone he knew about this change.  The first night he had a hard time getting settled, so Mike layer on the floor with him for ten minutes until he calmed down and then said goodnight and left.  Every nap and bedtime since then has been great.  We kept his routine exactly the same, he just had a bed instead of a crib.

This change lead to us putting away the pack n play.  If he was in a bed at home, then we were not going to make him sleeping the pack n play when he is out.

Then I realized there was no reason to keep his high chair out, he can sit in a booster at the table just fine. I guess I was still using it out of habit.  So I scrubbed it down and brought it up to the attic.

Last Friday was the next big change...we officially started potty training.  My next post will be all about that, but I can officially say he is doing great and we are done with diapers (pull ups only at night).

I got rid of the changing station on his dresser, and just today packed up his nursery bedding to get it ready to sell on Craig's list.  We have his new book bag which will now be what he uses to carry all of his emergency meds, snacks, and extra clothes... Diaper bag is being washed and stored til January!  And most importantly, he starts preschool next Friday!

We have made big moves since June and its all bitter sweet.  Only one big thing left to get rid of, and I'm  dreading/stalling big time... The bed time and nap time binky!  I can't take everything away from the poor kid at one time.  That will be the next mountain to climb.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Still on team Gender Neutral!

Last Tuesday was my 20 week ultra sound, and we could have found out the sex of this baby.  But we stayed strong and stuck with our gut and did not find out.  We were so happy with our decision not to find out Ryan's gender until the birth and we felt very strongly (and excited) about doing it again.  Not knowing the gender makes that last month, and even labor, just a little bit more exciting.  And the feeling of excitement and love and joy when they finally said I had a baby boy after a pretty crazy labor was just the icing on the cake.

Do I want a boy or a girl?
Of course this time around I have more of an opinion about whether we have a girl or a boy.  I would be totally lying if I said that I didn't want to have a baby girl.  I am a girly girl and I would love to have a daughter to do all of those mother/daughter things with as she grows up.  I want to go prom dress shopping and be back stage at dance recitals and be the mother of the bride one day.  BUT at the same time, I LOVE being a mom to my little boy and I think the idea of brothers is super cute.  I can totally see myself being the mom with tons of boys.  I would be equally as excited to go to soccer games and baseball games.  Plus, having a boy would be a little bit easier on the wallet next year since we have tubs full of clothes!  No matter what there will not be any disappointment and lots to be excited about. 

What do I think it is?
Of course the question I always get is, do I have any feelings about whether its a girl or a boy.  I can honestly say that at this point I have felt strongly both ways.  When I first found out I was pregnant my immediate gut instinct was that it was a girl.  Even through my first 10-12 weeks, I was really feeling girl (probably because I felt like throwing up all day every day).  Then when I entered my second trimester I started to feel more neutral... I really didn't know.  But now as of our ultra sound last week, I am really feeling like its a boy.  Something about seeing the baby on the screen my gut just automatically said I was looking at a baby boy.  When we left the room, without me saying my opinion, Mike totally agreed with me.  Plus as I am getting further along, the old-wives tales are starting to point more to a boy.  So far I am all belly, my skin is not breaking out, I feel pretty much the same way I did with Ryan.... no major girl symptoms (except that I love sweets).

Nursery Theme-
I do have another neutral gender nursery décor picked out for the new house (fingers crossed we will be in the new house when the baby is still an infant lol).  We are going with the gray and white colors with baby elephants.  The furniture is already white, we will do gray walls, and the bedding is all different shades and designs of gray and white.  By time we actually set up the room we will probably already know if its a girl or boy, so I will have some time to buy the accent décor to make it more personal.  I have been on Etsy and love the pink or blue things they have that go alone with baby elephant nursery theme.  It will be easy to get some of the extras in the accent color of choice and have it ready to go when we set up the room.  I am already adding things to my favorites and my shopping cart so all I have to do is click "buy" on the appropriate items when the time comes.

Name Game-
This part is so hard.  If we have a girl we are in good shape.  I have always loved and wanted to have a Charlotte, but we have also really started to like Reagan.  I would be very happy with either name.  No matter what the first name is, her middle name would be Elizabeth after my Nanny.  If its a boy we still have some thinking to do.  The middle name will be Michael no matter what (after my husband and my cousin), but first names are harder.  I really like Patrick but Mike isn't convinced yet.  He is afraid of the nick name Pat as he gets older.  We also toss around Christopher, Anderson, Declan, and Charles, but there is something about each one that has us held up.  I am starting to think more about this... especially now that my gut says we are having a boy.  I am open to suggestions

Bottom line...I will find out around January 10th!