Thursday, January 22, 2015

Things for a Second Baby

Guys.

First let me tell you that although this little one residing within me is a girl...and there are tons of adorable girl things out there...I have bought not.a.single.thing for her.  I've picked many a things up and walked around the store with it...but have always put it back.

So yes.  Kudos to me. ;)

That being said, having gone through one baby I feel like I have a slightly better view of what you need and what you don't when it comes to bringing a new baby home.  Overall I feel pretty good about the things that we got for Jack.  For example, I really like his little Puj Flyte tub and definitely will use it again for #2.  His swing was kind of a dud.  We picked it because it's pretty compact and in our small SF apartment that was a big deal.  It didn't really swing enough in my opinion.  Way to gentle.  That being said though...we kept it because maybe #2 will enjoy it a little more?  And she needs somewhere to take it all in...off the floor and away from toddler trampling.  :)  We have a Pack N' Play that came with all these fancy parts.  Our house was waaaay too small to use it.  We did use the actual playpen part though for traveling and it did the job.  This time though I think we will go ahead and set up the Pack N Play with it's little fancy accessories in the living room.  It has a little bassinet and changing table which would actually be convenient to use...especially if older brother is napping in the room where all the changing supplies and what not is.

Other things that we really loved are:
BOB Stroller
Chicco Keyfit Infant Carseat (feels sooo sturdy and safe)
Herschel backpack...that we use as a diaper bag
Changing table.  We got ours used for $20.  We love it and still change Jack on it.
Cloth diapers (loved it for Jack but we've since left the cloth behind and I'm debating on if we will keep doing it with #2.  I'm definitely keeping them just in case she has a super sensitive rump or something)
Summer by your side Co sleeper

Things we didn't get that we never missed:
Diaper Genie (seriously...those things are nasty.  I just have a place up high where we wrap them up and set them out in the air...and at the end of the day we put them in the big trash can.  Way better imo.  :)  )
Wipe warmer

Things I definitely didn't like:
The swing like I said.
Moby wrap (too complicated to wrap...though Jack did love it)
Almost all toys.  My kid did NOT play with baby toys.  The playmat?  He hated it.  The Bumbo?  He tolerated it.  Basically everything that was designed to help entertain kids...my baby hated.  He wasn't happy until he could crawl!  Ha!  :)

Okay...now here is my list of wants.  :)  Or maybe I will just do a little collage of pictures.  Ready???

Some of these are like a little crazy in my opinion.  Like the Beco carrier.  I mean, I have an Ergo...it works fine.  But I would like this one.  :)  I like how it gives you the option to face your baby forward...which Jack eventually wanted to do.  You can also use it starting at 7 lbs where as the Ergo is 12.  Not necessary...but yeah.

The child carrier backpack?  I could find a used Kelty one somewhere probably but I think it sure would be nifty to have this Osprey one.  :)   

We have plenty of Aden + Anais swaddles but I'm having trouble resisting orange lately...and these are just too adorable.  :)  Again...not necessary. 

The best bibs ever for spit up.  Jack was what they called "A Happy Spitter".  That kid barfed up milk like nothing else...but it never phased him (I also over produced and he thus over ate...when I started cutting him off at 6 min per side it was a BIT better.  Little glutton.)  :)

The best bottles in my opinion.  We just have ONE 4 oz one but I would love some of these big ones!  :)

I'm a big fan of binkies and would love to get one of these for when they can't keep the thing in their mouth. 

The glider is one of the few "definitely want" type of things.  I can't tell you how many hours we spent mimicking a rocking chair on our couch.  A glider would be heavenly. 

Scratch mittens.  Not necessary.  Jack wore socks on his hands...but why not right?!? 

Finally THE stroller.  Always the hardest decision for me.  I've looked at the one's that go one in front of another and in the end this one seems like the best bet for me. 

Phew.  That was a long post.
And now I'm done.

What do you think?  What were the things you used with multiple babies that you can't imagine going without?  Anything? 

Monday, January 19, 2015

A Desert Hike

For now I'm trying my best to keep this little blog up to date...mostly for family's sake but for the amigos out there too.  :)
 
This weekend was a 3 day weekend and so we decided to see what Arizona has to offer as far as hiking.  There are many pre-conceived notions that I had regarding this area.  First, I pictured no trees in our town.  Fortunately I was wrong on that one.  There are quite a few trees.  When it comes to hiking though...no trees.  Lots of cactuses (cacti?!?) but not many trees.  I know there are areas of Arizona with lots more trees but we are truly in the dessert here. 
 
I've honestly never hated the look of the desert.  I mean, I would say overall I prefer trees but I find the desert to be fascinating.  It's so barren and harsh...and the things that do survive do so in such interesting ways.  Cactuses are such interesting plants and when you DO see a cactus flower it's truly beautiful.  And the fact is...God created the desert too sooo...it can't be all that bad right?!?  Also, desert sunsets/sunrises?  There are few things more beautiful then that.
THAT being all said...I was a little interested to see what a desert hike would be like.  Joshua Tree has been on the "backpacking list" for us for a while now (only 3 or 4 hours away or so!)  Also I'm kind of a freak when it comes to heat.  I really don't mind it.  Jack though is a San Francisco baby to the heart.  He doesn't have much tolerance for heat...and neither does that handsome husband of mine. :)
 Jack loooooves to be outside though and he does pretty well with hikes.  The terrain was pretty rough on this hike and so he definitely needed a lot of help!
A little sampling of the terrain that we hiked through.  There are some really steep, awesome mountains...including some great rock climbing that this pregnant Mama is dying to conquer buuuut....that may be a good year away or so.  ;)


When you have such short little legs hiking is a lot of work!  :)  Our youngest little adventurer got hungry rather quickly...and then...
He immediately fell asleep.  We REALLLLLLLY need to get a child carrier hiking backpack.  It's been on "the list" since Jack was born but sheesh they are a little pricey.  With #2 coming though we will get plenty of use out of it once Jack grows out of it.
When you are in charge of the camera you must succumb to awesome selfies if you want to be documented in the adventure.
  Baby #2 enjoyed the hike too!  :)  Pretty sure she was lulled to sleep rather quickly.  She's also starting to hide my shoes!  Ha!
There were some huuuuge cactus.  Apparently these cactus really only grow in our part of the desert...they aren't in all desert environments like you would think.
 
Anyways, we had a lot of fun.  We really enjoyed getting outside with other hikers and experiencing a terrain that is certainly new to us!  :)
 
Desert hiking isn't so bad it turns out.  Even if the only shade you can find is the shade from a cactus.  Ha!

Friday, January 16, 2015

19 Months

Well, I haven't done a little "Jack Update" in a while.  I had planned on doing an 18 month one buuuut....moving happened.

So 19 months it is!  :)

I feel like there is so much to say regarding him and yet my brain is just a little fuzzy at this point.

For one, I feel like his general "sensitive disposition" is still there...and yet he's no longer a quiet child.  He chatters like nothing I've ever seen.  I have no clue what he's saying but that little mouth is flapping away.  :)  He also has become a lot more "rough and tumble".  Just very little boy.  It's adorable.  Wrestling and playing with Daddy is now basically his favorite thing to do...though he's definitely still a mama's boy at heart. 

Independent play has completely taken off.  He loves to watch the occasional dvd, loves to play with his "choo choo's" and would literally live/play outside ALLLLL day if I let him.  He's always liked to do this but now that he actually has a real fenced in backyard to enjoy it makes it a bit more accessible.  And funny thing is that we are definitely seeing some "sport tendencies".  I don't know why this surprises me.  Jason is really talented at most sports and I've been doing them since I was a wee one...but yeah.  The kid can throw a ball better then me!  And his soccer dribbling skills are kinda shocking.  He might lose it as he gets bigger and more gangly but yeah, for now it's fun to see!

He sleeps through the night.  Goes to bed at 7:00pm and wakes up at 5:30am.  Holy cow I can't wait to get him one of those clocks where it says it's "time to wakeup".  At this point he wouldn't get it but as soon as those little wheels in his head start turning and can understand the "stay in bed" concept...I'm going to be all over that.  :)

The words are starting to come more and more.  Despite my love for the word "Mama" he has deemed me "Mommy".  I have no clue how he even learned that.  He does like to add the "ee" sound to things so it might be more accidental.  Like water is no longer "wawa" but "wawee".  Funny kid.  Words that are included in his vocab are Daddy, Mommy, try, ball, water, chair, tractor, moon, and etc.  The one I still can't figure out is "light".  He calls any light a "chee" and I have no clue why.  All words that he says are at least close to the real world but no matter how many times we've corrected him light is "chee".  At this point it's adorable and I don't want him to change it.  ha!

Once Jack hit the 18 month old mark (and we noticed him REALLY getting into story times at night...and love singing songs) we thought it might be time to introduce "Bible Time" in the mornings.  I read a chapter/story each morning from The Jesus Storybook, we sing a hymn, and we pray.  It's funny how attentive to it he is.  Then again we do this before he goes down for a nap (so he's more tired/calm) and he has milk in hand which seems to help with the "focus" I think.  Ha!  Whatever works right?!? 

Me in all my "no makeup, no shower" glory.  :)
He still loves to go out and about and thankfully the new carseat and our crazy amount of driving we did from SF to Tempe kinda "forced" him to be okay with being in the car.  He rarely rode in the car before we moved here and I was a little curious to see how he would handle it.  He does really well and even gets excited to go "bye bye" in the car.  We did test out the public transportation though to see how plausible it is for Jason to take it to work if need be and Jack was on cloud 9.  He definitely remembered it from San Francisco.  :)

He still eats most everything and is slowly starting to incorporate meats too.

So yeah, that's our little guy.  Growing up SO fast.  He is so very toddler right now and it's so fun to see him discover the world more and more.

Oh...and I think he's kinda starting to understand the whole "baby in the belly" concept.  Kinda.  Well.  Actually.  A lot of times he will point to my boob and say "baby".  Sorry kid, wrong bump.  Ha!  He's figuring it out though.  :)

We are so thankful for our little Jacko and literally fall more and more in love with this kid every day.  

This is SUCH a Jack face.  I probably see this expression 10x's a day!  :)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

"No!"

So I'm not really one to look to "parenting books" or ask for much parenting advice.  Maybe that's a really foolish thing but I guess I'm just confident in my lack of confidence...and feel okay about it.  I also don't tend to over think things like parenting much.  Am I going to do things that my kid hates?  Am I going to embarrass him?  Will I make the wrong decision multiple times?  Yes, yes, and YES!  Overall though I know that the love of us, apologizing to each other, and most importantly the love of God will cover over a multitude of shortcomings...and overall...everyone will be okay...and hopefully not have TOO big of a therapy bill at the end of their life.  ;)

That being said...
I definitely AM curious to know how other parents have handled the word "no".

I think I was under the impression that this would come later?  Jack has picked it up and says it ALL THE TIME.  Sometimes just randomly and sometimes with every bit of defiance that his little heart can muster.  I ignore it half the time (when it's not pointed directly at me) but honestly...sometimes I'm ready to go bonkers if I have to hear it one more time! ha!

The weird one is when he says it vehemently regarding something that he WANTS!  Like, he asks to be put in his chair for a snack and then when I go to do that he says, "Noo!" and runs off.  Mmkay.  Toddlers...kinda weirdos for sure.  ;)  At first I used to just ignore him and say, "Ok, when you are ready to get in the chair then we can do that".  That got us nowhere though.  He'd whine and never come.  I've found in THOSE situations the best thing is to hug him and ask him if he wants in his chair and he softens right up and goes in willing. 

To be completely honest I have never been one to "cater" to people.  I was the friend in junior high/high school that when a perfectly skinny friend says, "I'm so fat" I would sarcastically say, "Oh man, you are so right!" Fortunately I've grown out of that but that whole thing sorta feels similar to parenting sometimes.  There is a lot of redundancy and "doing things just to create security".  Maybe Jack just needs a hug and for me to get down at his level and ask him if he wants to get in his chair.  Why?  I don't know!!!  To feel secure, to feel loved, to feel like his feelings matter at the tender age of 18 months?  I couldn't tell you.  I DO think it's a good thing...for me at least.  It certainly stretches me and makes me think a little more about the feelings of this little person running around by my feet.  To not just assume that he knows that he matters and that I love him.

Phew.  That was a tangent.  Still not sure if any of that made sense above buuuut...onward!

Anywho.  So, I'm curious.  What do you do with the word "no".  Just ride it out?  Maybe at first it's more of a communication novelty and will fizzle out?  Lay it on me.  Give me your best parenting advice regarding this. :)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Hello from ARIZONA!

We are here!

Well, we've been here for a WEEK now which just seems a little nuts.  I feel like we got here just yesterday.  But...a week it's been!

We packed and cleaned our old place in San Francisco like crazy people.  Please tell me I'm not the only one that looks at a job and says, "Meh, that won't be so bad."  Um yeah.  The packing was...a lot of work.  And the cleaning just about broke me...seriously.

Let's go back to the day we picked up the truck...then we'll go from there.  So we arranged for Jason's mom to come that day, knowing that Jack would need a babysitter for the day in order for us to get everything done.  We arrived at the Budget rental truck place and took one look at the truck we reserved (the medium sized one) and freaked out.  We thought that there was no way that we were going to fit all of our junk in that little truck.  We told them we wanted the next size up.  They were going to have to pick it up from another location and it would delay us at least two hours, cost an extra $200...plus the gas.  Word of advice...always look IN the truck.  They look a lot smaller from the outside then from the inside.  As we were walking off I saw that the truck we originally rented was open in the back so I climbed in real fast and quickly changed my mind.  It would be tight...but I felt like we could fit our stuff in it.  So we went back in and changed our mind AGAIN.  They probably thought we were nuts but we took the truck with us home and that was that.  Phew.

Once we got back to our place we had a couple of friends over who basically completely loaded the truck.  It was so weird to not move a single box or piece of furniture.  Good ole' pregnancy.  :)  People are so generous with their time and it's always so humbling to be on the receiving end of it.  It took most of the day to load the truck.  The plan was to clean that night buuuuut...we were too pooped.  So I did it the next morning.  We had Mcdonald's for lunch where I ate my whole burger and fries...AND Jack's cheeseburger that he didn't eat...and it was basically the yummiest thing I've had in a long time.  :)  We got out of San Francisco in the afternoon some time, and rolled into SLO with just enough time to eat, and go to bed. 

The next morning we woke up bright and early and started our trek the rest of the way to Tempe.  Basically Google said that it had the potential to be an 8.5 hour drive.  The thing is, with the moving truck we had to go below the speed limit most of the time.  Then there was Jack...AND Jason...who it turns out has little to no ability to sit in a car for longer then 3 hours.  Ha!  Turns out I have a bit more of my Dad and Grandpa in me then I realized I just wanted to power through and keep driving.  After being on the road for a good 10 hours though...with 3 more to go (yeah...slow moving much?) it became apparent that the best bet would be to stay the night in a hotel.  So we did.  We stayed the night in Indio which I have NEVER heard of until this trip.  It's on the border of Cali and AZ.  The next morning we got up nice and early, arranged to meet our landlord at 11am...at 11am he called us wondering where we were only to realize that we are dumb and AZ is 1 hour ahead of Cali.  Ha!  Didn't account for that.

We finally rolled into the driveway of our new home on Saturday, signed our life away, and I got to see the place that would be "home" for how ever long that may be.  Funny moving to a place, having never seen it, and saying, "Welp, I guess I'm going to be living here for a while now."  Jason did good though.  The neighborhood is quuuuuuuiet.  Like really quiet.  I guess I'm just used to San Francisco but holy cow...it's quiet.  Did I say quiet?  :)  The house...though 1100 sq feet or so feels like a straight up mansion.  It feels huge.  I guess that's what happens when you're used to living in 500 sq ft. 

Overall we are just...adjusting.  Some days feel easy and other days I do feel a bit uprooted and sorta "lost".  Jack is a great distraction so that's good.  Jason starts work tomorrow and so I think it will really set in that this is home once our more normal routines begin.  But dare I say that I'm a little nervous to run the show here at home solo?  Jason has been home a month and man it's been nice!

Jack has adjusted seamlessly.  It's really quite amazing.  It's like he doesn't even remember our home in San Francisco which totally makes me sad.  Is that weird?  I think I'm just feeling overly emotional and sentimental with all these pregnancy hormones flowing through me.  I mean, he's 18 months old.  He's just happy that he has so much space to run around like a crazy kid.  And really "home" is Mama and Daddy.  And I'm glad he has the space...truly I am.  But I miss home too.  I miss San Francisco.  I miss California.  I miss our church.  It's Sunday and we just visited a new one and yeah...it's just hard to "church hunt".  Well, that was a melancholy paragraph now wasn't it?!?  Just a real one I guess.

Sorry no pictures this time around.  The elusive camera cord has not been unpacked.  I'm trying to stay up on Instagram so if you want to follow me there I'm evangelistaluv.

And because hey...I did the move all while being almost 6 months pregnant here's a little pregnancy update:
Things seem good.  Overall baby girl hasn't been quite as active in the womb as her older brother was but I'm not complaining as he was downright violent sometimes, ha!  Trying to get everything lined up with new obgyn's and new insurance and blah blah blah.  I need an appointment here in the next week or so...gotta do that beloved glucose test.  Mmmm.  :)  I will say though that this pregnancy is definitely "different" feeling.  She just seems lower in general and at 24 weeks I'm already getting some pretty gnarly pelvic pain.  I didn't get that with Jack until 36 weeks or so and it was no where near this bad.  I fear for what I will feel in the last month...in what is apparently heat we have never known before.  Bring.it.on.  Overall though I feel pretty much full to the brim with blessings and am overjoyed to be this little one's mama.

Okay, that's it.  Congrats on getting to the end of this incredibly wordy post.  And thanks for following along on our little journey.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Moving.

Well folks.

The time has come. 
We are....moving!

For real.  Like out of our house.  Out of San Francisco.  About 98% sure...out of California <<sniff>>

To........

ARIZONA!

I'm still a little in shock.
Okay, a lot in shock.

I always tell people, "I could be happy anywhere.  California isn't the ONLY place in the world to live and be happy in."

But now that it's here.
I think I lied to all those people.

Ha!

Ok.  That's dramatic.

So...
basically the story is that a week ago was Jason's last day of teaching at UC Berkeley.  On that SAME day there was an offer waiting in his email from ASU (Arizona State University).  Talk about waiting until the very end to get a new offer.  That weekend we talked about it, weighed our options (not many since at this point this is our only offer).  Jason flew to Phoenix, AZ last Tuesday...was there for two days, did a whirlwind tour, saw a bunch of houses, filled out some applications, saw the campus, and came back to SF.

Today we received word that we have a house waiting for us when we get there (a HOUSE! A 3 bd 2 bath, double car garage...with a backyard and patio...a house.  Basically blows.my.mind.)  I love how the landlord emailed me when we were first communicating and lining things up for Jason to fly in and see it and he was all, "Well, it's only 1100 sq ft."  Bahahaha.  Um.  Try under 500 sq ft.  Yeah.  That's what we are living with.  1100 sq ft sounds like a straight.up.mansion.  Perspective I tell ya, perspective.  :)

Anyways, we have given notice to our landlord and will be moving out of our house here in San Francisco the beginning of January.  Arizona is looking pretty sure as of now...and yet I still feel like I won't believe it until we are packed and on the road.  I guess if it's not Arizona it's, "Hello Mom and Dad!" at this point.  haha. 

So guys!
We have a lot to do in a very short amount of time.  You can definitely be praying for us.  ;)  I feel a little overwhelmed at what needs to happen.  Finances are always something too.  Moving is expeeeeeensive.

Anyways, so that's our big news.  Such a praise that Jason was offered such a great position.  It's a position in a large program that has lots of room for growth and future success. And though it's not California...it's really quite affordable.  It definitely seems like a much better fit financially for a teacher and a stay at home mom.  A little more appropriate then San Francisco...that's for sure!

So thanks for reading along and following our journey.  Probably won't be updating this space until we are situated...and have internet.  :)

See you in Arizona I guess...yikes!  :)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Rainy Day

Guys!

I am....get this...BORED!

I should probably sit an savor this moment because wasn't I JUST writing about how things have felt a little too chaotic and busy right now?  Well, it's pouring rain.  Jack is napping.  The house is actually kinda clean.  Well, the bathroom needs to be cleaned but I'm not THAT bored.  :)  And I can't work because I'm missing two major things I need to go to the store for.

Sooooo....
I guess I will sit here with my decaf coffee topped with an embarrassingly large amount of whipped cream and enjoy the down time.

I really have nothing to blog about so why not do some 20 random questions eh? 

1. What was the last thing you threw in the garbage/recycling?
That would be the paper towel that I used to eat my meatloaf sandwich.  The best part of having meatloaf for dinner is most definitely the meatloaf sandwich you get to have for lunch the next day.

2.  What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?
Um, I apparently live like it's 1990 still and do not own an iPod...nor listen to music on earbuds...ever.  Though I did have Spotify up and was listening to some Christmas music.

3.  What is your favorite quote?
Oooh, that's a hard one.  There are so many...
I recently came across this one and found it SO powerful...and hard to live...but isn't this precisely what Christ did for us???
“No sacrifice which a lover would make for his beloved is too great for us to make for our enemy.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

4.  What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
Definitely the dishes.  The bathroom isn't great but it's more the bathtub that I have a problem with.  :)

5. What is your favorite form of exercise?
What's exercise?  Ha!  Seriously.  I've basically kissed this goodbye until my kids are older.  As sad as that is since I LOVE exercise.  So I'd say...climbing, cross country mountain biking, and trail running are all neck and neck.  Oooh...and surfing.  Hmmm.  I think they all just sound glorious right now since I'm not able to do them!  :)

6. What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year?
Favorite time of day is about 2 hours after I've woken up.  I love the morning...but after I have some caffeine flowing through me.  Favorite day of the week is Saturday since we usually do something fun as a fam...though I genuinely love going to church on Sunday...and not just because they serve donuts.  ;)  As for month.  It's a toss up between December and July.  :)

7.  What is on your bedside table?
Felt.  I'm sure that doesn't surprise you.  Also a plate that I put my rings on and my glasses.

8.  What is your favorite body part?
Uh?  That's a weird one.  My mouth so that I can shovel food into it.

9.  Would you use the power of invisibility for good or evil? Elaborate.
Hopefully good.  I mean I DO love Jesus and all.  :)

10.  If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?
Probably 28.  I think you kinda know something at 28 but it's before your body starts to really go downhill.  I feel like in Heaven we should all be between 24-28...but with the wisdom on an 85 year old.  :)

11.  What is the first thing you would do if you won the lottery?
Probably question HOW I managed to WIN the lottery.  But that aside.  I would get rid of it.  Give a huge chunk away.  Buy a house and a couple of cars for us.  Tuck what we need away for college for kids and retirement.  And if there's anything left...give that away too.  Having hoards of money to spend freely just seems like a bad idea.  Especially when you didn't actually earn it.  :)

12.  What is your biggest pet peeve?
People who smack when they eat. 

13.  If you could know the answer to any question, what would it be?
There are way too many to mention.  Most of them are philosophical ones that involve God and His relationship to us.  And I'm okay not knowing.  But I can't wait to find out in Heaven one day.  :)

14.  At what age did you become an adult?
Once you have kids.  Or once you enter the real world and start paying bills, have a career and etc.  I still don't feel like an adult most of the time ha!

15. Recommend a book, movie, or television show in three sentences or less.
I haven't read a book in a while.  Too busy...but also the one's I want aren't at the library requiring me to buy them.  Though I hope to be getting some gems for Christmas.  I've got nothing for you on the TV/movie front.

16.  What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?
Took my grandma's car for a joy ride at 15 and crashed it.  Awesome sauce.

17. What was the first album you bought with your own money?
No Doubt- Tragic Kingdom!  Yesssss! 

18.  If someone wrote a book about you, what would be the title?
"Anna"  No.  I don't know.  That's a hard one.

19.  What story do you wish your family would stop telling about you?
I like them all.  Who doesn't like to hear stories about how awesome they were as a kid?  Because...you know...there are no bad stories about me.  There was that one time though when I was 15...something to do with my grandma's car...  :)

20.  True or false: The unicorn is the greatest mythical creature. State your case.
Wait, unicorns are mythical?  :)


Well now...wasn't that just ever so enlightening?!?
Yes.  You are welcome.  :)
 
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