Saturday, April 16, 2016

35 Weeks and my Hospital Bags are Packed: The 2nd Time Around!

I posted what I packed in my hospital bag when I had Stella, and it was a pretty popular post so I decided to do an updated version for baby girl #2!  To see the original post click HERE.

I packed WAY too much the first time.  Granted I had an awful, unexpected C-section, so I might have used more of my stuff if I felt better, but probably not much more.  When I had Stella I took notes on what I didn't use and what I forgot (the original blog post has been updated to include them), so this time packing was a breeze!

One thing I did this time that I didn't with my first pregnancy was check my hospital's website.  They had a list of what to pack and what is provided, so I suggest looking into that to avoid bringing duplicates!  If you have strong preferences for your own items you can certainly bring them from home, just remember it's that much more to unpack and wash when you get home and more than likely you won't care less if you have your own pillow in the hospital!  But to each their own, bottom line is to pack what will keep you comfortable and happy during a scary and painful (yet beautiful) time.

Ok with that being said here's this bag's round up:

First up:  Mommy & Daddy's Bag (Clothes)

  • All items packed in Thirty-One Bag! (yep, same one as when I had Stella!)
  • 2 old sports bras and some disposable nursing pads (I am not planning on breastfeeding this time around.  I gave it my ABSOLUTE best shot with Stella but due to personal complications which shall remain personal I wasn't able to continue.  Therefore I am not trying this time.  However I am packing old bras and pads in case of leaks while my milk is drying up)
  • Good bra to wear home
  • Flip flops (purchased from Forever 21 for $2 so they can be tossed if they get ruined.  That sure happened with my slippers when I had Stella!)
  • 2 pairs of maternity capri leggings (from Target), 3 tank tops (from H&M), and a few comfy T-shirts to serve as lounge clothes/PJs (last stay I was in a hospital gown for the first 2 days and I plan to do the same this round.  Easier and don't have to worry about stains!  Then I have a few comfy outfits to wear when I am able to shower)
  • Going home outfit (leggings, tanks and a comfy shirt with my flip flops.  I strongly advise over-the-belly maternity pants or leggings in case you have a C-section.  These pants are the only ones that won't sit on your incision and irritate it)
  • This time I made Mark pack a few items.  Last time he didn't and had to run to Wal Mart.  I told him to plan on a 4 day stay (that's max for a C-section) and he packed underwear, socks, jeans, shorts, a few t-shirts, a sweatshirt, and his hygiene bag.
 Next up:  Mommy & Daddy's Bag (Toiletries & Misc. Items)
  • All items packed in Thirty-One Bag!
  • Lint roller (because I'm sure to take much of my German Shepherd with me)
  • A bag full of healthy snacks (Quest bars for protein, mixed nuts, and That's It! fruit bars), fiber wafers (trying to avoid the laxatives they give you this time and I heard these work great from another mama-you can find them in the pharmacy section of most stores) and some gum.
  • Make-up.  I packed my favorites that I am used to using this time (as opposed to the travel sized items I packed with Stella).  I recommend taking what you are comfortable applying if you choose to bring make-up.  I don't know if I will use everything, but I packed the bare minimum for me.  In my opinion make-up makes me feel better, and the pictures last forever so I am all about making myself look and feel good (as good as possible at this bloated miserable point haha).  I included primer samples, foundation, under-eye concealer, and setting powder (and I'll throw in 2 brushes last minute) for my face.  I am bringing my eyebrow pencil, eyeliner, eye primer (not necessary unless you have VERY oily eyelids like me), and mascara for my eyes.  For my lips I'm bringing a lipstick (not really necessary unless your lips are naturally pigmented ORANGE like mine!) and a gloss.  Again, not sure I will use all that but I'd like to have the option.  It all fits in a tiny make-up bag so no big deal if I only use a few items!
  • A travel mirror to do said make-up from bed.  Mine is really old from Mary Kay and it stands up in it's case (pictured).  This was a lifesaver when I had Stella because I sure didn't feel like standing in the bathroom and putting make-up on!
  • A small cosmetics bag full of toiletries:  face wash & wipes (face wipes are SO NECESSARY!  I didn't get to shower for a day and I was so desperate to wash my face immediately!), body wipes (when I couldn't shower last time I washed up with a rag and bowl of water, but I wanted a quicker option this time); travel sizes of  shampoo and conditioner (I just plan to use the baby wash and lotion for my body that the hospital provides, that's what I did last time), toothbrush (for me & Mark!) & toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, q-tips, and deodorant; chap stick; hair cream (sample sized because I'm not picky about my hair); and finally a few headbands, bobby pins & hair ties for getting my hair off my face during labor.
 Last but not Least:  Baby's Diaper Bag!

  • All items packed in black chevron diaper bag (I ordered this from Target for under $40!  The interior is red and has tons of pockets and includes the red changing pad pictured.  I originally planned to use the same one for all my babies so I splurged on an $80 bag for Stella, but it broke almost immediately.  You don't always get what you pay for, ugg!  I kept it through Stella, but wanted a new one this time and absolutely fell in love with this one.  I just hope it's better quality!)
  • 1 blanket (Aden + Anais swaddle blanket...I got this as a gift and am IN LOVE!  Stella still uses it sometimes so I might have to get another one eventually!)
  • Car Seat blanket cover (grey and purple).  Hopefully it won't be cold but it's always so windy out here and May is unpredictable so I want to be prepared!
  • Going-home outfit (dress, sweater and headbands.  because a girl's gotta have options!)
  • Swaddle wrap and headband (from Etsy).  She will just be in hospital shirts and blankets while we are there, but I wanted one outfit for when big sister comes to meet her for the first time so we can snap some pictures :)  
  • Hospital hat (because this one has a bow and it's way cuter than the basic ones they used on Stella)
  • And that is it!  Staying so simple this time for baby girl! 
  • NOTE:  We go to the doctor for an ultrasound in a few days.  If she is measuring big I will throw in a 3 month sized outfit to bring her home in.  The dress pictured is size newborn.  I only packed a 3 month outfit for Stella and it was HUGE.  You might want to pack one of each size to be safe :)
 Items to throw in last minute:
  • I jotted these items on a piece of paper and threw it in my hospital bag, that way I know what to grab at the last minute in case my water breaks again!
  • camera & charger
  • phone & charger (for Mark too)
  • tablet & charger
  • wallet...make sure insurance card is in here as well as any registration paperwork you might need (try to pre-register if possible to avoid paperwork while you're in the hospital)
  • glasses
  • hair dryer, comb and teasing brush
  • planner (so I have my calendar with me should I need it.  There's also a section for notes in the back, which is where I will record all the hospital information I want to eventually put in her baby book.  As you saw in the picture, I'm bringing Stella's Pregnancy Journal to use as a reference.  I didn't get a Pregnancy Journal this time.  Second child problems!)
And that's a wrap for this pregnancy packing post!  I hope it's helpful, and I will probably edit it this time around again if I find I forgot lots of things or packed too much again.  It sure is a lot less than last time though!

I always feel so much better when this step is done.  There are still several things I want to do around the house in the next week, but those are more wants than needs.  Prioritizing your to-do list will take some stress off should your baby come early, and then more than likely you will still have time to finish off your list after the essentials are done.  Happy packing!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

34 Weeks and everything is a MESS right now...

So I started this blog a few years ago (has it really been that long?) just as a sort of journal for myself.  To really remember the details of life that time likes to rob from you.  Therefore I am always as honest as I can be in my writing.  Otherwise I would just post posed pictures on Facebook and Instagram all the time ;-)  Not my style.  So this post might seem a little on the negative side, but right now things are just kinda sucky.  Granted it could be worse and I ALWAYS count my blessings every single day, but you know those time frames in your life you just want to fast-forward through?  Now would be one for me!

The weather has been miserable.  So darn windy out here that we can't even keep our furnace lit or water in our toilets most days!  Not only is it windy, but it's a cold wind.  Yesterday it even snowed, yuck!  I was afraid of that after such a mild winter.  This is giving us severe cabin fever!  On top of that, everything keeps breaking in our house!  Why does it always all happen at once?  Garage door, dryer (on my Spring Cleaning day when Stella was at her Grandparents for the day...I was SOOO mad!), another bird in our water heater pipe (yes another, probably the 10th one since we've lived here), a flat tire on my car, and countless things of Mark's outside.  Today we found out a close friend had her baby and used the name we had picked out.  Bummer!  Now we are frantically trying to find a new one.  Plus we have just been so BUSY in general lately, it seems like every evening and weekend there have been a million things to do!  But that's just life, we all go through these phases.  My biggest worries right now involve Stella and Kaiser.

I plan to do an entire post on Stella and her progress and struggles very soon, but for now I will just say we had a follow-up with her developmental specialist and it didn't go as I'd hoped.  So we have to re-work her therapy schedule AGAIN.  It is a huge pain in my side.  Right now I am in the process of talking with each of her therapists explaining why we are changing the game plan after we just had her yearly meeting.  Would have worked better if we saw Dr Morgan before the meeting, but nothing ever lines up right.  Stella is adorable, sweet, and making lots of progress.  But there are still some issues (which I will explain later), so we are headed down yet another unknown road. 

And my poor dog Kaiser.  About a month ago I noticed him limping.  After about a week it seemed better, but all of the sudden he was afraid to walk across our hardwood floors.  He would get nervous and spread out his paws, which made him slip and slide even worse.  Well he ended up falling a couple times and the limp was back.  Mark took him to the vet about 3 weeks ago and she gave him pain meds and some arthritis supplements (he is just starting to get that, he will be 7 years old this month).  We took away his beloved Kong, put (ugly but anything for my dog) runners down all over our hardwood floors, and made him take it easy for a few weeks.  But he's still limping.  So Mark took him back yesterday.  Well we HATE the new vet at his office, never going back there.  So clueless and extremely un-helpful.  She referred us to a vet hospital in Peoria, so next week he goes in for x-rays.  She thinks (and I say that lightly) it might be a torn ACL.  Which would be so awful.  But regardless of the outcome, we are going to get him fixed up.  He is the best dog I've ever known and he deserves to be happy and pain-free.  Trying to keep him calm is hard, he has the heart of a puppy.  I hate seeing him in pain and hate having to keep him in his kennel.  Maybe it's the pregnancy but I couldn't stop crying last night over it.  If you have a dog you know what I mean.  They are just part of the family and you hurt when they hurt.  Mark was even pretty upset.  But today I feel positive, we are going to get him some good care and push past this.  I'm so thankful to have Kaiser in my life!

OK, enough of all that stuff!  This week is pretty empty, I feel a lot more focused, and it's time to finish up the baby prep!  Let's get onto the bump update...

Physically:  Overall I feel pretty good physically!  I have regressed back to lots of heartburn and nausea, and I even started to get carsick.  On one particular trip to town I had to actually pull over and throw up.  Stella graciously sat in the back, laughed and said "So funny mama!'  and then "OK, all done"  I think I will be the judge of that, thank you very much Stella :-) Otherwise my body is really cooperating nicely, other than just being so big in general!  I did go through a few weeks of pure insomnia though...literally laid awake for HOURS in bed, and then didn't even feel tired during the day!  Thankfully the last few weeks I have been sleeping great again.  Hoping the last few weeks go just as smoothly so I can get the rest of my prepping done!

I haven't had any more ultrasounds because all is going well.  Baby girl moves around a lot and isn't even breech anymore!  My doctor did say last week that she is pretty solid, so we are doing one more ultrasound next week to see how big she is.  Mark is going with, and at this point we will try to narrow down our choice between VBAC and scheduled C-section.  Her size and position will be a big factor, although I might not completely decide until the end.  We are also going to tour the hospital, get our route down, and pre-register.  Since my water broke 9 days early with Stella I am preparing for an early surprise arrival just in case :-)

Emotionally:  Don't think I need to go into much detail here thanks to my super-long blog post intro.  Overall I am sad, overwhelmed, and nervous.  But in some strange way it is giving me a new motivation to take control and really get things together.  I guess that's what happens when we feel like we have fallen, something just swoops in and tells us to STAND UP and carry on.  So I can confidently say I am optimistic and excited for the next few weeks.  Lots of extra prayers have been my saving grace lately.

What I've been up to:  Besides all that mumbo jumbo in the intro?  Not much!!  We did go look at 2 houses in the last few weeks.  One was awful and the other had lots of potential, but there was already an offer on it and it's just bad timing for us to buy a house right now.  We love our current house and it is paid off, we are just too far from Mark's work and our friends and family (about a half hour).  Plus I want Stella in a better school district for preschool.  So we aren't in a HUGE rush, but it would be nice to find something before she turns 3.

Mark and I did get our Spring Cleaning done, yay!  I also did some small re-decorating (just freshening the place up a bit) and took some pictures so that when we are ready to list our house we don't have to worry about all that with 2 babies and a dog!  I can't promise my house tour blog post will be up before baby arrives, but I'll try my best!  I am so happy to have all that done, now the only thing left around the house is to clean up the nursery (after we move Stella to her big girl bed) and wash up the baby clothes and bedding.  And probably one final house cleaning because mama likes a clean house :-)
I know this picture is awful.  It was taken Easter night and I was so swollen and tired.  And just tired in general from life lately!  I did treat myself to a nice facial at the spa last week and some new make-up...a great pick-me up!  With Stella I had my hospital bags packed by 35 weeks.  Not sure that will happen but this next week will be packed with baby prep, maternity photos, and a doctor appointment/hospital tour.  I will make sure to post after all that is done!  I am sure things will be going better by then :-)  Getting excited to meet baby girl and watch Stella become a big sister!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Hoppy Easter!

Easter was really low-key this year for us, and it couldn't have been a better year for it.  This prego mama can't handle all day events anymore :-)

The week before Easter Stella had a party at Abilities Plus.  They had stations for coloring eggs, making a craft, and coloring.  Then the bunny visited and we went on an egg hunt around the building (just visited every one's offices like Halloween).  We finished up with a light lunch.  They always put on the best parties, but in that hour and a half Stella had about 15 meltdowns.  I left in tears.  I was so sad because she's made so much progress and I thought we were past the anxiety breakdowns in public.  She's even been doing so well at playgroup.  There is just something about a crowded event with directed activities that sets her off.  Guess we have a ways to go still with therapy and testing.  More on that later though, back to Easter!
LOVED her little trinkets from the Abilities Plus Easter Egg Hunt!
That weekend we also celebrated Easter with Ryder since he was going to his dad's on Easter Sunday.  We opted to skip the bunny this year (She saw him at her party but I didn't try the lap.  Enough stress as it was!  She told him hi and didn't seem scared though!) and kept it simple with a day of play and dying (pretend) eggs.  They had a blast playing with the Easter grass (sorry Abby!) and just hanging out together.

On the Saturday of Easter weekend I got my hair done and went shopping, so I did most of my Easter prep Sunday morning.  I did have Stella try her hand at painting on an Easter Egg craft when I got home Saturday.  She LOVED it and did so well!  So much attention to detail!  We gave it to Great-Grandma for a present.  Going to have to do more painting for sure! 

I didn't really do too much this year for Easter...right now Stella is just into small trinkets and she LOVES eggs (thanks to gathering them with daddy every nice day) so it made it easy to keep it simple.  I made "s'more" filled eggs because I'm not big on too much candy.  I put bunny marshmallows, Golden Graham cereal, and dark chocolate chips in about 5 plastic eggs and left the other ones empty.  I only hid about 10 in our living room, no big deal.  Her Easter basket was full of fun trinkets from the dollar section at Target (surprised?  my usual!) as well as a soccer ball, bubble and Nerf guns.  She's a little tomboy!  Stella loved everything and had a blast gathering the eggs and putting them in her basket.  Her favorites were the gel filled eggs (LOVED playing with the gel) and Disney Princess CD.
We had our traditional cinnamon roll and coffee breakfast (found a new brand of cinnamon rolls in the health food section at Hy Vee...much better for you and taste awesome!  so long Pillsbury!) and just lounged around the house watching TV all morning.  Mark's family wasn't getting together this year since we just were together the weekend before, so we had pizza for lunch and Stella was able to nap while we got ready.  We went to my mom's around 4 and then to my Grandma's around 5 for a simple ham sandwich supper.  So I didn't even have to make anything, yay!  (this year, normally I enjoy it)  Stella did very well and loved playing with her cousin.  We headed home around 8 and had an early bedtime.  Another great holiday in the books, maybe the last one as a family of 3!
Stella is NOT into having her picture taken lately, can you tell??
Things have been CRAZY over here lately!  Just one of those times where there's so much to do, so many appointments, and everything in our house seems to be breaking!  Looking forward to things slowing down so I can finish my baby prep, only 6 weeks left (although I'm pretty sure I won't make it that long.)  Still feeling good though, thankfully.  I'll be back this weekend with another baby bump update.  Hope everyone enjoyed their Easter and Spring Break!!