Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Same and Different

Since I shared some insight to our pregnancy last week and how things are going, I've been excited to chat about some of the things that we hope to do raising Baby #2. Some are repeats that worked well (and we hope, with crossed fingers, that they do the second time around); some are things that either didn't work the first time or that we simply didn't try.




Babywearing (Different) - It could've been our baby's large size. It could've been because he wasn't really into it. It could've been the fact that I simply didn't stick with it very well. Whatever it was, I want to give it another go.

Considering we're still in "NO, Hadley! Don't go near the road!!" chasing-a-kid-around mode, it feels like babywearing will be a big benefit to our family in so many ways. It'll leave me/Dave hands-free to hold the little man's hand or tend to him however he needs while getting some uber-important bonding time with the little one. I already have an Ergo carrier and a Moby wrap (unless my sister's using them, in which case I'll try new ones!), so I just have to get used to the actual carrying of a baby. ;-)

Breastfeeding (Same) - While we had some definite low points, I can proudly say that we successfully breastfed Hadman for about a year and a half, maybe longer (it got down to one feeding at the end, so my memory's foggy). I'm determined to make it work again with this next child. (Watch them have a tongue tie or not be as willing to help. ;-))

I think that the two biggest reasons for our success in this area are: 1) a super big, super hungry baby (he latched immediately in the hospital, after a bottle in the nursery(!), 'cuz he was *Chris Farley voice* STAAARVIIIING!!!; even if we had a few issues later on, it gave me the confidence to continue) and 2) a super awesomely supportive husband (who actually called the lactation specialist, who intimidated the crap out of me, several times and would advocate for me to people who weren't very understanding at times). 

Possible C-Section (Same, Maybe) - *sigh* This is one that has me scared to talk about publicly because it's pretty emotional for me and there are LOTS of opinions floating around...that I don't need/want to hear. Anyway, here it goes.

We LOVE our group of doctors. LOVE THEM. But, their policy, due to insurance, is "once you have a C-section, that's whatchya get." (Paraphrased.) In our area, there are few to no options (aside from a home birth, which we're just not made for) for a VBAC. We recently heard that there IS at least one practitioner who attempts them, but I'm gun-shy about changing our doctors, especially if Hadley was a 10+ pound kid. If I'm destined for another huge kid and another C-section, I'd like to be with doctors I'm already comfortable with.

I'm getting my head wrapped around this, and I know one day I'll be able to write a post entitled "Why I'm Okay with My Scheduled C-Section" (since that's the way I'm leaning). I'm just not there yet. Just let me sit and eat my mint chocolate chip ice cream and think. And think. And mull. And think some more.

Cloth Diapers (Different) - This is one area that I failed miserably at the first time around. I bought a bunch of BumGenius all-in-one diapers (which you can simply toss into your diaper container/bag and wash within 2-3 days, no stuffing/unstuffing/pinning/folding) for Hadley since I'd seen awesome reviews for them. I'm not sure if they need more cleaning or a full-on stripping, but they were a bit leaky when we tried them and bulky.

So, this time, this is the one area I MUST DO. I hope to include the BGs in my stash (maybe sell a handful) but also to grab some trimmer pocket dipes while I'm at it. The AIOs had snaps rather than Velcro, so I'm wondering if I should try some with the sticky stuff to compare more with the disposables. Given that I'm active in the "green community", I've felt horribly that this didn't work (and not to mention that I feel guilty that I may have another non-natural birth, blah), but it was overwhelming with his colic/gas/newness. I think the second time around, I'm already worrying less, but also optimistic that *maybe, just maybe* this'll go a bit better.  

Bassinet-to-Crib (Same) - The first month or two, we're planning on keeping the little one as close as possible to our bedside at night. However, we will eventually switch him over to the same crib Hadley's been using. (If we're in a new house, that'll be time for the big boy bed!!! If we're not, we'll be rearranging rooms!!! All very exciting and terrifying.)

Stuff Glut (Same...and Different?) - So, yeah. Since we don't find out our little ones' genders before their arrivals, we've got plenty of gender neutral clothes to work with. Plus, we've got boy clothes from Hadman and girl clothes to borrow from my sister, so we're set on clothes. As far as all the other "stuff", we've either got it or realized...we never needed it.

We live by the Pack 'n Play, given that we're in a two-level home, so we're glad to have that. I'd like to try a swing out, but by that point we may have one "floating around" within the family (if not, it'll probably be one of our only purchases -- aside from the cloth dipes, which are a beast all their own). Can I just say what a relief it is that I don't have to have a shower and glut of more stuff?? (The generosity was so sweet the first time around, but it's just a huge "aaahhhh" moment.)

Our House (???) - This is one area we're working on. If we can find and move into a new house during this pregnancy, awesome! If not...we'll deal. We'd rather have more space in an area that's more conducive to our familial needs, but we don't want to rush into something we don't love. So this may be a same...may be a different. Who knows?


What about you? Any huge changes from one child to another? ;-) 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Pregnancy #2 Q&A

We've received such a rush of sweet congratulatory messages and well wishes since making our special announcement. If you were one of them, thank you from the bottoms of our hearts! Seriously. It means the world. 

As I did with our first, I'm answering some questions I've had (and some questions I just feel like answering to clear things up a bit) about pregnancy and our family and all that good stuff. There are a few answers I don't know yet, so I'll leave those questions out for now. ;-)



Will you be finding out the baby's gender?

As with Hadman, nope, we won't be finding out the baby's gender in advance. It's such a fun surprise to have! Plus, we're super lucky that a) the first 0-6 months we've already got lots of gender neutral clothing and b) we have TONS of boy clothes and, since my sister's first was a girl, lots of girl clothes to borrow, as well. So, we're fine not knowing. 


What are some names you have picked out? (See also: Did Hadley have any other names you were considering? What were you going to name Hadley if he was a girl? *fill in the blank* is a wonderful name!)

Noooo ya don't! ;-) Sneaky folks, trying to figure out what types of names we're mulling over (and suggesting your own...usually, literally, your own). Hee hee. We don't divulge our secrets, clearly. But, really, at first we were thinking of going back to the drawing board and searching the entire baby naming book we used the first time, but after going over our original picks (we narrowed it down to 2-4 names for each gender, along with possible middle names), we decided we still liked them. So, we're kind of ready to go in with that list in hand and see what matches the baby. (And, no, we won't share any before the time comes.)   


Is this pregnancy different at all? (See also: Are you sicker? Any bad symptoms?
One reason I'm talking about this is because when I discovered we were expecting, I had forgotten the symptoms I had the first time (and hadn't really talked about them much on the blog back then). I started the whole thing off coming down with some sort of virus or cold, so those always seem to be my first pregnancy symptoms - days, sometimes weeks, of an illness I can't take medicine (or even echinacea tea) for! I had a teensy bit of nausea here and there and still get a small amount of heartburn, but for the most part it's just a bit of exhaustion mixed with complete normalcy. Knock on wood. ;-) I'm a very lucky pregnant lady.


Oh, and the complete lack of motivation thing sucks. It's one reason I've done less posting (although I AM spending quality family time in the meantime) and am not spring cleaning up a storm like I should be. Yeah. Time to get on that.

Any cravings? 
The funny thing is that instead of nausea, I've had a complete lack of appetite. Like, I know I need to eat, and if I let it get too long I get Hulk-style hangry, but I have zero appetite. So, the whole cooking for the family thing when you don't want to eat ANYTHING is kinda weird. Even light stuff like salads or a wrap or anything sounds disgusting.


That said, I've had the occasional junk food craving, including some fast food. The closest I've come is a couple of sweet onion chicken teriyaki subs from Subway (still crap, but at least it's not McDonald's) and a couple of stops by a convenient store for a not-great-bag-o'-something. I remember having a fast food craving with H-man, too, and I allowed myself one meal from each restaurant (so, yes, a McDonald's meal, a Taco Bell meal, an Arby's meal, a Subway meal...no Burger King, as I recall), but I haven't had THAT big of an urge. If I do, I'll confess to Dave and ask my penance, then move on with my life. It is what it is. Everything else in our house is natural/GMO-free/organic so I really can't sweat the small stuff.  

How did you tell Dave? When did you find out?

Well, let's see. I found out when I was home sick (see above, had a cold or some such crud) on, of all days, St. Patrick's Day. (I'm of Irish descent, so yeah. Perfection.) Poor Dave had to pick up the little guy, rush home, head to a rehearsal for a show he was doing at the time, rush home, and get other stuff done. That night, after he got home and was working on finding dinner and making tea, I grabbed the nearest kitty (Winston, good sport) and shoved one of the positive pregnancy tests into his collar (similar to the first time I told him). It took him FOREVER to realize something was in Wee-Wee's collar, let alone what it was, but when he found out he was ecstatic. It was kind of neat because we'd found out about Hadley on Halloween and this little one on St. Patrick's Day. All about the holidays!


How's Hadley handling it?

Um, like an almost-3-year-old. He knows the news and was/is excited about it, but he forgets (which is fine at this stage). He's also confused about all the different babies in the family (like when I told him my sister had a little boy last week, he asked "Where's our baby?" and gets my sister-in-law's baby, Parker, who's due in July mixed up with ours and Mary's). All totally understandable, but he's been positive about it all. Plus, he had been talking about having a sibling for awhile and not caring whether it was a girl or boy; we also had explained IN LENGTH several times what being a big brother would be like and he was totally on-board with it all. So, I'm not too worried right now.


The cats have not voiced any concern, either. Yet.

Is this why you're searching for a new house?

You got it. Well, kind of. We've talked for endless hours about if/when to buy a new house, namely in a safe, family-friendly area. If we don't find an awesome, larger house by the time the baby comes, it's fine. We can make our 1,000 sq. foot house work if we need to, especially for fear of buying the money pit (LOVED that movie as a kid!) of our nightmares out of a fear that we won't find anything. Ever. Not much luck yet, to the point where we're discussing "How do you feel about a more rural setting?" but we feel calm about it all.       

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So, that's it for now! I'm hoping to share the things that are the same/different the second time around and some do-overs I'm hoping for. Now that the news is "out in the open", it's nice to kind of switch and focus on "normal" stuff again - like planning Hadman's birthday party. ;-)

Oh, and if you think I missed anything, leave a question in the comments and I'll update accordingly!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day

Mother's Day

This year was possibly the most fun and exciting Mother's Day weekend we'll probably ever have. Friday, my sister had a baby -- little Timothy Conner. Saturday, there was our sister-in-law's baby shower (she's due in July with her first, a little boy named Parker!) and my brother surprised us with a visit from Ohio to meet the new little one. Sunday, well, we celebrated Mother's Day.

Dave gave us a super-early breakfast (because lately we've been super-early risers) that he cooked completely on the grill (toast, eggs, bacon, and sweet potatoes) and we got to enjoy peacefully on our deck. A gift of an azalea, new gardening gloves from Hadman and a gift card to "The Tailor and the Cook" (to say nothing of my two adorable, tear-jerking cards) topped off my day. Then, I played and ran around with Hadley while Dave did dishes and got ready before we bolted off to bring a second breakfast to his parents. While there, Dave made one last call to his brother - whom we'd been keeping a secret from until post-shower - to cover (most of) our bases.

When we got home and as Hadley fought a nap (we were heading to my mother's house later in the day), we synchronized a Facebook status update, counting down 3...2...1....


We were anxious about the announcement, not because of the actual news but because the announcement might be confusing to some of our friends. We're fans of "The Onion", which is very much our strange sense of humor, and Dave had come up with this idea months ago. So, we plopped down at our dining room table, told Hadley to "think", and set the auto-shoot on the camera. The little guy just happened to put his finger up saying, "Me have an idea!" as it went off and there we were. After weeks of writing and editing, we were happy with the final result. 

I figured it'd be nice to do a "normal" announcement here along with our quirky one. (Click and double-click on the above image to read it closer and better, BTW.)


Baby Bunny/Bulldog/#2 is due sometime in November. I say "sometime" because at our first sonogram we were told that our original date was off and we were further ahead than expected (by about a week). So, mid-November works right now. For the most part, things are very calm and peaceful and healthy, just like we like it. I'll be posting later this week to discuss how things are going and how/when we found out (yup, I've got lots of blog posts in my head that I haven't been able to talk about before now!), so if you have any questions, feel free to ask away. Otherwise, I'll just over-share on my own. ;-)

So, yeah. It was probably the best Mother's Day I'll ever have. I hope any moms out there had one just as wonderful!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Ithaca - The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Before I get into the semi-regularly-scheduled post, I just want to say SQUEEEEEAAAAL and best wishes to my sister, Mary, and her family on the birth of their second little one today! I'm so happy that we'll get to be there to meet him or her. :-) Lots of joy in this family right now!
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I've been around the block enough times to know that E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G is unpredictable when a toddler/preschooler is involved. As a family, we have learned to plan excessively, adapt accordingly, and remain flexible at all times. Also, as with all things in life, it's important to take the good with the bad (and be grateful for it all).

So, when we planned our recent day trip to Ithaca, NY (a little over two hours away), I went into it with the usual well-planned day with a hint of "this could change at any moment" thrown in.

Dave was there for a day-long comic book convention to chat with folks and sell issues of his hilarious comic book series, Holidaze. So, after we dropped him off at the college, Hadman and I were on our own. I was totally ready for the day.

Only, I wasn't. After the long-ish drive, a coffee and tons of water, I was in dire need of a bathroom. Like, crying in the parking lot, not knowing where I even was, with a toddler insisting that we go some place (ANY place!). Finally, as my teeth floated and my eyes watered, I looked up the closest grocery store - less than 5 minutes away. Whew. Upon pulling into the parking lot, I spotted a nearby Barnes and Noble. Even better! Hadley's favorite place on Earth.


After the potty break, we hit up the Thomas train set and grabbed a book for Hadley's soon-to-be-born cousin with only two very loud meltdowns before leaving. Score.

Finally! Off to the main event for the day. The Sciencenter was everything we had hoped for and more. We spent the entire morning exploring animals, shadows, lights, mirrors, our senses, sand (one of the sand tables actually displayed a contour map on top, which took me right back to Mr. Buckley's Earth Science class), and an awesome toddler toy area with a water table. Outside was a discovery jungle gym-type thing with more sand and water tables, a music center...seriously, the list goes on and on.



He was a VERY good boy and got a rubber snake for his troubles. I wonder where we put that thing...

For lunch, we fought the traffic outside and sat together at Ithaca Bakery. I had brought a PBJ sandwich and snacks for him but grabbed a turkey wrap for myself. This marked the first time he has sat in a restaurant without a high chair (or booster, which we don't normally use anyway) with no wiggling or walking around. We talked and enjoyed our meals, and it was one of the best lunch dates ever.


Here's where things get a little ugh. I had planned to take the little guy over to a parking garage then push him around the Commons in his stroller in hopes of getting a nap out of him and getting some writing done, myself. Welp, construction. The whole thing was torn up. We visited a couple of stores, but the whole point of the thing was killed. Back to the car we went.

I decided to drive back up to the college to find a spot to park (and hopefully let the little guy sleep). I was able to get a little writing done, but he kept waking (noisy college kids, of course), so while he did nap a bit, it made for a grouchy afternoon.


Yeah. That's my finger. Oops. Added dose of embarrassment? He drooled SO MUCH. Hee hee.

Before picking up Dave, I took the little guy back down the hill a bit to a playground I had spotted, which worked wonderfully...until it was time to head back up to campus. Meltdown #3 (or 4 or 5...I've lost count).

This is where the "ugly" comes in. Back at Ithaca College, I knew the parking lot we were supposed to use as "visitors" to the convention (I had dropped Dave in a closer lot used just by vendors and probably should've tried to park there again). Instead, I followed the rules and buckled Had back into a stroller. After trying to cross through the inside of a building (as advised by Ithacon's website), I discovered just how stroller (and handicapped) inaccessible the campus is. Oh. My. God. After exiting the building and meandering around the sidewalks, I reached our destination completely beat, looking like a mess, and feeling like a raging bull.

When Dave asked if I wanted to walk around (and, namely, meet one of our favorite authors, Bruce Coville), he knew immediately that I wasn't moving from the chair I had claimed. I was a wreck, but after some water and time to cool down, we were able to retrieve the car, pack up, and head out.

Given my state, we decided to break our "take-out" rule (kind of...this wasn't REALLY fast food) with a trip to A&W. We got to order, wait, and eat in our car just like the 1950s, which was pretty darn cool. And better control over the little guy is always a plus.

So, there we have it. Ultimately, the trip was actually a really fun, memorable one. I'm already able to laugh at the ridiculous things that threw the plans out the window, and am kind of relieved that most of the issues weren't caused by a raucous little guy, but by the unknown situations that were thrown at us.

It already has my brain darting around planning our summertime getaway(s). 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

5 Reasons I'm Okay Spending $100 on a Dinner

Depending on the time of year, we go out maybe every 1-2 months and get a pizza every, eh, 2-3 weeks. Compared to the old days when pizza was weekly and going out was, well, probably also a weekly thing (plus any fast food stops, especially back when we were first dating and acting in shows), this is pretty stellar. 

So, I thought I'd talk about briefly about why it's totally cool with me that Dave's taking me out for my birthday for what's undoubtedly going to cost probably $100...give or take. 

via Trip Advisor



Special Occasion - I don't usually give into the "it's my birthday, I deserve it" sort of thing. However, we often decide that we'd rather take advantage of a super rare date night (seriously, if we get four a year, we're doing something) than to actually buy gifts for the other person. This year, I don't find myself "in need" of anything, so an incredible meal it is. (We often do something similar for our anniversary or Valentine's Day.) Plus, any time we can eat without the little one is pretty much a special occasion. ;-) Thanks to the sitters (grandparents) of the world!!!

Insane Food - I know you probably already assume that insanity has to come into play when it comes to spending over $100 on dinner, but it's not our insanity; it's the INSANELY AWESOME thought put into the cuisine at our favorite restaurant. I've chatted about what an incredible spot The Tailor and the Cook is in the past, but yeah. I'll repeat it again, it's just. That. Good. The word "delicious" doesn't describe it well enough. Also, the fact that we eat out less than the "good ol' days" makes us really enjoy this style of food more, even if we do it only a couple of times a year. 

Locavore's Paradise - We obviously wouldn't be willing to spend the big bucks at a regular, local restaurant (or chain) that serves the usual fare. But, much of the food served here is based on the local ingredients they've sourced. The care in the menu alone shows the thought put into the season and proper preparation of the food (hello, fiddleheads and ramps!). Plus, knowing (and often seeing at our local farmers' markets) the farms and food producers displayed in a totally proud, transparent way? We have to get behind that. 

The Anticipation - Okay. I haven't had a huge appetite lately, but when I found out we'd be going to T&C, I couldn't help but check out the menu. Seriously, I can't decide what to get, but it doesn't matter! Just look at that menu! And the things that sound strange are what end up being your favorite, so I put my faith into the hands of the chef(s). 

It's an Investment - People consider all sorts of things investments. Saving for college. (Okay, we do that.) Buying cars. Collecting dolls. All sorts of things. For us, food like this is an important investment. We care about the food's treatment before it even gets to the restaurant, we care that the chef(s) give it the best possible flavor profile, and the experience of the entire evening fulfills us to no end. So, yeah. It's an investment we'll gladly make.