Saturday, September 26, 2015

Pregnancy update 9: baby #2

How far along: 39 weeks (tomorrow)

Total weight gain: 26 pounds- ha. Over the past two weeks I lost a pound each week. It's so bizarre but I remember the same thing happening at the end of my last pregnancy, too. 

Maternity clothes: nothing fits! I'm wearing a baggy pair of shorts and my PJ pants at home. When we go outside I wear my one pair of loose "athletic" pants and usually one of Joel's shirts. I will be sooooo happy to wear normal clothes again soon. Although Joel's hoodie is remarkably comfortable :) 

Baby news: we expect our boy to come any day. Last Saturday we went into the birth center because I thought maybe my water had broken. It hadn't, but every day since then I have had a few contractions that make me wonder if it's time. It's strange- I wasn't necessarily in a hurry for him to come but now I'm so exhausted with getting my hopes up that I can hardly stand the wait. 

Thoughts: I'm kind of a mess. I constantly go back and forth in my emotions.... I'm so proud of Charlotte and so happy to have this time with her. But I'm soooooo impatient and get easily upset when she cries or throws a little fit. And then of course I feel terribly guilty because she is just a toddler and she is adjusting to changes, too. Today she was all hyped up and wouldn't settle down for her nap. I went in three different times over an hour and then when Joel went in he held her and rubbed her back and she fell asleep in his arms (!!!). I wanted to cry- so tender and sweet, yet I felt kind of mad, too. Ugh- pregnancy!! 

Anyway, I hope this is the last pregnancy update I write. Hopefully our little guy will come soon. And by soon, I mean tonight. :)

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Chores for a toddler

I'm sure you could type this blog post title into Google and find a treasure trove of ideas for how to develop your own indentured toddler... I have a few good posts saved on Pinterest, which is an incredible resource. 

Today I'm going to share just a few "chores" that Charlotte is into lately, at nineteen months. She really really really likes helping and is very interested in mimicking the things we do around the house. There are definitely times when she doesn't want to help... usually after she has made a mess and we say she has to clean up before moving to a new activity. 

BUT her interest in these kinds of activities is really fun and we try to take advantage of her willingness as much as we can. Plus: I'm 9+ months pregnant and bending over to pick up a stray sock is something I'd really like to delegate to someone more flexible. ;)

1. Laundry transfer. When the clothes are done in the washing machine, Charlotte stands at the dryer door and puts in all the clothes I hand her (and the clothes I inevitably drop!!). She is usually very excited to close the dryer door and tries to do it before all the clothes are transferred... This activity also works when taking clothes OUT of the dryer. I put the empty hamper on the floor under the dryer door and Charlotte pulls all the clothes out and drops them into the hamper. If I'm lucky, she will push the hamper across the hardwood floors into our room and leave it there to be folded later. (If I'm unlucky, she will promptly take out all the clean clothes and litter them across the house... Ha!)

2. Silverware sort. Whenever we empty the dishwasher, Charlotte goes to the little closet that holds a metal step stool. If we help her get it out, she pushes it over to the silverware drawer and starts to unload the forks, knives, and spoons. She doesn't always separate the salad forks and dinner forks correctly, but we don't care about that at all. Caution: This only works because we don't wash any sharp knives in the dishwasher! 

3. Dish washing. Charlotte LOVES loves loves to play with water. I give her a few plastic dishes to "wash" sometimes if I'm desperate to get dinner made. Lots of water gets spilled on the floor because she stool isn't quite tall enough, but cleaning up water takes about 30 seconds and this "chore" can keep her entertained for at least 10 minutes. Hint: turn the faucet on the lowest it can possibly go, to slightly minimize the environmental effects of wasting water ;) 

4. Toy clean up. This isn't always a favorite, but most of the time Charlotte can be convinced to help put away her toys. Sometimes I do a partial clean up while she is paying with Joel so the overall job isn't super taxing/ time consuming. 

One key that I have found-- deciding when to enforce the helping and when to let it slide. I really don't want to crush Charlotte's enthusiasm or take advantage of her willingness to be involved. 

I find it challenging, but I try to be very consistent: if I say she MUST clean something up, I do NOT let it go just because she resists. I sit with her and keep bringing her back to the spot until the whole mess has been cleaned (while helping her do it myself). But if I ask her, "Charlotte, do you want to help me with the laundry?" It's showing that she has a choice and I don't force her to complete the task. 

Do  your toddlers do chores?! What other ideas do you have?

Friday, September 11, 2015

Pregnancy update 8: baby #2

How far along: 37 weeks 

Total weight gain: 28 pounds. This little guy is growing! Yesterday the midwife predicted he will be bigger than Charlotte, if he comes on his due date: more Like 8 pounds (Charlotte was 7.5 pounds)

Maternity clothes: still rocking the two dresses I got from Target at the beginning of the summer. On cooler days, I'm pretty stuck because my jeans aren't comfortable and my two pairs of sweat pants are still packed (who knows where!!) in the moving POD. Last week I got desperate and bought a pair of soft, stretchy pants to wear for the next month and then again during postpartum recovery. Otherwise, I refuse to buy any maternity clothes. I want to save for some cute fall stuff to wear once my belly has returned to somewhat normal size. 

Thoughts: a couple of weeks ago my friend Meg had her baby in the car on the way to the hospital. It was a helpful wake-up call... This little guy could come at any time. We better be ready!! 

Also-- I'm torn between feeling SO done with being pregnant and also wanting our boy to wait until Melissa arrives so she can help us with labor and delivery. 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Nineteen months!

Phew, I'm already 11 days late with Charlotte's update... Who knows if I'm going to make it to two years with these things, if I can't keep up even before the baby is born!! :) 

At nineteen months, Charlotte wears mostly 18-24 month clothing, especially her jeans. She can wear 2T in leggings and t-shirts because she is tall, but her skinny bum doesn't hold up pants that big quite yet. Last week I bought her some sneakers in size 6, thinking she would need them next month when I'm busy nursing a newborn and unable to make quick Target runs. But then last night I felt her toes jabbing into the end of her size five sneaks, and realized we better bust out the new ones already. Wow!

Charlotte loves reading books, looking at photos and videos of herself, playing with stuffed animals, pushing around a little airplane cart that we borrowed from a friend, wrestling, eating snacks, and going to the playground. She has recently started dressing her animals in cloth diapers, shoes, socks, and pajamas. It is the most hilarious thing and we are dying over how grown up she has become! 

Charlotte does not like getting buckled into her car seat. Actually, I would say she HATES getting into her car seat. She also doesn't like being told NO, or being given too many directions about what she should and should not be doing. She doesn't like to eat tomatoes or asparagus. 

Charlotte is good at: running, helping with "chores" around the house, following directions, repeating new words, cleaning up her messes, "swimming" on her belly in the bathtub and kicking her feet, closing doors, making piles, and organizing things with her own (unknown to us!) system. 

Favorite foods: berries, yogurt, cheese, "juice" (mixed with water), anything dipped in ketchup or Ranch dressing, pasta (especially macaroni and cheese). 

Parenting challenges: we have a very smart, very opinionated girl on our hands. It's challenging to know when to put our foot down, when to just relax, and when to give a leg spanking. Depending on the day and the circumstances, we have done all three. And all three have proven to be very effective, again depending on the time and situation. Charlotte is a fun, joyous child and we are really really really enjoying her lately. But there are challenges, too, of course. 

Charlotte girl, happy nineteen months. We love you and are so proud to be your parents!!