Wednesday, March 30

We're Going In...

We're going in and the little one is coming O-U-T.

After my Monday appointment with my OB revealed I am "favorable" for an induction, I've decided that we're going to evict little Lucas on Wednesday, March 30--his due date. Hallelujah.

Without getting too personal I feel like I am SO close to going naturally--water breaking on its own  and all--just like the first time with Olivia. I am sore, stiff, and very uncomfortable and looking forward to the way all of these aches magically disappear with the delivery of a child. Bring it on. My quick recovery last time really amazed me. I was literally in the gym and feeling normal within 2 weeks--baby steps of course.

Today, I stayed home from work to grocery shop, vacuum, bleach, sterilize, mop, dust, and wipe my three-story home down within an inch of its life. I don't know where I got the burst of energy but I feel much better knowing it is taken care of. Charm City Daddy is of course angry at me and wanted me to relax, but how could I with all of those tasks on my mind? Plus if he really cared--he would have had it done or done it himself, OR allow my mom to do it while I'm in the hospital, but will he? Nope.

Olivia has been a delightful riot the past couple of days reminding us how much she has grown. A new baby is really going to change the dynamic of our home and family. I can't wait!

Overdramatizing the camera flash, as usual.
We're getting lots of mileage out of the "big sister" book at bedtime.

Stay tuned for the birth announcement and birth story (which I will not be blogging from the hospital). Wish us well.

Sunday, March 27

Bedtime w/ Daddy

Although Olivia's bedtime routine is pretty consistent whether it is Charm City Daddy presiding or me,  I always enjoy seeing the way CCD adds his own little special touches.

He reads books in his own way. He puts on the extra big pajamas. He leaves hair bows in her hair. He forgets to use overnight diapers, occasionally. And now that Olivia is in the big girl bed, he spends an extra 60 seconds with her as she closes her eyes to sleep.

Olivia loves it and puts her arm on daddy--keeping him from easily sliding away. Being the video monitor stalker I am--of course I watch it all go down. Observe...

See him in motion trying to slide away? haha. Never easy. Such a good daddy.

39 week Bump Update

...A pic of me last week. Ready to pop. Any minute.

False Start...

False start. On the fetus. Repeat first down.

I have been timing contractions here and there as they come--waiting for the magic "5 minutes apart, 1 minute duration, 1 hour long" goal. Although I wasn't keeping perfect time, I thought last night was building up to something---until we got to the 45 minute mark.

Here's the contraction log from my iPhone's Labor Mate app.

Mar 26, 2011 10:34 PM    Duration: 01:08 Frequency: ---

Mar 26, 2011 10:45 PM    Duration: 00:44 Frequency: 11:13 * missed one in there.

Mar 26, 2011 10:49 PM    Duration: 00:42 Frequency: 03:19

Mar 26, 2011 10:54 PM    Duration: 01:00 Frequency: 05:06

Mar 26, 2011 11:03 PM    Duration: 01:06 Frequency: 09:45

Mar 26, 2011 11:12 PM    Duration: 01:17 Frequency: 08:26

Mar 26, 2011 11:26 PM    Duration: 00:38 Frequency: 14:36

This little run completely exhausted me and I fell asleep after and was not awakened by any more pain.

Stilllllllllll waiting on you Little Lucas. Now my fear is that he will be so big that he'll quickly outgrow all of the cute newborn clothes we have for him. It's silly, I know. Plus I just force him into the clothes anyway and he'll be a little baby "Hulk." hehe.

Monday, March 21

Get O-U-T.

I'm exhausted, in constant back and pelvic pain, and ready to have this B-A-B-Y. It's all I can do to try to make it to my 39 week, 1 day appointment on Wednesday. That is the earliest she promised to get things going, if you know what I mean. Although--honestly--I hope it doesn't come to that. It frightens me.

When I was pregnant with Olivia--I actually went into labor on that day--and thus missed my afternoon appointment. I would settle for Wednesday, but soon would be SO much better.

While I appreciate the compliments of how I'm carrying a perfect little basketball (although I'm only 5 lbs behind my all-over weight gain with O), my back hurts and I can't walk properly or even more than a snail's pace.

It's sad really. I had the day off and Charm City Daddy tried to entice me to the mall today (probably to secretly get me to walk the baby out) to buy me an iPad2 and I reluctantly agreed (love my gadgets) thinking all the while about all of the walking involved. That damn thing was sold out--of course it was--DUH! If I weren't in so much pain I would have realized this and come to my senses before agreeing to do all of that walking which required two rest stops on benches and a random makeup counter stool.

Time to bring out the old hip hop song...."Come baby. Come baby. Baby come, come!"

He Got Me.

My sweet, thoughtful husband managed to pull together a surprise baby shower for me and baby Lucas on Saturday.

I was shocked, touched---and incredibly grateful. I even cried.

With the help of my parents and younger brother (otherwise known as "Marcus" Stewart or "Benny" Crocker for his culinary and presentation skills) an intimate group of our very best friends were gathered together at my parent's house.

How did Charm City Daddy do it? How did he get me! I am so thankful that he did. It was nice not to have to think about anything--the nursery redo and toddler room have been enough.

We were headed to my parents' house on the premise that he'd watch the NCAA tourney games with my dad--and I'd likely pay Homegoods a visit with my mom and O in tow.  Right before we left, he asked what I was going to wear--hinting that I looked cute at a friend's shower the weekend before and I should wear my brown riding boots again. To that I said a big-fat "HA! I'd rather be comfortable" and I remained in my gray sweatpants and driving moccasins-a decision I later regret as CCD had a friend photographing the shower. Nice.

I admit I am a hard person to surprise and plan around---but he did it. Pics to come as soon as we get them.

Sharing is Caring

On top of all of the new changes our growing family will soon face with the addition of little Lucas (come OUT boy!)---Olivia started a nanny share this week.

Now, if you've been reading this blog from the get-go you know Charm City Daddy and I are well-versed in the at-home child care department. As you may recall we've had an au pair (let go), a live-out (moved),  a live-in (fired!), and now our latest live-out nanny has evolved into a nanny share. 

That's right,  our nanny is SO wonderful another family has also recognized it and they proposed  a nanny share with their 16-month old son--who by the way is super sweet, smiley, and A-DORABLE. Olivia thinks he is the little baby brother we told her was coming soon. Imagine her surprise when her real brother arrives, much smaller--and oh, yeah BROWN. haha. I love kids. When Olivia doesn't call her new friend "boy" or "brother" we try to get her to call him by his name or at least "buddy." It's really cute.

Our nanny is such a great match for our family and lifestyle, I was a bit hesitant (at first) to share her. But understanding Olivia's need and desire for socialization, and seeing the nanny's enthusiasm about the idea of a share (not to mention additional income for her) how could I refuse? I am happy for her and think it will work out well for everyone--especially the kids. And that's all that matters.

Thursday, March 17

Big Night in Big Girl Bed!

Wednesday evening was Olivia's first night in her big girl bed!!

Although her room is not completely done, we felt it was done enough. We are still waiting on many things to arrive. Stay tuned for the reveal--hopefully soon.

A friend who has 4 very young children warned me that Olivia's transition was going to be the most uneventful transition and all of my anxiety was for nothing. Boy was she right.

For weeks we had been getting O excited about her new digs, telling her she would "go night, night" and "bedtime" in her new bed, so when the time came she thought it was another dress rehearsal and visit.  It wasn't until I handed her the bedtime "trinity" (pacifier, lamb blanket buddy, glow/musical seahorse) and then climbed into bed with her to read her one of her favorite stories, If You Give a Pig a Party, that she realized she would actually be sleeping in the big bed.

When the story was over, I climbed out of the bed--which required scooting all the way to the foot of the bed to the storage bench thanks to the extra long bedrail I securely installed. This was--NOT easy (in fact it was painful) for a 9-month preggo--and I while I enjoyed lying in bed with my little girl--I will not do this again until after I have the baby.

Daddy came in, kissed her, and we closed the door shut (yes, all the way--that's how we roll)--and I began the video monitor stalking. She fell right to sleep.

For now I have the video monitor on her, but I'll have to move it back to the nursery when the time comes for Lucas to use his crib. I haven't decided whether I will continue to use a monitor for Olivia as I like to keep the bedroom doors closed since our house carries so much sound because of the hardwood floors/steps throughout.

At about the 4-hour mark at 11pm, Charm City Daddy and I peeked in on her to give her a kiss. She woke up but went right back to sleep. We closed the door again and then squealed with pride and sorrow that our little baby has grown up!

For a while, I stared at the empty nursery--what a weird feeling it was to see that room empty and another bedroom door closed and occupied. Nonetheless--now that the space is free, it's time to prepare and refresh it for little Lucas.

The following morning, Olivia woke up at her usual 7:30 a.m. and not realizing she was in a bed, she actually stayed in it (standing up) and threw her the trinity on the floor, just like she did when she was in the crib--just to look puzzled and say "uh oh, what happened?" pointing to it when we enter her room.  She thinks she is so clever.

Here she is the next morning. Being her usual silly, dramatic self about the camera flash.

We are so proud of her.  So far night #2 is going well. I'm glad we did this well ahead of little Lucas using the nursery, so Olivia doesn't feel kicked to the curb.

Wednesday, March 16

I Caved...

I made my rug selection for Olivia's room.

I caved and went with the WHITE flokati and boy is it W-H-I-T-E. It arrived today and as soon as it went down in the room, I took a look around and thought "how did this room get sooo white?"

How did I go from a nice balance (in my head) of pink, white, and navy to this?

Are you wondering how I rationalized a white rug for a kid's room? Here's how--its synthetic--machine washable (although at 8 x11 it ain't gonna fit in my washer/dryer), and the reviews were very positive for use in kids' rooms--so I'm not the only idiot out there.

I ended up going with this one... from Home Decorator's for $270 delivered (free shipping and on sale).

I decided against pink wool shag--b/c I thought it would be too much pink. Then I decided against white wool shag b/c I couldn't find one that was truly white--not beige or ivory. It turns out for me different shades of white  AND pink in the same room is apparently is asking too much.

So--Olivia will be doing little snow angels on her new rug instead of on our kitchen floor now.

And no I can't show you pics of the room b/c it is STILL not done.  I still haven't found a mirror I like, haven't made it to IKEA for the bookshelf, and still waiting on roman shades to arrive---and so much more. I'm about to give up though and move Olivia in this week.

Afterall the most important thing is ready to go--the big girl bed!

Thursday, March 10

Todder Room Update: Rug Dilemma

I am still working on Olivia's toddler room and like having this baby--ready to get it over with.

My latest dilemma is picking a rug that 1) fits my budget ($200 or less) 2) suits the room's size (6x9 or pref 8x10) and 3) the design motif--AND  4) is also kid-friendly.

If had my way...I'd go with a chic, white wool shag/flokati. Like this look from decorpad...

Growing up my mom had white flokati rugs she adored and kept perhaps too far beyond their decade of origin--the 70's. They are lovely indeed but also impractical.

A toddler's room needs a rug with color/pattern to hide dirt, but I've ruled out the blues, so that leaves more pink! So far, I'm thinking about these selections which are on sale with free shipping at

Pink Stripes--$129 and on the small side at 5x7--realistically, I could fit two of these in the room with plenty of floor space on the perimeter for radiator, bed, dresser, bookshelf, etc. Hmm.
And this one is actually camouflage (also 5x7 and $129), but the pattern is interesting and could work since it combines many shades of pink which satifies my neurotic anxiety about the different shades of pink in the room. I asked Charm City Daddy what the pattern looked like to him..he said "dancing pigs  or something." What do you think?

Finally at $11.99 I'm tempted to also buy this bear rug in addition to whatever choice I make for a main rug b/c it's fun and pink and animal shaped. I'd put it at the foot of O's bed as you walk into the room.

I still may choose a synthetic, short fiber, pink shag rug....I'm just a little leery of what kind of crap, dirt, toys could get caught in its fibers.

I'm giving myself a deadline of this weekend to make a choice. Feel free to chime in with your opinion in the comments.

Tuesday, March 8

Milk Truck Down

Yesterday while parked, our white suburban, aka "the milk truck, " was hit by a woman not paying attention and making an incredibly wide turn. Her car hit the driver's side door of our vehicle and the quarter panel above the wheel. Nice.

After the accident, the door would only open 8-10 inches--just enough for Charm City Daddy to squeeze out (a definite no-go for my preggo booty) and it wouldn't close all the way with a solid 3 inch gap leaving him to drive while holding the door closed. Nice.

So the milk truck is in the shop for the next 2-3 weeks, and we are pimping a blue Chevy HHR. The HHR should stand for you look "hella hella, ridiculous" in this clown car. So if I go into labor while our car is in the shop we get to pack not one, but TWO enormous car seats into the back of this blue pimp wagon rental. Nice.

Tuesday, March 1

36 weeks

We had an OB appointment today and we learned a lot.

1. Baby Lucas is still due March 30--but could come early on his own.
2. Baby Lucas is still a boy (No April Fool's jokes or surprises on that one).
3. Baby Lucas is head down and to quote the doctor today "Whooah his head is right there! Very low! You must feel like you're carrying a bowling ball, huh?" Umm YES!
4. At 35 weeks, 6 days Baby Lucas is 5 pounds 13 oz and will be between 7 and 8 lbs by the time he arrives.
5. Baby Lucas is likely to come early but the doctor will not induce me a day earlier than 39 weeks--no matter what---and I'm okay with that.

Although, my back hurts and I feel beat up from the inside out from all of the movement AND I would love to see the little man--who seems to look just like Olivia from the 3D pics (btw)--after reading this article about babies born before 39 weeks from the Wall Street Journal today--I am in no hurry to speed up my comfort at the expense of his health. No thanks, I'll gladly suffer.

It's a mental game from here on out. I gotta be strong.

18 Month Stats

Dear Olivia,

Even with poison ivy you are the happiest toddler I know! Your vocabulary is off the charts and you communicate so well with us that we have to remind you to use your words when you get excited or upset.

Sometimes we are surprised at what we hear from you:
- "Uh, oh what happened?"(usually after you have intentionally dismantled or dropped something)
- "It's okay. It's okay" (often comforting a toy)
- "Are you hong-wee?" (which means I am hungry, mom or dad and ready to eat)

We have had to reteach you how to answer yes or no questions as you confuse the meaning of shaking your head and saying "no." It usually goes something like:

Olivia: Nana, pease dah-dee?
Daddy: You want a banana?
Olivia (shaking her head looking daddy dead in the eye) No.
Daddy: (puzzled) okaaay. (starts to put banana away)
Olivia: Nana, pease dah-dee? pease?! pease?!
Daddy: Oooh you meant (nodding) "yes!"
Olivia: yes! (now nodding)

We also call you "Mo the mover" because, for no reason at all, you love picking up your little pint size stools and chairs while complaining to us with a disgruntled face that they are "heavy" and moving them around the room. Yet another thing I need to capture on video.

Finally, your little brother is just days away from arriving and despite all of the library and purchased books about siblings, big sisterhood, new babies and more, I'm still not sure you get it. I have no doubt however, that you will be a great big sister and a lot of fun as you tend to prefer to play with fun-loving boys than possessive and bossy girls. I don't blame you.

Here are your 18-month stats:
  • Height: 33.75 inches (95 percentile)
  • Weight: 25 lbs 14 oz. (50-75 percentile)
  • Head Circumference: 47.3 cm (50-75 percentile)
Love you so much and soaking up as much time as we can with just you before your baby brother arrives!



A Peek & Poison Ivy

I think there has been some confusion...I keep getting compliments on Olivia's new room--but I haven't posted any pictures of her room yet, because it's not done! In my last post about the room, I included an inspiration pic that gave me an idea about using grosgrain ribbon as crown moulding trim. That was inspiration--not the room.

As of Sunday the room was looking like this....

How is that for a reality check? Nowhere close to finished, but look at my awesome mom--painting up a storm. We had a nice little system. I prepped and taped and she painted. As you can see we are also painting furniture. I decided to use the dresser and nightstand from a set we already have after seeing another blogger/designer pull off an impressive makeover with a very similar set.  We're painting just two pieces a soft pink and changing out the hardware to clear/glass pulls. I think the french provincial style will ultimately work well in the room.

We've done a lot-- painted walls, covered cornices, upholstered headboard, hung curtains, assembled bed, assembled toy chest, painted nightstand and dresser drawers

I still have plenty left to do--which includes more painting and purchasing a rug, mirror, and a bookcase. 

It's safe to say Olivia is getting impatient too. She visits "my wooom" everytime she passes by it and sits in one of her pink chairs. Here she is during this morning's visit...
What's that on her face you ask? POISON IVY discovered in the park down the street. City living can have its threats of the wilderness too. Thank you Baltimore. Luckily it has not bothered her terribly with itchiness and she enjoys mommy putting on the Caladryl lotion aka "pinky, pinky."

On a side note, can you count the different shades of pink you see in the picture of above? I'm trying earnestly to embrace it and not make Olivia's toddler room so matchy-matchy, boring-boring--but it IS an exercise in self-control. Its the shade of pink grosgrain ribbons that bothers me most and I may utlimately change to white or navy ribbon. Maybe I'll take a poll at the end of the project and let YOU decide what I should do?