Monday, June 29, 2015

Meet Declan Lawrence Craig

He's here! Our baby boy arrived three days early at 6:20 am on Thursday, June 25th (exactly halfway to Christmas, as my mom pointed out). He's 7 lbs, 13 ounces (same as big bro - so thank goodness he didn't come 9 days late like Ez did!) and 19.5 inches long. He came into the world fast and loud and is absolutely perfect, but I'll go more into detail on the actual labor in a separate post. For now, I'll just say that Declan's a total sweetheart, very mellow (except between the hours of midnight and 3am, which I'll blame on my nocturnal pregnancy tendencies), and he's very curious and alert. We could not be more in love with him. 

Ez met him right after he was born, since he wound up having to come to the hospital with us, and it went about as well as I expected. He's a little bit intrigued, a little bit cautious, and a little bit "maybe if I don't make eye contact he's not really here." I'm sure they'll be best friends in no time.

Joe and I can't stop marveling how lucky we are to be parents to these two perfect boys.

Friday, June 26, 2015

5 Things I Love About Ez

I've already mentioned quite a few times how helpful Joe has been this whole pregnancy, but I think Ez deserves some credit too. For a toddler, (I'm pretty sure calling him a high-energy toddler is a bit redundant, but that he is), he's been making this whole pregnancy fairly easy on me. He can't quite climb up onto the counter to make his own lunch just yet, but aside from needing to be fed several times a day he's a fairly independent little guy. So here's a little list of a few things I really appreciate about him:

  1. He entertains himself for hours on end. It's seriously amazing. He already has a great imagination, and will narrate things as he's playing with his cars. I have no idea what he's actually trying to say, but I'm pretty sure he's got a super entertaining scenario going on that would be absolutely captivating if only I spoke toddler fluently.
  2. His attention span has grown by leaps and bounds. I know I mentioned in my pregnancy confessions that Cars (the movie) has been a lifesaver, but I'm honestly still a little shocked that he'll even sit through a feature length Disney film. Perhaps watching it daily is overkill, and I sometimes question whether he's been brainwashed by Disney, but from what I've heard from parents of Frozen fanatics, that's pretty much par for the course once you've got kids. (And the answer is yes, we've all been brainwashed by Disney. There's no resisting their magicalness.)
  3. He's started reading his books to himself. Usually this only takes place after we've read it together 20 times in a row, but hearing him narrate the story in his cute little toddler voice is pretty much the sweetest thing I've ever heard. Oh, and did I mention that he now sings to himself constantly? I take it back, listening to him sing nursery rhymes is actually the sweetest thing I've ever heard. ABCs, Wheels on the Bus, and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star are the current faves. He can already carry a tune better than I can, and it never fails to bring a smile to my face. Also, it blows my mind the amount of info he soaks up and retains. Toddler brains are incredible.
  4. He follows directions surprisingly well. He'll pick up his messes and fetch me things within his reach, and trust me, I take full advantage of both those things. I'm sure he goes around telling all his friends how much work it is having a parent ;)
  5. Lately he's been giving me all kinds of extra snuggles. Maybe he senses that his time as an only child is coming to an end, or maybe he's picked up that mommy now struggles like a beached whale just to get off the couch, but whatever the reason, I'll take those extra snuggles and I'd bottle them up if I could.
Aside from Ez's easy-going and independent nature, here are a few things that have been getting us through these last few weeks:
  • puzzles (the peg board kind)
  • books (anything involving vehicles of any kind)
  • the Cars & Planes movies
  • his water table
  • coloring books
That's pretty much our daily life lately. I feel bad that Ez is getting a little jipped in the parent department lately, but he's taking it all like a champ. And my parents are coming into town tomorrow, so soon he'll have plenty of doting grandparents to entertain him while I continue the baby waiting game.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Foamy Water Table Toddler Activity

Remember when I posted this list of 13 Outdoor Toddler Activities? Well we finally got around to doing one of them (technically a combo of #6 & #9) and it was so much fun! 

I've mentioned at least a million times that soapy water is a weird pregnancy obsession of mine, so of course I had to give the soapy sea foam a go. It's super simple to make, and uses ingredients that are most likely already in the kitchen:

According to these instructions from Two Daloo, you just combine equal parts water and Dawn dish soap with a dash of corn starch then mix it up at high speed till it's nice and fluffy. If you have some food coloring you could throw that in as well. Voila! Easy as can be! I made about three mixing bowls worth, then dumped it all into the water table, which I had already filled with water.

Since I didn't have food coloring for the foam, I threw one of these Crayola color bath dropz into the water table, which turned the water a nice refreshing Clorox blue:

I added some cups, some balls, some construction vehicles, and sponges so that Ez had plenty of activities to keep him busy:

Not gonna lie, all that soapy goodness was too inviting to pass up. As soon as I snapped a few pics I had to get my hands in there and play too.

Even though Ez is perfectly content to just play with the water table, the soapy foam added a fun new twist and he loved swirling the bubbles around, scrubbing his construction vehicles with the sponges, and splashing soap suds all over himself and everything within a ten foot radius. Honestly though, I think this sea foam would work best as a standalone sensory activity, minus the water. It lasts longer than just dumping Dawn straight into the water table, but that's kind of a moot point since once Ez gets his hands in there the soapy water is going pretty much everywhere except in the table. Next time I'll try just dumping a ton of foam in there, minus the water, and see how that works out. But whatever keeps us him happy and occupied for upwards of an hour is a win in my book.

This activity gets an A+ for simplicity, fun, and cheapness. We'll definitely break this out a few more times this summer.

*This post contains some affiliate links to products mentioned.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Celebrating Joe

Here I got totally spoiled with an indulgent spa momcation for Mother's Day, and I totally dropped the ball come Father's Day. Can we just call this babe growing in my belly a belated Father's Day present? Although, depending on how comfy he is in there, he may be more of an early birthday present...

Since we we're T minus (approximately) 7 days till baby boy gets here, we couldn't do a fun getaway like last year's Sequoia trip, so instead we went low key and had lunch and dessert with Joe's mom and her husband, and ended the day lounging around, watching Next Food Network Star. Of course, if Joe was celebrated the way he deserves to be, there'd be fireworks, and lux vacations, and super thoughtful gifts and all that. Unfortunately, I have the energy of a snail and I never want to stray too far from the hospital (or the bathroom), so that limits things a bit. Our neighbors have been setting off fireworks nightly though, so we'll just claim a few of those for Joe ;)

And here's a short compilation of my two favorite boys acting like total goofballs:

I love that last picture of Joe and Ez. Not only are they making the same face, but Ez is so into climbing up and snuggling his way onto our laps in the weirdest positions these days. Nothing beats using mommy's belly or daddy's legs as a pillow ;)
Love these two!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

39 Week Bump Update

Being 9 months pregnant during summer looks a little like this: me lying on the couch in front of a fan with an icy cold wash cloth across my forehead and food network on in the background. Multiply that by hours and hours, and welcome to my life. I'm super thankful that it's been a relatively mild summer so far, but 90+ degrees is still a little too much for me to handle right now.

I've had a few pre-labor symptoms, but nothing that's stuck, and for the past few days I've felt absolutely no cramping or contractions. So either this labor is gonna come totally out of left field, or this guy is in there for the long haul, just like big bro. Since I was induced with Ez, and have no real experience with labor that begins naturally, or my water breaking on it's own, I've been spending many a late night reading labor stories on pregnancy forums. All I've determined is that there are a million different signs and symptoms that could mean I'm about to give birth at any moment, or they could mean I'm still a month away from labor. I've read stories of second labors that took mere hours from start to finish, vs. second labors that took longer than the first. There's no rhyme or reason to pregnancy and labor and birth, so I'm trying to go with the flow and not read too much into every little cramp or indigestion, but obviously I'm more than a little preoccupied with when this guy is gonna decide to make his entrance.

As far as nesting goes, I went through a little phase where I was literally scrubbing the walls and baseboards at 2 in the morning. I'm pretty sure it would've taken less effort to just repaint everything. I can tell it's cleaner, but I doubt anyone else would even notice the difference. I think Joe is going through his own mini-nesting phase, and he's been super helpful taking care of all the dishes (my least favorite chore) and we've both been preoccupied with cleaning out the fridge and then restocking it to the brim. We finally finished hanging the curtains in the boys' room, boxes of tiny diapers are stacked against the living room wall, and the dresser is filled with newborn to 3 month-sized onesies. All that's really left is to pack a hospital bag, but I've made a checklist of stuff I want to bring, so that's practically the same thing ;)

Part of me realizes that it's so much easier to take care of a baby living inside of me compared with a newborn on the outside, but overall I'm as ready as can be to expand our family to a party of 4. Who knows, maybe I'll be back with 40 and 41 week bump updates, or maybe this'll be the last one??

Just for fun, here's a little look back at the bump progression:

For a little walk down memory lane, here are all of this pregnancy's bump updates. And for comparison, here are my first pregnancy bump updates. Joe and I were crunching some numbers the other day, and I've been pregnant 18 of the last 34 months. Pretty crazy, huh?? Thanks for following along!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Auntie B's Visit

Last week my sister had a two day layover in LA on her way to Australia. I know, such a glamorous life she leads! We were so excited for a quick visit with her, especially since she and Joe hadn't met yet and Ez and I hadn't seen her since our East Coast trip last fall.

I think she was hoping I'd go into labor before she got here so she could meet her second nephew, but no such luck! Instead we spent an afternoon at Huntington Beach where my lil fearless fish was running straight into the waves, squealing and giggling, for an hour straight. Eventually I had to drag him away with the promise of ice cream.

Even though the visit was way too short, we managed to squeeze a lot in - some  shopping, a girly spa night at home, plenty of meals out, a little Hollywood sightseeing, and, of course, plenty of playtime with Ez. 

We were sad to drop her back off at the airport, but we're already looking forward to taking an exotic vacation together in the near future. Until next time, Auntie B!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day!

From the first moment you held Ez, you've taken your role as dad seriously, always making sure we feel so taken care of and loved. But you never take things too seriously. Ez knows as soon as you walk in the door after work you're up for a game of tag or a tickle fight. He gets so excited when he hears your truck pull into the driveway and immediately drops what he's doing to run for the door yelling Dada! Ez never laughs as long or as loudly as he does when he's goofing off with you. Watching the two of you run around giggling together makes my heart full enough to burst. Ez and I want to give you a huge thank you for all the hard work you do, for all the weekend adventures you plan for us, and for being Ez's first best friend and partner in crime. And also for picking up lots of parenting slack during this last month of pregnancy. We love you more than words could ever say. Happy 3rd Father's Day to the best soon-to-be dad of two!

And  a Happy Father's Day to the other two best dad's/grandpas Ez and I could ask for. Ez and I (and our soon to be newest little one) are so lucky to have you!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Pregnancy Confessions: 38 Week Bump Update

38 weeks! We are officially in the "are you having contractions yet??" stage. The if you don't answer my call/text right away, it must be because you're in labor stage. All you pregnant mamas know what I'm talking about. And no, no contractions yet. 

But, since this could very well be my last bump update, I though I'd get real and throw some pregnancy confessions out there:
  • First of all, a huge thank you Cars, and Disney in general, for babysitting my child and for a guaranteed 90 minutes of sanity.
  • Ez's 2 year old vocabulary can be a little hard to decipher at times, but the words "chocolate" and "cookies" are magically crystal clear. And the kid can recognize a See's bag from a mile away. Sympathy cravings?
  • Soap and cleaning products fascinate me. At this point it's a borderline obsession. (See my 37 week update)
  • Yet my house is never clean. 
  • Sometimes I send Ez off to look for something just so I can hide whatever book we've already read 300 times in a row. #momoftheyear
  • I've made it my unintentional mission to eat my way through the entire cereal aisle. Current fave: frosted mini wheats.
  • I'm really bad about remembering to lotion up my belly. Unless it's itching like crazy, and then I use like a month's worth of lotion at once. So far no stretch marks though, so I'm pretty sure those lotions and oils don't actually do much in the way of prevention.
  • Also, I always forget my prenatals. 
  • I haven't checked baby center or any other baby development sites in months and therefore have no idea what sized fruit this babe is comparable to right now. If I had to guess, I'd say record-breaking watermelon-sized though.  #secondbabysyndrome
  • I'm addicted to cooking shows. I never used to watch Food Network, and now it's pretty much my constant companion. 
  • But I have absolutely no desire to actually cook. (See cereal comment above.)
  • Ez survives on larabars and fruit like a little foraging squirrel for days at a time. (And cereal, of course.)
  • My doctor commented on how much weight I've gained, then went back through my charts to see if there was a big jump in one particular week, before informing me, "Oh. You've gained a lot of weight at each visit." Thank you, Dr. Obvious. (For the record, I gained the same amount with Ez.)
  • We still don't have a name nailed down, but Joe has grown exasperated enough to give me full control on that matter. ;)
  • Joe once made me laugh so hard I peed myself. Watermelon on the bladder + laughter is not a good combo.
  • Joe has also been asking daily if the baby can please just come out already. Apparently I'm not the most pleasant 9 month's pregnant lady. I'm with Joe on this one though. Come out any day now, lil guy.
And in honor of my last Disney bump pic, I threw together a little collage of all my Disney pregnancy pics:

My stomach got certifiably huge in the last two weeks. I'm kinda scared how much bigger it can get if he decides to stay put for another 2-3 weeks. 

And, in case you wanna look back, here's all my other bump updates. Thanks for following along!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Our Weekend: Chores, Music, & Disney

First things first, I put Ez to work. Turns out he's a huge fan of chores, so guess who's gonna be washing my carfrom now on? He also got a huge kick out of shredding papers (with supervision, of course). So now I've got a nice sparkly car and we finally tackled the giant pile of outdated mail that was taking over the counter. Have I mentioned that I'm a huge fan of cleaning projects that can be done sitting down?

Obviously the weekend can't be all work and no play, so we also headed over to Grandma's house for dinner and some music. I apologize in advance for my lack of rhythym:

Sunday was nice and overcast, which is perfect Disney weather, so even though I keep saying each trip is our last trip before baby arrives, this time I'm 99.9% sure it really was our last trip as a family of three. I can't do Disneyland in the summer heat anyway, and just getting through the security line left me winded. As usual, we beelined to Cars Land where Ez got to say hi to his old friend Red and we bought him the Airplanes DVD (not my favorite Disney movie). Afterward we went to Bugs Land so Ez could run around in the water and ride Flik's Flyers. And since my time for using "pregnancy craving" as an excuse to eat whatever I want is rapidly coming to an end, I finally indulged in a churro ice cream sandwich, which I've been eyeing for the past dozen or so times we went to Dland. It was worth the wait. Downtown Disney by the Lego store, for anyone in the area.