Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Lucy 13 & 14 Months

I decided to stop doing monthly updates after 1 year of age for Lucy because, well, it just seemed like a good time to stop and I didn't know how sustainable monthly updates will be once we have 2, 3 maybe even 4 little ones running around here! Heck... maybe the blog won't even be around by then. But I did want to do an update about the past couple months because they have brought tons of new changes as Lucy moves into full swing toddler-hood. I want to make sure to remember what 13/14 months is like so that way when future babies come along I won't be thinking, "well, Lucy never did this" or "Lucy always slept so well, what's wrong with this new baby" - I want to remember that things weren't always perfect, by the book, or on schedule!

So these past two months the biggest change (that has then affected every other area of my life) has been Lucy's sleep schedule. I started noticing that when we got back from the cruise (and right before), Lucy was being a little finicky about going down for 2 naps, sometimes just playing in her crib until I would get her after 45 minutes or so. She also started playing for about an hour every night when we laid her down for bed. So finally about 3 weeks ago I decided we'd move to one nap even though I wasn't ready for it and I don't think Lucy was really ready for it, I was thinking we'd have two naps for at least another couple months.

The great thing about moving to one nap is that we are able to do a lot more of the fun kid stuff, like go to the library, make play dates, go to the pool, etc. because I'm not rushing from one nap to the next. Lucy also takes a solid 2 hour nap and typically goes down pretty good at night instead of having 2 shorter naps and a rough bed time. Unfortunately, I'm just not used to this new schedule - so while I'm excited to do some of the fun new stuff we are able to do, we haven't really yet because I've been so used to having to be at home for 4 hours of the day. I also can't quite figure out when to get anything done, especially because not only did I lose a good chunk of mommy-alone time by getting rid of a nap, Lucy also wants to be held almost the entire time she is awake (part of why I don't think she was fully ready to give up the second nap). The days are getting better, and I've found certain things that keep her happy (like being outside, going on walks, reading), but all of those things involve me and don't allow me to get things done around the house.

Some days are ok, but it seems most days, this is the face I usually see...

Lucy seems frustrated about most things, and I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what it is she wants to make her stop crying (i.e. she wants a cracker, but I can't find which one she wants so she throws a "tantrum" until we get the right one, and oh yeah I can't hand her the cracker, she needs to be able to get it out of the box herself, I figured that out after another "tantrum".) These days most of her communication involves, crying, whining, hitting, and pushing.

And it seems as long as I'm around, nobody else is as good as mom. I'll leave to volunteer on Saturday mornings and Ben says she won't cry at all. But as soon as I get home, the crying (or should I call it whining because most often it's a fake cry) begins...

It seems, around everyone else Lucy is a completely happy baby, who doesn't cry. But around me she is only happy if I'm holding her.

I haven't quite figured out this new schedule either - some days Lucy is exhausted by 11:30 and passes out in the car (I never mind this though, mostly because its so precious, but also because she usually transitions to her crib no problem)

But some days I lay her down at 12:30 (her usual nap time and she plays for a while). Same with night time, some nights she goes down at 7:30 no problem, some nights she plays for an hour. It's nice that it's playing and not crying - but I just wish I could figure out when this girl is supposed to be sleeping!

So that's what I've been busy doing lately - fortunately, I know in time, this phase too shall pass, and we'll get back into a routine and things will be grand... I just need to survive until then!

Ok, how about some fun updates... Lucy talks up a storm these days - "momma, dada, cracker (this is her favorite word), bapala (or something like that, she says the same phrase every time she wants a banana), baby, quack, dog, grandpa, JJ (jadyn), ball, paci, no, hi, bye"... and maybe some others I can't think of now. She also knows where her nose, ears, head, belly and toes are. She's able to go up and down the stairs on her own, and loves climbing on top of and standing on top of just about anything. As I've mentioned before she LOVES being outside. We spend most of our days swinging, walking, pushing things and playing in our sandbox. We also spend a good amount of the day reading books, so I try to take a trip to the library about once a week to refresh our collection. She's super, super outgoing and waves at literally every person she sees when we go out (expect if they wave at her first, it's funny, she has to initiate the wave, otherwise she gets shy), and loves playing with other children. I've enjoyed having my niece and nephew over to play because that is one time Lucy seems to stop caring about me and wants to be off and playing with the kids.

A couple fun pictures from the past two months...

Playing in the sandbox with dad...

Brushing her teeth...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Weekly Menus

I've decided to start a little something new on my blog - recording the weekly recipes I plan for our family. It's mostly for my benefit, since I feel like every week I am racking my brain trying to think of new stuff to cook... but I also figured anybody else who reads this might benefit too, since I know I like using recipes my friends have recommended!

I'm going to include the recipe, a link or the recipe (if I got it online) and then a rating - "make again", "ok", or "don't make again". These are mostly reviews given by Ben, but including my thoughts on if the meal was worth all the effort put in! For our family, Ben likes meat, fried things and generally stuff I consider pretty unhealthy :). I like to make sure we are getting all of our food groups in and eating healthy, so you'll see a large variety in what I prepare as I try to keep Ben happy but stay healthy as well!

MONDAY- Rachel Ray Buffalo Chicken Sandwich (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/hot-buffalo-chicken-sandwiches-recipe/index.html): Make Again... this is super easy and Ben loves this meal. I already forget what I served on the side, I think maybe salad... thus why these posts will be helpful in the future.
TUESDAY- Bennihanas Fried Rice (I used a recipe from a cookbook, but the first time I made this I had found a good recipe online. I liked the online recipe better): Make Again. We served frozen egg rolls and edamame on the side.
WEDNESDAY- Black Bean Burritos (http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Delicious-Black-Bean-Burritos/Detail.aspx): Make Again. This was a new recipe I tried, and I really liked it... Ben was ok about it, but since it was simple and healthy, I'm definitely going to make it again.

I had Chicken Lo Mein planned for Thursday, but I think we ended up having plans twice this week, so I actually ended up wasting some of my ingredients... boo.

And I made these bad boys for Lucy's lunches, but they were not a hit. I ended up throwing most of them away because I didn't really like them either.

Spinach Nuggets

1 16-oz package frozen chopped spinach, cooked, drained, and chopped further if needed
1 cup Seasoned bread crumbs - (3/4 cup breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup wheat germ or flax meal is a healthy substitution!)
1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese Try tomato & basil cheddar!)
3 Large eggsor 5 egg yolks

Heat oven to 375F

1. Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil and set aside.
2. Combine all remaining ingredients and mix well. *Add seasonings if you like - garlic powder, pepper, extra basil & oregano for example. Add a fruit or veggie puree to substitute for the eggs if desired*.
3. Shape mixture into nuggets or fun shapes such as squares or squigglies etc..and place on baking tray. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, turn nuggets over after 15 minutes. Serve warm

You can "roll" this out and then try using small cookie cutters to make these into fun shapes

Friday, May 20, 2011

Summer Days

It has finally been warming up around here, so Lucy and I have been taking full advantage of the nice weather and playing outside a lot! This is Lucy's absolute favorite thing to do - she LOVES being outside.

My mom gave her this baby doll stroller and she loves to push her baby around in it. It's pretty cute to watch.

Although we've had a couple moments when the stroller was not cooperating with Lucy and so the baby got tossed. These are the times when I realize that we are in full swing toddler-hood, as Lucy tries to communicate something with me, and then gets irritated when I can't figure out what she wants.

Finally she was happy to sit in the stroller herself! I think she's practicing to be a big sister...

And of course, with the weather heating up, we had to break out our kiddie pool. I tried to get more pictures of this day because we had a lot of fun playing in the water and eating Popsicles, but I realized a lot were not internet appropriate. But here's our back yard set up... I was concerned about Lucy getting too much sun, so I rigged up a little backyard oasis for us.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Baby 2 - 12 Week Update

I'm way behind on my blogging, as I've been wanting to get an update on Lucy and and update on the pregnancy on the blog for the past couple weeks, but somebody has been keeping me very, very preoccupied (more on that in the next post). For now, I wanted to report on the happenings of baby 2 and the pregnancy so far. As I mentioned in my previous posts, some of the immediate symptoms I had before taking the pregnancy test were the same as with Lucy, and it turned out that the entire first trimester has been almost exactly the same. Same cravings - salty foods, McDonald's french fries and same aversions - coffee (convenient since I gave it up anyway!) and sweet things don't really sound that appealing (don't get me wrong, I'll have dessert, I just don't care for it as much as I did before). I also get in the mood for random things at random times and that is pretty much the only thing I want... that seems to change daily.

Nausea and fatigue were pretty much the same too - fortunately, as with Lucy, I never actually got sick, I just felt nauseated if I didn't keep my stomach full. Ben and I joke that I usually have 1st breakfast, 2nd breakfast, 1st lunch, 2nd lunch, dinner and then a bed time snack. Unfortunately, as with Lucy, this led to weight gain in the first trimester which is not ideal! At least this time I knew that I would gain the weight this first trimester and then things would slow down once my appetite went away (which it already has!) So, I've gained about 10 pounds so far, which is far too much for an average pregnancy but I guess for my pregnancies it is normal, because that's exactly how much I gained with Lucy.

Although the tiredness was the same, it still felt miserable! I had forgotten how tired the first trimester really makes you. Except this time around, one benefit of being at home instead of working, I got to take naps when Lucy napped or at least rest a bit when she rested. The tiredness lasted for about 6 weeks (I'm starting to feel a lot better) and honestly in the midst of it, I literally felt depressed. We had a really rainy April, which I think made my mood even worse, so I felt like doing nothing. At least when I was working, I was forced to go do something every day, see people, act normal. This time around, I was too tired to make plans, but I got so tired of sitting in the house... watching the rain come down. So I was in a pretty bad mood about my situation (the hormones probably didn't help). My internal clock also seems to have switched, like with Lucy - I'm exhausted and ready for bed at about 9pm and up in the morning at 7/7:30am ready to go (normally I'm more of a night owl).

Back to the hormones - I felt emotionally about the same, on the verge of tears any time I read or see anything slightly emotional and I've felt just the slightest bit more on edge... luckily Ben was ready for it this time! Tiny things seem to bother me and I find myself getting annoyed easily. It's funny, I know when I'm being bothered that it's totally irrational and that I'm only upset because of the pregnancy... but that does not seem to make me feel any better or make the situation any less irritating!

The biggest difference this time around is that my belly has already started to pop out. I looked back at my "15 week survey" and saw that I wasn't even wearing maternity clothes yet. This time around I broke out my maternity pants at around 9 or 10 weeks! It just felt wrong keeping them locked up when my regular pants were starting to get too uncomfortable.

Here's my belly so far with baby 2 (this is supposed to be 12 weeks... but it's actually 13!)

I think that pretty much sums up the last 12 weeks - thankfully I am beginning to feel so much more normal, and am very excited to enjoy the honeymoon phase of this pregnancy!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Big Sister

We have some news to share...

Lucy's going to be a big sister! I am 12 weeks pregnant today - we've told most of our family and friends, but now that I'm officially done with my first trimester I thought it was time to share the big news on our blog.

We found out around 5 or 6 weeks - I had come home from volunteering and told Ben that, "I may be crazy, but I feel like I'm pregnant." I had woken up that morning feeling kind of dizzy in the shower and nauseated before I ate breakfast. Then while I was down at the Shepard clinic I started getting hungry again (I always had to eat 2 breakfasts when I was pregnant with Lucy). And to top it all off, I had driven by a McDonald's the day before and had this strong desire for their fries (my favorite food while I was pregnant with Lucy). Granted, all these things could have just been in my head, so I told Ben I was going to take a test, but I was 95% sure I wasn't pregnant.

Boy was I wrong! We were both so excited to see the positive result on the test, and I was personally so excited that getting pregnant had been so easy this time around. It had taken us about 6 months to get pregnant with Lucy, so we just assumed it would take that long this time around. In fact, I had made an appointment to see the doctor to talk about why my period hadn't come back after stopping nursing. Well... turns out it hadn't come because I was pregnant! Needless to say we were planning for the babies to be closer to 2 years apart, but since the pregnancy came a little faster they will be more like 20 months apart. Baby 2 is due November 24th (Thanksgiving).

I plan to take some pictures of my belly to post along the way - probably not as many as with Lucy, but I'll probably do a monthly update. And of course share how I'm feeling... more on that to come in later posts. For now, we just wanted to share our excitement. We can't wait to meet our new baby in 6 short months!

Mini Marathon

This past weekend Ben ran in the mini marathon! I was so proud of him for not only getting a great time, but also for all of the training he did leading up to it. There were many mornings that he would wake up at 5:30am go to the gym and run, just so he could get home and hang out with Lucy and I during the evenings.

Not only did Ben do the marathon, but 3 of his brothers and his mom ran as well. Lucy and I went to watch, but unfortunately only caught site of Ben and Ross (although Luke and Nick ran by while we were standing there, some how we missed them). Here are all the boys after the race (we missed seeing Mom Wehner because it had started raining and we needed to head to the car before she crossed the finish)

Lucy and I tried to catch Ben at the 4 mile mark (which also happened to be the 10 mile mark) but I think we just missed him. I was so bummed, Lucy and I had rushed out the door, and rushed to the 4 mile mark, but Ben was able to get to the start line faster than we had planned so I think I was about 10 minutes to late. We did get to see him at mile 10, we just had to wait about an hour till he came back around.

Katy and Brandon were in town for Katy's graduation so they met up with us at the finish and then we celebrated with Ben at Taste in Broad Ripple.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mothers Day 2011

Last year we planted a tree on Mother's Day - Lucy was almost 2 months old. Here we are with the tree last year...

And here we are this year! Lucy has definitely grown! I'm not so sure about the tree... at least it looks a little fuller. Maybe in about 10 years we'll actually have some shade in our backyard!

A couple more shots of mom and baby...

We had trouble getting both of us to look...

I tried to get a couple of shots with Lucy by some flowers in her pretty dress from Heather and Christian... but couldn't get her to look here either! I think there was just too much going on outside!

At least I got one look by her sandbox...

And one with her daddy...

We spent the morning relaxing - Ben was going to get me another tree to plant, but I decided I wanted to go shopping for clothes instead (maybe we'll just plant one for each kid or something.) We were getting ready to leave for the morning, but Lucy was getting fussy so we laid her down and she ended up sleeping for 2 hours... thus, no shopping trip that day (although I did some online ordering instead!) It was nice to just sit around though, Ben made breakfast and cleaned up (what a treat!) and after Luc woke up we headed to my moms for a family get together.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Rainy Days

It has been raining, A LOT, around here lately, so Lucy and have been spending a lot of time inside. During these days Lucy has read a lot, run around the house a lot, gone up and down the stairs a lot, and emptied out as many things as possible. I'm not going to lie, I've been going a bit stir crazy - but fortunately, somebody has been keeping me on my toes...

This was a fun mess to clean up!

Lucy has also likes to climb in and out of our stove drawer. I especially liked these photos because she and her baby doll look like twins!

Kisses for the baby...

Fortunately I don't think it can continue to rain for much longer, so I'm looking forward to warm outside days playing in the yard, going to the pool and taking lots of walks!

My favorite chair

Recently, Lucy has figured out how to climb up onto things. She is so proud of herself when she does this, shouting, clapping and hopping up and down whenever she is pulled herself up onto something - it's pretty adorable. One of her favorite things to climb up on to is a chair we have in the corner of our family room. It's probably my least favorite item in our home (a chair Ben's had since college), but now I've found a new love for this chair as I watch Lucy climb up onto it and sit, completely content, for at least 10 minutes (which is like and hour in toddler world).

Here she is with some of her friends (baby and big bird)...

I took shots over a couple days to show just how much she gets into the chair... it's a daily ritual. This time I saw her rocking her baby in the chair... just like her momma rocks her...

We've also had snack time in the chair- it makes me feel like she's so grown up. I give her a cup of crackers and her milk and she sits still to eat them.