28 January 2010

Gearing Up

We have finally been getting ready for the baby around here. I decided to put off anything baby-related until after Christmas. I figured that would leave me plenty of time to prepare for our new arrival, but other tasks have seemed to take precedence since the holidays. First it was unpacking, making room for presents, and taking down Christmas decorations. The next week was consumed with yoga class preparations. Then I got sick. All of a sudden I realized that it was almost February and I still hadn't done a thing! It is not like me to be so underprepared, especially when it comes to something as important as bringing home a new family member. So, with a huge sigh of relief, I have finally taken some time to gear up for our new arrival. I still have a few weeks until my due date, but I'm at the point where every day is possibility for delivery. I doubt that I'll have the baby early, considering that I went over my due date with Blake, but I wanted to be at least somewhat prepared in the off chance that we are surprised!

It has been really fun to pull out and wash Blake's baby clothes and equipment. It is really convenient to have a same gender baby born in the same season for clothing purposes. However, I started to feel bad that the baby is getting all of Blake's hand-me downs, so I bought him his own sleeper that he could wear home from the hospital. Not that the baby will care, but since he is going to be receiving things second-hand his whole life, I thought it would be nice to have one special outfit that was purchased just for him. I just can't believe how small the baby is going to be compared to Blake!


Blake helped me locate the baby equipment in the basement. In fact, he thought he hit the jackpot of new toys to play with.


How do you explain to a 2-year-old that the fun swing is for the baby?

We've really been trying to prepare Blake for our new arrival and for the transition that will take place in our home. I'm not sure how much he comprehends, but he loves to read the books we checked out from the library on becoming a big brother.

The books teach him how to be gentle with the baby and emphasize how special he is even though there will be a new sibling around getting lots of attention.


Blake also LOVES his doll baby.


The doll baby does everything that Blake does and goes everywhere he goes. He joins Blake at meal time, bath time, bed time, play time, reading time, and diapering time. Blake takes such good care of his baby, making sure he is properly fed, clothed, entertained, and well-rested. I'm hoping that he'll be this occupied with his doll baby when I am busy tending to the real baby.


Such a sweet (hopefully) big brother he will be!

As I approach the end of this pregnancy, here are some things I'm going to miss:
  • Nudges and kicks felt from the baby within
  • Giving my undivided attention to Blake
  • Parking in the expectant mother's spot at the store
  • Pulling the "I'm pregnant" card whenever I am forgetful, emotional, clumsy, or need a back massage
  • Sleeping 9-10 straight hours every night
  • The easiness and convenience of being a one-child family
  • The productive "me" time I receive every afternoon while Blake naps
  • My full head of hair before those postnatal hair-loss hormones kick in
  • The freedom that comes with not feeding every two hours around the clock (although I'm looking forward to that as well!)
Things I'm looking forward to:
  • Cuddling a sweet newborn
  • Seeing what this baby looks like
  • Watching Blake with his little brother
  • Getting to use the adorable baby clothes I stored away in boxes again
  • Heartburn-be-gone
  • Seeing the number on the scale go down instead of up
  • Packing away my maternity clothes (I despise maternity clothes)
  • Sleeping on my stomach again
  • Becoming a family of four!


25 January 2010

Makeshift Playroom

We have an unfinished basement that really isn't good for anything but storage. We would love to add a couple of bedrooms, a bathroom, and a main family room/home theater to the space. However, since we have neither the skills nor the funds for those ideas, we are left with concrete foundational walls, ceilings lined with insulation, wires, and piping, and one electrical outlet for the time being. Blake loves to go downstairs and play with the random storage items, so when it got cold outside, I brought his outdoor playthings down there as well. I ended up creating an entire makeshift play area with some of his outdoor toys and other items that didn't fit elsewhere in our house. The room may be slightly ghetto in appearance, but the teacher side of me tried to brighten it up and make it somewhat educational.


One of my main goals was to allow Blake active play time while we are cooped up during the winter. The open space is perfect for him to run around, throw balls, go down the slide and through the tunnel, ride his bike, and wheel his car around.


I made some curtains to both brighten up the dungeon and also attempt to make the room less drafty. The downside to the makeshift playroom is that there are no heating vents in the basement, and it is absolutely freezing down there. Blake doesn't seem to care, but it makes me not want to venture down there on a regular basis!


I dug out our old dust-covered bookshelf from the Tanners' garage where it has been sitting for a few years. I filled the bookshelf with art supplies, miscellaneous activity ideas and supplies from my teaching days, and my valued child development and activity college textbooks. I thought that adding a space heater would make the temperature more comfortable, but it doesn't seem to affect the large, drafty, uninsulated space.


Any ideas on how to warm up the tundra would be greatly appreciated! I'm hoping it'll be more comfortable in the spring, but by then I'll want to bring most of the toys back outside.


22 January 2010

All I wanted today...

...was a clean house and a bag of Cadbury mini-eggs. It's only 2pm but I think it's pretty safe to say that neither of these things are going to happen. I came down with this awful cold (passed along from the dear husband) this week and it has been a struggle to have energy to do anything productive. I have had the most restless insomniac nights and coupled with being uncomfortable and having to use the bathroom all night long, I have not made any progress towards recovery. (For the record, I'd still take this over the three miserable nauseated/throwing up months!) We haven't left the house for a few days and when I walked out to the mailbox this morning and realized that the freezing 30mph windchill had knocked over both of our trash cans, the last thing I wanted to do was venture outside. I wanted to stay indoors and vacuum and clean the bathrooms and kitchen because I always feel better when the house is clean. However, we literally had no food in the house, so after weighing the options, I decided that it would be a better use of my time to try to allocate some food for my family. I gathered all the energy I had to shower and bathe the toddler so that we could go to my least favorite grocery store (which shall remain nameless). Then I thought; maybe I can find my favorite candy of all time, Cadbury mini-eggs, and then this awful venture out of the house won't be so bad! Maybe it's still a little too early on January 22nd for Easter candy to stock the shelves, but once the Valentine's day candy is out, there is typically a fair shot of spotting Cadbury mini-eggs as well. My mom and friends and I have been known to call each other the moment we first spot them during the season, and I thought that today just might be my lucky day!
Unfortunately, sweet goodness in a bag was not found on the shelves of the worthless store. I settled for another comfort food, a package of cookie dough, which was lame-o in comparison (my toddler even echoed "lame-o" from his seat in the cart). Now, I have a million grocery bags to unload from my car, no mini-eggs to show for the trip, my head hurts more and the congestion is worse than when I first left the house, Blake went down for his nap an hour late due to our lengthy trip to the lousy store, and the last thing I have energy for is cleaning and vacuuming. I think I'm going to listen to my body for once and take a nap. I just feel so unsatisfied when I don't accomplish what I have set out to do for the day.

On a more positive note, this is what made me laugh today:
Blake decided that George needed to go potty. He feeds George and puts him to bed all the time, so of course in his eyes it was only natural that George would have to use the bathroom as well. Blake fished out his potty seat (which he has no desire use himself) from the cupboard under the sink, and put George into position. When he showed me the scene of the crime, he was so proud of his creativity that I just had to laugh instead of cringe at George's dripping wet toilet-water feet. George is now taking a trip through the washing machine.

On another positive note, I have exactly one month until my due date!


20 January 2010

MLK Day Getaway

We spent the long weekend at the cabin with our best college buddies, Nathan and Alisa Frakes. We got married within a few days of each other, met in our first student married ward, and have pretty much been inseparable ever since. We used to spend almost every weekend at each other's apartments playing games, staying up late talking, and trying Alisa's many delicious desserts. We lived within a block of each other for two years, attended the same wards, the guys carpooled together to school every day, they studied together and took some of the same classes, and Alisa and I even worked together for a year. Needless to say, we miss our friends now that there is more than a block's distance between us. We took a weekend boating/camping trip to Lake Powell before any of us had babies and wanted to re-live the getaway experience.

So, we planned a retreat at the cabin over a month ago and we are so glad we took advantage of the long weekend! Having little ones around with different nap schedules and the cold weather outside didn't allow us to leave the cabin very frequently, but it was really nice to relax, catch up on some quality game-playing time, and let the guys talk for hours on end. I'm pretty sure that words like "business, accounting, strategies, money, bonuses, insurance, real-estate, net worth, and investments" were mentioned at least every hour. Nathan and Troy were pretty much made for each other and spent a LOT of time talking while Alisa and I either tuned out or rolled our eyes. We also stayed up way too late watching movies and we are still trying to make up for lost sleep. Oh well, it was worth it to live it up a little and take a break from our everyday routines. As usual, I didn't take many pictures, but here is at least some proof of our fun getaway.

Blake adored baby "Tarly" (Karly). He got in some good practice for being a big brother.

We lost track of where Blake was one morning and finally found him sitting quietly next to Karly's bed just watching her sleep. It was pretty sweet how he wanted to be around her at all times. He even almost gave her his nie-night once but then decided that sharing his blocks would be less of a sacrifice.


We did manage to get out a little bit. Alisa and I hit the outlet mall while the boys played wii and took care of babies, and we all went to a pizza joint in Park City. I think the waitress was real sick of us by the end, especially when we asked her to take this (blurry) picture which was followed by root beer spilling all over our table.


We had to be real creative to pass the long time it took to get our food. Someone was a little hungry and needed some distractions.


And finally, some of the best moments of the weekend were all of the games! The four of us tend to be a bit competitive to the point where a pregnant lady almost cried when we played a rousing 2-hour+ game of Acquire. Troy and I have basically outlawed games between the two of us in order to preserve our marriage, so I was glad to be able to spark that competitive side again over the weekend.
We had a great time and wish we could fit more getaways into our lives!


13 January 2010

Debut

Tonight marked my official yoga teaching debut. My fall class was cancelled because they didn't advertise it in time, but tonight, my class was packed with 14 preggos. I've never been to a prenatal yoga class with more than 4 students, so I could not believe the response! Troy took a picture of me with all my gear before I left as if it were the first day of school.


I have to admit that I was SO nervous to be in charge. This class has consumed almost every thought I've had for the last week. I've laid awake at night going through worst-case scenarios and considering every possible factor that I could mess up. I've felt sick to my stomach. I've stressed over the music selections, the perfect way to sequence the postures, the difficulty level, the memorization of the flow, and the way my students would perceive me. I've wondered what in the world motivated me to take this job in the first place. I've even had nightmares about my music not working and having to kick students out of class for talking too much. Troy has given me countless pep talks.

Well, I made it through. Was it perfect? No. But, was it a disaster? No. I have been trying to tell myself all day that I'm not going to be a master teacher at first, and that I offer only what I have to offer. I should be more worried about my students than if they like me, if I am doing everything right, if my poses are perfect, and if my words are fluid. I am overall very pleased with how the class went. The timing worked out, I remembered to do each pose on both the right and left sides, and though just barrelling through was my main objective, it seemed like everyone was following along. I know that everything has to have a beginning, and hopefully this will be the start of a journey that I will enjoy and be calm and confident about in the future. I am glad to be moving on with my life and putting this first class behind me. I should probably start preparing for our baby that is due in 5.5 weeks that I have done absolutely nothing for! I hope he doesn't come early because my yoga class lasts 6 weeks...awesome timing, right?


10 January 2010

One, Two, Nine, Six!

This is the order Blake by which counts everything. He also thinks that every item is either the color "yellow" or "bean" (green). Finally, I thought it was really funny when he added a few extra syllables to the sound that a rooster makes (just ignore the annoying mom voice in the background).
Additionally, may I just shout out a quadruple HALLELUJAH for our new 9am church starting time?! No more Sunday battles with afternoon nap time vs. church for a whole year!


08 January 2010

Activities

To avoid this:
...as well as to avoid the post-holiday blahs and the stir-craziness that result from staying at home all day with a two-year-old, Blake and I have been sharing some special time together each day. While sitting in the warm Arizona afternoon sunshine over the holidays, I put my old Early Childhood Education textbooks to use and came up with lesson plans for two months. Blake and I always spend time together playing, reading, doing puzzles, etc., but for me to actually implement all of the structured activity ideas I had for Blake, I needed to make a written plan. Most of the activities I planned are super simple, require only the materials we have at home, and some only last 5 minutes. However, I am appreciating the structure of having an activity planned every day whether small or large.

This week, we constructed a porcupine out of play dough using a straw for poke marks.


We made a necklace out of fruit loops.


Blake quickly ate the fruit loops.


We put together a trunk full of manly-man dress up clothes, including these sweet rubber boots.


We created a bed for George.


I won't keep posting our daily activities so as to spare you from the boredom of our everyday lives, unless we do something ultra-cool of course. I have to admit that I got a little giddy as I browsed through my old textbooks and attempted to create a well-balanced curriculum covering all areas of development. I feel like a better mom for having planned out time with my son and my structured toddler is enjoying the activities as well.