Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Hope everyone has a safe and dry Halloween! We're going to go trick or treating at the neighbors tonight, and Luca is excited! He's with my sister-in-law today at his cousin's costume parade and he's wearing his glow in the dark skeleton outfit, can't wait to see the pictures.

Still on bed rest- no real update, but I have another appointment Friday and then an ultrasound next week. All I know is little girl is crazy active- she is awake and moving around ALL day! Hopefully this means she'll sleep at night when she's born?!

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Cold season survival

With the change in season, not only has Luca started to sniffle but I have too! I guess there's not a better time to get sick than while on bed rest, but I hate watching Luca suffer. Hubs and I have come up with a little bag of tricks that seem to really help when Luca is sick, and I thought I would share while cold and flu season is in high swing.

Johnson's Soothing Vapor Bath- We add 1-2 caps of this to Luca's bath at night and it really seems to help clear his runny nose before bed. It's not a soap, though, so you still have to wash your little one! It also gets very bubbly, so it takes a while to drain before I can give Luca a final clean water rinse.
Vick's Baby Vapor Rub-We love this stuff. After Luca gets a bath, I'll rub a small amount of this on his chest under his onesie, rub some on his feet, and put some socks on. This really, really helps with Luca's congestion and coughing at night. I know some people put a dab under baby's nose, but I'm not comfortable doing that quite yet, and I think he does well with it just on his chest and feet. Baby rub is less potent than regular vicks rub, so I've heard you can actually use the regular vicks on baby's feet, just not close to the face.

Cool Mist Humidifier- We use the Crane elephant humidifier, but obviously any cool mist humidifier will help. Humidifiers add moisture to the air, which helps with overnight coughing and congestion. Warm-mist and cool-mist humidifiers are equally effective in humidifying the air, but cool mist humidifiers and recommended for children because they don't have the risk of burning the baby if he/she gets too close. The only thing that's really annoying about a humidifier is that you have to clean it daily to prevent growth of bacteria or mold. Wiping down the humidifier daily with a 10 percent bleach solution (9 parts water to 1 part bleach) is one way to safely keep it clean.

Saline nasal mist and boogie wipes- The first morning Luca woke up with a completely crusty face I tried my best to wash it off with warm water and a washcloth, but Luca wanted absolutely nothing to do with me wiping his raw nose with a rough washcloth. That morning I tried to remove the crust and ended up making him bleed- so sad and I felt terrible! So we picked up some saline wipes and they seem to really help remove the crusties while calming his irritated skin. This is an item I thought was ridiculous and an unnecessary expense before needing it, but now I'm a believer!

Nosefrida snot sucker- I've spoken about this before, but basically this is a nasal aspirator that you control. Yes, you have to actually suck the mouth piece, but there is a filter so the snot never even comes close to your mouth- I promise! I think it works so much better than a traditional aspirator and you can actually see what is coming out, which I also like.

So that's what helps us- any other suggestions? Hopefully everyone stays dry this week for Halloween- we're expecting Hurricane Sandy, but I'm hoping it won't be a huge storm with power outages. The thought of bed rest while feeling sick and without any power makes me want to cry. Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Corn mazes are crazy places!

It's no secret I love fall. Not quite as much as I love the holiday season, but pretty close. A few weeks ago hubs, Luca and I joined some friends at the Davis Corn Maze and it was so much fun!

I think I was 15 weeks pregnant? Not sure, but definitely too pregnant for Luca to fit comfortably in the front carrier!

I'm not sure I've ever mentioned this carrier, but we love our Beco Gemini. We have the Bjorn and Moby wrap also, which were great when Luca was a lot smaller, but these days he's just too heavy for them and our backs were feeling it. The Gemini has two straps that cross your back, and the waist band is much more supportive than the Bjorn. My MIL actually got this for me/Luca for Christmas and it's definitely been one of our must-haves.

Anyway, the corn maze was so much fun, and when Luca gets older we are definitely going to have such a great time with all of the games. You walk in and there are so many activities for the kids- life size checkers and chess games, mega hangman, and of course the set-up to the theme of this year's maze- Clue. We chose not to really play the game and just to go thru the maze, but there were characters throughout that you could find and question to guess whodunnit.

Our friends had twins a few months ago, and it was so much fun to get out with them and spend some time with their adorable babies- one girl and one boy!

The boys. Love them.

If you've ever done a corn maze, you know how frustrating they can be! You'll be walking for a half hour and end up where you started. This corn maze had a few bridges that allowed you to try to figure out where you were, and in the middle was the end of the maze (we didn't know this until we finished!).
Trying to figure out where we are- not as easy as it looks!
My friend, her hubby, their twins, and my boys.

Finally made it to the end!

It took us about 3 hours to finish the corn maze- SO glad to be done!

I took a picture of this house near the corn maze because it looks haunted, no?!
Hubs and I were active before having Luca, but it's different now. Activities we may not have done before are now so much fun because we look at them through his eyes. It's all just so new and exciting, and I love watching him explore and learn. I've had some people tell me that every stage of a baby's development will be "the best" to you- in the beginning, there's nothing like a newborn sleeping on your chest, a few months later there's nothing like the first few gummy grins, and now it's just so much fun watching Luca explore. So I guess I agree- every stage is "the best" when you're in it! Makes me excited for the future:)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

10 months old (and still one lonely tooth!)

Dear Luca,

Ten months has flown by and mommy is already planning your 1st birthday! You are seriously SO much fun right now I can't stand it. You're growing like a weed and you've started to sleep (and eat) so much more as you gain the pounds and inches.

You're into absolutely everything around you- nothing goes unnoticed when you're exploring. You're crawling everywhere and walking on your walker, which might be the cutest thing I've ever seen (I'll try to get a video soon). You're also cruising from couch to ottoman and trying your best to stand on your own- it's only a matter of time before your legs are strong enough you can walk!

You eat every two hours or so and alternate between a bottle and a snack or solid meal. You get bored when mommy offers you the same meal more than once, so you're challenging me to get creative and keep you interested! We tried strawberries this weekend and you LOVED them and didn't have any reaction to them at all. In fact, we've been so lucky with you and foods (knocking furiously on wood!)- you haven't had an allergy to anything we've introduced and you actually seem to like variety and different textures and flavors. You even like fish!

You're so silly and love to play games and imitate what we do. You think it's hysterical when we slap our hands down on the floor or table, and you'll do it just like we do- it's adorable. Your giggles are contagious and I can't help but smile when I'm with you. Speaking of smiles- you're still flashing the single tooth on the bottom and even though you've been a bit more slobbery this week I'm not sure we have another tooth coming in for a while. It's ok, I love that little lonely tooth.

You're getting very strong and you really like to play hard. You roll and kick and slam down on the ground and just when I think you might cry you sit up and laugh- you're such a boy!

Simple things around the house become toys to you. A trashcan can keep you entertained for at least 3 minutes- a long time with your attention span these days!

You're definitely showing your opinions more and more this month. You'll tell me if you want something- and if mommy takes something away that isn't safe for you to play with, you get very upset. Sometimes I think you're frustrated because you can't verbalize what you want. You regularly say mama, dada, nana, baba, hi/hey and other baby babbles. You LOVE to play the kazoo- also one of the cutest things I've ever seen and something I need to capture on video. It started with mommy humming on the kazoo during our diaper changes (which are becoming more and more challenging as you're a squirmer!), and now you like to play as I change your diaper.

We're working on clapping, the high-five and blowing kisses. Right now you just think they're all pretty hysterical, but you've tried to high five a few times. You can wave byebye, but you don't always do it.

Luca, mommy and daddy love you so much and would do absolutely anything to make sure you're happy and healthy. Your baby sister is taking a lot of my time and energy right now, so I can't play with you as much as I want to, but I swear love you more every day.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The view from here...

...has changed a little. I mentioned in my last post that I had an appointment on Friday, and I've been put on bed rest.
I have a history of cervical shortening/incompetence during my pregnancy with Luca, but so far things had been ok with this pregnancy. I had a routine ultrasound and baby looked perfect- I even got some really cute profile pictures and I was feeling great about the whole thing until my Dr. came into the exam room.
She told me that I would be headed over to the hospital and I should plan on staying there for at least the weekend. This was a huge surprise to me. Apparently my cervix shortened a cm since my ultrasound last week, and she wanted me to see a perinatologist and get a second ultrasound with another machine. But the thought of having to spend the entire weekend away from my family made me physically ill, and I asked if there was any way I could do it from home. So my Dr. called over to the hospital and spoke with one of the perinatologists who agreed that I would be ok at home if I stayed off my feet. So here I am, on the couch.
Honestly, I feel deep down that everything is going to be just fine, but obviously my number one concern is the health of my sweet girl. I'm only 21 weeks along, so it's still very early and it was really hard to hear the Drs speaking about my baby as a non-viable until 24 weeks. I was told that if things don't improve or worsen by 24 weeks, I would most likely be admitted into the hospital until 32ish weeks- that terrifies me because I'm not sure how much I would see Luca.
So we take it day by day. If my cervix lengthens by this week's appointment, maybe I'll be able go back to work for a while. I'm willing to do whatever it takes so this baby makes it full term- I made it to 36 weeks with Luca so I'm confident it's possible!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

20 weeks- half way there!

I cannot believe how fast time has flown since we found out I was pregnant with baby#2. I'm feeling so much better, and my time with Luca is so much more enjoyable now that I'm not constantly nauseous!

20 weeks

Some milestones: we're half way to 40 weeks! I'm not sure I'll actually make it to 40 weeks for a few different reasons, but it's so fun to know that we're getting closer and closer to having a little lady around the house!

Last week I had some sort of stomach bug (we think). It started with pretty mild cramps, and within a few hours I was having contractions and I was getting very sick to my stomach. It was SO scary when I realized that my stomach wasn't just upset, I was actually feeling it harden and I couldn't talk I was in so much pain. A few weeks ago a girl at work who is pregnant asked if I could tell the difference between braxton hicks and real contractions when I was pregnant with Luca, and my response was that "if you can't speak and they are so painful they take your breath away, they're probably real".

I managed to get some sleep, but called the Dr. in the morning and they saw me the same day for an ultrasound. She wanted to make sure my cervix hadn't shortened because I have a history of that happening. Luckily, it wasn't much different than the week before, but she agreed that they were most likely contractions. I didn't know that if you have an illness, it can cause you to have contractions, but now I know! 

During the ultrasound, I also found out that I have partial placenta previa, which is when the placenta is partially covering the cervix. It's not a huge deal now, and hopefully it will migrate away from my cervix so I don't have to have a c-section. Fingers crossed!
One huge difference between this pregnancy and my pregnancy with Luca is that my placenta is posterior this time. I'm actually able to feel little girl dancing around so much earlier this time, and I love it! Hubs can even feel her from the outside, and I don't think we were able to feel that with Luca until much, much later because I had an anterior placenta.

I've been thinking a lot about the nursery, but Luca's 1st birthday is also fast approaching, so my priority is organizing that and getting the invites in the mail!

Luca checking out the belly

Luca notices something is different with mommy, but obviously has no idea why I have a bit more to love these days. Speaking of a bit more to love, I'm not even going to talk about how much weight I've gained already! I think the combination of Luca nursing less and less, and my supply dropping so much has allowed me to not only gain the pregnancy weight, but a bit of the weaning weight too! It's awful, but I feel ok so I'm trying not to look at the scale too much. My cheeks have already started the transition into pregnant face, and occasionally my nose will join the party too. I feel like my face shape changes daily.

I don't really have any cravings or aversions, although steak still doesn't appeal to me at all. I started wearing maternity clothes a while ago, and I'm not going back- stretchy pants are just way to comfortable.

Let's see... baby weighs about 10.5 ounces and is about the length of a banana. She's also actually swallowing, so perhaps I'll start to eat more of a variety of food so she is just as adventurous as Luca is with new foods.

I have to be honest, this time it's so much more realistic to me that there will actually be a little human in a few months. With Luca it all felt so surreal- the updates would tell me his ears were fully formed and in the right place, or he was practicing breathing, but I still didn't really get it. I get it now- motherhood is just as wonderful as everyone says, and meeting your baby after carrying him or her for nine or ten months is truly magical. I hope this time I'll be more aware of it all after I deliver- the first few moments are so precious, and with Luca I was just in awe of it all.

So that's it- we're half way! I have another appointment tomorrow, so I'm excited to see little miss again on the ultrasound :) 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Feels like fall

With the temperature a lot cooler these days, I've been craving warm dishes, yummy smells, and cuddles with my boys. I love when other blogs share recipes, so I thought I might share my recipe for veggie chili (with chicken!). Hubs will eat vegetarian dishes, but doesn't really love them unless there's some sort of meat so although it recipe is actually excellent without meat, I choose to add it. You could add ground beef, shredded chicken, diced pork, or leave it veggie!

1 large onion
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 large/medium zucchini
1can whole corn (frozen or fresh off the cob will work too), drained
28 oz diced tomatoes, preferably fire roasted
15 oz (or more if you like beans) black beans, rinsed and drained
optional- 15oz pinto beans
1 cup picante sauce
1cup water or low sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp basil

2 large chicken breasts, either sauteed or diced and boiled for a few minutes. I like to season the chicken with cumin and garlic pepper before sauteing.

Step 1: chop all veggies

Step 2: saute onion in about 1tbsp vegetable oil until translucent, add all other veggies, spices, corn and tomatoes and saute for about 5 minutes. If you're using frozen corn, saute earlier with onions.

Step 3: after combining veggies, cook chicken thoroughly and drain

Step 4: Add chicken and beans to veggies and add picante sauce, chicken broth. Bring to a boil then simmer for about 25 min

* I actually will add more liquid and/or picante if it seems like it's a little too thick, but hubs likes his soup chunky!

Serve over rice or we like this with dinner rolls. 

Step 5: clean up your helper and get him to bed!

Hope everyone is enjoying fall so far- I love when it's cool enough I can light my spiced pumpkin yankee candles!

Monday, October 8, 2012

A sister for Luca!

Happy Monday!
Things have been a little hectic around here lately, but I wanted to share that we found out we're having a girl! I've mentioned before that this pregnancy felt different, but I can honestly say that I really knew it was a girl from the beginning. Here's our little lady a couple of weeks ago..

Little feet.. so cute
And the money shot, legs and no wee wee!

We had ultrasounds with Luca almost every other week because of my cervical shortening, but it's been a lot better this pregnancy so we've been able to go 3-4 weeks between scans. It's nice because I know it means I'm less at risk for pre-term labor, but I did enjoy getting to see Luca so often during the ultrasounds.

So here's the thing about finding out the sex- I was SO nervous to hear boy or girl because I knew deep down I really wanted a girl. I'm adopted, and I've always wondered what my birth mom looks like. It's strange but I don't really wonder if my biological father and I looked alike- I've just always thought about what it would be like to have another woman who shares the same smile, eyes, or mannerisms. Luca does share some of my features, but he's very much a boy and looks a LOT like his daddy. So finding out we're having a girl has been really special to me- I'm sure she'll look a lot like her daddy too, but it's doing to be so much fun having a boy and a girl.

But... when we found out she was a girl I had a moment of sadness for Luca. My husband is one of three and he has two sisters. He loves them very much, but I know he's always wanted the bond of a brother. Luca is so outnumbered by girls in our family (he's the only boy of six- soon to be seven- grandchildren), and it would've been so special for him to have a brother. So I celebrated for myself, but felt a little selfish in doing so. Silly? Maybe, but it's how I felt. He's going to be an excellent big brother to his little sister- I know it. Maybe she'll even throw the ball around with him too- we'll see:)

So things are moving along here- I promised myself I would be better this pregnancy at documenting weekly photos, but I've been worse! I'm just so.darn.tired. I work, pick up Luca, feed him dinner, bathe him and put him to bed, make dinner for myself and hubs, and then it's my bedtime! What on earth will I do when the new baby comes?! I'm sure I'll sleep again someday.

Overall though I've been feeling a lot better. The first trimester was nausea, nausea and more nausea. Now it's just exhaustion with a sprinkle of nausea here and there. Luca's sleep has changed dramatically- I think it's a combination of him wanting to stand and move around all the time, and separation anxiety. He's been waking several times a night, and it's very difficult to calm him down when you leave and he's immediately standing in his crib again. So we have some work to do in the sleep department before baby #2 arrives.

Here's the most recent belly photo- this was taken a few weeks ago at 16 weeks, so I need to get with it and take another soon!

Any suggestions for dealing with separation anxiety at night (not even sure anyone reads this blog)?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Luca's nursery!

This is a post I've been meaning to write for..uh... seven months? It's going to feel sooo good to hit publish on this one:) Luca's nursery took a while to complete with some of the details, but we had the majority of it done before we left for the hospital the day I delivered Luca.

I knew I wanted something fun, but not too over the top. When I told hubs I was thinking a safari theme, he went nuts sending me pictures of monkeys hanging, decals on the wall, and not-so-subtle animals scattered throughout the nursery. We had to meet somewhere in the middle and this is what we got!

 When we bought our house, this room was pink pink pink... with wallpaper. One of our first projects in the house was to take off the wallpaper, and I was surprised at how easy it was. I had seen shows on HGTV and DIY where it took an entire day just to remove the wallpaper, so I was ready with my steamer and scraper. I think we got really lucky with that one. The wall colors are Benjamin Moore French White and I can't remember the green (I'll find it and update).
I wanted Luca's initial above his crib, but wanted to incorporate the giraffe pattern, so I painted the L (from Michael's) the same color as the wall, purchased the oval wood (also Michael's), and had hubs staple the fabric. It actually ended up being quite the project, and I can post more if anyone is interested.
My fabulous mother-in-law made the crib skirt and valances, and I love them! The fabric is Giraffe Java from
We used one of our maternity photos taken by Amanda of Doubly Happy Photography as a gallery wrap from mpix.

We also had Luca imprint his hands and foot for us to remember... love those little hands:)

The woman who helps clean our house made Luca this name collage out of photographs she has taken locally and in her back yard. You might not be able to tell, but the trees spell his name. We love it (and love her) and I think it works perfectly in the room!
Zebra light switch: etsy seller Spotted Dog Studios
Elephant toy: Pottery barn kids

I searched and searched to find the perfect prints for Luca's nursery. I wanted photos of real animals with their babies, and I found so many beautiful pictures, but they were all only available in large poster size. I finally found a photographer on etsy that had the perfect combination! Photos: Suzi Eszertas on Etsy

...and of course Max has to have his own bed in the nursery!
This might be my favorite part of Luca's nursery- his elephant hamper! I registered for this knowing that it was a silly thing to ask for, but hoping I might be able to use my completion discount. My MIL actually gave it to me for my birthday- the BEST present!

So Luca's nursery is finally done! Now onto the next nursery! This time I'm thinking pink:)