tests.

happy Tuesday, friends! i hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and survived the craziness of the shopping over the last few days.

our Thanksgiving was wonderful. Mike had the whole day off. like off, off. like did NOT have to go into the office for even just a couple of hours. it was very much needed and magical to spend the morning the three of us preparing to head up to my parents’ house for the DAY. because we can do that now. we can go spend a day, an afternoon, an evening, an hour with my family and i will never take that for granted.

this was the first Thanksgiving in 3 years that i did not have to cook a turkey, clean my house, and spend the week stressing about how we are going to fit everyone into our tiny little space. i still wouldn’t trade any of those Thanksgivings, but i was very grateful to show up, bring dessert, help with cooking and head home when we were ready. this was also the first Thanksgiving we were not planning the meal around a flight time because there was a road game the next day and Mike had to leave. BLESSINGS. it’s the small things in the irr household.

img_3529
buds

after all the calmness of Thanksgiving came the stress of black friday and cyber monday shopping. does this give anyone else major anxiety? i am a deal seeker. i hardly ever pay full price for something (unless i am shopping small) so this is when i like to get the majority of my Christmas shopping done. this year was more than just Christmas, it was all the baby gear we need to get, nursery items, home decor, etc. so i was feeling the pressure.

let me tell you…i failed miserably at the UppaBaby deal through Sam’s Club and this will haunt me forever. we need a double stroller and after much research and testing, we determined this is the best one for us. i had been waiting until black friday specifically to purchase it and BAM, i lost. no UppaBaby on sale for us. now i have to figure out how late i am willing to push this purchase because we have been spending machines lately with the house items and need to chill. i probably should buy newborn size diapers before i go buying a stroller. priorities.

other than the shopping over the weekend, if you follow me on IG and saw my stories, you have definitely seen the great green debate. i am starting to feel colorblind. what i see on screen, in store, on the swatch, is not what is coming out of the can. how can this be? after 5 samples, i am pretty sure i found the one. this week, on my never-ending list of to-dos, i need to paint and assemble little bug’s dresser. good news, my mom and i finished the wallpaper – HECK YES.

in all seriousness though, this week, we are facing a lot of tests. i will officially be 34 weeks pregnant and so begins my weekly testing. today starts with a biophysical profile (BPP) at the perinatologist and the week ends with a non-stress test (NST) with my OB. according to my OB, i should have my hospital bag packed now. praying that everything stays looking good and we have 5 more weeks until little bug makes his appearance. God knows i need all 5 of these weeks to prepare mentally and physically.

my in-laws get into town today and i couldn’t be happier to have the extra hands. i jam packed my week with appointments – so much so, that when the AV guy showed up yesterday to the house, i thought we might be getting robbed (because i totally forgot what day of the week it was and that i even made the appointment). only me. whoops.

on my list of to-dos: buy newborn diapers, a changing pad, figure out the stroller situation, finish the nursery, pack our hospital bag, paint and assemble the dresser.

next week to-dos: launder all of little bug’s clothes (aka Landon’s hand-me-downs), take out the bassinet, get the car seat ready, finish the nursery, finish the nursery, finish the nursery.

oh and at some point, i will decorate the house for Christmas and finish my Christmas shopping….

 

still here

hi, let me introduce myself again. i am stefanie and we are still alive and here. i apologize for being a bit MIA these last 12 days to be exact, but it’s been a bit nuts.

we have had a crazy 12 days jam packed with an epic visit from Cali friends, rain, rain and more rain, sleepless nights (thank you teething), sickness, doctor appointments for both L and me, and one long freaking road trip for mike. can you tell i am a bit salty about the road trip?

here’s my attempt at trying to catch you up on all the craziness. the last couple weeks started with a terrible three days of literally no sleep for me. between third trimester insomnia, the constant middle of the night bathroom trips, and landon’s teething, i could not get any rest. my body breaks down every time this happens and i get sick immediately. so i got sick. perfect timing for a big weekend of UGA football with friends visiting from Cali for their first ever SEC football game. good news, 60% of the people on this trip were sick. bad news, 60% of us were sick. but we had the time of our lives and it made me miss my Cali family SO bad.

IMG_3417
TROOPERS! love this crew

after such a fun weekend, i needed to attempt to heal my body. sleep was necessary but not happening. mike left for one of the longer road trips and landon is currently not sleeping great thanks to his molars…. naturally, i get him sick in the process and Atlanta decided this past week was the perfect week for nonstop rain and 40 degree temps. who can keep an 18 mo old, sick toddler entertained indoors for 3+ days straight? anyone? please message me your tips.

even though our bodies were broken down, we did get some things accomplished around here. landon had his 18 month appointment with the new pediatrician who will also see little bug. it was great getting to know the doc a little more before going in for our first visit with bug. i think he will be a great fit!

i also had my 32 week OB appointment. my final “calm” appointment before the storm. next set of appointments include biophysical profiles (BPP) and non-stress tests (NST) every week. that’s enough to send my anxiety through the roof! looks like the hospital bag will be packed just in case. all is still looking good and normal right now!

in more fun news, my mom and i made more progress on the nursery. the accent wall is 4/5 of the way completed and has become quite the joke. i have literally had to order a new roll of wallpaper after each “nap time” work session. 2 sessions later and still need another roll of wallpaper for LITERALLY 21 inches wide of space. OH and if it couldn’t get any worse, the actual paper is only 20.5 inches wide, leaving us with figuring out how to make this work for HALF AN INCH. face palm. but we love it and it’s been really fun to see it start to come together. we also hung the curtains, which appear black in the photos from the lighting, but they are actually a dark green. this is going to be an accent color we use for the dresser.

more pregnancy updates – i am pretty positive we have decided on a name for little bug. YAY! this upcoming week i have another fetal echo to check on bug’s heart condition and we will tour the hospital/NICU. with the holiday chaos literally around the corner, it will be nice to at least know where we go when the time comes to deliver.

after all the rain, we have had two really gorgeous days and was able to escape with my little dude. we might both have runny noses and yucky coughs, but he loves to be outdoors and needed to make sure he practiced his hoop skills before dada came home. โค

IMG_3480IMG_3498

my focus this week is family time and Christmas shopping. anyone have particular black friday deals you are excited about? i’ll also be looking for baby gear we need for bug. aka a different baby monitor, double stroller, nursery decor, etc. second time mommas, send me your recs! i am all about finding a good deal, but also would love to know what you have found to be practical.

 

30 going on 31…weeks

not my age. although, i am recently (ish) 30. i can’t believe it’s November. i can’t believe i am about to be 31 weeks pregnant. i can’t believe we are about to have another baby SO soon. between the holidays and many tasks left to get done around the house, we are going to blink and baby will be here.

in the last week or so, not a whole lot has happened pregnancy wise. i had two appointments, one with my regular OB and one with my perinatologist. i learned a lot of things from these two appointments – basically for the duration of my pregnancy, i will live at the doctor’s office. ugh.

there is a much greater risk of stillbirths with babies that have chromosomal abnormalities and they want to make sure they catch any signs of distress ASAP. so starting at 34 weeks, i will go to the OB once a week for non-stress tests and the perinatologist once a week for biophysical profiles. that’s two appointments a week until i deliver. at any point in time, they could be telling me i need to go in and have this baby. looks like i have to add packing my hospital bag to my list of to-dos in the coming weeks!

other things related to little bug and momming life – our part-time nanny started last week and it has been life changing. the first day went great! i was able to focus on things i needed to do around the house, get myself dressed without having to chase a toddler around while brushing my teeth and even got some work done (gasp!). the second day, Landon realized i wasn’t home and was overly tired which made for a tearful morning. i am hoping this phase will pass as he gets to know her more and by the time little bug is here, he’ll be excited to play with Ms. Mallory. we also picked a pediatrician and it feels great to have that sorted out. i hope my gut is right with this choice and we come to love him as the medical professional protecting our children.

life updates – our first halloween in the new house was a semi-success. i say “semi” because Landon was in a sour mood and was not at all interested in going house to house (i know he’s still young). instead, he just wanted to wander the street and stare at all the big kids in costumes. we also ran out of candy by 7:30 PM, soooooooooo now we know! our neighborhood closes off the street in front of our house so kids can roam safely. it turns into quite the crowd from neighboring streets and two costco size bags of candy just wasn’t going to cut it.

img_3351img_3352

life lessons i have learned this week – i am not alone in my thoughts and feelings. the support from each of you has been incredible and i find comfort in knowing that we are going through a lot of this together. whether related to a baby/child or something totally different, there is a common thread between the struggles. i also learned that while your child is getting their molars, ALWAYS give Motrin at night even when you think they are doing better. the TWO nights i didn’t give L his Motrin, resulted in a 4 AM wake-up (the night before Halloween, so probably why he was cranky) and 3 AM wake-up just a couple nights ago. i am exhausted and definitely coming down with something from the lack of sleep. my goal, more Motrin and take naps ๐Ÿ™‚

PS my friends from Cali are coming to visit this weekend to go to their first ever SEC football game. i couldn’t be more excited to visit with them, but also get back up to Athens to cheer on my Bulldogs!

IMG_3340

should it matter

this question has been weighing on me lately. it’s very simple, should it matter? let me explain myself a bit first.

as i have become more visibly pregnant, i have received a lot of well wishes and congratulations from perfect strangers, new neighbors, and women associated with the team that i am just starting to meet. and while i genuinely appreciate the “congratulations” versus the “i’m sorry” i once received, i struggle with whether or not i need to shouldย share with them that our little guy will be different. this is usually how the interactions go:

person: congratulations! when are you due?

me: thank you! in January.

person: wow, you must be excited! do you know what you are having?

me: yes, we are very excited. another boy!

person: aw, that’s wonderful. they are going to be the best of friends (looking at Landon who is usually smiling or trying to destroy something near by)!

me: yes, that is what we hope! two partners in crime.

so here’s my struggle. it’s not with the perfect stranger. it’s with the people that i will see and continue to see over these coming months. it’s with the people who don’t know about this blog or my instagram or know me on a more personal level.

once little bug is born, are we (or, perhaps, just me) going to become “gossip?” are people going to talk about us and discuss whether or not they think we knew before he was born? and then i struggle again because, truthfully, why do i care? i usually don’t. but for some reason, something deep down, bothers me about becoming “talk” that probably won’t have the best of intentions behind the conversation. it bothers me that people will then potentially feel sorry for us and our life.

i choose not to tell people in that initial interaction because it doesn’t matter. i refuse to let little bug’s life be dictated by his diagnosis. he is already so much more than that. just like any other pregnancy and baby, i want him to be celebrated for the blessing that he is. so far, these interactions are too brief and in inappropriate settings to share something so personal. BUT i still struggle with whether or not i should.

does it matter?ย should it matter?

cutest pumpkin in the patch

happy Friday y’all! we are gearing up for a fun, but wet, weekend with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. i was hoping to hit a few fun fall spots, but looks like we will be playing everything by ear due to the weather.

first, i want to say thank you to everyone who read my last post and reached out to me with recommendations and advice on the special needs trust. we are going to figure out some time we can sit down with an expert and really understand what we need to do. now we just have to find that time….

this past week was a busy one, to say the least. Mike was away all week and weekend, so i had to find some things to keep us busy (read distracted) so we didn’t have time to miss him too much. we kicked it off with a trip to the pumpkin patch with my mom, while the rest of the men in the family celebrated my dad’s big 6-0. per usual, i was so excited to take Landon to the pumpkin patch, complete with farm animals, corn maze and hayride. needless to say, he was less than amused and only smiled when his snack cup went “shake shake shake” and he got to walk in the gravel on the way back to the car. typical. here’s a few pictures for proof

img_3227
unimpressed
dsc_0086
equally unimpressed, but snacks are life

we are still in the midst of molar teething, which has resulted in some very trying and tiring days for me. he’s getting better each day and dealing with the pain a little better too.

other things that happened this week – tours and interviews. i am happy to report we hired a part-time nanny and she starts next week! fingers crossed she’s everything we hoped for and Landon takes to her quickly. mama’s gotta work and get things done! weย  toured two different preschools (we have a third tour lined up for next week). it feels good to get some of these things checked off my list. i also interviewed one pediatrician and have a second one lined up for next week. truthfully, i loved this first pediatrician and would choose him without interviewing anyone else. BUT i want to make sure i am thorough.

i am feeling every bit of 29 weeks pregnant lately. i am currently writing this with a heating pad on my low back because i literally cannot move. probably because i have been going 100 mph and cleaned our entire house yesterday, but it feels good to know it’s done and clean! also, i am happy to report i passed my glucose test (WHOOP WHOOP!) so i can continue to have my bowl of ice cream every night ๐Ÿ™‚

it’s crazy that i go back to the OB every 2 weeks now. this means, we are close to the end. woah, woah, woah! slow down. we still don’t have a name, but we did add one more option to our list. we still don’t have anything cleaned out of the nursery, but i did order fun wallpaper for an accent wall (sorry, Mike). we still have no idea what we are doing. we are trying though. after a nice little push to spend time reading again, thanks to my beautiful and talented friend Ashley, i have picked back up with two books. one by Jen Jacob with DSDN and the other by a prominent self-help author who also has a son with Down syndrome. feeling like i can do this a little more than i was feeling yesterday.

still on my to-do list: pick a name, tour the hospital and NICU, pick a pediatrician, clean out the nursery, decorate the nursery, house projects.

NEW on my to-do list: connect with the local Down syndrome chapter, look into Gigi’s playhouse.

enjoy your weekend, friends! we will be spending it with all the Tia and Uncle snuggles for L, another Hawks game, and maybe a couple house projects. we should also carve L’s pumpkin too…. i’ll make sure this is top on the list.

 

third trimester

holy smokes. i am officially 28 weeks pregnant – aka entering my third and final trimester. WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN? the panic continues with the massive to do list, but i do have some fun updates from this past week.

first, on the pregnancy front. i took a bump picture. i really did it, finally. while we were watching the Dawgs lose on Saturday, we decided it was best to distract ourselves with sweeping leaves off the deck and taking a bump pic. this will not be the last time Landon sits on his little brother, but it is the only time it is allowed… (ps this was technically 27 weeks)

IMG_3147
first bump pic – 27 weeks

other pregnancy related things – i had my 28 week appointment and glucose test yesterday. i will say, this one was MUCH easier than my last. for some reason in Cali, i had to do the 3 hour test no matter what. there was not a choice for a 1 hour. but here, i get to start with the 1 hour test and see how those results go before doing the longer more invasive 3 hour test. i felt like a pin cushion though. i got both my flu shot and Tdap shot at this visit. my arms are sore! i now go back every two weeks to the regular OB and still on an every 5 week schedule to the perinatologist. i know this will change once we get closer to the due date.

the name, still up for debate. his nursery, still a storage locker and disaster. the house, still in shambles, but we hung curtains in our bedroom and bought new bedside tables! i cannot wait to get those in place and finish our room. oh! and my biggest accomplishment, i found stools for our island!!!!!! i have been down a deep, dark hole of online furniture shopping and couldn’t find anything i liked that was $350+ per stool. that’s insanity. but i am happy to report, the search is over. now i just need to get them and assemble them all.

on the childcare front – i have realized, i need to move my focus from MMO/PMO toย  finding preschool options for Landon and accept that we will not be getting into anything school related until next year. we are too far down on wait lists and, let’s be honest, not enough people will be moving in the next 6 months to move us up. SO here’s what we are working on, a part-time “nanny” to help me 2 days a week and try to get Landon into a preschool for 2019-2020 (holy cow) school year. i have a lead on a promising nanny option! praying this will work out and we can schedule all the doctors appointments and therapies on these two days. AND now i won’t have worry so much about Landon bringing home bugs and getting little bug sick before heart surgery!

here’s my pregnancy/life checklist to work on: find a pediatrician, tour the hospital and NICU, find Landon a preschool, work on the nursery, continue with home projects/organizing.

also, i need to focus some research on insurance for little bug. i hear we will want to set up a special needs trust to protect him long term and keep his insurance coverage, but man this is all way over my head. sounds like we will be having talks with attorneys and financial planners in our near-ish future. if you have experience with this, please please please let me know! i appreciate any help i can get.

oh, and in case anyone is keeping tabs and wondering, yes, i am still eating ice cream every night. this is not an exaggeration, just ask my husband ๐Ÿ™‚