Friday, October 7, 2016

That Kid! (Volumes 6, 7, 8, & 9)

I'm pretty sure that I have written this post in my head at least a million times now, but for some reason it never appears on Blogger... *sigh* I was just looking over Jacksie's last update and cannot believe just how much he has grown and changed in these 4 short months! He is now 2 years and 9 months and is somehow closer to being 3 than he is to being 2 D: There are days that are nothing but challenging (I swear that he just recently got the memo that he's two and should relish in his terrible twos while he still has the chance), but I am continually amazed by just how much joy he brings not only to our family, but to people we just randomly run into out in public!

Without further ado, here is a picture and text heavy post gushing about my (not-so) baby:

~One of the biggest things to happen this summer was that we put in an offer on a house (Thursday), had it accepted the next day (Friday), put our home on the market hours later (also Friday, we had to temporarily move out so it could be shown virtually every hour of the day Friday-Sunday), and then had both under contract by the beginning of the week (Monday). And that was just the beginning... even with all of the business, Jax was such a trooper and had no problem staying at Aunt Millie's for a weekend, waking up early to get out of the house, and "help" us pack. It was definitely a whirlwind of a summer, but it has paid off as we are now in our beautiful new home and couldn't love it anymore! 

~Another big part of our summer was spending time with my Great Aunt Millie, who at 96 was diagnosed with kidney failure and was given only a matter of hours to live (which she proceeded to forgo by about a month and a half). Since we only lived a few blocks away, we were over there nearly every day checking on her, which Jax began to expect and look forward to. Sadly, Aunt Millie passed away on July 6th and the next time we went to the house was absolutely heartbreaking as Jackson got a huge smile on his face, ran back to her office to check on her (where she liked to sit and watch TV), and then find that she wasn't there. 

Aside from creating a special bond with Aunt Millie, Jackson also became good buddies with her dog, Barney...

~...who is now the spoiled and adorable baby at my parent's house! We're so glad we get to see and play with him every time we go to visit or they come to stay -- he and Jax are good buddies.

~My mom and I took our second "Annie's pregnant, so let's go have a girl's weekend in Vegas" trip in June and I would be lying if I said I wasn't worried about how my little mamma's boy would do with just dad... they ended up having a blast and it really helped them bond! Aside from being sick the second day, Jax and daddy went to the zoo (pictured), watched Harry Potter, played, and even took in National Doughnut Day.

~Jackson and I did "Mommy & Me Swim Lessons" for 5 weeks this summer and both really enjoyed it! At first I dreaded it because Jax would freak out if you even filled the tub with water, but he ended up doing really well and loved going to the "pooooooooooool" twice a week!

~If you have seen and/or spoken to Jackson in the last few months, you know that he is literally OBSESSED with baseball... like, all he talks about is baseball, can ramble off facts about baseball (from his "Kawawa Wockies" book), wants to play baseball 24/7, and pulls up baseball highlight videos on YouTube any chance he gets. Brandon and I have never seen or heard of such a young kid so into sports (he likes football too, but isn't as die hard about it as he is baseball), but we are both enjoying it! I have a feeling he's going to be quite the athlete come high school...

~I am definitely beginning to worry more and more about how Jax will be once baby brother arrives (or how I'll be, for that matter -- ha). He really loves babies and gets so googly eyed when he sees them out in public (and talks about our baby all the time), but the other day at church when I pointed one out to him, he curled up in my arms and started acting like a baby. Umm, jealous much? I was able to talk him down pretty quickly ("You're a big boy, Jax. I brought fruit snacks for you to eat since only big boys can have them.") but it made me all sorts of nervous about how things will be come the end of this month.

~Right now, Jackson's favorite things include baseball, reading (anything Curious George, baseball, or nursery rhyme related), playing with friends, Altoids (seriously; this kid is addicted), mommy & daddy, when Grammy/Grandpa/Barney come to visit, (Uncle) Joooooooooooe, ice cream, Aunt Millie's cabin, Mickey Mouse, going to the park, watching sports on TV, coloring, cars, and Thomas.

~Jackson is definitely on his own time with everything and is FINALLY starting to really talk/ask for things/repeat everything he hears (including the word crap... oops). Neither Brandon nor I had ever been too worried about his speech since he could count and point to letters/shapes/colors on command, but his doctor was saying we needed to have him evaluated. Long story short, with the move, we never had him evaluated but now he's a chatty Cathy who can count to 15 (and actually understands the concept of counting), read along with me (read along = we read the same books every single day and night so he has them memorized), and point to any letter or shape to identify it.

~He has slept in his big boy bed every night this week! Granted, Brandon and I switch off laying with him/reading every night until he falls asleep, but it is still progress!

~With as much as he loved watching the Olympics this summer, Brandon and I decided it might be fun to enroll Jackson in gymnastics this fall... to say that he enjoys it would be the understatement of the year! It is amazing how quickly he picks up everything (his teacher even made a comment the other day about how she couldn't believe how quickly he moves during bear crawls across the bars) and how strong he is! He must get his athletic ability from his mamma! (Ha, ha, ha.)

~My last story took place on Wednesday after my 37 week doctor's appointment. As much as I hate to admit it, one of the hardest parts of this pregnancy for me is the thought of adjusting to life as a family of 4 and the possibility of not having as much time with just Jackson. Anyway I was overly tired from the previous night and just flat out hormonal and basically broke down crying during the middle of the afternoon. Long story short, Jackson ended up running over to me, putting his arms around me, wiping my tears (the same way I do for him), and just looking at me with the most concerned look I have ever seen on his sweet little face... Needless to say, this made me cry even more (ha), so I took Jackson's suggestion (He kept saying Daddy? Daddy? over and over... probably because he thought I was going crazy and was hoping Brandon was coming home soon to take over) and called Brandon at work to just talk and cry for a minute. I felt much better by the time we hung up and Jackson was sweet enough to lay down with me for a rare nap.

Friday, August 26, 2016

26-31 Week Bumpdates

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh... I'm once again lumping together several weeks worth of bumpdates... But, in my defense, we did just move and I try to sleep whenever I have a few extra minutes during the day!

I have definitely gained A LOT more this time around than I did with Jax (I was just over 20 lbs. when Jax was born), but it sounds like Little Brother is measuring right on track. I have had two different doctors appointments since I last blogged -- one a few weeks ago for my glucose test and then another one Wednesday for my (now) standard every two-week checkup. The doctor told me I passed my glucose test with "flying colors" (whew!) but am slightly anemic... she said it isn't anything to worry about (and if memory serves me correctly, I was also slightly anemic with Jax) but was just something to be noted.

At Wednesday's appointment, they did the standard heartbeat check (which gave Jackson the biggest smile ever -- he is so into babies right now and loves poking/talking to his brother) and measurements (I guess he is measuring a little big, but the doctor said it could be because we caught him during a growth spurt -- they'll check again in two weeks) and everything sounds like it is going well! Little Brother sure does like to move and still wiggles and kicks the most whenever Jax and I lay down to read.

Other than that, there hasn't been anything too eventful happening, so on with the bumpdate!

Messy master bedroom at the old place (and an adorable photo bomber) -- Week 26 
Messy master bedroom at the new place (sans photo bomber) -- Week 30
Yes; I wear this crazy comfortable maternity shirt from The Loft a few times a week!
Total Weight Gain/Loss: I was up about 23 lbs. at Wednesday's doctor appointment.

Maternity clothes: Yes! I still haven't bought too many of them, but I basically live in the maternity shirts I do have (as seen above) as well as baggy shirts I already owned, maxi skirts, dresses, yoga pants, and over-sized shirts I received during high school and college. 

Stretch marks: Negative.

Sleep: I didn't have too many issues up until week 30, when the dreaded nightly body aches/not being able to get (or stay) comfortable kicked in... However, I ordered a memory foam body pillow off Amazon this afternoon and look forward to receiving it and taking up both Brandon's and my sides of the bed with it. 

Best moment last week: Best moments in the last month would have to be Wednesday's doctor visit and seeing the look on Jax's face when he heard the baby's heartbeat, our family trip to the mountains, moving/closing on houses/buying new furniture, and just the random time we have gotten to spend with extended family. 

Movement: LOTS of moving! 

Food cravings/aversions: I could eat fruit, fruit flavored candy, and mint Oreos for every meal and not complain.

Gender: Little Brother! 

Labor signs: No, thank goodness. 

Belly button - in or out? I'm carrying really high (again), so the top half of my belly button pops out. 

What I miss: Sleeping through the night and being able to get/stay comfortable. 

What I am looking forward to: We are actually going back to the cabin with my family in a few weeks which should be a lot of fun! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Unplugging in the Mountains

Wow... it's been about a month and a half since I last blogged *insert solemn face, big eyed emoji here* I know that it seems like I have forgotten our little corner of the internet, but I swear I haven't -- in fact, I think about blogging A LOT and miss it.

This last month and a half has been quite the journey... we closed on both houses (the House Hunters townhouse and the one we bought), moved out of the HH house, moved into our forever home, and have basically been cleaning, unpacking, painting, and setting up ever since. Between that, being almost 31 weeks pregnant (WHAT?!) and exhausted all the time, having articles to write, AND being the mamma to a very busy little guy, sitting down to write a blog post just hasn't been in the cards.


However, I have made it my goal for the week to at least do a quick Jackson update and bumpdate (since we are both growing so fast, ha), so stay tuned! In the meantime, I thought I would share some pictures from last weekend's quick mountain getaway!

As many of you reading this probably already know, my Aunt Millie passed away on July 6th... it still doesn't feel possible that she is gone and I basically try to not think about it since I get a sick feeling every time I dwell on it. Anyway, my Aunt Millie has this gorgeous cabin that she has always generously shared with the family and before she passed away, she told everyone to sign up for dates to go. I was honestly a little skeptical to do it (since by that point we knew her passing was inevitable and I figured I would do better just not going back to the cabin at all vs. going and thinking the whole time about how we could never go again), but Brandon got me talked into at least putting our name down for a few nights.

I'm so glad he did because this weekend gave us some valuable family time that we wouldn't have had otherwise. I would be lying if I didn't state that I had a huge lump in my throat a good portion of the trip, but I could definitely feel Millie smiling down at us, happy that we were enjoying one of her favorite places.
Toasting to BBQ and family time with our Shirley Temples :)
I (obviously) didn't get to partake in the pitcher this time...
I often worry that we brought the wrong baby home from the hospital (since he obviously looks nothing like his dad)...
It was weird waking up and not having to worry about unpacking or meeting writing deadlines... but I somehow managed!
The caption says it all... oops. 
When I was little, the loft was my favorite room in the cabin -- so glad to see my son enjoying it as much as I did!
Our first ever family hike... we even saw a moose!
Since there is a county wide fire ban, we decided to make our s'mores inside... however, I forgot the marshmallows (among a million other things) so we improvised with cookie dough. 
Aside from having terrible acid reflux Friday night (and forgetting my heartburn medication at home :/), the trip was nothing short of perfect! We slept in, over ate, did lots of walking/picking up and throwing rocks (Jax), and just overall enjoyed each others company.

Thank you, Aunt Millie, for sharing your cabin with so many of us through the years. Some of my fondest childhood memories took place in this home and I am so happy to get the chance to share it with my family! 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

23, 24, & 25 Week Bumpdate

Another one... two... and three weeks... another bump date. Yeah, there is definitely shame in my blogging game.

To be completely honest, these past few weeks have been some of the hardest in recent memory. My Great Aunt Millie (who I have been talking about my last few posts) passed away last Wednesday and we have her funeral this morning. I know that it was her time to go, but it's just hard... on top of that, I have never been around somebody on a nearly daily basis who is sick, so it was extremely difficult to watch her go from the feisty, independent, wine drinking, poker playing, red sports car driving 96-year-old to how she was during her last days. If you knew my Aunt Millie, you know that there were little-to-no stops for her in terms of getting into heaven... she was an amazing woman who loved her faith, family, and friends and we are going to miss her dearly. It's still hard imagining a world without Aunt Millie in it, but I am blessed to have so many amazing memories to look back on (like the time she took my brother and I skiing for our first time... when she was 80). I am hoping to get some sort of a memorial written on here over the next few weeks, so stand by!

In other news, I have a secret... I have been thinking about starting a new Catholic faith-based lifestyle blog for the last year, finally started working on it back in February, and completely shoved it to the side after getting busy with life and pregnancy fatigue... but after much prayer and thought, I am getting fired up about it again and hope to launch by the end of this summer! That being said, the formatting around here may be changing some... Annie One Can Cook will probably become strictly what it has been for the last year -- a place to share stories and updates about our family -- while this new one will be a place to write about faith, encouragement, home decor, simple recipes, entertaining tips, and so on. I thank you all for your patience as I make this transition -- I hope that you will stick around.

Okay, and now the reason you're here: my 23, 24, & 25 week bumpdate!

Total Weight Gain/Loss: I was up 15 lbs. yesterday at my doctor's appointment. 

Maternity clothes: YES and I am kicking myself for not buying them sooner! I finally bought a belly band for my jeans, two tops during The Loft's big 4th of July 50% sale, and some other large shirts that are a joy to wear. (The pictured dress is actually a junior's large from Walmart, but it is about the most comfortable thing ever!)

Stretch marks: Notta one. Thank you, genetics! 

Sleep: These last few weeks have been rough... I wake 3-4 times a night to use the restroom and usually can't go back to sleep after my 3:30 trip. Oh well.. it gives me time to research my articles and buy crap on Amazon!

Best moment last week: We didn't tell many people about it (because we didn't want to worry everyone), but during our 20-week anatomy scan, our doctor found a small cyst on Little Brother's brain. We were assured that it was probably just part of the growing process and that it should go away on it's own (since I'm not considered to be high risk and our genetics testing all came back normal), but there was a chance it could mean there were chromosomal abnormalities. Brandon and I both kind of decided from the get-go to not worry about it (growing up, my dad always assured me time and again that God would never give you anything He didn't think you could handle, so I knew that if our baby was born with special needs, it was meant to be and we would love him unconditionally), but it was confirmed yesterday that the cyst has disappeared and that baby looks healthy all around! 

Movement: He's still a mover (and still does it the most whenever Jax and I lay down to read or Jax jabbers for a long period of time)! 

Food cravings/aversions: On the cravings front, mostly just fruit and fruit flavored candy. 

Gender: Little Brother! 

Labor signs: No and it can stay that was for another 15 weeks.  

Belly button - in or out? When I wake up after nap, it looks like it may pop, but so far it's stayed in. 

What I miss: Aunt Millie :(

What I am looking forward to: Having the buying/selling/moving process completed at the beginning of next month! 

Monday, June 27, 2016

19, 20, 21, & 22 Week Bumpdate

Yeah, my blogging game is really, really weak... sorry, S.B.B. (who we are now referring to as "Little Brother.") Last week, we put in our first offer on a new home and had it ACCEPTED, resulting in us having to put the home we are in now on the market that same day... between back-to-back showings, being essentially homeless, and then the Father's Day fall (more on that in a sec), things have been pretty chaotic. The good news is that we had ELEVEN offers on our home and were under contract within 3 days, but now the stress that comes with packing begins.

Anyway, back to the fall. Two weekends ago, my sweet great aunt let us crash in her guest room since our house was being shown all weekend. That Sunday morning (Father's Day) I was woke up at 7:20 from a phone call from Brandon -- who had just left for work -- saying that as soon as he opened the door, my aunt's dog ran out. Still being half asleep, I grabbed my phone and shoes and darted outside and for the first time in my LIFE, wasn't looking down as I walked. Long story short, I slipped on some cotton from a nearby cottonwood tree, fell really hard on my knees, completely shattered my iPhone screen, AND landed on my stomach. I wasn't exactly sure what to do at this point (since the dog was still missing), so I turned around to head back into the house... luckily, my mom was in the bathroom when I walked in, so I told her the dog ran away and that I'd fallen, so she went out trying to find him. Around this time is when it finally occurred to me that I had landed HARD on my stomach, so I began feeling around and lightly pushing in hopes of feeling a kick or a wiggle. Nothing.

About one minute later, both Brandon and my mom walked into the house (with the dog, thank goodness) and I broke down because I couldn't feel the baby. Brandon and I then went into the bathroom, where he tried calling my OB, but since it was a Sunday, the office was closed. That's when we made the decision to just get up and go to the ER down the street. Fortunately, Jackson was still asleep during all of this, so my awesome parents stayed back at the house to watch him for us.

We were the only people at the ER that morning, so as soon as we walked in (all while I'm choking back tears), we had our own room and were seen by a doctor. It took awhile for them to find Little Brother's heartbeat (scariest. thing. ever -- and even when they did find it, they didn't bother telling us! They kept saying it was mine we were hearing), but once I found out they had it, I broke down in relief. Since they have an on-call ultrasound technician, we had to stay in the room and wait awhile, but were fortunately kept busy by both HGTV and by looking at new phones for me.

Once the ultrasound tech arrived, things got better and better -- Little Brother looked PERFECT, I was showing no signs of early labor, and I was assured that everything looked great. Earlier, the doctor had recommended we go into my regular hospital for a 4-hour monitoring, but after being reassured by the ultrasound tech that everything looked great (and that they were just going to do the same thing at the hospital), Brandon and I talked about forgoing in order to get home to Jax. When the doctor came back to the room, I asked her if she thought it was really necessary, to which she seemed offended and answered yes.

At this point, L.B. was kicking like mad and I wanted nothing more than to get back to Jax, so I walked out into the main area to nicely tell the doctor that we just wanted to get home to our son and that everything felt great. I know this will sound like an exaggeration, but I swear it isn't: the bully, shattered-ego doctor gave me the nastiest look I have ever seen and told me "Fine. But if you go into an early labor or miscarry, that is on you, not me," and continued to rudely tell me that I had to sign release papers refusing her professional opinion. I was shocked. I wasn't exactly sure what to say at this point, so I just told her "Way to make me feel like a terrible mother," and walked away. The nurse (who was sitting next to the doctor during all of this) ran after me and actually apologized for how rude the doctor was and I told her it was fine and that I just wanted to go.

After returning to my aunt's house, seeing Jax and getting him ready for church with my parents, changing out of my pajamas, and brushing my teeth, we decided to head over to my regular hospital (since they were expecting us anyway). I was hooked up to the monitors for about 30 minutes before the doctor came in and told me it wasn't necessary for me to be there in the first place (since I already had the ultrasound at the ER, everything looked great, and the simple fact that they don't recommend the monitoring until after 24 weeks), which resulted in me being even more annoyed with the ER doctor.

(You can bet that later that day I sent an email to the administration and filled out their survey -- you don't tell a pregnant woman who is already shaken up that she's a bad mother!)

And that, my friends, was one Father's Day that we will never forget! If you are still reading, thanks! If not, I understand... but here's my regular bumpdate anyway:

Total Weight Gain/Loss: I haven't been to the doctor in a few weeks now, but I'm guessing about 15 lbs. 

Maternity clothes: No, but I really, really need to! One of my good friends (who is also pregnant) recommended checking Zulilly for their flowy and forgiving tops, so I plan to do that this afternoon. 

Stretch marks: I thought I saw a few the other night, but it was just indentations from my shorts. 

Sleep: Not too bad! I still wake a few times to use the restroom, but can usually get back to sleep right away *knock on wood.*

Best moment last week: Best moment in the last four weeks? Probably all the family time we've been getting with my parents (and great aunt, who is still here!) and my mom's and my Vegas trip. 

Movement: All. the. time. I can especially feel him whenever Jax and I read or when Jax starts jabbering non-stop :)

Food cravings/aversions: None of the above... I just like to eat! 

Gender: Little Brother! 

Labor signs: Nope! 

Belly button - in or out? In, but the other day it looked like it may pop.  

What I miss: Fitting into my regular clothes and not being exhausted by the end of each day. 

What I am looking forward to: Brandon leaves for a Vegas trip with a few of his buddies next week, so Jax and I are taking our own little trip to my parents! 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Carol & Annie Do Vegas (Again)!

A few months ago, I was laying around dreaming of future vacations and remembered how much fun my mom and I had when we went to Vegas in 2013 when I was pregnant with Jackson... after shooting her a quick text, we had a weekend decided and booked our plane tickets the next week. Once again we had the BEST time in Vegas and had a blast eating our hearts out, seeing shows, and shopping until we dropped. Here is a quick picture recap of our "Annie's pregnant again so let's go to Vegas to eat a bunch of food and see some shows" trip:

Since the buffet at Paris is our favorite place to eat, we decided to go ahead and give them and their rooms a try -- absolutely GORGEOUS and the beds were super comfortable! (Since our flight arrived at 7 am, we shopped a bit, grabbed breakfast, checked in at 10 am, and basically spent the rest of the morning and afternoon sleeping and relaxing in our lovely room.)

I think I've explained it before, but ever since visiting in 2011, we have always taken a picture with this statue at Harrah's for my Aunt Judy -- since there were no nice looking employees around to take our picture, this awkward selfie (of me -- mom looks cute!) had to suffice.

First night = Menopause the Musical! 

The most important part of the trip: the food. 

We spent practically all of Day 2 shopping, so I didn't feel so bad eating my weight in rich foods.

Second Night = Paul Zerdin (the ventriloquist who won last season's America's Got Talent.)

Before retiring to our room, sharing a sandwich, watching Dateline, and doing foot rubs, we did a little more shopping and chocolate tasting at the divine Hexx. 

Since Brandon has Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays off, we took advantage and flew out early Thursday morning and came back Saturday afternoon. The trip was way too short (as vacations tend to be) but we had such a fun and memorable time that I will treasure forever! 

Can't wait to do it again when we're expecting Baby #3 ;)

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

That Kid! (Volume 5)

As I stated in yesterday's bumpdate, time just hasn't been on my side when it comes to blogging! We have been so very busy visiting family, playing, reading Curious George (over and over and over), and getting the house ready to sell that I have had no time to even sit down and write Jackson's 2 year 5 month update. Anyway, Jax is napping (and I'm miraculously not) so I figured now is the time to gush about this past month with our little cutie!
We had a few rainy days so I broke out the Play-Doh... and he's refused to put it away!
~Jackson had his third ever dentist visit this month and did so well! (If you need a recommendation for an excellent pediatric dentist in north Denver, shoot me a message.) She said all of his teeth looked great but noticed that his top jaw may be a little wider than the bottom, which could be the cause to his nighttime mouth breathing. Anyway, she said to bring it up at his next well-check (and have them check his tonsils since he's prone to having larger ones) but said everything checked out otherwise! Since he didn't have any cavities, he even got to add his name to the special tree :) The sad news from the visit? He has four remaining molars that are starting to come in at once...

~I swear that I'm going to write a full post on our Bismarck trip, but will just write this little tease in the meantime. We had SO much fun visiting Brandon's grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in Bismarck last month. Between playing at Great Grandpa's house, on the Welch farm, and eating his little heart out, he had the best time! One of many heart melt moments was the way he acted around his little cousin, Emilia (pictured) -- he's never been too close to a baby before and loved waving at her and standing over her smiling.

~Jax has become a book FIEND and I love it! However, I wish he would part with the original Curious George book... he makes insists we read it at least once before nap and then again before bedtime. If anyone is interested in having me recite it to them, let me know. (This is a picture of him sleeping on the plane -- it has nothing to do with reading but is still cute!)

~One of the many perks of being from a small town is the fact that the everyone knows one another... case in point: my dad was asked by our hometown Boy Scout leader if he would enter his old "I Love Lucy" pinewood derby car into their upcoming race (he's an engineer and designed it for me to race back when my brother was a Boy Scout). Anyway, my dad let me know the race was coming up and asked if we'd like to come which was a BIG yes since Jackson love cars. Brandon ended up designing a car for Jax to paint/race last minute and he had the best time -- he even got a trophy that he wouldn't let go of for days (pictured)!

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