Wednesday, May 29, 2013

a shower for two (!) baby girls


I think we can all agree that the cute baby girl stuff outnumbers the cute baby boy stuff 10 to 1. Yes, cute boy stuff exists, but you have to look harder for it. But the pink stuff is everywhere! Headbands! Leggings! Ruffles! It's too much.

So when my Connecticut bestie found out that she's have twin girls (any day now!) I couldn't wait to throw her a shower. I knew I'd keep it simple - these are her second and third daughters so she already has a lot of what she needs. Plus, most of the guest list were ladies from the boat, which meant that there wouldn't be many husbands around the watch the kids on a Sunday afternoon. So it was drop-in, very laid back and casual, but it was perfect.

I made crab dip, spinach dip, caprese kabobs (cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and basil on a toothpick) and cupcakes. I served punch and set up my Keurig for a coffee bar and that was it! Simple, but more than enough for the ladies and kids we had running around. It kind of felt like a tea party :)

I marked all of the dishes with tiny cards that I decorated with pink washi tape and then attached to a clothespin.

I found the cupcake liners on Amazon - and I love the little pink pearls on top of the cream cheese frosting!

I found those little paper straws and the wooden utensils on Amazon as well. Those were a fun little addition in place of the standard plastic ware.

The coffee bar was a huge hit, especially since it was a chilly and rainy afternoon.
This is one of my favorite things to do when hosting a shower - have the guests address their own envelope! It makes it so much easier on the mama-to-be when writing all of those thank you notes after the party.

I think everyone had a great time, but I forgot to take pictures after the guests arrived. That's always how it goes, eh?

Now I'm just ready for those babies to get here so I can snuggle them. And maybe dress them up in a ruffle or two.

Friday, May 17, 2013

to jack, so i don't forget

Dear Jack,

I've been feeling sentimental about you lately, I think because your brother is on the way and I wonder how there will be room in my heart and lap for both of you. I know there will be, of course, but it's just that you're my little buddy and you have been for nineteen months (and one day) and it's hard to think that moments are coming when I can't make you feel like a priority.

I think another reason I've been so weepy when it comes to you is that you're just so darn sweet. You're certainly not like this all the time - in fact, the first few days of this week were a challenge - but I keep reminding myself that you're just learning and growing and stretching like we all do. But at your core, you are a dear. You are so loving and affectionate and every single hug or kiss or shoulder pat that you send my way makes me feel so lucky to be on the receiving end. Sometimes I feel guilty that your daddy doesn't get to soak up any of this but I have a feeling you're going to redirect a lot of this to him in a few months, so I'll take whatever I can get.

And you make me laugh all the time. Today we were driving to the aquarium and you were zoned out like you usually are in the car until Hey Ya! came on the radio and then you just came to life. You were bobbing your head and waving your hands over your head and laughing so hard that I couldn't help but do the same. You were just full of joy and I love seeing you that way.

You're growing so much and I love it, but it's hard to watch because it's happening so fast. You eat your sandwich like a big kid now, no longer needing me to break it into pieces. You can open the gate and walk up to the front door when we get out of the car. They don't make onesies that fit you anymore. And tonight when I was getting you ready for your bath, I poured a bunch of dirt out of your shoe and noticed a little farmers tan on your neck and arms and something about all of that made me feel like I was looking at a little boy, not a little baby. But I love it. I love who you are right now.

I have no idea how to be a mama to two or how my heart will stretch to accommodate that, but I know that it will happen and I hope you know that nothing will ever, ever change how much I adore you. Ever.


Friday, May 10, 2013

some stories about our second bambino (spoiler alert: we know what we're having!)

Oh hi. So apparently, I don't blog anymore? I don't know what's going on with that. There's been so much to share! But we've been busy living life and dealing with everything that comes along with it and honestly, all I want to do when I have a moment to sit and write is just sit and do something mindless instead. I usually choose to watch Food Network or the birds on my feeder, but today I choose blogging. Because there's a lot to share.

I've wanted to document this pregnancy like I did Jack's, but it's been harder because there's a Jack now. Sweet Baby Jack, with his broken leg and his recent stomach bug and his new obsession with being picked up so that he can hug me and pat my shoulder. But I certainly don't want to get to the end of this pregnancy with nothing to show for it, so here are two stories I've been wanting to share.

1. How I told my baby daddy, v2.
You can read the first version, Jack's version, here.

I was not expecting to be pregnant when I took the test two nights before I left to meet Andrew in Paris. He'd been gone less than two weeks and while we'd talked about trying to have another, we had decided in December that we'd rather wait until after deployment. Joke's on us! But I had this weird feeling that I might want to make sure that I wasn't pregnant, what with all the wine and unpasteurized cheese waiting for me in France, so I took a test before I got in the shower that night. I laughed at myself for being so ridiculous, because no way would it be positive, but at least I was being a responsible adult! Hooray! Needless to say, when that second line appeared, I stared at my drop-jawed face in the mirror for several minutes thinking WHAT IN THE WORLD OH MY GOSH. 

And that's how I found out I was pregnant. With Jack, I thought keeping the secret from Andrew for a few hours was hard, but this time I had to wait two more days AND endure an international flight. I was dying. I didn't sleep one wink on that overnight flight because I was so anxious. When we got to the airport (we being the group of girls I traveled with) we were greeted by our sailors and spent the next two hours navigating the train schedule and traveling into the city. Together. All ten of us. Not exactly the time to tell my husband about our surprise.

I'd had plenty of time to think of how I was going to tell him. I had all sorts of clever little phrases cooked up to drop that bomb, but when the time came, I was too excited and sleep-deprived to do anything but blurt it out. We were finally alone at a cafe on the corner near our hotel, where we'd just dropped our bags off at the front desk because it was too early to check in. There was no way I was sitting through lunch without telling him, so after we ordered, I told him there was something he needed to know. He looked very frightened. I smiled and told him I was pregnant. His mouth fell open, much the same way mine did when I saw the test, and after a few seconds of that he looked like he'd just won the lottery. And he told me over and over how awesome this is. And even though I'd had some concerns and fears up until that point, his reaction was all I needed to be excited, too. Because this is awesome.

2. How I told him what we're having.
We knew that the delivery of the gender news to Andrew would likely be via email. It wasn't ideal, but my OB wouldn't do the ultrasound sooner than 20 weeks and there weren't any scheduled port stops around that time (when I could at least tell him on the phone), so what can you do? But when, two days before they pulled into port this week, I found out about a private ultrasound clinic down the road that does gender sonograms any time after 16 weeks, I made the appointment. I knew what we were having when Andrew Skyped me the next day, but he had no idea I'd even found this place. Here's how our conversation went:

Andrew: That's a big smile.
Me: Because I have a surprise!
Andrew (a little bit hesitant): Okaaaay?
Me: I found a place that will do an ultrasound.
Andrew (smiling a little bit): Okaaaay?
Me: And I had one yesterday.
Andrew (smiling a lot): Okaaaaaaay?
That's when he threw his head back and started laughing. When he'd composed himself, he told me (again) how awesome this is and I completely, absolutely agree. It's fantastic. 
And so, that's how I told Andrew that he's having another son. We're so excited to have another boy and to give Jack a little brother. I think they'll be buddies. My sweet little boys.

My friends, does that make up for the absence? :)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

the one with the (not) broken leg (or foot or something)

On Sunday morning, we skipped church in favor of rest and the opportunity to enjoy the nice weather at the park with some friends. I was going down the slide with Jack, a good mommy moment in my eyes, and on the "last time before we have to go home for lunch!" his ankle/leg got twisted. He cried, but no more than usual, and calmed down pretty soon after we got in the car. But as the day went on I noticed he wouldn't put any weight on that foot. I made a call to the doctor and she told me to take him to the ER because it was probably broken. Come to find out, our little mama-Jack bonding time on the slide is a common cause of broken bones. File that under: things they should tell you BEFORE you break your kid's leg.

At the ER, he was that boy who was waving at everyone who walked through the door. He was not at all the picture of a child in pain. Except for when he had to go in for xrays with a bunch of strangers because I'm pregnant and couldn't go in the room. We both cried pretty hard during those two and a half minutes. But other than that, he was sweet and friendly and patient.
 His hand is blurry because he's doing the PB&J dance. Bringing that sandwich might have been the main reason he was so good.

The xray showed no fracture, but the doctor assured me that it was probably a hidden break since kids that young don't favor one foot or the other unless it's broken. They put him in a splint and we were sent home to wait 2-3 days for a visit with the orthopedist.

And yesterday, the orthopedist said she doesn't actually think it's broken. Her words were "it could be something or it could be nothing" so I feel GREAT about that (sarcasm). We're to keep doing what we've been doing and come back in a week, when she said she expects him to be running around like nothing happened. One can hope.

Aside from the occasional impatience that one feels when his or her leg is out of commission, he's actually been great. I let my mommy guilt get the best of me on Tuesday and I bought way too many puzzles and sit-friendly activities. We've been taking a lot of walks in the stroller, watching a lot of puppy videos on YouTube and I've even been contemplating getting him a pet fish because I just want to make him happy. He's such a joyful kid and it's been hard seeing him unable to run around and play the way he likes, especially since he has no idea why he can't. I'm just praying for a good report next week so we can get back to normal and if we're looking at a few more weeks of this, I'm just praying for lots of grace and patience.

Oh and also, send wine.
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