Saturday, August 27, 2011

Family Time!

It's becoming more and more important to spend quality time as a family of three these days... before we know it, we'll be a family of four.  Not that we aren't a family of four now, it's just that the fourth member isn't crying or taking up room in Mommy or Daddy's arms yet. 

I am so happy that we have the whole weekend off together, no plans with friends, no family members vying for our time... just nice to spend time as the three of us!  Today's plans included a trip to the zoo and the weather could not have been more perfect!  It was the mid-70s and sunny with a nice breeze for most of the day.  Here are some pictures of us enjoying the zoo:

Jack getting to pet a flamingo! This is the second time he's gotten to touch them and he loves it!

Petting a goat at the petting-zoo area!  Every movement (even inhaling) the animals made when Jack got close caused him to jump away and giggle, it was pretty entertaining.

Me and Jack sitting on the train before a train ride!  Jack loves the train ride!

Jack and Daddy waiting to leave the train station!

A picture courtesy of Jack... I think we've got a "big brother" gift idea!
Hope everyone gets to spend some quality time with those they love!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins 8.26.11

1. How in the world did I get through this work week and maintain some level of sanity?

2. Could not be more excited for the weekend with my boys that lies in front of me.

3. Life's a beach... let's have a ball.

4. One way we get Jack to eat, even if its just in the living room, is a picnic lunch.

5. That was where we enjoyed many a picky day meals.

6. The restaurant where we got engaged and had our rehearsal dinner is where I think of as "our place".

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to relaxing and hopefully going to bed early, tomorrow my plans include working on homemade Christmas 2012 gifts for family and friends (I know it's early, but I should at least start before I have baby #2) and Sunday, I want to enjoy Mass with my husband and son!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Less than 10 Weeks Until...

Baby #2's due date!  I'm definitely starting to get more physically exhausted as the days go on... even the swelling is starting to kick in.  I'm grateful that its not been too bad so far.  I am attributing it to the fact that I've been much better this pregnancy about drinking my water!  Here's a belly shot of me at 30 weeks pregnant:

August 17, 2011 (30 weeks pregnant)
I'm very happy to say that my net weight gain so far is less than where I was with my pregnancy for Jack.  This pregnancy I am definitely carrying much lower (my doctor has commented recently) which has led to a bit more back pain at this point.  I even wear a pregnancy support belt most days, especially to work.  It helps some I believe, even though wearing the belt itself is not the most comfortable thing. 

Laying on my side (as your supposed to in pregnancy) has proven very difficult more recently.  I noticed during the 2nd trimester that my hips already felt very "loose"... not that I was surprised since it is my second.  After laying on my side for any amount of time, trying to get up to either a sitting or eventually standing position has been painful.  I brought it up at my last doctors appointment and after she examined my alignment told me my alignment looks good and my hips don't hurt when walking around, it might be a bit of arthritis brought on by pregnancy.  (She asked if I had noticed any postpartum joint pain after Jack, I said no, but I wasn't sure if I would've noticed since I was recovering from fourth degree tearing.)  Right now my options are heat (i.e. a warm bath or compress) and/or Tylenol at bed to try and take the edge off of the pain every time I switch sides and when I get up in the morning.  If these things aren't helping or things get worse, she might lean towards some steroid treatment.  I really don't want to medicate myself nightly for the next 9 weeks or start steroids, but we might get to that point...

In more fun topics, our newborn cloth diaper stash is COMPLETE!  At least as complete as it is going to be until the baby is born (we will learn what fits and what doesn't at that point).  The only thing we might get more of would be a few more covers, but we're within the "guidelines" I've read online.  Here are pictures of our complete newborn stash:

A picture of our whole stash! (34 diapers total)

5 pocket diapers and 5 all-in-ones

12 prefolds (you know, the old fashioned kind), 12 fitted diapers, 5 wrap style diaper covers, and 1 wool pull on diaper cover.
Yes, we have more than the "recommended" 24 diapers but mainly because I highly doubt everything will fit during the newborn phase.  I'm very thankful that once we figure out what doesn't work I will be able to sell some of those at the next swap our local cloth diapering store does twice a year.

Feeling very excited for the baby to make his or her appearance in October!  Jack has been saying the past couple of days "baby come out Mommy belly" and rubbing my belly... he's such a sweet boy!  I can't wait to see him as a big brother!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sharing Science with Our Little Guy!

As a chemist who works a full-time job away from my child, I really want to teach him (them) about what Mommy does when she's away, of course the big picture of science.  I am also the local section chair-elect (will be chair in 2012) of the American Chemical Society.

It is scary for me to think of the current state of the science and math education children are receiving... this is not knocking any teachers out there by any means, I am good friends with many amazing teachers.  (You can view the posts of my math teacher friend providing new ways to teach math here and their YouTube channel is here).  I am of the opinion that overall the amount of science offered is simply not enough, and the content tends to be incorrectly focused, leading to a decline in the interest our children have in pursuing further education and careers in science.  These are just some of the reasons why I will provide extra encouragement my children to learn, understand and most importantly, enjoy science.

We recently received free passes to our local science museum called COSI from my work... Matt and I had both been there as kids, but it had moved a number of years ago to its current location.  Here are some adorable picture of Jack enjoying the day:

A little bit about the power of flowing water!

Playing a piano of which the keys played sounds the human body makes... I'm sure in a few years we'll have to avoid this due to the silliness it will bring out in my little boy.

A giant water table with pieces he could mix and match to direct the flow of water as it moved downstream.

Jack the builder... the boy could hammer and build all day!  Future engineer?

I simply love this picture... when I was in junior high I volunteered at a natural history museum where volunteers were known as "Lab Rats".  It was an amazing experience that really took me out of my comfort zone when I got to go spelunking (caving) multiple times and it helped spark my love of science!
I was pleasantly reminded by a coworker that Mole Day (October 23rd) is only 3 days before baby #2's due date... and yes, I am so nerdy that I am hoping that he or she will make their entrance into this world that day!

You can view some of my previous posts on chemistry here, one of the first posts I wrote included some kid-friendly activities.

What are some of the ways that you see science daily and share it with your children?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Prayer Request for our Pastor

The pastor of our parish passed away sometime overnight Friday-Saturday this past weekend.  He was a very vibrant personality who had a passion for preaching and enjoyed taking care of his alpacas.  This past weekend was also the weekend of our parish festival, we were lucky enough to get to see him there Friday night.

We are very lucky to be a part of a parish that did not have a shortage of priests, but this will truly have a large impact on our parish family.  Thank you in advance for your thoughts and prayers for the repose of Fr. Rod's soul!

If you are a local reader, you can view his obituary here.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Fill-ins!

1. The only question is a necessary one.
2. This week, never felt like she had to answer so many ridiculous questions at work in one day.

3. Three things on my desk: (at work) Chemical & Engineering News, a clipboard, and my lab notebook.

4. Getting prepped for my meetings on Monday & Tuesday is the one thing I HAVE to do today!

5. I love playing with my sweet little boy.

6. They installed a new automatic air freshener in the women's bathroom in my building and it overwhelms the senses.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to going to our parish festival, tomorrow my plans include checking out our local used cloth diaper sale and Sunday, I want to enjoy my goddaughter's birthday party and get to celebrate my dad's birthday!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bicycle Safety

Jack received his first bike (a tricycle) from my in-laws for his 2nd birthday!  He LOVES bike rides these days, despite the fact that we have had some wicked heat and humidity lately.  Here is our adorable cyclist!

Yes, the tricycle can be steered by Mommy or Daddy using the tall handle!

He doesn't actually pedal hard enough to move himself but he's getting closer to having the strength!
One thing that's been a big part of my life growing up, and am determined to keep as a big deal in my children's life, is bicycle safety.  We live in a community where biking is very prevalent and quite a few of the main roads (at least portions of them) have designated bike lanes.  Even with the increased awareness and space on the roads cyclists are still at risk when riding, whether on a city street or even on a trail.  I may be more aware of this fact because of a good family friend, and very experienced cyclist, was killed by a car-bicycle accident when I was in college.  She was a very experienced cyclist and wore a helmet religiously but her life was still taken too soon.

Here are my top important facts from the "Bicycle Safety: Myths and Facts" from the AAP website
  • Children need to wear a helmet on every bike ride, even the rides around the neighborhood or just in your driveway!
  • You should ride with traffic, not against it when riding on the street.  Bicycles are vehicles and cyclists can even get a ticket in some cities for going the wrong way on the street.  (The Ohio laws pertaining to bicycles can be found explained here)
  • Teach your children hand signals.  These are not only important for riding their bikes growing up, but also when their lights are out on their first cars.
Some other things I feel are important ideas of bicycle safety:
  • Ensure the bicycle helmet fits correctly and is being worn correctly.  Check out the pictures on the Consumer Product Safety Commission website if you have any question.
  • Bike helmets should be replaced (found here):
    • After a crash/accident
    • After dropping it that results in cracking in the plastic and/or foam (which can be hard to see)
    • If the helmet doesn't have a safety standards sticker inside
    • Every 3-5 years
    • If it can not be adjusted to fit properly 
  • Wear close toed shoes, not flip-flops or other sandals.  Sandals are notoriously unsafe, think of the number of times you may have tripped even while walking.  Sandals are not secure to your foot and are in direct contact with the pedals and close to the gears of your bike, they can easily get caught in the chain or gears with your foot still attached.
  • Wear clothing that fits properly and is not loose; no skirts or dresses while riding.  Again, this is the risk of loose items getting caught in the moving parts of the bike.  I'm not suggesting people wear spandex bicycle shorts, but the average fit of shorts or capris would be a fine option.  Depending on how fashion cycles, those loose and baggy pants I saw guys wearing in junior high/high school would cause just as many issues as skirts and dresses.
Some of these things may seem kind of goofy, even to my husband who grew up without any care in the world when riding his bike, but these things really are pretty common sense. 

I must admit that one of my biggest pet peeves is seeing families riding their bicycles where the children are wearing helmets, but their parents are not!  Even if you have been riding a bicycle longer than your children, you are not any less likely to be involved in an accident.  So while some of the sources referred to are geared toward child bicycle safety, the rules apply to all of us.  Not to mention, children learn by imitating their parents... the whole "do as I say, not as I do" will not effectively teach our children how to be safe.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Someone Thinks He's Big Stuff

Today we found out Jack will get to start preschool next month!  We had put him on the waiting list for the toddler class, which is one day a week for 4 hours, at my parents' parish and got the call today that someone decided to pull their child and Jack gets a spot!  I'm so excited for him to get that interaction with other children his age and get that exposure to having to follow rules set by someone else... all of those good things about growing up.  I can't believe that my baby is going to go to school though... it is definitely bittersweet for this hormonal mommy!  Next steps:  paperwork, figuring out if he can wear his cloth diapers, parent meeting and "meet the teacher"... (Am I really old enough to go to "Meet the Teacher" as a parent?!)

Today was also a crazy day at work for both Matt and I, so we decided to order pizza for dinner.  I suppose we were kind of celebrating too.  Jack was VERY excited about pizza... which he usually will be excited about a meal in theory but it is a crap-shoot on whether or not he will actual eat (excluding something yummy like ice cream).  Here is a play-by-play of what transpired starting with the pizza delivery man:

(Pizza delivery car pulls into the driveway)

Matt (walking to the door): Pizza's here!

Jack (standing on our couch looking out our front window, waving):  Pizza! Hi!  Hi!

(Matt opens the door to sign and get the pizza, Jack hops down off the couch and runs between Matt's legs)

Jack:  Hi!  Pizza!  Dank yous! (Yes, that is "thank you")

Pizza guy: Hi.

Jack (as the door is closing): Dank yous!!

Pizza guy: Ha ha, you're welcome!

Jack runs into the kitchen following Matt, yelling "pizza!"

He proceeds to start to pitch a fit, complete with waterworks, because he wanted pizza now.

Matt: Jack, I'm putting some on a plate to cut up.

Jack: No!!  This!  (pointing to the pizza)

Matt: Yes, we're putting pizza on your plate.

Jack: Up!

Matt lifts him up, Jack keeps pointing at the pizza saying "this"... Matt hands him a slice of pizza (it was cut party-style).

We finally end up coercing him to sit at the kitchen table with his whole piece of pizza after refusing to let us cut up the pizza.  Watching him attempt to take bites out of the pepperoni was quite entertaining throughout dinner.  He kept taking a bite out of his pizza while not quite cutting through the whole piece of pepperoni and not sure what to do when he pulled it off the pizza between his teeth.  He proceeded to open his mouth to let the too-large pepperoni fall down his front.

Matt (after watching this occur several times):  Jack, I just washed the floor last night!

Jack (looking down glumly, almost muttering): Seeet  (You can imagine what 4-letter word we thought he said that started with "s" and ends in "t")

I immediately start dying laughing... giggles to the point of tears.

Matt (remaining somewhat calm but still chuckling): What, Jack?  Seat?

Jack (pointing down between his legs): Seeet!

My giggles were uncontrollable at this point, I had to take off my glasses to wipe my eyes.  Jack had joined me in my giggle fest and was cracking up at my hysterics!  (Honestly, I tend to get giggly towards the end of my pregnancy... I remember Matt's stares at my ridiculous giggles when I was pregnant with Jack).

I can't believe my son is old enough to be going to preschool, use his manners with the pizza delivery man, eat his pizza without it being cut up and using 4-letter words (even if they're not really the word his ridiculous mother thinks they are!).