Sunday, February 23, 2014

Calvin at 17 Months and Pregnancy at 32 Weeks

Little sweetie pie! Calvin is 17 months old and just couldn't be cuter. This was on a particularly snowy day when we decided to venture into the backyard. He has a love/hate relationship with the snow. He will fuss sometimes when he's in it, like he's scared, but cry when he has to go back inside. It's pretty funny, really. :) 

What's wrong, buddy? What's all this white stuff? I think Calvin is just hesitant with anything that's new. He's pretty cautious and likes to take his time before diving into things.

Calvin is doing quite well this month. His naps have evened out and are pretty consistently 2-3 hours in length. He still sometimes takes a shorter nap on days he has been really over-stimulated, like right after church when he's been in nursery for two hours. Speaking of nursery, he is in there full-time now and does really well. The leaders say they hardly know he is there! He just quietly does his own thing and doesn't cause a fuss. It's nice to know he's not screaming for me the whole time, but I'm not ruling out separation anxiety yet. I am waiting for it to hit around 18 months or when the new baby comes. I will cross my fingers he continues to be easygoing though. 

He loves to explore and get out of the house. Every day, we have an activity we do together. Mondays are for grocery shopping (as long as I've done all my coupon clipping and price-matching ahead of time). Tuesdays we have play group at the church with our ward friends. Wednesdays we have Mandy and her cute son Logan come over for a little playdate at my house. Thursdays are for story time at the library. Fridays are "funtivity" days where we may just stay at home or do an errand or play at an indoor play area somewhere. It's nice to have things going on during the week! Calvin seems to enjoy it and I always like getting out. Plus, I want to take advantage of getting out of the house while I can, because I know I'll probably be pretty home-bound with the new baby. 

Calvin has started throwing distinct tantrums and I want to laugh every time. They are short tantrums, just a few seconds in length, and he doesn't do it very often, but it's clear when he's very upset about something. He'll rub his hand against his mouth and flail his arms and legs around. This may sound strange, and I know I'll probably regret this as tantrums increase in length and volume over time, but these outbursts do not bother me in the least. At the store, at the library, wherever - I just don't care. I see tantrums as awesome learning opportunities. My mindset is, "Go ahead and scream and flail, it will not get my attention and it will not get you what you want." We will see how things progress, though! I may need to read up some more on handling toddler tantrums the right way. In the meantime, it feels right to me to tell him that's not how we get what we want and just ignore him until he calms down. 

He is such a sweet little boy. He smiles, he giggles, he loves to explore and look at new things. He is Curious George personified. He just wants to see and touch and hear everything that is going on. Nothing gets by this kid. He is generally bored with his toys and needs lots of new stimulation all the time. He will play with his blocks and puzzles, but only for a short time. He'd much rather follow me around the house and open/close every drawer he sees. He loves to cuddle up after his naps and watch "Baby Signing Time" with me. We watch one episode every day (they're about 20 minutes long) and practice all the signs together. A neighbor loaned them to me and I must say they are fabulous. Calvin LOVES to watch and practice signs. I didn't think he'd learn anything, but he's picked up on so many signs I can hardly believe it. He's also had a huge leap in communication and is saying lots of words, something I was worried about a month ago. He can sign:

Thank you
All done
Cracker (this one is his favorite - he even signed it without prompting when we walked down the cracker aisle at Walmart! Haha)
Socks (sometimes)
Banana (this one is off and on)
Brush teeth
Wash hands

He signs some better and more frequently than others. It's really fun to have him communicate with me. I can ask him, "What do you want?" when he whines, and he'll usually tell me! He'll mostly sign that he wants food or water or crackers. If he ever sees my water bottle in the vicinity, he will sign for it until he gets some. It's so cute. I posted a video toward the end of this blog post that shows him signing - I have to get him in the right mood to sign for a video because he can be stubborn and not want to sign for no purpose :) I'm a big believer in signing now. He says a lot of the words along with the signs as well, so he's beginning to pick up on speech. He will say "da-der" for cracker, "ba" for bath, "bish" for brush teeth, "et" for eat, "a dah" for all done, "de de" for baby, "da de" for daddy, "mih" for milk, etc. I'm really proud of my little signing baby! I can't even take the credit. While we do practice all the signs at home, the videos have really helped Calvin make the connections needed for communication.

Dad put Calvin in this little towel and it's pretty much the cutest thing that ever happened on planet earth.

I decided to try to decorate and be crafty for the new baby's room. We will be converting our office into a nursery and I think it'll be really cute in the end. I saw this frog on Pinterest and decided to try to make it myself. I think it turned out pretty cute! I am going to make three more animals in a similar style to line up above the crib. I am excited to see how it turns out. :)

MiLinh!!! One of my very favorite people on the entire planet. She's been such a wonderful friend to me over the years. When she visits, Calvin gets so excited! I love her with all my heart. Truly one of the sweetest people I've ever met.

Tantrum time! He wanted my food but it was all gone. A very upsetting, traumatic event for him. :)

Calvin got to hang out with this cute girl a few weeks ago. I babysat for a friend in the ward (hoping to build up some good karma in case I need to use her in the future) and her daughter was so cute. I think Calvin had a small crush. :)

Here I am at 32 weeks. I have been feeling pretty well! Sleep has been surprisingly good lately. Nausea has crept up on me again, which hasn't been very fun. My back and lower abdomen ache from time to time, usually after I take my walk/jog with Calvin. I don't feel too uncomfortable during the day and seem to not have any swelling yet. Nothing to really complain about this month. I can't believe I have less than 2 months to go... what?? I am so not ready. 

I send a video to TJ each day while he's at work because he misses us. I decided to include a few in this blog because I'm bad about taking pictures. 

This is Calvin signing cracker. Adorable!

Calvin will sing the "cleanup" song with me after independent playtime. :) He plays in his room for about 45-50 minutes every day and loves it. When I come in, he knows it means cleanup time, so he'll start to sing "hee-na, hee-na" along with me. It's just so cute!
(The video would not upload :( I'll have to try again later.)

Calvin is showing off some of his signs here. Just a portion of what he knows. I still can't believe he's picked up on so much. Thanks, Baby Signing Time! :)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Four Year Anniversary and Valentine's Day

I can't believe it's already been four years since TJ and I got married. Time flies! Honestly, it feels like we've always been married. I am starting to forget what it was like to not be married to him and have him always by my side. He's such a sweet, wonderful husband - I really lucked out. He and I both agree we love each other more now than we did on our wedding day. :)

On the morning of the 13th, TJ surprised me with breakfast in bed and also woke up early to feed Calvin breakfast and take care of him. It was soooo nice to be able to laze around in bed for a while and eat breakfast in peace! He made his signature omelette, buttered toast, bacon, and fruit decorations. :)

After he went to work, I got busy preparing for that evening's meal. I wanted it to be really special for him, so I made something fancy that I don't usually make - USDA Prime ribeye steaks with cilantro-lime butter, twice baked potatoes, and steamed vegetables. He loved it! The steaks were very expensive, but since we only do this once every year, I figured it was worth it. :)

TJ brought home my favorite flowers, red roses, and delicious, chocolate-covered toffee pistachios. :) 

Little buddy had to make do with some pasta and veggies - sorry, Calvin! No steak until all your teeth come in. :)

Dinner was very yummy! Although I had to cook my steak to well-done - a crying SHAME, I tell you. A steak of this caliber should never be cooked past medium-rare, in my opinion. Oh, well. Sacrificing for the baby makes it worth it, I guess. :) TJ was grateful for the meal and we enjoyed a nice, quiet evening together. 

The next day was Valentine's day. I had started feeling some nausea the evening before and it was full-blown that morning. I was thinking of how I was going to power through the day being sick and taking care of a busy toddler and started to get stressed out. A week earlier, I had a five day stretch of really bad nausea and it made it so hard to take care of Calvin. I could barely eat or do much more than lay on the couch. I was so worried when I woke up sick on Valentine's day that it was going to be the same thing again. I think the nausea may be pregnancy related but I can't be sure. It keeps coming and going in the third trimester. So strange. Anyway, as I woke up on Valentine's day, dreading being sick and taking care of Calvin at the same time, TJ turned to me and said he had planned ahead weeks ago and had already scheduled the entire day off so I could have a full day of pampering and "me" time. He wanted me to go get a mani-pedi (using the gift card Jamie got me over Christmas - thanks, Jamie!) and get my hair done and basically do whatever I wanted. I couldn't believe how sweet he was to do that! I started to cry out of gratitude and disbelief. The perfect, perfect gift. That's all I've ever wanted! A day to yourself when you're a mom 24/7 is such a luxury. Sadly, instead of getting the pampering TJ envisioned, I ended up vomiting all day long. :( Not the day I would have liked to have, but what a blessing TJ had planned for a day off so I could be sick in relative peace. 

The next day, we had our sweet, amazing friend Rachel come and babysit Calvin during the day so TJ and I could have a date. She was so sweet to watch him and said Calvin was the easiest baby ever. This made me feel a lot better about leaving Calvin with someone when I have this little baby in two months. TJ and I decided to go to all our old stomping grounds in Provo to reminisce about when we first met, where we went on dates, and where he told me he loved me for the first time. It was so much fun to walk down memory lane! I am a sucker for memories, so this was absolutely perfect for me. 

This is the Cafe Rio where TJ and I went on our first date almost 5 1/2 years ago! He let me get a drink on that date, something he joked was only done for girls that were really special. :) Something tells me he wasn't joking, though... Special thanks to the guy behind me who decided to photobomb us. Geek.

We even sat at the same table (almost). TJ says he thinks the actual table we sat at was right behind us. 

Nice face, TJ! :(

This is the park where TJ and I first met at our opening social for our ward. I remember telling the bishop that previous Sunday that I was strongly considering moving back to Salt Lake City because Provo was not for me. He urged me to give it another try - just one more week, he said. I resigned myself to just one more week and, lo and behold, that very Monday I met TJ. I remember sitting at one of those park tables next to my dear friend Erin when TJ plopped down across from me and introduced himself. Later that evening, I went over to his apartment because one of his roommates invited me over to make banana bread. Long story short, TJ and I exchanged numbers and had this crazy, instant connection. When I met TJ, I felt like I had known him my whole life.

Here we are at Belmont! TJ would run over to my apartment every single day. We would talk about anything and everything. I remember feeling like I could talk to him forever. 

One time, TJ and I looked for a geocache here and we were curious to see if it was still there. It was! It was missing the piece of paper inside where you could write your name, but it was still there. It brought back fun memories to find it again. 

This is the park where TJ told me he loved me for the first time. Such a special memory for me. 

We saw a bunch of deer there that day! TJ scared them off by making gun-shooting sounds... Teeje! 

This is the HVAC on BYU campus where TJ and I had church together every Sunday. It was fun to go back and talk about all our fun times there. It's crazy to think I was Relief Society President, getting my Master's, and working full-time at a charter school in American Fork. SO busy. But a fun busy. Those were great times. Hopefully, everyone has forgiven me for not being the best RS President - I always think back and kick myself for my mistakes and all the things I could have done so much better. I remember never going to bed before midnight and always getting up at 6am for work. Busy, busy days! But, oddly enough, those were some of the best days of my life. The Lord blessed me so richly during that time. TJ and I talked about how much we miss just being a few footsteps away from good friends. I could run over to Sydney's or Erin's or MiLinh's or Tanna's or everyone else's apartments at the drop of a hat! Every night, something fun was going on. Everyone needs to just move to our neighborhood, okay? I'm not happy being so far away from my dear, dear friends. 

TJ and I went to this park when we were dating and talked on the tops of those little ladder things until late at night. He wouldn't let me climb up again because of my pregnancy, but I was able to snap this picture of him for memory's sake. We also had our last date in Provo in this park, playing checkers and eating snacks until late at night.

Yo-zone is gone, so we went to Yogurtland instead. Yo-zone was so fun - TJ and I went there a lot back in the day. 

It was great to spend an entire afternoon with my cute husband, remembering all the places we used to go. I miss those days. I am so happy to be where I am now, and I wouldn't trade it for anything, but there's a freedom and excitement that go along with those college ward days that you really don't ever experience again in life. I wish I could go back in time and tell my old self to stop worrying so much and to just enjoy the moment. :) Anyway, here's to four wonderful years of marriage and many, many more!