New York…Part 2

So, besides having a blast in NYC, we did a LOT more over the 10 days we spent with Brett’s family on Long Island. Some of which included…

1. Attending my sister-in-law’s baby shower. Katie is due almost exactly one month before me and she is also having a girl!

Leah joined the girls at the shower as well…

2. We walked around Brett’s pretty home town and spent a lot of time on his parent’s gorgeous front porch!

3. Ate a LOT of Cheerios…(Leah’s current favorite food)

4. Spent some time swimming at Brett’s grandparent’s beautiful back yard pool.

5. Went on a LOT of walks (I’ll tell you what, after living in flat Florida for over 3 years, suddenly having hills made pushing a stroller VERY difficult!!) and stopped to play at a few neighborhood playgrounds.

6. Spent lots of time with family and a certain someone got VERY spoiled with attention and gifts!

^^Leah’s second cousin, Emma, who introduced Leah to the fabulous new world of Barbies. These two became quick friends and it wasn’t long before Leah was asking to play with Emma every night!!

7. Attended the wedding rehearsal dinner at the Becker’s friend’s AMAZING beach house.

^^The wonderful bride-to-be spoiled Leah with a special flower girl present which included Leah’s current top favorite Disney princess doll, Tiana!! (Side note, Leah has yet to watch any of the Disney princess movies, but she does have all the “Little People” princesses and from day one, Tiana has been her all time favorite.

8. Got our wedding hair done!

Okay, so Leah’s might have been a little less fancy. ;)

9. And then it was wedding time!!!

^^Photo by Ryan & Heidi Studio

^^^^Photo by Ryan & Heidi Studio

^^Photo by Ryan & Heidi Studio

The wedding was BEAUTIFUL. It was held at the Vanderbilt Museum in Centerport, NY and the weather could not have been more perfect. The bride was a little concerned with rain in the week leading up to the big day (the ceremony was held outside), but Saturday was gorgeous and sunny, without a cloud in the sky. I was a little apprehensive as to how Leah would do as the flower girl, but she did well! When her big moment came she got a little shy, but with the help of Brett’s aunt, she proudly walked down the aisle (throwing a petal or two) and then spent the rest of the ceremony sitting with her nana and papa in the front row. So, overall, I would say Leah’s first flower girl gig was a success!

This kid turned into a little dancing MACHINE at the wedding!! Which honestly surprised me, considering the fact that she hasn’t shown much interest in dancing in the past. We happened to be sitting right by a corner of the dance floor, which I think helped her confidence since mommy and daddy were never too far. It was hilarious because as soon as the music started, she took control of that little corner of the floor and started hopping and spinning (her current dance move involves a sort of side shuffle where she hops primarily on one foot around in a circle over and over again. I think it won’t be long before this dance becomes a national craze…) along to the music. Multiple times people attempted to come over and dance with her, but every time someone tried she would stop in her tracks and shyly stare them down until they finally admitted defeat and moved on. And then she would go right back to dancing away in her little corner. Dancing with daddy was Leah’s only exception, besides that, she was strictly a solo act. I’m not kidding when I say that this kid danced it up until the wedding ended at 10:30 pm, ONLY leaving the dance floor when the music finally shut down. Of course she was passed out in the car by the time we even left the parking lot and the next morning she slept until 9 am, got up for an hour to eat breakfast, and then went back down until 2 pm. The girl was worn out!!! It was such a fun wedding though and we were SO happy to be there to celebrate with Lauren and Jessup, who were such a gorgeous couple!

And on our last day….

10. We worked on our camera poses…

And celebrated a certain someone’s early second birthday!!

And with that it was back to hot and sunny Florida! We had such a blast with so many of Brett’s family members and Leah is STILL asking where everyone is. We are so glad we got to spend such a good amount of time with everyone! :)

24 weeks

So I had the best intentions when it came to posting pregnancy updates from New York, but then of course I never did so I ended up missing two weeks of updates. Whoops. So let’s play some catch up…

Total weight gain: 10 lbs. Let’s talk weight gain for a minute. I had a slow start with my weight gain this time around, due to stress and morning sickness, and by 17 weeks, I still hadn’t gained any weight. But then, at my next doctor’s appointment, at 21 weeks, I had suddenly gained 8 lbs!! The nurse who weighed me let slip a little “oh wow!” at my impressive jump. Obviously she was jealous at my body’s amazing ability to pack on a solid 2 lbs a week for a whole month. I was a little surprised myself, more so because I started to become a tad bit worried that this 2 lbs a week business would continue, which would lead to a nice 45-50 lb weight gain by the end of my pregnancy. When I voiced my concern to my doctor, she just laughed and promised me that my body was just making up for lost time and that it would all even out in the end. And I’m pleased to see that she has been right and that 3 weeks later I’m only up another 2 lbs. BUT! I have also accepted that my body is going to do what my body needs to do. I’m exercising, I’m eating right (well…relatively…besides my overwhelming craving for peanut butter M&M’s and all….) and I am now completely comfortable in allowing my body to do what ever is healthy for this baby!
Biggest craving this week: Peanut butter M&M’s!! I made Brett buy me a bag and they disappeared in an embarrassing short amount of time….Besides that, my love affair with hummus and pita chips has continued. Oh, and we also ate pizza about 5 times while in New York, but I mean, come on, how could you not when you are surrounded by the best pizza in the country?!
Baby is now the size of: An ear of corn and a little over 1 lb.
How I’m Feeling: Still feeling really good! My energy level is up and I’m hitting the gym 2 times a week as well as walking daily. My belly REALLY popped between week 23 and 24 and I feel like it’s super noticeable now. My nurses on my unit make remarks as I walk by and parents and patients have started commenting as well.
How clothes fit: All maternity clothes all the time. Well, besides some longer “normal” shirts. Funny enough, I have some regular shirts that fit better than some of my maternity shirts…odd how that works. My good friend in NYC gifted me with a pair of her maternity skinny jeans and shorts, which has been a nice addition to my small pregnancy wardrobe. My favorite pair of maternity work pants have a full panel and I still have to fold it down to keep them from sliding down, but I’m sure it will only be a matter of weeks before my belly fully fills out the band!
Movement: Baby is dancing up a storm in there lately and I’m finally at the stage where you can physically see my stomach move from the outside. Last night while watching TV Brett got to really feel her flips for the first time, which is always a fun stage. And today during my staff meeting, I could see my shirt jump every time she rolled or kicked!
Random: Funny story; the other day I met a family in the hospital for a therapy dog visit and the mom did a double take when I walked into the room. Apparently they had met me 3 years ago when I was 8 months pregnant with Leah!! She exclaimed “Wow! You’re pregnant again!!” And it made me laugh, thinking that this woman must assume I’m just popping out babies right and left. Funny though that she remembered me AND the fact that I was pregnant!!
Looking forward to: Finally deciding on a NAME! It’s been tougher to agree on one this time around. By this point in my pregnancy with Leah we had already agreed on a name and I loved that because I felt like baby really took on an identity then. I know we still have 16 more weeks, but I’m bugging Brett to decide already so we can start calling this precious girl by her name!! The good thing is, I think we are super close to officially agreeing on one! :)

New York City

We are back home after 10 fabulous family-filled days in New York! I have SO many pictures and stories to share, so, to spare you from a 100 picture post, I’ll be splitting them up among a few different posts. The first thing I wanted to share was our time spent in New York City. I know I have mentioned it before (and have written about our love story in the past), but NYC is a very special place for me and Brett because it’s the city where our relationship began. I lived in Manhattan for 2 years while I completed my master’s program at Bank Street College on the Upper West Side and Brett and I spent MANY, MANY weekends exploring the city and falling deeper and deeper in love. At the time he was living in Boston (and then later in D.C) and to this day I wonder how much money we spent on the Bolt and Mega Bus, traveling back and forth. One things for sure, NYC is a fun and romantic place to fall in love so when we were planning our trip back to NY I knew that we would HAVE to spend some time there.

Tuesday night my in-laws generously agreed to watch Leah so Brett and I could take the train into the city for a romantic date night (they live on Long Island-about a 45 minute ride from the city). When Brett and I were planning our city date we knew exactly where we wanted to go for dinner-Fred’s-a restaurant on the Upper West Side where we had our first date 6 years ago! The restaurant is one of our favorites; delicious and quaint with a fun dog theme (restaurant patrons bring in their own pictures of their dog to hang on the walls).

I ordered exactly what I ordered on our first date: the veggie burger with avocado and a side of fries. Luckily, Fred’s seriously has one of the BEST veggie burgers (and fries) in Manhattan (and trust me, I have eaten a LOT of veggie burgers around the city..) so it wasn’t tough to order it again! I seriously ate soo much because who knows the next time we will be back!

After dinner we spent some time walking through Central Park and around my old neighborhood. I couldn’t help pointing out all the places that brought back memories, “Hey, remember when we ate at that Italian restaurant and I lost my credit card??” and “That’s the grocery store I would hike all the way home from because it always had the cheapest cereal!” Brett, to his credit, listened intently and laughed at all my stories as I reminisced. Although he did think I was crazy when I kept saying “Can you believe we are back here?? I think I’m going to cry…” over and over again. I can’t help it; pregnant emotions or not, this place means a LOT to me. And to us as a couple. It’s where I sat in my apartment and wrote epic 30 page emails back and forth, it’s where I would smile while shlepping the kids I nannied for around the Children’s Museum and a text message from Brett would suddenly appear on my phone, it’s where I realized that I had found the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

Standing on the corner of my old street: 90th and Central Park West.

We finished the perfect date night with a trip to the Shake Shack for custard (my all time favorite NYC destination). The flavor of the day was toasted marshmallow with Swiss chocolate pieces and it was AMAZING. Sadly, we were both so full from our huge dinner that we could only split this small cup, but it was worth the belly ache to eat even a little bit.

Wednesday morning we headed into the city with Brett’s family to visit the 9/11 Memorial Museum. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this museum, and I have to say, it is amazing (in a very emotional and sad way). Walking through the museum; seeing pictures, hearing original voice mails from the day of, truly feeling as if we were experiencing the day all over again, was very overwhelming, but I’m so glad I got to experience it.

After spending some time at the museum we broke away from his family to head back up to the UWS to visit one of my favorite grad school friends and her darling two kids. Sadly, I didn’t get a picture with Marika, or of her precious one year old Stephen, but I did manage to remember to take a picture of Leah and Lucy together! They are almost exactly 2 years apart and Leah had a blast playing with Lucy and all of her amazing toys. I am so glad we got a visit in, as brief as it may have been!

Next, we hightailed it up Broadway to our favorite pizza place. It’s no secret that both Brett and I LOVE pizza and NYC sure does have a LOT of good pizza places. While I was living there we would try multiple places every time Brett came to visit and we quickly came to the conclusion that Broadway Pizza definitely made the best pies on the UWS. So we just HAD to go while we were in the neighborhood!

Leah, who was so exhausted from her play date and our full city day, fell asleep on the way so she missed out on the pizza eating. But, being the nice parents that we are, we made sure to save her a piece of her to enjoy when she woke up.

After enjoying some delicious pizza we headed back down to lower Manhattan and did one last stop on the High Line before making our way out of the city.

And with that our time in NYC was sadly brought to an end. I was so thrilled that I got to spend some alone time in the city with Brett as well as a fun family day showing Leah around one of our favorite places in the world. Up next, pictures from the wedding and a story of our dancing flower girl!




21 weeks

I’m always a few days late with these updates…so technically I’m almost half way through the week, but I figure how much can I change in a few days, right?? One of these days I’ll try and post on time….

So, 21 weeks. Updates for this week include: Another lb gained and baby GIRL is moving and squirming around more and more. This marks the first week that Brett got to feel her from the outside. Does anyone else ever notice that baby seems to just know when it’s the mom’s hand on the belly vs anyone else’s?? Brett and I can be sitting on the couch, watching our evening show (we’re flying through Scandal on Netflix and LOVING it) and I can have my hand causally resting on the bump. Baby will start squirming and kicking like crazy, and I’ll quickly grab Brett’s hand and place in on my belly and then he feels….nothing. It’s like baby knows it’s not my hand and suddenly she gets all shy and doesn’t care to perform. So it’s taken quite some time for me to finally be able to do the hand switch quick enough for Brett to feel a good kick! I feel like we spent most of this week really letting it sink in that we are having another girl! Every time I think about it I get more and more excited and when I see two little sisters together I can’t help but smile (or cry, but you know…pregnancy hormones….) The 21st week also marks the moment where this pregnancy no longer went unnoticed. I’ve switched to wearing maternity pants full time this week and the belly just popped (as least to me it has). I had numerous nurses on my unit suddenly exclaim “Oh my gosh, you’re pregnant?!” on Friday and it made me laugh to answer, “Yup, 21 weeks…it’s another girl” to all of their astonished faces. It’s not that I MEANT to hide it for this long, it’s just a weird thing to casually bring up at work so I was just waiting for everyone to finally notice. And I guess now is the time! You know when I first started these updates, around 17 weeks, and I said I was carrying smaller than I was with Leah? I think that time too has passed. I look at pictures from the same week with my first pregnancy and I definitely think I look bigger this time around. I’ll have to post some side-by-side pictures for a true comparison. My belly is also SO different than it was with Leah. With Leah, I was more round where as this belly seems to be more narrow on the sides and pointy in the middle. My friend’s husband calls those pointy bellies “torpedo bellies” and I’m afraid this one may be one of those….We shall see as I continue to grow! It is funny to me just how differently your body can carry a second pregnancy, even when the first was only 2 years ago. We leave for New York this Friday for a full week to visit Brett’s family and see his sister get married so my next update will be from NY!

Life Lately…

1. Leah is enjoying her first summer Popsicles.  This is the first time she had a Popsicle of her very own (as opposed to just licks of mine or Brett’s) and she is highly enjoying the summer experience. It was actually humorous to watch her the first time trying to figure out how to hold it by the stick, but she got the hang of it pretty quickly. Of course she’s not the neatest Popsicle eater in the world so she generally eats them half stripped down outside on the front porch where she can easily be hosed off. Nothing says summer like sticky toddler Popsicle hands, right??

2. I have been craving milkshakes with this pregnancy like something fierce. I think it’s because my stomach still can’t really handle a bowl of ice cream at night without my stomach starting to hurt, so I’m all about getting mid-afternoon milkshakes. On the healthier side…

I could seriously eat my weight in hummus right now. Cucumbers and peppers dipped in red pepper hummus is seriously my all time favorite snack, closely followed by pita chips dipped in hummus. Which is funny to me since even the sight of hummus made me want to gag when I was pregnant with Leah….

3. Leah is becoming such an independent swimmer!! We bought her a new arm/chest floaty a couple of weeks ago and she just took off in the pool. She loves to kick around like a big girl and jump off the side into the water all by herself. It boggles my mind how she is big enough to be swimming on her own already!!

4. Lucy is getting bigger (and cuter) and she seems to be making it her life mission to destroy our house plant. Every time I catch her ripping off the leaves she immediately stops and runs away, clearly knowing she is being naughty, but as soon as I turn my back once again she is back at it with the plant!! In spite of her shenanigans, we still love her and we are really enjoying having a dog in the family. Leah and Lucy are so cute together and it melts my heart every time I catch them playing and snuggling. (Random side note, we have had a few people jokingly ask us if baby #2 will have an L name to match Leah and Lucy and I adamantly say “NO!” We didn’t purposely name Lucy an L name and, as cute as her name is, I already find myself accidentally yelling Lucy instead of Leah and vice versa so  I can honestly say that baby number 2 will not be joining the L name crew!)

5. My youngest sister had a baby!! Little Madelyn Michelle was born in Alaska on the 4th of July and I am already in love with her puffy lips. Sadly, with them living so far away, it will be awhile before I get to meet my second niece, but until then I am enjoying all the pictures she sends of her! Crazy enough, I am one of 4 girls and our baby will be the 4th granddaughter… maybe we will be an all girl family who have all girls!

6. This proud smile coming from the big girl who used the potty for the first time ever!!! I’ll spare you the picture of the actual pee in her little potty (of course I took a picture!!) It was so funny because, although she asks to sit on her potty all of the time, she had yet to actually do anything in the past. Her potty time usually ends after 2 mins where she makes funny grunt sounds and faces and pushes on her stomach to “push the pee pee out” before jumping up and proclaiming that she is “all done! Good girl Leah!” So I really did not expect this time to be any different. I was busy giving Lucy a much needed bath in the tub (which side note, pisses Leah off to no end since that is “my tub!!”) and Leah was sitting on her potty perch watching me. I kept asking if she was all done and she would just give me a calm “nope!” before going back to singing her ABC’s (which tend to stop at “P” before starting all over again…). As I was finishing up blow drying Lucy, Leah proudly jumped up saying “All done!” and I looked in, shocked to see that she had actually gone!!! I think I freaked her out with my intense and over enthusiastic praise, but I was just so shocked!! No, she has yet to do it again, but it was a darn good start!

7. We bought this cute, tiny little baby shirt at a cute little shop down by our beach. Yes, I bought it in blue (with a matching pink one for Leah) because at the time I still honestly believed that baby was a boy! Oh well, baby girl will just be rocking blue and I still think it’s about the cutest thing in the world. I just love teeny tiny baby clothes!!

8. Random, funny story: When the Children’s Hospital where I work opened (we used to be a part of the adult hospital before moving across the street into a free standing hospital) we got to wear these lovely (said sarcastically) silk scarves at our hospital’s grand opening event. The scarves matched the different units color theme and they are printed with the hospital’s logo. Let’s just say that it’s been shoved in the back of my closet for the past 3 years. Well, somehow Leah found it and has decided that she loves this fashion accessory. Brett takes her to school in the morning and apparently they keep it in the back seat for her to wear once she gets into her car seat. The other weekend when we were all in the car together Leah was whining for her “scarf” and I asked Brett, confused, what she meant. “Oh,” he replied calmly, “She wants her riding scarf.” And with that he reached behind him and handed Leah my lovely bright orange hospital scarf that she immediately wrapped around her neck. So there we have it, a riding scarf for Leah. If only we could all be so fancy….

9. I have been attending a spin class and a cardio interval class at my gym 2x a week. I am LOVING spin, as hard as it is, because it really feels like it is keeping my legs (and more importantly, my butt!) in shape during this pregnancy. When I was pregnant with Leah I didn’t really work out much at all, so this is all so different for me this time around. I will definitely be writing a post about my experience with working out while pregnant soon!

10. Leah has been loving trips to the playground, regardless of how hot and humid it is outside. It’s always a battle to get her to leave, but it’s worth it to see how much fun she has! This past time she totally shocked me by climbing up the ladder to the slide all by herself. Usually I hold her under her arms to help her lift her small body from one step to the next, but this time she was adamant about doing it herself. “Mommy I do it!” she would scold me if I tried to touch her so I stood back and watched, amazed, as her strong little arms and legs pulled herself up. I know she’s almost 2 and all, but every time she does something like this it really makes me realize that she is definitely not a baby anymore!! Also, she insists on wearing this exact outfit whenever we go to the park. She calls it her “play suit” and she will run to go find it whenever I say that we are going to walk to the park. Who knows what she will do once she outgrows it!

11. Talking about big girl…this month Leah moved up to the 2-3 year old classroom! She is such a smart girl that they moved her up before she turned 2 because she is definitely ready. I love it because it has a more pre-school structure, as opposed to the baby room she used to be in, and it’s insane to see how fast she learns. The other night at dinner she sang “Twinkle Twinkle” pretty much word for word (complete with hand motions!), which isn’t a song we usually sing at home (here, we’re all about the ABCs and “Wheels on the Bus” these days…) so I knew it was something she learned in school, which I love!! I also love hearing her talk about her friends at school and who she played with that day. As much as working (even part time) can make me feel guilty at times, when I see how verbal Leah is and how much she is learning it really makes me see the value of her few hours of “school” every day!

12. And last, but not least….this girl’s personality lately has been cracking me up. It was funny because the other day my mother-in-law texted me and Brett a picture of two pairs of shoes she bought Leah as options for her flower girl dress for my sister-in-law’s wedding in a few weeks and she asked “Do you think Leah will have a preference?” and I immediately laughed and texted back, “Definitely!!” Lately, this girl has an opinion about EVERYTHING, from the shoes she wears to school, to what color bib she wears, to what she eats for dinner to what pj’s she wears to bed (which is why she usually ends up with some lovely get-ups such as this one-her beloved “kitty cat” shirt with her “doggy” pants). I’m trying really hard to find a balance between encouraging her independence and choice making, but also setting down the rules and making sure she knows that mommy and daddy are in charge. When it comes to pj’s, I could really care less if she wants to put together her own outfit creations, but when it comes to snacks and dinner, she does not get free reign! (Which would basically lead her to eating either crackers, yogurt or Cheerios if she had the choice…) This has led to quite a few fits these days, but we are slowly finding our groove with allowing options, without letting miss bossy pants totally take over. One things for sure, this girl definitely knows what she wants! Although I’m doubting a career as a fashion designer is in her future…. ;-)