Thursday, June 30, 2016

Atlantic City: Our Last Hoorah

A couple of weeks ago we went for a short vacation to Atlantic City to celebrate Dan's birthday and to have one last vacation as a family of three. Atlantic City is only a few hours from us, but surprisingly I've never been. We found an awesome deal for a weekday stay at the Tropicana, which turned out to be the perfect hotel for us.

Zahara did great in the car, and we were in AC by lunch. We packed a picnic lunch for ourselves so we headed straight to the beach. Though it was a bit windy and chilly, our little beach baby could not contain her excitement. Don't you wish you got that excited about anything these days? Oh, to be young.

It was too cold to go in the water, but we changed Z into a bathing suit anyway so that she could run and jump in puddles and make sand castles. This beach was absolutely perfect for us since it had a giant sandbar right at the shoreline. I haven't seen a beach like this before, but essentially there was sand, then a very shallow bit of water (maybe a few inches deep), then around 50 feet of more sand, then the ocean. This meant that Zahara could have practically free reign to play by herself with us watching from a bit further away. She loved the freedom, and I loved being able to sit down. Ha!

She completely wore herself out, so after a bit of snuggling we went to check in to our hotel.

The Tropicana was perfect for us. It is enormous and full of fun things for Z to look at: flashing lights, fake sky, tons of people, lots of restaurants and shops. The indoor pool was a lifesaver the next day, when it rained all day long. We ate dinner at Carmine's, which is a family-style Italian place. The portions are ridiculously large, but luckily we had a mini-fridge in our room and could eat the leftovers the next day for lunch. The eggplant parmesean was delicious, and was even better the next day.

The next day was rainy and gross, but Zahara didn't mind. She spent four hours in the indoor pool!

Since we were on vacation, we indulged a bit and had ice cream. Ok, full-disclosure, we had ice cream every day. I regret nothing.

We spent some time exploring AC, but to be honest, there isn't much to see. The town is a shadow of how it must have been during its heyday, but we still enjoyed walking down the boardwalk. After dinner we headed back to our room and read some books before bedtime. We made a makeshift barrier for the really tall bed by placing the bolster under the sheets. After lights out, we spent an hour listening to Zahara sing show tunes--yes, really!--while I desperately tried not to laugh.

We grabbed a few more hours of beach time on our last day before heading home.

I can't believe that's our last vacation as a family of three! Can't wait until our first vacation later this summer as a family of four!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Dear Zahara: 3 Years

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

I'm not sure Charles Dickens wrote this phrase expressly to describe this past year of our lives, but it sure fits. Life with a two-year-old is never boring.When you are happy, nothing can compete with your joy. You exude it from every pore, and it is infectious. People will stop what they are doing to watch you twirl, giggle, and play.

But, when you're unhappy...yikes! You will tantrum and whine like no one's business. I thought the cartoons depicting kids laying on the ground slamming down their little fists and feet were fictional. Nope. They are accurate depictions of a two-year-old who was just told that she can't eat cat food.

Despite the emotional roller coaster, I have loved this year. You are really coming into your own and it is so fun to watch. If I'm being honest, you are really just a mini-me: assertive, emotional, a bit bossy, but very clever and loving.

Your imagination has no bounds. You love pretending to be a dinosaur, or witch, or dragon. You'll be a doctor and ask me to be the patient. We have several doctor's toys and you love putting on the stethoscope and starting your check ups. Usually the exam ends with you saying, "I hate to tell you this, but you're very sick." Maybe spend the next few years working on your bedside manner?

Thanks to your friend Liana at daycare, you're also really into twirling and leaping. I think Liana is teaching you ballet. It's not just that you love leaping--which you really do--it's that you love when people watch you leap. You love an audience and are quite the ham.

You're also getting a lot more independent. You now read, color, and play on your own a lot. You still want us around (yay!), but you like to explore things on your own more. Reading is your favorite pastime. We probably read at least 10-15 books a day. We read at every meal and bedtime. Sometimes at night I'll watch on the monitor as you "read" to yourself.

You continue to be a great, and adventurous eater. We love that! It's so nice that you are (usually) willing to try to things. You don't always love it, and you still won't eat tomatoes, mushrooms, or peppers, but you generally are good about giving things a "no thank you bite."

You are potty trained now! At least during the day. We haven't really attempted to do nighttime yet. It was actually a pretty easy process. We did a boot camp one weekend and you picked it up right away. We still wore pull-ups for a while because daycare wanted you to, but now you're in underwear and are doing great. We still have the occasional accident--mainly because you're too busy having fun to tell us you need to go--but we are really proud of what a big girl you are now.

You are becoming a big helper around the house. You've started to help with some of the chores, setting the table, getting dressed, and laundry. You are great at pulling things out of the dryer and sorting them into piles. You even help put the clothes away on your own.

This next year will be a huge adjustment for everyone once we welcome your little brother. So far, you seem really excited about becoming a big sister. You constantly tell me how you're going to be such a big helper., and that you'll fetch the baby diapers, give him bottles, and sing him songs when he cries. You talk to the baby and tell him that you can't wait to meet him. You blow raspberries on my tummy and then laugh hysterically while asking if baby is laughing too. It's amazing.

This year has been an adventure, and your hugs and kisses make every twist and turn worthwhile. We love you more than you know and can't wait to see what this next year brings! Happy 3rd birthday Zahara!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Two Holidays Celebrating One Great Guy

This year Father's Day and Dan's birthday fell on the same day--June, 19. What a great opportunity to show our guy how much we love and appreciate him.

We had a very low key day, doing exactly what Dan wanted. Parents of young kids will appreciate his greatest wish--to have alone time. I totally get it. A little peace and quiet, reading a book with just words and no pictures, and ending a meal without finger smudges all over your clothes: tell me that doesn't sound amazing.

The day started on a high note when Zahara let us all sleep in until past 10:00. That gave Dan a chance to workout (starting the year off right!), and for me to make him a big breaky. I made sausage, fried eggs, baked beans, and sauteed mushrooms, with a side of mango, cherries, and watermelon.

Then we opened gifts. I made Dan a photo book documenting the last three years of fatherhood. I have to admit I cried happy tears as I made the book. He's just such a great dad and I can't wait to see him with our second little one.

Zahara "made" her daddy a sheet with fun questions and answers. She may have had some help. I love how funny and creative her answers were.

My dad's name is: Dan
He is 3 years old
He is as big as mummy (side note: I may have taken a little offense at this one)
He has brown hair and green eyes (actually, they are brown)
His favorite food is spaghetti and meatballs and cheese (umm...not in our kosher house!)
His favorite color is brown
He likes to go to the beach and pool
For fun he likes to look at letters, maybe
My favorite thing to do with my dad is cook meals like pancakes
I love my dad because he gives me pizza and the pineapple of his pizza. That's why my daddy is special to me (This was one time last week when I wanted pineapple on my pizza and Dan didn't, so he gave Z his pineapple. Apparently it made a huge impression)

It was certainly more relaxed that previous birthdays, but it was just what he needed. Here's to the next 100 years, Dan! We love you!

See some of Dan's previous birthday celebrations:

Friday, June 24, 2016

35 Weeks

Dates: June 15-21

Baby is the Size of a: honeydew melon (approximate length and weight: 18 inches, 5 1/4 pounds)

How I'm Feeling: Much happier than last week. Between our fun beach vacation and Dan's birthday, it was a great week. It was tough walking so much in Atlantic City, but still not nearly as bad as it was last pregnancy with Zahara. The physical therapy definitely has made a difference.

How I'm Changing: It looks like the swollen feet are here to stay, sadly.

What I'm Eating: Ice cream! Hey, it's not my fault. We were at the beach. What am I supposed to do? Go against hundreds of years of tradition? Not likely.

What the Baby is Doing: Still moving like crazy. He's head's down, which is great, but as he gets bigger I can feel him everywhere simultaneously: in my ribs, pushing at my belly button, very low's distracting. Especially when he gets the hiccups, which seems to be all the time.

Read about my first pregnancy:
My Pregnancy
Week 35

Sunday, June 19, 2016

34 Weeks

Dates: June 8-14

Baby is the Size of a: cantaloupe (approximate length and weight: 18 inches, 4 3/4 pounds)

How I'm Feeling: Grumpy. This week has been really challenging. Zahara has not been feeling well, and now Dan and I have colds too. This has led to a week of extra whining, tantrums, and general energy-zapping interactions. On top of that, it's really hot out and I'm feeling extra tired. I just have no patience to deal with this at the moment, and it's really starting to get to me.

How I'm Changing: I still have swollen feet, which causes discomfort when I try and stand for any period of time. It's a good thing I'm kind of nearing the end (though it doesn't really feel like it at times).

What I'm Eating: Birthday cake! We had an early birthday celebration for Z this weekend and got a Costco sheet cake. If you haven't had a Costco cake before, you are missing out. It is perfect. We got the chocolate cake, which comes with chocolate icing, chocolate cake, and a chocolate mousse filling. Perfect for a chocoholic like me.

What the Baby is Doing: Baby is hiccuping pretty regularly, and stretching out as much as possible. I'm feeling his movements really low down, but he also gets nestled in my ribs sometimes.

Read about my first pregnancy:
My Pregnancy
Week 34

Saturday, June 11, 2016

33 Weeks

Dates: June 1-7

Baby is the Size of a: pineapple (approximate length and weight: 17+ inches, 4 pounds)

How I'm Feeling: Actually, pretty good!

How I'm Changing: I've noticed a bit of swelling in my feet and legs. My rings still fit, thankfully, and I don't think my face is too swollen. It's just a little annoying because my shoes don't fit well. Thankfully the weather is getting warmer and I can wear flip flops and flats.

What I'm Eating: Nothing too unusual.

What the Baby is Doing: I had a regular doctor's appointment the other day and went in with a few questions, one of which was about braxton hicks. I have been feeling a tightening in my stomach, which I assumed were braxton hicks, but it turns out I'm just feeling the baby's spine pressed up against my stomach. It was funny how the doctor could feel the baby's various parts right away. He said, "there's his squishy butt, and there's his long spine, and way down here is his head." It is still crazy that there's a little human in there!

Read about my first pregnancy:
My Pregnancy
Week 33

Monday, June 6, 2016

Memorial Day Activities

Do you hear that, world? It's the collective sigh of relief that summer is finally here! Though it's already a bit muggier than I'd like, I really can't complain because the sun is finally shining. 

We made the most of the long weekend by spending as much time outside and with friends as possible. It was very low-key and relaxing. It was exactly what I needed.

Here are some highlights:

I can't wait to see what the rest of the summer brings!

Friday, June 3, 2016

32 Weeks

Dates: May 25-31

Baby is the Size of a: jicama (approximate length and weight: 16 3/4 inches, 3 3/4 pounds)

How I'm Feeling: Ok, but the SPD is back. The past couple of weeks have actually been pretty good in regard to my pelvic pain. I think the combination of physiotherapy appointments and NyQuil were the key to my success. I haven't taken NyQuil the past couple of days and have been tossing and turning at night again. That's where my real pain comes in and it lasts through the day. I'll have to talk to my OB to see what I can do.

How I'm Changing: I'm 8 months pregnant now! I don't feel it really, but looking at pictures, it looks like the baby has dropped a bit. I feel like I carry different from day to day though.

What I'm Eating: It's finally summer! We've been taking advantage of the weather and days off for Memorial Day with some BBQs with friends. I love this season! Hamburgers, potato salad, baked beans, s'mores brownies (!!).

What the Baby is Doing: Taking up all the room in my stomach! He is getting so big and his movements are very obvious--even from the outside.

Read about my first pregnancy:
My Pregnancy
Week 32