Friday, July 24, 2015

Our Week in Photos

 I am always so happy to spend time with this strong, funny, kind woman.  Did I mention that she knows the best places to eat in Tallahassee?  We hit up this place for snowballs- shaved ice filled with soft serve and topped with flavored syrups and sweetened condensed milk.  YESSSS.

On Monday, August, Bash, and I hit up the GA Aquarium with another friend and her two children.  The six of us lasted nearly 2 hours, after which we all stumbled back to our cars in an exhausted haze.  Toddlers and babies and crowded spaces are such a great combination.

Lest you think the two older boys are the only ones who like to build things, here is photographic proof that Bash is also into castles.

On a Wednesday morning with no plans, I took my boys to one of our favorite paths, and left the stroller in the car, i.e. August had to walk.  We did a 1.5 mile loop, and he was (generally) a trooper!  We got to cool off/play with trucks in this little creek, which made the older kid very happy.

Bash was in the Ergo carrier, and seemed so content just gazing at the trees surrounding us and listen to me sing every so often.  He is such a chill kid sometimes.
And he's basically all cheeks these days!

Starting the truck obsession young!

Every so often, August just spontaneously 'hugs' Bash.  We never make him give kisses or hugs (even to us), so it's really sweet to see that he just veers toward being affectionate.  These boys are so entertaining to hang out with each day.

Bash has recently discovered his feet!  And socks!  Who knew the very best toys are already attached to us?!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Our Week in Photos

JP and I swapped our mid-afternoon-moment photos; this was mine.  August will run up behind me, wrapped his arms around my neck, and just hang out.  And Bash just looks like, 'Oh, what is this crazy contraption?'

 THAT FACE.  Heavens to Betsy, it is made for kissing.

'You see, Bash, the bed tips back and the dirt falls out.' 'Oh yes, of course.  I see that now.'
My imaginary conversations these boys have are always very civilized.

(See two comments above.)  This is how he woke up from a nap this week!

We took then boys to Dunwoody Nature Center and let August wander up and down the creek while Bash watched.  He is just so taken with his big brother.

August got this water/sand table for his birthday and our biggest mistake/hit has been putting enough sand for a small beach in one side.  He is entertained for hours at a time with this thing.

Dallas and Laura have a house!  Being the wonderful houseguests that we are, August climbed onto Uncle Dallas' lap mid-conversation to show him a truck video on JP's phone.

My favorite way to start the week lately is to run around a park near our house, then let August play in the playground.  This week, he decided to forgo the slides and ladders in favor of shoveling mulch from place to place in these little trucks.  It was a pretty big undertaking, but he managed.

Bash loves his hand-me-down bouncer!  He goes to town jumping up and down, and loves to hit that little keyboard (which does nothing fancy).  It's so fun to watch him enjoy this as much as August did!

It was a close friend's birthday last week, so we brought the fixin's for ice cream cones.  This is probably the first time these three boys have sat still and quietly in the last 18 months.

At a local nature center, August took it upon himself to organize this box of 'ribbits.'  He even made some of them hop around the table.  It was pretty cute.

A truly glamour mom moment in the Target dressing room.

Of course, the moms in my play group found the time to squeeze in a Magic Mike XXL screening.  We are busy, but have priorities.  And, oh man, was this movie awful but fun to watch.

Another mid-afternoon-moment photo for JP.

 The lighting in Bash's room is on point after his afternoon nap, and he has the cutest expression here!

JP is just the cutest dad with nostalgia.  He bid on this Playmobil castle set on eBay, and it's the exact one he played with as a kid.  Now he and August are enjoying building the walls and driving August's trains along the ramparts.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Things To Do in Your First Trimester

Being pregnant is pretty much the craziest time in life.  Assuming morning sickness hasn't taken over your day, things probably seem pretty normal to the outside world: no belly yet, no weird dark line down your stomach while in a bathing suit.  You look the same (with maybe a slightly larger chest), except there's this little being swimming around in your tummy.  
It's usually too early to tell the gender, so can't pick out a name or do a ton of registry items yet.  There's no way you're planning a baby shower so far in advance, and you're probably not even telling your work yet.  Have no fear!  There is still some fun stuff you can do in your first trimester to prep for baby, and to keep your third trimester from being way too busy.  

1. Research.  Don't go crazy; it's easy to fall down the rabbit hole of pregnancy information available both online and in a library/bookstore.  Check out a few reputable sources for the details on what happens during birth, pain options available to you in a hospital or birthing center, what's considered normal during each month of gestation, etc.  I enjoyed having a few apps on my phone to check periodically, as well as a couple of not-scary books to browse on my downtime.  The Mayo Clinic's line of pregnancy and baby books is pretty solid, and I also liked You and Your Baby .  I wish someone had told me how scary and kind-of irritating What to Expect When You're Expecting was, so I will say it hear: pass on this publication.

2 & 3. Now that you have an idea of what you want out of your birth experience, you'll need to  find a good midwife/obstetrician.  This kind of goes hand-in-hand with hospital tours, so we'll lump these together.  
I moved halfway through my pregnancy with August, so just wound up at the first ob practice I could find that delivered at the best hospital in our area.  They took blood at nearly every appointment, did a lot of (unnecessary) tests, and were very sterile.  They had a small office, though, and I had to schedule every ultrasound with a different practice, resulting in more driving and appointments.  Had I done more research, I would have found that they specialize in high-risk pregnancies, which mine was not.  I swore I would find a less invasive practice for the next time around.
When I was pregnant with Bash, I went with a midwife practice close to us, which drew blood only twice and had an ultrasound machine and technician in house.  I really liked the midwives, and the low-key approach to each visit.  However, midwives can't deliver at the hospital I used with August, so I had to use another one, which I did not enjoy nearly as much.  
The point of this long-winded story is that the midwives/doctors and hospitals you use matter.  They can make the birthing experience awesome or a disaster.  Do your research and check out your options.  If you want a water birth, make sure your hospital has the tubs.  If you want a midwife, ensure they have privileges at your chosen hospital.

4. Start a journal. I have done a lousy job of documenting my second pregnancy, and have yet to even write down Bash's birth story (which sounds silly, but I don't want to forget anything!).  Write down your partner's reaction to a positive pregnancy test, keep a list of baby names you like, jot down your fears and joys.  It'll be a hoot to compare your pregnancies, if you have more than one. 

5. It's easy to get overwhelmed and compare yourself to other moms and your pre-pregnant self, so be kind.  To yourself, to your partner, to your pet.  If this is your first pregnancy, it's all new and you're doing the best you can.  If you're too tired to exercise today, nap and try again tomorrow.  If you cry during Mighty Ducks 2 (not that I would know anything about that), laugh it off and blame the hormones.  There is enough going on, so don't add to your stress level.  Do your best to choose kindness.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Our Week in Photos

We've had a pretty full week here in Georgia; let's get to it!

Tuesday morning, the boys and I set out to a nearby farm for some blackberry picking.  I would say about half of the berries ended up in August's tummy, not the basket.  He was happy, though, so whatever works!  How adorable is he in those overalls?!

 I got some baby snuggles while August played in the Chattahoochee at a park later that day.  Bash just loves watching his big brother play; it's so cool to watch him already looking up to August.

 August took his job of shoveling sand and throwing it into the river very seriously.  Also, fed a LOT of bread to the ducks in the distance.

 Doesn't Mia look like she's about to lead a board meeting with her legs like that?

 The big guy in his happy place: an empty ball pit with a mini dig-dig in one hand and mini dump truck in the other.  On rainy or super hot (or super cold) days, indoor playgrounds are a lifesaver, especially when we can meet up with friends to get our energy out!

 A contemplative Bash wonders how many of August's mini trucks he can grab before August notices.

 Hahaha, just kidding.  Bash knows not to mess with his big bro's toys!
That smile just gets me every time.

 August's new move is to run up behind me and jump onto my back for a rear hug.  It's very sweet, if a bit out of left field.

Oh man, I had every intention of posting this update yesterday, but spent most of the day in the doctor's office, then the ER, with my men.  Bash had an insanely high fever all day, and, after having blood drawn and a catheter to pull a sample, we discovered that he has a UTI and minor ear infection.  He was such a trooper with all the people poking him, and it broke my heart that he was feeling so bad.  We were at the best kids' hospital in the area, though (Children's Healthcare of Atlanta was amazing), and they were so accommodating with it being a Friday before a holiday.  We are so lucky that we've made it two years without a visit to the ER; here's hoping that we can make it even more next time. 
Bash is on antibiotics and a strict snuggle schedule to feel better.  

Monday, June 29, 2015

August Turns Two!

This guy here-
this sweet little man who waves by to everyone in the building while leaving his summer camp (saying, 'Bye, friends!')-

who rocks this long haircut and loves his bath times with Papa to entertain him (especially with bath gel bubbles)-

who gamely stops his goofy antics to let me document his insane cuteness and thinks glasses are the ultimate accessory-

who can't get enough bubbles and could not be more affectionate-

and looks awesome with chalk on his face-

he turned TWO yesterday!  This year has flown by even faster than his first, so it came as a bit of a shock to realize there would be an 's' at the end of his age now (yearS old).  
August, you are SO MUCH FUN to hang out with.  Yes, you are a toddler, and so have your moments of frustration and exhaustion, but they are so minuscule compared to the smiles and laughs.  You can't get enough of anything that goes: boats, construction vehicles, motorcycles.  It has been so heartwarming to watch you with your little brother these past few months; you've given him a pacifier when he's sad, spontaneously hugged him, and say, 'Night night, Bashy Boo' when he goes down for his afternoon nap.  Our sweetest moments are when we snuggle during your bedtime stories, and, not surprisingly, your favorite new book is Good Night, Good Night, Construction Site.  We have so much fun playing, singing, watching cartoons, and running around playgrounds together.  I can't wait to see what this year holds!

We celebrated with a construction-themed cake with the abuelos and tias.  The cake came second to the mini trucks on top, scooping graham cracker sand!
Happy birthday, my little sweet potato pie!  

P.S. Bash was nonplussed most of the day.  I think he was bummed there was no cake for him!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

What We Did in May (Part 2)

 After a busy baptism weekend, we dropped August off with his abuelos for a few days while Bash and I trailed JP on a work trip to DC.  I had the days to myself to visit with some friends and our old haunts, then would meet up with JP after his conference to do dinner and walks around the city.

The first day we were in DC, it reached the mid-90s!  Poor Bash got a bit warm, but still very cute in his whale romper.
We wandered around Foggy Bottom, Georgetown, and Dupont Circle with Aunt SJ before heading back to the hotel to cool down.  My phone pedometer says I walked 8 miles that day!  Whew!

JP and I took Bash to BTS, our favorite burger place in our old neighborhood.  He was a little nonplussed, but a little too young to appreciate the milkshakes ;)

 After our trip away, we could not have been happier to pick up the big brother and snuggle in the living room!  I did not love being away from one of the boys; after only 4 months, it feels so much better with our family of 4 together.

 The morning after we returned from DC, we packed up again for Memorial Day weekend in Naples, FL with the abuelos.  We all piled in the plane with plenty of iPhone videos to keep August happy and snacks for the rest of us!

 30 minutes after we touched down in Naples, our toes were in the sand.  August took his job of shoveling all of the sand on the beach very seriously.

 This trip to the beach was exactly what I was hoping for August; he didn't want to get out of the water!  He would walk straight up to his chin, then hold our hands as he just walked laps parallel to the shore.  Such a water baby!


JP saw this cute little train museum on our drive to the house, so took August on our second day there.  There was a HUGE model train exhibit...

 ...and a mini train we took a ride on!  It was a very cute outing.

 We have way too much fun playing with this kid's hair.  He was a little less than impressed with the beach, but took a couple of good naps and was generally happy if we were holding him.

 I got to see my cousin Justin, who works in south Florida now!  It was so great to catch up with my family; we spend so much time with Diegos, and can't forget about the Summers/Shelton side!

 That little face!  Total mom bragging moment: Bash is already rolling both ways.  Most babies hit that milestone at 6 months, and he mastered it by 4 months.  Needless to say, I am convinced that he is destined for greatness.

 We know every splash pad in a 10-mile radius, and are not afraid to use them on these heatwave days in ATL.

 August trying to keep up with the big kids on a Hike It, Baby hike.  He walked the entire mile loop!  He's not even 2 years old yet!  Another amazing Diego kid.

Good book, great kid.

The High Museum here in ATL has a retrospective of Mo Willems' work.  (The awesome children's author who write the Pigeon, Gerald and Piggie, and Knuffle Bunny books!) We got to take August on opening day and had the best time!

The boys closed out the month with a kiss in their matching monster pjs.  It was a pretty good, busy month!