Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Typical Tuesday

I love Tuesdays! Mostly because I get a few child-free hours to myself and I am always super productive once the babysitter arrives. Our babysitter, Jessica, is fabulous! She is attentive, patient, caring, kind and most importantly... punctual! I'm so relieved we found a reliable babysitter who is as devoted to her job, as I am to mine. It makes leaving Bella a little bit easier. This morning was no different than any other time Jessica has watched Bella and she arrived 15-minutes early! I briefed her on what Bella had been up to and quickly got to work finishing a few chores around the house. I made a list that contained 8 chores/errands for the morning. Most of my day was spent running errands, but I had a few chores, like laundry, to take care of before I left the house for the morning.

I've been on top of the laundry recently, but had a small basket that needed to be put away. Since we switched entirely to free & clear detergents and fabric softener sheets, I sometimes have mixed loads of laundry. The basket had my clothes, Bella's clothes and baby #2's clothes. I don't know why I didn't make the switch sooner because using one detergent for the entire family makes laundry so simple. Maybe it was because we buy detergent in bulk and having two giant bottles of detergent takes a lot longer to get through. Anyway... I made quick work of that basket of clean laundry, mostly because I didn't have my "helper" assisting me in folding (and unfolding) clean clothes. I also wanted to store some of Bella's clothes in space bags, but that didn't get accomplished.

My list of errands seemed endless today. I had to run to the bank, drop Kaiser off at the groomer, get a pedicure (rough life, I know), run to Michael's, run to Walmart, pick up Kaiser at the groomer and eat lunch. All of this needed to be accomplished before 12:30pm. Kaiser and I headed out the door and stopped at the bank. He sat patiently in the car, while I ran up to the ATM to make a transaction. We then drove to PetSmart, where I dropped off Kaiser and picked up a bag of dog food. I then took 60 (wonderful) minutes for myself while I had a pedicure and eye brow wax. I planned for 90-minutes at the nail salon, so I was pleasantly surprised when I realized I was 30-minutes ahead of schedule. I hopped in the car and headed to Michael's to pick up some frames and card stock for a project in the girls' bathroom. With the help of an awesome sale on frames and a few coupons, I managed to pick up 7 frames, card stock and adhesive tape, a grand total of $156, for only $71, a savings of $84! The frames were 40%, plus an additional 25% with a coupon. And I had a 40% any item coupon, which really came in handy. I love a good sale and I'm so happy I'll be able to complete this project once and for all. After Michael's I headed to Walmart to pick up a site-to-store shipment that has been waiting for me (nothing exciting, just laminating pockets). I then received the call that Kaiser was ready to be picked up. I drove back to PetSmart, picked up Kaiser and then we headed home. On the way home I grabbed a quick bite to eat and was home by 12:20pm.

By 12:20pm, I had managed to cross 7 out of 8 things off my to-do list! Feeling very accomplished and exhausted, I rewarded myself with a 2-hour nap, during Bella's nap time. It's amazing what a mom can accomplish without children in tow. I can only imagine how things will be once I have two children, one of them being a newborn. Maybe this is the time I begin begging Ian for a full-time nanny... just kidding!

It's been a long and productive day, so I'd better unwind and get myself into bed. Tomorrow we have a play date and a dinner date with friends, both of which I'm very excited about. Keeping busy makes for a happier Bella and a happier mommy, too. Nighty night, y'all!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Baby #2

Monday, January 30, 2012

As usual, our Monday started bright and early, as we were out the door by 9am. I had a few errands to run and Bella had an appointment for pictures at 10am. By some stroke of luck, we were both dressed, ready and in the car by 9am and began our busy morning. Why can't Mondays ever be relaxing, lazy days?!?

I almost cancelled Bella's picture appointment this morning, but I am SO glad I didn't. Not only was she in a great mood, but she was so photogenic! The last few times we've taken her for pictures it's been a battle of wills... and Bella usually wins. We usually buy a few pictures but only because any picture of Bella is adorable. Today was a different story... Bella worked it and managed to take some awesome pictures. It was difficult to decide which ones to order because I didn't want to go overboard. I bought a few collections of several shots and even designed a composite picture that will be framed. I was really happy with today's photo shoot and can't wait for everything to be delivered! Here is a sneak peak of just one of the many adorable pictures of my beautiful Bella.

Today was busy but productive and totally worthwhile. We knocked out Bella's pictures, bought a "going home" outfit for baby #2 and I managed to clean the kitchen, bathrooms and steam mop the floors. Even though I didn't get a nap in, you can be rest assured that I will be in bed early tonight! Thank goodness tomorrow is Tuesday and I'll have some extra help around the house, courtesy of our babysitter... yay! Good night y'all!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Baby #2

Sunday, January 29, 2012


This morning we decided to head on over to MOSI for some family fun. MOSI is local the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa and it's a pretty cool place. Bella and I attended a birthday party there once, but she was an itty bitty baby and was unable to enjoy all the fun exhibits. Ian hadn't been there in years so it was great getting to experience MOSI together as a family. I purchased a Groupon several months ago and with all of my credits, I was able to get an annual pass for the family for free! How cool is that?!?

We started off by experiencing the hurricane wind exhibit. It's pretty neat and you are basically subjected to hurricane force winds (in a controlled setting) for several moments. We wore goggles and ear protection which made Bella giggle. The winds were obviously pretty strong but Bella loves it! We couldn't stop laughing at her silly expressions as the winds got increasingly stronger.

After the hurricane exhibit, we walked through the butterfly garden. And by walked, I mean I snapped a few quick pictures and quickly exited as I despise any insect, harmless or not. Bella loved looking at the fish pond in the exhibit and seemed to be fascinated by the butterflies fluttering about. I was not nearly as fascinated and ran out of there like the entire garden contained roaches.

We went inside to the Kids in Charge exhibit, which contains many, many child friendly activities. Bella's favorite was the pretend grocery store and kitchen. She spent a good 20 minutes playing with the pretend food and what not. She also loved crawling through this dark tunnel and making spooky noises as she crawled through. Another favorite exhibit of Bella's was the spider web, in which she bobbed and weaved her way through the web until she realized she could easily crawl underneath it. What a clever little girl!

Now that we have activated our annual pass, we will definitely be returning to MOSI more often. I intend to frequent this place during the summer when the weather is much warmer and I have a newborn to keep out of the sun.

I love days like today when we can jut jump in the car, drive for 20-minutes and enjoy an activity the whole family can enjoy. Our time with just Bella is limited and I'd like for us to spend us much time with Bella as possible before baby #2 arrives.

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Baby #2

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Busch Gardens

Living in Florida means we have gorgeous weather in the middle of winter and today was no exception. With sunny 70 degree weather, we decided to head to Busch Gardens after Bella's nap.

Even though we didn't arrive until 5pm, the park was still a bit crowded. The Sesame Street area was packed but we managed to see Bella's favorite show and ride a few rides. Bella has seen this show at least 15 times but she loves it every time! I have the words memorized and so I often catch myself singing along without me realizing it. How embarrassing!

Bella rode the carousel with Ian and also rode her favorite ride, the swings. If I were a 22-month-old, I'd be terrified to ride the swings but she loves it! She shrieks and giggles, which is absolutely adorable. We headed out of the Sesame Street area and walked around to see the animals.

The orangutans were so active today and Bella was face-to-face with one of the orangutans, or I should say palm to palm. The tigers were also very active today. Bella was up close and personal with three of the tigers and even roared at the tigers! She loves seeing the animals and she really enjoyed being so close to the animals today.

We left as the park was about to close and came home for dinner. While Ian and Bella played in the family room, I made a batch of jambalaya, with sausage of course. After dinner we watched a little bit of The Lion King and then before we knew realized, it was time for bath, books and bed. I won't be too far behind Bella as I didn't take a nap today in hopes of sleeping better at night. I hope my plan works because I am exhausted!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Baby #2

Friday, January 27, 2012

Rainy Friday

It began raining last night and it was one of those calming, soothing rains that made sleeping past 7:30am possible. As much as I love the sun and warm Florida weather, I love days like today, too... every once in awhile.

Our day began with a tour at Bella's potential preschool for the fall. We met with the director and were given a tour of the facility. The school looks really nice and the staff was even nicer. We saw the wall of graduates and saw several little friends of ours. We spent some time in the 2-year-old classroom where Bella played with play-doh And met some new little friends. She seemed to really like the classroom, so that's a good sign. We sat down as spoke with director at length about all the important details (I'll spare you all the boring details). Our questions were answered, the school seems to meet all of our criteria and we're really hoping to enroll Bella in this preschool for the fall.

Bella and I parted ways with Ian and headed to Sprouts for our weekly music class. Bella was so excited to see her friends and was eager to play this morning. All of the kids were a little wild, but that's okay because it's just our little group of friends. Bella an all of her little friends LOVE bubbles and asked for bubbles the moment they walked through the door. We made it through music, free play and finally had bubble time! The kids had a blast, as usual. We parted ways with our friends and headed to the mall because I needed to pick up a maternity support belt. Unfortunately I had forgotten my wallet so our trip to the mall was a complete bust. We headed home for lunch and naps, both of which we were in desperate need of.

Ian has been working long hours and opted to work from home today. We had a quick dinner (on the firm) because after dinner, Ian went back to work right away. Bummer, this is no way to spend a Friday night. I even had to cancel on a night out with my friends because Ian had to work. I didn't think it would be fair to leave Ian with Bella for a night out with the girls when he's been working until 2am for the few nights. I despise busy season!!!

While Ian is working, Bella is asleep and I'm catching up on a few DVR'ed shows. My oh my, how Friday nights have changed... for the better!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Baby #2

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Tales of a hair puller's victim...

How do you handle a situation in which a friend's child consistently bullies other children during play dates? Do you try to speak to the friend? Do you avoid play dates until the issue is resolved? Unfortunately we have been experiencing this issue for the past 6-months and I think I've reached my breaking point.

I use the word "bullies" because I don't know how else to refer to the actions of a child who frequently pulls other children's hair and pushes other children, unprovoked. And when I say unprovoked, I mean unprovoked. The child will aimlessly approach other children and pull their hair, often with a death grip on the child's hair. I could see if there was a toy at stake or the child was defending themselves, but this has never been the case. Up until today, I've consoled Bella MANY times but have never actually said anything to the child or the mother.

At today's play date, we simply walked through the door and in a manner of seconds (no joke) the child had a death grip on Bella's hair. I heard the other moms saying "Oh no, she has Bella's hair!" and I immediately flew into "mama bear" mode. I dropped my diaper bag and ran over to where Bella was screaming and crying in pain. When I intervened, the hair puller's mother was sitting at their level, "trying" to explain to her child that we don't pull our friend's hair, meanwhile Bella's hair was still being pulled... hard. I said in a very stern voice, "No! Let go of Bella's hair now!" I didn't yell or raise my voice but I used a very stern voice, which was very appropriate for the situation. I then began removing the child's hand from Bella's head. I scooped up Bella and loved all over her. I was FURIOUS so I said I needed to step outside for a moment. Part of the reason I was so upset was because of the consistent lack of discipline the hair puller receives when a child falls victim.

I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes because I was angry, sad and very disappointed. I allowed a few tears to slip out (once we were outside) and apologized to Bella. I apologized because I knew she was in pain and that she was confused. She was in pain because she had her hair pulled and she was confused because it was unprovoked. I know I didn't do anything wrong, but I felt like I could have caused a scene a long time ago and today's incident could have been avoided. I should have said or done something more a long, long time ago.

I won't get into the semantics of how another parent should discipline their child, but I will only go as far as saying that consequences should follow a child's less than appropriate behavior. Unfortunately, this is not the case in this circumstance. The child is often comforted by the mother after she victimizes another child. By comforted, I mean the child is often hugged and spoken to like nothing wrong has occurred. Meanwhile, my child is in tears at the expense of this "parenting style." This is where I have to draw the line and say something. Now I'm not saying the child needs to be beaten senseless, but some form of discipline (i.e. a time out, using a stern voice or forbidding the child to play with friends) needs to be implemented because the method that is being used sure as hell isn't working. This issue has been going on since late summer... and it's almost February.

I'd hate to deprive Bella of time with her friends because of the actions of one child, but I'm not certain how else to protect my child any more. It's unfortunate and I don't like it at all. I have been verbally attacked for my parenting methods and I would never want to make another parent feel the way that made me feel. Passing judgment on another parent is something we do a lot, but it doesn't make it right. This comes after a week of various Facebook posts about how certain methods of discipline don't work... talk about passing judgment!

We've never had any serious behavioral issues with Bella (knock on wood). She has not gone through a biting, hitting or bullying phase (knock on wood) and I pray that she never does. I can't say for certain what I would do if she did, but there would certainly be consequences for her actions. Tantrums and day to day behavior issues are normal for a child who is 21-months-old and I can handle these things. Redirection and time outs seem to work best for Bella and I will stick with these methods as long as they continue working.

It's been a very long and somewhat emotional day. Thankfully I have good friends to help me get through these difficult moments in parenthood. If it weren't for these friends, I'd probably become a hermit and avoid people all together. Ah, the super fun world of parenthood... buckle your seat belt, hold on and enjoy the ride!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Baby #2

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Meet the baby?

Earlier this evening, the three of us headed back to Meet the Baby for our re-scheduled ultrasound. We went with minimal expectations, as baby #2 was any thing but cooperative during the last u/s and our expectations were basically met. This child HATES the u/s process and refuses to show us her (probably) beautiful little face! She was on the move the entire time and once again turned her back to us (physically). We were able to get ONE picture and the u/s technician made us a DVD of our wiggly little girl. Bella definitely didn't move this much and this child moves ALL THE TIME!!! We are really going to be in for it if she is this active on the outside...

Meet the Baby is awesome and scheduled us for another u/s when I'm 30-weeks. The plan is that she will start to run out of space to move and hopefully be less wiggly. I feel a little spoiled that we get to see her again, but then again, I'd like some decent u/s pictures of this little girl for her baby book. Hopefully she cooperates at the 30-week appointment! But Meet the Baby is a really good and I'm sure if we can't get any good shots of her, they'll schedule us for yet another u/s.

Bella was an absolute angel during the 30-minute u/s and either stood next to the table I was laying on or sat on the couch with her daddy. She even pointed to the screen and said, "baby." O-m-g, how cute is that? I still don't think she has a clue of what's about to come in April, but I think she finally realizes that something is going on with my body. She even referred to the baby as "Minnie" which is one of her favorite characters. And no need to worry, because we're not naming the baby Minnie.

I'm feeling a little under the weather tonight and I'm so congested. I'm going to drink some hot tea, make a date with my neti-pot and hope for the best. There is nothing worse than being sick while you're pregnant because there's nothing (good) you can take and you pretty much have to let it run it's course. Bummer. Anywho... I'd better make that tea and get to bed. Some extra rest would do me some good, that's for sure.

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Baby #2

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Not what I expected...

When planning for the upcoming week, I didn't expect the various bumps in the road that happened to occur today. It all began with the babysitter having to cancel because she was sick (poor girl). Things went downhill, then took a surprisingly turn for the better... definitely not what I expected.

When the babysitter canceled she was so apologetic, it wasn't even funny. I felt terrible that she not only physically felt bad but she actually felt guilty about having to cancel. I reassures her that these things happen and that her health comes first and foremost. Plus, I didn't want to catch any germs and I didn't want Bella to catch any germs either. I canceled my morning massage and rescheduled for this evening and kept right along rearranging our schedule.

I had every intention of going to toddler time at the library but when I realized we had 10 minutes to get there and it would take us at least 20 minutes to actually get there, I had to cancel. Bummer!

So I loaded up the car and Bella and I began running a few errands. One of my errands included a stop at a local consignment shop to possibly sell our travel system. When I learned that they would price it at around $100 and only give me 50% of the profits, I quickly changed my mind.

So you're probably thinking, a pregnant woman schlepping around a ginormous travel system without any assistance, wtf?!? You're absolutely right. My back quickly reminded that I am not cut out for heavy lifting right now. My good friend, Stephanie, came to our rescue... even though I had aborted the plan of actually going to the consignment shop. Thank goodness for such an amazing friend!

Rather than do any heavy lifting, we left the car packed with all the junk and let the kids play at our house for awhile. Then lunch time approached and we headed out for a quick bite to eat. Our meal was pretty much a disaster, due to an under staffed restaurant and yucky food. But it was nice to take a moment to feed the kids and chat.

Nap time went without a hitch and I even participated. I haven't been feeling 100% and my back and hips have been killing me, so a nap was much needed today. We are now waiting for Ian to get home from work so that we can eat dinner and relax before my massage tonight.

Our day did not go according to plan, but that's okay. I had a good friend pick me up when I needed it and that truly made my entire day. Oh, that and the fact that my child loves to read and be read to! Things may not always go as planned, but learning to cope with change (even small change) is a part of life.

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Baby #2

P.S. I cannot wait for my massage tonight!!! I'm in pretty severe pain and I know this massage will bring me some relief... Thank you Ian, for allowing me to indulge in prenatal massages!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

A wonderful Monday

Today was a great way to begin another busy week. Bella and I had an impromptu play date with my friend Sara and her daughter Reese and then spent the rest of the relaxing. Bella played so well by herself and actually sat and listened while I read her several books. It was a wonderful Monday.

Speaking of my friend Sara... we began discussing preschools and the whole enrollment process. In our area there is one preschool that everyone sends their children to and obviously I want to enroll Bella in this preschool. I know she will be about 2.5-years-old but I think getting her situated in a school environment at an early will be beneficial in the long run. A two or three morning a week program would be ideal and hopefully we can get a spot for this fall. Wish us luck!

We wrapped up our day with an early bath and a movie. Ian worked late and had dinner plans so I pulled dinner and bath duty by myself. I promised Bella we could watch a movie and she selected Winnie the Pooh. So while I'm blogging, she is chillaxin' on the couch, just watching her movie. Again... It's been a wonderful Monday!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Baby #2

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sundays are bittersweet

I've come to the conclusion that Sundays are bittersweet. Sundays mark the end of the weekend but also the beginning of a new week. After several great weekends with my family, I am feeling sad that the weekend is coming to an end, but I am excited about what the week has in store for us. If only every day could be a Saturday...

We headed to the zoo this morning for a brief tour de animals. We haven't been to the zoo since early December and the weather was too beautiful to be inside. We only spent about an hour and a half at the zoo but we sure did have a lot of fun. Bella rode the carousel not once... not twice... but three times! The child could not get enough of the carousel and Ian didn't want to deprive his little girl of a good time, so he gladly took her three times. The giggles, grins and squeals of pure joy made it all worth while. Anything that makes my child happy, makes me happy. Plus, I was able to enjoy a delicious chocolate brownie from the sweets shoppe while the rest of my family rode the carousel. We walked around and looked at the animals and decided to head home before lunch and nap time.

I relaxed and watched a movie during Bella's nap time, while Ian worked. Blah! This working on the weekends crap is for the birds! Luckily Ian was able to get all of his work finished during Bella's nap time so I really don't mind if he has to work. The work needs to be done and I can appreciate that. I am very much looking forward to when Ian is on paternity leave (after busy season) and having some quality time as a family... of four. Ian works harder than anyone I know (except maybe for one person... ahem, Jennifer!) and I love that about him. He steps up and offers to help with projects, even though he has his own projects and clients to worry about. He recently volunteered to travel to Virginia for 3-weeks to help out with a project, I mean, who does that? I will admit that I encouraged him to volunteer, knowing that Bella and I could travel to Baltimore while he was working on the project... on the firm's dime. My intentions were selfish, but hey, if I get a trip to Baltimore out of it AND Ian saves the day for his firm, what could be better?!?

We watched my Ravens lose to the Patriots in a game that was pretty much handed to them on a silver platter. Flacco threw an interception but the Ravens managed to get the ball back with less than 2-minutes on the clock. A questionable pass that was called incomplete prevented the Ravens from winning the game. And then the icing on the cake... the missed freakin' field goal! The Ravens lost the game because of a missed field goal. So there will be no trip to the Super Bowl for the Ravens this year, but they sure did have one hell of a season!

We enjoyed a delicious dinner of marinated London broil on the grill with grilled asparagus and baked potatoes. Speaking of baked potatoes, did you know that potatoes should bake for 1.5-2 hours?!? We baked ours for 2-hours and they were absolutely amazing! We simply brush a little olive oil, sprinkle a little salt on the potatoes and pop them in a 350 degree oven for 2-hours. It's so simple but it makes a world of difference! The London broil was pretty scrumptious, too. I marinated it for 24-hours, so the meat was so tender. Love Sunday dinners at our house!!!

It's been another great weekend around here. I'm sad to see it end and I'm sad that Ian will have to return to work tomorrow. Bella and I have a busy week planned, so I'm looking forward to everything but already can't wait for next weekend!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Baby #2

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Luke is home!

Even though he is nearly 5-weeks early, my nephew Luke is home! He only spent one night in the NICU and is reported to be doing quite well for such a little peanut. It's kind of ironic that my nearly 9 pound Bella spent more time in the NICU than her little 5 pound cousin. Hopefully he gets a clean bill of health from his first pediatrician check up and continues to do well.

Last night I gave my sister some (unsolicited) advice, which she seemed to appreciate. And here is what I shared with her:

1. The first night at home: I warned her that the first night home is always miserable a little rough and that it's best to take shifts. Luke isn't nursing well, but my sister is pumping so my brother-in-law can most definitely help out with those night time feedings. Taking shifts allowed Ian and I to get some decent sleep, because 4-5 hours of decent sleep makes such a difference in fighting fatigue.

2. Nighttime: I told her to make sure Luke understands that nighttime is for sleep, by keeping lights low and noises to a minimum. Sometimes these little dudes and dudettes think it's okay to party at nighttime, rather than go back to sleep after a diaper change, feeding or comforting. And Luke being premature means he may not get the whole sleeping thing as quick as full-term babies. I also recommended that they begin a nighttime routine and stick with it, because he will eventually learn what nighttime is all about... and that is sleeping.

3. Breastfeeding: Like his cousin, Luke is struggling to latch and remain awake during nursing sessions. My sister is pumping and would like to do so for at least a few months. I reminded her that when pumping becomes a burden and takes away from your enjoyment of Luke, that's when you need to think about supplementing with formula. Obviously I encouraged her to breastfeed Luke, but I wanted to provide some support in case it doesn't work out. Formula feeding your child is not the end of the world, no matter what anyone tries to tell you.

4. Post-partum woes: After you have a baby, your body does many strange and uncomfortable things to adjust. No one ever warned me about these things (I'll spare you the gory details) and I wanted to let my sister know that these things are all normal... even if they are gross and uncomfortable.

5. Take care of you: I reminded my sister that it's important to take care of yourself even though you're a new mom. Sometimes we feel the need to wash dishes or make dinner rather than take a nap or even a shower. I told her that a happy mom helps make for a happy baby.

6. Freebies: I told her to take anything that is free from the hospital, pediatrician or OB. Whether it's formula, bottles, diapers, blankets, thermometers, sucky ball thingys or mesh panties (lol)... if it's there, you need to take it! And if it's not offered, then be sure to ask! We received several cans of formula, multiple packs of diapers and breast pump supplies from the hospital. When the NICU nurses learned I was going to be pumping (a lot), they totally hooked me up with storage containers, nipples and other spare parts.

I think my sister appreciated my advice, or at least I hope she did. This mom gig takes some getting used to and it's a huge adjust. All the advice in the world can't prepare you for what is about to happen. It's all about survival and finding what works best for you, your child and your family. Being a parent is a roller coaster ride, with twists and turns, but it sure is a hell of a lot of fun!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Baby #2

Friday, January 20, 2012

Busy morning... one tired toddler

This picture of Bella sums up the busy morning we had. We began running errands around 8:30am and were finished by 10:00am. We hit up Babies-R-Us for some closet organization supplies, including a ton of hangers and some other things I need to the closet in the nursery neat and organized. All of the clothes that needed to be folded, have been folded and put away in the two dressers. I just need to hang up a TON of other clothes in the closet. We ended up having to go to Buy Buy Baby (oh darn) for a few accessories for the new stroller*. We then quickly ran to the Walmart Neighborhood Market, which I had never been to. We're getting one right around the corner and I am now very excited because this store was awesome! I needed a few cleaning supplies and I was able to pick up everything I needed without having to fight the crowds at the regular Walmart. We then headed to our weekly music class at Sprouts.

Last week I enrolled Bella in an 8-week music and play class at a locally owned place called Sprouts. It's like a teeny-tiny Gymboree and the kids have a lot of fun. We sing songs, dance around, read books and have free play. The kids seem to really enjoy the free play because there is a super cool mini-gym set up with a slide and a few climb on toys. The class is about an hour and time really seems to fly because we're having so much fun. I especially like the class because it's a private class for our play group. There are only 7 of us, which makes for a fun class because there's plenty of room for the kids to move around. The class before ours had about 15 kids and that just seemed like way too many. This is something I should have done with Bella a long time ago, because once we stopped going to infant play group at the Brandon Family Resource Center we haven't enrolled in any sort of class. We are definitely enjoying ourselves and I'm so glad we get to spend this time together before baby #2 arrives in April.

After Sprouts, we headed to the Green Iguana for lunch with our friends. Lunch with so many kids is always interesting, but the kids were so well behaved today. The service was super slow and we ended up spending over an hour there. By the time our food arrived, Bella was beginning to lose steam. Rather than have a meltdown, my precious little girl laid her head on the table and fell asleep. She slept for about 15-minutes before we left. I managed to snap a few pictures, including the one above. But honestly, how cute is she?!? Thank goodness she continued her nap when we got home and I also took a little nap myself. 

A quick trip to the mall after dinner and some play time at the indoor playground added to Bella's exhaustion and she was ready for bed as soon as we got home. I love how well my little girl sleeps and like her mother, when she's ready for bed... she's ready for bed. Hopefully baby #2 sleeps just as well! 

We're thankful the weekend is here and I see a lot of relaxation in our future. We don't have any real plans and we are caught up on everything around the house, so we will definitely be enjoying another relaxing weekend at home. 

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Baby #2

*We sold our Baby Jogger City Mini Single stroller and so we needed to order our new stroller a little sooner than expected. We ended up buying the Baby Jogger City Select stroller. It arrived on Wednesday and today was the first day we were able to use it. I must say, this stroller is AWESOME! It has 16 different seating configurations and can be a single or a double stroller. It's not quite as compact as my City Mini, but it folds up a lot more compact than most double strollers. Bella also seems to enjoy her new stroller. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

You've got to be kidding me!

Around 3:30am this morning, I was in the middle of a dream. The dream was really bizarre, but the gist of dream was that my friend, Maria and her father, wrote me a prescription for anti-nausea medication because I was at their house and feeling nauseous. Sounds plausible to me, as Maria is a nurse, but I have no idea why her father was involved. Anyway... I woke up feeling super nauseous. I tried to ignore the nausea for about 30 minutes, but when it did not subside and I could not fall back to sleep, I resorted to other measures. I managed to make my way to the kitchen and found my anti-nausea medication. Seeing that it was 4am and I'd be up for the day in 3-hours, I decided to take the Zofran because it does not make me drowsy. Thankfully the Zofran took effect pretty quick and I managed to take a 2.5-hour "nap" before it was time to get up.

I don't normally like to complain about being pregnant or any of the related symptoms, but nausea at 28-weeks?!? You've got to be kidding me! Like I mentioned in previous posts, my nausea pretty much subsided when I entered the 2nd trimester with Bella. It did return about a week or so before I had Bella, but about 10-weeks of nausea was manageable. The constant feeling of feeling like I'm going to vomit is not at all fun! I haven't actually gotten sick since we got home from Baltimore, but I never know when I'm actually going to get sick. Oh well... I guess it's back to the anti-nausea medications for me.

Despite my rude awakening early this morning, we managed to pull ourselves together and attend our weekly play date. I most definitely participated in nap time this afternoon and that nap was much needed. Bella ended up taking a 3-hour nap and I ended up taking a 2-hour nap. I felt somewhat refreshed when I woke up and felt ready to get through the rest of the evening.

Anywho... dinner is on the stove and Ian will be home soon (although he is running late) so I'd better get back to my mother and wife duties. And for the record, I will be taking my Phenegran tonight before I go to bed to help me fall asleep and to prevent any middle of the night bouts of nausea tonight.

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Baby #2

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Welcome Luke!

Today was a big day in our household... I became an aunt, Ian became an uncle and Bella became a cousin! My sister and brother-in-law welcomed their son, Luke Thomas, into the world. This has been a much anticipated event and our entire family is over the moon! We finally have a little nephew!
Luke was delivered via c-section at 10:37am, as my sister had several pregnancy complications (Type I Diabetes and pre-eclampsia) and induction would have not gone well. He weighed in at 4 pounds 5 ounces and measured 18 1/4 inches long! If you're thinking he's a small baby, he is. He was born at 35-weeks, so he's a premie. Luckily the doctors prepared for his early arrival several weeks ago and gave him some steroids to improve his lung function. Mom and baby are said to be doing great! Luke is feeding from a bottle and breathing on his own just fine. 

Baby season is upon us and this marks baby #4 out of 8 woman I know who are expecting in the next few months. Last week we welcomed Miles Patton, Olivia Meeker and Alexandra Franc into the world. And just today we welcomed Luke Weber into the world! Next up is Daniella Peluso, who is expected to make her debut on or around February 10th! I cannot wait to meet all these little bundles of joy... especially my own!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Baby #2

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A productive Tuesday

Thank goodness for our weekly babysitter, otherwise I have no idea how I'd get any thing accomplished in a timely manner. The babysitter arrived early and I quickly began to check things off my to-do list.

A long, relaxing shower was first on my to-do list. I know it sounds unbelievably simple, but showering when you have a toddler means quick showers. I am happy to report that I not only had time to wash my hair, but also shave my legs, too! Sorry, too much information. But I'm sure my fellow moms can relate. I even had time to blow dry and flat iron my hair... what a luxury! Sometimes it's the little things in life that seem to count the most.

I ran several errands, which included running to the mall, Old Time Pottery, Home Depot, Gumballs & Overalls and Publix. I had to make a return to Sears and while I was there, I picked up some pajamas for Bella that were super on sale. I've been wanting a new lamp for the living room, so I headed to Old Time Pottery and picked up a floor lap and dust pan & broom set for Bella. I needed to stop by Home Depot to pick up 3-way light bulbs for the new lamp. And finally at Gumballs & Overalls, I picked up an outfit I ordered for Bella back in December. I finished up my errands with a quick trip to Publix for a few odds and ends. I had a busy morning, but I was home by noon.

With my remaining hour of the babysitter, I began going through storage bin after storage bin of Bella's baby clothes. I'm in the process of purging clothes Bella never really wore and giving those clothes to my friend Lisa, whose baby girl is due next month. I made my way through the 0-3 month and 3-6 month clothes and have a huge pile for Lisa. I began organizing and putting away the clothes we're keeping. I managed to put away everything that doesn't need to be hung up in the closet. Next week I will buy the closet organizer and begin putting those clothes away. There's no doubt about it... my girls have A LOT of clothes. I am really going to try to curb my shopping and make due with what we have, which is a ton of clothes! Although I can redeem Gymbucks tomorrow at Gymboree, so perhaps I'll stop shopping after I used my coupon.

I am pretty darn proud of myself for accomplishing so much in such a short amount of time. I really try to make the most of my "free time" when the babysitter is here. Whether it's running errands, shopping solo or doing stuff around the house, I try to have a game plan prior to the babysitter arriving so that I can take advantage of the time she is here. I look forward to Tuesdays, even though I'm usually super busy. It's nice to get stuff done without a toddler in tow.

And now it's time to catch up with a few DVR'ed shows... happy Tuesday y'all!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Baby #2

Monday, January 16, 2012

Just perfect

This weekend was just perfect. We had nothing to do and no where to go and it was fabulous. We spent the majority of our time at home, relaxing together as a family.

It was especially great because it was a 3-day weekend. In Ian's line of work, long weekends and days off aren't a common occurrence. In fact, long work days and weeks are more common than long weekends and time off. Ian worked a little bit during Bella's nap time, but for the most part, he was unplugged from his laptops (yes, there are two) and his phone. It was wonderful to have his full attention the entire weekend and I know Bella also enjoyed the extra attention. Ian and Bella played together for hours and it was a joy to watch. The two of them ran around in the backyard for over an hour and seemed to really enjoy the gorgeous weather. Now this isn't to say that Ian is an inattentive father or husband, because that is simply not true, but it was really comforting to know that he wasn't stressed about work the entire weekend.

This morning we had an 3D/4D ultrasound at Meet the Baby. We had an u/s here back in November and found out the sex of baby #2 almost 2-weeks early. We bought a package that included another u/s, a maternity photo shoot (yuck) and a newborn photo shoot (cute). I'll be 27-weeks tomorrow and we haven't seen this little girl in almost 2-months! It was such a treat to get a peak into her little world... inside my belly. Apparently baby #2 found the u/s bothersome and spent the majority of the time evading the u/s technician and covering her face with her hands. She was quite the little mover and groover this morning and would not stay still. Baby #2 was uncooperative to say the least, BUT we will be able to see her again next week when we return for a rescan. I love that we were able to watch her for 15-20 minutes, but I was a little disappointed we didn't get any good pictures of her. And I am very thankful that we get to go back next week! Maybe then I shall have a few u/s photos to post in our blog.

The rest of the day was spent relaxing, taking naps and playing with Bella. A delicious dinner (made by Ian) completed our day and we're now unwinding with a quick episode of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Bath, books and bedtime will be here before we know it and tomorrow we will be back to our hectic, busy schedule. I have savored every moment of this weekend and I wish for more weekends like it. But I'd better get off the computer and make the most of these last fleeting moments of a perfect weekend.

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Baby #2

P.S. We have decided to limit television time for the entire family. Ian and I have curbed our own television watching dramatically and we have chosen to do the same for Bella. She wasn't watching a lot of television, but a little more than we would like. She is now limited to 30-minutes to 45-minutes of television a day. The first two days came with a lot of tears, as she was accustomed to waking up and watching one of her shows. We now keep music on during the day and focus on spending time with Bella. Now don't worry, we haven't turned into anti-television people or anything like that, we just find that a little moderation goes a long way. I'm sure there will be times when we are desperate for a moment to complete a chore and turn on the television for Bella, but hopefully those moments will be few and far between.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Woohoo! My Baltimore Ravens beat the Houston Texans and have advanced to the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots! Only one more game stands between my Ravens and a chance to play in the Super Bowl! They haven't been to the AFC Championship since 2001, when they won the Super Bowl, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for another trip to the Super Bowl.

And thank goodness the Patriots were able to give the Denver Broncos a beating they will never forget. All the silly, bandwagon Tebow fans have been silenced until next season. I couldn't take much more of the "I love Tebow" crap. I mean, it's like people really worship the dude. Weird. I don't personally care for the dude, as the in your face praying and do-gooder persona seems a little phony to me. For me, NFL superstars shouldn't cry on the sidelines during a regular season game. Grow a pair and play the game! Not to mention his football skills are less than desirable. But anyway...

I'm stoked my Ravens have won the right games and have made it this far. They actually remained undefeated at home the entire season... what an accomplishment! There are many folks out there who didn't believe the Ravens would make it this far this season. I will refer to those folks as the "haters" and I am so happy the Ravens proved them wrong. The Patriots will be a difficult team to beat on their home turf, but it can be done! Wish my Ravens luck as the continue on the road to the Super Bowl!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Baby #2

Saturday, January 14, 2012

More please!

I don't have much to say about today, other than I wish all days could be like today. We had nothing planned and had nothing to do... it was great! The house was clean, the errands were completed and we had no where to be. The rest of our weekend will be the same and it will be so nice to sit back, relax and actually enjoy the weekend. If only all weekends could be so laid back and enjoyable.

We relaxed in our pajamas this morning until Bella woke up. Yes, both Ian and I were awake before Bella opened her little eyes for the day. She slept until almost 9am, which is something I could really get used to. Once everyone was showered, dressed and fed, we headed to BJ's to do a little shopping. We actually only went to BJ's with the intention of returning a box of spoiled clementines which I had purchased earlier in the week. We ended up doing a little shopping, but thats okay, because we managed to buy things we actually needed.

After BJ's we headed home for lunch and naps. I'm not sure if Bella fell asleep or not, but I managed to catch a quick nap before we headed to Grandma Ruth's for a visit. We met Grandma Ruth for dinner and visited with her for a bit. After dinner we headed home for some play time and Bella's bed time routine. We now have a sleeping child and we're watching the Broncos v. Patriots game. What a great way to end a very relaxing and laid back day. I am happy to report that we don't have any plans for tomorrow either. There's nothing to be done around the house and there are no errands to be run. We have an entire day to do whatever we want and hopefully that includes watching the Texans v. Ravens game.

Days like today are wonderful and make the weekend truly enjoyable. As Bella would say, "more please!"

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Baby #2

Friday, January 13, 2012

Parents Night Out!

We have been trying for months to get together with some friends of ours and tonight we finally made it happen! Ian asked me earlier in the week if we were free for dinner on Friday and if so would I like to go to one of our favorite restaurants with our friends, Cathy and Robby. After I secured a babysitter, I gladly said, "yes" and we finally had plans to go to Boizao with our friends. A Friday night out was exactly what we needed!

Ian has known Cathy for his entire professional career and I've known her since I moved to Tampa over six years ago. She is super nice and I've always really liked her. When Ian told me that she'd be joining him at the new firm, I was excited because we hadn't been keeping in touch with Cathy and her family as much as we should have. We exchanged holiday cards and she attended my baby shower, but we saw them once (maybe twice) a year. Since Cathy joined the new firm, we've seen her and Robby several times, including at a holiday party last month.

Anyone who knows Cathy knows that she is habitually late. I mean, the woman is late to everything! It's almost endearing how often she is late. Ian and I were running a few minutes late and we didn't feel bad because we assumed Cathy and Robby would also be late. Sure enough, when we arrived at Boizao, Cathy and Robby weren't there and so we sat at the bar and waited for them to arrive. Ian sent Cathy a text message to let her know where they could find us when they arrived. Little did we know that Cathy and Robby were NOT late, BUT were at the wrong restaurant! They had gone to Texas de Brazil, which is the same type of restaurant as Boizao and was located in the same area. How funny!!!

We enjoyed a lovely, child-free meal and enjoyed almost 3-hours of adult conversation. It was wonderful! We returned home around 11pm to a toddler, who had been asleep for almost 3-hours. Jessica has been helping take care of Bella since November and we LOVE her! Jessica gave us the scoop on Bella and Kaiser, too. She was so well-behaved and went to bed so easily! I love that about Bella! Bella and Jessica played and watched The Lion King until it was time for Bella to go to bed around 8:30pm. Now as for Kaiser, she said he was a little bit needy tonight. This doesn't surprise me, as he's been a little down in the dumps since Riley passed away. Jessica was happy to spoil Kaiser with some extra attention after Bella went to bed. I'm so glad we found another reliable, trustworthy and caring woman to help take care of Bella... it is such a relief!

It is WAY past my bed time... like way, way past my bed time. I have a feeling I may regret staying up this late tomorrow, but oh well, we very rarely get to spend a night out with friends. With the arrival of baby #2 approaching, I have a feeling nights like tonight are going to be few and far between for quite some time. Here's to hoping I can sleep in tomorrow!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Baby #2

P.S. If you've never been to Boizao, it's a restaurant you must go to at least once in your life. It's a Brazilian Steakhouse and it's so much fun! Fogo de Chao or Texas de Brazil are comparable restaurants, if you don't have a Boizao in your area. Basically they walk around with 20 different kinds of meat and carve it for you at your table. There is also an amazing salad bar (which was especially amazing tonight), yummy friend plantains and mashed potatoes and garlic biscuits. Not to mention their desserts are super yummy! I highly recommend trying it at least once... it's totally worth it.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Coke be gone!

Anyone who knows me knows that I am addicted to Coke (as in Coca-Cola, not booger sugar). Coke became a staple in my "diet" in high school and I loved the little boost of energy the caffeine gave me. Through college, I drank Coke, even though I attended a college that only sold Pepsi products (eww). When I joined the working world, I continued drinking Coke to wake me up in the morning and throughout the work day. I'm not a coffee drinker, so Coke was my drink of choice almost every day. Even while I was pregnant with Bella and during this pregnancy, I continued to drink a limited amount of Coke (one or two a day). Needless to say, I was a Coke addict.

After returning from Baltimore last week, I had the goal of eliminating Coke from my diet. Not for any specific reason, other than water is much better for me (and baby #2) than Coke. And I decided to go cold turkey, which is the only way to go for me. Today marks one week since I had my last Coke and have consumed nothing but water as a beverage. This is HUGE for me! I even turned down my an ice cold fountain Coke at Hamburger Mary's the other day, which was very difficult for me because fountain Coke is my absolute favorite!

This week has been a bit of a struggle for me to wake up in the morning without my favorite beverage. I have managed to get through the first week, which is the the most difficult to get through. Rather than beginning my day with a Coke, I've been making a big glass of ice water and adding a little bit of lemon to it (exciting, I know). I have increased my water intake, which is great in preventing edema due to pregnancy. I even feel a little bit better, although I'm not sure if it's a mental thing or a physical thing. Either way, I'll take it.

Once baby #2 arrives, I can't make any promises that I won't return to my old habit, because this mama will NEED the caffeine, but I'm also not planning on it either. Perhaps I should try to go for an entire year without drinking Coke... wouldn't that be something?!?

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Baby #2

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Exhaustion & Relaxation

Today we joined my friend Michelle and her daughter Eliana at All Person's Park for a play date. I have been invited to join a moms group and for the past two months, Bella and I have been unable to attend for one reason or another. We finally were able to meet up with our friends and I think I'm going to join this moms group.

I have been part of a small moms group since Bella was about 6-months-old, when the big moms group we were apart of began to fall apart. It was nice because it was a small group and I liked all of the moms. We are still very much apart of this moms group and I plan to keep attending play dates and outings with this group of friends. I love that Bella has a small circle of friends that she will hopefully grow up with these little friends. The weekly play date is great because we know well in advance what we will be doing at least one day a week.

But I've been wanting to join a more formal moms group, but have been hesitant to do so because of bad experiences in the moms group we seceded from. The group leader wasn't very nice (to many people), the group was full of cliques and the events were often scheduled at times that weren't convenient to our schedule. In fact, I was "kicked out" of that moms group for inactivity, after I RSVP'ed to an event the day before. Go figure. Needless to say, I've had my guard up and I've decided to be more selective in the next moms group I joined. My friend Michelle and I met over two years ago (our husbands worked together), while I was pregnant with Bella. She worked full-time and I was busy with a newborn and unfortunately we never really kept in touch. Thankfully she is now a SAHM and we have reconnected through Facebook. She invited me to several play dates, which we were unable to attend because I was sick and/or Bella busted her mouth open that day. But for some reason she kept inviting us and I was happy to have finally attended an event.

I met a few of the moms and they seem pretty laid back and pretty normal. I didn't feel out of place for being the new girl and everyone made an effort to speak with me. Love that! I told Michelle I think we would like to join the group and would do so in the next few days. I think it will be nice to add some new moms and kids to the mix. It's not that I don't like my friends from my small moms group, it's just that I would like to add some new activities and meet some new people. And many of the moms already have two kids, so I will definitely be picking their brains for advice on life with two kids!

Bella was so exhausted from our play date at the park that she took an almost 4-hour nap! I also took a nap, as I was exhausted from chasing a toddler around the playground all morning long. My back is killing me and my body is telling me to get some relief, so I scheduled a prenatal massage for tonight. Hopefully I can get at least one massage a month until baby #2 arrives to help with the back pain and the edema (which hasn't started yet). What a great way to end a day... with an hour long massage!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Baby #2

Monday, January 9, 2012

A clean house is a happy house!

Our house is back to it's normal, organized and clean state. This is such a relief for me, because there's nothing I hate more than an unorganized and unclean house. The furniture is dusted, the floors are so clean you could eat off of them and all three of the bathrooms are sanitized. And I am VERY THANKFUL to say that I didn't have to lift a finger to do any of the cleaning! My mother-in-law bought us a Groupon for to have our house cleaned three times. How awesome is that?!?

When it was just Ian and I, we both worked and we shared equal responsibility in chores around the house. We usually did chores on the weekend and our house stayed immaculate for weeks. When we moved, added two dogs and a baby to the mix, keeping up with chores became a bit more difficult. Rather than waste away our weekends cleaning the house, I made time during the week to get the majority of the chores finished during Bella's nap times. We have a pretty big house and cleaning can be a daunting task. Thankfully, Ian often does more than his fair share of chores, which is great. For the past 6 months or so, we've actually hired a housekeeper who comes once or twice a month to deep clean our house it has worked out well. We keep the house neat and tidy and she will come in and do a thorough, deep cleaning of everything. I love it.

The linens on all of the beds are fresh and clean. All of the furniture is polished. The floors are squeaky clean. And all of my bathrooms are spotless. What a great way to start a busy week! Hopefully your Monday was just as great as mine!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Baby #2

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Hamburger Mary's

Today we met Grandma Ruth and Uncle Donald in Ybor for lunch. We haven't seen either since well before we left for Baltimore, so this visit was long overdue. We planned to go to the Tampa Bay Brewing Company for lunch, but the restaurant didn't open until noon on Sundays. We needed to eat lunch a little early because Grandma Ruth and Uncle Donald were catching an afternoon show at the Straz Center and we needed to get home for Bella's nap. So with our favorite Ybor restaurant being closed, we went to the next best place... Hamburger Mary's.

If you've ever been to Hamburger Mary's, then you are well aware that it is a different kind of restaurant. They offer a drag bingo night for charities and a drag show one night a week. Yes, a drag show. We've actually been to the drag show for a birthday party and had a blast. Never in my life did I think I'd be taking my 21-month-old daughter to the same place that has a drag show on Saturday nights! It's a different place, but it's fun... for adults. Or so I thought...

Our lunch experience at Hamburger Mary's was amazingly awesome! Bella, who has been protesting high chairs and booster seats recently, sat in a high chair and was perfectly content! The loud pop music and the colorful decor served as a perfect setting to keep that little entertained for over an hour. Not to mention the food was AWESOME! I ordered a Kobe burger, topped with mac & cheese and it was delicious! Ian ordered a calamari salad which was yummy and Bella had a grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The wait staff was really attentive and they loved Bella!

For a place I never thought I'd take my young child, I think we will be returning to Hamburger Mary's. I think lunch on Sunday is the perfect time to go (with your mother-in-law and young child) and it's a great venue to keep little ones occupied. There aren't too many places to eat with young children in Ybor, so if you're ever in Ybor with your kids, check out Hamburger Mary's (before dark) for some fun and great food.

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Baby #2

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The perfect Saturday...

We spent the day with our friends the Freedmans at Sea World. The kids had a blast and we extra adorable today. Our friend Scott managed to snap this picture of Connor and Bella running up the hill to watch the Sea Lion & Otter show. These two are the best of friends and have known each other since they were about 4-months-old. I hope they will be lifelong friends, as we love their parents probably as much as Bella loves Connor!

The weather in Orlando was absolutely beautiful and we enjoyed partly sunny skies and temperatures in the low 70's. It was the perfect day to spend outside and just another reminder how much I love winter in Florida! Not to mention, I love how close we live to all the fun attractions! And we are very fortunate to have passes to nearly every attraction in the the Tampa Bay area and Orlando area, so we get A LOT of use out of our passes. 

I got home just in time to join my friend Lisa for a pedicure at the nail salon! What a great way to end a long day of walking! We then spent the evening enjoying pizza (white pizza for Bella) and watching football with the Freedmans and the Pelusos. It was pretty much a perfect Saturday! 

It's been a long day and tomorrow will be just as busy as today. Busy days are great, but exhausting. But I wouldn't have it any other way!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Baby #2

Friday, January 6, 2012

Busy Friday

This morning I had my monthly OB appointment, complete with the dreaded 1-hour glucose test. The good news is that baby #2 is doing very well and I am progressing as expected. I am almost 26-weeks along and I am measuring perfectly! The baby's heartbeat sounded great and the nurse practitioner said that both the baby and I seem to be doing very well. We talked about how different this pregnancy has been and how I've been plagued with chronic nausea and back pain. She sent in refills for my anti-nausea medications and I was given the green light for prenatal massage! Yay!

For those of you who have undergone the dreaded glucose test during pregnancy, I will just say that it doesn't get any better the second time. I drank the "flat Sprite" and waited an hour. I chatted with a few other expecting moms in the waiting room and browsed the Internet on my iPhone. Before I knew it, it was time to have my blood drawn. I said a little prayer to pass the 1-hour glucose test because the 3-hour glucose test really sucks. With Bella, I failed my 1-hour glucose test but passed my 3-hour glucose test. Thankfully, I didn't have gestational diabetes and I didn't have to follow a strict diet or test my blood. I hope I pass the 1-hour glucose test this time around and avoid the 3-hour test. I should have the results by Monday.

I left the OB's office and headed to Target to pick up a few last minute things for my organization project. Target was having a sale on storage items, so I picked up a few bins to better organize holiday stuff, including the huge stockpile of wrapping paper and bags I have accumulated through really awesome sales at Old Time Pottery and Target. I enjoy being organized so the process of actually getting organized doesn't really bother me. In fact, I think I enjoy organizing a little too much... but is that really a bad thing?

The babysitter was staying until 1pm so I had two hours to work at taking down holiday decorations, including our Christmas tree. I managed to put everything in it's proper storage container and so all Ian will have to do is put the containers away in the garage. I was exhausted after untangling strands of Christmas lights but felt very accomplished and my load felt so much lighter. It's my goal to have the house back in it's normal, organized state by Monday morning. You see, we're having the house cleaned on Monday and I like to have the house neat and tidy for the cleaning folks. My mother-in-law bought us a Groupon for three 3-hour cleaning sessions. I gladly accepted the generous offer and quickly scheduled our three sessions for before baby #2 arrives. There's nothing better than having someone else clean your house!

Despite my super busy (and exhausting) day, I managed a quick mom's night out with my friend, Stephanie. We met for dinner at the Italian Kitchen and enjoyed nearly 2-hours of uninterrupted adult conversation. The food was absolutely amazing, especially the delicious chocolate mousse desserts we both ordered. I've had a bit of a sweet tooth lately, so the chocolate mousse really hit the spot. Every time we have a mom's night out, we always say how we should do this more often and blah, blah, blah... I just wish there were hours in the day or endless amounts of energy to do so.

We are slowly but surely getting back into the swing of things. By next week, we should be back on track with our normal routine. I know I keep harping on our darn routine, but it's what keeps me sane. But it's late and we have a busy weekend ahead of us, so I'd better get some sleep.

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Baby #2

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Since Bella was a little schnook, we have worked to keep a pretty good routine around our house. Part of our routine since Bella was about 6-months-old is attending a weekly play date. We have missed the last few play dates because we've been out of town, but today we were happy to finally see our friends (both hers and mine) again.

In preparing to leave for the play date, Bella had a major meltdown! I mean, laying on the floor and crying, kind of meltdown. All because she didn't want to wear shoes. I guess she was tired of having to wear socks and shoes in Baltimore because it was so cold and she wanted to give her toes a breather? I'm not really sure the reason, but we left the house without shoes on Bella's feet. There are worse things in life, right?

We ran a few errands before the play date that needed to be done today. This included a stop at the credit union, a place where I'm quite certain they think I'm an idiot. There is a drive up ATM, but for some reason, the ATM doesn't like to accept my deposits. That means I have to go through an actual live teller. I usually miscalculate on the deposit slip and the teller's almost always have to fix my deposit slips. At first I was mortified, but now I laugh along with the tellers at my inability to correctly add and subtract on a deposit slip.

We arrived at the play date while it was in full swing. Bella got busy playing with her little friends and I got busy chatting it up with my friends. I filled them in on all the drama that occurred over the past two weeks and they filled me in on their holiday drama. It's funny because my friends almost always expect stories about a certain topic (to remain private) when we travel to Baltimore and as always, I had a good story (or two) for them. Exchanging stories made me feel less sorry for myself and I got a chuckle out of hearing various anecdotes about family and friends incurred by my friends while we were gone. Thank goodness for friends who can appreciate me for who I am!

We left the play date a little early to make a quick trip to Target. I needed to pick up a few things to begin my organization plan the next day. While we were there, I managed to pick up wrapping paper for 42 cents a roll, holiday bags for 22 cents a piece and other various deeply discounted holiday items, all at 90% off! I love after holiday sales when you can pay 90% less than the retail value, plus save an additional 5% with our Target card. Okay, so I left with a little more than I originally planned to buy... but it was on sale. =)

Bella napped for almost 4-hours today and I joined her in the napping festivities. Even though there were holiday decorations to be taken down and other chores to be completed, I was exhausted and needed the extra rest. I didn't even watch any of my DVR'ed shows during nap time... I went straight to bed. After naps, I fixed dinner and Bella played until Ian got home. Our day went according to plan and I felt satisfied because our routine was back to normal.

Well since I didn't catch up with any of my DVR'ed shows this afternoon, it's time for me to play catch up now. I have a few episodes of the Real Housewives of (some big city) to catch up with. And I have a FULL DAY of organizing tomorrow, after my appointment with the OB, so sleep is a priority tonight!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Baby #2

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

We're finally home!

After being away for nearly two-weeks, we are home! The funny thing is that the weather we left was C-O-L-D but the weather that welcomed us in Tampa was only slightly better. We left below freezing temperatures of 9 degrees in Baltimore very early this morning and returned to Tampa only to find out it temperatures were well below normal. I will admit that 45 degrees felt so much better than 9 degrees, but I was really hoping to return to a warm 70 degrees. Bragging about the warm weather is a little perk of living in Florida and I've come to love it.

I would also like to mention how well behaved Bella was on the plane today! She was an absolute angel and I would travel all the time if she would behave the way she did today. We received several compliments from several passengers and the Southwest flight attendants. I informed them that she is a frequent flier and her exceptional behavior today is what occurs 75% of the time. I have said it before and I will say it again... buying a seat for Bella is money well spent!

We had a busy two weeks in Baltimore. We went to 34th Street in Hampden to see Christmas lights, the National Aquarium in Baltimore (I will eventually post pictures), we visited with family, we visited with friends and we did a lot of relaxing. Luckily it was the holidays so we saw a lot of family on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. My dad took off all but two days, so it was great to have him around all of the time. We took trips to the mall (thanks for all of the awesome clothes for the girls, Pop). We ate at all of our favorite places and enjoyed delicious home cooked meals. My favorite meal had to have been the breakfast my dad and I cooked for the family on Christmas morning. There's something special about waking up, opening gifts and enjoying a huge breakfast with the family in our pajamas. It reminds me of my childhood, when my dad would cook a big breakfast for us and we'd lounge around the house until it was time to go to my aunt's house.

Fortunately Ian had off today, so we were able to catch up on things around the house and begin the daunting task of unpacking. And for anyone who knows me, I hate to unpack. Luckily I did laundry in Baltimore so the majority of our unpacking consisted of putting away clean clothes. But the huge storage bin of NEW toys is what is really bothering me. I need to go through all of Bella's toys and reorganize everything. This child has so many toys and I'm holding on to most of her toys because baby #2 will certainly get some use out of them. I have some ideas for better storage solutions, but those will have to wait until we are settled. We had to go grocery shopping because we had absolutely nothing to eat. Even if I don't have an organized house, at least we have will have food on the table. My goal is to have everything organized and put away by the weekend, including the holiday decorations. As usual, so little time and so much to do!

Well, I've been up since 5am and I am exhausted. I have lots of pictures to post from the holidays, but I need to find some time to upload and organize the nearly 1,000 pictures we took! Geez, I have a lot to do!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Baby #2

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Last day in Baltimore

Today is our last day in Baltimore and it is bittersweet. I am eager to get home and to get back to our normal routine, but I am sad to be leaving all of the comforts of my hometown. Ian left bright and early this morning and should be home by midnight tonight. It's been a great trip (despite a few things) and we love spending time up here!

We packed yesterday and I will be traveling very light tomorrow. Ian is taking back the majority of our luggage, oh and Kaiser, too! I have a small carry on bag, the diaper bag, Bella and her car seat. I made it through security in Tampa without any problems and I hope the same goes for tomorrow. Traveling with a toddler by yourself is not an easy task, but by the grace of God, I manage to do it. And add to the equation the fact that I am 25-weeks pregnant and that really makes things interesting. But in my opinion, a 2-hour flight with Bella is much better than a 16-hour drive with Bella. Truth be told, Bella travels well in the car, it's me who despises being in the car for long periods of time.

We made the most of today and enjoyed our last day with Pop. We're going to miss seeing Pop every day, but hopefully he will make a trip to Tampa before baby #2 arrives this spring. Pop has been a gracious host and we are thankful for that. We're especially going to miss all of Pop's home cooking! It's been great not having to make dinner, but still having a delicious, hot meal on the table every night. Maybe Pop can move to Tampa and be our live-in chef? And maybe Dee Dee can move to Tampa (although she hates the weather) and be our live-in maid? I can dream, can't I?!?

Well, I'd better get some sleep. Bella has been asleep since 7:30pm because we have to wake up early tomorrow. I'd better join my sleeping child and catch some z's myself. Nighty night y'all!

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Baby #2

Monday, January 2, 2012


For the past two days I've had an empty feeling inside of me. It's a brand new year, but I still feel very much attached to 2011. It probably has a lot to do with the two deaths I experienced in December and the fact that I am still very much in mourning. In all honesty, I am not ready to move on.

I know that grief has several stages and I eagerly await the day when I can accept the deaths of my god father and my beloved dog. My god father was an incredibly special person to me and I miss him every day. In comparison to Uncle Mickey's death, it seems almost silly to be so upset over Riley passing away. I know it seems silly to the average person to be in mourning over the death of a dog, but to me it's not. He was a part of our lives and perfectly completed our family.

I hope to find some closure soon, but until then, I continue to feel an emptiness in my heart. Unfortunately I think I am in the very beginning stage of grief and that is denial. In my mind, we will visit Aunt Laurie and Uncle Mickey, just as we always have. In my mind, when we come home, Riley will be excessively barking like he always does. But Uncle Mickey won't be there and Riley won't be there. How can this be? Surely this is all some kind of bad dream...

Fortunately I am not going through all this alone. Ian is right there with me. I find some comfort in knowing that I am not alone in this. Together, we will grieve and get through this.

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Baby #2

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

After a very long trip home from Asheville, NC, we are arrived home (to Baltimore) last night. Rather than going out and ringing in the new year, we spent an evening at Falls Road Animal Hospital. We said our goodbyes to Riley and began making arrangements for him. We came home feeling a little less whole and went to bed early. It was an exhausting day.

I'm not one for making resolutions, especially because resolutions are typically broken. We have a busy year ahead of us and so many things to look forward to. Rather than spout off a bunch of things I'd like to change this year, I'd much rather take a moment to reflect on the upcoming year.

Bella turns 2-years-old in April. Oh my goodness, where has the time gone? It seems like only yesterday we were planning for her arrival and we're getting ready to celebrate her 2nd birthday. I'm not sure if we'll be able to go all out this year, as I'll either be very pregnant or we'll have a newborn. Obviously we will celebrate Bella's birthday, but I won't be making decorations, designing invitations or anything too involved. Sorry Miss B! Perhaps I can hire a party planner (ahem, Stephanie Freedman...)?!?

Our second daughter will arrive sometime in early to mid April. We feel so much more prepared than we did with Bella, especially having the nursery 90% finished. We have ALL of Bella's clothes and toys so there isn't much to get. Although we sold our City Mini stroller and will be purchasing the City Select stroller. Poor baby girl is already get hand-me-downs from her big sister... Oh! And we need to finalize her name. I think we have chosen a first name, it's just a matter of agreeing upon a middle name.

Ian will have another busy year at work. He will be returning to a project he worked on last year, so he will most likely be working some crazy hours this fall. But, he is familiar with this project and will have a much better idea of what to expect this time. Perhaps even a promotion is on tap for this year? I'm not trying to rush things and as long as his compensation is good, he can remain in his same position, but he works incredibly hard and deserves some recognition.

My sister and brother-in-law are expecting the arrival of their son, Luke sometime within the next month. She's had many complications this pregnancy, so his exact date of arrival is up in the air. He could be here this week or he could be here in 3-4 weeks. Hopefully he can bake a little longer and avoid any complications or a lengthy stay in the NICU. Ian will be an uncle, I will be an aunt and Bella will finally have a cousin! I love the fact that our family is growing, slowly but surely.

Our friends Paul and Lisa and Rich and Kat are expecting baby girls in February. I'm so glad our circle of friends is expanding to the next generation, especially after being the only ones with a child for almost two years. I foresee many play dates and family get togethers in the near future. No more late nights out or bar hopping for this crowd! Haha!

Family time is going to be our top priority this year, as it has been for several years. I have a few ideas on how to spend some quality time together as a family, including vacations and staycations. Hopefully I can make some of these plans come to fruition, with the assistance of Ian and all of the grandparents. I'd like to visit friends in faraway places such as Nashville and Salt Lake City. I'd like to rent a beach house for a week and invite the grandparents to stay with us. I'd like to take more trips to Orlando this year, especially since Bella is in love with anything Disney. I'd also like to use our MANY annual passes to places such as the zoo, aquarium, science center and Busch Gardens to explore the great attractions our city has to offer. I know all of this sounds a bit much, especially considering we will have a two-year-old and a newborn, but I'm always up for a challenge.

2012 is going to be a very exciting year for our family. Only approximately 15 more weeks until we meet baby #2 and we have so much to look forward to. The end of 2011 was less than desirable, so we are really looking forward to all the fun and exciting things 2012 has to offer. So happy new year to all and hopefully 2012 will be just as exciting for you as it will be for us.

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Baby #2