36 weeks - stuff for baby

I had better get this written before we hit 37 weeks (tomorrow)!

At 36 weeks I feel as though I am very ready for Baby #2 (who still needs an official blog name...) to arrive.  I am trying to focus on embracing these last weeks of being able to focus on just one kiddo since I know life is about to get a lot busier, and there is no going back. But, I find myself instead of focusing on enjoying Papillon, I keep conjuring up projects that "must" get done before Baby #2 arrives. So I work myself ragged, keeping as busy as possible, and not patiently savoring these moments.  Note to self: Take time to relax and enjoy. 

Oddly enough, even though I would say we really didn't "need" anything for Baby #2, much of my prepping for Baby #2 has involved the acquisition of stuff. Nesting for me right now looks something like this: "Oh, we're out of applesauce, might as well buy 5 jars while I am at the store...it doesn't go bad, right?"  Stockpiling. That's what I've been up to. Haha. 

Other stuff I have acquired in the name of prepping for Baby #2 includes:

A sweet diaper bag from Singapore!  Courtesy of Mon Amour or has amazing taste and quite the talent for picking out gifts.  On this week's agenda is to pack this sweet bag full of hospital-necessities, including...

...a precious outfit to bring my little baby home from the hospital in.  I found this at Goodwill, and couldn't resist.   Not to fret, if this unseasonably warm weather doesn't keep up for her homecoming, I have a warmer outfit picked out to bring her home in.

Largely thanks to a wonderful friend, all of my dreams of gigantic bows for Baby #2 have come true - look at this selection!  Bows, socks, hats, leg warmers.   There is nothing practical about these, but somehow receiving these bows prompted my first sincere thought of "I am ready for this baby". Don't ask me why these frills make me feel more prepared. There is no rational answer.

Marge is not impressed.

Also, in the way of cute things - look at this adorable Monkey-onsie that a friend made for me?  It's a little monkey face on a tiny newborn onsie. (Sorry the picture is sideways...should have fixed that before i uploaded it).

In terms of slightly more practical stuff - I recently bought a few clean bibs. Papillon never spat up, or really drooled. She was weird (pleasantly so!) that way. I feel as though the odds of having a spit-up and drool free kid twice are pretty slim. So, we may need a few clean bibs to keep cute outfits safe.

I also got myself a new nursing cover. This is half splurge, half practical. I had a nursing cover with Papillon, but it was definitely a cheap one. Not quite big enough, fabric was pretty cheap, etc.  This time I got a much nicer one.  It's a little wrinkly....but trust me, its gonna be world's better than the last one.

Shortly after Papillon grew out of the Bumbo statge, we found one for super-cheap at a yard sale. We went ahead and bought it, figuring some day it would come in handy. It's been living in the basement since then - but whenever Baby #2 is ready for it - her Bumbo is ready for her!

Possibly my favorite acquisition in the name of Baby #2 is my little chest freezer!  It is officially on long-term loan to us from some friends who moved and don't need it in their current place.   Thanks to nesting, I think it took me just a couple weeks to fill it up. It is now full of lots of pre-made meals ready to rescue us from ordering pizza on those days when dinner just isn't going to get made.  

This was another no-cost acquisition. I was debating whether or not I needed a double stroller.  City streets are not super-condusive to strollering, and I did get an Ergo (somehow I forgot to take a picture of it) for Christmas and plan on wearing Baby #2 a lot. So I was thinking, unless I found a super-great deal on a double stroller, I was gonna make do with the single strollers we have.  Well, it's hard to beat a free when it comes to a great deal.  It needed a little cleaning when we got it. But other than the fact that it is missing the front tray (sorry kids, no table for your on-the-go snacks), its in great condition.  The jogging-style wheels should make it great for around the neighborhood. It's easy to steer. And, while its a bit heavy and cumbersome, its easy enough to fold up.  And Papillon approves of its comfy-ness.

Well, I have written my way right through nap time so I will wrap up quickly.  Here is the belly at 36 weeks.
I am at the stage where even some maternity shirts don't work...there is a lot of belly to cover.  Thanks to the combined weight of Papillon and Baby #2, my back is often sore.  But that's to be expected.  
I don't sleep super-great these days. I usually wake up every hour and a half or so in order to roll over and readjust the pillows.  Generally I fall right back to sleep, but the days of going 6, 7 or 8 hours straight at night without seeing the clock are gone, I fear; and won't return for some time.   Also, it seems I snore quite loudly these days. I blame of combination of my lungs being cramped by the Baby, and also a lingering runny nose.  It seems its bad enough to keep Mon Amour from sleeping...he often escapes to the guest bedroom to get away from the noise. Sorry about that. Hopefully I will go back to being a non-snorer after this baby is born. 
I have braxton hicks every day - some days more intense than others. The doctor tells me that I am 1 cm dialated, but that the baby "isn't very low yet".  So who knows, she could come soon, or not for another few weeks. 
In the mean time, time for some post-nap snuggles with Papillon.

Papillon the Bunny

 Easter may still be more than a month away, but Papillon is ready!
 We found these adorable ears while at the dollar store with my mom.

 Papillon thought they were cool and Nana couldn't resist buying them so that we extend the cuteness.

This is actually Papillon's climbing-the-step-stool-is-hard-work face, but I think it makes her look some how more rabbit-like. 
Side note: not all random dollar store purchases are entirely frivolous. Thanks to these ears, Papillion has learned to say both "bunny" and "rabbit" and we have added rabbits to the list of animals she recognizes easily. How educational!

Cuteness from the Phone Camera

Just some random pictures from my phone.  All the cutest moments happen when I don't have the camera near by.  Thank heavens for phone cameras, even thoughmine doesn't take the worlds best pictures. 
Here is Papillon trying to make friends with my parents dog, Lilly.  Lilly pretended not to see her, as Papillon laid down next to her for some quality bonding.

Pardon the random placement of the plastic bag in this one...ignore that, and its pretty cute. Papillon is hugging Lilly and just rambling on as if they are best friends catching up on the latest small talk. 

This one is blurry, but on this particular morning Papillon insisted on wearing Mon Amour's hat and her own mittens. I promise, it wasn't that cold around the house. But the oversized hat and mittens did make for some adorableness. 

These next two are from our Super Bowl party.  Papillon did not watch much of the game (none of us really did....there weren't a lot of hard core football fans at our party), but she very much enjoyed spending time with her friend.  Here they are organizing their crayons. 

And Papillon tested out her friends rocking house - she loved it! 

And for the ultimate cuteness.... Papillon is now sleeping 100% of the time in her bed.  Barring any major set backs in the transition, the crib is fully ready and waiting for Baby #2. But just because Papillon is always sleeping in her room, and most of time actually on her bed, doesn't mean that she always uses her pillow....
Sweet Thing was totally zonked. She had slept significantly past the 2 hour mark (our target nap time these days) and we were starting to get to that point where I needed to wake her up, lest she not go to sleep at bed time.  Low and behold, there she was, sound sound sound asleep with her head at the foot of the bed. So sweet. 

Fun at the Grandparents

Mon Amour is off on another grand work-adventure.  Leaving Papillon and myself to conjure up some fun adventures of our own. This past week, those adventures included a bit of an extended stay at my parents. Papillon always gets spoiled with fun things at my parents, and this trip was no exception.

We had to visit the bakery to get some pictures of Papillon with some special Valentine's Gift items - she is unofficially the bakery's mascot of sorts. She has a bit of a fan club of bakery customers, but more on that later.   First, a cute photo of Papillon sitting on top of a flour tub, holding a "Bread Kiss" in her lap and some cinnamon roll in her hand. Delicious and adorable.
...it was a short lived photo shoot. Papillon found sitting on the flour bin to be a bit scary.

After the photo shoot, we checked out the office, and did a little calculating. Papillon, it seems, takes after her Grandpa when it comes to his love of numbers. She was having a blast with the calculator.

After a full morning's work at the bakery (45 minutes or so equates to a full work day when you are 19 months old), it was time to head home for a little book reading with Grandpa.

See this nifty rocking horse?
It was a gift for Papillon (well, for my parents and their grandchildren...so far that is just Papillon, so for now it is mostly hers), from a customer at the bakery.  He makes these horses as a hobby, and, being a regular customer, knows my parents and had met Papillon once.  He decided that she must have a rocking horse, and so he made her one. And she loves it!  Thanks, Bakery-Customer! 

When visiting at Nana and Grandpa's house, it is sometimes difficult for anyone but Grandpa to get time with Papillon.  Even skyping with Mon Amour can take a back seat to the random fun that Grandpa conjures up.  So, in order to convince Papillon to spread the love, we sometimes instruct Grandpa to nap (which he needs to do anyway, seeing as his work day often starts before 2am), so the rest of us can get some Papillon-time. 

On one such napping occasion, Papillon, Nana and myself went for a walk.
And Nana taught Papillon the joys of throwing small rocks into the water to make them splash.  It was grand fun!

Papillon also enjoys hanging out with my parents dog, Lilly. Who is very old, and whose tolerance for Papillon may be more inspired by arthritis-induced-immobility rather than patience.  Either way its pretty sweet. Papillon gives her lots of pets and hugs and insists on feeding her treats. At one point Papillon brought a toy over and laid down on the floor next to her so that they could play together.

Papillon's least favorite parts of visiting Nana and Grandpa's house are those times when everyone fun (Grandpa, Nana, Aunt Mimi) is at work, and its just me and her trying to get some things done.  Note the sadness:

She likes me just fine. But when we are at Grandpa and Nana her expectations for fun increase exponentially and hanging out with mom just doesn't cut it.

Not the Zoo...but just as free!

Thanks to our zoo membership (have I mentioned how much I love our membership already?) this past week we were able to visit the Railroad Museum with some friends for free! 

They have tons of full size trains from every era, but the kids favorite train was the toy one like the kind that you can find at the mall.  You know the ones: put a quarter in and it rocks back and forth and such?   Yup, that one was a hit!

The museum is all in this large roundhouse, so there is lots of space to just roam around.  Space which the three walking kiddos in our party definitely took advantage of.  Here is Papillon having fun holding hands with one friend.

And the Dynamic Trio, holding hands and pushing strollers and all!

This engine was playing some rather loud train-noises which I thought Papillon would not like.  Turns out she was very intrigued, and now officially makes train noises. She even has a special train-hand-motion to go with them.

We rode the small merry go round that was there. It was Papillon's first experience with a merry go round and I thought the smallness of this particular one would be a good way to start.  But, as physics would have it, the smaller the circle on a merry go round, the more you feel the movement and the easier it is to get dizzy. Yikes - that was quite a ride!    I was glad I just had the one kiddo to hold on to...

We ended our tour in the kids zone which is full of every kind of train related toy you can imagine.  Toy train tracks, train legos, train puzzles, train word games, train books, etc.    This was a lot of fun, even for the non-walkers in the group.

Papillon has been making train noises ever since our visit...its precious!

Just Cute

There is nothing particularly special to say about these pictures. Mon Amour just randomly took a few one night when Papillon was being goofy and playing on the floor. 
There is something about them though - perhaps the way her hair is pulled back making her look like she has less of it, or perhaps they way she is just chilling on the floor like she would do before she was mobile -

but for some reason, they really remind me of pictures of younger-Papillon.  I saw them and was like "whoa - she looks exactly like she did when she was a baby". Obviously she is still that baby, but you forget sometimes, or lose track I guess.  And on this occasion I took a look at my toddler and got nostalgic about my baby.  9 Months is my best guess for what they remind me of.
Like I said, nothing earth shattering to report. But, its crazy to think that one day I will look at my elementary school-er and get nostalgic about my toddler. Or crazier still, look at my teenager and be nostalgic about...well, a lot!

Failed Zoo Attempt

When you have a zoo membership, and the weather forecast calls for sunny and 65 in the dead of winter, it would be dumb to not call up your closest zoo-loving friends and plan an spontaneous trip.  The conditions being such earlier this month, I gave my mom a call and made some plans!   They would come up after dad gone done his early AM baking shift and meet me at the zoo. 

Note to self: even the most spontaneous plans should be a little bit planned.  We arrived to find ourselves the ONLY ones in the parking lot. Good fortune, I thought optimistically.  Nope. Bad timing. Turns out the zoo is only open Fri - Mon during the winter and they don't make exceptions for days that are sunny and nearly 70. 

Insert tremendous disappointment. 

Followed by very-nearly-as-fun and even-more-spontaneous plans to go to the less formal "zoo" known as the Duck Ponds.  Our 2nd use of our zoo membership would have to wait. 

Fortunately, ducks are pretty much Papillon's favorite animal, and there are lots more ducks at the ponds than there are at the zoo. So it was an upgrade as far as Papillon was concerned.

The ducks at this pond are very "friendly".  They came at us before we had even fully gotten out of the car. They could sense we brought snacks.   And they WILL eat it out of your hand...
...as evidenced by this video. Papillon found this to be remarkably entertaining.
After we ran out of duck food, we went on a little walk.  With the help of the plastic bag left over from feeding the ducks, we turned it into a variable nature walk. Papillon collected rocks (mostly gravel), sticks (mostly bark) and even a pine cone.  She enjoyed dumping them out then putting them back in ad nauseum. It was her adorable way of sneaking in a break on the walk cause her little legs were bushed but she refused to let anyone carry her.  Little Miss Independent. 

Here are Papillon and Nana exploring a large tree stump.

You know the weather is nice when the spring flowers are blooming before February has really even begun...

The Lollipop Incident

One, uneventful morning, I was straightening the kitchen and Papillon was entertaining herself here and there.  She opened one of the kitchen cabinets and found my secret stash of Tootsie Roll Pops (a particular favorite of mine). Since she has only ever had one lollipop and I have never eaten one of these in front of her, I figured she wouldn't recognize it as food. 

For a while, my theory was solid.  She pulled a bunch out, lined them up on the ground to count them. "One, eight, nine, eight, nine".  It was all good. We tried to work on her colors (she doesn't get the concept of colors yet...everything is "yellow" or occasionally "pink").   

Then she tried to unwrap one. Curiosity I figured. "No, thank you, Papillon. We have to keep these wrapped".   It worked. Or so I thought.   Until she disappeared from the kitchen and was remarkably quiet. 

I took a break from dishes to check on her, and this is what I found.

Yup. She knew, or at least discovered what it was. And she loved it.
I let her eat most of it, but then she got close to the tootsie part and I had to take it away. A tantrum ensued. But such is life. It didn't last long.  The worst part (as in, only bad part, really, cause this was just a cute little adventure of discover) was that after pulling out and counting all the green and orange ones (my least favorite) the one she decided to open was a red one....my 2nd favorite. Alas. One less red one for me.