Wednesday, March 25, 2015
My request while we were up in Arrowhead two weeks ago for our three-year anniversary trip was to go hiking. There is abounding natural splendor that we don't get to enjoy on a normal basis. We looked for the most kid-friendly trail in the area. We envisioned being able to push the stroller through the trail, but there was enough rugged terrain a stroller wouldn't be able to handle. Alex was huffing and puffing pushing the stroller up the steep incline and over rocks. He was such a good sport about it, but a baby carrier might have been handier at the moment. Nevertheless, we ended up hiking a portion of the trail, and paused at several spots so that Serene could play in the beauty of creation. It was a sweet way to wrap up our vacation.
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Nesting for a second baby is in full swing! It's been rather fun this time around. When we were pregnant with Serene Joy, I researched baby products every night during the third trimester, trying to figure out what we needed. Now I have a better idea of what we'll need per the newborn necessities we loved during the early days with Serene. Thankfully, there's a ton of stuff we can reuse for our littler love come May.
In addition to being extra keen on keeping the house relatively clean and organized, I've washed and put away the littler love's newborn and 0-3 month clothes (a combination of unisex onesies from Serene's newborn days and boy clothes I'm slowly gathering from consignment sales and thrift stores) in the dresser. We're blessed to get a hand-me-down convertible car seat for Serene, so we'll be transitioning her into it soon so her baby brother can use the infant car seat (Anyone else have their baby in an infant car seat until they're 18 months? She is still content and comfy in there, but we have been lazy). All the swaddles are washed and ready to go; I'm swooning over ones like this and this, but who knows if he'll be a fan of swaddling - Serene wasn't. The newborn Rock 'n Play bassinet is in storage and needs to be washed; he'll be sleeping in there and in the Pack 'n Play until we transition him into a shared room with Serene later on (which means we're also on the lookout for a toddler bed). I plan to exclusively breastfeed again. I hope the littler love and I work out a good nursing rhythm off the bat, although I'm aware every baby is different. I have to test my pump (hand-me-down from a dear friend) to make sure all is working well and strongly. I haven't pumped since I became a stay-at-home mama when Serene was 9 months old. Although the littler love will be using plenty of hand-me-downs, there are a few big-ticket items we have been itching to acquire, many that God has already graciously provided!
1. Baby Carrier
We're big fans of baby-wearing. I especially loved wearing Serene in a ring sling since she was an itty bitty newborn, and still do to this day. It's so sweet to keep her close and snuggly; she loves it too. Alex didn't think he needed a baby carrier and swears he'd never use a sling, so we didn't register one for him the first time around. He was hankering for a carrier pretty soon after Serene was born, especially when we walk around our huge apartment complex to pay visits to our neighbors. Sweet friends gave us a hand-me-down carrier to use, but its back support was subpar. I've been scouring the likes of Craigslist and eBay like a hawk these past few months for this carrier. So thankful we scored a brand-new one from a liquidation sale for a really decent price! Alex loves it already, and we're so happy we'll be able to carry both babies in it. I plan to wear our littler love in my ring sling again. I love it so much that I'm asking Alex if I can get another ring sling even it isn't totally necessary. I'm contemplating trying a lightweight wrap too; I've heard such good things about them for the newborn days.
2. Diaper Pail
We didn't get a diaper pail the first time around because we didn't see why we needed a glorified trashcan. However, solids diapers get so stinky even if we take out the trash once a day. Alex says that because we'll be doing double diaper duty soon, he'd like a diaper pail to keep the odors within. I had my eye on this one, but the price tag was pretty steep. God is so kind to us because I entered a giveaway on whim last week, and ended up winning it (!!!). I am still in disbelief, and in awe of how God provides way more abundantly than we need. Thank you, Lord!
3. Diaper Bag Backpack
I love my current bag that we use as a diaper bag, but the fact remains that one-shoulder bags strain our backs. We'll be carrying two babies and their stuff around, so I've been looking into unisex, lightweight, durable backpacks that function well as diaper bags. I think I've found the one; now we're just waiting for the right price. Hoping it will distribute weight on our backs better while simultaneously leaving us more hands-free.
4. Double Stroller
Having two babies entails getting a double stroller.We currently use this stroller, which we love. I wanted something similar, but with a double seat. I was dreaming about one that doesn't take up too much room from here. God is kind to us because a dear friend is granting us their double stroller as a hand-me-down since their kiddos are bigger now. Another dear friend is lending us their car seat adapter for it. God has provided yet again in the stroller department. I think we're just contemplating getting a stroller organizer since we don't have one for our current stroller and have seen that it is convenient.
5. Video Baby Monitor
We didn't get a baby monitor the first time around since Serene was right next to us pretty much all the time in the first few months. But once she transitioned to her crib in her own room at 3 months, we did wish from time to time that we could see what she was up to in there. We were playing with the idea of getting a baby monitor now that the second baby is due soon. Lo and behold, a dear friend had an extra baby monitor she wasn't using, so she kindly sent it to us. We haven't installed it yet, but we're just floored by God's goodness through our community.
6. White Noise Sound Machine
I used an app on my phone to play white noise for Serene's fussy moments during the early days, but I'm more cautious about radiation now. Serene sleeps in relative quiet and she'll sleep fine through light noise, but I wish we had trained her to sleep through loud noise (which would have been so helpful when having people over). I'm thinking about getting this unobtrusive white noise machine. It may be helpful for either one or both kiddos to sleep better, especially if they'll be sleeping at different times at first.
7. Diapers and Wipes
Obvious necessities. We love these diapers for the newborn days, but buy these on a regular basis. We don't use wipes in the very early days, but use these once we do.
I've been trying to narrow the list down as much as possible. The consumeristic sides of us want to get the latest, greatest, brand-new models of everything, but we realize doing so wouldn't be good stewardship of the resources we already have. Other smaller ticket items baby boy can't use from Serene's stash include pacifiers, newborn mittens, these and these bibs, and a teether. Are there any other baby items you absolutely recommend that I haven't thought about?
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Our time up in Lake Arrowhead last week was a refreshing respite. It was Alex's first jaunt there and I hadn't been there since my 6th grade class trip, so we encountered unchartered territory as a family. We spent most of our time in the little cabin we rented and at the lake. We also had a gastronomically excellent anniversary dinner at this French bistro. It was just nice to get away from the everyday and celebrate three years of God's kindness in our marriage. Serene had a blast on vacation too; it was so endearing to watch her enjoy the littlest things ("da-dak!" (ducks) "bur!" (birds) "ish!" (fish) with childlike awe. Several people advised us not to bring her with us on our trip, but we're so glad we did. She brings us such joy; plus, our vacation in Arrowhead was also our last family trip before we become a family of four.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
photo by christian & reinna
Three years ago today, I got to marry my love! Alex is God's greatest earthly gift to me; each year with him has been sweeter than the last. So thankful for God's kindness to us in teaching us how to love one another in the daily ins and outs of life as He has loved us in Christ. I am blessed with a husband who loves the Lord above all else and leads our family with biblical convictions, integrity, and humility. Sometimes I can't believe I get to live life with him and our little love(s). We are praying our legacy is one where God uses our little family to serve His kingdom. Meanwhile, we're celebrating with a getaway this week in Lake Arrowhead, as evidenced through Instagram. Have a most lovely week!
Monday, March 2, 2015
We are down to the final three months of pregnancy. I am currently 28 weeks along, and baby boy is growing on track. Alex and I are more accustomed to the idea of having a little lad now. We're garnering advice on raising a boy from others. Alex is on the search for vintage wool blazers with elbow patches for him so he can match his daddy. I'm swooning over things like this, this, and this. The littler love has dance parties in my belly seemingly all night long and often during the day. Sleep is harder to come by now due to his kicking about, but it's a good sign of a healthy pregnancy. I also started developing lower back aches from carrying the extra weight, so I'm doing prenatal yoga and exercising on a yoga ball after Serene is down for the night. This is helping tremendously with stretching out my body, relaxing, and sleeping more soundly at night. Alex and I used to take power walks several times a week during the first pregnancy, but this is nearly impossible now. I am so thankful for technology, because I found an aerobic workout video to do at home. The first time I did it, Alex walked in and got a good laugh at me swinging my arms and power walking in place with my belly hanging out. I'm planning to keep up with the exercise, which will hopefully contribute to a smooth (please, Lord) labor and delivery.
As we get closer to baby boy's due date, I'm thinking about how to prepare Serene to have another teeny human being in the house. She recently began comprehending there's a baby in my belly and greets him with affection, but she has also developed an extreme case of separation anxiety over the last month or two. She is especially clingy around crowds of people (i.e. on Sundays when we're at church), and wants only Alex or me. In fact, while Alex snapped the pictures above, she was hugging my legs, waiting to be held. We're counting on this being just a phase that she will grow out of (soon). I'm curious about how she will react once we bring her brother home. I've heard about having a special box of toys, crafts, and snacks dedicated for her when I nurse the littler love. I've also heard about not attributing my future inability to give her my full attention to the baby, but rather, to my own tiredness, or the like. In any case, she loves her baby dolls and "takes care" of them, so here's to praying she feels the same with a real baby. Any other tips on transitioning her would be greatly appreciated!