Oh baby. It's a little lady.
And we couldn't be happier. :)
Since my last post about pregnancy, things have been going a little bit better for me physically. I have felt a lot less miserable than I was previously, and I started saying to Chris when he gets home from work, "I actually felt pretty good almost all day today!" which is something. :)
I realized that I have been really disappointed, (in myself, I guess?) because the last few months I had been constantly waiting for the sickness to subside and my energy to come back. I had big plans for all of the things that I was going to accomplish with that 2nd trimester energy: getting ahead with my posts on Lemon Tree so that I can give myself a break around the time of the baby's arrival, tearing down the craft room and turning it into a nursery, finally listing several things on Etsy that I've been putting off, getting Jayce potty trained, into a big boy bed, packing up/shifting around his clothes that are too small, toys that are too young, etc.
People sometimes ask me how I have time to make things every week for the blog in addition to normal everyday stuff that needs to be done, and the answer is that, like many people, I am a crazy multi-tasker. I eat lunch with one hand while I'm putting something together with the other. When paint is drying, I work on editing my photos. When my photos are being uploaded to the computer or exported to a file, I work on the blog. If I'm using my sewing machine, I only do it right after I've put Jayce down to bed otherwise it will wake him up, after which I work on a quieter task to maximize nap time.
But I've had to remind myself that when I'm pregnant, it's all multi-tasking. Being pregnant and taking care of Jayce is multi-tasking. Being pregnant and making dinner is multi-tasking. Etc, etc.
Also, I've decided that I have to treat myself like I'm a very needy newborn. I need to eat every hour and rest more than seems necessary. If either of these things are neglected, it will take about 24 hours before I am back to normal again. Right now the best way for me to take care of the baby is to make taking care of myself a higher priority, something that I am typically not very good at doing. But I'm getting better, Chris is helping me, and Jayce has conceded to a lot more stories and snuggling. Also, I have been taking care of myself/getting lots of calcium for the baby with large cups of hot chocolate, occasionally with large homemade marshmallows. (I did not make them, but I am enjoying them.)
Also, in less than a week we will have "The Sonogram." Aka, the one where we see the organs, the profile, and the gender.
I am really excited about this one, because I can't wait to see the baby looking like a baby! It was cute that it looked like a teddy graham last time, but now I'm ready for more. With Jayce we had a 13 week ultrasound, and he was completely baby-looking by that point, so I feel like I'm overdue to see a cute little profile, a little nose, hands, legs, fingers and toes. (I 'm aware that that sentence rhymed. I actually sat here for a half a minute trying to re-word that in my head so that it wouldn't rhyme, but I decided to write this disclaimer instead of re-writing the sentence.)
Regarding the gender, a lot of people have been asking me what we'd/I'd like and I've been truthfully replying, "Oh, I don't care." Which they often followed up with, "Well, yes, of course, so long as the baby's healthy..." This is true, obviously everyone wants a healthy baby. But I do feel like it waters down my response a little bit. The honest answer is that I will be thrilled to have a boy or thrilled to have a girl. Jayce is such a great kid and is just so much fun, previous potty training discussions excluded. Every time that he enters a new stage, a big part of me is sad that my little boy will no longer do the thing that he used to do. So if we have a boy, I'll get to do it all over again and I'm really excited about that!! But then again, I like the idea of having a boy and a girl: it's nice and balanced, he can look out for her, etc. I've never had a daughter before, obviously, and I'd like to see the ways that it is different for Chris and I. But if we have a boy, he will be born at the same time of year as Jayce was, so I'm all set with little boy clothes. But if we have a girl then I'll get to get the bedding that I really like, and get some of those sweet girl clothes that I've been passing by for the past few years. Listing the reasons why I'd want one or the other seems silly, and truly, I'm just glad to have another little snuggle bug.
Also, I'm ready to know. I'm a big planner, and I know that the planning is just a manifestation of my excitement. I had a full (mini) notebook when I was pregnant with Jayce, and so far this kid only has a short list. I'm ready to move forward from some of the planning into some doing, because I'd like to make a few things for this baby and the nursery before my energy completely runs out! :)
Stay tuned for our fun news on Monday!
I told you last week how we were starting to potty train Jayce. We dove headfirst into it, with timers, M&Ms, big boy pants, and high aspirations, but it just wasn't working. Our first day was a nightmare, compounded by the fact that Jayce was incredibly tired and grumpy that morning, and nothing was going tohappen without some protest. But we pushed on.
Over the next few days we kept up the timer and M&Ms, but also added "cool Elmo potty doll" and "cool Elmo potty video." I brought his potty out into the living room and let him watch the video from the potty. I let him watch a few of his favorite shows from the potty as well, and let him run around bare bottomed in between. He was pants-less for over an hour, and though he didn't do anything to the floor or furniture, he also didn't do anything in the actual potty itself.
By the end of the week, we had made no progress at all. Not a single drop of liquid had made it into the little potty, and he had stopped telling me when he was wet. Even worse was that the battles were still in full force, with Jayce crying and saying "I no want to sit on the potty!"screaming, running from me, refusing to sit, slouching when I tried to get him out of his wet clothes, smacking me, yelling, etc. This was not my kid.
I was not at my best either. Though I obviously wouldn't discipline him for having an accident or something like that, I was going to discipline him for the other stuff above. It was a week full of power struggles, tantrums, yelling and everyone being fed up.
On Friday I called both of the women who lead the parenting classes that we've attended to see if they had any suggestions. I almost cried (both times) as I described our days and said, "This is just not Jayce, he's not like this, and neither am I. I'm not one of those moms who is constantly yelling at her kids and stressed out by them. This is not what I want for my home. It's just not working..."
I was relieved, and thrilled, when the most veteran of the ladies stopped me pretty quickly into the description of our day, and said, "Oh honey, it sounds like he's just not ready." She let me go on and would interject encouragement here and there, "Yes, that's the right thing to do." "I'm sure you felt that way and that's fine." "No, it's not okay for him to act like that, and you responded appropriately."
Both women questioned why we were trying to get him trained right now, and since there was no real urgency in doing it now in January, they both suggested that we put everything away for a few months and try again when it was warmer. Both admitted that training boys is a much more difficult battle than girls for some reason, and also assured me that he would get it. Chris and I had both assumed that it was time mostly just because Jayce is a smart kid and so aware of everything that is going on, and we assumed that he would pick this up pretty quickly too. But apparently we were wrong. It was nice to have an outside source re-inforce what had been at the backs of our minds all week, and to do so in a non-judgemental way.
So the potty is put away, along with Elmo, his video, and those cute big boy pants. We spent Friday afternoon playing with trains, cars, blocks, letters and books. We read, danced, snuggled and giggled, unencumbered by the timer that we had all grown to hate. We had a perfect weekend hanging out as a family and the battles of last week are now a faint memory.
On a side note, after I hung up the phone with the ladies from the parenting classes, I couldn't help but feeling like they were parenting me a little bit. Like, when they hung up the phone, they weren't thinking, "Oh, Jayce is having trouble with the potty," but, "Oh, Erin is having trouble potty training Jayce." All of that positive re-inforcement and talking me off of the cliff. Hmm...
I haven't really written much about just Jayce in a little bit, other than his potty stuff, so I thought it was about time he got his own post.
1.) He brought home this maze from church a few weeks ago. The lady showed it to me and told me that he just sat down at the table and did it without any assistance, and was pretty impressed. I am too. Granted, it's not a very involved maze, but we've never worked on mazes with him before so I was pretty surprised that he did it with so little difficulty. Definitely fridge worthy.
2.) His genius does seem to have it's limits. He did this at the store the other day. Chris and I were looking at coats at Kohl's and the women's under ware section was just across the aisle. Jayce wandered off for a second and came back with under ware on his head, like it was nothing. We cracked up until a lady walked by, stopped, and then said to us, "Boy, some times you really need a camera, huh?" and then went on.
When we first pulled out the big boy pants, I could hear Chris and Jayce having a conversation like this in the other room.
"Jayce, that's not a hat buddy, it's under ware."
"No Dad. A hat."
After coaxing him into wearing these for a few days, now he knows what they are.
3.) He likes things to be in order. I would like to claim this, but this is just like both Chris and I. I walked by these piles of block books the other day and had to snap a picture. Notice they are stacked by color and in order by height. Is this perhaps a little too OCD for a 2 year old? I don't know, maybe. Our whole house isn't like this and his toys certainly aren't, so I think a little bit here and there is okay.
4.) In addition to the many other things that he likes or does now and we wonder if he'll continue to like in the future, such as golf, basketball, baseball, dancing and singing, we'll now add cooking. There is no way that someone in our house can make anything involving adding ingredients or using a mixer without his assistance. He's not the tidiest helper, but he is very enthusiastic.
Also, he likes competitive cooking shows. I turned on Cupcake Wars the other night for the first time when there was nothing on, honestly thinking to myself, "How could this show possibly be entertaining?" Surprisingly, it was. Very entertaining. Jayce wandered in while I was watching and snuggled up on the couch with me, and stayed there watching the whole show. (I mean, there were cupcakes on it!) He also likes Kitchen Impossible (also could be called Cooking Impossible...Something Impossible anyway). He saw some of it once with me, and has requested it several times since, asking for the "cooking man show."
5.) We got all of the little kids together for a Christmas tree picture for Christmas, which I shared originally here. Jayce had chapped lips that he was messing with while we were taking the pictures, and I kept telling him, "Jayce, put your hand down." At one point he did actually leave his lips alone, looked at his hand, and then did this for the rest of the pictures. I wasn't really sure what this was at first. 2? Peace? Until I remembered this at home.
Starting on Sunday, these things became a major part of our day.
Also, these were introduced. Yep, potty training, here we are.
The royal throne, complete with books and a little rug to keep cold toes warm.
And a fun variety of cute big boy pants and Buzz Lightyear Pull Ups.
We started Sunday after church, so it was only a half day attempt. It was relatively successful. Nothing happened in the potty itself, but with the timer set to go off in 15 minute intervals, Jayce would race in, and actually sit on the potty (which he had been refusing to do before.) With the cotton pants on he would realize when he had gone (as opposed to with the Pull Ups), and would tell us when he was wet, so this awareness on his part was a small accomplishment. The first time that we took him to the potty and he was dry, he said, "Mom! Not yucky! All clean and dry!" So I thought his excitement and recognition of this was a small accomplishment as well.
Our first full day was not great. Jayce woke up grumpy and disagreeable, so everything was an issue. It was a bad day to try to get him to do something new, and so he didn't. He ran in the other direction when the timer went off, slunk to the floor when I tried to take off his pants, wouldn't sit on the potty, wouldn't stay on it when I put him there, and wouldn't let me put new pants on him, and stopped telling me when he was wet. He didn't care about his M&Ms or any other fancy incentive. I tried many approaches: I was casual, I was stern, I disciplined him, I played with him-none worked.
He whined, he cried, he kicked, he smacked me. I was tired, my back hurt, I texted Chris enough that he came home a little early and I ran away (upstairs) and let him take over.
But Jayce was great for Chris, he had none of the problems that I'd been having.
I'm hoping that this is a bit like that horrible week of letting your kid cry it out at nap time or bed time: It is really horrible for that week, but you notice a big improvement/complete change by the end of the week. Right?
For some reason on Christmas morning I didn't get any present-opening pictures. I think everything was moving pretty quickly and I just never had a spare minute to grab the camera.
We did manage to get a few "pose by the tree pictures" though. Probably more interesting anyway.
Neither of these sweet little drooly girls is crawling completely yet, but it did look like they were about to race. In a few months I'm sure they will be.
We attempted an overly-ambitious photo of the 7 kids, taken by 4 moms and 2 grandmas simultaneously. We were each calling out to our kids to smile, look up, look over here, etc. Jayce had chapped lips that he kept messing with, and when I asked him to put his hand down, he moved into a choke position instead. Maybe this is what he thought of our impossible photo shoot.
We did get a few pictures of the whole family in front of the tree, which was overall a much more cooperative experience than with the kids.
Next we headed over to Great Grandma and Grandpa's to exchange a few gifts. As always, Jayce was a bit unwrapping assistant for the day.
Even though there were no naps that day all was well. And it only took me 3 weeks to get completely caught up on blogging our Christmas celebrations, so I'm almost back on track!
1.) I saw these 2 little onesies at the store the other day, on sale, so I grabbed them up. I realize that I could have just waited another month when I'll know the sex for sure, but I decided to go for it now. I realized that I tend to think about the baby as it relates to us or Jayce, such as "our second child" or how the baby will make Jayce a big brother, but not really as it's own entity as much. Does that sound crazy? But when I saw these I thought to myself, "How fun! We'll have a little sister or brother in the house!" and I wanted to celebrate that a little bit. Thus far I have restrained myself from buying anything brand new for the baby, so this was just a little bit of fun nesting. :)
2.) While Mom and Chelsea were in town we got to work on a few preliminary baby projects. They will probably only come to town 1 more time before the baby arrives (maybe), and depending on when that is I'll need help with some of the "right before the baby arrives" stuff. Like washing clothes and bedding, painting and decorating the nursery, bringing up and washing various newborn baby gear from the basement (bath tub, swing, bouncer, excersaucer, etc). So this time we did some preliminary stuff, mostly just to get it out of the way. I bought this dresser at a yard sale last summer, so we painted it white and got it all ready for the nursery. We also sorted all of Jayce's old clothes into the correct bins and labelled them, pulled out all of the neutral baby clothes and set those aside to be washed, and started gutting the contents of my craft room to get it ready for it's new role, the nursery.
3.) Our next doctor's visit will be the fun one, the sonogram to check out the organs, see a sweet little profile and find out the sex! I'm really excited about this! Unfortunately I won't have it quite as early as I'd like, the day of the visit I'll be 20 weeks and 6 days, I wish it was a little bit sooner! But it's still 3 months sooner than we found out with Jayce, so comparatively it does seem pretty early to me. We've been waiting to start the name discussions until we know the sex, so getting my lists ready will be just around the corner.
4.) According to Baby Center.com, our little baby is as big as a bell pepper this week and weighs almost 7 ounces. (Length: 5 1/2 inches, head to bottom.) Our little pepper has been nudging me for a few weeks now. I wish I had noted exactly when it was, but it was during the Christmas travel season craziness, so there are a few things that I let go during that time period. Actually, the first few times that the baby nudged me, I realized that all of those flutters that I had been feeling up until now probably were the baby and not digestion. Whoops. :) But it feels like I am being gently poked, usually around my waistband, which also encouraged me to switch to some looser sweatpants and maternity jeans. I feel like the baby is saying, "Hey, it's too tight here! Give me some room!" So I might as well oblige this request while I still can.
5.) Regarding the pregnancy, I am now 18 weeks along, almost halfway and I couldn't be happier about that! To be honest, it's been rough. I had a rough 1st trimester: I was really sick and always tired, but I knew that was typical and tried to patiently wait for the relief of the 2nd trimester. But it has never arrived. I have had some relief from the nausea but the fatigue is still here, demanding my attention in that "you can't just ignore me and push through" way that is so different than simply being tired. Despite the fact that I'm eating every 1-1 1/2 hours, I get dizzy and lightheaded pretty easily and even had to have Chris come pick me up from the grocery store once after I started to black out, yikes! I also have had some stuff from late in my pregnancy with Jayce return a bit too early for my preference - sore hips at night and in the morning and uncomfortable pressure on my sciatic nerve. Ugh.
We had a chat with the doctor about these things last week at my check up and got a lot of reassurance. I don't know why I didn't know this, but she told me that for most women, every additional pregnancy is harder on your body. I knew that things would be different since I'm home with a toddler all day, but I was just thinking about the fatigue and just didn't realize that it would take such a toll on me physically and make me so uncomfortable so early, especially since I am still relatively young. (Relatively.) :) But it was really nice to get some reassurance from her, and to discover that even though I'm not as comfortable as I would like to be, this all still falls into the "normal and healthy" category!
So you moms of more than 1 kid, please spill. Was the 2nd (or 3rd) pregnancy better or worse? I'd love some more reassurance to draw from. :)
The Christmas festivities were in full swing in the Keith household, and Jayce was loving it. He helped Melanie decorate a few dozen cookies, drowning them all in green sprinkles.
He discovered more fun games on each additional family member's phones. This is going to make mine, which only does numbers and letters (meaning the keypad), seem even more lame than it already does.
The dogs were in on the celebrations
and the gifts.
We got Andy this new hat, which he wore all night after opening it, so we think he liked it.
Jayce was so excited about each present, he continued to want every item opened and ready for play immediately after unwrapping it, and was really on sensory overload with all of the people around him giving him gifts, or who he could assist in unwrapping their gifts.
He got this great little chair that folds down into a desk, just like one that Chris had when he was his age. Not coincidentally, it came in U of L colors, and had his name engraved in it. With all of the excitement I couldn't get him to look my way, but this is close enough.
Aunt Erin received these sexy under ware from Santa, which she is hiding behind.
Christmas morning pictures soon to follow.
We went to Louisville the week before Christmas, and while we were there Jayce got to go to his first U of L basketball game. He did seem to like it, though he spent as much time watching the game as he did dancing in the aisles in front of us, sitting on everyone's laps and kicking popcorn pieces down to the aisle in front of us.
The game was against WKU, who they killed (sorry Matt). But Jayce did get to meet The Topper, which he was thrilled about and insisted on repeatedly poking in the eye. Luckily The Topper didn't mind.
Jayce got to hang out with his little cousin.
He spent plenty of time reading and snuggling with his grandparents,
and insisted reading through these Franklin books every day, especially when he was supposed to be going to sleep.
We visited with his Great Grandma and Great Grandpa a few times, and of course I snuck some pictures.
Trying to get everyone to look in the same direction proved to be impossible, but at least no one was crying so it was still somewhat a success.