Saturday, December 25, 2010

All I Want for Christmas...

is an updated blog!

It's on my to-do list for 2011.... I love sharing all of our latest adventures, but we've been so busy, I haven't been able to make the time for it lately. I have a lot of fun details and pictures I'd like to share from the past few months so stay tuned as I try to catch up. :-)

~J

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Yum Yum!

On Monday, we had Noah's 6 month check up (more on that in the next post) and got the green light from his pediatrician to start trying solid foods. I found a whole-grain rice cereal by Earth's Best that I wanted to try - since Joel and I eat mostly whole grain rice, pasta, and breads, we figured Noah should, too! Here are some pictures from "dinner":

Bug's First Food

We put Noah in the Sassy Seat that has been passed down through all of the kids in Joel's family - this exact one is 35 years old and Noah is the 16th kid to sit in it! Apparently, I had a Sassy Seat that looked just like it. Pretty funny.
Bug's First Food 1

Noah was really excited about the spoon. He seemed a little surprised about there being something IN the spoon, but slurped up quite a few spoonfuls!
Bug's First Food 5

Mama showing Noah how to open up:
Bug's First Food 6

"Hey, this eating thing is fun!"
Bug's First Food 2

And just to remind us that his reach is ever-growing....Noah managed to dump half of the cereal from the bowl! So, we turned it into a tactile learning moment! :)
Bug's First Food 3

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Meeting Uncle Scott

Since Jenn's brother is in the Army, we don't get to see him as often as we'd like! The last time we got to see him was last Christmas when he had some leave time, which means, Noah and Scott had yet to meet - until now! Here are some great pictures from the last few days:

Flying with Uncle Scott
Noah Flying with Uncle Scott 1

The Pittmans with Joel

The Pittmans with Pam

More flying! (Uncle Scott was getting his workout in)
Noah Flying with Uncle Scott

Scott and Noah 1

And MORE flying!
Scott and Noah 2

Uncle Scott learning just how quick he has to be to stay a step ahead of his nephew
Scott and Noah

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Battle

Dear Noah,

The other day, I wrote a post all about how well you sleep and how we are working on your nap routines to make sure you are a well rested little boy. Well, maybe I spoke too soon. While you have always been a good sleeper at night, and have even developed good sleep routines during the day, we seem to have thrown off your sleep groove over the last week. (Perhaps it had something to do with throwing your routine out the window while we were in Tahoe for the weekend? I mean, we wanted to go to the beach and have campfires... didn't you?)

This week, I have been trying to help you readjust to your good sleeping habits. Some days have been better than others. Today is not looking good so far. You had a long day yesterday (Mommy had to go shopping! Sorry!) and didn't take any quality naps. No, those 15 minutes in the stroller or the 10 minutes in the car do not count. I let you sleep in my arms for an hour and a half last night while we watched the football game because I knew you really needed the sleep. Plus, you're my baby, and whether or not it's a good idea according to the 'experts', sometimes I just love to hold you and watch you while you sleep. After a little bit of play time, Daddy took you upstairs and put you to bed. You were a little upset at the idea, but you fell asleep quickly and Daddy came downstairs, victorious. Yes, we take great pride in winning the battle. Maybe it's because we're new at this whole parenting thing, or maybe it's just because we like to win. Not sure. :-)

Anyhow, you slept great last night. Until 4:30am. Lately, you have decided that that is a great time to wake up and want to play. Daddy and I usually grumble over who will go get you, and then I usually try to feed you and go back to sleep. Well, again, you were having none of that. It was time to start the day, right? Right? Ugh. Daddy got up and took the puppies for a walk (because your Daddy is awesome like that) while Mommy tried to stay awake and convince you that really, it was a good time to go back to sleep. No dice. So when Daddy got home, he took you downstairs and let you play for a few minutes while he got ready for work. I went back to sleep, knowing that it might be a long day, and before he left, Daddy successfully got you back in your crib without any complaint. You slept 3 more glorious hours. Thanks! But, what's the deal with this 4am wake up call? Could we maybe NOT do that again?

I consulted the Healthy Sleep Habits book to see if this is a normal problem for your age. It is. But the book says its probably happening because you aren't going to bed early enough and you're actually overtired. Weird, but seems to be true. You have had a really really really bad week of rest! The solution seems to be to get you back to your three naps a day, and at your age, it's supposed to be okay to let you cry a bit. As a 5 month old, you enjoy being social with me and Daddy. Who wants to sleep when there are books to read and songs to sing? Right. But, you need your sleep little boy. We aren't really into just having you 'cry it out', but the 'let cry' theory from the book seems to work for us. The idea is that we may have to let you cry a bit in order for you to get some sleep. We will do a lot to help you wind down and soothe you to sleep, but in the end, if you protest (which is not the same as screaming your head off, hysterical crying), the suggestion is that we let you. So, we try to do that. Somedays we don't let you cry for more than a couple of minutes before we try to soothe you back to sleep. However, lately, you don't go back to sleep if we go up there - you think it's time to play!

As I type this, you are protesting....and I mean PRO-TESTING... in your crib. We read some books, we nursed a little, and you're all swaddled up. You were nearly asleep in my arms when I put you down. I gave you your nuk and turned on your little musical giraffe as I calmly walked out of the room. You were doing great, until after the giraffe stopped playing. Then you started to complain. But, I'm not going up there. You've done this before. It's never lasted this long and I'm feeling really bad about that, but I know I won't help you learn to sleep if I keep going back up there. :-( You are SO tired. You even take breaks from protesting and you very nearly fall asleep. But, you are stubborn. And you just won't let yourself go to sleep. I do not know WHERE you get THAT from......(says the girl who once screamed from behind her locked bedroom door "HOOOOOWWWWWW can you DOOOOOOOOOOO this to MEEEEEEEEEEEEE??????" over a time-out that I surely deserved. I believe I was 3. Sorry Mom and Dad!)

I feel like I'm doing the right thing, but you sure don't make it easy to do! I want to go up there, comfort you and kiss away your tears (yes, real tears - those kill me). But, I know I would just be prolonging the battle if I do. Since I started typing, you have started to fall asleep. You're still crying a bit, but in between protests, your eyes are closed and you're totally sleeping. (Remember the whole stubborn thing?) I'm sorry little bug, but I know you need to sleep so I'm not going to go interrupt you and have to start this all over again (again).

It's been about 20 minutes since I started typing and guess what....you just fell fast asleep. :-) See? Mama knows best! Sweet dreams, little Bug. Mama loves you.

XOXO

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Nap Time

Lately, we have been working really hard at helping Noah get plenty of good sleep. Many people say that babies will sleep when they need to. But with Noah, we have noticed that this is simply not true. Noah will stay up all day and most of the night if he has the chance! For awhile, we had a pretty cranky baby, and looking back, I realize that a lot of the crying in the car seat and scream fests in the evening were probably a result of too little sleep.

A friend turned us on to a great book when I was pregnant: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr. Marc Weissbluth. In general, the author points out that sleep begets sleep. So while it seems counterintuitive to think that taking three naps during the day will lead to better night sleep, it does in fact work! I couldn't believe how naturally Noah fell into the routine. It's more of a challenge for me to adjust to the schedule so that we are home when Noah needs to sleep, but it does work and I know he is better rested because of it. It's interesting how much more happy and smiley he is during his awake time now that we are doing our best to "protect the sleep" as the author describes it.

We are also still big fans for the swaddle when it comes to sleeping. Noah didn't seem to be fond of being swaddled at first, so for about a month or so, we didn't swaddle him. However, after a few long and frantic nights, we decided to break out the Miracle Blanket. We had been given two of these little treasures as shower gifts before Noah was born, but I just thought it seemed really complicated and I was a bit intimidated by the seemingly complex directions. The Miracle Blanket is really like a little baby straight jacket in a way, and I didn't know how I felt about tying my baby up! But, I decided enough was enough and we gave it a try. Noah slept 6 straight hours that night. OH. Well then! We have been big fans of the Miracle Blanket ever since. Even Noah seems to be a huge fan - when he's really tired, he actually straightens his arms down by his sides - the exact position they are in when he is all wrapped up! The only downfall to the Miracle Blanket is that Noah is getting too big for it! We've already had to forgo putting his feet in - now we just put socks or footed PJs on him and do the wrap around his arms only. It's amazing how much it helps him wind down and stay asleep! After learning about the "fourth trimester" during which it is really helpful to do all you can to mimic the security and comfort of the womb - swaddling, white noise, gentle movement, etc. - we started to realize the power of the swaddle! (Thanks again to the Lindorfers and Gallianos for the Miracle Blankets - they are both in CONSTANT rotation!)

We feel fortunate that Noah started sleeping well at night pretty early on, but the naps during the day were a challenge for the first 3 or 4 months. But now, with some good advice from the book, we've found a pretty good solution. I am definitely not one to read a book and then treat that book like the Bible when it comes to parenting, but I would say that this particular author seems to really have a handle on how to develop healthy sleep with your baby or child. He outlines solutions for pretty much every possible sleep 'problem' imaginable. I would recommend it to anyone!

And on that note, a big THANKS to the tip from our friend Julie, for suggesting the book to us in the first place. Yeah for nap time!

No, Noah does not usually sleep on the floor - this was a Daddy photo shoot :-) As you can see, Jack is supervising in the background:



Noah, snoozing in the Miracle Blanket:

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Nuk Nuk Nuk Nuk....

I mentioned in my last post that Noah loves having his nuk (pacifier) during car rides. We also use it for naps and sometimes bed time. He has always been a baby that is soothed by sucking. No wonder I felt like I had a barnacle attached to me for a few months! Anyhow, we finally found a pacifier brand that worked for us - MAMs. (We love them and have been told they are great for a breastfed baby because they mimic the same sucking motions.)

Lately, we've started noticing a new development. Noah has been successfully putting the nuk BACK in his mouth! My friend Heather was pretty sure he had done it at lunch last week, and we've noticed a couple of incidents since where the nuk is definitely out, and then it's somehow, back in shortly thereafter. We have watched him play with it and try to put it back in his mouth, but we've never actually seen him do it. Regardless, it sure would make some car rides a little more peaceful if this becomes a habit!

Speaking of nuks....I just noticed on the video monitor that it just fell out and Noah is none to pleased. We threw off his nap routine over the weekend and we are in recovery mode this week. Since we still swaddle Noah for sleep, he's obviously not going to be getting that nuk back in himself.....guess I'm making a trip upstairs. More later!

Noah News...

Noah seems to be developing new things overnight these days! We can hardly keep up with all of the new tricks he is learning and all of the changes it means for us!

As of two weeks ago, Noah is no longer in the infant car seat! He 'graduated' to the the rear-facing convertible car seat. After much research, comparison, and thought, we decided on one of the new Britax seats. So far, Noah seems okay in the new seat, although he still hates to be restrained. He already knows how to plant his heels and throw his hips up when I try to buckle him in. Fun times. Can't wait for him to be bigger and stronger....it's going to be a two person job! But, once he's buckled in, I can usually distract him with a toy and as long as he has his Nuk (what we call pacifiers, although, we don't even use that brand), he's good to go! My only complaint about it now is that it is definitely an adjustment trying to get around with him. I didn't keep him in his infant seat and take him into stores or anything because he never liked his infant seat anyhow. Plus, I wasn't fond of lugging around a 30 lb. accessory. But, the hardest adjustment has been loading up and getting in and out of the car at home. I figured out pretty quickly that this requires a bit more strategic planning when trying to leave the house! :-)

At the end of July, we had Noah's 4 month well check. He was 18 lbs and 26 3/4 inches - both are considered 95th percentile for his age, and his head size is in the 98th percentile. We knew we had a pretty big boy, but yikes! We are regularly stopped in public (because Noah is quite the flirt and loooooooves attention) and it always seems to shock people when they ask how old he is. To me, he's my little man. I know he's not 'small', but he's little to me! :-) Anyhow, Noah got his second round of immunizations at that appointment and handled it very well. We decided to stick with the regular schedule for vaccines after much review, consultation with the pediatrician, research, and prayer. No studies have found a link between autism and vaccines, so while it is a very hyped topic and one that made us stop and wonder for a bit, we ultimately decided that for us, the regular schedule would be best. It's really not easy being a parent sometimes!

Around that same time (early August), Noah cut his first teeth. Now he has two! They are the two bottom front teeth. We had suspicions of teething with some of his behavior - not to mention the endless drooling and gnawing on anything he could get his mouth around - including faces. He especially loved to gnaw on chins. Mama and Nana seemed to have especially tasty chins. Yum! :-) He still likes to attack with his mouth wide open, making a lovely little "Gaaaahhhh!" sound as he comes at you with his open mouth, but no one is really up for being chewed on so our little shark baby has become a big fan of teething rings and soft toys he can mouth.

Speaking of mouthing, Noah has developed quite the taste for...well, tasting! As is normal with his age, Noah puts everything in his mouth. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G! He's also become quite dexterous and his hand-eye coordination is really starting to kick in. I bet I don't need to connect those dots for you, but we are learning to think one step ahead of him and get things out of reach sooner than he realizes they are there. At lunch last week, Noah nearly grabbed Nana's mug of iced tea at Islands, and then later, almost got his fingers into the ranch for my fries! He's also fascinated with Mama's or Daddy's water bottle (or any drink we try to sip while holding him). One morning, as I tried to take a sip from my bright green water bottle, while holding Noah in the other arm (as usual), he literally flung himself and both arms across my body in an attempt to reach it. That was a good save by Mama, let me tell you! Yowzers....

Let's see, what else is new? Oh yes, we've had a few accidental roll-overs. We know he will soon figure out that he can do it when he wants to, but for now, he just complains when he can't reach something or when he's "done" with Tummy Time. Although, frustration is a true motivator, so we know our days of a sedentary baby are numbered. Good thing we already have baby gates, outlet covers, and Tot-Locks for the cabinets and drawers. (Note to self: put those on the To-Do list!)

Oh yes, and Noah's latest trick is sitting up! I didn't expect it to work, but one day I sat him up and put his favorite toy (the Mozart Cube) in between his ankles. He leaned forward and started playing with it. I hardly had to help him! Within a day, he was sitting in the Boppy with no problem. His only complaint is when his toy gets out of reach and he leans forward or sideways and ends up face to face with the floor. :-) Live and learn! But, since he is sitting so well now, we have also had a few tries with sitting in a high-chair (so Nana and Mama could eat without Noah's diving into our lunches) and the Aymeric Family sassy-seat! On a side note, I apparently had the same Sassy Seat when I was little, but the one we have now has been passed through all of Joel's cousins, beginning with his sister, and now on to her kids and now Noah. It may be old, but it obviously works if it's been through about 15 kids!

Anyhow, that is a pretty good synopsis of Noah's latest and greatest. I will aim to do more regular updates with "Noah News". I end up sharing a lot via Facebook, but I know a lot of family and friends don't have or check Facebook often enough for that to count. SO! Think of it as my Fall resolution!

Time to go run errands between naps! Here are some of Daddy's latest pictures from the 5 month photoshoot:

Noah in the excersaucer, demonstrating his favorite thing to do...chew on the flower!


Sitting up with his Mozart Cube (and an undercover Boppy):


Like father, like son:


Multitasking with Nana at dinner - gnawing on a finger while grabbing hair and reaching for her face! This is standard practice these days...


The Fam!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Oh, that's what they're for!

Boobs. Let's be honest, everyone loves them. Entire industries have been built around holding them up and showing them off. In fact, I'd say that the average person has probably spent a fair percentage of their life consumed by them. Sure, they're nice to look at and all, and I'll even admit to a few wishful chants circa junior high ("We must, we must, we must increase the bust! It's better, it's better, it's better for the sweater"). But, boobs are surprisingly not just for enhancing the fit of a dress or making for a better view on a date! (I know! Can you believe it?) So it absolutely floors me how many people get the heeby jeebies over breastfeeding. I am sure some people that I send this blog out to regularly, will even get all weird about it. But, it's my blog, so - get over it. :-) But, seriously. What is the big deal? Some women leave the house showing more skin than I do when I'm feeding my child, so I don't really understand why people seem to think there is any level of indecency around breastfeeding - whether it be done in public or not.

I mean, let's think about this. We are mammals. Just like other mammals, we have live births. We are also fully equipped to feed those offspring. People don't think of it as indecent if they spot a mama animal feeding her young at the zoo or the state fair, so why then should a woman feel the need to hide when feeding her baby? I am all for courtesy and aiming to make people feel comfortable. I mean, we have these adorable little nursing covers (hilariously named "Hooter Hiders" and "Udder Covers") and I do love those, so I use them when I can. But, have you BEEN to Sacramento? It's hot here! I'm not about to stick my child under a hot feeding tent and let us both sweat it out sauna-style while I try to satisfy his biological need to eat. Would you want to eat in a sauna? Or how about in a hot and stuffy car? OOOOH! Or how about in a public bathroom? Doesn't that sound appetizing? In case you aren't familiar with how a woman nurses, it generally requires sitting down and having your arms free to maneuver and hold your baby. So think about that for a second..... in a public restroom...where then does one sit to feed a child? Yeah... no thank you!

Of course, even covered up, some people aren't comfortable knowing "what's going on in there". I've even had two good friends (who shall remain nameless) make comments regarding their discomfort around breastfeeding women. I have to say, it's amazing to me! How has our culture created this reaction amongst people when it comes to such a natural, normal event? It should be a non-issue. When Joel and I were in Italy and Croatia last year, I realized how uptight we as Americans can be about breasts in general. Women and girls in Europe regularly sunbathe topless, and no one bats an eyelash about it. What's the big deal? I'm all for modesty, but if you don't want to 'see' anything.... uh, don't look. It's quite simple. Remember...boobs are for breastfeeding.



Since August is World Breastfeeding Month, that had originally sparked my interest in mentioning the topic on the blog. I have thoroughly enjoyed breastfeeding and it has become one of my favorite times with Noah. Don't get me wrong. It has not always been a joy ride. We have had some tough times, and I'll admit to a few tears just at the thought of having to nurse again when we first started out (ouchie!). But, after a couple of weeks, we were fine, and it has been SO worth it! I think it's totally incredible that I can just sit down and feed him, any time, any place! I don't have to clean bottles or buy formula, and I don't have to remember to pack anything but diapers when I leave the house! Not to mention all of the health benefits for both of us! I definitely try to eat sensibly, but as a breastfeeding mother, I am allotted 500 more calories per day than normal. That's 200 more than I was allowed when I was pregnant. (When I learned that statistic in our Bradley class, I was like, SIGN ME UP! Let's face it, I like to eat!) I haven't set foot in a gym and I am almost back in my pre-pregnancy clothes. THANK YOU, BREASTFEEDING!

Anyhow, yesterday, I happened upon an article from the NBC news affiliate in LA about a woman who was harassed in a Cost Plus World Market store for breastfeeding her baby in public. I thought it was an atrocious example of the ridiculous attitudes in this country, so I posted it to my Facebook page. Amazingly enough, it turns out that I went to high school with one of the women pictured (although she wasn't the one harassed in the store), and a college friend of mine's sister was her mother's (a midwife) client, as was the woman that was asked to leave the store or cover up. (Bet you had to read that sentence at least twice!) What was so incredible about it though was that a number of my friends chimed in about how they agree that it is insane that we as women can't feed our babies, the way God obviously intended for us to do, without public scrutiny.

Along with all of the 'small world' details that came about from posting that article, I also came across another fantastic blog post that really puts everything into perspective. I do hope you will all go and read it! It is a quick one, and I'm sure you will find it enjoyable (at least to some degree). You can click on the link here.

::Steps off soapbox::

I do promise that my next post will be ALL ABOUT Noah. I have quite a bit to update about that little rascal. He's cuter than ever and he's sporting some new tricks! But since I am the author of this blog, I get to use it however I see fit. And lately, I've had a lot to say! So, thanks for listening....er...reading! :-) Also, it should be noted that I feel very fortunate to have such a supportive husband. Joel doesn't get what all the fuss is about with people being offended by breastfeeding. I believe his reaction was pretty simple: "The kid's gotta eat!" So once again, can I just say how much I love him? He really is the best and I'm such a lucky woman!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

For THIS Child, We Prayed....

Most of you know that we had a rocky start to the pregnancy with Noah. At 8 weeks, we ended up in the ER and were told after two ultrasounds that we had lost the baby. We were devastated and spent the rest of the weekend grieving the loss of the baby that we had been so excited about. We cried and tried to accept God's plan, understanding that miscarriage is a sad but very common occurrence. We had only told a small number of people and felt that we had to share our loss to move forward. Again, we were overwhelmed with love and support. We couldn't have been more appreciative.

At the ER, they had set up an appointment for me to see my regular doctor as a follow up. We talked about the symptoms and what had brought us in to the ER over the weekend. She decided to do an ultrasound again to confirm things for herself. We were totally unprepared for what had happened next. I'll never forget what she said. She started with, "I'm so sorry...wait...no, I'm so sorry." And then she turned the screen around and pointed. "We have a baby with a heartbeat." I don't think I can put into words what the felt like. Joel and I were speechless. I think we even laughed in our amazement. It was total shock. We had had TWO ultrasounds and had spent hours in the ER. How could this be true? But, it was true. The most amazing and wonderful news!

Joel and I left on a complete adrenaline high. I don't remember much else except for the calls to our parents to share the good news. We were so happy! It was such an incredible turn of events and we didn't know what to do next. But the relief was short lived. Follow up appointments had been scheduled to monitor the pregnancy a little more closely over the course of the next 10 weeks. My doctor believed it was a subchorionic hematoma and told me that I could expect more bleeding, but that the baby was fine and I would most likely go on to have a healthy, full term pregnancy. "Most likely" was not quite the reassurance I was hoping for. I always expected that I would be a bit of an anxious pregnant woman, but having been through that experience, I was a wreck. I don't think I was able to really relax until about December when I was feeling the baby move regularly. We prayed every day that God would let us keep THIS baby. We do our best to trust in His plan for us, but we desperately wanted to meet the baby that had given us such a scare! (As I had joked at the time, this kid was grounded for life!)

Fast forward to now. We have a beautiful, healthy, happy, incredible son. We are SO thankful for Noah! Words can hardly express our joy and gratitude to God for giving him to us. He is so amazing and we never tire of marveling at his sweet sleeping face or his hysterical laughter. So, on the birth announcement, when we included the Bible passage from 1 Samuel 1:27, "For this child, we prayed..." it has a very special meaning for us. While we always prayed for the blessing of a child, we truly prayed for THIS child. And exactly a year later, we still do.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Babies Don't Keep....

Looking back, I think that being a mom is what I have always aspired to be. I love doing many things. I love teaching and working in collaborative environments. I love being creative with everything from scrapbooking to sewing. I love to read, travel, take pictures, explore, dance, and have fun with friends. But, I can't say that anything is as fulfilling as being Noah's Mama. So having the opportunity to be home with him almost full time since his birth has been a true gift.

Since we are in the process of moving, it has been a little challenging at times to manage the workload of being a full time mommy and keeping the house presentable since it is on the market (send your prayers, please, as it is a sloooooooow market). For awhile, I got a little stressed about trying to 'do it all'. I would get frustrated with myself for not having done the laundry before Joel got home, or not having accomplished more tasks on the never ending to-do list that day. Joel is very supportive and reminds me that it can't all be done in one day, and that my job is to focus on Noah, not the dishes or the dog fur that needs to be vacuumed. So when I came across this poem, I decided to make it my new motto:

I hope my children will look back on today
And see a mother who had time to play.
There will be years for cleaning and cooking
But children grow up while we're not looking.
Dusting and scrubbing can wait 'till tomorrow
For babies grow fast we learn to our sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs and dust go to sleep
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.


Noah 4 Months 12 BW

I may not always have the tidiest home, but in the end, it doesn't matter. Try as I might, I can't keep him little forever. And although I may wish it at times, I can't wait to see the boy he will become and the man he will grow into. So for now, I'm happy to just focus on being "Mama", whether or not the laundry or dishes get done. I love you Noah!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

How are the dogs doing?

One of the questions we get all of the time, is about how our two fur-kids have adjusted to the newest addition. From the time that we brought Bridget home three years ago as a puppy, we have been trying to prepare her (and later, Jack) for the day that there would be a new kid in town. I remember reading article after article, and book after book, trying to do everything we could to 'childproof' our dogs way ahead of time. We never wanted to be faced with a choice between our child and our furry friends.

Daddy's Helper

As many of you know, Jack has been our greatest challenge as dog owners. We got Jack two years ago from a ranch in Reno when he was 14 months old. He had never been trained, never been on a leash, never been inside, never been in a car, wasn't neutered or crate trained, and didn't really even know his name. (That last bit turned out to be a blessing in disguise though since his name was Pretty Boy. We still call him that because he sure is pretty, but we were happy to change his official name to Jack!) Jack was a challenge to work with when we first brought him home. What we had done with Bridget proved more difficult with Jack, if not simply because he was already a 45 pound dog and not as easy to maneuver around as the little 8 pound furball Bridget had been. I remember when Joel went back to work after we had first brought him home. I couldn't go anywhere! I couldn't get Jack on a leash, let alone in a crate. I couldn't even get him in the car fast enough to close the door before he jumped back out. I remember literally tossing him across the backseat and shutting the door as fast as I could just to get him to the vet to get his shots and be fixed! I didn't know what we had gotten ourselves into, but I did know that Jack seemed to really trust us. He didn't always like what we had in mind, but he never reacted with aggression once despite all of the times I had to literally force him into a crate or the car so we could leave the house. (Ironic, since he now opts for his crate over the couch and can't wait to go for car rides now!)

After a quick beginner's obedience class, of which Jack was the star pupil, we were off and running! Or so we thought. As it turns out, Jack was not well socialized as a puppy. He lived on the ranch with at least 15 other (also not well attended to) Aussies, some livestock, and horses that were the primary focus. We came to find out that Jack will probably always have some problems stemming from this lack of proper socialization. Of course, this has proven to be rather inconvenient when it comes to having guests over or wanting to do off-leash activities. Jack can't handle this and we've learned the hard way unfortunately.

With all of this in mind, I'm sure a lot of people would think it's not worth it to have this dog that makes things so tough. But when there have been moments where we have thought that re-homing Jack was the answer, it has absolutely crushed us. He is, by far, the sweetest, most loving dog we have ever known. Jack trusts us. We promised to be his "forever" home and I don't doubt for a second that he knows that. We have invested a lot of time and money to make it possible for us to keep Jack because of that promise. I can't imagine us doing it any other way. He deserves it. As the behaviorist at the UC Davis Animal Clinic told us, Jack may never be the dog that can hang out during a family gathering or a birthday party. While we see it as a punishment to put him away in an upstairs room, he appreciates it! Jack won't ever be "that dog" that can be around a lot of other people, and he needs us to give him boundaries sometimes, like being in his crate or wearing his muzzle. (Side note, if you ever see Jack wearing his muzzle, please don't feel bad for him. He LOVES his muzzle. Perhaps it's because the behaviorist paired it with CheezWiz as part of his treatment.)

Sugar

Both Jack and Bridget have enriched our lives with so much unconditional love, so many laughs, and so much pure joy, that we would do anything within reason (and maybe beyond) for them. So when we came home with this new bundle of joy, and the attention shifted, we were unsure of how things would go. At first, it was very stressful. Bridget seemed intrigued, but really just wanted someone to pay attention to her. (You'll notice that I don't mention much about Bridget in this post. She really is a great dog, and will always be our little 'puppy'. She is happy as long as someone will throw her the frisbee and there is a spot for her on the couch. Bridget is very much the princess and her reign continues.....) Jack, on the other hand, barked at Noah. He barked every time Noah cried, which for a day old baby, happens often! We were pretty freaked out needless to say.

Thankfully, after some time burning off steam for a few days at the Animal Den (the best pet resort in Sacramento, owned by our good friend Lisa!), we started working on desensitizing the dogs to the baby. Over the next few weeks, with the help of baby gates, stuffed Kongs, food dispensing toys, and a lot of praise and direction, we noticed that Jack wasn't barking at Noah's cries any more. He actually didn't seem fazed at all. As with everything it seems, Jack adapts pretty well when he's given the opportunity and a lot of structured support. Nowadays, Jack could care less about the constant babble coming from Noah. He doesn't get stressed when he cries, and hasn't barked in regards to Noah for months. Jack even enjoys lying down next to us during tummy time or play time on the floor, he just wants to be where his people are.

It has been a long four months when we think of the progress that has been made with the dogs, but at the same time, it seems like just yesterday that we were welcoming our baby boy into our lives. Jack and Bridget have really adjusted well to life with a baby in the house, and we couldn't be happier. We know that there will be many challenges ahead with the next stages as Noah becomes more vocal and more mobile. But, we also know that we are equipped with the motivation and the support to handle it. Life with dogs and a baby may not always be easy, but we wouldn't trade it for the world.

Here is a recent favorite of all three of our 'kids' that Joel took. Yes, Bridget is licking Noah's foot. Apparently she thought he was in need of a bath. He probably was. :)

Siblings

On this topic, the Babies and Beasts blog that I have linked is a GREAT resource for anyone who has kids and dogs, or ever plans to! We followed many of the tips and tricks she used to prepare the dogs for a baby, and we think it has definitely helped overall. I highly recommend reading "The Most Important Post on Here" and please share it with all dog-loving parents!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hysterics

I know I've posted a video of Noah laughing before, but really, who doesn't love a hysterical baby?

video

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Shhhhh! Noah is napping!!!

Well I figured that was a good a title as any since that is exactly what Noah is doing right now that is giving me the chance to update the blog. I said I hoped it wouldn't take me 12 weeks to write another post, and it hasn't! It only took me 4! :-)

Things have been a bit crazy around here this summer and the month of July has literally been flying by. As many of you may know, we are moving to a new house in August. We had been looking for awhile and finally decided upon a new neighborhood in our same town. Our favorite neighbors are also moving to the same neighborhood and we couldn't be more excited! (Actually the already moved in, their house was ready last month.) The area is all new housing with great little parks, very nice new schools, and plans for much more. It's only about 15 minutes down the road from where we live now, but we are really looking forward to the new area. We do love our house now and we live in a nice neighborhood already, but this new neighborhood seems to be much more oriented towards young families which is part of why we chose to move up here in the first place.

So, I will say that trying to organize a move and having the house on the market with two dogs and a 3 month old is pretty nuts. We have been jetting off to Tahoe every chance we get to both escape the heat and get out of the way in case we have any traffic coming through to look at the house. Of course, it being July and vacation time, we aren't seeing many lookers just yet, but we're hopeful that it will pick up soon. We know it's just the market right now, but say some prayers and keep your fingers crossed for us!

Noah continues to grow like a weed! When I'm out and about, I usually get questions asking if he is 6 or even 8 months old. No, just 3. :-) He really doesn't seem huge to me but that is probably because he's our first and we don't know any different. He is definitely bigger than he used to be and I can't believe the turnover rate with his wardrobe! But, he still seems like a little baby to me so I am always a bit caught off guard when people are shocked at his true age. Although, knowing that at 2 months he was in the 95th percentile for both height and weight really should have clued me in.

According to the bathroom scale and the tried-and-true "weight holding baby minus weight without baby" trick, Noah is about 17 pounds or so. I know he's gotten taller as well since some of his footie pajamas have had to be retired because he can't straighten his legs in them. Nevermind that those footie pajamas are Carter's 6 month size. *sigh*

We've still got an amazing little sleeper at night. People don't believe us when we say he goes down by 10 and doesn't stir until 5 or 6am. To be honest, there are times we wake HIM up because Mama can't wait to feed him, not ONE MORE SECOND! We are starting to work on making sure he gets naps during the day, too, because lately, the evenings have been a little rough. I think we have an overtired little boy at that point so this morning's easy nap was quiet exciting! We'll see how it goes, but I'm hoping I am learning to time his naps a little better so that when he does take them - they last!

I'm also fairly certain at this point that Noah definitely takes after me when it comes to talking. He never stops! Lately, he has been "telling stories". He makes a variety of cooing sounds over and over for minutes on end. I've read that babies like to do this because they like the way the vibrations feel when they make noise. If that is true, he must LOVE it because he does it all the time! :-) That's fine with us though. We're pretty sure it's the cutest thing we've ever heard. If this is any indicator of his future talking habits though, we may change our tunes someday!

Well, it appears that my little napper has had enough of this napping business. Please be sure to check in on Joel's photography blog to see updated pictures. I will try to add some more next time, too!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

BABY Blog :-)

I think I have started and stopped writing this first "baby blog" post about six times now. It feels like so much pressure to somehow pick up where I left off in March! I had intended to use this blog to update everyone on Noah and how the new family was doing. Well, here we are, 11 weeks later, and I'm just now getting around to it. It's been on my mental "to-do" list for months now, but the time just kept getting away from me. I can't imagine what it was that was so important... I mean, Noah only needs to eat every other hour. What have I been doing with all of my free time? Diaper changes? Naps? Play time? Bath time? Hmm....wait a minute...you mean there IS no such thing as "free time" once you become a parent? Ah, yes. That explains it. :-)

Anyhow, Noah is doing great! Joel and I love being his Mom and Dad! We are so lucky to have such a cute and healthy little boy! Our "little bug" is growing like a weed, too. He's such a big boy! At his 2 month check up, he was 15 pounds 6 ounces and 25 inches long. That puts him in the 95th percentile for his height and for his weight. Yowzers!

Noah loves to laugh, smile, and 'talk' with us. We spend a lot of time 'chatting' back and forth. He's quite a smiley baby and loves to giggle and coo. We even managed to capture his first laughs on video!

video

We have a number of videos we would love to share with everyone from our first few days as a family, but we'll save those for another post. Here is one from a recent conversation Noah and Mama had.

video

(Sadly, the A's didn't beat the Giants after all.)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Yes...still pregnant. 39 Weeks.

See?



Well, the time has come where we now receive regular messages from friends asking if I'm still pregnant. Joel gets an email at work every morning from his best friend Mike, checking to see if I'm still pregnant. He reasons that if Joel does not respond, he must not be at work, and then he will have his answer. Good thinking, Mike! :-) But, yes - still pregnant everyone! In fact, if you get email updates for this blog from us, you'll be among the very first to know if and when I'm NOT! We have set up an email to spread the news of Baby Corcoran's arrival so stay tuned - we'll keep you posted!

Anyhow, week 39 has just begun, but we figured we'd get this one on the record books just in case. Friday, I ran some errands, did some organizing at home, and then met Kelly (Joel's sister) for pedicures and frozen yogurt! It was a great way to kick back and relax while I fired off a long list of questions for the experienced mother-of-three. Thanks again Kelly for the pedicure, company, and solicited advice! :-) Today, we also had Kelly inspect our car seat installation. Now, we had planned to go to the fire department to have the car seat inspector check it out, but apparently he's really busy right now. So, while we may still make an appointment to visit the fire dept. guy, we thought we'd have the family expert check it out in case we don't make it over there in time. Kelly is known for being a major stickler for car seat security, so we knew she'd be a great person to evaluate our installation efforts! Some of you may be thinking we're a little nutty about all of this, but did you know that 9 out of 10 car seats are not installed properly? We were even pretty confident that we had done it correctly, but Kelly was quick to notice how loose the base was! A few extra tugs on the straps and a couple of adjustments later and we had a car seat with Aunt Kelly's seal of approval! Woo hoo!

Tonight, Joel and I took advantage of our 'childless' couple status and went to see a movie. Once again, keeping in mind that the next time we try to go see a movie, we'll probably need a babysitter! Any takers? ;-) Oh, and as for the movie - we saw Alice in Wonderland. Now, we knew this was a Tim Burton film so we probably should have known better than to think it would be all that good for the non-hallucinogen-taking population like ourselves. Oh well. It was still fun to go out for the night!

Here are a couple more belly shots. I'll do another post later this week with the regular stats - assuming we don't have much more exciting things to share by then! :-)



38 Weeks

Well, Preggasaurus (Rex) is officially on maternity leave. Time to get my knitting needles and sit in the rocking chair, right? Yeah...not so much. While I started the week like a chicken with my head cut off, I ended the week with a much calmer schedule. I have done some resting and made time for naps, but I definitely prefer to keep moving. Sitting and lying around both get very uncomfortable after a while, so I have enjoyed getting out of the house and staying busy. On Thursday, I enjoyed a nice leisurely lunch with Grandma Emilie (Joel's mom) and a stroll around the mall (thanks again Emilie - I had a great time!).

Here is the 38 week belly - kickin back in the glider with the fur-children. Jack (left) and Bridget (right) seem to be ready to greet the newest member of the pack, but we know it will be quite the adjustment that they are no longer going to be the center of our attention. We've been trying to prepare them as best we can and so far, we are hopeful that it will all pay off. We have some special play time all lined up at the Animal Den with Auntie Lisa to help wear them out, too. :-)



We celebrated Grandma Emilie's birthday at the start of week 38 with a 'surprise' party at Kelly & Joe's. Here we are ready to 'party'! :-)



The usual info:

How far along? 38 weeks. The equivalent of 266 days. TWO HUNDRED SIXTY-SIX DAAAAAAAAYYYYSSSS people.
Total weight gain/loss: Next question! (jk....nothing has changed)
Maternity clothes? Yes, but as previously stated, the selection that fits is dwindling.
Stretch marks? Ugh. The same ones just seem to get uglier. I was doing so well for all those months!
Sleep: Comes and goes. Some nights I sleep "like a baby"...other times I sleep like a real baby (meaning, I don't).
Best moment this week: My first day of maternity leave was Wednesday. I slept in, took a nap, and laid around the house all day. It was fantastic!
Movement: Yup. Hiccups, stretching, donkey kicks. You know, the usual.
Food cravings: Cheese. Although, I had some slices of raw zucchini dipped in ranch the other day and that sounds really good right now, too.
Gender: It's a boy. Or a girl.
Labor Signs: Nothing goin' on just yet.
Belly Button in or out? I'd say it was 'out' but it's stretched too much, so again.... we're still flat. I wonder what will become of the poor thing post pregnancy.
What I miss: Wine. Let's be honest. I miss wine.
What we am looking forward to: Being someone's Mom and Dad! We can't wait!
Weekly Wisdom: I think the unanimous words of the wise have been: "Rest & relax while we still have the chance." We're trying!
Milestones: Sadly, I had to officially retire my wedding and engagement rings to my jewelry dish this week - the fingers are finally getting a little swollen. But - 38 weeks of pregnancy with already tight fitting rings? Not too shabby I suppose. I do miss them though!
Current Projects: Stocking the freezer with make-ahead meals so that when we get to a point when it's just the two of us and the baby...we won't have to rely on take-out, drive-thru, or pizza as our only options for sustenance. :-)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

37 Weeks - "Preggasaurus"

Sorry for the delay in updating! These last few weeks have been pretty busy! I'm winding down my days at work and getting ready to transition the long term sub with my class next week. Throw some report cards and parent conferences in there and it's been a bit crazy lately.

Here are the 37 week belly pics. A friend at work said she loved my little striped shirt today so I decided it might be a good day to take a picture. However....my first thought when I saw Joel's pictures was, "Oh, look...a preggasuarus!" :-) I guess that is what happens when you are 9 months pregnant and you wear a bright green shirt with horizontal stripes!




Here are the stats:

How far along? 37 Weeks
Total weight gain/loss: I think we've tipped the scale at almost 40 pounds. BUT, when I asked how we are on growth, Dr. Olsson says "Perfect!" I like him. :-)
Maternity clothes? Yes. Barely. I admitted to Joel the other day that I'd go pant-less if I thought it might be socially acceptable. I'm definitely about to outgrow almost everything I have and I refuse to buy MORE at this point.
Stretch marks? Boo. Yes. Not many, but I have a few. Please go away.
Sleep: Thank God for the Sleep Number bed. I had it cranked up to a firmer number earlier in the week and was REALLY uncomfortable for a couple of nights. Once I adjusted it, I've been sleeping much better. I can't imagine what I'd do if I didn't have the luxury of adjusting it! (Thank you genius sales guy at Sleep Train Mattress Center for showing me the very convincing thermal imaging pamphlet about pressure points with pregnant women. I give you credit for my being a well rested mama-to-be. You're welcome for the commission.)
Best moment this week: Having a great dinner out with our friends Jayson and Rhianna last Friday. We know our 'nights out' are going to be rather limited for awhile, so we are cherishing the freedom in these final days!
Movement: All the time. We love to sit back and watch 'the show' going on with the belly! I've also finally noticed when the baby has the hiccups - I could never tell before, but now it is very clear. Poor kid!
Food cravings: Nothing specific. I like to eat, but let's be honest, I've always liked to eat, even pre-pregnancy!
Gender: Well, at the shower, I sided on Team Blue, but thanks to Auntie Brandi's wise suggestion, I also took some pictures on Team Pink so that our maybe-daughter won't feel left out. :-) Thanks Bran!
Labor Signs: I don't think so, but we're getting there. With a lot of activity, I do notice more tightening in the stomach and sometimes it only subsides when I lie down. We went for a walk last night that was probably a little bit more extensive than it needed to be - let's just say I was really glad to finally waddle back to our house and find a spot on the couch. :-(
Belly Button in or out? Flat. It's just flat.
What I miss: HA! How about not getting winded by rolling over in bed? Or perhaps being able to physically GET UP without performing Olympic level maneuvers? What do I miss.... HA!
What I am looking forward to: Meeting the little freeloader, I mean, bundle of joy! :-) We can't believe it's already March and while that does spark a bit of anxiety, we are so excited that we are going to actually MEET our baby so soon! We really can't believe it!
Weekly Wisdom: You might be 9 months pregnant when the staff meeting is held in your classroom and the whole group is wondering if your heater is broken because it's apparently freezing to everyone but you. I was toasty!
Milestones: We have a finished nursery, packed hospital bags, and we've reached our "delivery month"! Wow!
Current Projects: Preparing my class for my upcoming departure - it's hard to hand them over and walk away. I'm sure I will have plenty to occupy me soon, but for now, those are "my kids" and it's weird to think I won't really be around for them for the rest of the year. I know they'll be in great hands, but it's strange for a control-freak like myself. :-)

36 Weeks - Team Blue or Team Pink?





We had an exciting week or two in February with one last baby shower for friends and family in the Nor Cal area! My mom ("Nana Claudette") came down to host the shower with help from Grandma Emilie, Aunt Kelly, and "Aunties" Heather & Brandi. Nana Claudette and Heather went to town on the details and made the day extra special with some really fun little touches (like Heather's Team Blue/Team Pink name tags - so cute!). Kelly and Emilie provided some delicious desserts and my mom tested out a new recipe (parmesan artichoke strudel - YUM!) that was a big hit! Thank you to everyone for all of the time and energy you put into making it such a special day! I had a blast! Thank you also to all of the guests who drove from all around, especially the Bay Area family and friends - it was so wonderful to have you all there to share the day with.

As always, we were overwhelmed with all of the generosity and kindness bestowed upon us. We feel so blessed and lucky to have all of you in our lives and we are so grateful for your love and support as we prepare to welcome Baby Corcoran to the world! Thank you again!





Saturday, February 13, 2010

34 Weeks - We have a Nursery!

We officially have a nursery! We've been working on the room for a while, but all of the pieces are finally coming together now. Joel has been a busy daddy-to-be, assembling the crib, stroller, bouncy seat, and (with Grandpa Ken and Grandma Emilie's help - thanks!) moving the two dressers upstairs. Combined with the nesting instinct kicking in on my end, we've made some serious progress!

Here is the 34 week picture and some other nursery snapshots. We ended up changing our plans for the bedding in the room and we are so glad that we did! The new bedding is still gender neutral but is a lot easier to coordinate with. When we saw it, we both thought it was pretty cool and we loved the fun polka dots. It matches so well with so many of the great gifts we've received so we are really happy we made the change.

Assembling the crib:

Jack, doing what he does best - supervising:

"Is this the right one, Jack?"

Almost there....

Ta-Da! Nice job Jack, er, Joel! :-)

34 week belly with crib and new bedding:
34 Weeks Belly Pic


How far along? 34 Weeks
Total weight gain/loss: 30-32 pounds - hasn't changed really at all lately
Maternity clothes? Um yes, although some no longer fit. That was a depressing moment, let me tell you.
Stretch marks? As previously stated, my luck has run out - I have a couple. Oh well.
Sleep: Sleep has been a little rocky lately but I think that's more because of being sick than being pregnant.
Best moment this week: Spending some time relaxing with Joel and the dogs.
Movement: Still plenty of movement going on, although it's changed as the little one is running out of space for his or her little bounce house parties. No feet in the ribcage just yet, but I have definitely noticed that the baby likes to push out on the left side of my abdomen, while pushing off of my right hip bone. Thank you for that, dear.
Food cravings: Sweets if anything. I've curbed my salty food craving because I would prefer to not be confused with the Goodyear Blimp. But I don't have the will power to avoid sweets, too!
Gender: You tell us! Be sure to vote in the poll on the top right of the blog.
Labor Signs: No labor signs still, but we are planning to pack the hospital bag and have the car seat installed soon, just in case. One of the couples from our childbirth class just had their baby last weekend and that hit home that this whole pregnancy thing is coming to an end pretty soon. Yikes!
Belly Button in or out? Oh, belly button, wherefore art thou? Has anyone seen my belly button? Even if it was 'there' I doubt I'd be able to see it anyhow.
What I miss: Remembering what it feels like to not have 30 pounds strapped to my stomach (and everywhere else). I think I've reached the point where it's hard to imagine NOT being pregnant and wondering what it feels like to be 'back to normal'.
What I am looking forward to: Hmmm.... well we are definitely looking forward to bringing home the new addition to the family. Although, when people ask if I'm ready, I am hesitant to say yes because I know - without really knowing of course, that we won't ever really be ready for the chaos that lies ahead!
Weekly Wisdom: Well, after being sick these past two weeks, I can say that a humidifier makes a huge difference in recovering!
Milestones: Thanks to all of the wonderful gift cards we have received, we were able to buy our stroller and car seat system this week. Woohoo!
Current Projects: Decorating the nursery walls, packing the hospital bags, and continuing to organize the house!

33 Weeks and a Baby Shower!

We were so fortunate to have my best friend Mary offer to throw an LA baby shower for family and friends! It was so much fun to visit with everyone and Mary did an amazing job with all of the decorations and food! We all keep telling her that party-planning may be a calling of hers. :-) Thanks again to Mary, Ray, Corie, the Pearls, and the Magluyans, for all of your time and energy to make it such a fun day for us! We love you!

Now, the drive down to LA at Christmas had been pretty uncomfortable with this growing baby belly, so I knew we would have to fly for this particular trip. Luckily, that worked out just fine and we made it home in one piece! We packed a small carry on suitcase and nestled our two larger suitcases and checked them on the way down. Thanks to Southwest's fabulous 2 free checked bags per person policy, we were able to get home with all of the wonderful gifts we received, too! Of course, I unfortunately also brought home a lovely respiratory virus from my fellow passengers on that flight (Yeah, I'm talking to you, dude with the horrible cold/flu symptoms that opted to sit right next to me in the terminal...). Although it had me hacking, coughing, sniffling, and wheezing over the past two weeks, I suppose I can't complain too much since I have been surprisingly healthy throughout this pregnancy.

Since this is overdue, I'm going to skip the regular update in favor of some more great pictures from the shower! Since Joel wanted to visit with our friends, too, he ended up sticking around and taking pictures during the festivities. As always, he got some great ones! :-) Unfortunately, we have some camera shy guests so we didn't quite get pictures of everyone there. But thank you once again to everyone who was able to make it out to the shower and for everyone's incredible generosity! We are so blessed!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

32 Weeks

Well, as a friend put it, we're in the single-digit week countdown now! How did that happen? It feels so far away, but when I look at a calendar, I admit to some sliiiiiiight moments of panic when I see just how few days are left before this little one is actually here! Pregnancy feels like it has lasted forever, but these last few months have really been passing quickly.

We're wrapping up our last week of our Bradley classes this week. It's been fun to meet and check in with other couples that are at the same stage of pregnancy as us. We've made some nice friends and have plans to meet up for a 'reunion class' sometime in May with all of our babies.

I know my last update probably sounded like I was over and done with this whole pregnancy. At the time, I was! :-) But, as it always seems with pregnancy, every day is different. I've been feeling more comfortable lately, so I'm back in the swing of things. Not that I'm saying I want this to last forever....but 8 more weeks, sure...why not? :-)



How far along? 32 weeks (going on 8 months - crazy!)
Total weight gain/loss: Hovering at 30 lbs.
Maternity clothes? Yup. Even had fun shopping for some more the other day. I had some gift cards - woohoo! - although if I ever have to step foot in that Destination Maternity store again, it will be too soon. Joel went with me and even he couldn't believe how much the sales associates hovered. It's like they are trying to suffocate you! But, I digress.
Stretch marks? Ok. Sadly, I think I found two little ones. Boo. Oh well. Maybe they will fade. It was nice while it lasted.
Sleep: Sleep has been fine - just not getting as much as I would like. I even heard today that Kaiser says it's fine to sleep on my back. WHAT?!?! File that under things I would have liked to have known a few months ago! Oh well...better late than never. I can't wait to sleep tonight!
Best moment this week: We're enjoying our last few weeks as a 'childless couple'. We went to a movie the other night and we're trying to relish our time 'just the two of us'. We can't wait to share the joy of having our baby and raising a family, but we know this time is special, too!
Movement: Plenty. Kaiser has a kick count card that I'm supposed to fill out every night. So far...10 kicks in 10 minutes every night. If this is any indication of what we are in for with this kid.... watch out!
Food cravings: Mmmmm Coldstone's. I'm having a chocolate fix lately, but as always, the 'kicks' pass and I move on to something else. :-)
Gender: I still think boy, but as I've said before, we really just want healthy and happy so either way, we're excited! We really are looking forward to the excitement in the delivery room so it's worth the wait!
Labor Signs: No, but we did get to visit the Labor and Delivery department tonight for the Late Pregnancy class and tour. Thankfully, we haven't had to go in for any early visits.
Belly Button in or out? What belly button??? Mine is MIA.
What I miss: Being able to put socks and shoes on the conventional way. So much for that.
What I am looking forward to: Starting to actually decorate the nursery. That is going to be really fun!
Weekly Wisdom: I just learned that I get to consume 500 more calories a day as a breastfeeding mom vs. 100-300 while pregnant. Sign me up!!! Haha....
Milestones: Wrapping up 10 weeks of our Bradley Method classes. We're really glad we took them and feel so well prepared to approach this process having learned what to expect and how to cope with all the possible scenarios that a birth has to offer.
Current Projects: We painted the nursery this weekend (I'm standing in it in the picture above) and picked up the dressers at the store. We should be ready to move the furniture in and start the real fun stuff in the next week when we have time! Yeah!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Help for Haiti

For those of you that check this blog regularly, I wanted to share a link to charity:water's website. Our good friend Becky Straw is the Water Projects Director for charity:water and has personally traveled to Haiti to oversee the clean water projects there (see the website for a special message by Becky herself). With the recent earthquake in Haiti, charity:water's work there will only become more crucial. 100% of the donations received by charity:water go directly into projects to make fresh drinking water accessible for the millions around the world that must do without. The work they do is so incredible!

As many of you may remember, my class last year spearheaded a Water for Schools fundraiser at our elementary school to benefit charity:water. That experience made me an even bigger supporter for the cause. We know that times are tough for everyone in this economy, but we hope that if you can, you will consider charity:water if you are hoping to find a way to help the people of Haiti.

www.charitywater.org

Sunday, January 10, 2010

30 weeks down, 10 to go!

This weekend, we had a great visit with some of our college friends. Jeff and Brandi came up to stay with us so that we could all attend a baby shower in honor of our other friends, Mike and Erin! The boys celebrated the shower by visiting a nearby drinking establishment while the ladies enjoyed the usual shower activities. :-) It was especially fun to get to see Erin and Mike as they are due the day after us in March! It was fun to visit and relate about how our pregnancies have been going and Joel took some great pictures of the future friends and their mommies out by the pool.
We also celebrated a VERY special occasion with Jeff and Bran while they were in town. On Friday, Brandi received her PhD!!! We are so very proud of her and it was really exciting to get to be with her to celebrate all of her hard work! :-)
As for the regular updates, scroll on down for the latest stats. I've come to the conclusion that pregnancy sucks for the most part, but nobody tells you that part until it's too late. Of course, there are plenty of people who will disagree with me, but I think they might be a bit delusional. :-) JK... Granted, I will readily do it all over again someday, God willing, because I know every ache and discomfort will be beyond worth it - but people....do you KNOW how long ten months is??? *sigh* Good thing this kid will be a total angel and sleep through the night right away. I'm going to be exhausted by the time they arrive. Wait, what do you mean that isn't how it works? ;-)






How far along? 30 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: about 30 pounds give or take. Eh...whatever.
Maternity clothes? Nope. I'm totally back in my size 6 clothes! Riiiiiight.....
Stretch marks? Still negative. Thank you, genetics.
Sleep: Comes and goes. Some nights I sleep like a rock, others I feel like I slept ON a rock. :-/
Best moment this week: The crib arrived this week! It's still in the box, but it's here! Yeah! (Thanks Dad & Pam!)
Movement: Constantly. We've graduated into the stronger jabbing and 'stretching' phase, where Baby Corcoran likes to push out in all directions. At the same time.
Food cravings: Still no real cravings. I guess I bypassed that symptom, too?
Gender: Well, at Erin's shower this weekend, the popular belief was that it's a girl! See, isn't this fun... 40 weeks of guessing! :-)
Labor Signs: Hello Braxton Hicks...I think. I didn't think I was having any, but just recently I started noticing times where my whole abdomen hardens up for a minute or so. If a friend hadn't described hers the same way, I don't even know if I'd have noticed them. They almost feel like a crunch or a sit-up - definitely not comfortable, but not painful either. Other than that - no labor signs thankfully!
Belly Button in or out? Still rockin my 'flattie'.
What I miss: Sitting comfortably. Those days are long gone.
What I am looking forward to: HA! Not being pregnant anymore! :-) Have you noticed a theme with this post?
Weekly Wisdom: The baby won't care where he or she sleeps, nor will they care if their nursery is set up in advance. (Thanks for the reminder Mom! I know it, but it's hard to keep it in perspective!)
Milestones: None that I can think of this week, but that's okay, too!
Current Projects: Decluttering the house is our plan of action right now. We are planning to take advantage of donation pick-ups, e-waste pick-ups, and might even get a dumpster. We both tend to keep stuff we don't need to keep and we'd really like to get back to basics!