Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Borrowed Time

This past week has been incredibly busy for our little family. I think James and I were hoping that things would slow down as we approached our new time as a family of four. Instead, we continue to cram in more activities before things get even busier. 

On Friday, each of our offices had their respective baby showers for us. Between the gifts and gift cards received, we have pretty much cleared out our entire registry. If you want to get us something, we love Huggies. We are really blessed to have such great support systems at work, and we're pretty excited to have some new things for our new addition. 

We (and by we, I mean James) spent all of Saturday with the pit. There was a lot of meat and a lot of laughter. It's always nice to spend time with friends, and it wears us all out enough that everyone gets a good night of rest. I woke up early on Sunday, but Cullen slept in, so I still managed to get in some quiet time to read part of the newspaper. 

Sunday was mostly a day of recovery, but we had some friends over to work on the nursery. I think I've been avoiding putting things away in there, just because I hate telling Cullen that he can't hang out with me while I get it done. At the same time, we all know that I would get nothing done if Cullen was "helping" with that project. Megan was a huge boost in morale for me, and I was able to get every single item put away in its proper place. We even have clean sheets on the crib that Harrison may not sleep in for months. But it looks nice!

I still have a few projects to wrap up before Harrison's arrival, but I have my list down to a manageable level. I honestly expect to have the list complete before the end of the upcoming weekend. If it isn't complete, I (at the very least) need to pack my hospital bag. That one is a 15 minute project I've been putting off for a few weeks now. With just a couple of weeks to go, I should probably get to work on that. 

As time closes in on us, I'm really trying to get more talks and one-on-one time in with Cullen. Moments where we really get to talk about whatever is on his heart at the moment. Cullen regularly says things that leave us in stitches, and there have been a couple recently that really stuck with me. 

If you've known me for very long, you likely know that I have to fill in my eyebrows with a pencil. There are more scars from chickenpox than hairs, so it's just a little part of my morning routine. Cullen caught me "coloring them" on Monday morning and said, "You color your eyebrows? I just have hairs for eyebrows." 

On Monday afternoon, we had to take Scout in to get her flu shot. Dogs get flu shots, you ask? If they want to be boarded at the place we take Scout, apparently, they do. Scout is a terrible passenger in the car. She gets carsick, she walks around aimlessly, and she falls down when you're sitting at a stoplight. Making a turn while she's standing can be devastating. As we turned onto 10 to head to the vet, I told Scout and Cullen to "hold onto your britches." It's not like Scout sees that as a warning or that Cullen even needs the warning, but I said it anyway. I laughed when Cullen reminded me that Scout doesn't have any hands. She also does not have any britches. 

As our little family lives on borrowed time before we become a bigger family, keep us in your prayers. We've got some big changes coming up very soon. As much as I'm looking forward to the new things ahead of us, I'm really holding onto what we have now. We're some lucky people.

xoxo ashley

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Losing Focus

I'm finding it increasingly hard to focus on any one task. There's just too many things left to do before our family expands. Last night, I managed to install the car seat mirror, bake four cakes, roll out seven dozen cake balls, paint wooden letters for a wreath, and completely forget to eat dinner. I'm not sure what I'm completing anymore, but I've started quite a few projects. I'm going to start trying to complete projects in the morning when I can't sleep.

There's always time for Icees and cups of ice. That's not really a project, but it's a luxury I'm making time for. It takes a long time to eat a Route 44 cup of ice. 
I've been avoiding buying new things for our new arrival, because I know his closet is already full of clothes. I had a ridiculously stressful day last week, so I went and shopped the clearance rack at Carter's. One itty bitty outfit for Harrison and one huge (at least it seemed that way to me) set of pajamas for Cullen, and I was all better for less than $10. 
That afternoon, I got home to find two new sets of Inchbug labels in the mail. I guess his name is official now. No turning back!
During our walks through L&D at both of our potential hospitals, I noticed that so many of the rooms had these adorable wreaths on the doors. One Pinterest visit later, I was sold that I had to have one, too. I didn't want my baby to be the only one without one! I bought all of the supplies yesterday and started by painting the wooden letters last night. If I give an hour to this project each evening, I should have it done by next week. Maybe.
In a couple of days, both of our offices are throwing baby showers for us. At my request, we're not having any outside of work. I just feel weird about asking friends to buy us gifts when they've already done it. And we hardly need anything this time anyway! We're doing some BBQing on Saturday, and then Megan and I will spend Sunday sorting through baby items and getting things organized. If it wasn't actually on my calendar, it might not get done. That's embarrassing. 

xoxo ashley

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Soaking Up The Summer

As we churn into the last month of my pregnancy, it's becoming more and more real that we are about to be a family of four. It seems to really freak James out when I say things like "just a few more weeks." 

While normal people would be moving into their every two weeks part of the pregnancy, we are closing in on weekly visits. To be quite honest, I don't mind. I enjoy listening to James and Dr. Schmidt joke around, and it's so much easier to talk to the doctor instead of calling the nurse all the time like this is my first pregnancy. Not that I do that.

At my appointment last week, I was diagnosed with anemia. As I sat there crunching on my Route 44 cup of ice (ice cravings are symptomatic of anemia), the doctor shares my results like it's no big deal. I'm on some iron supplements and will be eating lots of red meat about a month from now. Steaks, cheeseburgers, and Lupe fajitas top my list. Until then, keep on with the cheap ice at Sonic. Yum.

We also got another peek at our little guy. This is the first ultrasound we've gotten that isn't an exact match for Cullen. This little one is a tiny bit smaller than Cullen was at this stage, and his profile looks a little bit different. Maybe this one will look like mommy? Only time will tell!
After our appointment was Cullen's big brother class at the hospital. He is still not a fan of being a "big brother," but he seems happy enough being a Cullen with a baby. Oh well. He learned about toys you don't give to babies, how to change a diaper (like I would really let a 3 year old do that?), and to never feed a baby anything (Mommy and Daddy are in charge of that). The end of the class was a tour of the L&D wing of the hospital, so Cullen has now gotten to see both hospitals. I'm hoping that will make the sight of Mommy in a hospital bed a little less frightening.  
After sibling class? Empanada dinner. We're getting him closer and closer to eating ones with filling. So close. 
Saturday morning, we started out at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Cullen really enjoyed it, and I'm looking forward to a trip back while I'm on maternity leave and Cullen is in school. I think it's safest if we don't take the caped crusader into the Faberge exhibit. Cullen was equal parts intrigued and frightened by some of the dinosaurs, but it was such a neat experience. While walking under a T-Rex, Cullen turned to James and said, "Pick up the Batman." It will probably be no big deal next time we're there. 
Saturday afternoon, we headed over to Peg and Andy's for some down time. Peg, Lynn, and I got our nails done while the boys went swimming. Cullen has really blossomed this summer in the pool, and I'm guessing we'll be able to call him water safe by next summer. Luckily, my parents have a heated pool, so maybe we won't have to take a months-long break before picking back up on swimming next summer.  
I feel bad when I think about the fact that Cullen's leisurely baths may be cut short pretty soon. I'm hoping he can still enjoy bubble baths while our new little guy uses an infant tub next to the garden tub. In my mind (where things go so magically), I'll be able to get Cullen set up with a bubble bath, bathe and re-dress the little one, and then finish up Cullen's bath while our other child sits quietly and waits? Ha. 
As my nesting mode starts to creep in, I'm freaking out a little bit that I've done next to nothing to prepare for this baby. It's just too easy when all you have to do is clean up some of the things you already have! Lucky for us, we were recently gifted a new carseat and a new stroller. The stroller arrived yesterday, so Cullen "helped" me put it together and then practiced pushing his baby around the kitchen. After getting the stroller put together, Cullen asked, "Can he come out now?" 
Before we know it, there will be a real baby in that stroller, and we will be all kinds of busy. We're excited to meet our new little blessing!

xoxo ashley

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Crocodile Encounters

This past Sunday, we headed out to Angleton to experience Crocodile Encounters. This was seriously one of the best family activities we've done in a while. I can't remember how I stumbled across this little gem, but I've been wanting to take Cullen for a few months now. A highlight for me is that my middle school science teacher owns the place. Mr. Dieter was one of my favorite teachers, and I knew from my time in his class that this would be a unique experience. 

We got there a little early and had to wait for the tour to start. That one is always hit or miss with a less-than-patient Cullen. Luckily, there were two very big snakes to entertain Cullen. He walked back and forth between the enclosures updating us on snake activity (napping, playing, being fat, etc.). 

During our wait, Mr. Dieter walked through and started asking guests where they were from. He pointed to me, and said, "I know you. You were one of my students. You're Ashley Bailey, aren't you?" Hilarious. 

So we went on the tour. So awesome. Our tour guide for the first half of the tour was Leonard, and he was incredibly knowledgeable about all of the animals. As a mom, I was terrified when he was in the enclosure with the alligators. It was so neat to watch the alligator pop up in the water when he heard Leonard walk up with lunch. 
And really awe inspiring when he started coming out of the water to get the chicken.
Look at that guy! 
Seeing the alligator entirely out of the water made me think that Leonard's mom doesn't know where he works. It also reminded me of a bumper sticker I saw years ago that said, "Don't tell my mom I'm a pilot. She thinks I'm a piano player in a whore house." In all seriousness, the animals were well-trained, so maybe I'm just hormonal and anxious. (<-- comments="" in="" need="" not="" of="" p="" rhetorical="" statement="">
Next up was feeding the giant tortoises. 
These little guys loved bananas. 
Cullen was even brave enough to help feed them. 
Banana munching tortoise. 
Cullen loved watching the turtles fight over the bananas.  
And he was even brave enough to pet some of them!
There were also some really great crocodiles.  
And check out this crocodile snack! 
There were so many animals we didn't get a picture of. I'm hoping to be back out there next month for a birthday party, so I'll see if I can't catch more then. 

Our last stop was to see and hold a snake. As it turns out, I'm still not a fan of snakes. Creepy things. 
Of course, Cullen showed no fear. He held one for about two seconds before I reminded him not to squeeze it, and he decided he was done. 
Of course, James looks like a snake charmer. 
And Wiley is right at home with them. 
We had a really great time on the tour, and I'm so glad we got to go. Cullen keeps asking when we can go back. Not soon enough, I suppose.

xoxo ashley

Time with the Littles

For just a shade over a week, we got to spend some extra time with Stephanie and her kids this summer. I think we all look forward to their visit for months, and that makes the time pass so quickly. 

We got in a whole lot of swim time. We got to see Despicable Me 2 in the theater. We got to see the fireworks together on the fourth. We celebrated Peg's birthday on the 4th and 5th (including pie and cake and Chuck E Cheese).

We wore this kid out so bad that he decided to come downstairs in the middle of the night for milk and slept in the living room until 9 the next morning. 
We got to have Lauren and Kellie spend the night for an evening of excess for three. 
And we even made it out to another birthday party before more time swimming and eating. The week that Steph visits is exhausting (and I go home each day), but it is so much fun to see our kids enjoy one another. I can't wait until we have more cousins close by to play with!

xoxo ashley

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Boy Updates

I find it hard to believe that it's already July. Wow. This is our last full month before our latest addition makes his arrival. I can't believe it has all passed so quickly! And that I've done next to nothing to prepare. Oops.

Cullen will be finishing up the last of his swim lessons today. We went from good to awful to great. Last Friday, Aunt Peg and Uncle Andy even came to watch Cullen swim around. Of course, Aunt Peggy brought Cullen treats for after swim. He can't smile in this picture, because the entire pack of fruit snacks is in his mouth. 
We spent our weekend with friends. Lunch with James' college roommate and his precious family, a birthday party, lots of errands, a visit with my parents, and dinner with Megan and Lee. I didn't take it easy or relax at all, but maybe I can squeeze that in later? 

Cullen is becoming more and more aware of the upcoming change. On a daily basis, we discuss the changes "when the baby comes." It's pretty funny what he does and doesn't absorb. No matter how much we talk, I don't think any of us perceive the full gravity of the change. We'll know more soon enough!

A couple of nights ago, Cullen told me I could take his blue car to sleep in my room. Since he sleeps with his blue car almost every night, that's a pretty big deal. He told me he didn't want me to be scared. Big kid.

Last night, we stopped at Chick Fil A for dinner on the way home from swim. Cullen has gotten to be a big kid about so many things. I love that he was so excited about this cow. Not too long ago (or maybe it was about three years ago), cows made him cry.  
We are getting to the point where we can pretty much say weeks until new baby's arrival instead of months. Like five to six weeks. Wow. That's not very many of those weeks. 

The nausea continues on an almost daily basis. Within the last week, the FDA has approved two new anti-nausea medications that are safe during pregnancy. I got to pick up one of them yesterday. I laughed pretty hard when I found out that you have to take it on an empty stomach immediately before bed. Are they seriously suggesting that a pregnant lady go to bed hungry? I'm a believer after the first good night's rest in months. Even if they did put a really awkward picture on the pills. 
This next week, we get to have another ultrasound when we see Dr. Schmidt. As much as I love feeling this little guy move, it's so much more fun to see him on the screen. It's hard to remember these moments with Cullen, so I'm thrilled to get to experience it again. 

I've done a very minimal amount of shopping to prepare for this little boy, but I've gotten most of our old stuff cleaned and ready for his arrival. The only things we really NEED this time around are a new car seat and diapers. Thanks to one of our favorite family members, our needs list has recently been cut down to just diapers. Which means I can think about the things we want. And maybe, just maybe, start thinking about things like putting that car seat in the car and packing a hospital bag. We're having another baby boy. And soon!

xoxo ashley