Great Expectations II: Maternity Photos

It was fun to share the news that we were expecting months ago with my friend Amy of Amy Murgatroyd Photography by asking her if she'd be up for taking my maternity photos this summer. Being that I'd be most pregnant through the summer this time around rather than in the fall and winter like Levi's pregnancy, I thought it would be fun to take our maternity photos at one of the beautiful beaches on the North Shore and she suggested Crane Beach. The weather that evening could not have been more beautiful. Levi also loves the beach, so he had a ball although he was more interested in playing in the sand and water than posing at times. I love the photos, and I could not wait to print my favorite black and whites to accompany my favorite from my pregnancy with Levi for the nursery.
(I printed this one of the all of us for the nursery.)
(Then I printed this one of me and Adam for the nursery.)
 There are so many that I love, so it made picking which ones to print tough.
I think I'll have a book printed with all of my favorites to solve the issue of needing to pick.
We absolutely love these and all the gorgeous photos of Levi that I included in his 18 month update.

Great Expectations II: 36 weeks

How Far: 36 weeks

Weight/ Clothes: This week I was asked if I was sure that I was only having one...probably not the best question to ask a pregnant lady towards the end of pregnancy when you already feel BIG! But then a few days later someone told me it looked like I had at least two more months to go since I was getting around so well...guess I'm not waddling all the time yet, which is nice to know. I also coordinated a wedding this week and the parents of the groom asked at the rehearsal (in a kidding but concerned manner) if I was sure I'd be at the wedding the next day and I assured them I still had almost a month to go, so I didn't think there was any need for concern. I guess I look ready to have a baby any day now. It's all good though because I am almost full term and I'm pretty much maintaining my weight/size at this point. I'm only fluctuating by a pound or so from week to week which is precisely how things went with Levi at this stage of the game.

I did pick up a couple plain cotton tees to get me through the end of this pregnancy and into the early postpartum days.

Cravings: Still sweets (unfortunately)...I'm trying to keep the craving at bay by eating fresh fruit and lots of it...with the occasional scoop of ice cream.

Gender: Laundered all the newborn clothes this week. Gosh they're so tiny and cute! I'm excited they'll get more wear because they all look brand new even after Levi wore them for a month or so.

Movement: This baby gets the hiccups pretty often these days and he really loves kicking my ribs, which isn't fun when they already hurt from my heartburn troubles. Oh well, I'm happy that he's active.

Symptoms: Nothing too new... heartburn, rib pain, and my eye twitch is back but not too annoying. I also had a small cold this week which thankfully didn't stick around long. Being sick and pregnant is the worst since you really can't take anything. Thankfully I have a nettipot and it really seems to help.

Mental State: I had the energy necessary to wrap my last few big calendar commitments. I had a Park Street wedding to coordinate complete with reception and it went wonderfully. I also wandered around Boston to photograph my once little flower girls who are now seniors in high school! Gosh how time flies. I definitely got my exercise with both these commitments, but I remained pretty comfortable throughout both events though I was tired afterward as you'd expect.

Adam and I discussed what we have left to get done to prepare for another baby... we figure a hospital tour would be good to know where to check in and such. I should probably work on packing hospital bags. We ordered our new stroller adapter and the infant carseat made its way out to the van, though we have yet to install it. We need to have our list of on call friends together to help with Levi when I go into labor since family won't be here just yet. I think those are the main things we need to get done and we'll be ready to go. Adam also has a BIG paper to finish by September 1st, so he'd really like it if the baby cooks for at least that long, but I wasn't particularly early with Levi so I think he should be fine with getting to that deadline.

Appointment Updates
: I had my test for strep B at this week's appointment. No big deal. I was negative last time, so no antibiotics needed during labor. I'm hoping for the same outcome this go round.

Best Moment of the Week: Printing new photos to go in the nursery and living room! One more project checked off the list!

Great Expectations II: 34 and 35 weeks

How Far: 34 and 35 weeks

Weight/ Clothes: Pretty much maintaining my weight at this point, which is good because I feel plenty big...but thankfully I also feel like it's mostly baby and not as spread out all over.

I'm hanging in there with my wardrobe. I am all set in the dress department. I have something for pretty much any occasion from wedding coordinating to church to a possible polo match in early September. I'm also all set on shorts, capris, pants and nicer tops. I might pick up a couple more simple cotton maternity tees that will fit now and hopefully work after the baby comes for a bit because I definitely feel warmer most days and prefer a cotton tee if I have to head outside for anything. I've been super lucky with how mild a summer we're having, but I still get warm from pretty much the smallest amount of activity such as a quick stroll somewhere and cotton tees are so much more comfortable when I'm warm.

Cravings: Egg sandwiches. My mother in law makes the best egg sandwiches for breakfast, so I definitely enjoyed my fill while she stayed with us the two weeks that Adam was away in Colombia. The great thing about an egg sandwich is that it really fills me up and keeps me full...much longer than a bowl of cereal or pancakes since they don't have the protein component.

I've also been craving sweets a little more, but I've been trying to control this craving by eating more fruit rather than cake and ice cream, though there has been a little of that of course here and there.

Gender: I've been searching for the perfect take home outfit for this little guy. I am so bummed because the type of Ralph Lauren outfit I brought Levi home in was newborn size and they don't seem to make that particular style of clothes in such small sizes anymore. I've scoured the internet and stores to no avail. I would have loved to dress this little guy in the same type of outfit just in green this time rather than blue. I have a couple good back up outfits that will work for bringing him home from the hospital if I don't stumble upon exactly what I'm looking for at this point.

Movement: The baby had the hiccups for the first time. I don't remember really knowing with Levi when he had the hiccups, but I was very sure this time around. That rhythmic beating every few seconds or so is pretty crazy to feel.  Otherwise there's lots of kicking and squirming around especially at bedtime.

Symptoms: My rib pain is is THE WORST!! I had some relief for a week or so and it seemed the heartburn medicine was taking care of it, but it came back this week. No fun because it is most bothersome when laying down and therefore trying to go to sleep. I have to switch sides from time to time to help alleviate the pain. I won't miss this pain once the baby is here that's for sure...of course it's worth it though.

I'm also having Braxton Hicks pretty regularly and man do they take my breath away. I remember having them with Levi, but not getting so winded from them. Every pregnancy is different.

Mental State: I was so THANKFUL to have Adam's parents visiting for the weekend and then his mom stayed with us the entire time Adam was away in Colombia. Since it's getting harder and harder to run around after Levi at this stage of the game, I was so glad I had other people around to do so with me.

Thankfully I'm still getting around okay for the most part, so coordinating a wedding this week wasn't a problem. Of course I was pretty whooped when it was all said and done, but I had the energy I needed.

It was a busy week trying to tie up loose ends with our condo in Peabody since my mom is now renting it. I met with carpet companies to get price quotes and then returned to have new carpet installed. Again it was so nice that Levi could hang with Grandma while I took care of things because the condo isn't yet child proof. It's going to be so nice once my mom has everything settled and her home away from home is ready for visits.

Robin and I also spent the week working on different projects to get ready for Jellybean to arrive..also known as NESTING...some major NESTING. It was mostly organizational stuff...We moved some artwork around in the nursery to make room for Jellybean's hand and footprints like the frame I have with Levi's. We organized the boys' closet and put the new baby's stuff in one place, so I can easily find it when I need it. We organized the boys' dressers to make room for Jellybean's clothes. Robin also made us some freezer meals as we were cooking dinners while she was here.We also picked up a big brother gift for Levi and it's in hiding waiting to go in my hospital bag. Our last project was to launder the newborn clothes, but we had trouble finding them and it wasn't until Adam got back and did a few rounds of searching that we finally found everything, which was a relief  because it had to be somewhere! I'm feeling good in terms of being ready for Jellybean's arrival...there are still a few things left on my to do list such as a hospital tour since we're delivering at a different hospital than last time and we need to figure out if our stroller adapter for the infant seat from last time will work on our new stroller or if we needed to order a different model, but we should be able to knock such things out in the next couple weeks for sure.

Appointment Updates
: I'm having appointments every two weeks now and this week's appointment included the lovely TDap shot since this time around they give it every pregnancy to help guard against the Whooping Cough once the baby is born. My arm was pretty sore for a couple days from the shot.

Best Moment of the Week: Getting to see our maternity photos! They turned out beautifully! I could not have been happier! I just wish I had gotten to look through them with Adam for the first time, but he got to see them from Colombia too, so he didn't have to wait until he got home. Thanks again Amy of Amy Murgatroyd Photography for your gorgeous work! I'll definitely do a separate post with my faves like I did last time with Levi's maternity photos.

The Business of Being...Levi

Well I've been hanging around this world for  EIGHTEEN MONTHS now and here's what I think about things so far...That's right folks, I'm ONE AND A HALF YEARS OLD
The past six months have been busy but would you expect anything less from me!?! I've been doing some traveling and enjoying all the fun things around Boston with my parents, grandparents and friends.
Mom took her first trip overnight without me and I got to hang with Dad. She just went to New York for a cousin's bridal shower and came back the next night. Dad and I had a ball. He took me to a triathlon convention. We played at the park, and we even squeezed in a trip to the grocery store. I had recently transitioned to just one afternoon nap and I took an epic nap for Dad that was over three hours. You're welcome...haha!
Of course that left Mom wondering why I don't usually take naps like that for her, but I've gotten better over the last six months when it comes to sleeping. As long as I have lots of fun activity in the morning, I usually take a good 2 to 2.5 hour nap each afternoon. I go to bed between 8pm and 9pm and I sleep through the night until between 7am and 8am. I think my parents appreciate that especially since my mom is exhausted from being pregnant with my brother.
Speaking of which, I am slowly starting to understand that I'm going to be a big brother in just a couple months now. Mom and Dad keep talking to me about this brother that I'm going to have and at first I was pretty clueless. In fact I would get a little jealous when they would hold other babies, but I've gotten better about that. I've even been known to give babies a little kiss and hug like my cousin Everette.
Mom and Dad love my hugs and kisses. They ask for them ALL THE TIME! Sometimes I like to play a game and say, "No!" but eventually I give in and show them some love. It's pretty funny. Other times I just come over and give them a kiss or hug because I feel like it, which I know they love even more. My grandparents were also tickled when I'd come over to give them a kiss or hug when we've visited.

I've gotten to spend tons of time with my grandparents over the past six months between visits to Boston for my first birthday, a really fun vacation to California where Dad was for school, as well as a visit around Easter, a couple visits for the funerals of my great grandpa and great nana, and then a nice, long two week visit to Virginia while Dad did his military reserve days and now one more visit while he's leading a missions trip to Colombia. I am so lucky to see them as often as I do since we don't live in the same city or state even!
With those trips to visit my grandparents and a trip out to Chicago for James' birthday, I've definitely kept up my jet setting status. I love to travel though I am a lot more antsy on airplanes these days. What can you expect...I'm a walking, almost running fool these days. I love to climb everything possible and just move around as often as I can. I definitely keep my parents busy being on the go.
All that moving around makes me hungry and I love to eat. I stopped nursing around 14 months on my own. I love fruit the most of anything...grapes, strawberries, blueberries, tangerines, apples, tomatoes and raisins too. I am pickier about my vegetables, but I will eat peas, corn and sometimes cooked carrots. I'm willing to try other veggies like broccoli and green beans but I don't love them yet. I do love chicken, turkey and marinated steak.  I've tried a couple bites of fish but didn't love it and the same goes for pork chops. I really really like to dip my chicken in ketchup or barbecue sauce. YUMMY! I've even been known to dip my peas in ketchup and of course I've dipped a few french fries as well. They're great for just dipping and licking off the ketchup. Mom and Dad prefer I actually take a bite of the French fry. I also LOVE buttered noodles. I'm not a fan of spaghetti sauce yet, but I love to eat buttered noodles and when I'm finished I love to rub my hands in my hair. I think it's pretty funny, but I know Mom wishes I wouldn't since that means I definitely need a bath, which by the way I LOVE!
I LOVE LOVE LOVE taking baths! They are so much fun! I still prefer my infant/toddler tub to the big tub because it sits up higher and I don't slide around. I have to admit I get a little nervous in the gigantic bathtub. It's so fun to splash and I've started saying the word splash and bath too!
I am really starting to talk now. Mom and Dad can count over 15 words that I now know how to say. It all started with Dada and Mama, but now I say "pease (please)" all the time and I sign that word too. I also say "thank you". Sometimes I sign "more", but usually I just let everyone know I want something by saying "please". One of my other very favorite words in the last month is "slide". I love to slide and Dad got me one that he set up in our living room for now. I think it's eventually going to go out on the patio, but right now I love watching Sesame Street perched on my slide. I still love Elmo and have started saying his name whenever I see him at home or even in stores. I say "M-elmo". I've yet to say yes, but I am a pro at saying "no" in fact it usually goes more like, "no, no, no". So those are all my favorite words and on top of them I say, "bird, woof, down, duck, nana as in banana, ball" and I've repeated "giraffe, waffle and big bird".
I love playing in water from the fountain/ splash pads around town to the frog pond and beach. Mom even got me a water table to play with on the patio. I loved the beach once I got used to the feeling of the sand. It was so much fun to dig and splash at the shoreline. I even got to play with a bunch of my cousins at the beach this summer! I'm not swimming yet, but Mom and Dad plan to take me to swim lessons this fall or spring. Oh and I took my first class this was an awesome music class and I absolutely LOVED it! I hope I get to take some more...hint hint Mom!
I've grown a ton. I weigh almost 24 pounds now. I am learning new things every day and showing off all kinds of new skills.  By the next post I'll be a big brother and have someone to teach all my tricks and play with, so I'll keep you posted with how I feel about that whole new gig! 
 Of course there have been many firsts...
             New words.
             New friends...Ethan, Sawyer, Jack to name a few!
             New classes and experiences!
             New foods to try.
             First two haircuts!

As you can see, I have also become quite the Daddy's boy in the last couple months. He's the best!
Overall,  in my EIGHTEENTH MONTH I've enjoyed the business of being CHATTY and ACTIVE!

Thanks to Amy Murgatroyd Photography for these handsome photos!

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