Pregnancy #2 Almost Over!

I’m two days away from being 39 weeks pregnant! When did that happen?

IMG_6852This pregnancy has just flown by. Second time around has been a completely different experience than the first. With a toddler running around, I just haven’t had the time to think about being pregnant.

IMG_6842My days are busy caring for Jude  and it’s only been in the past few weeks that I have turned my mind to preparing for this baby. There hasn’t been to much to do since we have all the gear already, including a ridiculous amount of baby clothes. It was just a matter of washing, folding and finding places for everything.

IMG_8237Having the experience of a giving birth and caring for newborn under our belts certainly makes us a lot more confident. I’m not nervous about giving birth like I was with Jude. Having been through it, I know it’s totally doable (especially with the help of an epidural). It’s still going to be painful as all heck  – especially contractions and the days following birth. But I’m not really nervous about things like breastfeeding or settling the baby. Of course, there is always the unknown – I could end up with an emergency c-section or a baby with colic!

What we are nervous about it when exactly this baby is going to come. My due date is 7 Oct and my parents will be arriving on the 3rd. I just cross my fingers that baby boy stays put until then. It would be really tough if he decides to come early and we don’t have them here to take care of Jude.

IMG_7174This time round, I have had two showers! I really didn’t want one for the 2nd as we didn’t want any gifts but our friends insisted. The first shower was a joint one, shared with two other pregnant ladies, all of us due within a few weeks of each other.

IMG_6912We played a few games, ate a lot of food and were all given a ton of diapers (including in the above diaper cakes).

IMG_6909My second baby shower was thrown by my other mommy friends.

IMG_7928We attempted a few games but soon realized it was pretty impossible with all the toddler chaos!

IMG_7942Everyone brought a dish so we spent the afternoon snaking and playing.

IMG_7931My other pregnant friend (with her first), came around and we chatted about pregnancy and birth stuff.

IMG_8097I asked for no gifts but was given more diapers! The most useful presents to give expectant  an Mom!

IMG_7950Apart from showers fun, Jude and I have continued getting out and about several times a week to play. I know that once baby arrives it will be awhile before I can take him to play so have been keen to do this with him, even though it’s been pretty exhausting for me.

IMG_8096Because of all this daytime activity, I have pretty much stopped doing dedicated workouts. The last time I went to the gym was three weeks ago. I swam once since then but have otherwise just been too physically exhausted at the end of the day to do anything but put my feet up. I feel like I am going into birth not nearly as in shape as I was with Jude. At 39 weeks with him I was climbing 18 flights of stairs, now I huff and puff up one! I know it will take sometime after birth to regain my normal fitness level  – especially as it will be even harder to find time. I am hopeful though that I can start training for a half marathon or some other sporting event to motivate me once I’ve been cleared for exercise.

IMG_7410I’ve managed to get a little bit of ‘me’ time thanks to our nanny. One day when she came to help out with Jude I decided to go out for a big breakfast. It was so nice and relaxing as usually I scarf down my breakfast while helping Jude with his. It was especially nice not to have to share with anyone!

IMG_7641I decided to order a slice of banana pie and just about licked the plate clean!

IMG_7644Once again I have had a rough end of my pregnancy. With Jude I got horribly itchy skin in the last week before giving birth. This time round, I got it again, only earlier. It gets especially bad at night and so has really affected my sleep. I’ve bee averaging 3-4 hours a night. It’s really, really awful. My doctor has given me some medication to help reduce it but it won’t go away completely until after I’ve had birth. I suppose I won’t be sleeping much anyhow once the baby is here so what’s a few extra weeks?

IMG_8227So far I haven’t had any labor signs apart from Braxton Hicks contractions which I get all day long. They were measured at my last appointment but still not regular enough to count as early labor. My cervix is also still shut tight. I was happy about this as it sounds like he will stay put until my parents get here.

IMG_8213I still can’t believe sometime in the next week or so we will have another baby. We will be a family of FOUR. It sounds so big! We are all so excited to meet baby brother.

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Summer in Ohio: Week 2

Our second week in Ohio has flown by. Jude has again spent most of the week outside.

IMG_4231He spent a lot of time down at the pond throwing rocks, blowing bubbles,

IMG_4236Watering plants with Grandma,

IMG_5975And wagon rides.

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IMG_6009In between these adventures we chat with Dada.

IMG_6196Boy, we sure miss him.  (He still gets lots of hugs and kisses through the phone).

IMG_6197Of course, it’s not all fun, play, and Facetime, Jude’s also been going into work and helping Grandma out.

IMG_6017The weather has been great so we were able to cook out one night.

IMG_4315Steak fajitas and corn were a real treat.

IMG_4316On Wednesday we got another treat- Aunt Natalie arrived! (And came bearing Elmo-themed gifts).

IMG_4332Things got a little crazy her first night in.

IMG_4335The next day we were up early and Jude and Nat spent some time catching up and cooking.

IMG_6044And then cleaning up after.

IMG_6049It’s been great having more helping hands around. At 29 weeks pregnant (!) it’s been nice to have a break to put my feet up, or fit in a work-out.

IMG_5974We’ve attempted taking Jude out to eat a few times and it’s always a challenge. He’s not really into sitting in high chairs these days and would prefer to sit on Grandpa’s lap and make a mess.

IMG_6033We found a place way better than any restaurant to take him – a splash park.

IMG_6052It’s a free, outdoor, splash water park, located not too far away. It’s the most amazing thing! Jude loved it!

IMG_6060Next to the splash park is a playground so we went up and down the slide after to dry off.

IMG_6061On Saturday we threw a little baby shower for Jen. We left Jude with Grandpa and went out for a bit of pampering.

IMG_4396We had pedicures,

IMG_6068and then went out for a nice lunch.

IMG_4395Back home we met back up with Grandpa and Jude and soon after Rob arrived. We showered the parents-to-be with presents.

IMG_6084And then had cake (which Grandpa and Jude were in charge of picking up earlier in the day. Note that it is a little lopsided due to a little incident where Grandpa claimed he had to choose between dropping the cake or dropping the baby…).

IMG_4399Come August these two will have a little baby boy!

IMG_4398And Grandma and Grandpa will have their second Grandson!

IMG_4397On Sunday we had another family gathering this time at Jen and Rob’s. They cooked a beautiful Italian feast in honor of my Grandma, who passed away last October. She was born on July 19, 1921, so we thought it was a fitting time to celebrate her life.

IMG_4402After dinner Jude took a spin around the yard in the wagon.

IMG_6125It’s been a great second week,

IMG_6127And we still have a few more days left here to play outside.

IMG_6103To be continued…

 

One More Week in NZ

After Rarotonga Jude and I still had one more week in New Zealand with family. We were reunited with Luke, but only for a few days as he had to get back to Taipei for work. One of our first stops was over to Abby and Brad’s for lunch. They had an interesting assortment of toys for Jude to play with including a severed arm and pirate sword.

IMG_2828Jude loved the toys but was more excited to play with their very sweet dog, Willy.

IMG_2836While Jude played, Abby and Brad worked away on lunch – fresh pasta. What a treat!

IMG_2825After lunch we took Jude out to meet their cows – a huge benefit of having farmers in the family is Jude gets to up close and personal with these amazing animals when we visit.

IMG_2868His favorite book, ‘Moo’ came to life.

IMG_2884And more playtime with Willy.

IMG_2897We took a photo capture the occasion.

IMG_2913We said bye to Luke on Monday and Jude and I had a few days hanging out in Thames before all of Luke’s sisters arrived for the long Easter weekend. It was raining on and off so we took advantage of when the weather was fine and hung out at the park.

IMG_2955Jude chased and chased the seagulls in circles.

IMG_2968I kept throwing them bits of bread so they would flock around Jude – he loved it.

IMG_2972And then everyone arrived! It was a very special weekend as on Saturday we were having a baby shower for Renee. Her and Ash are expecting their first baby (a boy!) in June.

IMG_2982We all pitched in and made food for the shower.

IMG_3062And of course there were gifts.

IMG_3069and games.

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IMG_3119It was a great afternoon.

IMG_3067We even got to do another group shot – Jude, Grandma, and Aunties.

IMG_3114I jumped in for a Polaroid photo of us.

IMG_3161The rest of our time there Jude got to spend a lot of quality time with his Aunts – lots of ball throwing and vacuuming,

IMG_2986Kisses and cuddles,

IMG_3004A trip to the park,

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IMG_3017And yummy treats.

IMG_3040On Easter we went to Elizabeth and Dean’s for an Easter egg hunt.

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IMG_3200Jude was clearly on the winning team – Pearl and Faith found those eggs fast. 

IMG_3199Jude wasn’t a big help with the search but he was fun to cuddle in between finds.

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IMG_3213And finally, back inside he figured out what all the fuss was about – chocolate goodness. Mind-blowing…

IMG_3204And then it was our last day in Thames. That night Pearl and Faith helped out with Jude’s bedtime routine.

IMG_3228In the morning we said goodbye.

IMG_3265Grandma drove us to the airport, and after a hot drink, we said goodbye for now.

IMG_3287The flight back was rough. Jude was not keen to sleep – he just wanted to bounce around – exploring, throwing things at our neighbors, and eating whatever he could get his little fingers on.

IMG_3298Moments like the one below (where he was still for a few moments) were rare.

IMG_3294But the light at the end of the tunnel was coming home to Daddy.

 

Recovering From Our Busy Weekend

We had a really busy weekend over here and are in need of another weekend to recover!

We’ve been trying to go out at least one night every week on a date and so on Friday night we started with a drink and appetizer at a bar and then headed to a Szechuan place for dinner.

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At the restaurant we chose the two person set menu and asked our waiter to recommend which dishes to have for each course. The menu was all in Chinese as was everything our waiter said  and we weren’t familiar with some of the dishes he recommended. The first dish that came out we knew was going to be pork based but neither of us were quite sure what exactly it was.

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I tried it but wasn’t a fan. The sauce was nice and the texture was chewy but I couldn’t help but think that it might possibly be pig intestines. The remaining dishes were thankfully all familiar to us.

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We slowly scoffed them down in between big gulps of water as Szechuan food is mouth-numbingly spicy!

Saturday I was up early cleaning the house and making carmel corn. My friends were throwing me a baby shower, held at my house, and the carmel corn was to put in favors for the guests.

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We had a great time and I will post about it as soon as I get the photos my friend took of it.

Then on Sunday we had our first birth class. We’ll be doing four in total over the next few weeks. The first class in the series covered the ins and outs of going into labor. We both found the class really informative and are glad to have signed-up. It certainly makes us feel as though we are a bit better prepared for the big day. After class I was ready to collapse from exhaustion but couldn’t as we still had one more engagement plus a night of Chinese study ahead.

Our Taiwanese friends wanted to take us out to a hot pot lunch to celebrate the Chinese New Year and  the pending arrival or our new addition. They both can speak pretty darn good English but Luke and I are always keen to practice our Chinese so I spent the lunch exhausting myself even more as I searched for the right words and grammar patterns to use.

The food at the hot pot restaurant was excellent. We’re both big fans of this style of interactive eating.

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IMG_4093This week I plan to take it easy. I’m 31 weeks pregnant and feeling the effects of carrying around the extra 20 pounds. ‘Pregnancy brain’ is also starting to kick in (I think mostly due  to being so tired!).

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Family Baby Shower

After Christmas my family threw us a little baby shower to celebrate the upcoming arrival of our little guy.

IMG_7753Luke and I knew something was up but were mighty surprised to see the amount of effort that went into the set-up.

IMG_7750My eyes were immedietly drawn to these beauties:

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The food for the shower included stereotypical pregnancy cravings, so Kool-aid and fried chicken were served!

IMG_7757This made my husband a very happy man!

IMG_7758We played several games, including guess the baby food flavor. I struggled my way through it.

IMG_7770Rob, on the other hand, quite enjoyed the challenge and was remarkably good at guessing.

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Jen and Rob put together this great game to test our knowledge about birth and baby care. We played against seasoned veterans in the area (my parents) and surprisingly we won!

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Gifts were also given. We received so many adorable and thoughtful things.

IMG_7779Our little man is going to be well dressed.

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And have lots of furry animal friends.

IMG_7784(We got some other really neat stuff which I failed to capture on film, so will capture once I get the nursery together).

After gifts we took some photos around the tree.

IMG_7818Sadly, I couldn’t get one with both my sisters as Jen had a nasty stomach virus and had to keep a distance from me to ensure I didn’t get it too.

IMG_7820The night was toped off with one last game, a baby obstacle course.

IMG_7823It was me vs. Luke. We had a number of baby-related challenges to complete from changing and swaddling a baby,

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to folding clothes and folding up the stoller.

IMG_7827It was a very close race and I only just won! Phew…

Thanks again to Mom, Dad, Nat, Jen and Rob for putting this together. We had a blast!