Monday, February 29, 2016

Fun with Nolan

Jeremy and I have really been enjoying how playful Nolan is lately. He's making more and more sounds and learning new things everyday. Over the weekend, we went to the park. 
Nolan enjoyed the swing like usual!
Sweet smiles 
Going down the slide for the first time with Dad!
Our turn.
Coordinating outfits and a new hair cut for me. I love how the hair stylist curls it. I really want to learn to curl my hair better. I've never been great at it. 
Nolan pulled himself up on his activity table for the first time. This was right after a diaper change and didn't even get his pants back on. He's gotten much squirmier on the changing pad lately. I can't blame him. Who wants to get dressed or get a diaper change when you could be playing?  
I recently went shopping for some new spring and summer clothes for Nolan. Here he is trying one of them on. I got him 18 month at Carters but when I washed this one it was pretty fitted. Looks like I'll need to switch to 24 months. He's grown very fast. 

I'm so fortunate I get to spend my days with him. His bubbly personality brings a smile to my face. I'm thankful everyday I get to be his Mommy. 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

13 weeks!

How far along? 13 weeks 
Total weight gain: 1 pound 
Maternity clothes: just switching over to maternity pants soon because ones that button are getting tight. Regular shirts are fine. 
Baby is the size of a: peach 
Stretch marks? No
Sleep: Waking up often to use the bathroom and strange dreams 
Miss anything? A frozen cocktail but virgin ones and Coke with grenadine fill the gap! 
Movement: not yet but looking forward to those kicks again! 
Best moment this week: our house making some progress and starting to think about the nursery and having two little ones in our new home. 
Food cravings: nothing in particular. I haven't been wanting ice cream lately which is unusual for me. 
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope. I definitely got lucky I didn't get morning sickness with either pregnancy. 
Gender: Waiting to announce this for a bit. 
Labor Signs: Nope 
Symptoms: Just starting to feel my stomach grow a little and still tired but generally feeling well. 
Belly Button in or out? In 
Wedding rings on or off? On
Mood: excited 
Looking forward to: my next appointment on March 16th and hearing that heartbeat again. I can't wait for the 20 week anatomy scan but we still have about 7 weeks until that. 
I still need to get weekly stickers or a little chalkboard. Just haven't gotten around to it!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Building updates

After a week of on and off again rain, we got to see some building progress today! It was a beautiful sunny day, and they were able to lay our basement and garage floor as well as the entry porch. 
Actively working.
Entry porch 

Many of the other houses on our cul de sac are complete. It's nice that most of the building will be finished on our street by the time we close. Google fiber is coming to our neighborhood soon too, and we are hoping that will be ready before we move in. 

I'm really looking forward to watching the framing. All the wood seems to be there ready to go. More pictures coming soon!
Today we met our friends Brittney and Bo  for lunch in Woodstock. We went to a place called Truck and Tap. It's a neat concept. They have a bar inside with some indoor seating and then some outdoor seating. Each day a different food truck shows up. Saturday is apparently the lobster truck day. The lobster roll and lobster Mac and cheese were delicious! Nolan even tried the lobster meat and enjoyed it! We walked around town together. It felt great to see the sun after a very rainy week!

We also went to Woodstock furniture outlet to browse furntiure. A few friends had recommended it, and we definitely saw somethings we liked! We plan to go back soon closer to move in! 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Thon weekend

Penn State's Dance Marathon has always held a special place in my heart since I was a dancer ten years ago. Gosh I can't believe it's been that long. I loved being involved in an event that amazing that raised money for pediatric cancer and to support families living the nightmare of having a child diagnosised with cancer.

This year was my first THON as a parent, and it really made think about my child and how this could happen to any family at any time. Every year, I try to catch the online webcast of family hour which is a time when a few families share their heartbreaking stories. Hearing what these children and their families go through would make anyone tear up. The phone call with the diagnosis, the long drive to the hospital, chemotherapy, sickness, bloodwork, long waits, expensive medical bills, and the list goes on. I can't even imagine the emotions, the fear, and the stress that experience must bring. Every year, I'm reminded how insignificant my problems can be and how important it is to appreciate when your family is in good health. 

I always used to think far in the future and plan ahead. Lately, I've been trying to live more in the moment and appreciate today and all the good things that are happening. Life is full of ups and down. Recently, we've fortunately had many exciting times and much to celebrate. It's not always like this, and I recognize how fortunate I am. 

Whether you're going through a tough time, a happy time, or an in between time, I think it's important to try and enjoy where we are at and realize it's all a part of our story. Every year, THON weekend always makes me proud to be a Penn State alumni. I hope we are closer to finding a cure for cancer.

Monday, February 22, 2016

10 months!

Weight/Height: 24lbs and 28.5in (estimates since we didn't have a doctors appointment this month) 

Hair:  It is light brown. Longer in the back and finer on the top. 

Eyes: Bright blue with long eyelashes 

Clothes: He is wearing 12-18 month clothes. 

Diapers: Size 4 (he has been in 4s for a while.) We still do the overnight diaper with a pad insert to try and prevent leaks.

Sleeping: he was been sleeping so well lately. He really improved once he turned 9 months. The past ten days he has slept through the night with the exception of one night. He typically sleeps 7:30pm-7:30-am. He's also getting better at falling back asleep himself if he wakes up. He also takes two naps one in the morning around 10-11 and one in the afternoon around 3. 

Likes: eating, bath time, car rides, reading books, listening to songs, and his activity table

Dislikes: getting his face cleaned after eating, getting dressed, being sleepy 

Eating: He is breastfed 4 times a day. Typically at 8am, 12pm, 4pm, and at bedtime. He has solids now after he nurses for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. He is eating what we eat and prefers regular food over baby food. He will generally eat most fruits and veggies. He also likes bread, pasta, and cheese. So far he isn't a picky eater. 

Milestones:  he can crawl, sit up, and feed himself. He attempts to pull himself up but still struggles with that. He can support himself while standing and holding onto something. He makes lots of sounds and "talks" a lot.

We miss our comfy chair that is currently in storage while our house is being built so this is our temporary replacement!
Love this smile! These pictures have definitely gotten hard to take as he moves quickly. 
He did not want to lay on his back for a picture. We will try again after nap time! 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Weekend updates

On Friday night, we went to a restaurant called Luminary at Krog street market. Overall, I wasn't very impressed with the food. The bread was delicious though and the restaurant was cute. We were celebrating Riley's 30th birthday. It felt nice to have a night out. Nolan's been going to bed around 7:30 so we put him to bed and made our 8pm reservation. It's really easy with living at my Mom's. If she is home after he goes to bed, we can go out for a bit, and she can listen out for him.

On Saturday the weather was warm so we went on a walk on the Silver Comet trial and any our new house. 
Nolan enjoyed the ride.
The rain seems to be delaying the pouring of the concrete for the garage and basement floor. Hopefully that will be done this week. 
Notice the wooden framing around where the concrete will be poured. 
This is where the garage will be.
Soon to be basement floor.
The wood for our lot has been dropped off. The framing should be happening shortly after the concrete is poured. It has been fun to watch the progress. 
On Sunday, we went to brunch to celebrate Ashley's birthday. Her fiancĂ© Chris planned it at Canoe. Her treated everyone too which was very thoughtful. I loved the idea of a birthday brunch. You could hear everyone and who doesn't love brunch? May have to do something similar for my 30th! 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

12 weeks

How far along? 12 weeks 
Total weight gain: 0 pounds 
Maternity clothes? Not yet but pants with a button are getting uncomfortable 
Stretch marks? No
Sleep: pretty good. Lots of dreams early in pregnancy like last time.
Miss anything? Deli meat 
Movement: not yet 
Best moment this week: getting the results of my bloodwork
Food cravings: nothing different than usual
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope. In the evenings sometime my stomach feels a little unsettled but it's not bad.
Gender: we know but we are waiting to announce until we have it confirmed by ultrasound. I had the harmony blood test that tests for different chromosome abnormalities, Down's syndrome, and it can also check for the X or Y chromosome in your blood. Pretty amazing to know the gender at just 11 weeks.
Labor Signs: nope 
Symptoms: mostly like getting tired more easily than usual. 
Belly Button in or out? In 
Wedding rings on or off? On
Mood: excited but anxious. The first trimester is always a bit nerve wracking. I tend to get anxious right before appointments and feel relieved after I hear the heartbeat again. 
Looking forward to: my next doctors appointment and getting a baby bump. 

It's hard to believe I'm more than a quarter of the way through my second pregnancy. We are getting so close to being through the first trimester. This pregnancy is very similar to my first pregnancy. I'm on a Sunday schedule this time so that's when a new week begins. This post is a day early!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

What a difference a few years makes

Recently, I've been thinking a lot about this pregnancy and our infertility issues last time. It still feels surreal that I was able to get pregnant naturally while nursing and with a PCOS diagnosis. This experience has made me wonder about many things and what was different this time as opposed to last time. 

A couple years ago, I remember feeling so frustrated by my body when I wanted to be pregnant, and it wasn't happening. When I was given the PCOS diagnosis, I thought we would likely have issues trying to get pregnant in the future too. I remember being upset that my body was struggling to do something was typical of the female body. Fast forward to now, and my body has amazed me more than ever before.

Many people have asked me, aren't you still nursing? I am still nursing, and you can definitely get pregnant while breastfeeding. What I find incredible is that my body is able to nourish two babies. I'm still feeding Nolan about 4 times a day while also growing another little baby. I once felt so defeated by my body, and suddenly, I feel so proud of the amazing things it is doing for our family. 

I always had heard stories about women who had a hard time the first time, and the second time around was much easier. I never in a million years dreamed that would be part of my story. It makes me wonder if stress played a role or if the hormones from taking birth control caused a problem. Things seemed to reset after my first pregnancy. I had heard that often happens but wasn't sure if I would be that lucky. 

Given our experience trying last time, once Nolan was six months old, we decided to not really try but not really prevent. I know that to many people that seems very quick. We just weren't sure if it might take a year or longer, and we really wanted to give it a shot in our own before getting a specialist involved. 

In October, I had my yearly OB/GYN appointment, and I got the all clear that my body was healed and if another pregnancy were to happen, things should be good. My doctor reminded me that people get pregnant while nursing but do people get pregnant while nursing that have PCOS? It seemed pretty impossible to me. I remember telling my doctor it would be like a dream come true if we could conceive on our own, even if that meant having two babies close in age. 

So here we are, almost 12 weeks into the pregnancy. It feels like it's going by quickly since I didn't find out right away. I bypassed that dreaded two week wait that I was so aware of when we were trying with Nolan and those first few weeks that are always nerve wracking. I recently had an appointment were we did some bloodwork to check for different chromosome abnormalities and fortunately everything came back low risk with a one in 10,000 chance. That was a relief when I got that phone call. Every little bit of reassurance is much appreciated. My next appointment is at 15 weeks and then again at 20 weeks. So far my body has been handling pregnancy and nursing well. I surprisingly didn't have morning sickness with this baby either. I seem to be one of the lucky few that avoids it. More updates soon! 

Pregnancy recap so far

It was Saturday morning January 9th, and I decided to take a pregnancy test. I had had one cycle in early November which was my first since Nolan was born. I was still nursing so it surprised me that I did because for many women, it doesn't return until after you stop breastfeeding. I had taken a test in December when I was  technically late which ended up being negative. I wasn't sure whether it was PCOS or breastfeeding but I just assumed for the next month I was back to irregular cycles like when we were trying with Nolan. 

After taking many tests the first time around and seeing many negative ones, when I took this one, I honestly wasn't expecting to see what I saw. There was a second line! Jeremy was still asleep and of course I ran over to him to see if he saw it too. I took a digital one shortly after and sure enough it agreed. Then I began to wonder, how far along am I? They have a weeks estimator test over the counter now that I tried to give me a better idea. It advised me that I was 3 weeks or more past ovulation which would mean I was 5-6 weeks already. 
Since it was a weekend, I waited until
Monday morning to call the doctor. They brought me in to confirm with bloodwork and to check my progesterone levels. Last pregnancy my hcg and progesterone were a bit low at first so I wanted to make sure everything looked okay. 

On Tuesday January 12th, I got the pregnancy confirmation call. My HCG was very high at 38,000 which indicated I was further along that I thought. With Nolan my first HCG check was 17. Quite the difference! My doctor scheduled my first ultrasound for the following week on January 21st.

The weekend before my ultrasound appointment, I got very sick. At first I thought it was morning sickness. I felt so awful and couldn't even keep water down. We ended up going to the ER because I was really dehydrated. Typically I would have waited out this stomach bug longer but with nursing and being newly pregnant, I worried when I wasn't able to eat or drink for so many hours. 

I was given fluids and then I ended up having my first ultrasound at the hospital. My heart started racing as they wheeled me back to the ultrasound department. I felt so weak and tired from being sick but was excited to get to see our tiny baby. I just hoped everything was okay. Everything was looking normal, and the tech said I would be due September 6th and that I was 6.5 weeks along. 

The next week, I had my pregnancy confirmation appointment and ultrasound at my OBs office. They gave me a similar due date of September 4th. We estimated the due date from the ultrasound instead of the last period because it is more accurate. This ultrasound was from about 7 weeks. 
Jeremy and I are thrilled about adding another baby to our family. After our struggles last time around, we decided to just see what happened this time around. We knew we wanted more children and hoped to not have to go the specialist route again. We feel incredibly fortunate are very grateful for this pregnancy and that it wasn't a stressful process this time around.

It's been such a different experience getting pregnant this time but equally as special. We've enjoyed being able to surprise our family and friends. Last time, we were very open about trying to start a family and this time we have been able to share the news as we felt ready. I look forward to documenting this pregnancy as well and seeing the similarities and differences these next few months. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Exciting news to share!

Baby Ciak #2 coming early September 2016! We are super excited about our growing family, and Nolan becoming a big brother. I have a bunch of posts to catch up on from the last few weeks while we had been keeping this news a secret. A lot has happened in 2016 already! 

With Nolan, people knew we were trying. This time around it's been nice to gradually share this pregnancy with family and friends as we see them. It's fun to surprise people! The shirt Nolan is wearing is how we revealed to our family. We brought Nolan over wearing the shirt and seeing their reaction was pretty priceless. 
I love the excitement on Nolan's face in this picture. 

I will be 12 weeks this upcoming weekend! I'll do some posts shortly recapping when we found out! 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Valentine's Day weekend

It was a fun filled Valentine's Day weekend. On Friday night, I had a girls night while Jeremy stayed home with Nolan. It felt really nice to catch up with some of my old coworkers and have a dinner out together. I hope Jeremy enjoyed his quiet evening to himself. Nolan went to sleep early before I left for dinner which worked out well for everyone. He's also slept through the night for 12 hours 5 consecutive nights. It's been the most sleep I've gotten in 10 months. It feels great to get some extra rest although I do still wake up occasionally I guess out of habit. I think the break from teething plus the addition of more foods that were are eating has helped him sleep longer. We really haven't done anything differently. It seems his body is ready for these longer sleep stretches. I hope he can keep it up but also know he will be going through more developmental changes soon as he learns to pull himself up and walk. I never anticipate a sleep schedule sticking but instead I enjoy each good night we have.

On Saturday morning, I went to my friend Ashley's wedding dress fitting. Her wedding is just two months away in Savannah. I'm super excited to be a part of her wedding day. She looks stunning in her dress! I have really enjoyed getting to be a part of her wedding planning since she's has been back in Atlanta. With many of my close friends far away, I missed these exciting times. I am glad I've been able to be a part of this wonderful time for Ashley and Chris. 

On Saturday afternoon, we ran a few more errands and did our food shopping for the week. We've been having issues forwarding our mail since our townhouse was previously a model home. The post office keeps telling me our home address is a business and that they can't forward our mail. It's been a bit frustrating and no one seems to know how to fix the problem. So long story short, they are holding our mail, and we have to go pick it up. Most important things we have changed our address but I was surprised how much mail we had being held. I'm hoping we can get this issue resolved this week as it's been a few weeks already. 

On Sunday, we had brunch with Jeremy's family. His sister was in town visiting for the long weekend. Nolan enjoyed seeing his family. We got some cute pictures! 
Group shot
Janine made chicken and waffles and chocolate covered strawberries. It was delicious. 
We also celebrated Riley's 30th birthday a little early. The candles said "29 again" which was funny. That German chocolate cake was awesome too. 
Nolan loved playing with Aunt Jessica and Aunt Riley.
After brunch, we went furniture shopping.  We aren't ready to make any purchases since the house won't be ready until May/June but I wanted to start getting ideas of what styles we like. The main things we are looking for is a living room set, a dining room set, and a refrigerator. 
This was one of the tables and chairs we liked. We saw some couches and coffee tables/end tables we liked too. I can be pretty indecisive when it comes to big decisions like furniture purchases. It was good to go look with Jeremy and find things we both liked. Fortunately we usually agree well on what we are both looking for.
I think Nolan got tired of furniture shopping. He couldn't keep his eyes open after a little while. 

On Sunday night, Jeremy cooked dinner for me. We put Nolan to bed first and ate just the two of us. Typically we eat dinner with Nolan but since it was a special occasion we decided to eat later. 
Cajun shrimp fettuccine Alfredo with broccoli and mushrooms. It came out great! I'm fortunate to have a husband that's an awesome cook. And just like that the weekend was over!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Nolan updates

I can't believe how quickly this first year has gone. Recently I was looking at some of Nolan's pictures as a newborn, and it was fun to see those changes. Sometimes it feels like just yesterday that he was born and other times it feels like he's been a part of our lives forever. I really feel like I have enjoyed every moment, even the challenging ones, and I am proud of him everyday as I watch him turn into a little boy.

I also think I've really started to be more comfortable in my role as a Mom. In the beginning, everything was new and I found myself worrying about every little thing. I think that's natural as a new Mom. I worried about the flat spot he had on his head, I worried when he wasn't sleeping through the night like other babies his age, and the list goes on. Worrying about your child is part of being a Mom but I've really been working on trying to worry less, compare less, and just focus on Nolan. Social media makes it very easy to want to compare your child to other children. It's easy to see when other babies are hitting milestones and easy to think, why hasn't my child done that yet? As the months pass, I'm trying to be more laid back and realize that Nolan is developing at his own rate. Unless his doctor is concerned about something, I try not to be concerned either. We've been very fortunate that so far he's been growing, he's been healthy, and he's generally a very happy baby. That's really all you can ask as a parent. There are going to be hiccups along the way so it's important to enjoy the good times!
He has continued to do well eating foods this week. My mom cooked us a Thanksgiving like dinner this week, and Nolan really enjoyed the roasted chicken, green beans, and her homemade stuffing. I also made a veggie pasta dish and he did great with the squash, zucchini, spinach, and mushrooms. He loved the noodles and cheese too but I love that he's getting lots of veggies as well. 

Lately his schedule has gotten more predictable. He has slept through the night the past two nights which was exciting. I nursed him to sleep at 7:30pm, and he didn't wake up until 7:15-7:30am. Those were record sleep stretches for him. I tend to still wake up and check the monitor because I'm accustomed to waking up. He is still napping well and typically takes two naps. One morning and one afternoon. They usually range from 1-2 hours each. He is typically awake from 7:30-10:30, 12:30-3:30, and 4:30-7:30. Most of the outings I have I try to plan during those times but I try to be flexible too. After about three hours of playing he typically needs some sleep. The times all vary day to day depending when he wakes up in the morning but generally speaking, he is pretty predictable. 

Nursing has been going well for the most part but I still have days and weeks where it hurts. I'm not sure whether I'm just sensitive but I still occasionally crack or his teeth will irritate me. So far he is still very interested in nursing. Sometimes he is more squirmy and active but for the most part he stays still and enjoys nursing. My favorite nursing session of the day is before bedtime when he's typically sleepy and falls asleep in my arms. Nursing has been such a huge part of my life for almost ten months now, and I feel really proud of both us for making it this far. It hasn't always been easy but I absolutely think it has been worth it.

 I hope you all have a nice Valentine's Day weekend! More soon!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The start of a basement

We have the beginning of a house!
Left side 
Right side 
I believe our project manager mentioned waterproofing would be happening soon. I think that's what the black part is for. It's been very cold the past few days but the rain has stayed away. Hopefully that's helpful for the builders. 

We are excited that the framing will start shortly. It will be neat to watch that go up. Now that we have the sale of our townhouse behind us, we have a bit of a break before the next move. We've been monitoring the interest rates and have been discussing loan interest rate locks but at this time we are going to wait it out a little longer. There are fees involved in locking about 4 months out. Hopefully rates will stay where they are until we get a little closer. It's hard to make a decision about that since there is no way to predict what the rates will do. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Birthday celebrations

This weekend we celebrated a friend's 30th birthday on Friday night and two first birthdays on Saturday and Sunday. It was a fun filled, busy weekend. 
Clara's party was on Saturday. It was a Dr. Seuss "oh the places you'll go" theme. Amanda always does such a wonderful job planning parties. It was fun a great time.
Nolan enjoyed the ride in Clara's new wagon. We might need to get him one of these! He loved it!
Playing with balloons is fun.
Hanging out with Dad.
On Sunday we went to Coleton's party. 
Coleton's mom, Kristen and I taught together for a couple years and both stay home now. Our boys are 10 weeks apart.
Nolan enjoyed playing with the other kids and watching Coleton open his gifts. It's hard to believe these little ones are a year and that our little guy will be soon too. 
We also had brunch with Jeremy's family on Sunday. 
Nolan had fun playing with uncle Jonathan and the dogs. 

Hope everyone had a nice weekend and has a great week ahead!

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