Saturday, July 30, 2011

Nesting, Nesting, 1...2...3...

Today it began.

We've cleaned.

We've washed itty bitty clothes, some new, some that took us down memory lane of when our first baby boy was just that, a baby.

We've cleared space in the living room and put up the swing.

We've prepped the home birth supplies.

We've bought the big brother books and have been having the conversations.

We've set up the bassinet right next to our bed.

We've bought the teeniest newborn diapers.

We're 37 weeks tomorrow.

We're officially waiting on Baby B.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

36 Weeks

And here we are. Nine whole months pregnant. But, see? This is where "they" getcha. You aren't pregnant for 9 months, no, no. You are pregnant for a whopping 10 months. Nobody tells you that until you've successfully been knocked up. THEN and only then are "they" all, "Oh, and by the way...". In any case, we have approximately one month left until Baby B's big arrival!

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Ritchie and I tried our hands tonight at some maternity photos in San Francisco. I think they turned out pretty decently. I've been having some fun with editing, so don't mind my over editing ;)

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Max has been a fun part of the pregnancy journey this time around. He's aware that the belly is called "baby" and he'll rub it and kiss it. We're working on him saying the baby's name, so far without any luck. I cannot wait to watch my boys grow together. I have visions of them laughing and rough housing together. I can honestly say that I hope to have lengthy stories to tell their children of times that they collaborated some mischievous plan to get away with something. I hope that they are true best friends.

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I've gained a grand total of 34 pounds thus far (I gained 25 with Max). If I can keep it under 40 I'll be pleased. That really SHOULDN'T be a problem, but I don't have the same eating restrictions I did with Max and the Gestational Diabetes. I am seeing the sporadic high number here and there and so I've reeled in my sugar/carb intake some more in the past week. I just found out today that I tested positive for Group Beta Strep. This isn't shocking considering I was positive with Max as well. It shouldn't add any major complications, just a bit more to deal with from now until delivery and there's some precautionary steps that will be taken during the labor at home as well.

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In other pregnancy discomforts, my sciatic nerve has apparently become pinched and whatever's pinching it isn't letting go easily. I'm now seeing a chiropractor regularly in hopes of getting this taken care of since I can barely walk most days. Makes "chasing" a toddler super fun. We're surviving somehow but it's getting old fast. Other than that, I actually feel great! I'm sleeping well and feeling fairly energized for being 36 weeks.

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I just can't believe this little guy will be here in the next 5 weeks or so. I'm hoping to make it all the way to 40 weeks, and maybe a day or two over, but NOT to reach 41 weeks. Haha! But, I'm not picky ;) I'm really trying to enjoy this last month as we're not sure whether or not we'll be having a third. This could be the last time I feel a little one squirming around in there while I live in anticipation of knowing him and what he'll look like, who he'll be. There's nothing quite like that. It's been a beautiful journey.

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Friday, July 22, 2011

21 Months

Max is almost 22 months - which is hardly believable (I know I always say that!). He continues to fill our hearts with joy despite having a challenging last few months. I'm not sure if it's two year molars, terrible twos coming early, or just his instinctual knowledge that life as he knows it is about to change big time, but he's been very cranky and clingy lately. It's so difficult for me because I want to shower him with love and give into his demands that I just stand there and hold him virtually all day long, but I am now about 36 weeks pregnant and having atrocious sciatic nerve pain. Besides which, he won't be able to be held all day in a few weeks anyway, what with needing to split time with Baby B being held at least SOME of the time ;) It's for this reason that we started to explore beginning Max in a two-day, part-time preschool program. I had found an in home preschool program that I really liked a few months back, but Max was too young to join so we waited a bit. Now, he's all signed up and ready to begin on August 2. I'm very nervous about this transition but ultimately feel like it's important that Max gets some time with other children and independent of mommy. Not to mention the time that it will give me and Baby B to bond.

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Just one of his many looks he gives us.

Despite the clinging and the tantrums, Max is still an absolute joy in our lives. There's not a day that goes by that he doesn't make me smile. He's developing some "selective hearing" I think and seems to decide when he should hear what I ask of him, and when he shouldn't. Mostly this applies to my asking him to come inside when he's outside playing and eating food that he doesn't enjoy (like all things green). Max LOVES to be outdoors. Luckily I discovered this fantastic little water park recently that he just loves! Playing in water, sand and on swings and slides are his absolute favorite! His favorite foods right now are bee-bees (berries), me-me (melon), popsicles, cookies, beee (beans), ha-da (hot dogs) and finally waffles. Haha! We try desperately to incorporate other foods like chicken and other meat (he does like steak on occasion), veggies (we hide some in smoothies right now), and dairy like cheese and yogurt (which he used to LOVE and now hates). He is drinking tons more milk than usual so I guess he might somehow get what he needs nutritionally! haha! We're not all too worried about it as it seems like the norm for kids his age.

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Max's favorite toys around the house right now is anything musical. He also loves blocks, trains, cars, and is obsessed with anything in the air like hey-ca-ca (helicopters) and are-pay (airplanes). Books are another favorite and we recently added a shelf to the living room that makes the books really accessible to him. This has done wonders for how much he wants to be read to! He's now able to point out things in the books and say words from the pages as if on cue. I love his blossoming vocabulary... even if only Ritchie and I can understand him! We're trying very hard to get Max to interact with the baby doll we got him to symbolize his brother, but he's not at all interested in it. He does seem to enjoy real babies for about 15 seconds, so perhaps there is some hope?

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Maxton is becoming more boy and less baby with each passing day. We're just noticing so much growth and an increasing independence in him. He mimics more and tries to do everything that he sees. He is more and more brave about climbing, swimming, and unknowns. We try to make him feel secure, but also give him little pushes towards trying things that frighten him. He's getting better with this more and more. He's happiest with Ritchie and I both present and will often ask for the other parent when one is missing. His kisses make my whole day and I couldn't be happier about the boy he's becoming. I cannot wait to see him become a big brother and trust the example he'll set for his brother. He's sweet and cautious, yet becoming more adventurous and brave with each passing day. I'm so grateful for this combination that makes up our special little guy.

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Oh, and I recently hit up the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (insert large amounts of debt here) and so now Max also has some really awesome shoes.

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Believe me, they deserved a spot on the blog. They're fabulous. And he loves them, too. So I suppose that makes my boy stylish, too! Love that little man to pieces!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

5 Years With a Side of "I Told You So"

It all started on December 3 of 2002. Actually, it sort of started on Thanksgiving of that year, but we made it official on the 3rd. Our courtship in the beginning was wild and crazy fast. We met, we stayed up talking for like a week straight, he went to Seattle for Christmas, he came back on New Year's Eve and we decided that we wanted to get married. We exchanged our parent's wedding rings (we had them because our parents are both divorced, which is, um.. NOT very romantic, but at the time it seemed dreamy - he was 19, I was 20). Anyway, we kept it quiet for a few months and tackled one major thing at a time. First, we moved in together. I somehow got that past my parents with a promise to my dad that I would not have any more announcements in the near future. Um, sorry about that dad.

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A little over 1 year into our relationship.

Ritchie bought me a ring in February of 2004 (a mere 2 months after our courtship began) and we told our parents. My mom was less than thrilled, but has always let me sort of figure things out for myself as long as it wasn't life threatening or anything. She didn't sense that Ritchie was an axe murderer so I guess she figured I'd sort this one out somehow. That, or she knew how my dad would react and pretty much rested easy knowing she didn't have to worry much. My dad was FAR less than thrilled. He liked Ritchie, loved me, but 2 months and a tiny, stinky one bedroom apartment did not a marriage make in his eyes. I am the kind of girl who really needs her parents' approval, so we remained engaged in our eyes, but for the sake of my family called it a "promise ring" and told them we would wait to marry until at least after I had graduated college. We didn't like it, but I wanted the dream wedding and my dad not being present wasn't part of that dream. Plus, my parents are pretty smart people who had never steered me wrong, so I figured what's the rush? I KNEW I would marry Ritchie and if waiting a bit made them happy, then fine.

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2 year dating anniversary

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Also the night he officially proposed again!

On our two year wedding anniversary I was a mere 5 months from graduating college. We were both still madly in love and wanting to get married. My dad, for whatever reason (oh, and he TOTALLY denies this now because he seriously LOVES Ritchie, Like, maybe more than he loves me) still didn't think it was "right". Ritchie asked his permission on 3 separate occasions, I believe, in an effort to "do things right" this time around. All three times he was told, respectfully, NO. "No, you do not have permission to marry my daughter. Will all do respect, I just don't see it working between you two." That last time Ritchie had the ring in hand and was planning to propose less than a week later so Ritchie told him, "Well, I respect that opinion, but I have to respectfully disagree. I want you to know that I will be asking her to marry me soon." (All these quotes mean nothing really - I'm paraphrasing - hell, I wasn't there).

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3 years together!

Anyway, he DID ask again and I, of course, said YES! We got to planning the details (we even made our wedding 18 months from our engagement date) and my dad seemed to forget all about his opinions and just welcome Ritchie to the family with open arms. He did later admit that he really though NOBODY could be good enough for his little girl and he was just so scared that we would go through what my mom and him went through with the divorce because we were rushing. It feels good to be loved that much by your daddy.

On June 25, 2006 Ritchie made me his wife.

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Following the ceremony

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Cutting the cake

It was a happy day. The day of my dreams. Everyone there, surrounding us with love and nobody doubting whether or not we'd make it. We KNEW we'd make it. We'd known since day one. Since then we've had SO many adventures as husband and wife.

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Married almost 1 year in this picture!

We bought a house, got promotions, went through 9 long months of trying to get pregnant, and finally got pregnant with our first child.

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2 years married! We got pregnant about 6 months later.

Bringing Maxton into this world with Ritchie brought more love into my life than I could have ever dreamed possible. I felt the unbelievable love for my child, of course, but also this tremendous growth in my love for Ritchie. We had created Maxton. He was there for me in every step of the pregnancy and labor and delivery. I didn't change a diaper for the first 2 weeks because Ritchie did it ALL while I healed and fought through nursing torture (it got better, don't worry). He was patient, loving and gentle with BOTH our son and me. Having a child with Ritchie proved to me (even though I didn't need this proven - I already knew) what kind of man I had chosen. Sometimes your parents are right, but sometimes, they're wrong. Dad was wrong on this one. He knows it, too.

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3 years married and 3 months away from meeting Maxton!

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Meeting Maxton for the first time. Look at the smile on Ritchie's face. Total pride.

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Our family grows.

As the years have flown by, so have the milestones, especially for Ritchie.

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I graduate college.

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Ritchie graduates college.

Ritchie has FLOWN up the corporate ladder at Apple and continues to amaze me with how profoundly brilliant he is. I mean, how he knows how to do this stuff, I'll never know. I used to struggle teaching 4th grade math sometimes. He has knowledge that makes my head spin. We're so fortunate that his job has allowed me to do what I feel most passionate about; stay home with our children.

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4 years married with our little man.

That's right, children. We're expecting another baby boy in less than 2 months. And so we celebrate this year with me pregnant and Ritchie just as supportive as ever to head into another great adventure.

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5 years.

Life is so much sweeter because of my family. Ritchie and I are the core of our growing family. I couldn't have chosen a better man to fill that role. So, not-so-sorry to say, Dad but I TOLD YOU SO!! Haha!

Happy Anniversary to the man who fills my heart. And, Dad? Thanks for loving me so much. And thank you even more for loving my husband so much. You are a wonderful dad to both of us.
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