Wednesday, May 29, 2013

nap time.

Nap time dilemma.

What do you moms do? We have only one nap time daily with Cora. Its usually about 2 hours long. I struggle with what to do-

Should I...
a. shower and do my hair
b. take a nap too (pregnancy talking here)
c. run some errands
d. clean the house
e. do craft projects/blog
f. relax and talk with my husband
g. catch up on phone calls to friends/family
e. try to cram in all the above, then wonder why it didn't work out.

Two nap times I suppose would be more productive. But she hasn't ever gone for it. One nap and an early bedtime, that's what we have to work with...and a usually happy babe/toddler. Any suggestions? Brilliant time saving tips/ life simplifiers?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

week 16

I have been really draggin' my feet on this one. Sorry tater tot. Weekly bump pictures. Uggh. I just feel so much bigger (ie. fatter) this time around. I am "showing earlier" but it's really just fat, or lack of stomach muscle to hold in my organs. But alas, I know that I want to do weekly pictures. So I just need to do them, and get over it. I will be thankful. And if tater tot turns out to be a girl... and her sister (Cora) had tons of weekly mom-pregnancy photos, and tater tot has none... I'd feel awful.

So here it is, just now starting at week 16. I posted my update on the first trimester weeks 1-12 [here]. But the end of week 13 was scary for us. I started to bleed and have cramping. We were sad, and scared just not knowing if this was the start of a miscarriage. I don't like not knowing things. Health is an uncertain, scary thing I think. So I called the OB office and an on-call nurse told me that I was either miscarrying or the bleeding is totally normal. That I couldn't be rushed in there to have an ultrasound to check... because who knows, maybe we find a heart beat, then 3 hours later the baby doesn't have a heartbeat. False hope really. I get it. It sucked though. And I just wanted to know. But time would tell. Turns out it stopped. Yay!!

We had our 14 week appointment with our midwife and confirmed a heartbeat!!! Little tater tot is still here. Weeks 14-15, uneventful...which was nice. I find myself trying to focus more on Cora and less on the pregnancy. To take in our little family of 3, for it won't be long until it's 4. So I am trying to be intentionally present. Present in the here and now. It's wonderful.

...but why not look to the past too? ...for shits and giggles?
oh yea. things look a little different. a little aged, a little bigger. oh, parenthood.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

mom guilt.

[15 weeks pregnant... the bump pictures will come soon, I think]

So I find myself with guilt. Mom guilt. Whenever I go to the store (who are we kidding, its always Target), when cora is napping and I leave her at home with matt... I feel guilt. I feel so bad when I drive away that I could take longer than her nap and that I could miss something super awesome. I know she loves her time with just dad...and he loves it too. But I want to be there all the time AND be able to run off to target :) Matt tells me whenever I leave the house to take my time. I respond with, "umm....yea, sure. ok. but text me as soon as she wakes up." I do not take my time, I am rushed the whole time, frantic, sad, and full of guilt...and I just wish my mini-matt sidekick was right there with me, dangling her tiny legs in the cart. So weird. I try to justify myself out of these bizarre silly feelings but I think I just love her. I love my time with her. I love that my work schedule allows me to have multiple days off with her. I just want to cherish it. So should I feel guilty about leaving her? maybe I should wait to run off to target to when she sleeps at night.

Next guilt? Having a second babe. Eeesh. I feel so bad about this one, like I am cheating on Cora. Ridiculous. But does anyone else feel these things? I love Cora so much, I wanted her so badly... she is my world. She is our little person that we made and we love every single move she makes. And now we are "supposedly" going to love a second tiny human just as much?! I find this hard to believe. I tell Cora all the time she is my favorite. haha. I would die if I thought my parents loved my sister more than me, or vice versa. Its just that we do love her. She is our only child right now, and we love the hell out of her. What will she do with a baby? Will she be scared? Will she feel less loved? Will she fear us (me and tater tot) in the hospital after delivery? Breaks my heart. I felt these same feelings when I was pregnant with Cora. People told me that I would love my child more than my husband- different, but intense, that I would do anything for her. It made me sad. I loved matt so much, and I didn't want that to diminish or for it to be spread thin to another person. Well I was capable of loving two people just as much and just as equally as fierce. I would give anything for either of them. So I suppose we throw one more in the mix. I shouldn't feel guilty. Right?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

DIY Busy Board

For Cora's first birthday we decided our present to her would be a busy board. I had found multiple types of busy boards on pinterest- super cute, fun, and utterly entertaining for kiddos. I told matt about my grand idea to make Cora one...and off we went to Home Depot. We wanted to have a big board that was mounted on the wall at an appropriate cora-height. It was to have many gadgets on it... things that she finds already fascinating in real life. And as she gets taller- we just keep moving it up the wall or down for the next kiddo.

I'd like to tell you that this project was affordable and easy. But it wasn't. Matt thankfully had the skills to mount all of these crazy devices. But the gadgets and the wood- they added up real fast (ie. $100)! Perhaps if you used items from your home, or a recycled building materials store, or chose to make a smaller-scale busy board...this would be a thriftier DIY project. Alas. It was a fun project for us, and Cora loves it.

1. Buy materials
We bought a piece of plywood 2' x 4' for the board itself then some 2" x 2" to make a frame. Next we roamed around each aisle looking for fun gadgets. We also bought some spray polyurethane and I had acrylics at home already. This is what we came up with:

- master lock with key
- combination lock
- gate latches

- door chain

- PVC caps to screw on and off

- tap lights
- door stopper thing

- light switch
- chain links with a carabiner

- pulley with a rope
- a random knob
- door knob (found at a local re-use store. I only needed half of the knob with the locking it was perfect and under $1)
- a few eye hole screws and U-bolts
- a garden faucet knob (not pictured here... but red, and fun)

- two doors made from scrap wood we had: each with pictures of our dogs behind them
- hinges for the doors

2. We laid out the gadgets together on the blank board, to see what looked best for ease of her "working" and visual appeal. Then traced out where each went with pencil.

3.  Matt pre-drilled holes in the busy board for each gadget and sanded it. This took him a ton of time. He also had to cut down metal things- like the eye-hole screws or back of the door knob- they would have protruded through our living room wall (not okay).

4. We came up with a design to paint it. We love the look of real wood... so we went with a subtle herringbone in some fun colors we were okay with having on our living room wall. This design we blue-painter-taped out, then randomly painted with acrylics. Matt & I each took a color and painted some random diagonals...and then we went to the next colors. So. much. fun.

5. Then spray- polyurethaned the board and doors. And let it dry for a day.

oh hi cora. you're right, maybe I should stop taking photos from scary places... pregnant.

6. Matt started to install all of the contraptions at this point. Lots of screwing & gluing I tell you.

7. Make the mounting frame with the 2" x 2" frame, then glued it on the back of the busy board. Matt clamped it and let it dry.

8. Mount the board to the wall with some HUGE screws.

9. Then you're ready for the big reveal! Cora's favorite item on the board - the lock and key. Crazy. She almost has it down. Also our dogs hiding behind the doors- super fun for her.

- I wish that we had rigged the light switch to turn on a little light bulb on the busy board. Matt is handy...but not an electrician. This would have taken some more google searches and even more effort. However, sweet little cora, each time she turns on the "light switch" she looks around to see which light in the house turned off or on. It breaks my heart. That girl is so smart, and I am ruining her world of light switch's cause and effect. Next time. Ha.
- I wish we had put two hinges on each door. It would have been sturdier for all of the tugging. It's far.
- I wish we had looked longer for unique latches. As it was we spent a lot of time and money on the project, so it wasn't really feasible in our minds. But it would be fun to have some crazy fun contraptions from antique stores, etc. on there. Can I mention I was in my first trimester-hangover at this point too? Yeah. Home Depot made it easier and done in one I have to give myself a break on this one.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Cora's 1st Birthday Party

We had a wonderful first birthday party for Cora. Now, we spent a lot of time planning this party...a bunch of family came into town to celebrate... but this weekend may have been one of cora's least favorite. Separation anxiety?! Yeah, probably too many people with all of the focus on her... the only kid. Oh well, we loved it, our family loved it... and she liked most of it.

oh yea... her friends were invited too.

The theme of Cora's party was polka dot and turquoise. She had a beautiful dress sewn by her turquoise polka dots of course.

We had little round sliders, funfetti cake ball pops, little round cora-cake, melon ball salad, round pasta salad, veggie cups, bowls of skittles and m&ms and of course the super tasty crunchy coleslaw.
We had her monthly photos printed out, and strung on some ribbon on the wall... 1 month-12 months. What a trip.

For Cora's birthday present from us, we made her a busy board. I will post more on that later. But we installed it on our living room wall, for the big reveal at her party. It was a hit. So fun. See her beautiful dress?!

She liked the candle on her cake, I blew it out for her. I was worried that she would freak out with the birthday song... but she did great. And ate her cake, quite daintily.

She had glorious presents from our family and friends... she opened them up really well too! I was so proud of her... so much better than at Christmas when she was 8 months old.

 a little croquet, a little sports toss
 a little drinking...minus 2 of us.
the running shot. from grandpa p.

We finished off the party with some croquet. Cora's first birthday complete. Our little girl is growing up. It was a blast to plan her party, and it was a success! Thank you family and friends for helping us pull off her first birthday party, ever!