Thursday, March 9, 2017

August Edward: Three Months Old

Our sweet Gus Gus is officially three months old!

In case you didn't notice, I sort of just skipped his two month update. To be honest, things were still tough and not much had changed from his one month post. There was still little sleep and not much of a routine. Plus, I was just totally lacking in any sort of motivation for writing a post.

But, I am here to say that we have officially made it out of that newborn haze and I am so grateful for it! Each day seems to be getting a little bit easier as we continue to figure out life as a family of four. Gus fits right in to our family, and I'm almost to the point where I don't remember life without him. He was absolutely meant just for us.

First and foremost, I have to say that Callum is just doing beyond awesome. He is such a good big brother and has adjusted so well to having an attention-hogging baby in the house. He is always understanding if we have to take a break from playing so I can tend to Gus. He's also such a good helper. He loves to run and get a burp cloth for me when I need it, or he'll rock and sing to Gus if he's upset. He also sings to him, which is the funniest thing in the world. Callum basically yells the song at Gus, think "YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE!!! MY ONLY SUNSHINE!" It is by no means soothing, but it always seems to calm Gus down. Probably because Gus is like, "What the heck is going on?" Callum also calls him "Gus Gus," which breaks my heart just about every time.

I also went back to work this month, which has been really nice. It's so nice to have something else to focus on a couple days a week other than nap and feeding schedules. My mom stays with the boys the few days I go in to the office, which we are so grateful for. Matt's mom has been down, too, to help us a lot when I have to work. We are so lucky to have two amazing grandmas for our boys!


Weight & Height

He just had his two month appointment (a few weeks late) last week and was up to 11 lbs 10 oz. He was in the 10th percentile for both height and weight. Compared to Callum, I don't think Callum was on the charts. So, he's bigger than he was. I touched on it in an earlier post, but we had lots of supply and weight gain issues during the first year of Callum's life. I often still feel very stressed about Gus' weight gain, even though it's fine, and I think a big part of that was because of all the issues we had with Callum. So, I am so, so happy to see Gus thriving and on the charts.

Eating

No problems in this department! He's still nursing like a champ, and still taking bottles well. We have still been supplementing with a few ounces of formula every day, but thankfully that has not affected my supply at all. He goes back and forth like a champ, and I am so happy to have found a system that works well for us. Giving him a bit of formula has also helped me to stress less about weight gain. So, mama's happy, baby's happy, and that's all that really matters. After all, fed is best.

Sleeping

Night sleeping is definitely improving! We have a good bedtime routine going, and Gus has consistently been going to sleep at night around 6:30 or 7:00. We have transitioned out of the swaddle, and in to the Magic Merlin sleep suit, which he seems to like, even though he looks like a giant marshmallow baby. He is still sleeping in our room in the Rock n Play, and I plan to keep him in there for at least another month. We had a few days in a row where he was only waking up once a night to eat, which was glorious but didn't last. He's up usually two - three times a night, which is manageable. Plus, most nights, he generally just eats and goes back down. Callum is still sneaking in to our room at night, which can make things tricky, but I keep trying to remind myself that it won't last forever. I'm trying to relish in these snuggles, versus get annoyed by them. We talk to Callum, too about getting bunk beds for him and Gus once Gus is bigger, and he loves that idea. Once Gus is sleeping though the night, we may even try moving his crib in there. I have a feeling it could help everyone sleep through the night in their own beds.

Naps are still all over the place. He'll take anywhere from 3-4 naps a day, that will last anywhere from 15 minutes to 3.5 hours. They are totally unpredictable. Hoping to have some updates on this next month. He does nap in his crib, which he seems to like. I also think it helps him understand the difference between night sleeping and naps.

Also, Daylight Saving Time is this weekend. Fingers crossed that this doesn't mess everything up to much.

Development

Gus is the biggest mover ever! He was a serious kicker in the stomach when I was pregnant with him, so it is so funny to see him like that now. Anytime he is laying on his back, his little legs are kicking like crazy. It is hilarious to watch. He gets this serious, concentrated look on his face and just kicks away. He has also started really cranking his neck around while he is laying on the ground to see what's going on. It won't be long before all that neck moving forces him to roll over.

He is also holding his head up like a champ. His trunk is getting much stronger, too. I can't wait until he's able to sit up by myself! He can bear weight on his legs, now too. It's so funny to hold him as he works so hard to push himself straight up. Just like with his kicks, he gets such a concentrated look on his face. We'll have to see if this concentration and focus stays with our little man.

He is babbling more and more, too. Usually just one or two syllables at a time, but he definitely does it to be heard or in response to something. We haven't heard any real belly laughs yet. I can hardly wait for those!

Likes


  • He still love his bath time. I can't wait to get him in the pool this summer.
  • He loves to have his cheeks stroked. Gets a smile every single time.
  • His brother.
  • Being carried in the Ergo.
  • Keeping his little toes curled tight like all the time. He must be awfully ticklish.
  • Nursing the second I get home from work. He must miss it during the day.

Dislikes

  • Being in his carseat.
  • Sitting in the same spot for too long.
  • Stopping mid-feeding to be burped.
  • Nursing right after I've worked out. Sorry. That's probably TMI.
  • Nursing under a cover.
  • Kisses from the dogs.
  • When Callum roars in his face. Can't say I blame him.

New this month


  • He officially has eyebrows and eyelashes! I really hope he gets the same gorgeous lashes as his brother.
  • We took not one, but TWO, road trips. One to Independence and one to Minneapolis. Gus did great both times.
  • In the last week especially, he was really taken to his pacifier, or nay nay as they're called in our house. It definitely helps to soothe him, especially when he's in his car seat. If he's sound asleep, though, he's not woken up if it falls out.
  • Smiles on smiles on smiles on smiles.
  • His startle reflex is just about gone. Thanks goodness!
  • It is now officially so much easier to get out of the house. I'm not sure if it's just having more practice, or what, but I feel like I don't need like three hours to prepare anymore.
  • Gus has officially spent a few classes at Barre District and did just wonderfully. That's probably the closest he'll ever get to daycare.


Here's what we've been up to this month.

Visiting the Domes. We've been there quite a bit the last few weeks.

Meeting Grandpa Ollie for the first time in Independence.

Out to eat in Minneapolis. (Also, can you tell I'm obsessed with this little alphabet outfit?)


Dad being the best Dad ever.

Riding in the Binxy Baby at the grocery store. This thing is amazing. Every time we use it, we get a ton of comments on it.

We had a couple unseasonably warm days, so we took full advantage. Gus loved checking everything out. I still can't get over his baby blues.

What every morning looks like for me: snuggles with both of my boys. Callum usually wakes up while I'm nursing Gus, and he happily says, "Good morning, Mom! Good morning, Gus!" It's the best.


SaveSave

Monday, February 20, 2017

August Edward: A Birth Story

So, after waiting exactly two months, I figured it was about time I get to Gus' birth story. I'm sure I've already forgotten more than I want to admit. Here we go.

Brand new Gus Gus.

Before I jump in, I will admit that I was way more anxious about labor and delivery this time around. I think it's because I knew what I was in for, and, to be honest, was not looking forward to going through all of that again. Not to mention postpartum recovery. So, I really bent myself out of shape before Gus was born. In the end, everything turned out more than fine and I got myself all worked up for nothing.

Anyways, the story of Gus' arrival starts the Friday before he was born. I went in to my 38 week OB visit, and I just knew my blood pressure was high. Sure enough. From there, I was sent over to the hospital for monitoring. Once I got to the hospital and all hooked up, they were never able to get another high blood pressure reading. After spending a bit of time being monitored, your dad and I were sent home and I was given strict orders to take it easy.

Saturday morning, I woke up and I still did not feel well. Called in to the hospital, and they once again told me to come in for monitoring. I was convinced that they were going to induce me then. Well, we got to the hospital, and it was deja vu. After several high readings, everything came back down. I was sent home and told to return Monday morning for a check.

Before I go any further, I should mention that my OB was exactly as pregnant as I was. Not even kidding. She had the exact same due date as me. The whole pregnancy, we sort of joked back and forth as to who was going to have to be pregnant longest.

Once again, Monday morning, I pack up our hospital bags and head to be checked at the doctor's office. This time, I was convinced I would just be sent home again. I even emailed work, just telling them I would be a few hours late. I get to the doctor's office and immediately found out that my doctor had her baby that morning! Not only that, but after having her baby, called the office and told them not to cancel my appointment and make sure I was seen. That's right, my sweet, sweet doctor just had HER baby and was still worried about mine. She's seriously the best.

So, the nurse took my blood pressure and, drum roll please, it was high. Then, I sat in that room for about 20 minutes while she called around to my doctor and the doctor on call to see what to do next. It was ultimately decided that I would be sent to the hospital. But, we still didn't know whether I would be induced or not. At this point, I was just so ready for it to happen. The blood pressure numbers were getting higher with every read and I didn't want it to get to preeclampsia.

This time, after all my vitals were taken, they found protein in my urine. This ended up being what put me over the induction edge: It was officially go time!

Matt and I were moved in to the birthing room and got ourselves situated. We knew we'd be here for a little bit. The first thing they did was place a round of cervidil. Then, we waited.

There was going to be at least four hours until they gave me another dose, and we were told that most likely nothing would happen during that time. So, for the next four hours, we just hung out and watched TV. It was glorious. We haven't had down time like that in months.

When they placed the second round of cervidil four hours later, things started to pick up a bit. My contractions weren't painful or super regular. They were just there. At one point, I received an IV with fluids because my contractions were picking up a little too much. But, still, they weren't painful. Around 11:00PM that night, I was checked and was still only about three centimeters. I hadn't made much progress during the last eight hours.

So, one of the residents said she would go ahead and break my water. This was THE most painful part of the whole labor and delivery. I guess, right after she broke my water, she thought she felt the umbilical cord slipping down. This would've been an immediate need for a C section. To be blunt, she was wrist-deep for about five minutes while she was trying to figure out everything that was going on and making sure that it wasn't the umbilical cord she was feeling. It was so painful!

The ONE picture I took during labor. Watching all the contractions come through.

Once she realized everything was ok and was able to let go, everything was fine. My water was broken and there was no meconium in the fluid. I asked our nurse, Ursula, if I could walk around a bit and for a birthing ball to sit on.

About 11:30, Matt and I did laps around the labor and delivery floor. We were walking for about 15 minutes, stopping every couple of minutes to work through a contraction. Almost out of no where, they started to get really bad. So, we headed back to the room and I tried sitting on the ball for a little bit. That turned out to be just annoying.

I began bracing myself against the sink in the room during the contractions. Matt was trying to help, so he kept turning on the water in the sink. I later found out he was trying to calm me, but at the time, it was just annoying as hell! (I know some people out there can relate: but poor Matt was just driving me crazy during the worst of my contractions. For whatever reason, I hate being touched during them and just sort of need to do my own thing. Even the poor nurse was trying to rub my back, but I really didn't want anything to do with that either.)

At this point, things were getting painful! Like crazy painful. I had asked for an epidural right after they broke my water, but they wanted me to wait to make sure the contractions would get more intense. I had a feeling things would pick up quickly, and they did.

It felt like forever until that amazing anesthesiologist walked through the door. Once he got there, I really had to give myself a pep talk in order to sit still while I was given the epidural. Sitting still during that time was one of the most difficult things ever! The doctor administered the epidural, which I could barely feel. Then, a few minutes later, I felt the relief just flood over my body.

I was able to lay down comfortably while the resident checked me again. Seven centimeters! I had gone from like 3 to 7 in a couple short hours. It was about 2:00 AM at this point. I felt so much better since having the epidural, but I could still tell that it was almost time to push. I did have some crazy labor shakes, too. As hard as I tried, I could not stop the shaking. I had that when I was laboring with Callum, too.

Right about 2:30AM, I told the nurse I was pretty sure it was time for me to push. She checked me and agreed! After two pushes, she decided it was time to call the doctor in. I pushed a few more times, and then they wanted me to wait to push anymore until the doctor arrived. Our little man was coming fast!

A few minutes later, the doctor arrived and I continued to push. I could feel the pressure, but there was no pain. Thanks to the epidural, pushing was a breeze.

Then, right at 3:00 AM on the dot, our August Edward arrived. He came out and went right to my chest. Our sweet, sweet boy barely made a sound. It was like he was so ready to enter the world, and him arriving and laying right on my chest was just what he needed.

As I was basking in this magical moment, the doctor casually mentioned that she was ordering a hemorrhage kit because there was a little more blood than she usually likes. I did my best to relax and enjoy sweet Gus, even though I was sort of freaking out. A few minutes later, the doctor gave the all clear and said everything looked alright. Thank goodness! I needed a couple of stitches, but otherwise, everything was great.

He's here!



Gus was so calm and quiet during this time, I was almost worried. The doctors and nurses assured me that he was fine, just more of the strong, silent type. He was cleaned off and weighed and still barely made a peep.

Being weighed without crying.

After a little bit of clean up, we were all moved upstairs to a recovery room. This was the one time in my life I managed to stay up all night, and I still felt amazing. Pretty hungry, but I did not feel tired. It's crazy what that adrenaline can do to you. My body felt really, really good, too. I was actually amazed. Honestly, no real pain or soreness. I definitely think it was because of all the barre classes I took just about right until baby arrived. My body was strong and ready for this.

Right around 8:00 AM, Callum and Oma came to meet you. It was probably one of the best moments of my life: seeing my two boys together for the first time. It was a moment I had waited almost a whole year for. Gus Gus had finally arrived and we had officially begun life as a family of four.

Meeting his brother.

First family photo.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

August Edward: One Month Old

I can't even believe it has been a whole month since our sweet Gus Gus joined our family. Time is so weird when you have an infant. The days and especially the nights seem so, so long. Yet, they just fly by. It truly is the longest, shortest time.

I do hope to get Gus' birth story up sometime in the next few weeks, but finding time to write down thoughts has been a challenge (as can be expected). Yesterday, Callum spent all day with his Oma (my mom) and I was planning on writing this post during one of Gus' longer naps. Well, guess who decided not to sleep like at all! He had such impeccable timing. So, like I said, I really want to get to his birth story, but it's just a matter of actually getting to it. Edited to add: It ended up taking me four more days to finish this.

Here's what August has been up to for the first month of his life.


Weight & Height

Yesterday, at Gus' one month doctor's appointment, he came it at a whopping 8 lbs, 8 oz and 20.5 inches. (He was 7lbs 5oz at birth and 19 in.) That put him at about the tenth percentile for both. Callum was small, too. In fact, I don't think Callum was much over his birth weight at his one month appointment. So, I was very happy to see that Gus has been doing well. Because we did initially have such weight gain and nursing issues with Callum, I ended up buying a baby scale to have at home. I must say: It is probably the best investment I have ever made. It has given me such piece of mind and I don't stress constantly about every single spit up between doctor's appointments.

Eating

After the few initial bumps, nursing has been going really well. Gus had no problem latching and figured out what to do right from the start. It was my body that needed a little push in the right direction. Just like with Callum, my body seems to need a little bit longer to build up supply. For the first two weeks of Gus' life, we were struggling with high bilirubin levels and his pediatrician wanted us to supplement a bit in order to flush the bilirubin out.

Of course, I was super stressed out about this and was so worried it would affect our breastfeeding relationship and my supply. Fortunately, he went back and forth from bottle to breast just fine. Plus, he doesn't seem to be bothered by the formula. While we were doing that, I was pumping like a mad woman and it all seemed to work out. In addition, it's nice to now know that he doesn't mind a bottle or a little formula in case I'm not home and he's suddenly starving. 

Sleeping

This is going about as well as can be expected. There is absolutely no real pattern or routine to his sleep schedule at all. Just when I think we're starting to develop a little pattern, things completely change.

Just like any newborn, his favorite place to sleep is in someone's arms. We generally let that happen whenever possible. After all, he is a newborn. He'll nap for a long time while I'm wearing him in the Moby, too. If I'm home alone with the boys and need to spend a little one on one time with Callum while Gus is napping, I'll put Gus down on his stomach in a little cosleeper we have. Since tummy-sleeping is generally frowned upon on this age, I always keep the cosleeper right by Callum and I while we are playing so I can watch Gus the whole time. I can generally get a good hour nap from Gus doing this.

As far as night time sleep goes, it seems to be a new adventure every night. For almost a week, I was getting a good 3-4 hours out of him in the Rock n Play swaddled. But, then Gus decided he wasn't down with sleeping by himself for more than about ten minutes. It's been manageable, but I really hope I have better news next month about his night time sleep.

His startle reflex is also out of this world. I can't wait til he grows out of that one.

Development

Callum on the right, Gus on the left.

Just like Callum, Gus seems to be a pretty strong guy. He's already managed to roll himself over during tummy time, twice. When we were at one of his doctor's appointment, his pediatrician did comment on how much of a mover he is, and we really do have to be careful. I don't even feel comfortable leaving him on his changing table for a quick minute.

Callum loves to do tummy time with Gus. He "reads" him a book while he does it, usually Babble Books since he has it memorized. Gus seems to be pretty content on his tummy, too. He's generally happier there than when we put him down on his back.

Callum reading to Gus during tummy time.


We've been getting a couple little smiles here and there. He seems to recognize my face and his brother's (probably because Callum is all up in his grill as soon as Gus' eyes are open). We see the most smiles from Gus right before he falls asleep, usually as he's eating. It's as if he couldn't be any happier in that exact moment. I love it.

Likes

The easiest way to get our little man to stop crying is to turn on the water. Seriously. He loves when I do dishes and could sit in the bathroom forever while we take a shower, which has been a life saver. Gus is a big fan of head rubs, too. He'll doze right off as I rub his head. He's got the softest head in the world, too, so I could rub it forever.

He also likes sitting in a bouncy chair on the kitchen island while everyone else is eating or just hanging out. The chair has some fun lights and music, and it vibrates, so it's basically sensory overload. He's beginning to love his MamaRoo swing more and more, too.

This kid has peed more during diaper changes in the first week of his life, than Callum did in his whole life. I'm thinking we just got lucky with Callum. Either way, Gus screams just about the whole time we change his diaper. Then, out of no where, he'll quiet down for just a second, and then he pees! I've gotten better at expecting it, especially since he sort of lets me know when it's going to happen.

Dislikes

See above about diaper changes. Seriously. It's the only real time he screams uncontrollably.

Snapped mid-diaper change.


He doesn't love having his arms swaddled. I've tried to force it, but he'll grunt and wiggle until his little arms are out. He just likes to have his arms close to his face, so we swaddle them up. He also doesn't seem to be a huge fan of a pacifier. I keep trying. I'm still hoping that he'll take it. It would make our life so much easier.

He also seems to generally dislike the hours between 6:00 - 8:00 PM. He's pretty fussy after dinner and is not happy unless we're walking around and bouncing him, or feeding him.

Overall, Gus is a pretty low key baby. No signs of colic, no real extended periods of screaming. I guess we'll keep him.

How's everyone else doing?

So, in the words of our four-year-old neighbor, Bronte, "Having a baby is nice, but it's really hard." Ain't that the truth. That's exactly how I would describe life right now. We're very tired and learning how to be a family of four. Overall, I'm feeling really good. It does seem to be just a little bit easier the second time around. I have so much more confidence in myself and feel like I better understand my baby's needs. 

Callum seems to have adjusted well, too. He has his usual three-year-old moments, that sometimes drive me crazier than they should. There have been a few times where I can tell my patience is much shorter with Callum, but I seem to be pretty good at catching it and redirecting both of us. At this point, he probably doesn't even remember life without Gus. Whenever we talk about going out somewhere, he always asks if Gus will be coming along, too. He wants to make sure he'll be there. I'm so looking forward to when the two of them can really play together.

Matt's been off of work for the last two weeks, which has been amazing. We're going to miss him so much when he goes back next week. I just know things will be much crazier as I'll be spending most of my days solo with the boys.

In all seriousness, sometimes, I can hardly believe I'm the mom of TWO little boys. I can't even believe how lucky I am. Life is so, so sweet. I wouldn't trade the sleepless nights, dirty diapers, or messy house for any of it.

This post would not be finished without a big ole thanks to all the amazing friends and family we have in our lives. All the meals dropped off, play dates with Callum, and just constant check ins have been more appreciated than anyone could every know. I promise I have actual thank yous on my to-do list. But, for all my friends and family out there who have been around this past month to help us, just know that this month was better because of YOU. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Here's what we've been up to the last month.

He's here! 3:00 AM on December 6.

First family photo. Taken after Matt and I had been awake for 24+ hours.

Visited Santa.

Just a handful of the wonderful visitors we've had.

Ice skating at Center Street Park.

The sweetest little hands.

Baby's first brewery.

Watching a Packer playoff game with Dad.


Lots of love from Callum.



SaveSave

Thursday, January 5, 2017

A night out with the Murder Mystery Company

In case you missed it, we officially welcomed August Edward in to our family a few weeks earlier than expected on December 6! We are all doing amazing, and I promise a birth story very soon. You can also check out all kinds of pictures on my Instagram. In the mean time, enjoy this post that was supposed to be posted before the arrival of our sweet babe. :)



A few weeks ago, in what turned out to be the last date night we had before Gus arrived, Matt and I went to our very first murder mystery dinner. For those of you who have never attended a murder mystery dinner, but have wanted to, here's my advice: Do it and do it now!



The show (Crime & Pun-ishment) was hosted by the Murder Mystery Company at the Astor Hotel. The Astor Hotel was THE perfect location for a 1920s-themed show. When we received our tickets, it did encourage us to dress the part for the show. To be honest, I was a little nervous about that. What if no one else was dressed up? Would we look like we were way too in it? Plus, I was 8.5 months pregnant. I've never seen a flapper in her third trimester ;) In the end, not wanting to miss out an opportunity to wear a costume overruled any fears of being the only ones dressed up. I decided to just go for it and got some simple accessories for Matt and I. As soon as we got there, I immediately wished I would've gone all out on the costumes! Just about everyone was super decked out. And, if they weren't, they honestly looked out of place. So, if you decide to go to a Murder Mystery Company show, my first piece of advice would be to dress up and do it big! It honestly seems to unite everyone at the show and makes you feel like you already know them. 


We arrived at the Astor a little early, so we grabbed something to drink at the bar while we waited. We ended up running in to a friend (Hi Erin!) and her husband, along with a couple of their friends. It was so nice to see some familiar faces as we speculated about what the night would hold for us. 

As soon as the ballroom doors opened and we were able to get in, we already felt like we were a part of the show. The actors were already in character as they checked us in and showed us to our seats. The murder mystery had begun! 

I love seeing all the flappers and mobsters in this picture.

We ended up sitting at the same table as our friends and one other couple. As we were being introduced to the events for the evening, we learned we had to work as a team with our table. So, it was so nice to already know some of the people we were sitting with! A night out with the Murder Mystery Company would be such a fun time with a large group (bachelor/bachlorette party, birthday, etc.).

Before we knew it, someone had been murdered! I was sort of waiting on the edge of my seat until this happened. The murder turned out to be a bit more comical than dramatic, which I totally appreciated.


As we all were introduced to the game and our roles as detectives, some of the audience members turned in to suspects. Here was my one little critique from the whole evening: Most of the audience members who ended up as characters did so well! They were in to their roles and totally played the parts. However, some of them were just not as outgoing and seemed a little embarrassed about their parts. It would've been great if these people would've been vetted a little bit more. I'm not entirely sure how that would've happened. Maybe we could've said whether we were interested in participating or not when we bought our tickets? Or, maybe the actors could've quickly asked as they chose roles? Like I said, most of them were great, but others were just not it to it, which sort of took away from the experience.

Someone was just MURDERED! ;)

I should mention, as all of this was happening, dinner was also being served. We were able to choose our meals when we got our tickets. (It was included in the ticket price.) Matt and I both went for a roast beef, and it was really good. In addition to the main course, we also had salad, bread, and dessert. I was definitely stuffed after it all. Drinks were not included in our ticket, which is totally understandable.

Once all of the suspects were introduced, it was now our turn to go around and talk to everyone. We had some fake money for bribery and were told that everyone had to answer every question asked of them honestly. This is where everyone got so in to it. It was so much fun! Everyone at our table was working together, taking notes, and splitting up who we should talk to in order to make sure we interviewed all suspects.

Here's Matt listening intently as suspects are interviewed.

Money that doubled with some possible leads for solving the murder.

Once we had a little bit of time to talk to everyone, a few more clues were introduced. Then, more time to interview suspects since more information was given. Finally, one more round of clues and more time to talk. After a little bit more time for discussion, it was time for our table to write down and submit who we thought the murderer was. It wasn't enough to name the suspect, we also had to write down all the clues that led us to our decision. The table that had the most detail in their answer, in addition to the correct murderer, would be the winners. Our table successfully guessed the murderer! We were not the overall winners because I guess someone had just a little more detail than we did. But, if you ask me, we totally were the winners. ;)

When I asked my husband his overall opinion of the night, his response was, "Dinner, entertainment, suspense, involvement, what more could you want?" And, that just about sums it up. It was a great night out, and definitely way different than anything we've ever done! If you're looking for a special date night or planning an event for a group of people, I would highly recommend a night with the Murder Mystery Company. It will not only provide an entertaining night, but something to talk about for weeks to come. It definitely left us with a bunch of fun memories to look back on and a night we'll never forget. 


Thanks to the Murder Mystery Company for having us! We'll definitely be back.


SaveSave

Monday, November 21, 2016

Sesame Street Live Giveaway

Updated: Congratulations to Lauren Hankins! She's won the four tickets to a Sesame Street Live show in Milwaukee.

Last year, we took Callum for his very first Sesame Street Live experience. To be honest, I was not really looking forward to it. I thought it would be a situation where I would be desperately searching for a cash bar. But, it was totally the exact opposite.


We had such a wonderful time and we all enjoyed the show so much. In fact, we left with the soundtrack and I am not even joking when I say that we listen to it every single day in the car. I can not wait to go again this January. The songs were so much fun and the I could not believe the dance moves of the actors in those big (and I can only imagine, very hot) costumes.

I am so thrilled to once again have four tickets to giveaway to one of you to the upcoming shows in Milwaukee! Sesame Street Live's "Elmo Makes Music" will be at the Milwaukee Theater on Saturday, January 14 and Sunday, January 15. In "Elmo Makes Music," the new music teacher’s instruments go missing. Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Big Bird, and more come to the rescue and discover instruments they never knew existed. Children learn that everyone can make and enjoy beautiful music together! 



The show runs for 90 minutes with a 15-minute intermission. When we went last year, Callum was just over two and was definitely entertained the whole time. He had no problem at all sitting through it. In fact, I'm pretty sure he clapped and danced the whole time. In addition, after we saw the show last year ("Make a New Friend"), we had so much to talk about with Callum. What I thought would just be a fun couple hours of entertainment, turned in to an educational opportunity that we still talk about today.


I really can not say enough wonderful things about these shows, and if you've ever taken your kids to one, I'm sure you'd agree! If you're interested in winning a four-pack of tickets to a show on either January 14 or 15 in Milwaukee, enter using the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway closes next Monday!

To learn more about the show or to purchase tickets, click here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sesame Street Live Giveaway

Last year, we took Callum for his very first Sesame Street Live experience. To be honest, I was not really looking forward to it. I thought it would be a situation where I would be desperately searching for a cash bar. But, it was totally the exact opposite.


We had such a wonderful time and we all enjoyed the show so much. In fact, we left with the soundtrack and I am not even joking when I say that we listen to it every single day in the car. I can not wait to go again this January. The songs were so much fun and the I could not believe the dance moves of the actors in those big (and I can only imagine, very hot) costumes.

I am so thrilled to once again have four tickets to giveaway to one of you to the upcoming shows in Milwaukee! Sesame Street Live's "Elmo Makes Music" will be at the Milwaukee Theater on Saturday, January 14 and Sunday, January 15. In "Elmo Makes Music," the new music teacher’s instruments go missing. Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Big Bird, and more come to the rescue and discover instruments they never knew existed. Children learn that everyone can make and enjoy beautiful music together! 



The show runs for 90 minutes with a 15-minute intermission. When we went last year, Callum was just over two and was definitely entertained the whole time. He had no problem at all sitting through it. In fact, I'm pretty sure he clapped and danced the whole time. In addition, after we saw the show last year ("Make a New Friend"), we had so much to talk about with Callum. What I thought would just be a fun couple hours of entertainment, turned in to an educational opportunity that we still talk about today.


I really can not say enough wonderful things about these shows, and if you've ever taken your kids to one, I'm sure you'd agree! If you're interested in winning a four-pack of tickets to a show on either January 14 or 15 in Milwaukee, enter using the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway closes next Monday!

To learn more about the show or to purchase tickets, click here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 14, 2016

35 weeks (Alternative title: Over It)

This is your fair warning: I'm about to whine for a bit. I recognize everything could be worse and it's really not that bad, but sometimes, a girl's just gotta whine for a bit. If you're not in to it (which I totally understand), scroll to the bottom of the post for some baby products I'm looking forward to trying this time around.

Here we go.

These last two weeks have been rough. I feel like I was strolling right along just fine, and then BAM! I'm super pregnant and feeling it. I've received so many comments, too, about how I just seem to have popped. Plus, this last week and a half or so has just been a difficult week in general. Daylight saving times hit us like a ton of bricks. The the election on Tuesday (enough said). Then, on Saturday, Matt's dear cousin, Laura, passed away after a year-long battle with cancer. There's just been a lot of stuff to deal with, making these fast few weeks just that much tougher.

Back to the wonderful third trimester symptoms. I'm so uncomfortable almost all the time. It is hard to sit. It is hard to lie down. I'm out of breath just getting dressed. Bending over is just about impossible. Baby has been moving like crazy, too. For the most part, it's amazing! But, it's like he knows just when I've gotten comfortable, and then he digs his head in to my hip or rolls over my bladder. Matt and I were watching TV the other night (Stranger Things! OMG! So good.), and my belly was just bouncing and moving like crazy. I told Matt to feel it and he said it felt like this kid was boxing inside of me. Seriously. That's how intense the movements have been.



Sleep has also been much harder to come by. I feel like I am up every hour to go to the bathroom, because of acid reflux, or to roll over. Getting in and out of bed is such a project in and of itself. Thankfully, despite my disrupted sleep patterns, I haven't been too exhausted during the day. I just really wish I could have one full night of sleep.

I will say, I do think I am in better physical shape at this point than I was when I was 35 weeks pregnant with Callum. At 35 weeks with Callum, I was taking daily walks but had stopped running. This time around, I am still taking barre several times a week, which I think is really helping with my overall muscle tone. Despite feeling in shape (relatively), I still just feel huge. I hate the way all my clothes fit and just feel generally icky about my current appearance. I know this all comes with the territory, but it is still always an adjustment. We're taking our family Christmas photos this weekend, and I am hoping that seeing those will help me see myself through a better light.

The newborn anxiety has also totally set in. I feel like it's so much worse the second time around because you know what you are in for. Labor is hard and postpartum recovery is no fun. The "fourth trimester" is full of struggles. And, unfortunately, I am not blissfully ignorant about all of that anymore. Don't get me wrong: I am so excited to have this baby! We hoped for it for so long and it is hard to believe that the day is almost here. But, I now know just how difficult the newborn period is. It is an adjustment all around and I feel like I'm bracing myself for that crash landing.

I've been trying to soak in as many moments as I can with just Callum. I'm well aware of the fact that his world is about to be turned upside down, and that kind of breaks my heart. In a way, I feel like I'm in a little bit of a mourning period. We're saying goodbye to his days as an only child, and it fills me with all kinds of guilt and sadness. After we are all adjusted to life as a family of four, I know he is going to be an unbelievable big brother. We talk about the baby all the time. He has said how he's going to teach the baby to play hide and seek, share his toys, and even help burp the baby. This past weekend, we were washing and putting away baby clothes and he loved helping me find matching pairs for all the tiny socks. So, I think we are doing our best at showing him what's to come. But, there's really no way to fully prepare him. He is so social and always wants to be around other kids. Unfortunately for Callum, babies aren't nearly as exciting as another three-year-old is.

The big question: Are we ready? I think we're as ready as we'll ever be. The nursery is stocked with clothes and diapers. I've packed my hospital bag. We've discussed several options for care for Callum when it's time to go to the hospital. So, now we wait.

A few detail shots of baby's room. I painted the statement wall with my own two hands while I still had that second trimester energy.

New Baby Products with Number 2

We really didn't need to buy much when getting ready for this new baby. After all, we still have most of the essentials: crib, car seat, clothes, etc. Still, there are a few new products on the baby market that I am looking forward to trying out this time around. Here's what's on my list.



1. Wooden teethers - Not only are they so much cuter than the plastic rings, they are much safer, too. This particular teether is made from non-treated wood and finished with a non-toxic vegetable seed wax.

2. Dock A Tot - With Callum, the first few weeks at home were rough. I think much of that was because we didn't have a co-sleeping option. I wish I would've researched it more before Callum was born, instead of just listening to all of the scary warnings about it. This time, I hope to have baby next to me safely in the Dock A Tot. It is also super easy to move all over and ideal for travel. It designed for newborns all the way up to eight-month-olds, so it should be a great option for a while for visiting friends and family, too. Not to mention, it takes up much less space than a pack n play.

3. MamaROO - With Callum, we were lucky enough to have a family member lend us their swing. (Thanks, Sarah!) So, we were in the market for a swing for Baby 2. I looked at quite a few options and kept a close eye on local buy/sell/trade sites. When I saw a like-new MamaROO come up for a sale at a really great price, I jumped at the chance. So far, I can tell you that it is really easy to move and take the seat off to be washed. I also love how low to the ground it is (so Callum can easily see baby) and that it takes up much less room than a swing.

4. Grocery cart hammock - As we wait for our new addition, one of the main things I'm stressing over is how I'm going to get every day tasks done with two kids. Grocery shopping towards the top of the list. With this cart hammock, it will be much easier to fit both Callum and a baby in the cart. Shopping with Callum and a baby in a car seat will leave just about no room for the actual groceries. I'm thinking this little contraption will help solve that.

5. Matching pajamas - This one is totally just for fun. With two boys, I'm so excited to get them in matching pajama sets. Finn + Emma has some super cute ones that aren't too matchy, like the ones shown above. I'm sure Callum and his brother will thank me in their college years. ;)

Is there anything I'm missing? Have you tried any of these? Let me know what products were essential once you added that second baby to your family. I have a few exciting sponsored posts coming up in the next week. So, I'm sure I'll check in again before Baby gets here. Either way, it won't be long now! I truly am so looking forward to meeting our sweet little guy. My heart is bursting already.