My boys. My life.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Ethan's new toddler room

And here's Ethan's new toddler bedroom. We chose a sports theme for him. He too gets excited about trains, especially train cartoons on TV - Chuggington and the Choo Choo Soul lady who sings on Disney. "All aboard the choo choo train..." So cute how he sings along. But even earlier than his excitement about trains, we noticed he would pick up various ball toys - toy basketball, small rubber balls, etc. Maybe he'll be an athlete. Maybe not. But we thought a sports theme would be fun for him since he seems to like soccer balls, basketballs, etc. And we want him to have his own special room - not a repeat of Bryce's toddler room. Again... this came from Target... We got it for him for Christmas, as well as getting Bryce his train comforter from Pottery Barn Kids. Ethan's bedding set alone was only $30. I think Bryce's toddler set was closer to $60. $30 is a pretty good deal for a toddler bedding set anywhere. Especially one that is this cute.

We chose red for his name letters. Thought it'd look good against the brown walls and above the baseball shelf. Bryce has the same 12-month frame on his shelf and they both have a small Longaberger basket with a baby tie-on depicting their year of birth. Also on Bryce's shelf is an engraved train pewter bank. We got Ethan a pewter soccer ball bank with his name and birthdate engraved. Thinking of saving that to include in his Easter basket. Or give to him for his upcoming birthday (March 5). The soccer bank will go on his shelf as well.

We'll eventually put books on the shelf (it is bolted to the wall so it won't fall over on him). Just want him to get used to a simple room without distractions from sleep first.And this was taken the day the carpet guy was still here. He was working on the nursery and finishing up Bryce's room after putting Ethan down for his nap. It was loud upstairs but a later naptime. Ethan had no trouble falling asleep. He has napped and slept at night really well in his toddler bed. When asked, he crawls into bed and curls up with his head on top of the pillow. The first night he did fall out. We heard a thud and went to him immediately - expecting him to burst into tears. However, he was soooo tired, he basically had fallen back to sleep on the floor where he landed. Other than that instance, he has done exceptionally well with the transition. Better than expected. Areas of development Bryce has done well with, Ethan has given us a run for our money. And Bryce did so-so with the toddler bed transition. We thought Ethan would be more of a challenge. So proud of him for doing so well with this! It is kinda bitter-sweet to see him in Bryce's old room. Sure, we started Bryce in the room even younger than Ethan is now. But Bryce has grown and changed a lot over the course of time he has used the toddler bedroom. So we were used to an older child being in there. Seeing our little guy in the toddler room now is a reminder of how our kids are growing up. See the following post about the transition and our empty nursery.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bryce's new room

When Bryce was barely out of the baby stage, he quickly grew a love for trains so we picked a toddler set with trains of course! And other modes of transportation as well. Love Target for toddler bedding. Good deals and cute bedding! Bryce's grandparents (Tim's parents) got him this toddler bedding set his second Christmas. We moved him to the toddler bed around 19 months to save us from having to buy another crib. So first here are some pics of Bryce's old/toddler room....
Now time for pics of his new room. We had to continue his love of trains (he still loves choo choos)............

Name letters. We started that with Bryce's first bedroom - his nursery in Columbus, IN. We have painted the letters to coordinate with his room ever since. Ethan also has name letters and we will do the same for Baby #3. Kinda fun for a kid's room to have their name on the wall. It's basically what taught Bryce how to spell his name at a pretty young age. He'd read the letters from his toddler room.
These were etsy/ebay finds. The canvas art through Pottery Barn Kids is very expensive. Plus, I don't think it's even available anymore for Bryce's bedding set. I found someone on etsy who paints pictures very similar to his quilt/sheets. They are on heavy paper (not even cardstock) but when framed in these inexpensive wood frames, the look is stunning. Not bad for $20 plus shipping! We bought cheap white wood frames and spray painted them navy. Below the framed art is Bryce's name train his grandparents got him his first birthday. That's kind-of what started his love of trains - was that gift. Found this train track/shelf specifically designed for these personalized name trains. Nice little addition to his room...
This came from a children's resale a couple years ago. So did the yellow railroad sign hung close to Bryce's bed.
One from before hanging up window treatments... to show Bryce's memo board. Hope to put wallets/snapshots of his friends there, and preschool crafts, too. Found the memo board on ebay. The fabric used is the same as his bed sheets.
Bottom line... we have one very happy little boy in love with his new choo choo big boy room!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mixed Emotions

For some reason, I was a little surprised with a tad overwhelming feeling. We just put the boys in their new beds and Bryce is so excited and Ethan did well at naptime and is doing well so far in the toddler bed here tonight. It's been fun to get their rooms ready. And we still have some finishing touches to do. Their rooms are going to be so nice when they're done. That will be a future blog post full of pictures. Soon. Don't worry.

So anyway, after getting them tucked in for the night, I took some of the boys' decor we haven't hung up yet and placed them in our empty nursery. Kinda got that emotional gulp in my throat. Our nursery is EMPTY. We haven't had an empty nursery since before Bryce was born. Take that back - it was empty for a brief spell after Bryce moved to the toddler bed before Ethan was born. But at that point, we knew we were having another boy and soon settled on his name so we could buy and paint wood letters to put above the crib. We immediately got the room ready for Baby #2. This time feels different. The crib is in there - but no bedding on it as we wait to discover if we're having another little boy or a little girl this time. If we have a boy, he will use the same nursery decor the boys both had. If we have a girl, she will get a new girly set. So we wait. And the nursery sits empty. Just waiting. As are we... to learn if we will for sure have a healthy baby. Gosh that's on my mind almost hourly - praying a hundred times a day for our little bundle. ... But also as we wait to learn what will likely be the completion of our family. Two boys and a girl. Or three boys.

I'm so excited for the boys in their new rooms. Bryce especially is really excited and Ethan seems to be doing as well as expected so far with his transition. The crib is all he has ever known so wasn't sure what to expect from him. But part of me is a little sad they are growing into their next stages - bigger beds, meaning they're growing up. I'm so thankful and feel so blessed we have another little bundle on the way to sleep in the nursery and fill our hearts and home with joy.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cat Got My Tongue

So it was a typical naptime here a bit ago. Told Bryce while he was snuggled up under the sheet and blankie of his toddler bed that we only have a couple more days and the new carpet would be installed and he'd get to sleep in his new bed. He answered, "And Ethan gets to sleep in here." I said, "Right," and that the baby will get the nursery.

"How does the baby get out of your tummy," inquired Bryce.
"The baby just comes out," I answered, hoping that was that. Oh no.... Bryce has to be among the most curious 3-year-olds out there.
"But HOW does the baby get out?"

He has asked before and I couldn't think for the life of me in this moment how I answered then. I was just so thrown off by this and couldn't come up with a good response.

So I told him to ask Daddy when he gets home. Not the best response, I know. Suppose I should warn Tim.....

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mothering Frustrations... this isn't pretty

I am starting this blog post today, not sure what direction it will take, or if I will have the guts to post it. To be this open and honest....

Today has been one of those days.... very full. Too much on the to-do list. Can you say stress? I was crossing things off the checklist, however, and the day was going fine. Until.... preschool pick-up line. Bryce and his friend, Lizzie got in the van and I immediately knew what happened. Bryce pooped in his underwear at preschool. He hasn't gone for several days and I worked with him a lot yesterday, trying to get him to go. Again this morning before preschool. We ran out of time and headed out the door a tad late, as usual. I told Bryce if he has to go, he has to tell his teachers and go at preschool. He knew full well what was expected of him. This has been an issue - he won't go at preschool. He won't ask others for help. He barely poops here at home. This has been a source of frustration for some time now. We need to keep working with him so he is self-sufficient. He currently is not. I'll leave it at that.

This turned the day into chaos. It was at least manageable up to this point. But we were expecting a neighbor-friend over after lunch and my plate now became overflowing with too much to do in too little time. A very frustrated Mom (I said the potty issue has been a battle, keep this in mind) cleaned up a huge mess and had Bryce climb in the bath tub. No toys. Water running with him standing. He hated it. I had more cleaning up to do, and laundry. Threw the huge mess of underwear in the trash. Not worth cleaning up. Had to clean out his jeans. It was seriously everywhere. All down his legs. Gross.

After his bath, while I was in the midst of cleaning up and trying to get lunch around, I made Bryce stand with his nose touching the wall. Which he hated. He did this until I had MY lunch in the microwave warming up. His was already ready, I just wanted to make a point to him. I felt like saying his friend will not be coming over, but I did not want to punish his friend for his mistakes. He ate lunch in silence. After cleaning him up, he went back to the wall with his nose against it. I finished cleaning up. And got in touch with my neighbor-friend. She said another day would suit them better. At this point I released Bryce from his nose-against-the-wall timeout and said he could go play.

But this wasn't without words and thoughts that are harsh that is why I'm hesitant to post this.... I thought about making him skip lunch, or severely limiting it. I gave Ethan a little chocolate Santa and him none, and I ate a piece in front of him, too. It gets worse... I told him if he can't learn to go to potty at preschool I would skip registering him tomorrow and he just wouldn't go. What Mom says that? I also thought to myself that there's less than an hour til naptime. If either child, but particularly Bryce, does one more thing, it will just push me over the edge. Through putting up with him....

Now comes the perspective... What if God would say that to me? If that Abbie screws up one more time.... If Abbie doesn't learn this lesson that I've been trying to teach her for probably years.... then what? God doesn't do that. He doesn't say that or feel that. So now I'm seeing where I fall short. And I'm in tears as I type this. Motherhood can be such pure joy... a glimpse of Heaven. Seriously! Such a wonderful blessing that is impossible to imagine life otherwise. And then other times... it can be more frustration than ya ever thought possible. At those low of low moments, sometimes it feels impossible to extend the grace and loving attitude towards our kids that God unfailingly extends to us - his kids. We are called to love one another as God loves us. Unfailingly. No matter what. I will try to remember this the next time Bryce, or Ethan, or Baby #3, pushes me over the edge of calmness and into chaos. There no doubt will be a next time. And I no doubt will have a next time with God.

So, thank you Jesus, for your unfailing love and example. Guide me... help me to walk in your ways in this journey. And I pray that my kids can see you in me and through the grace and patience I will try harder to have.

Monday, January 10, 2011

First Trimester - Ultrasound Update

There was a two-week question mark on the due date this time around. More definite than the other two. With Bryce and Ethan, we had no idea when we were due. So I was proud to be this sure. But I still had an ultrasound a couple weeks ago to determine this due date, as I mentioned in my previous blog post.

The afternoon of that ultrasound my OB doctor called and said there was some concern. Gasp. This doesn't sound good. The doctor explained there was a cyst on the back of our baby's neck. That it could clear up on its own, but I needed to get it checked out. He referred me to Dr. Wheeler, the doctor for the Fort Wayne Perinatal Center located at Dupont Hospital. He wanted me to schedule an ultrasound for two weeks from then - today's appointment. Pregnancy emotions ranged quite a bit that first 24 hours. I was nervous. What could this mean? Doing a little research online to self-diagnose is never a good idea. But curiousity got the best of me. It could be anything. Seriously. Could be Down's Syndrome... could be nothing still.

Not wanting to unnecessarily worry anyone, we kept this potential scare fairly quiet - just sharing with a few folks to pray for us. For the baby. And for peace. I must say I definitely felt that. By the time this two-week wait was up, I was cool as a cucumber and excited to see the baby again via ultrasound. I felt like I would have nothing to worry about.

My nerves started to kick back in a little at the start of the ultrasound. The tech was able to really zoom in and get some accurate measurements of the baby's neck. Dr. Wheeler came in and the long-story-short version is good news. We should have a normal, healthy baby. Now for the longer version details.... He did, however, say there is some thickness that he can't quite call normal. So that didn't completely go away unfortunately. He was able to look at various other features of the baby (specifically around the nose) and determine that we do not have a baby with Down's Syndrome. Basically, he said we have maybe a 2% risk still of the baby having some kind of heart defect or chromosomal abnormality. If we just had to know for sure today, he could have done an amnio, but that would pose a 1% risk of miscarriage. Not worth it. So we leave our baby in God's hands - just like we have the past two weeks. That's the best place for him/her to be anyway.

I go back in two weeks to my normal OB doctor for a normal OB appointment and then four weeks after that, I go back to the Perinatal Center for another ultrasound and OB appointment with Dr. Wheeler. He assured us we shouldn't worry. And if this is truly nothing, this thickness should go away by then. I'll be around 18 weeks for that appointment - Feb. 21. So we shall see.

We are so thankful for God's goodness, grace and care He is placing on our baby during this time. We would have preferred to have the thickness completely gone. But 2%.... it could be worse. I can live with those odds.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Pregnancy Journey - First Trimester

I have been bad about blogging but want to try starting again.

As you likely know by now, we are expecting #3. We are due July 28 and very excited about this next addition to our family. I am relieved, thankful and humbled to feel as good as I do this pregnancy. With Bryce's, I was pretty sick in the evenings, often throwing up. Had one or two spells where I needed medical intervention because I kept getting sick. Ethan's pregnancy was a different story. I didn't know if I'd ever want to be pregnant again after his. I was extremely sick at like 4.5 weeks! I had to go to the ER because I kept getting sick (like a dozen times in 2-3 hours). I was getting very dehydrated and my stomach was just too sick to settle down. It was awful. I threw up at least once every day, multiple times if we had to drive anywhere because of how motion sick I was. It was a very long pregnancy, where I didn't feel like I had a 2nd trimester. I went straight from being sick from the minute I woke up til the minute I went to bed... this lasted several months... to being big and uncomfortable. He was 9 lbs 2 oz at birth and a couple months before he was born I was in a decent amount of pain carrying him. Looking back, I think he was growing at a faster rate than what my skin could stretch. I was joyful at the miracle growing inside me, but there wasn't much I enjoyed about his pregnancy. I was thrilled when I delivered him, and rather relieved. I felt better giving birth and recovering than what I did during his pregnancy.

When we found out about this pregnancy, we were in the midst of battling some stomach bugs in our house. I thought I had caught something from a recent bout one of our kids had, but then I realized I was feeling mostly alright during the day but worse in the evening. Hmm.... I'd seen this before. I had Tim pick up pizza that night since I didn't feel like cooking and pizza didn't sound good when he arrived with it. I also had him pick up a home pregnancy test, just in case. I tested right away, figuring if my recent evening woes were from pregnancy, my HCG levels would be high enough to read a positive result even though it was evening and not first thing in the morning like many tests recommend. He picked up an indisputable test that gave a digital reading. When it showed up "Pregnant" a few moments later, I just kinda laughed as I showed the test to Tim. Obviously we were excited, it just kinda threw us off. It's not that this pregnancy was a surprise/accident, just unexpected. It had taken over a year to get pregnant with Bryce and 4-5 months to get pregnant with Ethan. This was the first month. So that's why we were thrown off. Happily thrown off.

My evening sickness quickly got worse. And no, I do not believe it had anything to do with the positive result. Morning sickness (or evening, or all day) is not in the head. It is a real, true symptom as many of you know. At that point we calculated that we were around 7 weeks along. I thought, ok - further along than being sick with Ethan so insanely early on. But I could still have a rough road ahead. That Sunday at church, the pastor mentioned the tear-off tab and reminded us if we had a concern to submit a prayer request. I thought to myself, "It couldn't hurt." I thought even though I was so sick with Ethan, God is bigger than this. I don't have to be that sick again - He could help me through it. I asked for prayers for health and strength in the coming month or two, when my sickness would be at its worst. I am thrilled to admit, I haven't thrown up since and overall feel better. Thank you, God. I felt insantly humbled by His goodness. Of all the things going on in the world, He cared enough to take away this concern for me. Wow!

Sometimes I think God just wants us to humble ourselves and acknowledge His control over everything in life. Easier said than done, I know. And I know often times we pray things that seemingly go unanswered. I don't have answers for those circumstances. I know life is tough and often unfair. All I can think about those situations is that God sees the big picture and we don't. However, in some cases, I think when we admit His control in life and just ask for something, He wants to give us our desires. He wants to answer our prayers. I'm thankful and relieved He answered this one anyway. With two little boys and many more responsibilities and a busier schedule than either of their pregnancies, I am thankful my road was paved a little smoother for this pregnancy.

We have an ultrasound Monday afternoon and I will share that update then. I'm at a little over 11 weeks and only feel queasy for 2-3 hours in the evening. Much more manageable for me, especially since that's when Tim is home to help with the kids. There are so many aspects of this pregnancy that are different from Bryce and Ethan's. And even though I'm far more tired, it's a happy, peaceful tired. I've got it pretty good!