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Welcome to Pregnancy Week here at Our Dream Foreclosure! This week, I’ll mark my 36th week of pregnancy #2. I.CANNOT.BELIEVE.IT. This pregnancy is flying by so fast compared to pregnancy #1 (which seemed to drag on and on).

Today’s topic: The Birth Plan

This is a funny topic to me because my goal last time – and this time – is to plan as little as possible so I don’t end up disappointed. Last time, that turned out to be a wise choice. As I wrote about in Kenton’s Birth Story – I wound up with an emergency c-section due to cord occult, a possibly serious situation where his life and mine would have been at risk if we proceeded with a vaginal birth.

So happy listening to angry/healthy baby screams after my c-section.

This time, I had a choice. I could schedule a repeat c-section or try again for vaginal birth in what’s called a Vaginal Birth after Cesarean (VBAC).

No one would question me if I did a repeat c-section. I don’t know the stats, but I guess that’s what most women do. At first, it’s what I thought I would do. I had a good c-section experience the first time. Recovery was painful, but you don’t bring a child into this world without some form of uncomfortable recovery time. My scar healed quickly and thanks to some assistance is already fading away. Last time, I politely turned down prescription pain meds only to greatly regret that a few days later and sent Jason running to the drug store to fill the prescription. For two weeks, I was in a constant state of zombiness. But, that was a c-section/first time momma combo, I believe. One of the greatest benefits to the c-section is that my OB cleaned me out really well – so I had basically no bleeding afterward. Awesome, right?! (Hey, I’ve only had one period in the last two years – true story! – I’m not exactly jumping at the chance to experience that again.)

So, if I did the c-section again, there are several pro’s in my book.

  • As a planner, I liked the idea of knowing the baby’s birthdate ahead of time.
  • I liked the idea I could get a good night’s rest the night before and go into this next chapter of two under two with at least one night’s sleep under my belt.
  • I liked the bleeding thing – seriously.
  • I would plan on happily filling my pain med prescription immediately.
  • It’s something I have already experienced and therefore know what to expect.

But… there are some con’s too.

  • The most important con, for me – was the recovery “rule” that you not lift anything heavier than the newborn for six weeks post-surgery. That would mean no lifting my 16-month old for almost two months. That is nearly an unbearable thought to me. Kenton’s world is about to get seriously rocked. If I can’t pick him up when he cries for me – it’s going to be really hard, on both of us.
  • The other major con is breastfeeding. Last time, my milk took six days to come in and even after it did, I constantly struggled with having enough. The c-section may be partly to blame for that. This time, I am hell bent on having a better breastfeeding experience. In fact, I’ve already contact local lactation experts and warned them I’ll be calling. A lot.

So, after thinking over these things, talking to Jason and my OB, I’ve decided on a VBAC.

I’m a bit nervous. VBAC’s are best when there’s been at least 18 months between deliveries – not my case. However, I’m mentally prepared to do it. I want to do it. I’ve been trying to get my body into shape to do it. So, hopefully, I can do it!

My OB has warned me, however, that if I go to 41 weeks, we’re scheduling a c-section. She said that the success rate of VBAC drops dramatically after that point – and I cannot be induced – so we’ll have to go the surgical route again. Kenton was eight days late, so that is still a very real possibility. I cannot be induced because (watch out for amateur terms here)… if my body is not ready on its own for labor and we start that process artificially, baby’s head could start banging up against my previous c-section scar, putting me at risk of uterine rupture. We all know that’s a bad idea! Also, the hospital where I’ll be delivering does not permit inducing a VBAC patient. So, that’s that.

If you’re a praying person, I would sure appreciate you praying that this baby comes on its own, perhaps a few days early, and I am able to have a successful VBAC.

Either way, this is what’s most important…

A healthy baby in mommy’s arms!

So, the other aspects of my VBAC birth plan include:

  • Epidural! I don’t need to be a hero, but I would like to get to 6cm on my own first.
  • Delayed cord cutting. We are not collecting cord blood – so I want the good stuff pumped into the baby before it’s cut.
  • Immediate breastfeeding – I’m serious about it!

Obviously, I’ll keep you posted!

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Since we gave you a brief look at the upstairs of our home yesterday, today I thought I’d explain a bit about what’s behind each door… and just how much work I have cut out for me before this bambino arrives.

And behind me is our master bedroom.

So, here’s what needs to happen in the next 16 weeks… In order:

Cleaning out an office is no fun. No fun at all. I found bank records from 2003. Our poor shredder is working OT. And books. All the books. We have SO MANY BOOKS. We’re going to need to get creative with that.

The sewing room has always been a “/storage room.” It’s basically holding the entire contents of a baby consignment store at the moment. Of course, I can’t get rid of anything because the child in my belly may have outdoor plumbing like his/her big brother – so, therefore, everything is currently being hoarded.

Kenton’s “big boy” room, by the way, is going to be AMAZING. In my head, if nowhere else. I have big plans… but you’ll have to wait for that. (Unless you follow me on Pinterest, then you already know.)

One of my favorite things about our nursery is that it is gender neutral. We basically just have to move out Kenton’s clothes and it’s ready for his new baby brother or sister.

So, that’s “it.” That’s all I have to do – me and my rotund belly (with the hubby’s help of course) – between now and October. Wish us luck! It’s basically completely overwhelming.

Oh, there is one more room… the bathroom.

This is our third bathroom and we’ve never used it. NEVER. It needs to be completely gutted. The shower is pulling away from the wall. The linoleum is pulling away from the wall – and it’s linoleum. The toilet is old. The mirror/vanity are outdated.

Eventually, this will be the kid’s bathroom and we will likely tackle that monster of a project this fall/winter.

Kenton takes his baths in our master bathroom, which has a fun big tub. Also, potty training is still a ways off – so, this room has not been a huge priority.

So, who wants to come over and help?! Don’t all storm down my door at once.

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Stairgate 2012

Last week, a scary thing happened. I got distracted for a few seconds and looked up… Kenton had opened a closed door and was gone. I jumped up and found him, literally, teetering off the top stair.

This top stair.

Of this staircase.

I caught him just in time.

Then, I squeezed him tight for a long time and bawled my eyes out. That was, to date, one of the scariest moments of my life. I still tear up just thinking about it.

Clearly, it was time for a major change in the Dream… the addition of a gate.

Young sir is certainly on the move…

Not only is he interested in climbing the stairs, he’s walking constantly now – but wasn’t allowed to in the upstairs hallway, because of the imposing death trap of the stairs…

We had been talking about adding a gate for a while, but the great scare – “Stairgate 2012” – was the last straw.

However, we had a problem.

We have an extra wide staircase – 5 feet wide – to be precise. So, that meant no average gate would do. We needed extra wide.

On top of that, we had a little issue with our bannisters…

They stick out just enough and are just short enough to block a simple gate installation. What these bannisters don’t realize is that I’m married to the handiest man on the planet… who devised the perfect plan to gate around these pesky beasts.

Sure, it’s not the prettiest thing in the world. But it is SAFE. And that’s what matters.

Little Mr (and his best friend) are now free to walk around upstairs without mom (or dad) having a panic attack…

The best part about the gate though, is the look of panic on the Bulldog’s face as he’s racing up the stairs and suddenly encounters an obstacle. Okay, that’s mean – but it is funny.

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I whipped together a little sewing project this weekend. This was not Pinterest-inspired. I repeat, I sewed something that was not seen first on Pinterest. I know, stop the presses. This is for real.

See the polka-dots? (Nope, we can’t get enough!) It’s a chewable cover for the bar on our stroller.

You see, we had a problem.

Young sir likes to chew on things. Teething or no – he’s a chewer.

Despite my attempts to thwart this behavior and provide alternative chewing surfaces, the bar across the front of our UPPAbaby Vista stroller was just too tempting.

See? Chewed to bits.

It was so bad, we would come home from walks and I would find bits of black foam stuff in Kenton’s mouth and in the folds of his neck. NASTY.

I took to covering the bar with a dish towel for a while.

That worked for short walks, but on long walks, the bambino would get bored and unravel the towel to get to his beloved teething surface.

It also made for a good pillow. This shot was taken during an outing to the farmer’s market – a thinly disguised distraction from stretching this kid to one nap/day. GOOD TIMES.

So, I needed a better solution. Not to mention one that looked better than a ratty, old towel.

I had this fantastic fabric sitting around.

I bought a yard of it to possibly use in the nursery, but the black background didn’t quite fit in, so it was never used. However, it’s a perfect accent to our silver and black stroller.

Next, I needed to alter the fabric so that Kenton could gnaw on it and not break through the fabric. So, I did some googling on how to create oil cloth – which, if you do the old-fashioned way, takes a lot of time and effort – neither of which interested me. Instead, I took the easy way out.

I used this iron-on vinyl.

After that was set and cooled, I took another easy way out and ironed-on some no-sew hemming around all the edges…

Next, I sewed on some velcro… which I don’t have photos of because it got a little messy, to be honest – and I was in a bit of a hurry. Honestly, if I had to buy velcro for this project, I would have cut another corner and gone for the iron-on version and made this a no-sew project. However, I had some on hand, so I just put it in place with a few stiches.

Then, I slapped that new cover in place and Kenton gave it a once-over.

Thumbs up!

This is just in time too… as you read this, Kenton and I are making our way across the desert to the Promised Land.

Promised Land = San Diego

We’re heading to paradise for the week with my mom for some oceanside R&R. We’ll be using the stroller a lot – daily walks to Starbucks and the beach, the fair, possibly the zoo, new Children’s Museum, visiting family. Oh yeah! And no black foam bits will be found.

This here blog will not be neglected. I’ve still got daily posts for you – some projects from the Dream and some updates from Cali. Hope you have a great week!

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I can’t believe it, but Kenton’s monthly photo project is complete!

He went from a nekkid little bambino to a dapper young pre-toddler in disguise in just 12 short months.

Wow! That went by fast.

Here’s how each month looked… what I added and why…

Our blank little canvas. The rug in the background of every shot is also in the nursery. It was a challenge keeping it clean for a year! I should have bought two just for peace of mind. 🙂 The tie stickers were a gift from a friend, who got them on Etsy.

In addition to the outfit additions, I always took a shot of Kenton in just a plain, white onesie and his tie. So, I always made sure I was fully stocked with Circo brand onesies from Target.

Here’s a shocker… infant-sized boxers are impossible to find. These are the smallest kid size I could find and I snagged them at the Vineyard Vines outlet in Freeport, Maine – during our trip there when Kenton was just a few weeks old. I actually got several of the pieces for this project on that trip. Freeport has some great outlet stores! Anyway, the boxers were obviously way too big – so I just took them in a bit at the waist and tucked the extra material under Kenton for the shot. Apparently, some people thought I put a skirt on him at first – so I guess I didn’t take them in enough!

The socks are just basic black infant socks. I bought one pair in 12 month size – so they started off a bit big, but he grew into them. The only problem with these – they have grippers on the bottom, like most infant socks. However, these grippers are bright white and have a brand name on them. So, I turned them inside out. If you look closely in some of the shots, you can tell.

The khaki pant. I got two pairs of the exact same pants – at the Gymboree outlet, also in Freeport, Maine. I bought six month and 12 month sizes. I was really glad I did that so we had the consistency. These pants were great too – with the cuffs and elastic waist – we could give the illusion of a good fit even if they were a bit big or too snug.

The button-down blue shirt – another classic – comes from The Children’s Place outlet… also in Freeport. (I told you I made the most of that trip!) I only bought one – which I later regretted. It’s a nine month size, which was fine until the last couple of months… if you look close, you’ll see there was a point where we could no longer button the top button!

I knew from the beginning that I wanted to add suspenders in month seven. I looked high and low for infant suspenders. I had friends and family on the lookout for them. Whenever a pair would be spotted, they were usually an obnoxious color or had a loud cartoon character. I really wanted a simple, preppy pair and I was determined to find some – and I did – not where I expected. I wandered into Janie and Jack at the mall one day. A store I normally avoid because (I think) the prices are outrageous. Well, lo and behold, they had suspenders – on CLEARANCE. I about lost it. We were literally days away from shooting this picture and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do if I didn’t find my coveted suspenders. $15 later (yes, that was the clearance price), they were mine! Or, actually, Kenton’s. 🙂

The shoes were a bit anti-climatic because you can barely see them! They are black, velvet (SWANKY!) little Cole Haan numbers. Oh yes, another Freeport outlet purchase! (Later, I splurged on a couple more pairs of Cole Haans during a Zulily sale. They have the CUTEST little boy shoes.) These shoes didn’t fit for long. Around month ten, I ended up cutting a slit in the back of them because they were too small. For month 12, we had to use masking tape to tape them to his socks – as they kept flying off! Grabbing these in two sizes would have been wise!

The classic blue blazer was actually hard to find! At a good price, anyway. Finally, Target had some pre-Easter and around the time Kenton was dedicated. So, that worked out really well. Also, it still fits – so we’re getting some good use out of it.

The suspenders and fedora were the hardest things to find. Actually, the fedora we used is not what I originally envisioned. I really wanted a classic, wool fedora. However, I searched for months and never found one. I finally got this one – which is more of a summer hat – at Nordstrom… again, with just days to spare before the shoot. Now that the photos are done and the hat no longer needs to be preserved, I’m going to make Kenton wear it all summer. It is ADORABLE on him.

The sunglasses were yet another Freeport outlet purchase – this time, from LL Bean. It’s a good thing my husband enjoys shopping because I really dragged him from store to store that day! Originally, the sunglasses were going to be for month 12. I was going to add a handkerchief to the blazer pocket in month 10, but ultimately decided that was a bit weak and I could be more creative. So, I scratched the hankie, moved everything up a month and prayed inspiration would come to me for month 12.

I tossed around so many ideas for month 12 – a briefcase, a mini-Starbucks cup, put him on a bike, have him rip his shirt open and show off a Superman logo… then, I thought I should see if there was any way to connect the last “add” to a birthday party theme – and the mustache idea was born. I thought that was such a cute birthday party theme for boy and it was the PERFECT last addition to our photo project. Now, actually getting him to wear a mustache was challenging! First, I taped it to a pacifier, dipped the pacifier in chocolate – which he had never tasted… and got a million shots of that… since he was so distracted by the new taste in his mouth, he didn’t think to be annoyed by the mustache OR sunglasses!

Once I knew I had that shot, I took a chance and stuck the mustache on his face and was able to get “the” shot before he pulled it off. 🙂 And… voila! We’ve got our 12 month collection:
So, some tips if you’re thinking about replicating this project with your wee one:

  • Pick a neutral background that you’ll have access to for the whole year – and stick with it.
  • Try to shoot the photos in the same room, at the same time of day, with as much natural light as possible. (I didn’t always do this, and it shows – unfortunately.)
  • Write a list of the clothing items you’ll be adding and always have it with you so you can reference it if you find the perfect addition while out shopping. (I kept my list in a note on my iPhone.)
  • Share your list of additions with a few close family/friends, so they can also be on the lookout for you.
  • Buy multiple sizes of items added in the first six months that will remain visible to the end.
  • After each monthly shoot, put all of the clothing items away, together, in the same spot so you don’t misplace them!
  • Give yourself plenty of time to shoot each photo and be patient. Babies are wiggly!

There you have it! I cannot believe this project is ovah. Done. Put a fork in it. Yes, I’ll keep taking monthly shots of our little man – but I’m pretty sure there’s nothing else I can add now! 🙂 Now, I just have to figure out what creative monthly photo idea I’ll use for baby #2!

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We are changing a lot around here and not just diapers.

BABIES!  They cause a lot of things to change.  Amen?

When they grow, they like things.  Things take up room and space and make noise and are fantastic for individual play time, but in a designated area.  Up until now, that’s been a corner of the living room.

This really blurry cell phone picture of Kenton climbing the stairs with toys strewn about in the background is the only photo I have of that nonsense. Clearly, it wasn’t something I was proud of! Our front door is just off to the left – so that was the scene that greeted people as soon as they entered the Dream. Not exactly welcoming.

We have now completely overhauled that room and made it much less kid-friendly (Ha! Seriously… sharp corners, a bar, “expensive-if-we-would-have-paid-full-price” furniture… not for the kiddos!)… which means the toys are gone and now in the guest bedroom! It’s the best room in the Dream for a play space.

My view from the kitchen – before the transformation.

Our guest room (the empty one with the ugly standing lamp) is right off the family room and kitchen.  We do get a steady stream of visitors, but we don’t feel like a B&B. So, we thought we could sacrifice the queen guest bed for something smaller and use the space for our little man’s possessions.

Here is what it looked like before:

We sold the furniture and mattress on Craig’s List. I also feel compelled to tell you that the comforter seen above only lived with us for a short time. We replaced it with a super cute Angela Adams polka-dot duvet cover. (We’re a bit obsessed with polka-dots). Okay, I feel better now.

Now, the guest/playroom is filled up with a trundle bed for guests/doubles as a day bed for reading time (or mommy rest time while a cute baby boy plays, but screams in horror if I leave his presence), sweet original art, a new (to us) changing table, kid’s art table, toys (TONS of toys!), and one happy pre-toddler…

Well, mostly happy…

I’ll be back soon with updates on this room… including how I turned this menagerie of fabric into a real focal point…

So far, we’ve only invested about $70 in the room. Sweet! More on that soon. For now, I need to tend to a baby boy calling “mommommommommaaaaa” over the monitor.

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Drumroll please….

11 months!

Sunglasses are the add this month… that young sir refused to wear. This was the only pic with them somewhat near his face and my mother-in-law’s hands out of the shot. He HATES them. (which is going to be a problem, living in Arizona)

Seriously. The only other remotely “good” choices were these…

You might also be able to tell in those pics that I was dealing with an unhappy fellow. In addition to being dressed up like a doll and forced to wear sunglasses against his will, he’s getting a first year molar (teething is a bitch, people and I hate her) and battling a cold with a pretty nasty fever. (Which means he got more ice cream. I know, mother of the year right here.) The fact we got some sort of photo to mark his eleven months on this earth is actually a miracle.

Also a miracle? Baby #2. Which means it’s time for bump shots again – and a comparison shot to the last pregnancy…

I’m definitely bigger this time! (And despite not feeling well, Sir Kenton does not like to sit or stand still – hence the blurry face!)

I am 16 weeks along and, once again, having one of the easiest pregnancies in the history of procreation. Just in the last few days, I’ve suffered some bouts of nausea – which is so strange because I’ve never had any morning sickness (in either pregnancy) – go ahead and curse me now. I know it’s not fair. So, I’m not even sure we can call it pregnancy-related. We’ll have to wait and see.

What’s different this time around? I keep forgetting I’m pregnant. On the phone last night, my mom asked how the pregnancy was going and I said, “I’m pregnant?” Not kidding. I have yet to pick up one pregnancy book. I have not felt the babe move yet (maybe… but not quite sure… besides, I was told my placenta is in the front this time, so that means I’ll feel movement later than usual). I guess I’m a bit distracted with the results of my first pregnancy!

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