Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ready When You Are!

Dear Sullivan,

I have watched your 3D sonogram a hundred times, I've rearranged the clothes in your closet and remade your crib. I moved the bassinet beside our bed a few inches to the right to make sure its in the exact perfect spot. Sat in our bed and stared at it. And then moved it back again. Your momma is going crazy with anticipation! When will you get here?! I've been holding my breath with every little pain I feel wondering if its going to lead to your entrance into the world.

I've enjoyed growing you and love having you close to me all the time, but my arms are starting to feel empty without you in them. It's a funny feeling to long for someone you haven't even met yet.

Your big brother has started calling you "Van". I guess out of the three syllables in your name that's the easiest one for him to grasp. He's ready for you too. He likes to knock on the door to your room and go in and look around.

I don't know how I'll handle the sight of both of you at the same time. The thought of it is just too much and I can't think of a word to describe the joy I'm going to feel holding you both in my arms. I have literally cried at the thought of introducing the two of you for the first time.

I've been making myself (and your Dad) ridiculous lists of things to do before you get here. Things like: 1) organize the craft table in the basement. 2) condition the leather couch 3) rearrange the garage. And then I convince myself you haven't arrived yet only because we haven't done these things. But everything gets crossed off the list and I go back to rearranging your closet.

I know you'll come in your own time, but we're ready when you are my sweet boy.

My whole heart,

Monday, August 1, 2011

The boys' rooms

We finally have both of the boys' rooms together!

Sullivan's Room:
We were able to use all of Max's baby stuff and put a different spin on it for Sullivan.
We went with a circus theme (minus scary clowns). Basically everything in the room is from Max's nursery but we threw in the color red to give it a different feel.

Mom, Gram and I made this pendant for him. I'm really happy with the way it turned out.

Ok, Sully, we're officially ready for you to arrive!

Max's Room:
I adore Max's big boy room. Its such a random compilation of colors and unrelated items but it feels like a place that is really "him". What I like most is that nearly everything in it has a special meaning or a story behind it. Even the dresser was mine when I was young.

(You can see Max's little suitcase beside his crib. Packed and ready to go! :)

Putting his puppy night-night.

Normally mixing different colors of wood and throwing a black chair in a brown room would bother me, but something about it all works. My mom would call this room eclectic :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Waiting for Sullivan

Here are a few things we've been doing to pass the time while we wait for Max's little brother to arrive...

1) Max is learning to sort colors using his magnetic letters.
Unfortunately spelling SULLIVAN isn't quite at his skill level yet so I helped with that :)

2) We made this chain to count down the days until my due date.
Max just likes the act of pulling/tearing the paper. I tell him every evening that we're "one day closer!!!" which makes him clap with excitement, but I don't think he actually knows what exactly we're one day closer to.

I have a feeling (wishful thinking??) that we won't make it to the last link on the chain...

4) Max loves to kiss Sullivan and point to my belly and say "baby".

Love for Sully.

Going in for a big kiss.

Every night when he goes to bed I tell him to say goodnight to Sullivan. He pats my tummy and says "nigh-nigh Van".

5) There are scribbles of Sullivan's name throughout the house on random pieces of paper, coloring books and the backs of bills. I write his full name spelled out, then his initials, and even nicknames..."Sully" or "Van". Even our walkway is welcoming him in sidewalk chalk. And I'm so happy to say that we finally chose a middle name for him that feels right...

Random pic: The day we moved into the new house they were pouring concrete on the sidewalk out front. I caught it just before it was too dry etch our name in it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Introducing the next Rory McIlroy...

Max has been watching a good amount of golf lately. I'm sure it sounds odd that out of all sports on TV golf happens to be my favorite to watch. Its relaxing and I get really into the individual players and their stories. Billy thinks its comical that I will fight him over watching 5 minutes of a Royals game on television, but will spend hours watching golf.

We were tuned in to the British Open this weekend and Max would sit with us contently. Intermitently he would point at the screen and say "Goff!"...just to be sure Billy and I knew what it was that we were watching.

We decided that if he was ever going to be the next young golf prodigy he atleast needed his first set of clubs. Rory McIlroy was driving a golf ball 40 yards by the time he was 2 years old. No kidding. So my little Maxman better get busy since he's already over the toddler hill at 17 months old ;)

Max played with his new golf set all afternoon. He'd put the ball on the floor and whack at it. We admittedly need to work on the swing a little. He also thought the little "putting cup" it came with was a hat and tried to wear it on his head. Like I said...we've got a few kinks to work out, but we're making progress :)

Getting lessons from our in-house golf pro...Dada.

I think he needs a caddy...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Color Blue

Dear Max,

I'm convinced that the color blue was made for you.

When you're wearing this color and the light hits your eyes just right they are the brightest aqua blue.

My whole heart,

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Finger Painting

First of all, whoever decided this activity was to be called "finger painting" did not have kids. Or hasn't met my kid. Or maybe had older kids with a sense self control when they decided that the paint would be restricted to the fingers only. What we did was more like whole-body painting. Not that I expected he'd only get paint on his hands...it was just comical to me to say the words finger painting when my son was standing in front me looking like this...

I guess maybe Max is a little young to be finger painting but it sounded like fun. Especially since coloring and scribbling on paper are at the top of his list of things he loves to do these days. When he sees a blank sheet of paper he always asks "color? color?"

Plus his Aunt Erin and Uncle Matt got him a gift certificate to T-Pin Designs for his first birthday and we needed some artwork to create our cards from.

It didn't take him long to catch on to the concept.

Max was in the groove. It was like watching a crazy little artist create a master piece.

My creative genius. Ready for a bath.

Friday, July 8, 2011

If summer had a flavor...

...I think it would taste like watermelon.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

My point of view : 34 weeks

Photo taken by Billy on our way to lunch the other afternoon.

Here I am about 34 weeks pregnant with Max...maybe more like 33.

And now here I am at 34 weeks with Sullivan.

Aside from the fact that I definitely look bigger with Sullivan, I've surprisingly had less weight gain. Billy swears I already look as pregnant as I did the day I delivered Max (why, thanks for the compliment honey :), but I can tell you I definitely don't feel nearly as uncomfortable or ready yet.

Its kind of interesting to compare the two experiences. There are a lot of similarities, but some definite differences too. I started showing at about the same time with both...around 17 weeks, but I'm expanding much more "out front" with Sullivan where as I was "wider" with Max. I almost wish I had done the belly cast with Max now, just to see the difference since pictures can be deceiving.

With Max I felt great, but I was categorized as "high risk" due to blood test results fairly early in my pregnancy. It caused a lot of worry in the beginning even though I knew deep down that everything was going to be fine. I read all the books, took my blood pressure every day and spent my free time strategically buying up every item that I could possibly need for a newborn baby. I wasn't one of those crazy paranoid pregnant women, but I definitely was much more "focused" last time.

With this little butterbean I feel just as great, with only one exception...lack of energy. To be more specific...I actually HAVE energy, but I also have a very skilled mini energy-zapper that happens to live in my house. I don't have the luxury of laying around, taking long baths and reading "Pregnancy & Newborn" with my feet up every evening. This time I'm chasing my sweet little mister around the house and hoping I remember to take my prenatal vitamin at some point during the day. All while the stack of unread pregnancy magazines is growing on the nightstand.

One of the greatest advantages of experiencing this a second time around, though, is that I'm 100% confident in what my body is capable of. Even with the scary news last time that I might develop pre-eclampsia, my body took it day by day. Slowly putting together the most perfect little baby and taking care of both of us. Keeping him safe and healthy and growing.

Its so wild how little control we actually have over the whole process.

Counterintuitive to what people might think, everything about this pregnancy feels more relaxed and less rushed. I have so much more on my plate, but I'm not worried how I'm going to get it all done this time. Maybe I've given up on trying to be in control or maybe I'm in denial. Either way I'm blissfully floating through this experience like I don't have a care in the world.

I'm very aware that my life is going to turn upside down again once the baby is born. But I'll get it figured out. I felt like my world was spinning out of control when I saw those two lines on the pregnancy test many weeks ago and now look at me? I would have never guessed how peaceful I would feel in just a short amount of time.

At any rate I know the real challenge still lies ahead.

In the meantime, I’m enjoying the calm that comes with the familiar experience of growing a baby and the confidence I have in myself. It may not last forever, but it sure feels good right now.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Independence Day

We had such a memorable 4th of July this year. We spent most of our time outside. Max in his swimmy diaper. A continuous rotation of meat coming off the grill and the smell of fireworks in the air. I felt like we were well on our way to giving Max the kind of Independence Day I remember as a kid.

I will credit our dear friend, Julia, with bringing the patriotic spirit to the party. She introduced fireworks to Max and convinced me to let him stay up to watch the display at night and I'm so glad we did.

This was actually the "3rd of July". We had a little gathering with close friends and neighbors...

Julia brought smoke bombs and Max was so excited. Not only because they were shaped like a "ball", but he loved trying to catch the colored smoke in his hands. We went through the whole package pretty quickly. As soon as one was finished he'd run over and ask for "more ball?" and then carry it over to Julia to light.

Lounging with Aunt Erin.

The next coolest thing ever was Snap Pops! I thought he'd be scared of them but he had a blast throwing them on the ground and hearing the pop.

Uncle Matt helping with the aqua socks :)

Starring contest with Sam...

Can I get in trouble for a picture like this??

Julia and Max

This looks mean, but he kept asking us to splash him in the face. He just laughed and laughed.

I have no idea how many brats and dogs he had throughout the day. Check out the little sausage legs too :)

Playing with the neighbor boy.

Billy and Julia ran the fireworks display out front.

All ready for bed, but getting to stay up late to watch fireworks. He was being mesmerized by a sparkler in this picture.

"Look at that Uncle Matt!"
Well worth keeping him up until 10pm.

Then the ice cream man stopped by!

What's more American than a Bomb Pop?

I think this will go down in history as one of Max's favorite days that he'll never remember. The thought of this wonderful day (among many other wonderful days he's had) not making it into his little memory bank makes me a little sad. But I like to think these experiences are helping to form his view of life and how truly fantastic it is.

With Max in bed we ended intermission and awaited the finale.

The next day we went to Lolli & Boobo's house to celebrate. My parents have the best yard and courtyard for outdoor gatherings. When I was little we went to my grandparents farm and had celebrations just like this one.

Lolli pulling Max in the wagon with his new ball.

Max loves this tractor as long as you don't turn it on :)

More pool time!

I think Max would tell you that the killer diaper rash he got from having a soggy bottom all weekend was worth it :)

I feel lucky that we're able to give Max these experiences with friends and family.