Friday, April 29, 2016

Baby #2 Bump Watch: 37 Weeks

How far along? 37 weeks, 3 days
Total weight gain: Up 33 pounds, total!
Maternity clothes? Oh yes.  Have to be, and even then, they aren't fitting!  Yikes.  Even though I'm not much of a dress person, I've actually resorted to maxi dresses for the rest of the pregnancy... super easy and no worries about if my belly is going to pop out from the bottom!
Stretch marks? Luckily I've gone this far, yet again, with no stretch marks on my belly!  I did gain a few in my thighs, though.  Bummer!
Sleep: Definitely getting up at least 2+ times a night, usually right around the same times: 1-2AM and again around 4-5AM.  Always to pee.  I think this is just my body preparing me for waking often with a newborn, again!
Best moment this week: Finnnnnallly finishing baby girl's nursery, so it is 100% complete, minus the few cute additions we will put in after she's born, like personalized decor with her birth stats and her newborn pictures.  Also getting all of her laundry done and some more random stuff around the house.  Now we just need to deep clean and pack our bags, and mostly everything will be ready! (But I have to motivate myself, first!)
Miss anything? Sleeping on my belly!  I'm getting tired of side sleeping, for sure.  
Movement: She has decreased in movement which always freaks me out, and Nolan did the same thing towards the end.  All of my doctors reassure me that everything is fine, and she is just running out of room!  I'm excited to see how much she will weigh, because my belly feels heavier than I felt with Nolan and I'm just so much more tired this time around!  Probably also because I'm older and chasing a toddler all day, too!  She does still get her active moments though, where she jabs and pushes and rolls like crazy, and I've finally gotten good videos of the craziness!

Food cravings: Still on my cereal kick, which I eat almost every night, and also loving the Peanut Butter & Fluff sandwiches.  Fluffernutters were a hit, this pregnancy!  
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope!  Again, another pregnancy that I lucked out with no nausea!
Gender prediction: Oh, it better be a girl!
Symptoms: SO PREGNANT.  I'm tired and sore quite often.  I've been getting the absolute worst ligament pains (more so than early on in this pregnancy) and when it happens, I wonder how much bigger I could possibly get and where she could possibly fit!  Muscle spasms and charlie horses (loosening connective tissue, so I've read) can bring me down in a second, and luckily hasn't happened in public yet, just at home... because I literally go down to the ground!  The reflux is still horrendous in the middle of the night and the decreased fetal movement has had me a little nervous, but as long as I can still feel her when I poke at her and she gives me some surprise moments of super activity, I feel reassured again. 
Looking forward to: The official countdown!  Less than 2 weeks away to finish up everything we need and until we finally get to meet this little lady!  It has felt like this pregnancy has lasted forever up until these last few weeks... and now of course they are going to fly by!  I can't wait to see our family evolve and how Nolan takes to his new little Sissy that he talks about constantly!  

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Tot School Week 8: Rain + Rainbows

We skipped out on Week 7 of Tot School because my computer crashed and it was nearly impossible to plan, print, and gather everything without it while Apple had it captive for a few days to restore everything!  (Thank Goodness they did! Yay!)  So, we picked back up a week later, continuing a fun Spring-y theme of Rain and Rainbows.

We started Day 1 off by reading A Rainbow of My Own and Rainbow Shoes... highly recommend the first and the second we stopped reading halfway through because it was so boring and Nolan lost interest quick. Ha!  We revisited one of Nolan's favorite Tot School activities- Color High 5, and he enjoyed playing this round just as much as the first time.

We followed up with literally, a Rainbow of Our Own, by playing with this Sticky Wall Rainbow (idea found here) where Nolan absolutely loved placing the cotton balls as clouds onto the wall.  Halfway through, he started pulling the cotton balls apart and sticking them everywhere, which I figured helped with texture so I let him continue to destroy them and add to his masterpiece.  Once we moved onto the rainbow portion, Nolan had a difficult time placing the colored paper on the corresponding colored line and following it through, so I helped him quite a bit with the activity at this point.  He was really into the first two, red and orange, but then grew tired of the paper and wanted to go back to the cotton balls.  We finished it up quickly and continued with another activity shortly after.

For our worksheet and table time activity, I brought back the Rainbow Do-A-Dot sheet (printable here), this time not laminated like our first experience!  We definitely need practice with these as Nolan just likes to dot everything and anything rather than the corresponding colors and in a row, so I'll try to bring out the Do-A-Dots a bit more often in the future.  I showed him how to dot the first row, and he followed my lead... sort of. :)

For our arts/craft project, the plan was to make a fingerprint rainbow by dotting each of his fingers of one hand a different color and then spreading it across at one time.  Nolan had other plans and wanted to just finger paint everything, so I let him have a creative art session and go to town.  This lasted for just a few minutes and then he was over it.  I tried to get him to do the rainbow anyway, which ended in a total failure of a three-finger smear and some angry screams. Haha!  Oh well!

For Day 2 of the week, we focused on clouds and rain by reading Little Cloud, which was a super cute and interactive book that Nolan actually sat and enjoyed.  We then did the Rain Cloud experiment (which we found all over Pinterest and specifically used from Simply Learning Kids) and Nolan absolutely loved watching and participating in each part of this activity!  We used simple ingredients of water, shaving cream, and food coloring, and got to it!

Nolan poured his own water into the vase, while I sprayed the shaving cream to serve as our "clouds" on the top.  Of course he had to evaluate by poking it to check it's consistency, and thought it was "so cool!"  

I let him pour drops of blue food coloring into the vase, on top of our clouds, and we watched to see them seep through the clouds and dissipate through them, and drip down into the water below, just as raindrops do!  Of course he wanted to do more and more, so in the end we ended up with some pretty blue water, and fingers!  (FYI: if you let your toddler do this, be aware that food coloring will NOT come out for the rest of the day- so watch skin and clothes!)  We highly recommend this activity- so simple and easy and he was amazed by it for a good ten minutes!

Next up, we played with a fun and fluffy sensory bin of cotton ball "clouds" and some new Tot School supplies that I recently picked up from Amazon.  We used printable clouds with the letter "C" and "R" for cloud and rain, where he sorted them into corresponding bowls after "finding them" from being buried in the clouds.  We also tried out our scooper and toddler tongs, which he didn't like at all because he got frustrated with them instantly.  We will continue to work on this to help out those fine motor skills!  I also threw in a toilet paper roll so he could pass the cotton balls through them and stuff it full.  

For the arts/craft project, Nolan was actually really into creating his own cloud and rainbow craft, which surprised me but made me happy and proud!  I started by letting him glue the bottom portion of the cloud himself, choose his colors in order and helped him place the rainbow crete paper, while he was responsible for sticking it down.  Once we finished, we flipped the cloud over, where he glued the cotton balls all over to create his fluffy cloud.  The final project came out super cute and he was happy to show Dad as soon as he got home from work and display it in our kitchen!  

We had a busy week, so we didn't have a ton of time leftover towards the end of the week for Day 3 to do all of our planned activities, but to make sure that we got something done, I allowed for us to do the one activity I thought Nolan would enjoy the most.  We learned all about Rain and splashing in puddles from our two books, Rain! and Splish, Splash, Spring.  This correlated well since the week prior we had some nice spring storms, where Nolan got to splash in the puddles out front, so he could easily relate to the idea!  

We made some coffee filter rain umbrellas, which we found on Pinterest from this source, where Nolan made one and I made one.  I colored mine a ton where Nolan kept it a bit more simple, but the funny part is less definitely went more as his umbrella came out much cooler than mine!  After we colored the coffee filters with markers, we brought them outside and sprayed them with water (the best and most fun part, obviously), where we got to see the colors spread throughout the "umbrella" and make some fun designs!  I let them dry inside for the day, and in the afternoon, attached some pipe cleaners to the bottom for their handles.  Fun!!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Baby #2's Maternity Photoshoot

Taking a good photo of yourself is difficult.  Taking a decent maternity photo in general is even harder.  Mix that with adding a husband who isn't a fan of getting his pictures taken and a toddler with zero attention span... and this was a complete and utter challenge on my plate!  

I knew I wanted to document this pregnancy in someway, so I figured we could save a little extra cash by taking our own maternity photos.  Word to the wise- pay someone!  Granted, Nolan did really well and Jason was extremely patient, but being 35 weeks pregnant, setting up each shot and wrangling people where I wanted them was an exhausting task!  I'm feeling okay with how these turned out and I'm glad I have something to look back at for baby girl's pregnancy, but I'm definitely not a pro which means I don't have very pro-like shots like I expected (why did I expect that I would!?)  And don't get me wrong, there are a few that we managed to capture that I absolutely love- Nolan loving on my belly, for example, so there's that!  

Either way, we came, we shot, I cut down over 500+ photos (mostly of ridiculously hilarious outtakes and Nolan looking either crazy or blurred from dashing out), and here's what we were left with!  Enjoy!