Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Annie is a big sis!

For those of you we have run in to over the last couple of weeks, no surprise here, but for the rest of the world- we are having a baby! I am 8 weeks and 3 days which gives me a March 5th due date. The baby and Annie will be almost 2 years apart.


We are thrilled and humbled that God has yet entrusted another person to us to love and raise along with Annie! Thrilled- because there is nothing more fun than a full house! Humbled- because we daily realize what a big important job it is to raise a little person.

I have been feeling pretty sick, though not as bad as it was with Annie. I am not sure if I just have a higher threshold for discomfort and suffering after having Annie or if it is, in fact, more mild. No way to tell, but I'm thankful either way. J and Molly have been so helpful!

I love, love, love that I get to have another baby, but I feel so far removed from newborn world after only 16 months, so I have been really nervous about it until today. Seeing the lil' one on the sonogram just makes you melt, so I started looking back through Annie's baby books to remember what it was like the day she was born. I just remember the day J first went back to work after Annie was born. I called him crying saying "she's scary. Please don't leave me here by myself with her". Somehow, I made it through and I know God is going to help me once again since this whole new baby thing was his idea anyhow. Fast-forward to a picture of me a couple months in and I am holding her with one arm and smiling. I must have gotten used to it somewhere along the line so I know I will figure out that whole two-child-thing, too.

If you live nearby and we spend alot of time together, you are probably asking yourself, "So Sal, how does this affect our friendship?" Answer: For the next 6-8 weeks while I still have morning sickness, here is what you can expect:

- I won't be hanging out with you late at night.
- During the day, Annie will be watching hours of TV while I lay on my side on the couch. (Feel free to lend us kid DVDs. We are pretty tapped out on what we got :-)
- If you want to go to lunch, we must go someplace that serves plums, Gatorade, or Ramen noodles.

With Annie, all sickness went away at 16 weeks and then pregnancy was the best I have ever felt in my life! I am looking forward to those hormones again!

We would love your prayers for a healthy and joyful pregnancy!

Ideally, this post would include the sonogram picture, but it is downstairs and then I would need to scan it and stuff. It's not going to happen tonight, but maybe soon!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

summer stuff

My blog skills are really lacking lately...


In Lopez Summer News....

Mark (J's Brother) and Alli got married on June 27th! Congrats you guys! The wedding was beautiful and we loved being a part of it! They are now living in New York for the summer for Mark's internship before they head back to Dallas for Alli to start her 2nd year of med school and Mark to get a job doing motion graphics! How exciting!


We've spent most afternoons at Reagan High doing Total City Sports Camp! Trying to give Reagan High School kids great instruction from amazing athletes from Austin Stone. It has been amazing! Not only a cool way to serve the faculty, but also to serve the kids. They have really worked hard. It's not easy to play football in 108 degrees on your own accord! The goal is for mentorship relationships to be the result that will continue after camp is over. It has been really cool to see this happen so quickly. Thanks to everyone who has spent yourself for this whether it be through donating food, coaching, registration, childcare, or running things from here to there! This couldn't have happened without everyone helping out!

As far as Annie goes...here is what you are missing... Annie has been blossoming into a full-blown toddler over the last couple of months. She has gone from walking to running to talking. She loves shoes and likes to decide who should wear which ones. She loves to imitate everything we do- like the entire morning routine. Brushing teeth, putting on deodorant, shaving, etc. You can get her to say almost anything you want. It will likely not be what you intended for her to say, but she will say it with absolute certainty as if she is mimicking you exactly. :-)

Example:

video

("Bobo"= Hippo)

She LOVES to kiss, but as you can tell, she knows it is really cute.


video


Annie also had her 2nd annual 4th of july! Our neighborhood has this festival by the pool where you can ride trains, jump on bounce houses, and eat random food from local restaurants.



"Whoa!" Annie's new favorite word.


This is what happens when you keep trying to do one more thing and one more thing after you've crossed the threshold. It happens so quickly.

In the everyday, Annie basically likes to try on shoes, wear anything with a strap like a purse, stack her books, and watch Dora or the Backyardigans.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My Favorite Baby Stuff... Volume 1

This is for all you new moms out there...  you will probably not want to read otherwise, could be very irrelevant.


I have talked to tons of people lately about which things to buy for babies and what worked with Annie. I keep finding myself trying to explain really cool stuff I have loved and it's pretty hard.   Example: "It's like this yellow thing and it's kind of rubbery.  It sticks to your table and catches food."  I understand it is not easy to tell the salesperson at Target this lame description and find what you are looking for without knowing what it looks like already for yourself.  So I decided to make this post (volume 1, as it will be added to) to both show a picture of and explanation of why I like and use certain things.  

I am no veteran mom and I don't research things (at all).  I just like simplicity and personal recommendations.  So here are mine...

Organization & Keep-saking


I got this from my sister before I had Annie.  She got it on polkadotwhale.com, a cutesy online baby boutique place.  Ordinarily, I do not like gimmicky things.  I would rather get some regular folders at Office Max, but I will say, I REALLY use this thing.  It has folders with the labels you really need inside and it is a set place for me to keep all of Annie's hosptial paperwork, social security info, immunizations records, and random papers they give me at the dr.'s office that I don't think I will need and then later realize I do when she breaks out in a rash.

When J was still working at Dell they sent us this pretty fancy, mostly locally Austin, baby gift package complete with a Dell onesie (which you will not see pictured because it is not among my favorites).   However, included was the coolest first year calendar.  It gives you a sheet of stickers with the milestones on them that you place on days they occur to keep up with what happened and when, especially helpful when you don't really know what you should be looking for. ;-)  I was totally overwhelmed with the thought of doing a scrapbook page and reflection piece on every milestone.  Not only was the thought daunting, but there is no way I could keep that up with multiple kids, I know myself too well.  This was perfect!  High points only with a little space each month for some likes and dislikes and how much they eat and sleep, etc. Love it!  http://www.creativekidstuff.com/my-life-as-a-baby.html
up to 1 year

Books

I read this non-stop for awhile, usually while breast-feeding.  It is written by a pediatrician and mom of 3 who paired up.  Very practical, frequently-asked questions and answers. Also, presents all the viewpoints and options for various subjects like sleep training, for instance.  I hear they also have toddler, kids, (and on up) books that I intend to get.  
up to 1 year

I read this pretty much in one day when Annie hit 9 months and started throwing mini-fits and touching sockets.  Very good for practical discipline and training and also shows us as parents what our heart and intentions should be.


One of my favorite books of all time.  Not just for Annie, but for me, too!  It goes through the entire Bible, telling the entire redemption story starting in Genesis all the way to Revelation and shows how Christ was being pointed to and revealed along the way as our great rescuer.  Great illustrations and very captivating writing for both children and adults.  Great for adults who didn't grow up hearing Bible stories (like me).  Learning them as a young adult and knowing that many of them are not fluffy and cute, I was really struggling to figure out how to tell children (Annie) the stories in the Bible (for example, Noah and the ark) and not make it about cute animals going on a boat ride.  Ya know?  

Food Stuff
Splat mat.  Leslie got this for me for Christmas.  Can be used for babies learning to eat or can be used for art projects.  Love it!

Annie's lunch sack.  Insulated.  Even if it weren't for the temp control I use it just to keep all of her food stuff together in my diaper bag.  For Austinites- you can get it at Terra Toys.

Left: Portable feeding chair: For the longest time, I took this into every restaurant with me (it folds up really nice).  In a high chair, early on, Annie tended to drop more stuff on her lap and floor than she got in her mouth.  The tray goes all the way to the belly to keep the lap clean and the tray has a lip on it to prevent her from swiping everything on the floor at once. 
Annie used it 6 months-12 months out and now just uses it at home or when there won't be a high chair handy.

Right: Feeding suction mat thing:  Suctions to the table, complete with gutter.  This is for those of you like me who don't want to just throw the fries on the table at Burger King.  It just feels wrong.  Even though you know it doesn't matter really and it isn't grosser than the grocery cart (arguably cleaner).  Love this.  
Annie uses it 12 months and will probably use it for another 6 months or so.

   
Left: Plastic, re-usable bibs.  Don't get me wrong, I love really cute, fabric bibs (thanks, Candi) when I'm home, but when you are out and have to put it back in your bag after eating bbq sauce and then smell it again several hours later this is where plastic ones you can wipe off come in handy.

Right: If you love fabric and cute baby stuff, my cousin Candi, does custom stuff for babies and kids of all ages (blankets, bedding, clothes, bows, bibs, everything).  She is one of the most gifted people I know and I would LOVE to put you in touch with her if you have gifts to give or little ones!
This is for those who have kiddos who are slow to warm up to new foods/ drinks or don't want to give in to picky eaters.  Anything and everything Annie did not like to eat, I would add apple sauce to.  I keep a jar in my fridge always (cheap, big, and generic).  I would gradually wean her off the applesauce until she would just eat the food.  Annie didn't like oatmeal, sweet potatoes, or bananas at first.  By the way, this is also how I got her used to formula, by adding apple juice.  You would think this would give her a sweet tooth, but the funny thing is she has probably only had 10 cups of juice in her whole life straight up- she loves water.  Every kid is different so I don't know if this works across the board.  Worked for us.

If you want to make your own baby food, it is cheap and easy once you get going.  I had the hardest time getting started.  We use this high powered blender/ food processor thing called the Vitamix.  Buy carrots.  put them in with a little water or milk.  Blend.  Pour in ice cube trays and cover and freeze.  When it's time to eat.  Pop 2 out and microwave for 25 seconds.  Super easy at home, but I just got jars when I went out so I didn't have to find a microwave.  
For Annie: 6 months-10months
Munchkin Tossables.  But I do not toss them.  They come in a big, cheap pack and they are the perfect eating shape for kids.  Great for holding, great sized bite, and great for banging (not like loud metal).

It looks like an alien, but it is a cover for shopping carts and high chairs.  Useful when they are too little to really sit in the cart and need a little extra something to hold them up and catch their toys.  Lot of people use them for germs, but if that's the only reason, I would do without it, especially when they crawl with their hands on the floor anyways.  Annie is too crazy to use it anymore since she will stand up in most carts and highchairs unless buckled in tight.  The buckles don't always line up great so we aren't using it at ton anymore.
For Annie 5-9 months.

Strollers & Carseats
Left: I got the Graco Safeseat.  Pros:  You kid will not outgrow it before it is time to turn around.  Cons: If you like to cram all carseats in 1 car to ride with friends, this one will not fit with 2 others.  It is also really heavy.  I would have gone with the Graco Snugride in retrospect.

Right: The Graco snap and go stroller.  Car seat snaps on top.  Great for 1 baby family.  We used this until Annie turned 1 year and got her new carseat.  It has a huge storage area, is super light weight and easy to fold and unfold.  Adjustable for tall people.  :-)  Annie would stay sleeping and I could just pop her in and out of this thing without taking her out of her carseat.  Awesome!  When we have 2 kids, we will probably get a Phil and Ted stroller.  I've heard great things.
up to 1 year

Mom Stuff

I went for the fancy diaper bag.  I never use it.  Too small and compartmentalized for me.  I use this huge bag from Target that cost 12.99.  I recommend something big with a zipper.  

Here is a general list of some other things: 

Pacifiers: The gumdrop.  It must be ordered online or given for free at St. Davids when you have a baby (arguably not free).  Awesome.  The only one Annie used at first.  Now she uses anything.

Bottles: Dr. Browns were what Annie liked best, but we switched off as soon as we could.  6 parts to clean.  Barf.  Now we use Avent.

Pump: Medela, electric, back-pack style, double.  Loved it.  

Bumbo: Awesome for pretending your baby is older than they really are.  You can sit them in this thing on the dinner table and have tons of great conversation.  

More on toys another day...

What is your favorite baby stuff?  Please comment or shoot me an email if I left something off that needs to be talked about!  

Love, Sally