Thursday, January 29, 2015

Questions for Mila

As Mila has been developing, I have been finding times when I want to ask her a question about why she does something or why she likes a particular thing.  Here are some of the questions I have for her. I really wish she could answer them!

Why are you so scared of recliners? If Mila sees or hears a recliner going up or down, she screams, crys, and is terrified. Poor baby!

Why do you insist on riding in shopping carts backwards? Mila does not like us to touch the shopping cart's handle. We have to push the cart backwards around the store.

How do you not like chocolate milk? We tried twice, and she will not drink it.

Are you really scared of balloons, or do you not like photoshoots?

Is cottage cheese really that good? This child thinks cottage cheese is the best food ever. She eats it up. No pepper needed.

Where did that stink eye look come from?

Why do you like wearing Mommy's shoes around the house?

What is your fascination with those Baby Einstein videos? This girl will watch the Baby Mozart video and be perfectly content. It is our go-to video when traveling. She loves this part the most.

Hopefully one day I will find out the answers to these questions and many more. She is a funny little girl with a big personality!

Monday, January 26, 2015

A Letter to my Mom

Dear Mom,

I feel so lucky that God chose you to be my Mom. You are an incredible mother and one I strive to be just like for my daughter and future son. You have showed me love my entire life through your words and actions. You have supported me through my roughest times and given me strength when I needed it the most. You always encouraged me, always believed in me, and you were always there for me. I truly am blessed to be your daughter. 

I have not been the best child.  I made some decisions that I will regret always. Ones that I pray my children will never make. I remember so many of the mistakes I have made and it brings tears to my eyes. I am sorry for hurting you. I am sorry for scaring you. I am sorry for putting my life in danger.

Middle school was the bumpiest for you and me. Remember the time I called you a Bitch while running out the front door? Ouch. That one stings. Or that time I ran away from home and you didn't know where I was? That was a stupid one. What about failing Geometry, skipping so much school that I failed a class, getting a tattoo with a fake ID, sneaking a boy in my window, and a couple other mishaps I don't even want to mention Yeah, I have put you through a lot.

You said something to me many times growing up. It was "you just wait until you have a child." I would know what you went through. Well, I have a child. She is innocent and hasn't made any of these bad choices. Yet, I feel the pain I have caused you.

I don't want to end this letter with all the times I have had lapses of judgments. We had good times too. I can remember going to work with you at that tobacco warehouse. I had fun there. I will never forget that week it snowed sixteen plus inches in high school, and my friends were snowed in. That was awesome. We had some fun shopping trips together. I miss those! Can you believe I made straight A's that one time in twelfth grade? I was so proud of that report card and of getting accepted to North Carolina State University for college, but I was even happier to see how proud you were of me.

You are my best friend. I have always been able to tell you anything and everything. You have made it easy to approach you in my most difficult times. I can't say thank you enough for your patience and your ability to forgive my life errors. I love you so much, and I think I finally understand your depth of love for me.

With all my love,
Your daughter

Friday, January 23, 2015

Raleigh Kids Exchange

No silly. This is not a place to swap your kids. Although, that would be fun too.

The Kids Exchange is the Triangle's #1 consignment event. Buy, Sale, & Serve your Community. It is located at the NC State Fairgrounds in Raleigh at the Jim Graham Building & Expo Building.

Sale Hours:
Wednesday 1/21   Work Exchange Private Sale
Super Exchangers: 3pm – 9pm
Work Exchangers: 5pm -9pm
Thursday 1/22  Sellers Private Sale 9am – 8pm
Friday 1/23   Public Sale 9am – 6pm
Saturday 1/24  Public Sale 9am – 5pm
Sunday 1/25  Public Sale ~ HALF PRICE DAY 10am – 5pm

I admit I am all into name brands and dressing Mila in the hottest trends and fashion. My daughter has Toms, Saucony, Guess, and Air Jordans. The material items go on and on. It is not a lot of fun spending $40 on a pair of shoes she can wear for about four months. This place rocks. Some items even have tags on them still.

This is such a big event for me that I took the day off of work. Good thing I did because I was there a full five hours. This is the first year that I signed up to be a seller. I figured it is time to get rid of some of the girly items that take up so much space. We have a boy on the way and are undecided about a third child (I vote three). If you sale, you are able to shop a day early. This is a huge bonus.

It was like a madhouse. The doors opened at 9:00 a.m. Parking was ridiculous, but we made it in around 9:30. Wes and I had a plan of action. Big items first. We ended up getting Mila a slicky slide. My husband added the word slicky to slide (WV thing). This is a pretty cool slide. It looks like it is for outdoors but we have it in Mila's playroom until the weather warms up. She had a blast on it last night. I knew it was going to be a huge hit because she loves sliding at the mall playground.

I also found a pretty cool easel, a carseat, nap mat which will be used teaching Mila forward rolls, toys, diapers, and plenty of clothes for both Mila and future baby boy. Here is a glimpse of what my cart looked like after we loaded the big items.

If you have something similar to this where you live, I urge you to go. If you live in Raleigh, leave now!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

21 Weeks

How far along: 21 weeks

Total weight gain/loss:14 pounds.

Maternity clothes: I have broken out a couple maternity pants but mostly living in yoga pants and jeggings on the weekends and New York & Company pull-on pants for work.

Sleep: Pretty good. I am exhausted by 9:30 on most nights. My only issue is the 4-5 times a night I have to get up to go to the bathroom.

Best moment this week: Spending time with my family. Yesterday was nice because Mila went to daycare and Mommy and Daddy got to spend the day together.

Food cravings: Burgers, cereal, soft pretzels.

Food aversions: Veggies. I know I need them but they seem so gross right now.

Gender: All Boy!

Labor signs: No, thank goodness.

Pregnancy symptoms: Sickness during first trimester, extreme tiredness, moodiness, popped belly.

Belly Button in or out? It is making it's way out.

What I miss: Wine, sushi, no back pain, being skinny.

What I am looking forward to: Meeting our Baby Boy!

Milestones: Halfway there.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Shop in Advance and Save

I like to go ahead and purchase clothes for the next year for Mila. Apparently this trend is going to continue with baby boy as well.  I love end of season sales. It makes shopping so much more affordable and fun!  Old Navy is having a limited time 30% off clearance sale. Take advantage of it while you can. I just love the red pants and striped shirt for Mila. This may even be her Valentine's Outfit for 2016. And the raccoon pajamas are so cute. Baby boy is going to be adorable in them.   

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Mila's Perfected Bedtime Routine

It wasn't all rainbows and butterflies at first, but we did have one consistent part to our nights. Chicken butt dancing. Dad was the pro of the chicken butt dance. After all, he invented it.  It was hilarious, but it did the trick night after night. Just imagine a six foot two man holding a baby stomping around the house chanting chicken butt dance, chicken but dance. The dance looked a lot like a lunge workout. I tried it a few times and it was a leg burner for sure. Mila seemed to love the movement and singing. She would usually doze off after about fifteen minutes of the hardcore workout. I wonder if Daddy is going to use this tactic with the next baby.

After the silly singing and dancing, when our daughter was sound asleep, we carefully placed her in the pack 'n play. The pack 'n play was directly beside our bed. Mila started nights off there but when she woke up screaming in the middle of the night, I grabbed her and threw her on my chest. It was an easy fix. Mommy, Daddy, and Baby went right back to sleep. Yes, Mila was a part-time co-sleeper, something I said would never happen. This lasted about six months, and honestly it wasn't that bad.

It was hard for me to imagine Mila not sleeping in our room.  It was even a little scary. I knew she was okay when she was so close to us. I could look over and see her breathing which I did a lot. Wes and I started talking about getting her out of the bedroom after about four months, but I always came up with an excuse not to or a future date that would work better. Wes took initiative one night when I was out with the girls. I remember getting home and the baby monitor and baby had moved out of our bedroom. Mila was in her crib in her room fast asleep. That night was a lot easier than expected and a success. There was no going back after that.

My husband and I did a lot of research on baby sleep and knew we had to come up with a new bedtime routine fast. We worked out a routine in her old room and modified it just a bit when transitioning Mila to her big girl room. This is our perfected routine:
  1. Go upstairs to Mila's room to play for fifteen to twenty minutes. Before doing this Mila has to say goodbye to her pups. It is so cute how she throws her hand up and says bye bye.
  2. Time to change her diaper. Mila is starting to help us with this. She grabs a diaper out of her dresser drawer and hands it to us. She has even started pulling the changing pad down to the floor and laying on it.
  3. Get Mila comfy in her pajamas. This is sometimes done while playing. Mila loves placing her dirty clothes in the hamper in her room. She has become such a good helper.
  4. Toothbrush time. Some nights are good and some nights it is like pulling teeth to get a toothbrush in this girl's mouth. 
  5. We place Mila's stuffed animals Ellie, Peanut, and Stripey in the Teepee to go to sleep. She then covers them up with a blanket.
  6. Mila turns out the bedroom light, picks out a book, and brings it over. We sit together and I read the book to her twice.
  7. We return the book, I turn the lamp off, and then it is time to say good night to the things in her room. Good night dresser. Thanks for holding my clothes. Good night changing table. Thanks for cleaning my bum. Good night dream light. You sure are pretty. Good night teepee. Thanks for holding my friends. Hello bed, I will be seeing you real soon, but first I have to give mommy three kisses. One. Two. And the third on her belly. I always get one last giggle at that one.
  8. I then lay her in bed and say a prayer. I also tell Mila I love her and I will see her first thing in the morning.
This thirty minute nightly routine has become one of my favorite parts of the day. I love the family bonding time. I am not sure if Mila loves the routine or loves to sleep. Either way, it works. I hope the same can be said with baby number two.

Monday, January 12, 2015

My Pregnancy Must Haves

  1. Prenatal Vitamins. Everyone knows these are a must before getting pregnant, while pregnant, and even after being pregnant while breastfeeding.  I have been taking a prenatal vitamin everyday for the last four years at least. They have become part of my daily routine. I don't see getting off them anytime soon.
  2. AngelSounds Fetal Doppler. This has been one of the best purchases I have ever made. I spent fifty dollars on Amazon when pregnant with my first and am using the doppler again now. Nothing sounds more beautiful than that galloping horse heartbeat I hear when listening to my belly. The reassurance that everything is okay is worth a million bucks.
  3. Pedicures. I admit I like pedicures all the time, but they seem so much better when pregnant. Not only do pedicures soothe sore feet, improve circulation, and reduce swelling, but they feel good. Bring on the hot stones.
  4. Decaf Coffee K cups. Limiting caffeine is important, but I have to still have my coffee to wake up. The placebo effect works on me and the decaf coffee is still tasty.
  5. Yoga Pants. Sad but true. On weekends and nights, I live in yoga pants. Surprisingly, I can even get in to my old extra small pants. They must be super stretchy.
  6. Danskos.  It took a while to actually make the purchase. I thought they were old woman nurse shoes. I am so glad I went for it and bought these shoes.  Being a school counselor, I am on my feet a lot. These shoes are so comfortable. These some-what ugly Danskos are now my go-to shoes and my designer boots are sitting in the closet.
  7. Tissues. My nose has been runny most of this pregnancy. I am one of the not so lucky ones that falls in that thirty percent of pregnant women that have congestion without allergies or a viral infection. I sleep with tissues beside the bed. I have tissues in my car and a box on my desk at work. Kleenex has to love when I am preggo.
  8. Keratin Hair Treatment. It took a lot of research but as soon as I knew this treatment was safe, I was in. Be sure the product used does not contain formaldehyde, as that chemical is dangerous for pregnant women. My hair is now so much more manageable and smooth. Being pregnant is tiring and my energy is zapped. Every minute saved getting ready is valued. I love not having to blow dry my hair. I definitely recommend this to future Mommy's that want straight hair. 
  9. Snoogle. I would say any body pillow will do, but it won't. I have had other body pillows and they don't compare to the snoogle. This pillow is awesome, and I cannot sleep with out it. I do feel sorry for my husband as it takes up a lot of the bed and is often stuck smack dab in the middle of us.
  10. Warm Baths. Of course you have to use common sense and be sure not to get the water too hot, but warm baths can be so relaxing. That twenty minutes a day is the perfect way for me to relieve stress and unwind. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Good at imitating or Baby Genius?

I first thought we have the girl version of Jimmy Neutron as our daughter. I actually still do think that, but I did come across the number 1 rule of child locks.

Don’t let your child watch you unlocking cabinet locks. Kids learn by imitating, and surprisingly quickly too. If your little one watches you use a cabinet lock often enough, he will eventually be able to bypass the lock on his own.

Oops. I am not sure when she watched, but apparently she could have seen Daddy or I get into the cabinets. So much for the time, effort, and drilled holes in our cabinets. Looks like we will be going with a magnetic locking system. Baby Genius.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Name Game

The name game seems so much harder this time around than it did with our daughter. We knew from the beginning her name was going to be Mila (Mee-lah). The only problem I have come across is the mispronunciation of the name from others. Mee-lah is Myla to many including our Pediatrician's office. Hopefully, our daughter does not have to encounter a lifetime of corrections, but even so I still think it is a beautiful name and am happy with the decision.

Deciding on a boy's name seems like it requires much more effort than it does for a girl's. We were pretty set on Jordan Dale if this baby was a girl. This is a somewhat masculine name but that is okay to us when naming a girl. A feminine boy's name is definitely not going to work for me. Unfortunately, Jordan has become a masculine-turned-feminine baby name more commonly used for girls.

Then there is my husband's opinion which of course I have to consider. We will undoubtedly name our son together. Nicknames are a must for my husband, and I can do without shortening a name. I like unique and edgy names such as Bladen, Drake, Ridge, and Ace. These names are a no go for my husband. Wes has even said he doesn't want a name cooler than our son. Of course, I think our son is going to be awesome and can live up to a rock star name. I don't like over popular plain names. These are names my husband has been gravitating towards. Suggestions have been Matthew, Nicholas, Jack, and Mason.

So now to meet in the middle. We have come up with a few for our maybe list. I have mentioned some of the maybe list names to family and friends and quickly realized that no name will please everyone. Family and friends are not afraid to criticize our considerations. The smartest thing to do is keep name candidates a secret until our baby is born. From now on when asked the famous name question, my answer will be simple. I don't know. Everyone will pretend to like the name after it is already printed on a birth certificate. I may even believe everyone likes the name. That sounds like a win to me.