Friday, July 11, 2014

35 weeks.

Here I am at 35 weeks, in denial that within the next month or so we'll meet this infamous Popsicle. Ryan has a feeling he'll be born the 4th; I'm just hoping he waits until August! Ryan will be out town for 5 days coming up soon, and I have my mother blessing the day I turn 38 weeks. Plus I finally found the cutest coming home outfit but it won't be shipped until the 25th. So I figure if Popsicle comes the 4th everything should be in place.

Our house is still in the midst of turmoil. The shelves are 1/2 done (and looking fabulous!) but after the shelves are done there's a bedroom to paint and redo the flooring. Once that's done we've got furniture to move and reassemble, plus furniture to buy. There's baby stuff to set up around the house - swings and bouncers and the like. Thankfully I've washed all the diapers and just have to do a few loads of tiny clothing. My hospital bag is mostly packed, just in case, and in the next couple of days I'll pack the diaper bag, too. It's crazy how fast time goes by.

I saw the midwife yesterday and now we're on weekly appointments, which is also crazy.  I am having a baby next month! What a roller coaster.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Preppin' for baby.

About two months ago I marveled in the thought that with a second child - particularly the child of the same gender - we didn't need much. We had an entire set of cloth diapers. The bassinet Ryan made for Griffin was done and simply needed reassembly; we didn't need formula or bottles. Babies don't really need much other than diapers and food, in all honesty. I had already bought a car seat on an amazing deal, so we were set there, too (and even if we weren't, we could probably have gotten away with rearfacing our second seat in my car). Even if we did nothing else, we had all the pieces we needed for a baby.

But the reality is, there are things I would really like to get done. We had a trifecta of things we were thinking of: built-in cabinets/shelves around the fireplace in the family room, the baby's room (which is the only untouched room in the house from our purchase 4 years ago), and the master bath (which I swore I would not come home to after another delivery since it's a stinky death trap in my opinion).  Of course, each project relies on the previous project to be done so we can get moving...especially since I can't do any heavy lifting.

The shelves are beautiful and half done. They are way more amazing than I thought they would be - Ryan is so good with this kind of stuff. Once they are done, we can start moving all the books from the guest room to the shelves. Then, we can actually get rid of the office furniture in that room and fpaint. We literally need to paint every single surface in the room. After that, the old carpet needs to be pulled up and Ryan can install darker bamboo to match the rest of our upstairs. Then, we can move/assemble/replace baby furniture...which means Griffin's room will be rearranged, too, since he's using some of the old baby furniture. And THEN, when all of that is done, we can figure out what's going on with the bathroom.

It's not like any of these things HAVE to get done to bring baby home. But we learned last time that time is even more of a premium after you bring a baby home, no matter what you do. So whatever we don't get done now probably won't happen for awhile. This is a long list, though, and not much time.  Our weekends are limited and we're sort of racing against the clock. Let's see what happens...

Friday, June 20, 2014

My goldfish!

Every year we have Easter at my parents' house, which sits atop a slight hill above a lake. I grew up near water, almost always - first the Long Island Sound, where I dreamed I saw humpback whales in the salty water, and then in this home where the calm lake waters lapped our backyard. I remember swim lessons in the ocean, playing ring around the rosie in the ocean water after being slathered in sunscreen. Even after we moved to the one house that wasn't on water, my parents were adamant I continue the swim lessons. There was no immediate danger of not being able to swim anymore, but it was important to them.

For all the years I took swimming, I don't remember the exact moment I learned to swim. It feels more like I always knew how, for some reason. I vaguely remember floating on my back in the ocean, the sun razoring it's rays into my eyes. But I don't remember the strokes or anything else. It's like I always knew.

Even as a good swimmer, I sometimes found myself in trouble. My fifth grade picnic I had to be rescued from the water because I had overestimated my energy in swimming and pulling myself up a raft a million times. Thankfully, the lifeguard on duty knew before I did that I was exhausted and helped me get to shore. An hour later I was back in the water. I knew how to swim - and well at that point - but I still made mistakes.

This Easter, as Griffin played near the water, my dad asked if he could swim. He wasn't even four yet. We had done swim lessons, both at our local pool and at Goldfish, but hadn't done them in awhile.  Life got in the way; winter came, and I couldn't imagine schlepping both of us to and from the pool soaking wet in the Michigan winter. I just planned to go back to it.

For his fourth birthday, my parents got Griffin goggles and swim lessons for the summer back at Goldfish, which has a really awesome approach: 30 minutes of small, targeted classes that worry about water safety as well as swimming proficiency. He's old enough now to go on his own, which saved on the time (and energy of this 8 month pregnant mama). We signed up with some hesitation on his end (we've tried so many new things lately) and I worried slightly about what the day would bring.

Swimming!!!Yesterday morning, on the day of his first lesson, he bounced downstairs as soon as he woke up and demanded to wear his goggles. We spent some time struggling to get them on and to fit. We dug up his new swimsuit (another bonus to an older swimmer: he can wear the swimsuit all day until class and not need to have a diaper change before hand) and headed out the door after packing a snack. He had begged so urgently to go that the errands I wanted to run afterwards were ran before.

We made a shoe return and then sstopped at my favorite Ann Arbor baby store, The Little Seedling, for some baby stuff and a wet bag for my swimmer. And then it was off to swim lessons.

We were there early, so we filled out some additional paperwork and watched the class before us. He seemed just as excited as he was at home. The building itself jogged memories of his previous swimming lessons, which seemed to help him become even more excited. The goggles went on and he bounced around the observation room, eagerly waiting for his time to be called.

I asked him if he wanted me to sit on the bench by his lane when class begun, and he simply told me yes without any big to-do. His class was called in and I walked him to his teacher. He never looked back, never checked to see where I was. He got in the water without a second thought. For the next thirty minutes, he followed directions beautiful, eagerly participated in every activity, and BEAMED. His happiness was obvious. And at the end of class, he got not one but two ribbons - one for great crab walking along the wall and another for participating in his first day of class. Griffin was tickled pink.

The instructor explained to me that he had done fabulously well for his first day and was sure to make quick progress. I know how these things go, though, and that might not be the case. But the most important part is that he loved his lesson today and conquered something new with little (if any) fear.  I'll take that as a victory in the swimming department any day.






Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Griffin's first run.


On Sunday, Griffin had his first race. He's probably been to a dozen of Ryan's races since he was born, and he's never really been excited about being part of one. Most of Ryan's races have been the obstacle course kind - with LOTS of mud - and though he likes mud and to get dirty, running in the mud hasn't been his thing. But each year Ryan does the Plymouth YMCA's Father's Day run and this year he was finally old enough to run the kid's race. He was pysched.

g62_0019_3yr old - 4yr old
Ryan's father's day present was a new Under Armour running shirt, Griffin-style. I then figured my little guy needed a matching running shirt, too. Don't all little guys need matching shirts with their dad?

Ryan also got a tie for work with one of my favorite Griffin photos; if you wear your tie during the race, you're entered into a drawing for a Detroit Tigers prize package. And since we just discovered how much Griffin enjoyed going to a Tiger's game, that seemed like a good deal.

The kids' race was first: 1/4 mile of 4 and 5 year olds running/walking/trotting. They were totally geeked about the run, too, bouncing up and down at the starting line. I was a little remiss he doesn't own true running shoes, but I suppose for 1/4 mile that might not make a big difference. The sunglasses were what gave him his speed anyway, he said, so what did the shoes matter?

We lucked out with amazing weather, too.
g62_0086_3yr old - 4yr old

The race began and Ryan said Griffin actually passed quite a few kids on the way, but they were in a giant herd so none of that really mattered. The older kids zipped through the whole thing, leaving their parents in the dust.

One sweet little girl turned the corner, saw her dad, and was thrilled, thinking that she won - so she ran over to him only to discover that was not the end of the race, even though it looked like it, but the 1/2 way. She really would have won otherwise. That is totally something I would have done!

Ryan ran with Griffin (hence the looking off to his right) and Griffin was thrilled to finally be running a race with Dad. Ryan had three more races that day - a 1 mile, 5k, and 10k, all back to back. So at least the 1/4 mile was a brisk warm up for lots more running to come.

The race was fun, and the most amazing part was seeing Griffin's face as he crossed the finish line. He was so proud of himself. We've tried a lot of sports so far - soccer, tennis, tae kwon do, gymnastics - and I think he prefers things that are a bit more solitary sports. I could really see running being thing for him.

My favorite photo, though, is this one: the look on his face is pure joy. He spent the rest of the day showing everyone we passed his first medal and telling them he won the race. There's no greater joy than seeing your child proud of his accomplishments, I think. May there be many more races to come!


g62_0090_3yr old - 4yr old

Friday, June 13, 2014

Meet Beefy!

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Beefy is the newest member of our family. He's a 4 year old brindle and white bulldog we adopted from ARRF, a rescue just north of the Michigan-Ohio border.

Beefy is a lucky guy. Many years ago, the founder of ARRF left her business card with some of the Amish puppy mills in SE Ohio. A week ago, she got a call for some dogs to pick up. Beefy was one of them. He'd been a stud dog for the Amish and had spent most of his life crated (other than his visit to the ladies, I suppose). The family was moving and not taking the dogs with them, so ARRF picked up Beefy and opened up their home to him.

AARF took him to their vet and had him neutered and had his nasal passages opened up (bulldogs often have this done to help improve their breathing and quality of life). He got all his shots, passed all his bloodwork with flying colors, and was ready to be adopted. 

Even though he's been crated most of his life by people, Beefy looooooooooooves people. He loves food, too, but he loves people more. He has followed me around all morning and happily played with us at his foster home's house.  Beefy walked so well on a leash that even Griffin was truly able to walk him. He was super chill about meeting Eddie (Eddie wanted to play, but Beefy's still recovering from his surgeries so that's off the table for now).  As soon as we put out a kennel for him he scooted right in and happily laid down. We found him sleeping against the door this morning. Right now he's licking my arm because I'm not paying attention to him.

We're excited to give Beefy the kind of life all pets deserve - not in a crate without love but in a home with lots of love, good food smells, lots of petting, and a yard of his own. Beefy seems pretty stoked about this idea, too.