Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Baby Registry: Round 2


A couple weeks ago, I texted my sister-in-law who has three kiddos of her own, “Are people going to buy us things for a second baby or should I just plan on buying everything we need myself?” I realize that Baby #2, especially being of the same gender as his older brother, will not elicit the same excitement from friends and family, nor compel them to go all out on buying baby things, so I honestly have no idea what to expect this time around (Mamas of 2+, any thoughts?). However, I decided to go ahead and create a baby registry through BabyList, because even if people opt not to buy us anything (which if I might clarify, is totally understandable and I’m truly not expecting anything), I would still have a consolidated list of all the things I want to get prior to #2’s arrival.

Since, as I mentioned, we’re pretty set on baby things and baby boy clothes this time around, here’s what remains on Baby Stuckert #2’s Baby Registry:

TRANSPORTATION



Evenflo SureRide DLX Convertible Car Seat: Currently, we have two infant car seats and a convertible car seat for Charlie, but since both Chuck and I split the child pick-up/drop-off duties pretty evenly, another convertible car seat for Charlie is a must. This one came highly recommended on Lucie’s List.

Eddie Bauer Animal Mirror – Dog: Neither Chuck or myself, currently have a mirror in the backseats of our cars which we’ve both realized we’d really like to be able to check up on Charlie. This one is reasonable, and adorable!

ERGObaby Heart2Heart Infant Insert, Natural: We have a double jogging stroller that my Mom scored for us on Craigslist, but until Baby #2 gets big enough to sit up on his own, I figure I can carry him around in my ErgoBaby while I push Charlie in our umbrella stroller. Since Charlie was born in the winter, I didn’t really have a need for the infant insert since we were hermits for three months, but now with a summer baby, this is definitely something I want to invest in.

FEEDING



OXO Tot Perch Booster Seat with Straps, Gray: It’s just about time for us to transition Charlie from his high chair to a booster seat so after perusing Amazon, I chose this one because it looked like the easiest to clean!

Sage Spoonfuls Big Batch Storage Set- 4 oz: I didn’t have much success with making my own baby food the first time around. However, after realizing how stinkin’ expensive baby food can be, and the fact that I recently won a Magic Bullet from a raffle at work, I’d like to give it another go and I think these storage containers would be perfect!

Medela Breastmilk Cooler Set: I’m thankful that my employer has an on-site lactation room. It made pumping with Charlie so much easier. However, since my position entails a lot of travel, I was not well equipped to pump when I was on the road. This will hopefully make things a lot easier the second go around.

Medela 12 Volt Vehicle Lighter Adaptor: Another tool in my tool belt for pumping on the go!

Medela Breastshield Valve & Membrane: I threw the ones I used with Charlie out because- ew. Time to replace!

OXO Tot Bottle Brush with Nipple Cleaner and Stand: We used this bottle brush with Charlie’s bottles and although I do not miss the daily chore of washing five billion nipples, this brush was awesome.

CLOTHES

Although I do have plenty of baby boy clothes, Charlie and Baby #2 will have been born in completely opposite seasons, so I’m definitely in need of some lighter, short-sleeved newborn and 0-3month clothes to supplement his wardrobe. These are some of my favorites.






Halo Wearable Cotton Blanket - Cream - Large: Charlie has yet to figure out how to sleep underneath his blankets, instead of on top of them, so this was a must in the chilly winter months!

Stride Rite 3-Pack Comfort Seam Triple Roll – White: Because all baby socks eventually make their way from the dryer to the magical world of Narnia and you can never have too many.

Peanuts Snoopy Baby Boys' Bodysuit – Red: Even though I can say with 100% certainty that this Stuckert baby will not be named after a Peanuts character, we gotta keep the Peanuts love strong.


OTHER ESSENTIALS


 DaVinci Jenny Lind 3-in-1 Convertible Crib, White: Since we’re planning to have the boys share a room and Charlie will still be a little small to make the crib-to-bed transition, we’re just going to commit to having them both in matching cribs when baby is ready to transition to the nursery.

DaVinci Jenny Lind Toddler Bed Conversion Kit- White: For when Charlie is ready to transition to a toddler bed, his crib will convert.

Earth's Best Diapers: This has been my absolute favorite brand of diaper with Charlie- super absorbent, not too expensive AND eco-friendly.

Earth's Best Tender Care Baby Wipes: Can’t forget about wipes!

WubbaNub Little Lamb Pacifier: Up uintil we lost his while grocery shopping in Kroger, Charlie was never without his Wubbanub. These pacifiers are amazing when babies are too small too hang onto a normal pacifier. I’m learning from experience and buying two this time around!

The Big Story of Little Me Three-Ring Baby Book: Despite the fact that I have failed miserably at keeping Charlie’s baby book updated, I do have the intention of finishing it one of these days. Looking back on the baby books that my Mom made for my sister and me is so sweet and I want to make sure I do the same for my babies.

The thing I love about BabyList is that’s essentially Pinterest for baby registries. I can pin anything I want whether it’s from Amazon, Target, Etsy…or anywhere on the web. I swear, this is not a sponsored post, but if you’re making a baby registry of your own, I can’t say enough good things about them!


Monday, May 16, 2016

Semi-Charmed Summer Book Challenge: Preliminary List



Two book posts in a row? In the words of Ron Swanson, "I know what I'm about, son."

Megan announced the categories for her Summer Book Challenge (#SCSBC16) and I got right to work making my preliminary reading list. Bookworm probs! The challenge runs from June 1-August 31 and I'm feeling really optimistic about this particular challenge. I have literally never been able to finish a blogging reading challenge, so I'm hoping if I stock my list with plenty of easy-to-read chick lit, I may be able to finally check one off my list!

Here's what I'm planning to read this summer:



5 points: Freebie! Read any book that is at least 150 pages long. | TBD

10 points: Read a collection of short stories or essays. They may all be written by the same author, or the book may be an anthology from different writers; your choice! | Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories by Stephanie Perkins

10 points: Read an adult fiction book written by an author who normally writes books for children. Examples: J. K. Rowling, Judy Blume, Suzanne Collins, Rick Riordan, etc. - Submitted by SCWBC15 finisher Kelly E. | In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

15 points: Read a book set in Appalachia. - Submitted by SCWBC15 finisher Ericka B. (Try this list or this one for inspiration. And here’s a map if you have a book in mind and want to know if it fits the setting.) | A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson

15 points: Don’t judge a book by its cover! Read a book with a cover you personally find unappealing. | Winger by Andrew Smith

20 points: Read a book that you have previously only seen the film (movie) of. - Submitted by SCWBC15 finisher Bevchen. | Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin

25 points: Read a book with a punny title. The title can be a play on another book title, movie title or a common expression. Examples of such titles include Southern DiscomfortWe'll Always Have Parrots or Bonefire of the Vanities- Submitted by SCWBC15 finisher Jamie G. Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist by Tim Federle

30 points: Read a microhistory. (Try this list or this one for ideas.) | Stiff: The Curious Life of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

30 points: Read one book with a good word in the title, and one with a bad word. Note: This category is reeeeeeeally open-ended! Maybe you like turtles, so The Pearl that Broke Its Shell is a title with a "good" word. Similarly, the "bad" word could be a swear word or a literally negative word like “not” or “none,” or it could just be something you don’t like. Have fun with it! (Remember, you must read both books to get 30 points; this category is not worth 15 points per book.) | First Comes Love by Emily Giffin and The Jolly Coroner by Quentin Canterel

40 points: Read two books that contain the same word in the title, but once in the singular and once in the plural. For example: Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter and The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer, or Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff and The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner. (Remember, you must read both books to get 40 points; this category is not worth 20 points per book.) | The Diary of Darcy J. Rhone by Emily Giffin and The Vegas Diaries by Holly Madison

> > >

Want to join in on the fun? Check out Megan's book challenge here:

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

What I Read: January-April


Despite the poor showing that indicates otherwise, I love me a good book challenge. However, due to being sick and pregnant for about three months straight, my books read for the first quarter of the year was pretty pitiful. Now that I'm feeling back to my normal self, I decided I was long overdue to post a good ol' fashioned reading update. Check out my reviews below:

p/c Goodreads


Although I really enjoyed the first two books in this YA/Fantasy series, I found myself getting really annoyed by the main characters and I felt that in some areas, the author didn't provide enough detail or provided too much unnecessary detail to support the plot. The ending did redeem it somewhat, but overall, this was my least favorite book of the series.


I started this to fit my "Woman/man, girl/boy" category for Megan's Winter Book Challenge and never wound up finishing it until after the challenge wrapped up. It had been on my list for about three years and I can't believe it took me so long to read it. It is a light-hearted, but completely intelligent and introspective reflection on Evans' year trying to live as "biblically womanly" as possible. I love the conclusions she comes to and how she shares the changes in her faith over the course of the year. I would highly recommend!


The only reason I chose to read this was because it was a steal on my Kindle app and I knew that the author was also a blogger. I'm all about supporting bloggers turned writers, but this book just didn't do it for me. There were funny moments, but I felt like in trying to be comedic, it lacked any real depth. This is one you can skip.


Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding (271 pages, )
I loved that reading this was like snooping through your best friend's diary, if your best friend was a hot, hot mess. I really enjoyed this and it was a nice, easy, brainless read. This book was the "LOL" category of Erin's Book Challenge.


Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson (278 pages, )
The first book of Anderson's I read was Speak which was about a teenage girl dealing with the aftermath of her rape. The second was Catalyst, about a teenage girl suffering from an obsessive and destructive exercise addiction. This book was about a teenage girl dealing with an eating disorder. I think Anderson's books are great for teenage girls dealing with a multitude of issues, but I felt like I was reading the same book for the third time. Her books have seemed so similar and formulaic that this one truthfully bored and disappointed me. I chose this book to fit the "season" category of Erin's Book Challenge.


Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah (479 pages, )
I selected this book because it fit the category of Amazon Best-Selling authors that I had never read for Erin's Book Challenge. It had also been sitting neglected on my shelf for months after I received it in a blogger book exchange, so I figured it was a long, overdue read. It was standard chick lit, but it still made me cry and made me want to read more from Hannah in the future.


Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden (512 pages, )
This was my last book challenge-related book for Erin's "set in Asia" category. It had been on my to-read list for years and was another book gathering dust on my shelf. It seemed from my friends' GoodReads reviews to be a very polarizing read- people either loved it or they hated it. I was more on the love side- I found it to be a fascinating glimpse into geisha culture of 1940's Japan- something that I knew absolutely nothing about. A lot of people said it was slow-moving which I can understand, but I don't think there were any details within the story that could have been eliminated. Overall, I would definitely recommend for historical fiction lovers.


As an avid Top Chef fan, this book was just for me. I wanted to know the scoop behind the private life of the enigmatic host, and I got what I was hoping for. Padma spares no details in sharing her life's stories, and I loved getting to peak into the life of a model/TV host/chef/a million other things. My only complaint, which seemed to be shared by several other GoodReads reviewers, is that despite some definite struggles and difficulties in her life, Padma has ultimately led one of immense privilege, which she never seems to actually acknowledge and I felt somewhat annoyed by. Otherwise, I would recommend for fellow fans of the show!

So far in the month of May, I've definitely stepped up my reading game and am hoping to stay on track to complete my goal of 50 books in 2016. So far, I'm 6 books behind in my progress, but I'm hoping if I maintain my current pace, I can still manage to catch up and meet it!

Stay tuned for more reviews to come!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Baby 2.0 Gender Reveal!


Well, for those of you who may have read my sappy love letter on Friday, 1. Props to you, and 2. You already know the gender of Baby 2.0. For anyone who didn't care to read my obnoxious, mushy sentiments written to my husband, today's the day!


I had every intention of doing some cute, Pinterest-worthy surprise for my husband's birthday. Then last Monday, the morning of our ultrasound, Chuck and I decided we just couldn't wait. We had to find out that day. So yeah, no birthday surprise. No gender reveal birthday cake.

Thankfully, my sister-in-law offered to practice her photography chops on us and I was just so happy to have a way to celebrate the gender of what will potentially be our last baby.

This also didn't go according to plan.

Ashlee did her absolute best, but Charlie was not having it. He was an angel leading up to the pictures, and an angel as soon as we left. During, though? Talk about a toddler tantrum! We didn't get the perfect family pictures I was envisioning, but I am so happy and in love with the ones we did get.

So without further ado, Baby 2.0 is a...



Clearly, Charlie is thrilled.

Fortunately, he has some time to acclimate because we've still got four months to go until I am officially outnumbered!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Dear Husband (On Your Birthday)


Dear Husband,

I met you when you were twenty-one years old. For all intents and purposes, still a boy. You were finding your place in the world and figuring out who you were and what mattered to you. Our relationship from the get-go was a warm, fuzzy place to land in the middle of life's uncertainties. For the past five plus years I've been by your side and watched you grow. From that uncertain young boy, to a trustworthy, dependable, and selfless man. For every fight, every disappointment, and every tension along the way, getting to see you in this place you've arrived, made every single one worth it.

Like most new parents, I don't think it would be a stretch to say that at times, parenthood has thrown us for a loop. Balancing roles, fighting exhaustion, making time for ourselves, and each other- each one has brought it's own set of challenges. But in the last few months, we've really settled into a groove. We work long hours, we do our best, and we support and appreciate each other always. I think it's important to take stock of this season in our life because in just a short while, we'll become a family of four and all of what we've worked to gain since become Charlie's Mommy and Daddy will be thrown out the window, and we will begin from scratch all over again. When we're overwhelmed, and exhausted, and two-under-two has us questioning our life decisions, I want to remember this season. When we manage to get our shit together, life is really, really good.


Since we found out about Baby 2.0, you have been everything I needed and more. You've been a phenomenal partner and Daddy since day one, but in the last few months of being a full-time baby-maker you have continued to impress me with the lengths you will go to take care of your family. Never once have I feared how I would look over Charlie while being sick, pregnant, and exhausted. You have been there for every mealtime, every bedtime, and every hustled morning drop-off when I needed you. And never once have you complained, dissented, or resented me. I always knew you were meant to be a father, but never could I have imagined how wonderfully that would manifest itself in our life together. You are selfless, trustworthy, and a better husband than I ever could have dreamed for myself.

I know you will inevitably be embarrassed by something that I've written and shared with the world, and you'll call me out and then move on about your day, realizing that there's absolutely nothing you will do about it. Because that's the man you are. You don't sweat the small stuff, and you love me for me, even when I make flawed decisions, even when I take things too far, or when I take things too personally. You are always grounded and level-headed; the calming force in my life. And yet you are always loyal and supportive. I don't thank you enough for that. For allowing me to be my sometimes melodramatic, sometimes high-strung, and my always overemotional self and loving me unconditionally, regardless.


You are a good man. A great father. And an amazing husband.

Your life is a gift to everyone you come into contact with, but I just so happen to be the luckiest of them all. I am so thankful you were born on this day and that the stars aligned, our paths crossed, and somehow, I get to be the one to spend the rest of my days alongside of you.

Happy Birthday, my love. Thank you for everything that you are.

Love,
Your Bee

P.S. Because music is our love language, I made you a birthday playlist. Most songs are sappy, most songs have some memory attached to them, one is just to make you laugh, but all of them remind me of you in some way or the other. I hope you find joy in every single one.

P.S.S. Congratulations on becoming a Boy Daddy times two ;)




Monday, April 11, 2016

Baby #2 is a...





Gotcha!

Yeah, we don't actually know yet and the anticipation is killing us. We go in this morning for our 20-week ultrasound, and then, we wait. Chuck is not excited about this plan. However, when I realized that our ultrasound was going to be within 4 days of my sweet hubby's birthday, I obviously had to plan something. So against his wishes and because he loves me, my husband is going to wait a week to find out the gender of his second born so that I can do some kind of cute, Pinterest-worthy birthday cake reveal.

In the meantime, who has guesses?!

The old wives' tales say...

Carrying high or low?... High? GIRL
Baby's heartbeat? Last appointment was 150. GIRL
Craving? Sweet! GIRL
Chinese birth chart? BOY
Skin? Terrible! (Probably because of all the sweets!) GIRL
First trimester? Sick, sick, sick! GIRL





I'm fairly certain that every one of our family members thinks we're having a girl, and we've been leaning that way, as well. But I was dead-wrong about Charlie's gender, so I honestly have no idea!

Can't stinking wait to find out though- stay tuned next week for the exciting conclusion!


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

15 Months as Mommy


I have missed blogging so darn much. For the last couple weeks, I so badly have wanted to come to this place and just write. I miss the catharsis that blogging provides me, but between being tired from work, being tired for pregnancy, and being tired from wrangling my crazy little one year old, my brain is mush!

However, what kind of mom would I be if I didn't document this milestone in my sweet firstborn's life?!

A photo posted by Kaity Bee (@beeautifulblessings) on


WORK
I constantly have to remind myself how lucky I am to be doing something that I love, and that I have the best co-workers in the world, but the truth is, I've waited for a year now for my one-hour commute and being away from my kid for 50+ hours a week to be easier, and it just hasn't. I miss my baby boy, gosh darnit!

BREASTFEEDING
We have been donezo for quite a while now. I find it hilarious that this is what I wrote in Charlie's 12-month update: "The only downside to this nursing pattern is that it's still preventing my cycle from coming back (TMI, I know), which in and of itself is not a bad thing. But Chuck and I have been talking about trying for Baby Pep 2.0 in the near future, so biologically, it does present a bit of a problem."

Yep, I was totally already pregnant when I wrote that. Shortly after Charlie turned one, we stopped abruptly. I'm pretty sure my supply was barely there and Charlie was getting really impatient waiting for me to letdown at bedtime, so I decided it was time to call it quits and just switch to 100% whole milk. I didn't realize how ready I was to stop. I loved breastfeeding Charlie, but one year was more than enough for me. It had started to become a chore and I could tell Charlie was ready to move on, so I wasn't about to push it. It has felt really nice having my boobies me mine again :)

BABY FAT
Well, obviously I'm gaining that baby fat back!

As for Charlie...

Despite what this picture may suggest, he was not actually pouting, but blowing raspberries! 


MILESTONES
I swear, this kid went from crawling to running in 2 seconds flat! He's been walking since 13 months and hasn't slowed down for a second!

Our little monster also has himself some teeth: two on the bottom, three on top, with the fourth ready to make its appearance any day now!

Unfortunately, he can be a bit of a picky eater. He still doesn't like eggs, or pretty much any fruit or vegetable. He spits them out, even when we try to sneak them into other food. Sigh. But he does love yogurt, his fruit and veggie purees (go figure), french toast, macaroni and cheese, and basically any homemade cooking. Since I've been pregnant, sick, and tired, we haven't done much cooking at home, but I would like to step it up a little because he loves grown up food!

FAMILY
Charlie and his cousin Lucie (who is 6 weeks his junior) are finally at an age where they're interacting rather than just co-existing. Charlie is so enamored with his cousin and loves playing with her, giving her kisses, and apparently, rubbing her belly, per his Aunt Ashlee's reports. When we're getting him ready in the morning and ask him if he wants to go see Lucie, his face just lights up. It's the cutest thing!


STATS
Charlie's 15-month appointment was yesterday and the nurse measured his height at 29 inches and his weight at 17 lbs 10 oz. I'm not sure where he's keeping it, but he's managed to put on two pounds since his 12-month appointment. So relieved that my peanut continues to grow!

I am so looking forward to the coming summer months when I can stick this kid in just a onesie or a romper and send him on his merry way, because clothing continues to be a hassle. He's still wearing size 3 diapers and he's in between 12 and 18-month onesies and jammies. Pants are completely across the board, I just stick him in whatever will stay up on his skinny little waist, whether it be 6-9 month jeans or 12-month girls' leggings. I gave my Mom his measurements so she's going to custom-make a few pairs of pants that will hopefully stay up! He's in a size 3 shoe for now, but I just went and bought him some super cute size 4 Chuck Taylors, mocassains, and Tevas from Once Upon a Child. So cute!

> > >

This is such a fun age- Charlie is still enough of a baby that we can snuggle him like crazy and aren't yet dealing with terrible tantrums, but he's also becoming a very independent and adventurous little toddler. It is so amazing to watch him learn and explore! Just for fun, here are a few outtakes from our photo shoot which pretty much perfectly capture this stage in our life:





Sunday, March 20, 2016

2nd Trimester Thoughts


That's right, I've made my way out of the first trimester fog and have found myself in a place of lots of thoughts, and little energy.

Today, I'm 17 weeks and with the exception of peeing 16 times per day, I'm feeling pretty good. The first trimester with Baby #2 was not so kind to me. Lots of nausea, lots of food aversions, lots of random vomiting with no forewarning (yeah, I never had that with Charlie and it was loads of fun). Last pay period was the first time I worked a full eighty hours because I've literally been sick for about the last three months. So consequently, I'm completely pooped from actually working full-time. 

I feel like this baby is already coming into the world as the classic younger sibling. Charlie had weekly bumpdates and letters written to him. This kid? Not so much. Which doesn't mean that there's not a lot of excitement surrounding their impending arrival. It just means that Mama is a lot more tired this time around with working and caring for a 1 year old, so documenting the bump and updating the blog have fallen to the wayside.

However, after a good, long Saturday afternoon nap while Daddy took over Charlie duty, I decided the time had come. So here are some thoughts on Pregnancy 2.0:



1. Gender predictions | I mentioned it before, but everyone is completely convinced this baby is a girl. Chuck has already started referring to "her" by the girl name we have picked out (which we aren't sharing- see #2). I feel like I have to constantly remind him that we don't actually know the gender yet and won't for a few more weeks!

2. Baby names | Obviously, we have landed on a girl name. We have super different styles when it comes to baby names. Chuck thinks like an old man and loves old-timey, classic, traditional names, whereas I am drawn to unique, hippie names. If he would let me, I swear to goodness that I would name this kid something like Sunshine or Rainbow. (Actually, my all-time favorite is Whimsy for a girl, but I've given up hope of that ever happening). We have some boy names in circulation, but haven't spent too much time thinking about it, because, like I said, everyone is convinced we're having a girl. We decided this go around not to share our name choices. I found that people are just too opinionated when it comes to what you should name your kid, so we decided to keep it between the two of us. The only opinions that matter are ours, so we're going to share once baby is born.

3. Birth plans | I'm using the same midwives' office that I used before and am planning to delivery in the same birthing center. Yup, going au natural once again. And can I be honest for a second and say that I am so much more scared for labor this time?! I know everyone says the second birth is generally quicker, so I've found some consolation in that. But now that I know how much labor seriously sucks, I can't say that I'm looking forward to it.

4. Two under two | Charlie will be about 20 months when this baby comes along. Which I think is a blessing and a curse. I'm excited that my little ones will be close in age and will be able to play with each other growing up, but I've heard that the first year with two teenies is incredibly difficult and I'm pretty dang nervous as to how I'm going to do with no sleep. Charlie has always been a good sleeper, and was sleeping through the night by about 8 weeks (please don't hate me) so I'm holding out hope that #2 will hopefully be as easy on us. But I know that the whole adage of "sleep when the baby sleeps" will not be super easy when I have a little toddler running around to keep tabs on. 

5. Childcare | I am a wreck thinking about how we're going to pull this off once I return to work from maternity leave. The cheapest option I've found thus far is a daycare center in our town that will cost us upwards of $1,100 a month. I'm praying for some kind of miracle from the childcare gods that will allow us to make something work. 

Hoping to make the bumpdates a more regular occurrence around her, but be sure to follow me on Instagram in the meantime!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

That Time I Threw Up Into a Diaper Box and my One Year-Old Laughed at Me


Wow...where to even start? It has officially been forever since I last blogged, and weirdly, I haven't missed it like I thought I might. My blogging break has not been intentional. Truthfully, it has just stemmed from being in a place in my life where I am bone tired. Reading has fallen to the wayside, writing has fallen to the wayside, and I have been devoting 100% of the little energy I have to work and Mama-ing. 

Why so tired?

Well, it could have something to do with this:


In case you missed it on Charlie's adorably, tiny onesie, it says, "Happy Valentine's Day to me, because I'm a Big Brother-to-Be!"

And if you needed more proof:


Yeah, Baby Pep 2.0 is happening and I am feeling all the feels. 

We found out mid-January when my inexplicable nausea needed to be explained. I think Chuck just thought I was being mopey because typically, I am in the winter time. However, after awhile I knew that this wasn't just in my head- I really felt icky. So I unceremoniously took a pregnancy test and the positive line showed up almost instantly. I called to Chuck to come to the bathroom (because I'm classy like that), and with that, Chuck found out he was about to become a parent for the second time.

The kicker was, (and this is totally TMI), I never actually got my period because I had been breastfeeding Charlie, so I had no clue how far along I was. I called my midwife's office, scheduled an appointment for about a month later and waited it out, all the while, feeling like complete crud. 

February 8 finally rolled around and Chuck was insistent upon joining me for my first appointment since he had to miss several the first time around. He sat beside me while he heard our baby's heartbeat for the first time and then when we had our first ultrasound to figure out how far along I was. When we first saw 2.0, I couldn't believe it- s/he looked like a real little person and not just some creepy-looking seahorse! When the ultrasound tech told us Baby 2.0 was measuring at 11 weeks 1 day, we were both taken aback- we were practically already out of the first trimester!

Since that crazy day over a week ago, we have happily announced to our family and friends and have dealt with the weirdness that is a second pregnancy (which is really a whole other post altogether). I think everyone in our life is on Team Girl, including myself, as of this morning. I was really rooting for Team Boy only because I didn't want our cute little tot to feel, I don't know, unwanted? if it did turn out to be a boy. But the nausea and morning sickness has been so much worse this time around that I'm convinced it has to be a girl. Exhibit A? This morning when I accidentally got a big ol' whiff of Charlie's soiled diaper and had to throw up in the nearest thing I could find- so while I wretched on my hands and knees into a box of diapers, my ridiculous little one year old boy sat on his changing table stark naked, looking down at me and laughing. After I was done, I couldn't help but laugh at the ridiculousness of the entire scenario- here I was tossing up breakfast, and little Charlie thought I was playing some kind of demented game of peekaboo! Haha Pregnancy with a toddler is certainly a different ball game!

I haven't decided whether to do "bumpdates" or letters to 2.0 this time around, and although I have a firestorm of pregnancy and life update topics swirling around in my mind, it remains to be seen whether my fatigue will come out on top.

For now, I'm just taking each day at a time and trying to keep down breakfast :)

It's crazy to say, but be on the lookout for Baby Stuckert #2, coming August 2016!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

12 Months as Mommy


If you missed it, my baby boy turned ONE! ONE!!! I no longer have a sweet snuggly baby boy. But a sweet, snuggly, little monster of a toddler!

WORK
One of my good friends at work, recently came back from maternity leave and although my heart broke for her having to leave her baby girl, I was so happy to have her back. I love sharing how our babies are growing, talking about poop (because what Mom doesn't love that?!) and just generally bragging on our sweet bundles of joy. 

BREASTFEEDING
Breastfeeding is GREAT! Mostly because, I'm no longer pumping!!! Woohooo!!! Seriously, in case you were not aware of my excitement over never having to pump for my Charlie again, please note- I AM ELATED! Charlie had trouble stomaching whole milk when we began the transition and was throwing up a lot, so after a call to his pediatrician we switched to 2% milk and it's been smooth sailing ever since. He's not drinking a ton of milk throughout the day, but is more than making up for it by gobbling up every bite-sized morsel of solid food he can get his little hands on. (This includes non-foods, as well. I caught him trying to eat a dime the other day and nearly had a heart attack). Aside from that, we're nursing first thing in the morning and before bed. I wish this is they way I could have breastfed him his entire first year. It's wonderful!

The only downside to this nursing pattern is that it's still preventing my cycle from coming back (TMI, I know), which in and of itself is not a bad thing. But Chuck and I have been talking about trying for Baby Pep 2.0 in the near future, so biologically, it does present a bit of a problem. I'm not worrying too much about it, because I don't want to abruptly throw off Charlie's routine. We're just going to take it day by day and see what happens.

BABY FAT
Up until I put on a solid 5 lbs of pure holiday goodness, I was actually starting to get a bit skinnier. Chasing after a newly mobile little tot is fabulous cardio.

As for Charlie...



MILESTONES
He's not walking yet, but is well on his way. He can stand without any support for a few seconds before plopping down on his cute little bum. He did, however, figure out how to crawl up onto our downstairs sofa which is quite handy when he's trying to get a handful of whatever Mommy is eating or get his little hands on one of the TV remotes.

Our little monster also has himself some teeth! His two bottom ones have been slowly coming in for about a month or so, but one top tooth has just started coming in within the last few weeks. He looks so stinkin' goofy, like a little hillbilly, that every time he smiles, I can't help but laugh.

As I mentioned earlier, he is all about the solid food and will eat just about anything put in front of him. He's done really well with pasta, french toast, birthday cake, and surprisingly, loved Mama's chili! The only thing he's still not excited about is eggs and the different brand of baby food pouches we tried to give him. We're sticking with Earth's Best and the Kroger Simple Truth brand and he can suck down 2-3 pouches in one sitting!

FAMILY
Charlie got to spend a a whole lot of time with family this month. His Grandma and Aunt Kelly came into town to stay for Christmas, he got to spend a day with his Aunt Annen, Uncle Rob and cousins one day when we had a babysitting emergency, and of course, he spent most of his days with his cousin Lucie and Aunt Ashlee. He also spent quite a bit a time with Ashlee's family who are essentially his adoptive Nana and Papaw. This little boy is so blessed, he gets to have three pairs of grandparents!

STATS
Charlie's 12-month appointment was yesterday and the nurse measured his height at 28 inches and his weight at 15 lbs 9 oz. It's hard to believe he's still so petite, but he is gaining, so that's a good thing!

Because this kid is so tall and skinny, his clothing his completely across the board. He's still wearing Size 3 diapers and I usually have him in 12-month onesies and jammies, but pants are a crap shoot. He has some 6-9 month jeans and sweats that he sometimes wears, but most of the time, I have him in 12-month girls' leggings. His jackets and hoodies are also still 6-9 mos.

> > >

It sounds so cliche, but this year has gone so quickly- I can't believe my baby isn't a baby anymore! At the same time, it truly feels like Charlie has always been a part of our family- he was just a missing piece to our puzzle! I can't imagine our life without him, he is 100% joy incarnate.


You can find our other monthly updates here:
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5// 6
7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11