Friday, February 26, 2010


Ah, it's Friday! I love Friday's because this is the day my weekend starts! I'm soooo lucky to live close enough to some of Allison's Grandparents, and they bless us every week. On Wednesday, Allison spends part of her day with her Grandma (my mom), and on Friday she is picked up at 9am by her Mimi (Frank's mom) and she usually spends the rest of the day at her house, and Frank stops by to pick her up on his way home from work. The implications for me here are HUGE, but I also love that Allison gets some time away from our house, and away from me. Most importantly, I know she's well loved, cared for, and taught when she's with her grandparents.

Today was only a half day with Mimi because Mimi had somewhere to be this afternoon, but it still gave me the entire morning to myself. I had time to do some laundry, clean the kitchen and the master bathroom, get myself showered and dressed, do all the prep work for dinner, and eat lunch! Now my pregnant body is tired from the non-stop running around, but I feel great about the day. Allison is sleeping peacefully in her toddler bed, and I can most likely expect another couple of hours to myself till she wakes up.

Speaking of her sleeping, now would be a good time to note that she is making strides in her '5 step program' to her big girl room. Turns out, this has not been as big of a battle as I had expected it to be. Maybe she was more ready than I thought! For some reason, she has very little interest in getting out of her bed. I truly believed that once the choice was hers she would stop napping and run circles in her room, pound on the door, pull everything out of her drawers, and cry. I'll admit that she did a little of all of that during her first nap time in her toddler bed, but that only lasted about 30 minutes. Since then, I've gotten smart and hidden the few things in her room that really peaked her interest and tempted her to stay up. Now, I put her down and she stays in her bed till I come and get her - even if she's been awake for 30 minutes!

She was doing so well that I discussed with Frank that we should attempt to take away her bumper this weekend (eek!). I had intentionally settled on starting it the days I knew he'd be home with me for support! Well, I was doing her laundry on Wednesday and part of that involved stripping the fitted sheet off of her bed to include in the wash, and I got a good up close look at her bumper. I noticed that some of the white parts had started to yellow, and it had a few stains. After all, it had been attached to her bed for almost two years! Gross, I know. There is probably a solid mixture of spit-up, drool, sweat, and maybe the occasional wet leaky diaper. That mental image was enough for me, so I took it off and planned to wash it for her. However, I quickly found that not even half of it would fit in my washer - and I worked at it! It's a Pottery Barn bumper which I had insisted on having - not for the name brand - but because their bumpers are a good inch or more thicker than any others. I felt like they offered the most as far as comfort and protection. Anyway - this thing is a beast, and I didn't feel like taking it to be dry cleaned ($$!). My only other option was to hand wash it, and the only place big enough for that was my bath tub! So I piled it in there (where it still barely fit), and filled the tub with hot water and plenty of Dreft. I also pretreated all the really yellowed places that had emerged. I'll just skip to the end and say that this process ended up taking me most of a day! At some point between, washing, rinsing, and drying I decided that I would never do it again, so Allison wasn't getting it back. It is going to stay clean and ready-to-go for my next little girl.

So Allison napped that day for the first time without her precious bumper, and only lasted an hour. But since then it's been no problem! Yay! I will say that I'm still a little sad for her though, because she now piles her stuffed animals around her head to substitute. How adorable!

The only thing stopping me from moving her to her new room now, is that it's not finished. I still need to buy her a toddler bedding set, paint, and hang curtains and a ceiling fan. After all that, I'd like to add some nice things to decorate the walls, too. I thought we had tons of time, so I had put all of those things off for a while. I guess it's better to get it done before I'm huge!

As for being huge, I finally have a baby belly, and have the need for maternity shirts. I can still get away with my normal jeans, but some days it's nice to pull out the maternity ones just for extra room and comfort. Other than that, this pregnancy is uneventful. I wish I was the type of person who savored every moment, but I just don't. I love feeling the baby move, and I miss that when it's gone - but everything else can go! I've told Frank many times that pregnancy just makes me feel very 'unpretty'. From the weight gain, the teenager-ish breakouts, and the exhaustion, I just don't feel like myself. Some women make pregnancy look adorable, but I'm not one of them!

I haven't taken many pictures lately, but here are few cute ones of Allison eating chocolate pudding for the first time yesterday. I picked it up at the store on a whim thinking it would be a fun treat from time to time. I hit the bulls-eye on this one! She dug right in, and did all but lick the bowl clean!

This is (obviously) from Valentines Day. I thought her hair was adorable, but it didn't last long.

These are just random pics from a few days ago. I had some music playing and she danced along the whole time, oblivious to my snapping pictures.

Finally, this picture was taken last month, but I forgot to put in my last post. I love my family!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Five Step Program

My new years resolution to be a better blogger is really not working out for me. But what can I expect when I have such a bad track record with my past resolutions? I might as well just decide to fail! :)

Ok, now that you know I feel bad about the lack of communication, I can move on.

The biggest news I have to share (as some of you already know via facebook) is that we found out Monday that we are having another baby girl! She is healthy and functioning as planned at this age, which was a huge relief to hear. I was more than excited leading up to the sonogram, which can probably account for part of the reason that the whole thing seemed very anti-climatic. With Allison, I was alert and focused on the screen, Frank was pacing the room, and the moment we found out the sex we were beaming and ready to make phone calls. This time, when we were told 'it's a girl!', we remained calm and viewed it as more of an interesting fact than life changing news. Don't get me wrong, we're very excited about our new addition, but it's just such a different feeling with the second child. I find myself pondering how Allison will adjust, and ways to prepare her for the change, and wondering how my heart will find room to love another one just as much. All that will work itself out, I know - but those are the things on my mind.

I'd say the most frequent question we are getting these days is regarding the baby's name. We attempted to keep Allison's name a secret, because quite frankly we don't desire any else's opinion (which is inevitable). We also think it's a fun surprise, but our families don't really share that excitement. We haven't decided for sure yet if we will share her name in advance, but I think we will most likely keep it to ourselves. So far, though, we have not been able to stick with a name yet, so there is currently nothing to share anyway! I'm sorry if this is disappointing. We love our families, but Frank and I really cherish keeping some things between us.

The next thing I'm asked about is my back. All I can say is praise the Lord I'm still up and moving!! I don't have a single doubt in my mind that God is keeping me in good health so that I can continue to take care of Allison without burdening family and friends. I have been virtually pain free for almost 4 months now - which is longer relief than I've found with any other treatment. Last week I had a scare where I pulled my back putting Allison in her car seat, and I was in so much pain the next day that Frank had to come home from work to help with Allison. I was in tears that night thinking that it might be the end for me, but after a weekend of rest and ice packs I feel like new again. Really, this is a miracle. My back has never healed on its own.

Now for the explanation on the 'Five Step Program'. This will take a little explaining, but stick with me. As I mentioned in my last post, we got Allison a toddler bed that we planned to move her to some time before her sister arrives. In my head, I was thinking we'd wait until she turned two so that I could explain to her how great it is to have a 'big girl bed', and how she needs to give up her bed for the baby, etc. Right now, she knows that it's called her 'big girl bed', but the phrase 'big girl' has no meaning to her, and therefore no perks. Well, earlier this week I watched her attempt to climb out of her crib while I was putting away her laundry. Once I noticed that she was basically just laying on the front bar I ran over to save her (afraid of the fall) and at that point she felt like it was safe to let go because I was there to help. But that was that. She didn't try it again for a few days and I assumed she had forgotten this new trick. Yesterday, though, she was really fighting her nap, and made the decision to go for it. I was watching her in the monitor, and when I realized what she was doing I ran for her room to stop her but it was too late. She had already hit the floor and was screaming. I comforted her for a little while and then put her back to bed with the assumption that that had to have hurt too bad for her to try it again. Wrong! Just two minutes later I see her hiking her leg up on the front bar again, and this time I REALLY ran. But she was too fast and I again found her flat on the floor, and crying even harder that time. It took a lot of rocking, singing, and playing to get her to stop crying and my mama's heart wouldn't risk her doing it a third time so I gave up on the nap all together. Obviously, the crib is out, because it's not safe anymore so I needed a plan. A 'program' if you will - to make the transition to her new room.

Here were my thoughts. There is NO WAY she would get any sleep in her new room right now because it's just that: new. New room, new decorations, new toys, new bed, new freedom. So I decided that we would convert her crib to a toddler bed and leave the bumper attached so that it very closely resembles what she is already used to. With this set-up she can still safely get in and out on her own, but it require a little work to climb over the bumper. The next step will be to remove the bumper - and I'm having a hard time with that one. Allison LOVES that bumper. Ever since she was little she has crammed herself into a corner of it to sleep. She cuddles with it like a stuffed animal, and I'm honestly not sure how she'll sleep without it. The next step is to let her start taking naps in her new room. If the temptation to get up and play is too strong, then she'll take her naps in her tent in the new room instead. Finally, we'll eventually have her spend the night in her big girl bed. I anticipate that is will take a few months and a lot of sleepless afternoons, which I'm not looking forward to, but I guess this is necessary. Perhaps this was the way we should have been planning it all along, and we just needed her prodding to adjust our schedule. We'll see.

Wow. The more I write, the more I realize exactly how much I have on my mind. I think I could write a novel of thoughts at this point. Nothing super interesting, just stuff I feel like recording right now.

I think for now, though, I'll just say a quick 'thank you' to Emily Malone. I read a blog post she had about a week ago (maybe longer) about efficiency. It really made me think of how I'm going to need to restructure my time when I have two kids. Right now, I'm working on making dinners at our house less stressful. In the very recent past I had been waiting for Frank to get home before starting dinner because then he could amuse Allison so I could cook without having her hang on my legs and try to push me out of the kitchen. But I considered what she said about making dinner every other night, and then keeping leftovers so that dinner doesn't need to be a hassle every night. I've been meaning to expand my menu for quite some time now, because I'm getting tired of shopping for, cooking, and eating the same things over and over - and this seemed like a good time to finally do that. I picked out three new recipes to try this week and then made a very meticulous grocery list. I actually had more fun at the grocery store this time since my eyes were looking for new ingredients. Last night I made King Ranch Chicken. It's not difficult to make, but it is time consuming. Frank was a HUGE fan, and I was surprised that even Allison ate it! We ate almost half of it, and I froze the rest. I'm new at freezing food, and a little nervous it will be ruined, but my hope is that I can pull it out next week, and make a wonderful meal of it again. Tonight I tackled homemade baked potato soup, and that was awesome! Probably better than any soup I've ever had. MMMM! So anyway, thank you Emily for taking the time to share your thoughts. I've learned a lot from you - even at a great distance.

Finally, I will make the inevitable comments about the snow in Dallas. Personally, I don't care for snow. I think it's very pretty to look at, but I don't care to stand in it, make a snowman, or even a really good snowball. However, my assumption was that all kids love snow, and I would therefore be a bad parent if I didn't give Allison the chance to play in it. I resisted going out in it all day yesterday since the snow was literally falling from the moment I woke up till I went to bed, and I didn't want to be soaked. Today, though, we had a blanket of about 8-10 inches of snow in our yard, so Allison and I got bundled up to go play in it. The previous day I had been building it up for her. All the blinds were open so she could see out, and we'd talk about snow, and how it's cold etc. She got the idea and would run to the window and yell 'snows!'. (That's another story - Allison says all her words in the plural form right now. No idea where she learned that.) Anyway, I digress. All that to say, I expected excitement from her. However, she is certainly my child in this regard. The moment both of her feet were planted in the snow she started whining and wanted to be picked up. I didn't give up that easy. Just because I don't care for it doesn't mean she can't give it a chance. I moved in front of her to try and get her to venture out farther, but she turned around and ran back up to the front door and started pounding on it. I eventually coaxed her to walk down the driveway, and she fussed the whole time. Then she spotted a section of concrete where the snow had melted and she made her way for it. She plopped herself down right into the slushy puddle, soaking her jeans. *sigh* In my last effort to entertain her outside, I decided that it was quiet enough on our street that I could let Maggie out to run around with us. She LOVES the snow, and Allison liked watching her enjoy it. :) In all, we spent around 20 minutes outside, and then came in to get some lunch. I posted a really funny video of her outside in the snow on facebook. Definitely check that out.

Here's the view from our front door.

These pictures are in order. This is the point where she headed back to the door!

What good would a blog be without a bunch more pictures? Here are some fun ones I've collected in the last month that are unrelated.

Allison loves her cousin Drew!

Well, she's now waking up from her nap, and it's about time to start prepping for dinner so that's all! I hope you all have wonderful weekends!