February 27, 2011

Callen James

So, we finally decided on a name! Choosing a boy's name was a lot harder for us than choosing a girls name. Chris liked names that I was so-so on and visa versa. It kind of felt like we'd never agree on anything! I know there are a lot of people who like to wait until the baby is born and see what he or she looks like before deciding on a name. I am obviously not one of those people. Babies change so so quickly in what they look like; I think that whatever name you decide on, you impart upon the child. That said, it was quite a relief when we found a name we both really liked. I am not even sure how we came up with it; it isn't on any baby names list that I've seen; we were just discussing names we liked and didn't like and why and it popped up. So Callen he is!

Here is a side-by-side comparison of me at 24 weeks with Audia (with my dear friend Shaunie, who is also preggers right now! So exciting!) and at 24 weeks with Callen.

Obviously I was a LOT heavier when I was pregnant with Audia (not to mention the TERRIBLE haircut. Don't get me started on that!) I still have not yet reached the weight I was at at my 8 week appointment with Audia....this is a very good thing in many ways: Obviously it's a lot easier on my body, I don't have to watch what I eat as carefully, I can move around a lot more easily, and I can actually still wear my rings! But, it is also a little frustrating because I have to buy all new maternity clothes this time around.... something I admittedly rue doing. I hate spending money on something I know I'll only be able to wear for 5 or 6 more months. I am the type of person who wears my clothes out (I still wear t-shirts from middle school as pajama tops!), so buying something that I can't really get much use out of irks me. And do you know how hard it is to find maternity pants with a 34" or 36" inseam?? Bah.

I'll be 25 weeks tomorrow, and as of right now things are going pretty smoothly. I still get out of breath and tired a lot more easily than I'm used to, and there are of course the usual aches and pains especially when I've been out and about quite a bit, but for the most part things are great. Callen is much more active at this point than either Chris or I remember Audia being. When he moves around, you can almost always see it, and sometimes he kicks so hard that it actually makes me gasp. Considering how strong Audia was when she was born, I have to admit I am a bit worried as to what Callen's capabilities will be when he is born. Fingers crossed he isn't crawling by 4 months or something crazy like that!
*UPDATE* Some people have asked why we chose James as a middle name. Both Chris and his father have James as a middle name, just like both my mom and I have the same middle name. It only made sense that since Audia shares our middle name, Callen should share theirs :-)

February 26, 2011

Craft Monster

If you know me fairly well IRL, you already know that I am a bit of a craft fiend. I could literally spend an entire day at a craft store if you let me. I don't claim to be very good at any particular craft, but the beauty of crafting is you really don't NEED to be perfect. Imperfection is what makes a piece special and personal, and I certainly think that nothing is better than a gift that is made for YOU; one that really comes from the heart.

While I pretty much always have some sort of knitting project going (below is a photo of the blanket I've been working on for Callen), the past few weeks I've tried a couple of new types of projects, and I've been extremely pleased with the outcomes.
I bought a 5 pack of white onesies on sale before we knew for sure that Callen was a boy, and decided to try my hand at hand-made appliques. I didn't follow any instructions; I just bought some double-sided fusible web, scraps of different fabric, and drew out a couple of basic animal shapes I wanted to try. It was super simple to do (aside from the tedious hand-sewing I did around the edges), and really is such a great way to personalize an otherwise boring article of clothing. Audia, of course, saw the onesies and wanted one too, so I appliqued one of her shirts for her.

These are votive candle holders that I decorated with tissue paper and glue mixed with water. I found the 'how to' here, and had to try it. It is super easy and totally fun!

I hope that I can share my love of crafts someday with Audia and Callen. Though, admittedly, even if they aren't into them, it won't damper my interest any. Once a craft monster, always a craft monster!

February 16, 2011

Cooking with Audia

Audia's favorite thing to play these days is "cooking show." She got a play kitchen for Christmas, which I think helped to kick it off. Then, we caught the end of "30 minute meals" on the Food Network a few weeks ago. Now she regularly asks to watch cooking shows on TV (but, amusingly enough, only if a woman is doing the cooking....she has no interest in watching Jaime Oliver or Bobby Flay), she always asks Chris to help him cook dinner, and she plays "cooking show" withboth Chris and I pretty much every single day. Basically, she cooks things and tells us what she's doing while she's doing it. We get to watch. She almost always makes up funny names for the things she's cooking, the most common being "Diego," "Biego," and "Fondo." Here are some photos of her in action.

February 10, 2011

Sweet Moments

While being a stay at home mom is certainly not like some year-round vacation (have you ever picked up your living room four times in one day, only to have it still look like a bomb exploded when you settle down for the night? Or done three loads of dishes in one day and still have a pile of dirty dishes waiting for you the next morning?), it is certainly a decision that I at no moment regret or question. We've made a lot of sacrifices in order to make it work, but there are so many special moments that I get to experience that I worry many daycare-kids parents may miss out on. Below are a few of those moments I cherish so much.

A few days ago, while watching "Charlotte's Web" (per her request!), Audia asked why Wilbur was so sad. When I told her he was sad because he had to live on a different farm than Fern, she replied "Well, we should make him happy! Maybe we should give him a hug."

Yesterday, while we were building a castle with her duplos, Audia suddenly gave me a huge bear hug and said to me "I just want you to know that I will love you forever and ever." She has such a sweet, tender heart.

Every morning, between 6:30 and 7:30, Audia wakes up and comes into our bedroom to crawl into bed, snuggle up to me, hold my hand, and sleep until 8 or 9. Those little tiny cherub hands holding so tightly onto mine as she sleeps peacefully melt my heart every morning.

Last night, while we were having song and cuddle time before bed, baby was super active so I placed Audia's hand on my belly and said "Let's see if you can feel the baby kick." He, of course, stopped the second I put her hand on my belly, and after a couple of minutes I said "I think he went to sleep. I'm sorry, honey. We can try again tomorrow, ok?" Her reply was "Thank you for letting me feel the baby, Mommy!"

February 4, 2011

Exciting News

We had our anatomy ultrasound today, and to our delight (but not our surprise,) discovered that we are indeed having a little boy! Chris and I couldn't be more thrilled to have our suspicions confirmed. I have always hoped for at least one of each, and to have that come to fruition with our first two children is fantastic. That isn't to say there will or won't be more children to come....we are taking it one kid at a time :-)

Our little dude is healthy as can be, and aside from his legs (which are a week and 3 days "ahead of the curve") is measuring perfectly normally for my due date. Now we just have to pick a name for him! I will admit that we are having a much more difficult time finding boy names that we like than we did finding girl names, but there are a couple we've been discussing and we still have a while to figure that out.

This pregnancy has seemed to FLY by compared to my pregnancy with Audia. I cannot believe that I am already past the halfway point! Having a toddler to keep us busy and preoccupied has a lot to do with that, I am sure! This pregnancy has also been quite a bit easier on my figure and on my appearance; I was already overweight when I got pregnant with Audia, so when I started to get bloated and gain weight, I ballooned out like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. This time around, I was at a MUCH healthier weight to begin with (38 lbs lighter!) and my weight gain seems to be slower, and thankfully pretty much sticking to my belly. I also have experienced quite a bit less acne this time, though that may be due to the acne regimen that I've been using for a bit over a year now.

We are so excited to meet our little guy! And Audia still (thankfully!) seems really excited to be a big sister. If any of you have any suggestions for unique/unusual boy baby names, I'm all ears!