The Room is Ready...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Now we just need our little baby boy to put in it.

We still have a few finishing touches like pictures on the walls but here is Jackson's room as of this morning. Even though I plan on resting at some point before Friday, I'm not sure how much resting is going to get done today, but it's been a great day. And cleaning my baby boy's room (even though I just cleaned it last weekend), was a lot of fun. I could just sit in here all day long.

A few cute things to point out...

The abominable snowman on his chair (which was Emma's) is actually from our trip to California for Thanksgiving. So it's like a little piece of our far-away family that Jackson can have close to his heart.

The hamper in the right hand corner was one of the most frustrating purchases for this entire room! Not only is a black hamper pretty hard to come by, but it took over a month to actually get delivered! Seems like a lot of work for one tiny little hamper!

Shamus already loves the new view from Jackson's windows. Normally, his door is closed 95% of the time so it's like a whole new world for Emma and Shamus when it's open! You can also see the drawing that Emma made for her little brother sitting on his shelf ready to get hung. As well as her "Shishy" mobile that is ready for Jackson's crib as soon as we get batteries.

In Emma's room, she has a similar shelf with hooks that we use all the time, but one of my favorite things about it, is that it's the perfect place to hang some of those teeny-tiny outfits that you just can't get enough of.

And just because it's been a while since I posted pictures of Emma's are some updated shots of her room!

Well...Not Much Longer Now!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

So after all of my complaining and getting my hopes up every night that on one of my 5 trips to the bathroom that my water is going to break, we finally have a light at the end of the tunnel! And that light is shining right on Friday, March 18th!

I had my regular doctors appointment this morning and for some reason I was really anxious beforehand, despite scarfing down a yummy danish and hot chocolate from Panera Bread with my mom (those morning appointments always were a good excuse to meet Mimi for breakfast haha)! I'm not sure why I was so anxious, maybe just hoping for some good news that my body had at least STARTED getting ready for the big day. Luckily, that's exactly what I got. :)

After waiting what seemed like forever in the room with my little paper sheet that is oh-so attractive and comfortable, my doctor came in and we found out that I am 1 - 2 centimeters dilated and 50% effaced. WOO HOO! I know you can be dilated for weeks, but it was at least a good sign! I actually thought that last night could have been the night after several back to back strong contractions but nope. They stopped right before bed. DOH! Anyway...back to the story at hand.

Since my labor with Emma ended up going so super fast in the end (I went from 3 cm to 9 cm to pushing and having a new baby girl all within 45 minutes of getting my first dose of pitocin), Dr. S. thought it was a good idea that we don't chance it any more than we have to so we are scheduled to head into the hospital at noon on Friday!

Insert 9 Month Pregnant Lady Doing Happy Dance Here!!!

So, I decided to make today my last day in the office and although we are still working on making a plan for the next two days, the end is in sight!! We will continue to keep everyone posted as much as we can!!

Project Simplify: Update & Hot Spot #2

Monday, March 14, 2011

Okay, so clearly this was a little bit of bad timing and unrealistic expectations on my part when it comes to Project Simplify because I am already behind and it's only week ONE! I managed to take before pictures of my closet and dresser, but that was about as far as I got. It ended up being kind of a bust this week because all three of us were sick with colds and it was pretty much all I could do to get out of bed everyday, come to work, and then make it through until Emma's bedtime which meant Mommy's bedtime was shortly behind.

I already know that Hot Spot #2 isn't going to happen this week either! Although I was actually really hoping that Simple Mom was going to pick something like this because we have the perfect project to work on. Since we are still going through the never ending transition (or at least it seems never ending) from our downstairs Living Room to Office to now Emma & Jackson's Playroom, this is the perfect Hot Spot for us to work on. So....

Hot Spot #2 is Paper Clutter!!

And I know just the area that we are going to start with! We have these two file cabinets that are still in the playroom taking up space that are not only FILLED to the brim with old paperwork/bills/documents, etc, but the pile on top is growing by the day. Part of the problem is Emma's daily "tidbits" that come home from daycare everyday. They say the cutest things about what she did that day, etc, that I can't bring myself to throw them away!! That, mixed with old paperwork from my wedding planning business, and now also the tons of little art projects from Emma that I also can't bare to throw away, makes for quite the unruly paper clutter!

So we will see how far we get with this one! It was certainly on my list of things for maternity leave, and I'll probably try to go back and finished Hot Spot #1 first too!

Ugh! Still Here!

I know it's still kind of "early" and that many people out there go past their due dates but holy cow, Jackson can't come soon enough! I am so ready for him to come so we can meet this little guy it's not even funny!

My good days and bad days seem to be much more of a roller coaster now, as in my good days are really good, and my bad days are really bad. For example, Friday night was possibly the worst night of sleep that I have ever had (I know...pretty dramatic right?). I slept great from about 10 to midnight and then woke up like it was the middle of the day! I was hot, couldn't get comfortable, and ended up tossing and turning for about 45 minutes in bed before giving up and heading downstairs to the couch and a little TV. I ended up FINALLY falling asleep on the couch (after breaking out in tears several times for no reason at all) at about 4:00AM, and then got up about 6:30AM with Emma. Yeah. Not a great start to the weekend. To top it all off, Wes had no idea that I spent 4 hours on the couch that night, which somehow made me feel even worse.

That Saturday was pretty miserable as you can imagine. I had to head into work for a couple of hours, so by the time I got home Emma was in bed for her nap. Great timing I thought! So I laid down in bed and after not being able to fall asleep for almost 3 hours, I had a complete emotional breakdown and gave up and got up once again. Somehow, I pulled myself out of my misery to end the day on a relatively good note, an exhausted, but good note, and got some sleep Saturday night. It was terrible sleep, but it was sleep.

Sunday was a beautiful day and even though we lost an hour of sleep because of the time change, which made us lose an hour of the day, we gained an hour of sunlight that night which did wonders for my mood. After doing a few odds and ins in the morning, I dragged myself out of the house to mall during Emma's nap to pick up a little surprise gift for Wes. It doesn't really compare to my iPhone that he got me, but hey, he also doesn't have to push out a kid. :)

The tough part of being this pregnant though is that even though you are supposed to be relaxing, and that's the first thing that everyone tells you that you should be doing, some days its almost physically impossible. Yesterday evening I was definitely nesting and tried to keep my craziness to a minimum but it was pretty much near impossible.

So here I am back at work, with a long list of things that didn't get done over the weekend, including catching up on Project Simplify (which I am already behind in after week one haha). I'm heading in for my regular doctors appointment tomorrow morning with some hope that I am at least making progress, but I'm actually hoping that I don't make it to the appointment because I go into labor tonight. :) I'm hoping the weather is still nice enough when we get home to go for a walk! You better believe I took a couple of extra laps around the mall yesterday!!

Check Out What's On The Way...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Obviously I am looking forward to Jackson's arrival for numerous reasons, but one of those reasons is that I can't wait to take thousands of pictures of him like I did with Emma! With Emma, I was just starting to get into photography as a hobby and really had no idea how to use my camera when she was an infant. I still have a lot to learn but Emma is way too quick for me to practice on now! Ha!

I just ordered a couple of small things from Etsy that will be fun to play with! From what I understand, the best time to take a lot of these pictures is within the first week or two, so hopefully I feel good enough to move around (a lot of times it requires laying on the floor and odd positions) and set things up for some cute shots of the little man!

But check out what's on the way in the mail...(the hat's, not the babies of course). Ha!

That's My Baby & My Belly!

We had our follow up growth sonogram this morning and things are still looking good! What a relief! I couldn't help but be a little nervous going into it once again given our history with Jackson and every time things have been looking good, there was another bump in the road that popped up. But not today!!

The little man is still head down (really far down actually), and my fluid was measuring good still at 13 and Jackson's belly was measuring just about 37.5 weeks so pretty darn close! The technician estimated his weight today at about 6 lbs 10 ounces, so if he sticks with the estimated gain of a half pound a week, we are looking at a mid 7 lb baby at delivery! So keep it up baby cakes!!

After I posted my belly picture last night, I was thinking that it looked like Jackson has dropped a bit, and Wes was thinking that he did too. I don't think we are going to get as quite of a dramatic drop as with Emma since it is sitting low already, but for fun, I thought I would do a little belly comparison!

So here I am with Jackson at 36 weeks, and 38 weeks...looks to me like there was at least a little bit of dropping going on!!

And here I am at 38 weeks with Jackson, and then 38 weeks with Emma. WOWZA!

38 Weeks & Operation "Evict this Baby"

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Just a few short weeks ago, Wes and I were living on pins and needles, taking it day by day thinking (and worrying) that we were about to have a newborn, and a preemie, at any day. Now, we are on a different kind of pins and needles, but incredibly lucky and thankful that we made it this far! My due date is officially two weeks from today!!

I certainly have my moments where I am miserable, but today is actually a good day, despite the fact that both Emma and Wes are sick. I think they both got a good night sleep last night because they were all doped up on medicine, but that meant that Mommy also got a good night of sleep and that seems to make a world of difference!! Emma actually has an upper respiratory infection, but we saw her pediatrician yesterday and she is now on some antibiotics and hopefully on the mend. Wes however, has yet another cold this year! Today is one of those days where I feel incredibly lucky for everything that I have, and especially lucky for being able to carry Jackson to full term (despite a few road bumps), even though Operation "Evict this Baby" is about to be in full effect. Ha!

Because today is a pretty good day, I can't actually complain much about how I feel. Although, who knows what tomorrow will bring and I certainly have my days where there is a lot more complaining going on. :) Jackson's last few weeks have actually been pretty similar to Emma's last few weeks in a lot of ways. I have started to have more contractions and have been feeling several throughout the day. I haven't quite dropped yet, but am also carrying Jackson lower than I did Emma, so I'm curious to see if I have as much of a noticeable drop. I have had a lot more lower back pain and more pain in areas that I won't discuss (haha) because he is sitting so low.

We are heading in tomorrow for a growth sonogram so we should get a pretty good idea on how big the little man is. I have it in my head, that he is much bigger than Emma, and can't help but feel like he is going to be 8 or 9 lbs, compared to her tiny 5 lbs 12 ounce birth weight. If he is measuring 'normal', he should be about 6.8 pounds and over 19 1/2 inches long. He has a firm grasp, which we'll soon be able to test when we hold his hand for the first time! His organs have matured and are ready for life in the outside world!

I actually think that I am having more pregnancy cravings then ever now, but they seem to be pretty consistent and involve anything that is loaded with sugar (unfortunately), orange juice or a bowl of crunchy cereal with super cold milk!!

I am also to the point now where I get a lot more comments from people I work with and even strangers! For fun, here is a short list of the comments that tend to hear now at least a couple times a day...
  • "Wow! You're about to pop!"
  • "Why are you still working?"
  • "You're bigger than you were yesterday!"

Then again, I do get the occasional positive comment that even though I know people are just being nice, it certainly makes my day...
  • "Wow! You are all belly!"
  • "You can't even tell you are pregnant from behind!" (Haha...that one's my favorite!)

I told Wes last week, that I would give him until I was 38 weeks pregnant to start Operation "Evict this Baby" so today is the day!! Bring on the spicy food, long walks, and some other unmentionable things to hopefully get things moving! :)

We had a pretty relaxing weekend and since the weather wasn't great, we spent most of it hanging out and spending time with Emma coloring, finger painting, reading books and of course snuggling in to watch some movies. Since I had been having a hard time trying to figure out what I want to hang in Jackson's room, I decided to let Emma have a say in the matter. So she colored a picture for her baby brother, complete with an outline of her tiny little hand. :)

And because my Emma Kathryn is beautiful, I couldn't resist posting two quick snapshots of her. :) 

My Poor Baby is Still Sick!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Emma has had this cold/virus thing for weeks now almost. Every time she seems to be getting better she has a bad night and seems to fall right back into it. We are heading to the doctor's this afternoon because we just can't shake it with the usual things of elevating her mattress, humidifier, etc.

We had a rough night last night where she just kept coughing all night and crying and whining. Usually if she wakes up in the middle of the night, she is pretty good about going back to sleep, so we know when she fights it for so long that she just doesn't feel good. After giving her almost 45 minutes to try to get back to sleep, I brought her into our bed and even that didn't do the trick because she felt so bad. The poor thing tossed and turned for another hour or so until I gave up and took her downstairs to watch some TV hoping she would fall asleep in my lap.

Unfortunately, that plan backfired as she got all excited about Tigger and Pooh Bear so she started chatting up a storm!! What a stinker!! After two episodes, and falling asleep in the chair myself, I took her back up to her crib and she finally settled in for the night, at least until about 5:00AM this morning when the tossing and turning and whimpering started again.

She was so tired and cranky and you could just tell she didn't feel well on the way to school today. After dropping her off (knowing it would be a short day), I called the doctor and luckily we were able to schedule an appointment for her to get checked out by Dr. P in enough time for me to head to my weekly doctor's appointment as well this afternoon.

My poor baby. Even though she didn't feel well, she still wanted to rock the sunglasses all the way to school.

Project Simplify: Hot Spot #1

Monday, March 7, 2011

Bright and early this morning, Simple Mom revealed the first Hot Spot of Project Simplify!

Hot Spot #1 is your wardrobe and closet!!

Had this project happened a few weeks or months ago I would have had a much bigger job ahead of me and probably wouldn't have come close to getting it done within a week (especially Monday - Friday)! But since we turned our guest room into Jackson's room, I was kind of forced to go through a BUNCH of clothes when cleaning out his closet. It.was.a.big.mess. It took probably all weekend, and then several days after that to actually get rid of and donate most of what came out of that closet. I think we ended up donating about 8 - 10 bags of clothes, bridesmaids dresses, etc to goodwill and had to move some more stuff into the basement.

So had I not done that, I would be in big trouble. :) Here I was thinking that we would start off with something easy too ha!

Now, that's certainly not to say that I don't have my work cut out for me because although THAT closet is all cleaned out, it's been on my list of things to do for weeks now to do the same for my closet and dresser. I ended up procrastinating and leaving it on my maternity leave list of things to do, but this will be better if I can tackle it now.

My closet is pretty much a disaster zone right now. I had a ton of clothes in there, and then got pregnant and adding a ton of maternity clothes. Instead of taking all the clothes that don't fit out, I just crammed more in. PLUS, I also added more clothes that I ended up keeping from the big clean out of Jackson's closet. My dresser is also a big mess in that it's so full, I can barely open and clothes my drawers when all of our laundry is done. So, I certainly still have my work cut out for me.

So this week, as Simple Mom says, we we are going to touch every. single. item of clothing in our wardrobe, and make a decision whether it stays or goes. We will then find a new home for the items to pass on, organize the clothes that stay, and take inventory of what we might need in the future.

Here’s the basic plan of attack for this week:
  1. Make sure all your clothes are washed and in one place.
  2. Set aside all items you already know you don’t want — wearable in the “give” box; unwearable in the “toss” box.
  3. Try on all the rest of your clothes — no cheating. (Umm...I'll be skipping this step haha)
  4. Anything that doesn’t fit well, put in a separate pile.
  5. Anything that isn’t the right color on you, put in the “give” box.
  6. Anything that has un-mendable holes or stains, is unwearable, or underwear that’s seen better days, put in the “toss” box.
  7. Once your closet and drawers are empty, clean them.
  8. Hang, fold, and put away the clothes you know you’re keeping.
  9. Reassess the items in your doesn’t-fit-well pile.
  10. Tackle your shoes, jewelry, and other accessories.

For more information and tips on how to get started and what you might need, feel free to check out Simple Mom's Hot Spot #1 post. Here we go!

Some New Pages!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Well, you may have noticed that I decided to add a couple of new pages to our blog! I decided that since I am really starting to get into this photography thing as a hobby, and I plan on doing even more since I have a lot to learn, I started two different "Photography" pages at the top of our blog. I also decided, that since I have gotten a lot of emails and comments about the budgeting and simplifying and organizing stuff, that I would dedicate a new page to the upcoming Simple Mom Project Simplify! A lot of my friends and family are new moms and whenever we get together we end up talking about the exact same struggles and challenges that we face. I by no means have any answers to any of those challenges, but I can at least document the challenges that we have as a family and talk about how we are handling them (good or bad).

All of the posts will still show up on the Home page, so you will just have to ignore the ones you aren't interested in haha, but these extra pages are just places to help keep information on different subjects. I probably won't post quite as much on those pages, especially with the new addition on his way, but I have learned a lot through other people in both being a new mom and photography so I thought why not try something new!! I am by far a professional photographer, and I clearly have TONS to learn, so those pages will be more about my start in Photography and things that I am learning along the way and things I hope to learn. I have really enjoyed it as a hobby and thought it just might be fun to share!

Budgeting in February = FAIL

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

So I am going to go ahead and call our first attempt at budgeting a FAIL. Ha! Since January was more of a "spend and then see" month, I was hoping February was going to be the month where we did a little better in the areas where we realized we were spending too much. In some areas I think we did, but in others, we didn't blink again. DOH!

Observations/Notes for Month Two:

  • I am very glad that we started this whole budget thing early because it's clearly going to take a few to get used to and get the hang of.
  • Just like January, we had a few changes that happened in February that took a little to get used to or wait to see the affects of (for example, getting my yearly raise, had to wait to see what that would look like and what that meant for my paycheck each week, etc).
  • We ended up with a little extra income in February but not much, partly because we overestimated some of our "extra" income, but ended up getting some more from selling my piano.
  • We had a few big expenses again in February, some of which we were planning for, some of which we knew we would transfer money for and some of which we didn't plan but decided to go for anyway (which is why I am calling it a FAIL for this month).
  • As far as our expenses went for February, here is a breakdown of  how close we were to our estimates...(although this is probably WAY boring for you, it helps me figure things out in my head by going line by line...). :)
    • Mortgage / Rent / Etc- Exactly what we expected. 
    • Dog Walking/Sitting - Actually spent less than what we budgeted for.
    • Cell Phone - This was something new. A long story but basically we are switching from our family plan to an individual plan on a different carrier for just me. Since Wes got an phone through work, he uses that more often than not, so it didn't make sense to keep our family plan. It was a little more expensive up front since we had to cancel early, but this will help lower our monthly payments in the future.
    • Credit Cards - Overall we came out pretty close here. I'm not going to break these out but basically we paid a little extra on some to get them close to being paid off, and some we had estimated more than we had to pay because of paying off more in January. In March, it looks like we are going to be able to pay several off completely!
    • Car Payment / Insurance - Exactly what we expected.
    • Tolls (EZ Pass) - Budgeted $50, only had to renew once for $25.
    • Gas - I think because of all of my extra doctors visits, this was a little higher then normal, so we ended up over our estimated amount, but not by much, so not bad!
    • HOA Payment - Exactly what we expected. 
    • Home Phone/Cable/Internet - About $15 higher than we budgeted for.
    • Daycare - Exactly what we expected.
    • Groceries - About $30 more than we budgeted for.
    • Pet Wellness Plans - Exactly what we expected.
    • Gas & Electric - About $4 more than we budgeted for. Ha!
    • Netflix- Exactly what we expected.
    • Student Loan - Exactly what we expected. 
    • Parking & Costco - No parking or Costco expenses for March! Woo hoo!
  • As far as our "unplanned expenses" went for the month, based on January, I put together a budget for these as well for February...which I guess technically means that they are no longer unplanned. :)
    • We had another unplanned vet bill because Shamus needed two rounds of antibiotics and we found out Arby is beginning renal failure so is now on prescription cat food.
    • We also spent some money for Jackson's room and the playroom which we were expecting to do, but didn't necessarily budget for.
    • We still have medical bills rolling in from my late sonograms in 2010 when we were under my insurance.
    • The two last categories are where we can make a big difference I think, and those are eating out (including weekly lunches) and general purchases. Out of our "eating out" line item, over half of that was spent on eating lunch when we didn't get to make lunch the night before or have time to get it ready in the morning. We also spent more in our general purchases than I had budgeted for.
Lessons Learned from Month Two:

  • I still need to take better notes on the general purchases that we do and figure out the best way to handle these type of expenses where its easy to spend money that you don't budget for. Maybe once we establish our budget for the month, Wes and I take out cash to spend for the month and when it's gone, it's gone!
  • The more flexible we are the better! I think this is something that is going to change on a monthly basis, for example, things like raises (Wes's will come this summer), or changes in daycare costs (we have a big update there to come at a later time), etc. So having a tool that is easily changed and updated really helps keep track.
  • It's also been working well where at the end of the month, I take a few minutes to print out our bank statements and go down line item one by one to make sure I caught everything. Although this takes time, I find that there are always a few expenses that I missed during my weekly checks.
Notes & Changes for Month Three:
  • There are a few increases that we need to watch out for in March like the final Sprint payment on top of our first AT&T payment, daycare costs will go up for the month of March specifically, swim class for Emma potentially, and we really don't know what having a baby is going to do to our monthly expenses with this new insurance!
  • I seem to be doing a pretty good job at the estimating part (so at least that part isn't a FAIL) but now we really need to concentrate on what a budget is supposed to do, help you cut back. So now that we know exactly where we are spending our money, and can pretty closely predict what's going to happen next month, we need to actually work on reducing those monthly expenses (which is the hard part). :)

37 Weeks! Full Term! (Again) Ha!

Well, today marks Jackson's official 37 week Birthday and he is now considered to be full term!! Just a few short weeks ago we were convinced we weren't going to see this day pregnant but here we are!!

I had my regular weekly doctors appointment yesterday and nothing big or exciting came out of it (which is a good thing these days)! Jackson has been moving and grooving up a storm lately, as if to make sure he stays out of Labor and Delivery for a while haha. Of course Mommy is hoping for the exact opposite at this point!!

I was going back through some of my blog posts with Emma around this time and things are happening pretty much exactly the same! This is just about when swelling started with Emma (which is absolutely happening with Jackson), the bathroom trips at night doubled (yup....same here), I was even craving orange juice at this point with Emma too (Jackson can't get enough)! It was just a few days short of me turning 38 weeks with Emma when she really dropped and I remember feeling a lot of relief pretty much the moment that happened. I'm not sure how I am going to feel when Jackson finally drops since I feel like he is sitting so low already. I do have a lot more pressure than I did with Emma because of that and overall I think I feel more uncomfortable then I did with her as well. I am starting to think that this little man isn't going to be so little after all.

In one of my previous posts with Emma, I wrote this...

"Daddy still tends to give me the :::side-eyes::: whenever I talk about wanting to have Emma any day now. He still thinks Emma should wait as long as possible. Of course, this is coming from a man who has NOT been caring around this child for the last 9 months...ha."

...and I could have easily written that exact same thing today!! I told Wes that I will give him one more week, until I turn 38 weeks, and then Operation HAVE THIS BABY will be in full affect!! :)

I don't know where they get these pictures from, but apparently, today, Jackson is Swiss Chard!

Jackson is now considered "full term," even though my due date is three weeks away. If I go into labor now, his lungs will likely be mature enough to fully adjust to life outside the womb. He weighs about 6 1/3 pounds and measures a bit over 19 inches, head to heel. Many babies have a full head of hair at birth, with locks from 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches long, but if he is anything like his big sister, we have a while before that happens! Ha!

Project Simplify!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

If you happen to check out one of the blogs that I follow (list on the left of my blog) called Simple Mom, you may have seen that she is kicking off Project Simplify starting a week from today! It couldn't have come at a better time and is exactly what I need to keep my New Year's Resolution going!

Here is the quick description of Project Simplify...

With spring right around the corner (it can't come fast enough if you ask me), it's about that time for spring cleaning and although I have already started to try to get myself on this path of picking one area at a time to organize, I think this is just what I need to keep going. For five weeks, starting on Monday, March 7 to Friday, April 8th, I (being guided by Simple Mom) will be tackling five different areas in our house. Now, obviously we are going to be having a baby right in the middle of that window, so we will see how far we get at first, but it will be a good project to continue and hopefully complete during maternity leave. Every Monday, Simple Mom will announce the week’s “hot spot.” That Friday, we will share before and after photos.

If anyone else is interested in participating, all you h ave to do is post your “before” and “after” experience (photos are a must!) on your own blog, then link to it on Friday’s Simple Mom post. Or you can just follow along with me and I will post about what the hot spots are from Simple Mom and hopefully keep up with it! I think the hardest part will be that the weekend's aren't really involved, so all the organizing will have to be done during the week. With small projects it may not be too bad, but if Simple Mom rolls out like the entire kitchen, that may have to wait until maternity leave!

So stay tuned for more!!
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