Friday, November 28, 2014

First Week Of Life

Jenna has been such a sweet and sleepy baby her first week of life! I honestly don't remember my boys sleeping this much as infants (especially Ryan!), so I alternate between being really thankful that she's calm, and being worried that she's too sleepy. Ahh the life of a Mom. Always something to worry about!
Wrapped up like a burrito.
Jenna got to meet some family members this week, including my mother-in-law, her Grandma Jan:
 And my Mom, her Grandma Linda:
 She celebrated her first Thanksgiving with lots of nursing, sleeping and pooping. Look at her little chicken legs!
 Jenna met her cousin Ava:
And finally got to get close to her big brother Lucas! So far he has been really sweet with her, constantly saying "Hi Baby Jenna!". I hope he continues to be gentle with her!
Big brother Ryan finally got to hold his little sister. He was really excited, but then told me to take her back because she was too heavy. I completely understand...this little 7 pound girl is killing my back!
Nights have been okay. Jenna seems to have an awake fussy period from around 8pm until 1 or 2am. She doesn't want to nurse or sleep, and it seems like her tummy is upset during this time. She can easily go through 5-10 diapers during this time!

My recovery is going well. Today is the first day when I haven't had to take any motrin or haven't had the chills. I'm not overly sleepy until the evening, so I have enough energy to get a few things done when I'm not holding Jenna. Adam is home from work right now so I'm trying to just relax and let him take care of the boys while I continue to recover. It's nice not having a huge belly to get in my way of doing things! My second favorite quote from Ryan this week was "Mommy your tummy is so tiny!". Thanks Ryan, I appreciate it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Jenna Mae Nullmeyer

Jenna Mae Nullmeyer was born on November 21st at 11:56pm. She weighed a whopping 7 lbs, 2 oz and was 20.5 inches long. My smallest baby yet! Here are a few random facts about Jenna's delivery and first few days of life. I will write her labor story whenever I have time, while it's still somewhat fresh in my mind.
Pitocin was my best friend and worst enemy during labor.
Jenna has one normal looking ear and one that's kind of squished and pointy (like her Daddy!)
Ryan has been SO great with his baby sister. Unfortunately Lucas is sick so we're trying to keep both boys away from her. No touching her or holding her until they are totally germ-free!
 Quote from Ryan: "Are we keeping her?"
Jenna didn't exactly love her first bath at the hospital.
Despite a short 4-hour labor and just 3 pushes to get her out, my body still feels like it was hit by a truck. But it's worth it. I love this tiny little girl.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

House Tour: The Boys' Room

Today I'm sharing pictures of Ryan and Lucas' room.
Let's start with the wall color. I must have had 10 different paint samples up on the walls before we moved in. I wanted a slightly silver/light gray color for the walls, with just a hint of blue. After agonizing over it, we finally decided to just leave the room the color it was! A nice soft blue.
Ryan helped his Daddy install a new ceiling fan, since the room didn't have one and it gets hot up here!
 We finally put the boys' names up on the wall last weekend.
I kept the room pretty simple because it is an extremely small room, maybe 10x10? Just enough room for two little beds and a dresser.
We don't keep any toys in the boys' room, since they have a huge play room right next door! But I might be moving this blue toy shelf into their room under their window. That will free up some space in the play room for the train table they will be getting for Christmas! (They are going to LOVE it).
 We bought very few things for this room.....some blackout curtains, this cute sign......
And their matching plaid bedspreads from Pottery Barn Kids (On a great sale with a coupon! Probably the only way I'd buy anything from Pottery Barn).
So there you go....a simple little room for my two little boys. I can't wait to show you all pictures of the nursery once the baby is here!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Worst Feeling

I experienced one of the worst feelings you can feel as a parent for the first time on Friday night....not knowing where your child is.
It started out with a rough bedtime. We've been trying hard to keep the boys in their beds all night, as well as teach them to fall asleep without us in the room. Both boys kept getting out of bed and Adam and I were getting pretty angry. Ryan was afraid of something and Lucas was just being totally hyper and goofy. We were exhausted. We left their room threatening to take away their new toys if they got out of bed again.
Just after midnight some sort of noise woke me up. I checked the boys on the video monitor on my nightstand, as I always do when I wake up in the middle of the night. I couldn't really see Ryan in his bed, so I got up to check. He wasn't in his bed.
I figured he had climbed into our bed and I had been too tired to notice, so I walked back to our room to check. But he wasn't there. I was confused and starting to get worried. I went back to the boys' room and checked both boys' beds, under Ryan's bed, in the closet, behind the Ryan. I raced back to our room and told Adam I couldn't find Ryan. I proceeded to search every room upstairs...the playroom, nursery, Ryan.
Adam staggered out of bed and told me to relax, but by this point I was yelling Ryan's name and imagining the worst. Someone had come into our house and kidnapped him. Or he had suddenly developed a sleep-walking habit and wandered out of the house. I was also thinking about how my last words before he fell asleep had been angry words, instead of the usual sweet things I whisper to him at bedtime.
I raced downstairs just as Adam told me he had found Ryan. He had been in Lucas' bed, curled up under the covers. I had already checked Lucas' bed but Ryan is so small I didn't even see him. I grabbed him and hugged him and he told me he had woken up scared, and that's why he had climbed into Lucas' bed.
The whole ordeal lasted less than ten minutes, but I can' even describe the terror that I felt. I have never not known where my children are. It was the worst feeling to not be able to find Ryan.
I was sure glad to see these boys in the morning. Don't ever do that again Ryan!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

38 Week Pregnancy Update

Here I am at 38 weeks pregnant feeling huge, tired, achy and pretty much ready to not be pregnant anymore! It's tough because on the one hand I am so uncomfortable and ready to be done.  But I also know that the baby needs to stay in as close to 40 weeks as possible to fully develop. So I want to go in to labor, but I also don't!
I had my checkup with the midwife today and here are my stats:

Total Weight Gain: 51 lbs
Blood Pressure: 103/63

I am now 2 cm dilated and 80% effaced. The midwife also said that the baby has dropped to a -2 station, which means she is right there, basically ready to fall out. (Or at least I hope that's how she comes out!). After the midwife checked me she told me there's no way I'm making it to my due date.

She measured my belly and it measured at 36 cm. I asked her why it is 36 when I'm 38 weeks pregnant, and she said this is because the baby has already dropped. Therefore, my stomach isn't sticking out as big anymore because the baby has settled into my pelvis already. She is head down and ready to go!

The midwife warned me that this labor would likely be quicker than Lucas' 5-hour labor. She told me not to dilly-dally at home once labor starts, and to get to the hospital as quickly as possible.

I packed my hospital bag this week, as well as an overnight bag for the boys. We have a few finishing touches to make in the nursery, but I think I have everything I need for baby girl. So now it's just a waiting game!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Freezer Cooking Gone Wild

I'm pretty sure Adam thinks I've officially gone insane. And anyone who has looked in my freezer lately might form the same opinion. I've been cooking a lot this past month, stocking my freezer for when the baby is here. Wait till you see the list of what I have stockpiled. You will either be impressed and wish your freezer looks like mine.....or you too will think I've gone mad. I'm pretty sure freezer meal cooking has become my form of "nesting".
When Ryan was born we had just moved into our house two weeks prior, and I had no time to prepare any food before he was born. We relied on family to bring us a few meals, plus one generous friend, and after that my memory gets spotty. I don't remember eating much the first month after his birth. During my last month of being pregnant with Lucas I cooked a few freezer casseroles, maybe 5. I was also blessed by my Mops friends and church who brought us dinners for a couple weeks.
This time around I don't have the luxury of having lots of generous friends nearby who enjoy cooking for me. But I do have a family to feed. So I started cooking freezer meals about a month ago. It started out with doubling a couple recipes I was making for dinner. Eat one, freeze the other. Then I ventured into crockpot freezer meals. Then I realized I could be freezing non-dinner items, such as breakfast foods and treats. Then I checked out a couple freezer cook books from the library and things started to get a little crazy.

Here's how I did it. Each week I incorporated a few freezer items into my meal plan and grocery shopping list. Sometimes I doubled what I was making for dinner or breakfast. Other days I used Lucas' nap time to prepare a few casseroles or crockpot meals at once. I'm viewing these meals as an investment of time and money now that will pay off big time once the baby is here and I have no time to cook.
Here is a complete list of the homemade food that is in my garage freezer (a few items are in our inside freezer).  A little bit of work here and there sure adds up!

Main Courses
Crockpot Lasagna Soup
Crockpot Beef Stew (x2)
Crockpot Tex-Mex Chicken and Rice Soup
Crockpot Italian Chicken and Potatoes w/ Spinach
Beef Lasagna
Bean and Cheese Nacho Bake
Macaroni and Cheese
Garlic Pork Stir Fry (x2)
Chicken Enchiladas
Sticky Ribs (x2)
Teriyaki Chicken
Whole Wheat Chicken Burritos (x15)
Vegetable Chowder
Chicken Tortellini Soup
Pulled Pork
Whole Wheat Pizza Crust (x5) and Shredded Mozzarella

Cinnamon Rolls (2 dozen)
Snickerdoodle Cookie Dough (3 dozen)
Brownie Mix (x2)

Homemade Chicken Broth
Corn Muffins
Cooked, Shredded Chicken
Whole Wheat Pancake Mix (x2)
Cheesy Sourdough Bread (x2)
Smoothie Kits (x8)
Whole Wheat Biscuits
Whew, I'm tired just reading through that list. I had so much fun preparing all this food. Really, it was a ton of fun for me. But now I'm tired and honestly a little sick of cooking so much. So I'm thinking a few nights of takeout or pizza delivery might be in our near future as we wait for baby girl to arrive!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

House Tour: Playroom

One of the things we love about our new house is the big bonus room upstairs. It is at the end of the hallway right next to the boys' room. As soon as we saw it we knew it would make a perfect playroom. It is very spacious and the previous homeowners even left their cabinets in the room. Perfect storage for toys!
When you walk into the room there is a large window ahead. We like to watch for Daddy to come home from work out this window.
There is tons of floor space to play and set up train tracks on.
 We put up their growth chart and set up a little reading corner with their books.
 One thing the room is lacking are some fun decorations on the wall.
I want this to be a really fun and inviting room for the boys! Right now they have a hard time playing in the room together while I am in another part of the house, such as the kitchen. I'm open to any ideas of how to make this room fun!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Mom Friends

Although there are many things I miss about living in my hometown, the transition to a new city has gone more smoothly than I expected. I feel settled and happy. However, there is one thing that I a really really miss (apart from my family). And those are my Mom friends.

It may sound a little cheesy to admit that I am feeling lonely and in need of some friends, but it is the truth. Since becoming a Mom I have learned that having other friends who are Moms is vital. I remember very clearly the day 4 years ago when I prayed to God to send me some good friends. I was a relatively new Mom and feeling lonely and in need of some social interaction, despite my introvert tendencies. I simply asked God to place women in my life who were walking the same path I was. I wanted friends who would understand my frustrations and delights of new Motherhood.

I almost didn't expect an answer, but God answered my prayer in a huge way. I joined a Mops group and soon had more amazing friends than I deserved. Friends who shared my values and who genuinely cared about me and my boys. They were friends who would bring me a meal when I had a baby, ask me for updates about my boys' latest sleep problems, and meet me at the park for a last minute playdate. They were exactly what I needed. And I hope that many of them will remain my friends for a very long time.

But the reality is that I need to make some new friends. Ones who are close enough to join me for a walk or invite over for lunch.

So I have joined a new Mops group. I have struck up conversations with Moms at the library, casually mentioning that I am new to the area. It has only been 6 weeks since we moved, but I am already feeling myself getting frustrated with the process of finding new friends. It kind of feels like I am a single woman dating and looking for a boyfriend or husband. I see another Mom and assess whether we are "compatible". Are our kids the same age? Do we have similar hobbies? (Wait, do I have hobbies?) Would I be coming across as too desperate if I wanted to set up a playdate after meeting another Mom for the first time? And on and on.

So the other day I prayed. I prayed the same prayer as  I did 4 years ago. God, please send good Mom friends into my life. Amen.

The next day I went for a walk and wound up meeting a Mom just around the corner. Her kids line up in age with mine, she stays at home, and she was so nice that she gave me her phone number on the spot. I walked away feeling like God had not only answered my prayer, but that he was giving me a little taste of the blessings he has in store for me. He wants me to have good friends and he wants to bless me abundantly.

So for now I need to just relax and know that this process of making new friends will take time. I'm trusting in God that he will bring the right women into my life at the right time.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Halloween 2014

We had a great Halloween this year! It started the night before Halloween when we carved pumpkins. Unfortunately I was feeling really exhausted, so my goal was to get my pumpkin done as quickly as possible so I could go lay down.  The boys (big and little) had fun though, so that's what matters.

The next day was a normal day......
 Until Spiderman and Lightening McQueen emerged!
My sister's family came over and we all trick-or-treated in our neighborhood. There was a 100% chance of rain all day, so our backup plan was to go to the mall. But somehow the rain held off and we managed to go to quite a few houses! This was the first year that Ryan really enjoyed trick-or-treating, and seemed to understand what to do. (Having his older cousins with him definitely helped). Lucas was a pro. He marched up to the houses, knocked, and said "trick-or-treat" and "thank you" at the appropriate times. About halfway through the evening he started dragging his feet and asking to be held, but until then he did great!
What a fun Halloween. It's so crazy to think that next year there will be a tiny little girl trick-or-treating with us!