Archives for category: motherhood

Being a mom is one of the most adventurous things I have ever done. I have traveled. I have gone all over. I have had adventures close to home. I have seen some crazy things living when living in downtown Chicago. But I will say being a mom is still the most adventurous thing I have done. Every day is something new. The moment you feel like you have everything figured out, things change. That doesn’t mean in a bad way either. Life is just always evolving when you have kids. Your kids are always evolving, growing, learning, and changing.

I LOVE to have adventures. I love doing things with Jackson and soon with Alexander as well. I do not think there is a week that goes by where Jack and I don’t leave the house and do something, anything, just enjoy the world. We stay busy on a regular basis. Last week alone we made a trip to the park, Navy Pier in downtown Chicago, a local fest, and a Chicago White Sox baseball game. Spending time with him is truly one of my favorite things to do. I miss him if I go to the grocery store by myself. He loves to help me and is a fantastic helper. I know I see a lot of sarcastic things out there saying something along the lines “you know you are a mom when going to the grocery store is a vacation” I don’t really follow that motto deep in my heart. Sure, there are moments where I need a breather, but give me 20 minutes by myself. Even quietly sitting on my couch, and I am usually able to reset.

We have had so many adventures together in the 3 and 1/2 years he has been my little partner in crime. I had so much fun downtown this week. He is getting to the age to finally understand the city. He was so observant. I have taken him down there before, all over. In fact, he has been to Navy Pier many times already. This time though, he had a million questions!

We went to the Dinosaur exhibit. It was a temporary thing going on. It was not our favorite part of the day. I don’t think it will be something we jump at going to next year if it comes back, but we made the best of it. Then moved on to other cool things at the Pier.

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As you can see in the top photo, he was not impressed! Ha! Mostly he didn’t want to stop for a quick photo. We really didn’t spend much time here. It wasn’t as cool as the commercial made it seem.

We went and ate our lunch. I was the only crazy (smart?) parent who packed her own lunch. There are so many restaurants to choose from that people usually eat at those places. We love our picnics though. I even offered to skip our packed lunch after he saw all the places to eat, and as always, he picked my lunch! Then we made our way to get some ice cream for Jackson. In a waffle cone! It was messy and delightful for him. I don’t eat ice cream, but I enjoy watching him eat that special treat once in a while. He loves it so much and the delight on a child’s face when the eat a big ice cream cone is something you can easily get lost in.

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We made our way to the carousel and HUGE ferris wheel. That ferris wheel is so big! I was proud of him for being brave enough to want to try it. He was so excited. We talked about how we could see all the different things over the city. He was pointing out different boats he saw zipping around Lake Michigan. I had to keep prepping him for the exit, because you have to get off while it was still moving. That was a little tricky for him but mostly because he was in his own world still wanting to observe everything. Ha! IMG_6692 IMG_6702 IMG_6695

 

Our plan was to next head to Build A Bear to make a Ninja Turtle. They recently started carrying them to promote the new movie. We saw the display when we arrived that morning. We made our way behind all the action and ended up walking through the Crystal Gardens. It was nearly empty and very quiet in there compared to the rest of the Pier and to the rest of our day! Jackson was enamored with what he called “the jungle!” He wanted to see the plants and wanted to see all the cool different water fountains they had. We were in there for quite a while. I know where we will eat lunch next time. They even had tables and chairs for meals set up and they were nearly all empty. He sat watching this one fountain for quite sometime. I asked if he wanted to take a photo with the cool fountain and he said yes. Then instructed me he wanted it like this:

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He is such an old soul. I had a hard time getting him out of there. He probably could have spent an hour in there. Next time, I know we will hang out in there a bit longer.

Eventually we made our way to Build A Bear and he made his Turtle. Raphael. He hasn’t slept without him since that night last week. He thinks it is the coolest thing ever. He has made animals there before, but again, something about 3 and 1/2 makes a difference. He gets it now. He is excited. He is inquisitive. He remembers.

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Our plan that day had been to just go to the Dinosaur adventure. I figured on a lunch break, then we would head back inside and keep doing fun Dinosaur things. My plan didn’t include many actual Navy Pier attractions. But, life is an adventure! I was so happy that we just went with the flow and ended up having a blast all day long. Doing all the cool things we wanted to do, even if the initial thing wasn’t as cool as we hoped.

I have been getting out and about with him since before he was a month old. I started mommy and me classes when he was 7 weeks old. I love keeping active and busy. I know things won’t change once Alexander comes along. We might get out the door a little slower at first, but I know we will still be getting out the door on a regular basis. As a matter of fact, Alexander will be born smack dab in the middle of Jackson’s fall soccer time!

What does this week hold for us? I am not sure yet. We might go to the park today. Possibly go see Planes tonight. Monday, Tuesday, and Thursdays are usually our adventure days. But today I have a Dr appointment and tomorrow night we have a Natural Childbirth class (I hope to write about that!) So Thursday will have to be our big day out, but what shall we do? All I know is, I will be spending time with that little man. Holding his hand and being adventurous together.

 

It’s the 3rd Trimester! I am one day into it, actually. Yesterday was the official 28 week marker. I have said this about 100 times this pregnancy, I cannot believe how FAST it has flown by. I should probably stop saying it. Ha!

I am still keeping up with all my fitness. I am still running. As a matter of fact I celebrated the start of my 3rd trimester with my fastest run since probably early on in the 1st. I even managed to go for an outside run yesterday. Instead of my treadmill.

On Thursday I ran over 2 miles, went to the Children’s Museum for the better part of the day, then swam in the pool before dinner. I did a Prenatal Jumpboard class on Friday. It was amazing. That is one Reformer accessory I don’t have yet and I will be purchasing one this week I think. Yesterday I ran and swam. Needless to say, today will be a rest day. With a swim, though, I am sure. I rarely get away without swimming almost daily. When you have an indoor pool and a 3 & 1/2 year old who has been swimming since he was 3 months old, it is hard to skip a day of swimming. I am not complaining though!

This was from the 4th of July. So I was just shy of 7 months.

 

July 4th. I am clearly pregnant!

July 4th. I am clearly pregnant!

You can see the 3 & 1/2 year old swimming his heart out in the background! My little sweetheart fishy. I am assuming this one is going to be the same, since he won’t know life without a pool to take a dip in. I plan to introduce him into the pool as early as I did Jackson, if not earlier. We are swimming people in this family.

I am still maintaing my clean eating. With occasional cheat moments. Which is kind of normal. By this I mean, I allow our family to have pizza night from time to time. Or I will indulge in some kettle corn. But for 98% of the time I am making my own meals and keeping it nice and fresh and healthy.

My husband is about done with painting the baby’s room. Today he will put together the crib. I have to order a mattress and a dresser. We are waiting on the glider to be shipped. It is all coming together.

Jackson keeps me busy as ever. He loves to do things and go places. And when he has had enough of our activities he will tell me he just wants to stay home for the day. I love being able to communicate with him so easily. Preschoolers are great that way. They are so honest and can tell you exactly what they are thinking. Sometimes it makes life interesting but for the most part it makes life a little easier. He is so excited to be a big brother. I didn’t really want a second child for the longest time. I planned on him being an only child. But now that I am 12-13 weeks away from having a 2nd, I know this was the right choice. Our first was born to be an older brother. He kisses my belly and rubs my belly daily. Here is he is giving me a check up, another thing he does all the time . “I want to check your baby”

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A few weeks ago on a walk to the park he said “I just wonder what his face will look like mom.” I think that every day! What a mature thing for a 3 & 1/2 year old to be thinking about. His heart is so warm and big that I feel we are giving him one of the greatest gifts. The chance to be a big brother and have that sibling relationship. I am aware not every moment is going to be sunshine and butterflies. I have two younger brothers of my own. I remember the brawls and fights between the 3 of us. Heck, sometimes we still go at it, but overall, that is a good love. Jackson is always thinking of Alexander. He wants to buy things for him. He gets worried if we have enough blankets for him and other baby items. Recently he asked me if we had any baby diapers. When I said we didn’t yet, he was very adamant that “We need to get some baby diapers!!!” Out of nowhere he asked me that. We were not even talking about diapers. These are the things his mind thinks of.

I mentioned I did my fastest run in months and trimesters. The time is not what I would consider fast on a normal run. As a matter of fact, if I ran a mile that slow while not pregnant I wouldn’t even talk about it. I was in the 12 minute/mile range! Yikes. I am normally in the 8:30ish range. So accepting how much I have slowed has been hard. I actually don’t talk about my time much anymore. I even turned off the voice update on my running app yesterday. When I am on the treadmill I usually have my iPad over the screen and just slide it over to see how far I have run. I know once I have the baby and start retraining myself I will get my times back to normal, since I have done it once before. So I try to not overly focus on my current snail’s pace. My trainer asks each week how much I run. Whenever I tell her I usually say something like “Oh only 2-3 miles each run” The other day she said “You say that like it is no big deal, but it is because you are 7 months pregnant!” I hadn’t thought much about it that way. I am 7 months pregnant and STILL running multiple miles a week! That is a great achievement, no matter how slow those miles end up being.

Before my run at 28 weeks exactly

Before my run at 28 weeks exactly

I am looking forward to the rest of this trimester and eventually holding my sweet baby boy in my arms. And eventually cuddling on my couch with my two little sweethearts.

Saturday will bring me into my 6th month of pregnancy. I continually say this pregnancy feels like it is going much faster than my first. I am just far more busy and active than the first time around. I already know what having a child is like. I already have a million child raising tasks to complete each day. My sweetheart keeps me distracted. It is easily the best distraction possible.

I always make time for myself. Part of my parenting motto is that you have to take care of mom to teach your kids that self care and respect is important. I especially make time for my fitness. Jackson knows that mommy has to get her workout in. He is so great about me fitting these times in. He often hangs out with my in my Pilates room. He even tries a few things himself. I am happy to take a moment to help teach him a move or snap an adorable photo.

My fitness has taken no break since becoming pregnant. Certain techniques may have changed over time, but I still workout nearly every day. If I take a rest day I am sure to be active in some other manner that day. I walk to the park or deep clean the floors. I keep on moving. I have even started working with a private Pilates instructor once a week. I know I am a certified instructor, but it is nice to take a break from having to think about what I need to do that day. It is nice to get suggestions from another instructor. It is nice to have someone else correct my form and imbalances.

My diet has remained very clean and healthy. I have little to no cravings for anything junky. I crave limes, vinegar, fruit, carrots, all sorts of healthy things. My first pregnancy wasn’t the same. I loved junk! My husband has been so disappointed this time. He was certain he was entering another 9 months of me approved junk food runs. No such luck. Which I am thrilled about! It is much nicer to satisfy a craving for limes.

I did prenatal swim classes with my first pregnancy. I had a nice purple tankini that billowed around me. This time around I bought a few tankinis again. We have an indoor pool, so we are swimming quite often. I felt pretty miserable and gross in these swimsuits. I really enjoy bikinis. I finally decided to go ahead and get a bikini. I found a size medium cute bikini top on the clearance rack at Target. I had some bottoms from the tankinis I already had. I feel SO much more confident now. I don’t feel sloppy or frumpy. I have decided to embrace my round belly in a bikini this time around. My husband likes me in a bikini, pregnant or not. He prefers it to the tankinis I was wearing! Plus, I do Pilates almost daily! I swim. When I am not battling the worst cold of my life (have been for over 2 weeks) I run, I walk to and from the park pushing a 36lb preschooler in a stroller, I run/play/dance/move with that preschooler, and often I carry that preschooler. I do a lot of physical activity and I eat very clean. So why not accept my pregnant healthy body?

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So there you have it. 6 months of baby belly in a bikini! Baby #2 that is. I know I still have a bit to go and this belly is going to get larger but I am feeling pretty good right now. As a matter of fact in the past week and a half I have counted 8 people who have been in shock that I am as far along as I am. I will take it all as compliments. I would rather hear that than people saying they swore I was ready to pop at this stage.

How do/did you stay fit during your pregnancy? Did you wear a bikini if you happened to be in a situation that called for swimming?

Today was Jackson’s last day of soccer. He is 3. There were no games. It was basically indoor skills practice. He has had a difficult time with soccer. He is good at dribbling and scoring. He enjoys playing it, at home. The boys he plays with are mostly 4 year olds. They have played before and can be aggressive with each other and the ball. My little man tends to be on the more non confrontational side. So there have been many tears on Tuesday morning trying to convince him to get in the car to just finish up what we joined.

Over the past 3 weeks his confidence has grown. I could see him enjoying himself a little bit more while he was on the field. This morning I had been thinking I wished there were one or two more weeks because I feel he would start to say he enjoys it. But all things must end.

Today there was one 4 year old boy that was being quite nasty. He was throwing elbows when trying to steal the ball. He was pushing Jackson. The worst moment? I saw him actually get close to my son and spit in his face! The coach happened to not see that. He has about 7 little 3 and 4 year old boys to guide. His back was turned. I could see my son’s face from the sidelines. I wanted to get up and scream at that little monster. How dare he! What do his parents teach him? I held my tongue. I watched my poor son aghast take a step back. I could see he said something like “no” to the boy. However, that was all he did. He is non confrontational. Not that I want him to spit back, because I don’t! But it made my heart ache to see this happen to MY kid. One of the most disgusting and disrespectful things.

A few moments later he stole Jackson’s ball. I cheered for Jack to go after him and steal it back. He did. The kid threw another elbow. The coach saw this time. Jack came running to me to tell me what happened. I assured him he was ok and that it wasn’t nice that he did that but to keep trying to get the ball and score a goal. Meanwhile the coach started lecturing the other boys on how they do not use their hands and arms to get the ball from someone, only their feet.

I am protective of my child. Most moms are. I have yelled at other kids at the park who would throw sand when he was a baby and playing in the sand. I have told nasty older children to be mindful and nice to the toddlers at the park. But he was a little guy who still wobbled when walking and often needed help on most things at the park. This was one of the first times I did not step in. He is starting to become a child. Not just a baby. I wanted to step in. Everything in me screamed to go say something to the coach. “That boy SPIT in my child’s face!” What would have happened? Nothing. It was the last day. It is preschooler skills development. There are no yellow or red cards. The coach would have just told the other kid not to spit.

This was the first time I had to face the fact that shitty things are sometimes going to happen to my boys. And during some of those shitty things I won’t be able to intervene. All I will be able to do is be there after the fact to console them, listen to them, love them, and let them know it will all be ok eventually. On our way out we chatted about the things that had happened. I told him I saw what that boy did and it was nasty and wrong of him. He shouldn’t have done it and I was sorry it happened to Jackson. I also explained when he does play soccer with other kids it is ok to keep trying to get his ball back with his feet. To follow through and stick with it. I didn’t tell him to throw an elbow if someone is being particularly douchey, though I was tempted. Ha!

Milestones don’t end after the first year or so. They just come in different forms. Sometimes they are milestones for your child and sometimes they are actual parenting milestones for you. Today, this was a big parenting milestone for me. It will probably bother me for a long time that some little jerk spit in my chubby cheeked sweetheart’s face. I probably won’t forget this day in particular. A little piece of my heart was left on that indoor soccer field this morning.

 

This month has brought so much joy with it! Mother’s Day was wonderful. My husband really went out of his way to make sure I felt special and appreciated. I was showered with 3 bouquets of flowers! One from each of my boys. I got several wonderful gifts, including a book with 50 reasons why Jacky loves me! Jason asked him all the questions and then filled out his 3 year old answers. It was easily the most precious thing ever.

We had our anatomy ultra sound, which confirmed the DNA results, we are definitely having another boy! His gender image was as clear as Jackson’s. I saw the penis before she even pointed it out. Everything else went well with that check up. My mom came with us and was able to get a real time sneak peak at her youngest grandchild. The kicker? He was waving at us. His little tiny hand waving back and forth near his face at one point. It was so sweet.

On the same day I reached 20 weeks, half way through, my sister in law was induced! The following morning at 3:03, my sweet pea niece was born. Oh my goodness! I am so in love with her. It is ridiculous. I have my boys at home, but to have a sweet little girl I get to spoil and send back to my brother and sister in law, oh that is just wonderful. I am over the moon with her. It is too funny because cause was born at 6lbs 3oz, and my child has literally never been that small outside of my uterus! I couldn’t believe how much of a difference a pound and a half and one inch makes in a newborn. I remember how little Jack was, but I could immediately tell she was so much smaller than he was. Babies are so incredible.

Jacky was a little afraid of her at first. He has never seen a baby that little. He didn’t want to hold her, but he was ok with touching her arm and face if someone else was holding her. When we got home we were looking at photos and he said “I love her!” They are going to be best friends! Our family is going to have three little cutie pies running around causing mischief. I cannot wait.

As far as this pregnancy, it is still far different than my first. My cravings are all healthy. I love limes, lemons, fruit, rice, more fruit, leafy greens, all natural almond butter, and so much water! It has been nice to not be craving junk 24/7. I move a lot as well. Having a 3 year old will do that to you. Life is different with a second pregnancy, but not bad. Just more to do and take care of. Less time to sit around eating and not moving! Ha! I will take it! On that note, today is a rest day. Mostly because My body is so sore from my workouts the past two mornings. But I will clean my home and move around.

20 weeks

20 weeks

This was yesterday morning. The middle of 20 weeks actually, but still in that half way point week. In all seriousness, I believe that 21 weeks will be the halfway point. Jacky was almost a week late. I have no misconceptions this time about my baby arriving on his actual due date. Ah, you learn so much the second time around! Two days ago also brought one more surprise. For the first time, we were able to feel Alexander kick by touching my belly! Jason was able to feel it as well. I know for certain we didn’t feel Jacky this early on. I know I was feeling movements, but Jason couldn’t feel them yet. I was totally shocked by it. Definitely happy, because it was an unexpected surprise!

I hope everyone is also having an awesome May! Here’s to the rest of the month being so wonderful.

I have heard that each pregnancy is often very different and unique. I have to admit, I stubbornly thought that was ridiculous until I experienced it myself. Regardless of the fact that I am having another boy, this pregnancy has been a lot different. I won’t go into each detail though. I do want to focus on one super cool aspect.

I felt this baby, Alexander, move MUCH earlier than I ever felt Jacky move. I am 18 weeks pregnant and I have been feeling him wiggling around in there for weeks now. It started off very faint. To the point where I wasn’t even convinced that is what I was feeling. As the days passed I began to understand exactly what I was feeling again. Now I feel him move every day, multiple times a day!

One of the coolest things I can do is actually make him move with some Pilates. It all started with a prenatal mat series I did on my vacation.

It starts with a series of half roll downs with bent legs. Roll halfway down, then all the way back up. You continue to build on that. You move onto rolling halfway down, holding, then tiny pulses up. The next part of the series is rolling halfway down, holding, then twisting to the right (obliques!) for several counts. Coming through center, hold, twist left for several counts, come center, roll up. Repeat.

Immediately after that you lie down for bridging. Once I articulate up into a bridge the little man moves to the very front of my lower abdomen. I can actually feel a little ball of a baby. I can feel him shifting around as an entire unit in there! It becomes so pronounced that my husband was able to feel the little baby ball (as I call it) as well! It never fails. I have done this series multiple times now and I can always count on him to wiggle his way to the front of my body and say hello to me!

It is no secret that I love fitness (um my blog name!) So when I find something even extra cool about it, I am overjoyed. I would do that series regardless of finding baby Alex in there, but the added bonus is a few moments of utter connection with my sweet unborn son. I love having this body awareness that Pilates (and proper fitness) provides you. Sometimes it feels like I am walking through this world with an extra sense. Or a more intense sense of feeling. Not emotional feelings, but a the actual physical sense of feeling within my own body and person.

Prenatal fitness is so important to me. Not just for myself. I advocate it to all women I know. I am probably annoying to those who don’t enjoy working out (which that concept is beyond my ability to comprehend, haha!) I truly feeling that staying active is vital to a long and healthy life. It gave me a nice healthy pregnancy the first time around. I didn’t know what I was doing then as well as I do now, with my added education in this field, but I found classes and videos. I searched for the answers then. The day I went into labor (past my due date!) I attended my prenatal swim class. I know every body is different and some women are severely restricted while pregnant, but if you are not, get up and move. Groove, dance, run, walk, find a class, do some planks, swim, just move. It is good for you. It is good for baby. And maybe, just maybe, your little one will poke to the front of your belly and say “hey momma! Thanks for moving and grooving this morning!”

On that note I will go up to my Pilates room and move myself. Tonight, we have plans for a swim in our pool. On top of chasing around a 3 year old boy! Moving is all I do. Ha!

Happy May! It has nearly been a month since I last wrote. Yowza! In all fairness we were on vacation for almost 2 weeks out of that month. I was hard pressed to sit down and write when I had lots of fun things to be doing with my family. Like playing in the ocean, sailing, or exploring the Smokey Mountains.

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Tomorrow will mark 18 weeks of pregnancy. I cannot believe that I am about 1/2 way through this adventure! It seems to be going by much faster than the 1st. I am sure that is because Jacky keeps me busy busy busy every day. He is such a wonderful and full of life 3 year old! He still talks about his little brother Alexander daily. He asks me a ton of questions and always wants to buy new things for his little brother. Yesterday, he informed me that our cat had a fuzz hanging from her mouth. He was very serious about me getting it out. He is going to be one helpful eye around here with a little one toddling around.

I am over the moon that I am having another boy. I have always wanted two boys and my wish has been fulfilled. Yesterday was my birthday. Alexander spent the day being an extra wiggle worm. It started with my Pilates Chair/Reformer workout and continued all day. It was the most I have felt him move in one day! Definitely and extra special birthday treat. He is going to be one active little boy, just like his big brother!

As fat as this pregnancy goes….

Exercise:

Still running, several miles each time I run. Usually a couple times a week.

Pilates. Mat, Chair, Reformer. I just modify my work based on how far along I am. I also sometimes watch some Prenatal videos on PilatesAnytime. I mostly do Chair and Reformer.

Swimming. I also incorporate water aerobics/Pilates into my swims. I have some equipment for that

Barre. I am going to be starting some Barre classes tomorrow. I miss Barre!!! I incorporate it at home, but I haven’t been to an actual class outside of my home in a while.

Cravings:

Limes! I love lime juice on everything. Rice. Fruit, grapes, bananas, apples, honeydew. Shrimp. Oh my gawwwd. If I could eat shrimp every day without worrying about mercury, I would. I have to limit myself and that is hard. Cottage cheese. Spinach, cilantro, arugula, veggies!!! I cannot get enough veggies in my dinners.

This is all much different than Jackson as well. I wanted to much junk with him. Or maybe I have learned how to eat better with pregnancy after going through it once. Either way, I am not complaining!

This was last week. I haven’t take one this week because we have been busy getting home and unpacking and celebrating my birthday. Plus, what’s a better background to a belly photo than the Atlantic Ocean?

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Now I am off to workout. Debating a run or Pilates. Choices are hard ;-) Just wanted a fast update, since it has been so long. I didn’t vanish again. I swear! I was just busy enjoying life outside of blogging for a bit. That happens and is good.

 

It’s a few days into April here in the Chicagoland area. You wouldn’t think it though. It is still very cold and windy on a regular basis. I am not entirely sure summer will ever arrive for us. I am starting to accept that. (Ok, maybe not. I still long for warm sun and playing outside without shivering)

I am into my 2nd trimester. I have a 3 year old that is as active and hilarious as always. I also know what this second baby is as far as gender! We got our Panorama test results back earlier this week. My family is coming by on Sunday for us to tell them. I didn’t do anything cutesy with Jack and I decided I wanted to do something cutesy this time around. I am over the moon about what we are having!

My energy levels have been way up. As a matter of fact, today is my first “rest day” in over  a week! I have been running and doing Pilates. It feels great to not feel like total death on a regular basis. I feel slightly like my normal not pregnant self. Jack hasn’t asked me to “not be cranky anymore” in a while. So, he too has seen the improvement. I felt bad every time he said that to me, but hormones man, hormones. I always apologized to him and explained sometimes having a baby in my belly makes me cranky and it will get better.

The checkout girl at Whole Foods yesterday asked me if Jack was a “helper or a hinderance” as far as grocery shopping. He is a chatty kid and I always speak to him like he is an adult, so I answer his questions and have conversations with him. He was being his chatty self in line. Helping me put all the food on the belt. Talking about each item and asking me questions. I was answering them. Telling him no to more candy and reusable bags (the kid has probably 50.) The comment took me aback. Obviously he is my little helper. Even on days where I wish I could just do it all myself, I always think “one day I will want him to help and if I always deter him now, he may not be interested in helping at all” I wanted to tell her that. To give her my insights on how to parent, but I just smiled and said “he is my little helper!” I really try to avoid making him feel like he is in the way. I would certainly never tell a stranger, right in front of him, “oh, he hinders all of my errands. We never get anything done!” I am convinced that often, people do not think before they speak. I don’t think I would ever ask that of someone. And as a matter of fact on every other errand we have ever been on and someone sees his utter exuberance for life, they always say “You have a little helper on your hands!” They smile and usually tell me how cute he is.

My kid isn’t a hinderance. This second one won’t be either. Sure, sometimes it takes longer to get out the door than I would like. Sure, sometimes we have to stop in a public bathroom, which I hate because they are gross. Sure, sometimes he wants to put the jam on his toast and I am thinking we have to eat now so we can get out the door for school by 8:30. Sure, sometimes he spills food or drinks during dinner. But that is part of it all. That is part of childhood. That is part of parenting. That is part of this whole adventure together. It is my job to build him up, not tear him down. It is my job to teach him how to put the jam on his toast and to cheer him on as he does so. If he thinks I will scold him for those small unimportant mistakes, then what will he think when he makes a big one? I don’t want him to keep big things from me. I want him to know that he can come to me and sure, I may be upset, but I won’t hate him. I will help him. I will love him.

Don’t tell you kids they are a hinderance. Just don’t And certainly don’t ask someone that in front of their child.

I am officially over 3 months pregnant. The start of my second trimester is just a handful of days away. I still feel that this pregnancy is so very different than my pregnancy with Jack. I hear that is common if not almost entirely expected. My emotions about it are far different as well. I forget about being pregnant more often this time. I am assuming it is because I have a 3 year old to keep me entirely occupied this time around. I had nothing to keep me quite so occupied last time.

I am still not sure how I will love another human being as much as I love Jack. I got a surge of that emotion as we were just walking through our hallway. We were chatting. I ruffled his hair and said “You know what? I love you so so so much!” I do. I really do. And as the words left my mouth, I thought in my head, “How could I possibly love any other child as much????” I am told that I will. That it will be just as easy to fall in love with this one as it was with Jack. I hope so.

3 months

3 months

I guess part of the thing is, this still doesn’t feel real to me. I understand in my brain this is happening but I can’t grasp that this is my new reality. Maybe it is because I haven’t felt the flutters or any kicks yet? Maybe it goes back to being so distracted with the current human that entirely fills my heart? I am certain I accepted the reality as soon as the stick said positive with Jack. Again, I had no distractions then.

We should be finding out the sex of the baby in the next week. We took the panorama test last week. Along with some genetic tests, it includes the sex of the baby. I am hoping that will help to solidify the actuality of this. We will have a he or she growing. A name.

I have also started to feel a touch better. So that is really exciting. My energy levels are way up! Much to Jack’s happiness. I haven’t heard him ask me to “not be cranky anymore mommy” in a week or two. The first trimester was very rough on me. Much rougher than Jack’s 1st trimester! My whole pregnancy was a breeze with him. This one, again, is much different.

My guess for the sex? A girl. It isn’t because I am dying to have a girl. As a matter of fact I have always wanted a second boy. I have said that since shortly after Jack was born. But, I had a gut feeling with Jack that he was a boy. I have a gut feeling that despite the fact I have always wanted two boys, this one is a girl. My husband also is thinking girl. He also doesn’t have a strong preference either way. So we shall see soon.

Jack is still beyond excited! He talks about his little brother or sister every day. He asks a million questions. He tells us about what his plans are with the baby. That really makes my heart grow. Those are the brief moments where I feel this might actually be happening. When I watch his face light up with excitement over having a sibling to love, play, and yes, fight with. (Not that he knows that will happen just yet, but let’s be honest, it will) His guess? It literally changes every time he is asked! The other week he said “boy” And when asked what the boy would be named he said “Jackson” Ha! Yesterday he said “girl” and her name would be “alex” Alex is our boy name. He is too cute. He is listening to what we are talking about though. The specifics just get a little jumbled. My sweet boy!

 

I am getting ready to head back into the world of all things baby and newborn. I really haven’t been there for 3 years. I have been so consumed with toddlerhood lately that my focus on what is going on in the world of infants was non existent. I know a lot can change in just 3 years, so I have been familiarizing myself with things.

In particular I have started to focus on all the breastfeeding news out there. I nursed Jacky for over a year. I didn’t pump. It was all me all the time. I have to admit that I am afraid to get into that again this time. I will have an almost 4 year old by the time this one comes around. An almost  4 year old that is a HUGE momma’s boy. So my attention to sitting around with a baby on my boob all day might not be quite so easy to navigate. Which has given me some apprehension and nervousness, hence the constant reading of all news breastfeeding. I am not sure what that will change, but I am a Historian and slightly (a lot) type-A, so reading and researching is in my blood (or brain or neuroses).

As usual I am appalled by the amount of backlash nursing moms get for nursing in public. Most recently the whole Delta Airlines scandal caught my attention and my utter disgust. I got into a lengthy debate on my Facebook over it. I am in the camp of a mom should be able to nurse when/where/how she wants. Bottom line. There is no wiggle room on this for me. I am a staunch advocate for that.

Here is why:

With Jack I was terrified of facing criticism from people in public. I spent a good amount of time ALONE nursing him. In bathrooms, bedrooms, corners, where ever. I regret it. I did do it in public from time to time. By the time he was around  5 months old and we were in the SUMMER at that point, a cover was unacceptable for him. He hated it. I hid a lot. I spent a lot of lonely time while out and about trying to find somewhere no would be offended by me. How absurd is that? Offended by feeding an infant? Hindsight is 20/20. I remember sitting there feeding him for the millionth time. Alone, wishing I had someone to talk to. Listening to the laughter in another room from other people. Scrolling my phone hoping something distracting and hilarious popped up on my Facebook feed so I too could laugh. Often, it did not happen.

At the time I didn’t think to myself “I will never be this way again.” No. It didn’t come until I started my Type-A reading being pregnant this time. The feelings of loneliness came flooding back. I can definitely say I won’t be lonely again. Not that I think Jack will allow me to. When I say he is a momma’s boy, that is an understatement. I doubt I will get the opportunity to nurse privately. I won’t miss out on things with him for that. I won’t miss soccer games because someone thinks I should sit in a nasty port a potty and feed this little one. No. It won’t be happening this time.

As I have grown as a parent with Jack I have gained confidence. My parenting style has developed over the last 3 years. We are very upfront with Jack about all things. I talk to him like he is an adult. I explain things to him like he is an adult. I have explained the benefits of fiber on the digestive system. I have explained how protein helps grow his muscles. I tell him his penis is his penis. I have a vagina. He asked “One day you will have your own penis?” “Oh no sweetheart. I am a girl and girl’s have vaginas and boys, like you, have penises.” I have explained what boobs are and what they are for when he pushed mine and said “what are these?” A few days later he asked if he could have some milk from them. I laughed so hard because that ocean dried up a long time ago. I told him it was all gone. I am honest with him. I didn’t think when I was dreaming of having babies that this was how I would approach subjects with my kids. That came as the questions started flooding in. I can be honest and he can learn from me or I can sugar coat and give cutesy names and he learns even worse and derogatory names from his peers. I want him to learn from his dad and me. So that is my approach on parenting. What does that have to do with nursing? When someone says “but think of the CHILDREN!” regarding nursing in public, I want to scream! I absolutely want to tear my hair out and say “what about the children? That is what our breasts are for! To feed babies and we should be honest and open about that. This isn’t a lingerie runway show. This is nourishing a helpless infant.” It makes me crazy to hear that argument. I would rather my kids know what boobs are for and have the respect for what women are capable of than learning from their friends that these are”tits” and are just sexual. Not in my house. Not in my family. They will have honest communication about these things.

Jack has given me the best gift he could have over these last 3 years. The confidence in my parenting styles and techniques when it matters most. I am not perfect. I have bursts of frustration and lose my shit and yell at him. But when it matters, with things like this, I feel a lot more confident than I did 3 years ago. I will stand up for my kids. I will nurse where I want to, when I want to, and how I want to. All that matters is what is right for me and the baby and my little family unit. Not what someone at the table over thinks. Look away if it is so bothersome to see a baby eating. I have said it before and I will say it again. I don’t want to watch someone stuffing their face with McDonalds. That makes ME sick and uncomfortable. I can’t throw a fit if I see someone doing that in public though. No. But someone can do that about an infant drinking milk his/her mom is working so hard to produce? Come on. Priorities people.

I came across this lovely article on the HuffPost (I really enjoy them!) A restaurant manager wrote about how they will never tell a mom to stop nursing at his restaurant. It is what reignited my passion for this today. It is a great read. I couldn’t help but think as I read it that the person complaining about a baby is the exact person that would complain about all of the other things they complained about. Chicken not being crispy enough! Maybe I am hardline on this. Maybe I come off as militant. Oh well. If you choose and are able to nurse, then legally you have the right to do it where/when/how you want. You shouldn’t be marginalized because you chose that over formula. I would never scoff at a mom feeding her baby formula. We all have our reasons for our choices when it comes to that, but we should support one another. We shouldn’t make each other hide in a dirty bathroom to feed our babies. No matter the medium we have chosen to nourish those tiny ones.

 

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