Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Dear Oliver...

Dear Oliver, 

Next week we will welcome into the world your little brother. I know this will be a challenging, trying, exciting, new, scary, frustrating, happy, confusing time for all of us - but there are some secrets I want you you need to know.  And not to forget. 

You made me a "Mommy." 
Even though you like to call me "Julie" or "Mommy Porter" - you're the first person in the world to call me Mommy. That will never change. Ever. (Just don't tell your brother what my 'real' name is for a while, mmmmk?)

You've taught me what it means to love someone unconditionally. 
Only minutes after throwing a temper tantrum, you look into my eyes and say "I'm sorry, Mommy, I got mad." You melt my heart. You never really know how much your parents love you until you have a child of your own. It's difficult to put into words. 

You've taught me what fearlessness is. 
Touching an unknown animal (just not a worm), jumping into a pool, sliding down a fire pole. Bravery is something that fades as we age, and I just need a little boy like you to help show me the way. To not be afraid of new things, or of failure. 

You've made me laugh harder than I've ever thought possible.
Thank you for that. Each and every day you've made me laugh whether you've meant to or not. Whether it's riding Stella around the house, saying "winner, winner, chicken dinner!" or mastering your own fake laugh... they are the happiest sounds to hear in our house. 

We've learned (and are still learning) how to share. 
Sharing time, food, attention, pastimes, sleeping spaces, toys, screen time, stories, books, experiences. We share everything. And I love that.  (Although two minutes of an uninterrupted shower would be nice...)

You've taught me what observational honesty is. 
Just today, walking the dog - when Daddy asked if you wanted to go on his shoulders, you sat down and stated "I have to go poop. Poop is coming out of my bum right now."  Or last week when you asked if there was a baby in that man's belly at the grocery store. I will never, ever forget when we were running and you commented "Mommy, that big lady running slowly!" With time, you'll understand. But for now, I appreciate your pure, unbridled honesty. And I'll try my best to keep a straight face, but know that I'm cracking up inside. 

We've learned together. 
We've done the sleep training, breast feeding, tantrum calming, foot and mouth, ear infection, teething, croup, moving, allergy/sensitivity thing together. (There are still those yet-to-be-conquered items like the potty...) You helped me figure out what was right for us, at that given time. It might not be right again, and it might not have been what 'experts' suggested. So, thank you for letting me figure out my own kind of being a mom.

You've taught me to appreciate the little things. 
The 4:25 hug. The giggle let out when Stella licks you. Listening to Elmo all the way to work alone. Noticing the cement mixer ("no, it's not a cable repair truck!") parked across the street. The "wow Mommy! I love your beautiful haircut!" comment, even if Daddy did prompt bribe you. 

You've taught me how to prioritize. 
Is a donut for breakfast the worst thing that could possibly happen in this world? No.  Shoot, sometimes (when you go the whole night without a pacifier) it's an absolutely necessary reward.  Do I need to write back to this email at this exact moment or can it wait until I've rubbed your back and read you a bedtime story? 

You've taught me how to be a better teacher. 
I look at my students differently now. (Not that teachers without kids can't be amazing). I appreciate the faith that parents have in me because that's the faith I put in your daycare teachers every morning I leave you in their capable hands. You've taught me to do what I love, and to love what I do. Because you would rather read "100 Trucks" over another book and that's okay. That's your passion. 

Your little brother will look up to you, respect you, envy you, want to be you, copy you, annoy you, and love you. Every day of your lives. I hope you remember these 'secrets' and learn a fraction as much from him as I have from you. 

I love you, 

Friday, October 18, 2013

10 days...

Tomorrow, P2's birthday will be in the 10 day forecast. WOAH.

One week stands between me and four months of maternity leave. 
(And next Friday I have ONE HOUR of Parent-teacher conferences). 

37/38 week outfits

#1 (left) - cranberry skinny pants (H&M), black boots (DSW) white tank and black maternity sweater (Motherhood Maternity), houndstooth infinity scarf (Target)

#2 (center) - black maternity maxi dress (Target), rust colored sweater (non-maternity, Target), houndstooth belt (Kohls). Photo Day outfit. 

#3 (right) - maternity jeans (Target), striped maternity shirt (Kohls), grey cardigan (Old Navy) 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Full term... Hospital bag

37 weeks. Fully cooked. I guess that warrants packing the hospital bag, yes? Okay. Fine. 

I'd like to think this time around that I'm packing a bit better.... we will see.
(Disclaimer: there are some not-so-glamorous items here.)

The whole shebang. [See below for more detail.]
Only packing for myself and baby - B will come home in the evenings to do dinner/bed/breakfast with O and make sure that everything is as normal as possible for him. Until it hits the fan. 

My bag. Unpacked. 
Contents of my bag: 
- slippers
- two outfits (PJ pants with comfortable waist bands, warm, fuzzy socks, underwear with no top seams, nursing tank, nursing bra, robe or wrap sweater)
- cell phone and charger
- camera batteries and charger (camera was taking the photo - obviously)
- shield (very useful last time)
- makeup/shampoo/deodorant bag (for that one glorious shower)
- pads, nursing pads (glamour)
(computer/ipad will eventually make it in there...)

Baby's stuff. 
Contents of baby's bag: 
- coming home outfit (left) - the same one Oliver wore. Onesie, one piece button up, hat, hand mittens (to avoid scratching)
- two other outfits that include onesie and swaddle (one velcro and one wrap-up), hand mittens and hat 
- pacifier (now with self-sanitizing box!) that was photographed with my stuff
- size 1 diapers (they look SOOOOO teeny!)
- sensitive wipes (we love Target brand)

The car seat bases will go in this week, once I have my car majorly cleaned. We've had so many generous and kind friends help us with some items we've needed. Between the stroller adaptor (thanks, Claire!) and the MamaRoo (thanks, Jess!) or the glider (thanks, Jodie!) - I feel pretty set on this one. My mom is picking up the extra camera for our monitor although he'll be in the bassinet in our room for a few months... 

37 week outfits (two work, one gym)
Can't wait to box up the maternity clothes. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Almost "fully cooked"!

36 week outfits
Woah, now that I look at this - that yellow shirt makes me look like I'm smuggling a watermelon or basketball under there.  The non-maternity hand-me-up white cardigan from my little sister probably doesn't help anything either. Sorry to anyone I offended! It's also starting to get pretty cold out - especially at 7:30 am when we leave the house which means cardigans, boots, sweaters, and my favorite - scarves! Hooray! 

I've been on a baking kick the last three weeks months. Apple crisp, apple turnovers, muffins, cupcakes, pies, anything sweet. My mom gifted an awesome donut tray (didn't know they were so specific and so incredible) so I tried out a pumpkin donut recipe I found on Pinterest tonight after dinner.  Instead of butter dipping and cinnamon sugar dusting, I put a little melted milk chocolate on top and they are uh-mazing. Try 'em out if you're pregnant or not!  Original recipe here.

Yes, please!
On Sunday, a friend took some photos of our family before baby gets here. They turned out adorable - here are some sneak peeks she posted, I can't wait to see the rest!  If you're a CT local, check out her page (here) - some great deals going on because she's trying to build her portfolio and buy some new equipment.  

Thank you, Shannon! 

Love this boy.

Handsome little man. 


What a face!
Sunset silhouette.