August 27, 2013

Soliciting Feedback: Big Boy Beds

Finn is still in his crib and sleeps so well in there. I'm worried about moving him to a big boy bed and losing precious nap time because he won't be trapped and will just want to wander in his room and play. Anyone transition their kid to a bed and still keep nap time intact?

We are not making this change anytime soon though as we don't even have a bed for him. I am 90% certain I want to just go with a twin. Any suggestions as to why I shouldn't?

But then, do we make it? And by we I mean Miles. I like this one from Ana White:


And the nice thing about building a bed is that 1. it's cheaper and 2. if Finn is hard on the furniture I probably won't be as OCD about it than if we were to spend a lot of money on it. But then maybe buying a bed is just easier. And maybe it's better for Miles' sanity because I wouldn't be super critical about every little aspect of the building phase.

If we buy a bed, I like this one from Havertys:


But it also comes with a trundle! Do I want a trundle?


I think it would be nice for sleep overs, but do boys have sleep overs? I know I did, but can't really remember if my brother did. I suppose I could ask. And do boys have sleepovers enough to justify a trundle? Would it be nicer to just have storage underneath? Or would it just get filled with crap and old food and I'd be totally grossed out by it and regret getting any storage?

I'm not set on those exact beds from Havertys, but I like their stuff, and am looking for something in that same style ballpark. I'm kind hoping to find a good Labor Day deal even though we won't transition Finn for another couple months. Speaking of deals though, what is even good? I don't want to pay more than $400. Even that seems high, but that seems to be a somewhat normal price when looking at different sites (Havertys, JCPenny, Macys, even Pottery Barn). I have not shopped local yet, but need to.

The other thing is the furniture in the room Finn will eventually move into is kinda a grey-ish color with silver hardware. It was inherited furniture that I redid and to be honest I don't love it. But I love the idea of redoing it even less. Would a wood color bed (like those pictured above) look odd with it though? I don't think I want to paint it the same color, but maybe I do? Even Navy would be kinda cute, but I want a bed that will grow with him so am thinking classic looking is better. His colors will be navy, grey and white. So I'm hoping that no matter what color bed I go with it will all tie in nicely.

So, I would love to hear feedback bout this bed dilemma. To recap, these are my concerns/questions:

1. Will I lose nap time when he moves to a big boy bed? If so, can he stay in a crib until college?
2. Any reasons not to get a twin bed?
3. If I get a twin do I want to build or buy?
4. Trundle? Storage?

Oh, and if you know of any sweet deals - let me know that too! I think we are going to score him a free mattress (we are upgrading our own bed and the promo is buy a bed, get a twin free), but would love to save one the actual furniture as well.
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August 23, 2013

Welcoming Wyatt

My nephew was born two days ago. He is the third child, third boy, of Miles' older brother and his wife Jenny who live only an hour away from us now. In addition to being the third, he was born on the 21st (2+1=3) in 2013 (2+0+1=3) at 11:13 (1+1+1=3) and Jenny's labor was three hours and three minutes. I'm sure instead of thinking of all the neat connections to three, everyone is really just hating Jenny for having such a quick labor. That's ok - I do too.

On my list of things to do before I'm 30, I had "See a baby be born." Coincidentally this was #13 on my list, and luckily for me, I had the honor of witnessing the birth of of my nephew, Wyatt Miguel Hidalgo, to complete this item on the list. Jenny was actually the one who suggested this for my 30 year old bucket list and really this was the only opportunity I would have before turning 30, because it's not every day that people invite you in to their delivery rooms. But I'm so thankful that Jenny wanted me there. I knew it would be special. But it was so much more than that.

But before I go into detail about Wyatt's arrival I wanted to first address how this was difficult for me. I don't want that to overshadow the joyfulness of the occasion, because it didn't, but there were times where it was hard and I got sad, especially afterwards when I was processing it all. Being able to witness a birth, but not be actively involved, gave me a lot of time to just think about Cale. I know I could have compared the happiness of the occasion to Finn's arrival, but the truth is I just thought about Cale. I thought about him when little Wyatt came out and "pinked up" to this beautiful, perfect color. I thought about how my boy never did. I thought about how happy and excited all the people in the room were and how Cale's delivery was silent, except for the tears. I thought about Cale when Wyatt made his first glorious cry, a sound I never heard from my son. And I thought about him when I got to hold Wyatt and look over his precious little body, something I did for far too short of a time with Cale. Wyatt's arrival was everything it should be. And I'm so, so thankful for that. But ugh, what I wouldn't give for Cale to have had the same.

Three years have softened it all - the grief and the emotions, but sometimes the gravity of his loss can still be so acutely horrible. Feeling that flood of emotion did catch me a little off guard which maybe is silly since I knew watching a delivery would be a very likely trigger. But the intensity with which I missed him and ached for him in those moments was stronger than I expected. I just wanted so much more for him that he never got, from the very beginning.

Jenny is one of the few people I could be there for during a delivery though. Because she has been a constant support in regards to my grief and because she has loved Cale so very much and never let me forget that, it was easy to not only be there for her, but to want to be there as well. Aside from my own sister, I can't imagine being more honored to be able to experience something so intimate and amazing. I was texting with my wonderful photographer who took Finley's birth pictures and telling her I was going to be afforded the opportunity to capture pictures for Jenny. She told me how it would be one of the most incredible experiences and would be so powerful. She was exactly right.

The atmosphere before, during, and after his arrival were all so uniquely special. There was the excitement and anxiety of it all and the nervousness of (the very little) waiting around. I realized about an hour after we got there that I hadn't even eaten breakfast - I was just too amped up on adrenaline to even notice! And when the nurse checked Jenny and realized it was game time, the mood instantly switched. We were all just standing and pacing (well, not Jenny) ready to do anything and nothing. Jenny's doctor arrived and it was like we instinctively took our places, ready to welcome this little baby with all the love we could possibly give. Oh, another connection to three - that's how many pushes it took before Wyatt was born. And just like that he was here, perfect and healthy, and so, so cute. He didn't have a name at this point (Jack, Beckett, Lincoln - all on the list for possibilities), but Jared looked at Jenny and said "I think he kind of looks like a Wyatt" Jenny smiled and said "I do too" and like that little no-name became little Wyatt Miguel (Miguel being Daren's middle name - Daren is also the third boy). It was perfect. And you look at him now and think "of course that's your name. Of course"

Wyatt was a hefty 8lbs, 6oz - outweighing both his brothers who each came in at 8 even. He resembles them both, but is also so very him. He cried briefly, but once a little cleaned and snuggled, he was just as content as could be.

This rush of gratitude and thankfulness just seemed to wash over us all. Not only was Wyatt born one year from when his mom finished chemotherapy for Hodgkin's Lymphoma, but they are both healthy. Not a single person in that room took that for granted. In fact later that same day a friend of mine would be induced due to health complications. She gave birth to a perfect little boy after a long, painful labor (and emergency c-section delivery) that was very scary for both mom and baby. I won't go into details out of respect for her, but it was a quick reminder to us, only a short time after Wyatt arrived, of how very lucky he is.

I've included just a few pictures of the day. Mostly because even though I got to take these pictures, I feel that they belong to Jenny and they are for her to share. But, because I want to show off my perfect little nephew I will share a few:







Welcome to the world Wyatt. I'm thrilled to be your Aunt and love you so very, very much.
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August 19, 2013

Back to School

It just dawned on me that the three year old I should have would maybe have started preschool this month. Wow. We've missed out on so, so much. With all the back to school sales and items in the stores and all the ads on TV, I never thought much of it. But then I saw a picture of a three year old getting ready for school and my heart just ached for that should-have-been moment with my boy.

I know I'll carry this grief with me forever, but I suspect these little years will especially highlight the profound impact his loss has on my life. Three year olds are so different than say, six year olds. But in twenty years that difference won't be as noticeable. I look forward to that softening and I dread it all at the same time.

I want his loss to always be profound.

But mostly, I want my boy to be holding his monogrammed lunch box as he heads off for school. His mom crying for all that was, not all that should have been.

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August 17, 2013

Living the Dream

My sister-in-law and I are both stay at home moms and Miles and his brother like to give us a hard time when we've had a long day or the kids are driving us crazy by making some sarcastic comment about how we chose to stay home with the little bi-polar terrorists boys, so we shouldn't complain because we are "living the dream." Obviously this does no good other than make me want to punch them both in the face. I've noticed though, that Miles doesn't really say things like that anymore once I started doing the same to him after he'd come home from a 14 hour day at work or a hot week in the field. I'd just smile and say, "but you wanted to be in the Army hun, you're living the dream!"

So I think we've come to an understanding that you can be doing what you want to be doing, but some days it's the last thing you want to be doing.

The thing is, for now, this is what I want to be doing. I kinda always knew that too. I had dreams of having my own family ever since I was a little girl and always knew I wanted to be a mom. But I also know that at some point, I will want more. But today, and for the next few years I hope, this is what I want.

It's just that there are days when you tell your two year old he can't have coffee in the morning* (or ya know, ever) and he loses it:

*Finn has never tasted coffee. But Dadda drinks it, so we all should.

Or you tell him he can't drive home from the water park, so he decides he'll just scream the whole way home instead:


Or you tell him that Nana can't come over for dinner because she lives in Arizona and he pleads with you to fix that and fix it now:


There are just moments, and some times the better part of entire days, where Finn isn't a cute little boy, but rather a not-so-distant cousin of Sybil.

But the great thing about toddlers is there are the other moments too. The ones where you realize your job is also to hang out with a little boy who sometimes doesn't want to swim anymore and would rather be wrapped in a towel and have "Mama hold"


Or your job is to hold out the hose so both the boys can grab a drink:


And to be the hand he reaches for when he gets out of the car:


And my job right now is to let him know early on how special he is and enjoy watching him grow. And I am - so very much. Sure I need a break every once in awhile (a trip to Target without Finn is a little bit of Heaven on earth), but for now I'm glad this is what I get to do, even when it's not always what I want.

Besides, it could be worse. Miles is away for a little bit doing training that includes sleeping outside and not showering for the next couple weeks. But hey, we're all just living the dream:


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August 11, 2013

Vulnerable Territory

I've waited to share the news for so many reasons. I wanted to get past 10 weeks when I miscarried the last pregnancy, I wanted to get out of the first trimester (even though I scoff at the notion of the "risky period" being over), I wanted to get through June and not let this news overshadow Cale's birthday, then I just wanted to wait until my next doctor's appointment and the next and the next . . .to make sure that things are still ok.

And they are. But really, I've waited to share because it makes me feel so vulnerable when I do. Because little by little I'm putting the word out there and giving people this hope, myself included, that this will all work out. I don't know if it will, but I want to hang on to the hope that it might for as long as I can. And then I want a healthy living babe in my arms as a gift for my dedication to clinging onto even the smallest amounts of hope. Seems reasonable, yes?

After I miscarried I had asked for space which people gave me and I appreciated that. I didn't want to talk about pregnancy and trying because I didn't want the pressure (though it's mostly self induced) of people knowing we were trying. Mostly I didn't want them to know if we were not succeeding. And for a little bit, we weren't. It obviously takes a little bit of time to heal, physically and emotionally, after a loss (at any stage) and when we did start trying it didn't happen right away. And I had hoped it would -I felt like so many people either got pregnant right after a miscarriage or knew someone who did. I heard so many "success" stories in that regard and it gave me false hope that I would be one of those people. But I wasn't. And month after month I felt frustrated and confused and was convinced that I'd one day be making an appointment to talk infertility with my doctor. Yes, a miscarriage and the recovery time was included, but from the time we started trying for a sibling for Finn until I got pregnant again, it had been nine months. It was sad and frustrating and I felt bad because that experience is a drop in the bucket compared what some go through to ever conceive a child. But it gave me a taste of what's that like and makes my heart ache for them. It makes me so sensitive to comments people make about being fertile or popping out kids. Because for so many, it's just not that easy.

And that was another reason that I've been hesitant to share this news. Whether you've lost a child or not, whether you've been trying for one month or one year, it is just such a tender topic and although we've been through a lot, I didn't (and don't) want our happy news to make anyone else sad or hurt. I know what it's like to be happy for someone and also sad for yourself. It's not a good feeling. But they are real feelings and I understand them.

Now that it's "out there" I will talk about this pregnancy from time-to-time and share this chapter of our lives, mostly for my own documentation, but also because there are so many wonderful people who have shared in our grief and deserve to share in our joy.

We've got about four months to go which is a lifetime and no time all at once. Hopefully it's smooth sailing from here on out. Hopefully, come December, Finn will have a sibling to grow up with. Hopefully.

So far, so good.
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August 8, 2013

iPhone Picture Jackpot!

I don't know how, but I snagged the cutest pictures this morning. Often Finn is running around and so busy it's hard to capture pictures of him doing something cute right when he's doing it. Or he does something cute and then I get my phone ready to take a picture and he's moved on to throwing a fit. But this morning - total jackpot.

The picture taking lottery started when we were playing outside, but a little background first before I share.

My friend Jill was stationed in Hawaii when I was pregnant with Finn. While there, she found a blue shirt with a rainbow and bought it for him getting the smallest size she could find which was 2T. During my pregnancy she moved to Fort Rucker, Alabama which is a little under three hours away from Columbus, Georgia (where we lived at the time). The night Finn was born, Jill and her husband drove all the way to Georgia as soon as they got out of class so they could meet Finn on his birthday, before having to turn around and drive right back. She may have even gotten there right before he was born as I remember Miles going to see them in the waiting room while I was getting cleaned up. I do remember that she was the first person, other than Miles or the nurses, who held Finn (followed closely behind my friend Heidi who rushed back from a softball game to meet him - goodness that was the best day!) Anyway, Jill brought Finn some gifts that night, to include a monogrammed blanket and the rainbow t-shirt.

Jill, Zac, and minutes old Finn - she planned their baby blue outfits

I recently busted out the shirt for Finn to wear on Cale's 3rd birthday. I put it on him again today when I took this sweet picture:

 Ä€nuenue (ah-nooeh-nooeh) means Rainbow in Hawaiian.

This was one of those moments where I teared up in a good way. Just seeing my rainbow sitting on brother's bench, wearing a shirt that is so very special, and looking adorable in the process. It's my new favorite picture and the new background on my phone.

Then we went grocery shopping where Finn was well behaved and charming to everyone he met. I do think he's objectively cute, but he sure was racking up the compliments today. In the checkout line Finn saw Prince George on the cover of a magazine and in the sweetest, hushed little voice he said "baby night, night"


When we got home I was getting lunch ready when I heard him say "baba, I'll get it" and I look over to see him reaching for his water. Only it was just ever so slightly out of reach, but no problem, that's what huppy's are for:


After Finn dislocated Roscoe's hip (kidding! I hope. . .) he went over to the couch and found the remote and not only turned on the TV, but found the news channel that happened to be showing some construction so "digger! digger! DIGGER!" was excitedly shouted. He must have decided it was a good show, because it didn't take him long to get settled and make himself comfortable:


Anyway, there you have it. Cutest Thursday morning ever!
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August 5, 2013

Baby Fever

I have baby fever.

Last week I was going through old pictures and videos. I watched Finn as a newborn and a young infant. Amazed at how much he's changed and how precious it was to have that time with him. I did this on several different days and though I won't say I wasted nap time, I definitely hadn't planned on using it as a chance to walk down memory lane.

And then yesterday a good friend had a baby girl. Seeing what are some of the very first pictures of her - it just gave me the good kind of goosebumps. Babies are so special. When they make it here safely - ugh, it's just amazing.

And I'm realizing that I have a bad case of baby fever.

I will always want what I didn't have with Cale. To hear the soft noises and whimpers, to nurse a sleeping baby, to take those deep breaths and wonder how could they possibly smell so damn good. And I want what I was so very lucky to have with Finn - all of that plus an extra two years of watching him change from that sweet whimpering newborn to a fun and chatty little boy.

I had zero interest in getting pregnant before Finn turned one and when I did find out I was pregnant last fall, Finn was only 15 months and still so very much a baby himself.  Even at two years, he's still my baby. So while I was excited back then - it wasn't so much a result of this built up baby fever, but rather for the possibility of what that could have meant for our family.

But now - now, I have the fever. I daydream about snuggling a newborn and getting to experience the joys, and trials, of parenting all over again.

The truth is my baby fever is only getting stronger.

As is my love for the baby I carry now, who hopefully will be my cure.
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