Friday, October 29, 2010

From the Mouths of Babes

Dominga Pacson Reyes
May 12, 1910 to October 29, 2010

Very early this morning, Ace's maternal grandmother passed away.  She was 100 years, 6 months and 2 weeks old.  We knew the end was coming near, and the entire family gathered last night at the hospital to be with her. 

I took Carter into his Great Lola's hospital room for what I felt would probably be his last goodbye.  He asked me if he could touch her, and I said go ahead.  He went up to her, took her hand in his, and just held it and rubbed it for several minutes.  He said "Feel better Great Lola" and we left.  We'd been talking about death with Carter over the past week to prepare him.  He had asked a lot of questions and seemed to understand.

At 12:11 a.m. Great Lola passed away.  This morning when Carter woke up, Ace and I told him the news.  At first, he seemed a little stunned, processing that she really was gone.  Then, he smiled a big bright smile and said "Today is her first day in heaven!  She is with Jesus now!"

Our precious little five year old son understood perfectly.  While we are very sad that she will no longer be with us and will miss her presence, we should also celebrate!  While we on earth are mourning, she is embarking on her new life.  Her everlasting life through the Lord! 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Two Months 'Til Christmas

Today is October 25th.  EEEKK!!!! 

The winter holidays are a stressful and busy time for us under normal circumstances.  But this year, it is even moreso considering the fact that I'm DUE to have a BABY the day AFTER Christmas. 

The tricky thing about babies is you have NO idea when they are going to come.  I'll be term (37 weeks) on December 5th, so anytime after that is fine by me!  Although, I really would like her to come in the year 2010.  You know, tax breaks and all.  Nothing to do with the fact that the idea of going overdue is less than appealing....

Actually, I don't want her to come ON Christmas either.  Let's face it, you can't compete with Jesus' birthday, no matter how cute you are. 

I do fear, though, that she will come on say December 23rd and we'll still be in the hospital on Christmas!  Given that I have two little boys at home eagerly awaiting the jolly old elf already, that would be very disappointing!  But fear not - I do have a back-up plan.  IF Isla comes with such comedic timing, then I will have Carter send an "emergency" letter to Santa telling him to come back the next available day.  Yeah...that's the best I've got!

So, my goal for Christmas shopping is to have it all done and wrapped BY Thanksgiving this year.  To accomplish that goal, I think Ace and I will just have to schedule a "date" night and go to Toys R Us and hit them up in one trip and take it all back to his office for a wrapping spree. 

But what about Christmas cards?  I'm thinking I'll just skip that this year.  Its just too complicated.  If I send one out with just a picture of the two boys and then Isla does come before Christmas, then I'll feel badly she wasn't included.  Besides, I'll be turning around and sending out birth announcements shortly thereafter.  Maybe I can make the announcement dual-purpose...

And should I buy her a Christmas dress "just in case"??  I know - everyone is saying I won't want to bother with dressing up a newborn.  But what about the photo op????  

Ok, now my head is spinning.  It's too much.  I think my ultimate goal is to give birth, survive, make sure my kids have a magical Christmas, and if anything else gets done on top of that - bonus.  So, if you don't get a Christmas-Card-Birth-Announcement from me with a picture of my three kids in coordinating outfits, you'll know I'm just surviving.  And that should be enough holiday cheer - don't you think?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Isla's Nursery

After two boys, I cannot even begin to tell you the fun I've been having preparing for a little girl!!  I wavered back and forth between using the same nursery set I had for the boys (Pottery Barn Kids Chamois Lambie) because it was gender neutral, or splurging a bit and redecorating the nursery in a more feminine pattern.  I figured, this is my last baby, my only girl, I should enjoy it!!

Right now, the nursery is basically a storage room while we work on combining the boys into one room.  Lots of organizing and purging still to be done.  But I couldn't wait for the "finished product" (which in all honesty may be weeks or months coming still) to share with you the nursery plans!!

I definitely did not want a Pepto-Bismol pink nursery.  I like pink.  In small doses.  So, when I saw the Penelope nursery bedding from Pottery Barn Kids with its combination of various shades of pink with yellow and green, I was in love!  Plus, I kind of have a "thing" for birds. 

The walls will be painted a pale yellow, and we'll hang the quilt on the wall above the changing table/dresser.  There is one "empty" wall where I plan to put this fun wall decal:

I scored a used (but very good condition) hot pink/light pink blended chenille oval rug with a wide green edging off of Craigs List for PENNIES compared to the $300 the same rug sells for retail!

For the closet, I found these adorable clothing dividers on Etsy!

Sure, what's IN the closet is trivial, but I love details!

I do plan on reusing the same curtains from the boys' nursery, and they just so happen to coordinate pretty perfectly!

Above the crib, I will paint wooden letters to match spelling out her name.  And if I get reallllllly ambitious (i.e. am successful at convincing my husband to do it), I may make a few bird houses painted to coordinate to hang on that wall too!

Considering she'll be here in 10 weeks or less, I better get hopping on this massive project!!!  Keep a look out for photos!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My MUST HAVES for a Newborn!

With the impending arrival of a new little bundle of joy, I've been frantically scrambling to accumlate all the accoutrement necessary for survival. 

O.k, ok., all you really need for a baby is some clothes, a boob, a carseat, and a safe place for them to sleep.  But, I've found along the way that there are a few other items that certainly make life with a newborn a wee bit more bearable. 

Fisher-Price Cradle Swing WITH an A/C Adapter

There are many swings out there on the market, but the one swing that all my mommy friends have reported success with is the Fisher-Price Cradle Swing.  There are a variety of "styles" to choose from.  It can swing both side-to-side (a unique feature particular to this swing, which both of my boys preferred) or front-to-back.  This was the perfect solution for my nap-resistant babies, and the ONLY way I got any sleep when they were going through periods of day and night confusion!  This is one item I honestly do not think I could have lived without!

Back when my boys were itty bitty, they didn't make them with A/C adapters to plug into the wall outlet.  So, we burned through endless batteries.  I donated our old swing and found one for Isla on Craigs List (for $45 - **patting myself on the back**) that DOES plug in!  This new feature is a must!

Dr. Browns Wide-Neck Bottles

I have a love-hate relationship with these bottles.  YES - they do have a gazillion pieces that have to be washed and sanitized.  BUT - I have not found a bottle that vents better than this baby does!  A bottle (if you use bottles at all) with a good venting system is a God-send if your baby is the least bit colicky or has any degree of reflux!  Its worth the extra effort to wash and assemble all the parts.  Trust me.  These bottles are BPA-free as well.
I also like the Born Free Wide Neck Bottles, Twin Pack, 9-Ounce, but they are considerably more expensive and have just as many parts.  They are another good option. 

Medela Microwave Sterlizer Bags

Talk about a time-saver!!!  These sterilizer bags are a time-saving way to sterilize bottle and pump parts!  While you don't really need to sterilize all the bottle parts after three months of age, I always continued to sterilize the nipple anyway. 

I also use these bags after pumping at work to sterilize my pump parts.  They fold up compactly and fit easily into my pump bag.  Each bag can be used up to 20 times and takes only 3 minutes to use! 

White Noise Machine

When Carter was a baby, I had this problem where I would put him down for a nap, and he'd be awake again minutes later.  I was ready to gouge my eyes out when I stumbled upon a miracle cure for this problem - white noise.  One day, I just happened to be blow drying my hair near where he was "napping" and discovered that he actually was staying asleep.  As soon as I finished, he woke right up.  So I turned the hair dryer back on and wah lah! he slept soundly the entire time it was on - way longer than he ever slept without it! 

Let me tell you - I burned through two hair dryers and tripped countless numbers of electrical breakers before a kind mommy friend pointed out to me that they actually make devices that replicate this sound for you!  What a life (and energy bill) saver!!!!  Both of my boys sleep amazing well with white noise, and still use it to this day!  This is one thing I recommend to all first-time moms way in advance.  A total MUST HAVE.

A Ring Sling
Babies like to be held.  A lot.   As in, all the time.  I didn't discover the miraculousness of sling-wearing until Bennett was born.  I purchased one in advance of his birth on the advice of experienced mommy friends who said its great for nursing #2 while still attending to the needs of #1.  It turned out to be even MORE useful for me with Bennett because not only did I have to carry around a baby, I had to tote around a heavy apnea monitor and oxygen tank as well. 

The benefits to baby of baby-wearing are numerous - just Google it.  But the benefit to mom of keeping your newborn close, safe, and happy while running around the house, cooking dinner, roaming the store, etc. is something no study can document! 

I should caution you, however, that recently there have been warnings about suffocation risk with the use of slings.  For that reason, I recommend wearing the baby upright (as shown in the picture above), in a "froggy" position - this position is totally safe.  This also happened to be Bennett's favorite position as well!

There you have it - my MUST HAVES for a newborn!  Mommies - what are YOURS???

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I'm Baaaaaack!!!

I must say, I'm slightly flattered at how many of my blog readers have asked me lately why I've gone MIA from this blog!  To be honest - I just got overwhelmed and needed to take a break.  After all, raising two very energetic boys, gestating a sweet little girl through a high-risk pregnancy, and working full-time as layer is a bit to chew for even the best of us.  Or, so I tell myself. 

So, how about a review of the "highlights" from the past few months -

Carter started Kindergarten and LOVES it!!!!

Bennett started preschool and LOVES it!!!!

I am currenlty 29 weeks pregnant with a little girl to be named Isla Michelle!!!

Ace has been pouring his heart and soul into growing and expanding his company.

The next few months are bound to be busy and exciting times for us.  The benefit of my sabatical from blogging is that its given me some time to come up with some kick-butt content to write about!  I hope you enjoy and thanks for bringing me back to the blogosphere!