Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Crisis Mode

After 5 kid-free days, I was worried what it would be like for Bean to return.  I feared many meltdowns and having to detox off of grandma for awhile.  I tried to plan a few days of errands and lots of activities to keep her occupied.  So with our first full day together, we had a girls morning out and went and got hair cuts!

Bean had never had a hair cut and I was being crazy about not wanting to cut her hair and mess it up.  But the back of her hair was longer than the front and it kept getting in her face, so I decided we just had to get it done.  Bean didn't want to go, but when I told her I'd get mine done, too, she got really excited.

I'm cheap and just get my hair done at Great clips.  It killed me that I didn't have any coupons to use, but we ventured out anyways.  We had to wait a little bit, but luckily there was a Panera right next door.  So we headed over for some lemonade and a cookie to pass the time (it helped immensely).  I went first and Bean just played on the chair next to the one I was in.  When it was her turn, she crawled right up in the chair and handled the cut like a champ. She had a hard time keeping her head still, but overall did great.

(Bean's hair before the haircut.  She used to love wearing a "princess bun", but more recently just wants her hair down.  It would get food and sticky candy in it and that was the tipping point for needing it done.)

(Such long hair! Hard to fathom that her hair was BLACK when she was a newborn.  It's never been cut, but she did lose most of that dark hair as a babe, and then the blonde hair grew in.)

(Killing time while eating a cookie)

(Unsure of what's going on, but intrigued by the Angry Birds cape.  Bean got introduced to Angry Birds while staying with Ahm thanks to the current McDonald's toys.)

(Sitting like a big girl.)

(There was a cup of suckers at the register and she eyed those babies from the moment we walked in.  Here's to shorter hair that hopefully won't get stuck in it!)

(This kid is a ham and hates to stand still.  I tried get a better picture of her shorter hair, but this was the best that could be managed.)

I titled this post crisis mode because in the same day that I cut my hair to be more manageable (aka, mom cut) I also had to go pickup my new glasses.  For anyone that knows me, I had LASIK done in 2012 and apparently I'm in need of it again.  I don't need to wear the glasses around the clock, just when I am going to be looking at far distances for a length of time and definitely while driving, haha).  I have a lifetime guarantee, can't get it done being pregnant and don't really know if it's best to hold off til after all kids are had.  I need to call the place and follow-up with the guarantee information to figure it out. And to top it off, I made the realization that in less than a month, I'll have TWO kids, totally look like a mom with the new cut and glasses, AND hit my last year in my twenties. YIKES.

(Bean loved the trips to the eye doctor.  She loved trying on all the glasses.)

(Now that I wear my glasses, Bean wants to have glasses, too.  So she's rekindled a love of her sunglasses. I didn't think to take a before shot of my hair before my cut, but this was it.  You just can't really tell the length of my hair.)

(AHHH, total mom look going on. Oh well.)

Monday, May 23, 2016

Easy Mode

Last weekend, we were able to arrange a nice little "vacation" for Bean.  I met my mom in a town along the way between our houses and passed Bean off to my mom for 5 days of kid-free bliss - ha! We didn't go anywhere while Bean was gone, we just caught up on a lot of things around the house, rested (and slept in!) a lot and just enjoyed some well needed Steve/me time to talk and prep for the new baby!  We took advantage of being able to go out to eat and not have to entertain her in the process; and watch long movies that we could start earlier because we didn't have to wait for bedtime.

Steve has taken on a big house project - remodeling a bathroom. He started about a month ago, and has been working on it any free weekend we have.  He's making good progress, it's just slow.  I'll do a full blog post on it when it's done (or at least partly done, ha).  I wouldn't admit this to him, but I'm guessing this will be a summer long project (sorry dear).

He was able to work on the bathroom around the clock on the weekend (usually he has to stop and take a break during Bean's nap time).  I was able to work on random things that needed done (and I didn't want to work on with Bean in tow).  While she was gone I was able to get the upstairs guest/storage room all organized and cleaned up.  It had become quite the catchall and a huge mess with the change over of baby items and clothes going on in the house.

I also cleaned the entire house - and it stayed that way for 4 days! It was marvelous.  We didn't have to dodge toys around the clock, no food and crumbs to sweep up daily, and let me tell you how QUIET the house was.  It was strange, but quite the blessing. I was able to go out and mow the yard at my own pace (and not have to try to cram it all into a short nap window). And yes -- at 36 weeks pregnant, I'm STILL mowing.  My choice!

I felt so productive while she was gone.  It's amazing how much physical rest I need when she's here because of all the mental energy I exert on her.  Maybe I didn't need as much rest because I could do things at my pace and not cramming it into nap time.  I even took some time to clean out the car and get it ready for 2 kids! So weird to think that we'll be a family of 4 in less than a month.  We can now count the time in WEEKS.

Bean's vacation consisted of a a weekend of cousin sleepovers, going bowling, being the constant center of attention, making new friends at my parents' church, and lots and lots of family love.  I'm thankful for the opportunity for Bean to go and spend some quality time with her cousins, aunts/uncles, and grandparents.  Now the big question is, when can she go back?!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Pregnancy Update - 36 weeks!

I went to write down today's date and nearly had a heart attack.  Sprout is due to make her debut in exactly 1 month! But then, will we have to wait a full month??  Or will she follow in her sister's footsteps and take her sweet time and make it more like 6 weeks?!  Ahhhhh!!

I forgot all about this phase of pregnancy.  The realization (okay, really it should be the word FEAR) that I could literally go into labor at any moment.  You'd think that with this being baby #2, I'd be a pro; but reality is you can't go by last pregnancy timeline because each babe makes their own debut decisions!  My experience with labor/delivery was AWESOME with Bean.  I was induced at 10 days over, all pain went away with the epidural, and she was out in just over 6 hours of labor.  Can I hit the labor/delivery lottery twice?!  I am completely terrified of going into labor naturally (like water breaking, logistics of what to do with Bean, how much time from that happening to getting to the hospital is needed, etc).  I'm trying to just focus on the day to day and not let my mental thoughts get too crazy.

I went through a really rough week about a month ago.  My heartburn flared back up and I had to spend a few nights "sleeping" on the couch in a sitting position.  Those were a couple of miserable days, but things have seemed to have changed.  Maybe she's dropped or just found a better position, but heartburn is back to being managed with medicine -- whew! Sleeping is OK - still have to get up a lot at night to pee and switch positions, but I'm able to fall back to sleep quickly.  

I guess I've entered the "nesting" phase.  I simply call it - WE HAVE A MONTH TO GET STUFF DONE! Nursery is all ready to go, baby clothes and items are all cleaned and ready to be used, and all I really have left is to pack our own hospital bag.  But since the hospital is 3 min from our house, I'm not too stressed with that task.  

I remember with Bean, thinking that I'd go early; but then she was 10 days late.  I keep reminding myself that any signs I see/experience now that could point to labor doesn't mean anything.  I currently have lots of contractions throughout the day and have had a couple of evenings with them spacing out and being time able.  I even had some in the middle of the night that woke me up and I couldn't sleep due to them.  I timed them and they were 5-6 min apart and lasted a couple hours.  But then they just went away.  Doctor said next time that happens, at the hour mark, I just need to go to the hospital -- yikes!  

I had another night this week where they were timing 5 min apart, around the hour mark they started to space out more towards 7 min -- whew!  When they are time able, they are more just tightening (Braxton Hicks), but I've been having some more random ones that get to be more intense than just tightening.  I"ll have to freeze in my spot and just focus until the feeling passes.  Poor Steve is beginning to freak out.  When he finds me frozen in spot he immediately jumps into, "ANOTHER ONE?!" 

I had my first progress check this week.  Those contractions are doing something because progress is being made! I again remind myself that progress doesn't mean much.  With Bean, I was 2 cm at 39 weeks.  With this baby, I am currently at 2 cm and just hitting week 36.  Does that mean anything?!  Probably not.  Only thing is that my body is remembering to do it's job and prepping for baby expulsion - ha! From here on out, I'll have weekly appointments to check progress and make sure everything is still looking good!

(I am sucking at keeping up with these belly shots.  My last picture was at week 29 -- oops! I'll *try* to do weekly photos for these last few weeks. I mean, how hard is it to take 4 more belly photos, right??) 

(Bean wanted to be in the picture, too.)

(This photo makes me laugh.  Because of my thyroid condition, I had to have an additional ultrasound at week 32.  Everything checked out fine, and it was nice to see baby girl again - and yes I confirmed that it is still a girl.  The tech kept commenting on how much hair the baby had.  She finally took a screen shot and labeled the photo with "Hair" on it.  I've talked to several friends and even other nurses about this picture and no one has ever heard of a tech documenting hair on an ultrasound.  I say it's because she wants to document the human about to birth an ape!  There's an old wive's tale that the hairier the baby, the worse the mom has heartburn. I'm a believer in that tale!)

Sunday, May 15, 2016

A Very Happy Mother's Day (Week)

With Sprout due in just a little over a month (at the time of mother's day), my own mom was willing to come out and spend a few days with us and give me some much needed help!  She claims she didn't do much, but just having an extra set of hands around the house and someone to give Bean some extra attention does wonders for this tired momma ;-).  

She came the week leading up to Mother's Day.  Between having her here for a few days and Steve taking over most of the parental responsibilities for my Mother's Day Weekend, I got nearly a week "break" of being a mom.  I obviously just can't turn that off and desire to still spend time and give attention to Bean, but it was nice to not feel the weight of "motherhood responsibility" for that week!

While my mom was here, we had a library trip, special lunch outing, ran other errands, and mom babysat 2 nights in a row! It worked out that she was able to watch not only Bean, but also Bean's friend James one evening while I attended an awards ceremony for James's mom (which she won the Lima Chamber of Commerce award for emerging business! Go Sara's Sweets!) and Steve was at AWANA.  

(Congrats Sara!!  The awards ceremony was on Star Wars Day - May 4th and they had a Star Wars themed Gala.  How could I pass up on that?!)

(Mom documented her portion of the evening with the 2 kids.  Bean being her typical crazy and James losing it over Bean being crazy. Haha, okay, usually it's not this bad.  He didn't nap and just wanted to cuddle and NOT play in a block castle with Bean.)

(I stole some light saber/glow stick decorations to take home to Bean.  Ahm had to show her the proper way to fight with light sabers.)

(Soaking up all the attention)

(Kisses for Bean!)

(Love back to Ahm!)

My mom returned back to IN on Friday.  In the Ackerman house, Mother's/Father's Days are just enjoyed on the Sunday, but the entire weekend.  Steve stepped up parental duties and did all the story times/ tucking in at night (and dealt the multiple bathroom trips or crying because a toy fell out of bed) and even let me sleep in one day (usually I let him sleep in on the weekends since he wakes up so much earlier during the week).  He also made sure to make my duties easier by getting dinner 2 nights AND lunch one afternoon.  I only had to cook once the whole weekend, and it was glorious.  But the best part of my weekend, was soaking up time with my precious little family.  Hard to believe there will be one more added into this crazy soon! 

(I tried to get a decent shot of Bean with some flowers to send out to our mom's and such, but she was very uncooperative.  She didn't care for the sun being in her eyes, or for sitting still.  She just wanted to go and play on the neighbor's swing set.)

(I was surprised on Saturday morning with breakfast in bed! I was blown away.  I actually was thinking of asking the others if they wanted to go out and get breakfast once I was up, but Steve and been secretly slaving away in the kitchen.)

(Steve is not a cook.  He will be the first to admit that.  Good thing he had a cute sous chef who knew what she was doing to help him out!  I was very impressed with his cooking! I'm not a fan of french toast or eggs for that matter, but his were very good! He had researched the recipes and did a great job!)

(We all piled on the bed and ate a delicious breakfast together.  I'm not sure what Bean thought of eating on the bed.  I really thought we'd hear about it and her want to eat up there for meals later on, but she hasn't asked about it.)

(We ended our weekend by making some special red velvet brownies.  Bean LOVES to help in the kitchen.  She always gets disappointed when she can't help me with something -- like making dinner with raw meat.  I can tell you one thing, if there's chocolate involved -- she's right there to help in the process and earn her chocolate chips or licking the spatula.)

(A chocolate mustache is always the best kind of mess to clean up.)

I am one blessed Momma!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

College Friends Reunion 2016

A couple of weekends ago, we met up with our college friends in South Bend, IN (the best central location for all) and stayed at a 'historic house' we found on airbnb! One couple had to cancel last minute, but we were able to video chat with them one night so we could all share what's been going on since we all last met (almost 3 years ago - yikes!).  

We all had a lot of fun, and Bean still asks to go play with her friends "at that house in the basement".  I think the take away from the weekend is that the kids had a lot of fun playing together and the parents had a lot of fun hanging out; but next time, maybe we should ship the kids off somewhere else - haha! 

While we were together, we ate a lot of food - we all chipped in and brought different snacks and were responsible for a different meal.  Donuts, cookies, and chips were constantly on tap.  We laughed a lot, played some board games (did I mention that kids make adult hang out hard?!), talked a lot, and the dads even provided the moms with a kid free outing!  Us ladies hit up a local chocolate shop, got to have some uninterrupted conversations, and feasted on muffins/cookies and gourmet chocolate coffees/drinks -- yum! 

The house had 5 actual bedrooms, but then another room with 3 more beds! We could've added in at least 2 more families - easily! (For the record, there were 3 families - 6 adults & 8 kids)  The house had 3 levels - 4 bedrooms & 2 baths upstairs where we all slept; a main floor with living room, sitting room, kitchen and bathroom; and a basement with another bedroom, big open room, and another bathroom.  The kids loved to run around and play in the basement or with toys that we brought in the living room while the parents hung out.  The kids did well playing unsupervised (there was enough tattlers to come up and tell us when something was happening that shouldn't).  At first, we were afraid to let Bean run around with the big kids on her own, but she eventually was allowed and did very well. 

(Kids running around in part of the basement.)

(More basement shenanigans.)

(Jared reading the kiddos a Children's theology book before bed.  All the kids (except babies and Bean) slept in this room together.  Bean was sad we made her leave the kid room to sleep in our room, but with her potty training, and not sleeping long in a bed on her own, we weren't sure how it would go with her in there.  The first night, she ended up having troubles all night and screwed around in bed with me for 4 hours in the middle of the night, but did much better the next night.)

(We tried to strap the Go Pro onto Libby's head and supervise basement shenanigans that way.  But the camera only lasted a couple minutes on her head before she was over it.)

(Meal times were always like feeding the animals at the zoo.  A lot of survival of the fittest mentality for the weekend!)

(We stayed up late one night playing games after the kids went to bed.  Notice Jared laughing uncontrollably while the others are not amused??  That's because Jared was intoxicating the room with a potent smell.)

(Mitch was trying to wave the air back tot the offender.)

(We tried to take a group photo as we were leaving the house.  It took entirely too long and lots of coordination and attments, and in the end -- this is the only picture of all of us!)

(Where are the Ackermans?!)

(Oh there they are.)

(After we checked out of the house, we headed to the local mall and ate lunch together at the food court before we all bid our farewells.)

Now the question is, when's the next reunion?!