Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Dear Baby #2, Letter 4

Jellybean,                                                                                                  10/6/2015

You really deserve so many more letters than this! But I wanted to make sure I wrote to you today because you are finally kicking me!!! I can't even tell you how excited I am. I panic so much in that time where nausea and exhuastion have left but movement hasn't started yet. Thankfully (trying to be positive here), nausea isn't all the way gone and exhaustion is just starting to improve since I got to stop morning progesterone as a trial, so I've been less panicky than I was with your sister, but I still thought I'd feel you before now. If you google (why do I ever google?), it appears that most 2nd time moms feel their baby super early. I felt Felicity around 18 or 19 weeks so I thought I'd feel you maybe around 14. But I'm 16 weeks and 4 days today and I know it's normal that I am just now feeling you. I'm just super excited that it's happening. You may really like activity because this is the most active day I've had in a long time (especially since it's our first day of sun in two weeks!!!). Felicity had her first mommy and me gymnastics class today which was an insane workout, plus we went on a long walk, plus we played at the playground. I felt you as I rested after gymnastics and as I rested after putting Felicity to bed tonight. I know it could be days until I feel you again, but I'm glad I have this to hang onto :). We have our "big" ultrasound in just over 2 weeks and I can't wait to see you again! I know most people prefer less ultrasounds, but since I have to have them anyway, they really help my anxiety. I cannot believe I'm almost 17 weeks pregnant. This pregnancy is FLYING. I'm definitely in maternity pants full time but still in most of my normal shirts, but for some reason I often still don't feel pregnant. It still hits me over and over again that you're in there! Daddy talks to you every night just like he did with your sister and I love that special time you two share. We love you so much and can't wait to meet you and see who you are. We both kind of have a feeling you're a boy, which is bizarre since neither of us really had a feeling with Felicity. At the very end I had an inkling she might be a girl but it was so fleeting that I doubted myself. But this is a strong feeling and I don't know where it comes from! Felicity has a LOT of clothing that you will fit perfectly into if you're a girl, but if you're a boy that just gives us all an excuse to go shopping ;). Love you so much and can't wait to see you again in a few weeks!


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Lessons and Teams and Practices, Oh My

On Tuesday, Felicity starts a 3 week career in gymnastics. By 3 weeks, I mean 30 minutes one time a week for 3 weeks. And by gymnastics, I mean likely running amok with other children of similar age. I'm really excited because she is such a physical kid, so having equipment to climb on (instead of the cushions on the back of my couch or on my kitchen table) will be a perfect outlet for her.

I have to say though, I had some trepidation in signing her up. I actually was so wary that I missed the first sign up/session and had to wait for the next one to roll around. I feel like we live in a world that is totally overscheduled. Kids are on too many teams, in too many activities, doing just plain too much. I can see that there is a lot of benefit to some activities, but not at the cost of the two things I find most important for childhood for our kids: 1) family life and 2) independent/free play. The main reason why we are aiming to homeschool is for those 2 reasons right there. Our kids will be able to see Daddy on his days off (since they are primarily week days) and if they need to stay up a little later and sleep in a little later to see him on weekdays, that won't matter because we can adjust our schedule. They won't be in school for 8 hours a day so they will have more chances to play outside, play inside using their imagination, and go to parks. With Steven's work schedule and my desire to be home, it just makes sense for us.

Hands down our favorite place to play! The local children's museum is $100 for a family membership, regardless of family size. We go a LOT! The entire place is based on learning through play.

So back to extra-curriculars. I think that homeschooling also will lend itself nicely to that as we'll have more free hours in a day, so hopefully plenty of time to be with each other, play, and diversify the kids a bit depending on their interests and abilities. However, from what I've seen activities can snowball pretty quickly, especially when you have multiple children. So my fear in signing Felicity up for lessons in something at a year and a half of age was that it might get that ball rolling. I'm aware that I'm responsible for choosing or not choosing activities, but I find them fun, too! I enjoy seeing her do new things, seeing her play with other kids, and being out of the house. But that doesn't mean I want her in lessons from now until she goes off to college. And I was kind of afraid that, if gymnastics went well, that might be where I take it!

However, after I found out I was pregnant, my gears changed a little. I really want to up our chances to bond together before the baby comes, especially since Felicity doesn't really "get it" and her whole life will be upside down for a bit. I want to make sure I fill that love tank as much as I can. And, people, she has a BIG one! She requests "huggies" probably upward of 50 times a day and that's on a slow day. So things like this- because, oh, did I not mention that it's mommy and me gymnastics???- give us an opportunity to bond in a way that won't be possible even as I near the end of the pregnancy and especially when I have a brand new baby to care for. I realized that lessons and scheduled activities just won't be practical for a bit as we all adjust, and that actually made me feel better. I think the longer we can delay that type of thing, the better- especially while she's so little. When she's 5 or so I would have no qualms about putting her in (limited) lessons if she wants. But as a toddler I want to make sure she's spending the majority of her time playing, "reading", doing crafts, and snuggling mommy and daddy! So while this type of thing will be fun, I'm glad it's short lived for now!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Baby Prep

When I was pregnant with Felicity, I felt I was busy the whole time. On top of all my pregnancy issues and worries, and a full time job, we had a nursery to prepare, registry to complete, showers to attend, doula to find, books to read.... you get the idea. By 6 weeks, I was already stocking up on gender neutral clothes since I knew we weren't finding out the sex. This time around, at 14 weeks, the most I've done is make a teeny stockpile of milk in my freezer (however, Felicity appears to be weaned so YAY for a few months of a break), and I bought a 25 cent organic romper at a thrift store. We just don't have nearly as much to do! I do think I will buy Husband Coached Childbirth because we simply don't have the funds for a doula this time around (sniff, sniff) but reading that is about all that's on the docket for the next few months, besides appointments.

Anyway, I got to thinking that as much as we needed to prepare last time by getting things done during pregnancy for the baby, I actually do this time as well; the preparation is just vastly different because it's more for our existing child or for myself. I have things to think about like who will keep Felicity when we're in the hospital (probably a variety of people, so it will take some scheduling), how to help her with the transition, putting some plans in place in case we deal with the same feeding/weight issues, and mainly how to make my life as easy as possible (ha!) with a toddler and newborn. I struggled a lot more last time than I anticipated I would, so I'm going to try to be as proactive as possible this time around. Here are a few of the things I've been thinking about and pre-planning for, and I'd love input from those more experienced moms!

  • Some back up care for Felicity once my mom leaves and Steven goes back to work. By back up care I also mean play dates because though it will be super helpful for me, I think it will be equally good for her since she's used to seeing friends a lot. We have 3 friends nearby that we primarily spend time with so I'm thinking if each one keeps her for an afternoon, and she goes to one each week, that gives me a quiet afternoon to myself with the new baby once a week for 3 weeks. Luckily my friends are pretty awesome and would likely be happy to do that and more.
  • Allllllll the freezer cooking and prep! When my mom was here last time, it was so nice that I had things in freezer bags that she could throw in the fridge one day and in the crockpot the next day. I broke my own rule on crockpot liners and we used them for a few weeks, which made clean up a cinch. We were eating home cooked meals with no one having to slave over a stove or sink. I also had things like burritos frozen for lunches. This time I want to have even more stashed since we have a deep freezer, and include breakfast items and more lunch items. It took me MONTHS to get back into the hang of cooking and I don't want Felicity (or us!) living on fast food or convenience food that long. 
  • Speaking of freezer prep, continuing to stash milk/donor milk. The biggest hurdle I had with Felicity was who is out running around for donor milk with a super brand new baby? So I ended up using formula to supplement about the first 2 weeks until my doula brought some donor milk. After that ran out, I was able to seek out/pick it up and we were good to go from there. I'm hoping to avoid formula from the get go (for at least 6 months but that's a whole other post!) so planning in advance will really help that. Luckily my sweet sister has already given me some for the deep freezer!
  • This is a total luxury and we may or may not be able to swing it, but I think we may set up a one time house cleaning a couple weeks post birth. The house should be nice and ripe by then (*shudder*) and it would take that off my plate. It would also ease things up for Steven because, while he was a huge help last time with the house for quite a while, he will primarily probably be needed to help keep life normalish for Felicity. 
  • And last, one for the new baby, "Jellybean". We aren't going to move Felicity into the other room until after the baby comes (probably 3-6 months after) so we need a space in our room for a changing table and the baby's clothes. The actual space isn't a problem because our room is pretty big, but we need to organize a bit and find a changing table/dresser for our room so I have somewhere to store all the itty bitty items!

I'm sure this list will get ridiculously longer over the next few months, but that's what I've put together so far based on my experience with Felicity as a newborn... and Felicity as a toddler haha!