Preggo Journal – Week 28 Recap

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How Far Along – I’m 29 weeks tomorrow.   (You guys, that means there are only 10 weeks left until my C-section.  Gasp!!  This is all flying by SO fast)!!

Baby Name:   Kaitlyn Marie

First and Second Pregnancy, Comparison Pics:  

THEN –  (2014)

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NOW (2017) –

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I’m Craving / Disliking:   Craving rootbeer (that seems to be pretty typical for me when ‘m pregnant), fresh fruit, chocolate, and bread.  Nothing much has changed there…  😉   Still not a fan of meat and some vegetables.

Exercise:  I did a ton of walking with Nate in Boston on our Babymoon, so I’m counting it!!

A Moment I Don’t Want to Forget:  Nate and I enjoyed a Babymoon in Boston.  (Don’t worry, I’ll be blogging about that in the next day or so).  🙂

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Something I Miss:  I do miss cute clothes…  My wardrobe is extremely limited right now, so I wear a lot of repeat outfits.  (Hey, a mom has to do what a mom has to do).  But even more than that, I miss having energy and being able to bend down.  Ha, ha.

Sleep:  Still sleeping well!  🙂

To-Do List Completions:  My parents stayed at our house to watch Brady when Nate and I went on our Babymoon, so we cleaned / organized the upstairs where they would be sleeping.  Now our goal is to keep everything neat and tidy.  (Since I’m scheduled for a repeat C-section, I’ll be out-of-commission for several weeks; so I want to get everything as clean as possible before that).  🙂   I also cleaned / organized the pantry and dropped off several bags of gently-used baby clothes to Salvation Army.

Purchases:  For me – I finally broke down and bought a pair of Sketcher’s, walking shoes.  I’ve been living in flats and boots, and my feet have been killing me because of it.  I feel like a new woman now that I can walk comfortably!  Seriously, why did I wait so long to buy new shoes??

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For the baby – I bought two ADORABLE outfits from Macy’s (because they were on sale for 60 percent off at only $7 each)!  And my parents bought us a new stroller, since our other stroller decided to bite the dust.  I actually don’t have too much left to buy now, which is great!  

Symptoms:  I was just diagnosed with anemia, so many of my symptoms are actually related to that.  (Nausea, shortness of breath, extreme exhaustion, weakness, pale lips, irritability.  Well, okay fine, maybe not the irritability…  But let’s just blame that on the anemia and call it a day, shall we?).   🙂

I need to eat more iron-rich foods in addition to taking an iron supplement, so hopefully that will help.  Honestly, ‘m realizing that the third trimester is going to be a LOT harder this time around.  I felt pretty great last time at this point, but I’m now chasing after an energetic toddler.  So I’ve been cramping, uncomfortable, achy, and experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions…  I’m just really, really tired; and my body is screaming at me to slow down already.  I don’t want to go into labor early, so I’m doing my best to listen when I can.

Final thought:  I feel  like I should start working on a hospital bag (or at least on a list of things I plan to pack in my hospital bag).  So maybe I’ll start that this week!

 

 

Packing!

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I’m writing a list for my mom to help with caring for Brady while Nate and I are away on our Babymoon.  This meme pretty much sums it up…

This is the STORY OF MY LIFE:

As for me?  I haven’t packed yet, and we leave for our mini-Babymoon tomorrow.  (Although by the time you read this, we’ll actually be away already).    I’m hoping that I wake up with more energy than I have right now.  😉  But I am just SO excited to enjoy alone time with my hubby that I’m ready to go, even if all I have with me is my toothbrush.  Ha, ha!

We might be going away for just one night, but it means one and a half glorious days of just US.  Just me and Nate.  Just slow-paced relaxation.

Yeah, maybe I haven’t packed yet.  But I am READY!!  🙂

Bits O’ This and That

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1.   Necessity is the mother of invention…

This is how I managed to take a hot shower this morning.

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2.  Brady has a terrifying habit of hiding his Lovey (whom he refers to as Buddy) in the craziest of places.  (I’m talking inside the trashcan… Down the cat door and into the basement….  In the freezer).   Buddy is a precious, elephant blanky who is necessary for bedtime to go smoothly.  Buddy was recently missing for two days straight, and I was convinced that he was gone forever.  Then he turned up…

Then he went missing again.  But thankfully I found him stuffed into my boot.  Do they sell tracking devises for children’s toys?

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3.  I’m fairly certain that there are little elves running around our house and dirtying our dishes.

There’s no way that two adults and a toddler can fill up a sink that quickly!  I feel as though I was doing dishes all day.

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And by the way, while I was doing the dishes, those little elves definitely filled my laundry baskets with dirty clothes.  Ha!

4. Brady will be sharing a room with his baby sister by the fall (as she’ll be in me and Nate’s room for the first few months).  Any ideas as to how I can turn a boy’s room into a boy’s AND girl’s room?  I definitely need to add some pink accents…

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5.  I can never resist a cute notebook, especially when they come in packs of three!

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6.  Starbucks just knows how to make a pretty drink, which – in turn – makes a delicious beverage that much more amazing.  Their hibiscus tea is one of my favorite drinks right now.

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7.  I am SO exhausted these days, partly thanks to chasing after a toddler and partly thanks to having hit the third trimester of pregnancy.  But I have to say that this little boy makes it ALL worth it.  Nate and I didn’t fully understand love until we met him.

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8.  It’s FRIDAY!!!!!  Any fun plans for the weekend?  🙂

Pinterest Lately -Seeing Green!

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Well, Valentine’s Day is over, so that can only mean one thing…  St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner!  So bring on the green everything.  

Actually, to be honest, that’s pretty much the one holiday that I don’t really do anything for (other than creepy, crawly Halloween).  HA!  I guess I’m just not into leprechauns and luck and pots of gold.  At the same time, I do have several Irish friends and I have a bit o’ Irish in me myself.  (Ahem, sorry for the sad attempt at an accent here).   So I do at least try to wear green on the holiday…  You know, to avoid being pinched.

I’ll generally make a green dessert sometime that week (because baking is my favorite thing).

And my hubby does usually request a corned beef and cabbage boiled dinner for our St. Patrick’s Day dinner.  Sadly, that’s the one meal that intimidates me.  I know, I know, you stick a chunk of meat in a pot, toss in some chopped veggies, and let it simmer on the stove (or crockpot) for awhile.

Easy peasy, right?  Wrong!  I have ruined countless boiled dinners.  I don’t get it either.  People all the time tell me that I’m a really good cook, and I’m very comfortable in the kitchen…  But it’s as though corned beef is my kryptonite.  It’s actually quite sad…

Anyway, here are some of my favorite St. Patrick’s Day pins on Pinterest as of late!  🙂


 

Oreo Mint Cheesecake

Oh my goodness, I wish I could reach into my computer and take a bite out of this cheesecake RIGHT now!  It looks absolutely delicious and reminds me of a mint pie that my mom used to make when we were kids.  I definitely think I’m going to make this sometime soon!

For all Oreo fans I have this fantastic dessert - Easy No Bake Oreo Mint Cheesecake - perfect for special occasions or holidays, like St. Patrick‘s Day ♥:

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Mint Chocolate Brownies 

My hubby is a HUGE fan of mint brownies, and he usually ends up requesting them around St. Patricks Day (just because they’re green and he thinks about them around then.  Ha, ha).

Thick and fudgy brownies layered with sweet mint frosting and easy chocolate ganache. These classic mint chocolate brownies will blow your mind; they're the best!:

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Corned Beef and Cabbage

I’m trying this recipe this year!  Although I’ve somehow messed up my boiled dinners every year for the past 8 years, I’m not giving up.  My hubby loves them, so I will make a successful corned beef dinner.  This one seems pretty fail-proof, so I’m giving it a shot!  I’ll let you know how it comes out; because if I can do it, then anyone can!

There's a little Irish in us all on St. Patrick's Day. With this slow cooker recipe, you can tap into those true-blue (or green?) Irish roots with mouth-watering Corned Beef and Cabbage - made slow but easy. | The Cookie Rookie:

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Irish Nacho’s

These look absolutely perfect for a fun night in!  Delicious!

Irish Nachos. I was looking for this recipe last week!:

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Beef and Guinness Casserole With Noodles

This looks like the ultimate in comfort food!

Beef and Guinness Casserole with Noodles - Hearty, delicious and full of flavor, this casserole is pure comfort food! (Perfect for St. Patrick's Day!):

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If you’re going for rustic elegance this St. Patrick’s Day, then I think these centerpieces would be perfect.  They’re inexpensive but fresh and trendy.

irish themed tables | St. Patrick's Day Ideas: Make A Candle Centerpiece With Green Split ...:

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Green and gold go so well together.  I’m definitely a fan of this look!

St. Patricks Day! Even though I'm not Irish :

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Green  Glitter - good for st Patricks day:

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How ADORABLE is this dress?!?  I am seriously in LOVE with this outfit, right down to the boots!

Green Double Cross Dress from The Mint Julep - I like the shape and color of this dress, I'm just not too fond of the rouching under the boobs:

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I am a huge fan of green jackets… and stripes… and Starbucks coffee.  So what’s not to love about this casual and cute outfit??

Striped tee + utility jacket + jeans + booties:

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I think this dress is stunning as well!  (It would be a little too cold to wear it around here on St. Patrick’s Day, but it would be a beautiful choice for a summer dress).  🙂

Kelly Green Sundress - Mckenna Bleu:

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A St. Patrick’s Day treasure hunt would be fun for kids!  Or for the hubby…  Or even for me.  Hey, if there’s chocolate at the end, I am SO in!!!

St. Patrick Day's Treasure Hunt would be a fun tradition when the little guys a bit older:

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Marshmallows, green paint, and paper are all you need to create this easy craft for kids.  (Sigh, I sooooo miss seeing green clovers.  Spring, I hope you hurry back to New England)!

Shamrock marshmallow stamping craft & activities for kid's on St. Patrick's Day:

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St. Patrick’s Day…  Do you go big or – like me – do you just wear green and count that as participating?  🙂  

 

 

 

 

My Snowy Valentine

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A week ago, there wasn’t an inch of white stuff on the ground and the temps were nearing 50 degrees.  Flash forward 6 days and two snowstorms, our mailbox is almost buried under the snow and temps are blustery to say the least.  It almost feels as though winter decided to bide its time – skipping over December and January – so that it could focus the entirety of its fury onto February.

That’s New England for ya…  Our winters are as unpredictable as our sports teams.  If you don’t like the weather / score, wait five minutes.  Things’ll change.  😉

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With two snowstorms hitting New England this week, Valentine’s Day actually crept up on me a bit.  I know, I know, I’m usually the queen of planning and happily anticipating fun holidays and activities.  But I’m very pregnant.  And I’m constantly chasing after a toddler who only knows three speeds:  fast, faster, and fastest.  And there’s laundry, and piano lessons, and teaching Kid’s Church, and cooking for my two hungry men.  As of late, the days have been blending together even more than normal.

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So, yes, I basically forgot Valentine’s Day until it was staring me in the face.  I realize this sounds a little sad, but it was honestly the best thing that could have happened.  Because let’s face it, I’m a “go big or go home” kind of girl.  I completely realize that I always bake, decorate, and plan too much.  But I also realize that I live for that.  I love it!  I love making my home look festive and baking so that others feel special.  It’s totally my thing.

But you know what I love even more than that right now?  Sleep…  Having a few free moments to put my feet up…  Fruit cups filled with melon, grapes, and blueberries…  Chocolate.

Yep, I’m officially feeling very pregnant, and it totally trumps my Type-A, planner personality.  Sooooo realizing last minute that Valentine’s Day had arrived was the best possible thing for me this year.  I didn’t decorate.  I didn’t plan.  I just celebrated preggo-mom style.

I had Valentine M&M’s in the cupboard (since I can never resist buying holiday-themed baking supplies the minute they hit the supermarket shelves), which I decided to whip into cookies.  (I used my favorite Hershey’s chocolate chip cookie recipe and just substituted the chocolate chips with a cup of m&m’s.  Both the hubby and toddler approved, and I have to admit that they are quite “dewishus”, as Brady would say).

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Honestly, Tuesdays are usually a little crazy around here, since I have to prep for piano lessons, clean the house, and pack Brady meals for my mom’s house.  But whatever the reason, this one was actually quite smooth-sailing.  Somehow we’d managed to keep the house rather clean during the week, I didn’t have much prep to do, and Brady was in a spectacular mood.  Like spectacular mood!

If every day was like this, the mom life would be easy-peasy lemon squeezy.

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Nate and I didn’t have our typical Valentine’s dinner together, because we decided to hold off for now (since the Babymoon is just around the corner).  Plus he had work… and then church tonight.  BUT we spontaneously danced to a favorite song and had a really sweet moment… And we finished the house-cleaning together while chatting about our night away…  And, I don’t know, we just made the absolute best of a busy day, and it was really special.

For dinner, during the one hour Nate was able to be home tonight, I made these pork chops (which are delicious) and this Strikeout Pasta Salad.  (It’s a homemade version of your typical, Italian-dressing pasta.  The dressing is really simple to make but has a ton of fresh flavor.  Both Nate and Brady LOVE it, as do I).

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Then, when the little guy was finally in bed for the evening and Nate was home from church, Nate and I cuddled on the couch and watched The Middle.  SUCH a great Valentine’s Day… even if I almost forgot it.  🙂

 

Preggo Journal – Week 27 Recap

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How Far Along – This week, I’m doing the recap one day early, but I’ll officially be 28 weeks pregnant on Wednesday.  Awwww, you guys, I’m officially in the third trimester now!  I need to get some things done.  Ha, ha!!

Baby Name:   Kaitlyn Marie

 

Baby Bump Pic –  Hello, BUMP!  🙂

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Favorite Look of the Week:  I’ve kind of been stuck home a lot, between the snowstorms and Brady getting strength back in his leg.  (He is walking SO well since getting the Spica cast off, but he’s not up to walking through deep snow).  So honestly, I’m still living in yoga pants and sweatshirts.  😉  I have been rocking my husband’s Patriot’s jersey though, so I’d definitely say that was my favorite look this week!

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I REALLY need to start taking official, pregnancy pics!!  🙂

I’m Craving / Disliking:   Although I don’t have any food aversions, I do feel that I’ve been quite picky about food this pregnancy.  That being said, my craving for fresh fruit continues.  I’ve also been living for large bowls of Cheerios!  And chocolate!!

Milestones – I went for the glucose test this week, so hopefully I pass!  I also think the nesting stage has officially hit.  I’m praying that I find some energy to go with the need to clean…  😉  Nate has been helping me knock some things off the list, which has been VERY much appreciated.

Sleep:  No complaints!  I’ve been sleeping pretty well.

Something I Miss – I do miss sleeping on my stomach and back. 🙂

Symptoms:  I honestly haven’t been feeling all that great during the day.  I’ve had some really bad back pain, braxton hicks contractions, weakness, and some pretty extreme exhaustion. My body is definitely not liking how busy my days are, but my doctor isn’t concerned about any of the symptoms.  I just have to stay hydrated and try to rest whenever the opportunity arises (or whenever the toddler allows).

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To-Do List Completions:  I finished sorting through Brady’s clothes and made room in the dresser for Kaitlyn’s things.  I received a few baby outfits from friends; and I washed, folded, and put away those clothes too.

Purchases:   I purchased all the  feeding supplies I’ll need (breastfeeding supplies and bottles for when I pump), in addition to new baby towels.

Goals for this Week – My goal for this week – and next week – is to organize and clean a little bit every day in preparation of our special arrival.  Then in March, I’ll probably purchase the rest of the supplies we need (which will include adding some pink to the nursery, since Kaitlyn and Brady will eventually share the room).

I’m Looking Forward To:  The babymoon!!    🙂

 

 

Planning Our Second Babymoon

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Babymoons are fairly new concepts, but whoever came up with the idea is nothing short of brilliant.  Let’s face it, once baby arrives, life changes dramatically.  And in so many ways, the changes are good.  They’re beautiful changes that fill your heart with so much love it just might explode.

But at the same time, those sleepless nights, endless days of entertaining a little one, and never-ending piles of laundry do add some new challenges to one’s marriage.  If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile then you might remember that one of my biggest fears going into motherhood was how becoming a mom could potentially affect my marriage in a negative light.

And yeah, sure, it has been tougher.

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When a baby comes, it’s not just you and your hubby anymore…  You can’t spontaneously step out of the house for a movie or bite to eat.  Traveling becomes more difficult, partly due to lack of money and partly due to inconvenience.  The romance is tougher to make time and energy for, because you literally crash the moment baby falls asleep.

And suddenly the advice of more seasoned parents makes sense:  “Marriage takes work.”

But here’s the thing…  I think I’ve said it before, and now I’m just more convinced than ever.  Marriage actually takes fun.  

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Because it’s soooooo easy to forget to laugh together…   Just you two.  Not over your toddler’s silly antics, but because you and your husband (your best friend) both got caught up in a tickle match. It’s easy to forget to kiss – like really kiss – instead of the quick-peck that becomes habit when you’re in a rush.  To forget to talk – like really talk – about books, and fun plans, and the day’s activities.

It’s just easier to fall into a worn-out routine that needs a bit of spontaneity and spice.

Maybe life is busier now and won’t go back to that ‘just us’ stage, but it doesn’t mean that your marriage can’t be just as strong.  As with any stage of life, change happens.  You and your husband will change once babies arrive, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t still be madly in love.  And best friends.  And happy.

It will just be different.  And yeah, it will just take more work.  (Or, more accurately, more effort to make time for fun).

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I’d say that Nate and I have more challenging days since becoming parents than we did before.  But those rough moments usually happen when we’ve been too busy.  When we’ve lost focus on what should come first – our marriage.  (Well, after God, of course).  🙂

So Babymoons…  I am ALL for them!  I think they’re important, almost like a promise to each other that you’ll always make time for special, ‘just us’ moments.  It’s a fun experience, an amazing memory, and a great way to jump into the role of parenthood.

Many people go away for several nights (or even up to a week), but Nate and I have never been able to swing that.  BUT just going away for the night and spending a day or two together is really all it takes.  It’s just important to  put aside the busy stuff and to spend quality time together.  🙂  For our last Babymoon, we spent the day in Boston and then stayed in a hotel that was halfway between the city and our home.  It was SO much fun!

And our one-night Babymoon for this pregnancy is coming up quickly, and I am soooooo excited.  Nate has been busy with work; I’ve been busy caring for a toddler and growing a baby.  We definitely need this time away to spend time together AND to spend time feeling excited about our upcoming arrival.

AND this mama just needs a break with her man.  🙂  I’m SO looking forward to sitting down to eat dinner in a restaurant, and sleeping in, and enjoying a slower-paced couple of days.  I’d say that our Babymoon can’t come fast enough, but – well – I do love the anticipation and planning stage too!!  🙂

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Have you ever gone on a Babymoon?  If you’re a parent, what’s something that you do to make sure that you and your significant other are setting aside quality  time for each other?  

 

Preggo Journal – Week 24 Recap

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How Far Along – 25 weeks today!

Baby Name:   Kaitlyn Marie

First and Second Pregnancy, Comparison Pics:  

THEN –  (2014)

NOW (2017) –

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Favorite Look of the Week:  I’m still stuck home a bit right now, since Brady is gaining strength in his leg.  So I lived in yoga pants, no makeup, and crazy hair.  😉  I was comfy, but I think I need a few ‘dress-up’ days next week.  🙂

I’m Craving / Disliking:   Craving York peppermint patties, melon, and fresh bread with lots of butter.  Still not a huge fan of meat.

Exercise:  I’m  hoping to start a walking routine next week, because this pregnant mama  needs to get moving!

A Moment I Don’t Want to Forget:  Although I’m excited to meet Kaitlyn, I’m very much aware of the fact that Brady will soon no longer be an only child.  I’m soaking up these last few months of it being just him and me during the day!  🙂

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Something I Miss:  Breathing.  Ha!  I am soooo short of breath all the time.

Sleep:  I’ve been sleeping pretty well, so no complaints there!

To-Do List Completions:  I’m almost done going through all of Brady’s, outgrown clothes and sorting them into boxes for my best friend and Salvation army.  It was a huge task and should be completed in the next day or so.  Yay!

Purchases: Nothing baby-related this week

I’m Looking Forward To:  Nate and I are talking about going away for a one-night Babymoon, and I’m really excited about it.  🙂

 

Symptoms:  Shortness of breath…  And I can’t really bend down easily anymore.  😉  But the backaches weren’t too bad this week (probably because Brady is out of the cast now), and I felt pretty great!

Final thought:  Looking forward to my next checkup, which is next week.  I love hearing Kaitlyn’s heartbeat and hearing that everything is going well!  🙂

Castaway Day!

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It’s gone…  After a two night hospital stay, after desperately cleaning pee out of the cast as best I could nearly every morning, after praying for no leak-throughs before changing every poopy diaper, after long days of attempting to keep a two year old occupied, after having to watch my little boy struggle to pull himself around on the floor, after five of the longest weeks that I have ever experienced…  The spica cast is GONE!

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I woke up Thursday morning feeling possibility giddy.  Like it may as well have been Christmas, New Years, and my birthday all rolled into one.  I couldn’t have stopped smiling if I wanted to, which is okay since Nate had the same grin on his face.  And although Brady didn’t quite understand the concept of getting his cast removed, our excitement was contagious!

The Green Monster was coming off!!

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Honestly, his getting the cast removed was a million times easier than I had thought it would be.  A nurse walked in with a video of Curious George, and that’s really all it took.  We told him that the loud machine running over his cast was just a vacuum, and he focused on his favorite monkey.  I had really thought he’d be hysterical, but George saved the day once again.

I was beyond shocked… but also relieved.

He did cry when the cast was removed, and he stretched his leg for the first time though.  His muscles were obviously very sore from having been restricted for so long, and I’m sure the bone itself is still painful at this point.  But thank goodness, his skin looked really good (no rashes), and the X-rays showed that his leg had healed nicely.

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The doctor told us that it could take weeks before he started to walk, so his advice to us was to take things slowly.  I wasn’t frustrated by that in the least…  One of the things I missed the most over these past few weeks was holding him.  Really holding him.  The cast always got in the way, and it was impossible to snuggle very well.  Holding him for real felt absolutely amazing!  (Plus he was a lot lighter without the cast; and he could now bend, which meant he’d be able to sit up normally).

The minute we got home, I let Brady have his long-awaited bubble bath.  (The skin on his leg was super peely, so I also lathered him up really well with lotion.  My cousin had sent me some awesome Pure Haven products to use, which really did come in handy.  But more on that in a future blog post).  🙂

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Then we watched cartoons (Curious George, of course) and prepared for his Castaway party!  (My dad had come up with the clever name for a party to celebrate casting away the restrictive cast.  And we all had Christmas presents for him that we’d been unable to give him when he was in the cast.  So it was definitely reason to celebrate).  I decided to make the night extra special with two of his favorite foods:  chicken pot pie and cake.

Oh gosh, the cake…  It was the saddest looking cake I have ever made.  LOL!  But I didn’t want to take the time to decorate it perfectly, because that was time that I couldn’t spend with my little guy.  So everything got plopped together, and my alien cake was sad looking yet very delicious.

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Here are some recaps from the day!  🙂


 

I plan to do a Spica Cast survival blog post with some tips I learned along the way, but if any of you have specific questions that you’d like me to answer, leave them in the comment section!