Holiday Prep

Hello friends.

Yesterday was a very lazy day here at the Villas. I was NOT feeling well.  I think I really over-did it this weekend and on Monday so yesterday I was barely able to lift a finger.  We had a lot of bedsharing cuddles.  Way too much TV and easy eats. Reminded me I really need to go shopping but I’m hoping to make it through today without a trip.  Yesterday I read that american families and restaurants throw out on average 40% of the groceries they buy.  THAT’S NUTS – you may as well through money out the window.  I know we are guilty of throwing away a lot of food, so to combat that I try to – meal plan, and buy little amounts, often. Still there is always some waste. Anyhow, to help our crazy grocery budget, I really plan on being more conscience of the amount of food I buy – it is so terribly wasteful to throw all that away. *sad trombone*

Anywho – Today I’m feeling a bit better and am hoping today is a better day as far as being productive.  I’ve spent a good amount of time on Pinterest making lists of things to do with Evan, and planning for Thanksgiving.  Last year was awesome.  My table was beautiful, food was great and my grandma was here:

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I’m so sad Gma won’t be here this year, but Michael will be and our family has lots and lots to celebrate this year.  So I plan on doing just as much this year – with Evan’s help and Michael wrapped close to my chest in the Moby.  Last year I literally made my own butter and fresh whipped cream for pies.  I’m telling you – all out we went. It was glorious.

This year’s menu is not finalized but I think it will go a little something like this:

Apps:

  • Assorted cheeses & garlic roasted mushrooms
  • Fresh seasonal fruit

Dinner:

  • Turkey (I would love to try a fried turkey, but we are going old-school roasted, Hector-Style)
  • Roasted pork shoulder (Another Hector dish)
  • Roasted Veggies (Last year’s were awesome)
  • Pomegranate-cranberry sauce (omg… to die for)
  • Sweet Potatoes (May ask mom to make her usual)
  • Steamed green beans
  • Asparagus and a hollandaise sauce (family tradition)
  • Pierogis (from Gene’s deli)
  • Fresh seasonal salad (I’m thinking cranberry walnut?)

Desert:

  • Pumpkin Pie!
  • Apple Pie (Hector would never let us not have this)
  • Spice cake (another Mom request, maybe ;-) )
  • Turkey Cupcakes (mom and Evan creations!)

You’d think I was cooking for an army but I’m cooking for maybe 8 people lol.  The sides might get mixed up a bit again, I’ve pinned a few recipes I might try so instead but at least we are thinking a head this year.  I’ll have to grab some fresh flowers but I really can’t wait to pull out grandma’s old china and silver-ware again.  Also!  Looks like we did pull out some Christmas stuff for last year so I think I’ll have Hector pull some out tomorrow and we can have hot-coco and decorate, slowly.

Evan is excited about Christmas, I am shocked there aren’t too many Christmasy movies on TV for him to watch.  I’m going to have to dust of The Santa Clause, my all time favorite, I cannot wait to share it with him!  Something else we are looking to do this year?  A few “Night before Christmas” boxes!  I read this article and was so excited to try it with Evan and Michael!  I plan on making it a holiday tradition – what a great way to get some of the Christmas jitters out and I think it is awesome to snuggle and watch a movie with the boys likely in matching pajamas! I will be soaking up these holidays like crazy because next year when I’m back at work – it will be mayhem to fit everything in – so I’m enjoying the time of year with my two sweet love bugs:

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I’m sure this will be the first of many “what we are doing for the holidays” posts. Any traditions you have for thanksgiving?  Do you host?  I’m excited!

 

 

Recovery.

Good morning.  It’s funny how my mornings simultaneously start earlier and later than usual.  I get a morning wake up call from my favorite little nugget consistently around 3:30 am, and change, nurse and snuggle till about 4:00 – back to sleep until about 7 – then up and at it as soon as possible thereafter.  Which is a really late start for me, I’m used to waking up around 5:00-5:30 but these days I also go to bed much later around11:30 opposed to like 10 the latest.  Sleep is important, and rest is important when you are recovering even though I feel pretty good, when I over do something, I know it.  We are head-over-heels in love with this little dude:

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He is just a little angel.  Very much like Evan.  It’s funny, and I know time can change things.  But everyone told me “good luck with number two, he will be crazy, unlike Evan.”  I got this from all angles, but in my head I just kept positive.  If I had a fussy baby, so be it.  But once again I have a mellow one, just like daddy Hector.  That doesn’t mean my days aren’t crazy though.  Between him and Evan, I’m busy.  I started this post over two days ago, it could take me all day to write – may never even get published.  Two days ago when I started this post I – put the baby who started it with me nursing on the boppy into the rock and play went to touch his sweet sleeping face just to find him spitting up at that exact second.  So naturally I dropped whatever I was doing and fixed that.  Then my super sweet two year old woke up… He is now happily playing with legos in his room.  Then I got side tracked and meant to hop back on here several times, but just never happened.

Like I said, we are recovering.  We are finding our new groove, days are flying by and due to the weather I haven’t left the house too much.  My babies have lots of warm fuzzy things but I can’t find any of my winter stuff, naturally.  Side note, it is weird looking at the two carseats in the back seat.

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Physically I feel pretty good.  Everyday I daydream about yoga postures, the treadmill, lifting, and putting on a dvd.  Each day though I sit down and things still hurt so I say – better hold off.  It’s HARD but I just snuggle the little one or the big one and get lost in a book or recording on the DVR. I never get through a whole show, I think I’ve watched shows about 5 times and still not absorbed what happened.  Everyone around me will agree – I am a baby hoarder.  Sorry I’m not sorry, I cooked him, Evan got lots of snuggles, so this one will too (yesterday I WORE JEANS!! They fit!  A bit snug, but ah that’s ok by me for now – today is round two if I can find the dark ones I want to wear or lulu wunder unders it is).

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Today we have a bunch of things to accomplish.  Groceries, Thanksgiving planning, and cuddling.  Thanksgiving this year should be great, we have so much to be thankful for.  I think my house might be decked out in Christmas gear by then.  The snow and cold has me fast forwarding the season from browns and oranges to reds and greens.

I was chatting with Hector yesterday.  We were listening to an awesome Pandora station and I was dancing with the baby because Evan was with Grandma Debbie (he is getting so spoiled over there!) and I felt so full, happy, content.  It was a wonderful feeling – it’s been a very long time since I felt like that.  Confident, happy, content – unbelievably grateful.  I was MEANT to be a mom.  I know what I’m doing, especially this time around.  With Evan, I felt great but with this one, I know I can juggle both Evan and baby.  I’m sure there will be hard days, but right now – I know this is EXACTLY where we should be.  I’m so filled by that thought.  I’m so happy.  I don’t care if I get the stink eye from someone who thinks they know what is best for my baby or family – because I DO know what is best for them.  Judgey mom wars, really won’t bother me at all – in fact I’ll stray away from that talk – I’m surrounded by supportive moms and family, and friends – that’s all I need.  These boys:

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Like I said.  Recovery.  Mentally, physically, emotionally.  Each day is getting a bit better – this year will end on a high note.

Love – the Villas

 

Complete.

We are home, safe, warm and hearts full – because look who has arrived:

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Michael Alexander Villa (#MAV) has hopped his way into our hearts.  Melted my soul and has taken my breath away just about every second I look at him.  Evan is an outstanding, loving, caring, kind, excited big brother and we are just quiet blissful and thankful right now.

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Labor was great, and I can’t wait to share the [short] birth story with everyone *hopefully* later today – while it is still fresh in my brain. But I’m feeling quiet good – a bit sore and VERY VERY CRAMPY – geez!  They warned me cramping would be worse the 2nd time (and even worse with each consecutive pregnancy) but WOWZA!  Just when I think I feel good I still get hit with a fresh set of the cramps and man do they curl my toes!

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it 100x more, the support around us has been tremendous.  My friends have been just the best, and my family too – checking in, sending love and just being so amazing.  Life is good.  I’m sharing some snuggles and need to grab something to eat (nursing really makes me HUNGRY) haha – so I’m off to do that and hopefully can pop back on with some details on the little dude.

For now – sending love and light to everyone.  God bless, chat soon.

Love,

Mommy and Michael (cuddled so perfectly on my chest)

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What I’m Looking Forward To

After my previous EMO post, I thought I’d share some things I’m looking forward to post pregnancy (because it WILL end ha):

  • Bending over.  I am a yogi, I’m flexible, I touch  my toes, stretch and do all that good spine stuff that is just so difficult to do with a huge basketball in your belly.
  • Comfortably picking up Evan.  Right now I pick him up and settle his legs on each side of my massive bump.  Yes even a day shy of 41 weeks – I still pick him up approximately 50x a day, he will always be my baby.
  • Laying on my tummy – whether it is to look for something under a bed or just to do one of those face plants into my bed – sleeping on my belly (will be rare still with breastfeeding but even for just 5 minutes lol). I’m also looking forward to my baby cobra pose and other back strengthening poses – my upper, lower, middle – whole back is ready to not have the front so much to deal with – the boobs will be hard enough.
  • Milk drunk baby – I love the look of a freshly fed baby.  They are literally in a coma-like state that is so awesome.
  • Cuddles with three boys.  I’m sure nighttime will be filled with a bed full of boys.  Evan to my right, baby on my chest and Hector wayyyyy off on the other side of the bed.  I have been daydreaming about these moments. Babies are only itty bitty for a short time.
  • Pulling out the Moby.
  • Breathing – with ease.
  • Hardcore ab workouts – laying or standing wherever/however I want.
  • Not feeling sick when I eat, when I don’t eat, when I eat too little, when I eat too much.
  • No more contractions.  I’ve now been having contractions for approximately two weeks – I’m over them.
  • Being a mom to two boys and spending the holidays with them.  Sure we missed Halloween but that’s OK this Halloween was sorta grim.  I’m looking forward to Santa photo ops & impromptu photo shoots with my broken camera (yes, still haven’t bought a new one… It WILL happen though. It will.)

Today was a day filled with work, some admin house stuff, and time to myself.  Evan went to the museum with his Auntie Colie, and he just is such a big boy.  I’ve had a hard time processing that.  Yesterday Hector called and literally had a conversation with him.  He is just such a little boy, no longer my little baby.  He cuddled in my arms today and I just melted.  I’ll have to update this post with pictures (I downloaded Yosemite today and am updating iPhoto now) because my heart is just so filled because of him.  He is so sweet and loving.  He is funny and smart. He is demanding and kind. He is everything.  One thing I’m trying not to mourn is our time together just him and I because I think becoming a brother will complete our family.  He will gain a built in friend and learn valuable life lessons – they will, together.  I feel so blessed that Evan is my first, he has been an amazing experience so far.  He makes me feel so confident about having another.  He is just amazing.

I’m also looking forward to the next 12 weeks bonding with my family.  Building our relationships and cuddling and spending hours and hours together.  I just want to hug and love everyone right now.  The end of this pregnancy is near, and there will be a shift in our family adventure.  We are all as prepared as can be for it.  I cannot wait to share the love with everyone.  I haven’t felt this calm in a while.  I had a mini meltdown today when leaving my moms house – I was overwhelmed for some reason – so much going through my head.  Evan is now sleeping peacefully next to me, I am going to cuddle him close to me all night praying I can sleep as tomorrow is the day, I will walk into a hospital and we will walk out a family of 4.

I just keep telling myself we are ready, because we are.  I hear my heart will double – it will make room.  At this moment, not sure how that is possible but I will report back.  Thank you for following our journey – especially the rambling and emotional posts – the posts where I share a little too much. ;-)

 

Halloween & October Recap

Nov. 1!  Yesterday was filled with tricks and treats, a last minute Ninja and a trip to our favorite acupuncturist. I’m going to go to Target today and see if I can find those awesome black and orange totes so I can easily find my decorations next year – yesterday was so cold we didn’t even use our fog machine we bought on sale last year *sad face*.  Yesterday was COLD (yeah I know it is a repeat but IT felt like winter)!!  Snowy and cold. But my little Ninja was so happy to hand out candy and eat it – he was perfectly fine with staying nice and warm inside:

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His last minute Ninja costume was perfect.  We left the bowl of candy on the stairs for easy access to hand out to the trick or treaters

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Evan kept an extremely close eye on them and snuck a few chocolates.  Before we knew it we had a crazy little 2 year old on our hands – sugar and Evan is a crazy combination! He was running around so excited watching for trick or treaters, it was fun to sit and just watch.  He was so good at being the candy helper!

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We also were watching SNOW!  I mean enough snow to stick to the ground.  We ran to mom’s house because across the street her neighbors go ALL out.  This year they had a hearse that shot flames out of the tail pipes!

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So it was nice to watch that from the warm inside of my mom’s house.  So many cars drove down her street.  It is quiet popular.  The only thing that was a major let down of this Halloween was the terrible weather.  Typically, we get out and walk a lot in the surrounding neighborhoods to get cool views of all the decorated houses.  River Forest has a house we see every year with a pirate ship and stuff of that nature but :( – we didn’t this year between my over pregnantness and the weather it was simply not fun at all to be outside.  We left our Ninja with grandma Debbie while we ran to see our acupuncturist.

The last time I saw Frank, was when Evan was overdue.  Evan was different though.  My body had zero progress simply because Evan laid slightly to the side and his head never engaged my cervix.  This baby is perfectly in place, but my contractions are not productive – he is at -1 station or lower at this point and I have dilated and effaced on my own but as described in previous posts my contractions are all over the place.  Some not painful, some painful, none consistent enough to push me into actual labor.  So we made our trip.  Frank has been a friend for MANY  MANY MANY years.  My parents have been fans of his forever.  He is brilliant.  He has studied Chinese medicine for a very long time. He works with Stroger hospital and pain management for veterans on top of his own private practice and goes to China often to teach, give lectures and learn- he is really amazing. He is also so down to earth.  I asked him yesterday how he looks so good and thought he was going to say “I do yoga and eat right” – but he said “I don’t eat so great” hahaha – so all his herbal remedies and life management techniques must work ;-) – I need to take up meditation again.

Anywho, due to MAV’s unique scenario he actually used a different point then with Evan.  With Evan I had little maca sticks burning from my toes to get him to move to where he needed to be to get my body going.  With MAV he used a point 3 fingers above my ankle.   We chatted and were given homework to complete a very similar process at home this weekend. Just seeing Frank makes me feel better.  I hope someday to exude that type of wisdom and calm.  Here’s a throwback to when Hector prepped me at home with Evan:

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October has been quiet the month.  Filled with ups, downs, and waiting.  I’m ready for baby but really trying to keep calm because nothing progresses when you are stressed and frustrated.  So I’m off to take a nice hot shower, run to the store by myself (as I know Hector and Evan won’t be ready in time as they are STILL laying in bed) and finish up some laundry.  I cannot remember the last time we were this caught up on laundry.  haha

Frustration Sets In

Yesterday we walked, bounced and made… Who knows how much progress because I’ll tell you I’m typing from the comforts of this ball again with a very similar bump but not a similar smile:

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Ok, I know Evan was born a week late, and I was prepping myself for another late baby BUT OMG!  Yes, this is me venting.  I’m very very frustrated.  Why?  Because last night I went for a walk with my husband and started getting crazy contractions.  I was getting them every couple minutes, I thought – well they could slow down when I stop and they SORT OF did.  We had to stop at Target for some milk and hung out at my parents house for about a half hour before then.  I was still getting pretty consistent contractions at 4-6 minutes apart but I decided to just keep it to myself as the intensity had died down and I’m really sick of the back and forth “is she, isn’t she in labor.”

So as we left my mom’s house and on our way to Target I was still getting them pretty consistently, but wanted to make sure I had them for a full hour before I called anyone.  Well, I suck at timing contractions but I will tell you this – at Target I was getting a few that stopped me dead in my tracks.  At one point Hector said, “Jen smell this candle!” and I was in my head like “LEAVE ME ALONE!!!!!” Outside I said “great babe, whatever you want.” We finished up at the store and I actually pretty much waddled (yes, waddled!!!) back to the car.  At this point I swear I could feel the baby’s head REALLY low like pressure in places I’ve never felt before.  For a moment I thought “The poor women that experience that pressure for months!” – but then I became selfish again as my back started to hurt I was getting dull aches in my lower back, shooting pains down my hamstrings and when I walked I could also feel pains down the FRONT of my legs.  I just wanted to get home so bad.

We get home and I sit on the stairs right when you walk in the door, looking at our to go bag and the carseat that Evan wanted SO badly to get into.

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No matter how much I tell him he doesn’t fit he just wants to “buckle up” and sit in it.  He is so huge, I felt such a crazy mix of emotion – sadness, frustration, exhaustion – mental exhaustion. My “baby” is clearly not a baby, he was so sad and I just wanted to cry with him.  But our reasons for crying were so different, he needed sleep – I had kept him up way past his bedtime trying to get his baby out – I had clearly done too much as my whole body was just achy, I started to feel sick.  I put him down for bed and he fell asleep quickly.  I had hydrated a lot all day so I was constantly up and down last night and in SO MUCH PAIN getting up and down.  The second I’d get up to go to the bathroom I’d have like wrap around pain from my back, to my front.  I felt like the baby was going to FALL OUT of my body.  It was not pleasant at all.  But the moment I laid down and relaxed I’d be semi comfortable and everything would stop.

So my conclusion?  Evan’s experience thus far was better.  This has been stressful and scary and uncomfortable for several weeks now and I’ve had it.  I’m still pregnant.  I’m sick to my stomach and I’m really frustrated.  My husband goes back to work Nov. 3rd no baby or with baby and I just want to scream.  Please baby, come.  We are ready for you – my body hurts, I’m ready for the overwhelming exhaustion and other pains but the mental part of this right now is like a horrible mind game that is unfair.  I don’t care if I get the “ugh, get over it” comments, baby will come – because the problem is if he was comfortably in there like Evan – I’d be like FINE!  But he isn’t and I just need to be done.  I’m so done.

WIth that… How cute is this bed-head?

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He is watching way too much TV but oh well – he’ll survive.  I guess we will try to bundle up and go for another walk.  Oso will approve of that – I’m also a horrible mother – Evan still doesn’t have a costume.  I looked everywhere for something for him and am kicking myself that I didn’t just buy a dragon costume that was on sale at Pottery Barn.  He wants to be Spiderman but he is too small and the only ones I find are for kids and he really is still in toddler sizes between 2 and 3T.  I’m going to dress him up as a “big brother” doesn’t that sound fair? lol  One more picture of him yesterday during his nap (yes he was still in pjs for his 12 p.m. nap, do not judge, he didn’t want to take them off and in fact insisted I put pants that were too small OVER them:

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I think it is hysterical.  This kiddo keeps me going <3

Still Trucking On…

Today started early, really early.  I couldn’t sleep.  Not sure why.  Or is it obvious?  You can tell me. Last night we went for a late walk (after sanding the deck, staining the deck, and raking leaves… oh and cleaning) and I had some SERIOUS contractions on my way back home.  Like the types that stop you from walking, make you almost double over in pain.  I tried to play them off because I was with my husband, dog and pushing my son in the BOB (thank GOD for the BOB..) and I’m tired of being the wife that is “oh, ouch” and Hector being the husband like “everything ok?” then nothing happens – and I feel like a fool.  Any who – I’m the type of walker that hates how slow my husband walks.  I go, and I go quickly.  He never walks fast enough, yet last night he ended up pretty far ahead of me with Oso as my contractions slowed me down…big time.  I didn’t want to jinx it but I really thought I might be going into labor.

We get home, Hector notices my discomfort and asks me if he thinks this is it.  I told him “this will likely stop.”  Naturally, I relaxed sat down and – nothing. *sigh*

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I know this is the story of many pregnant women, but still – not fun.  So I laid in bed with lots of tightening but no pain and couldn’t help but think how our lives were going to change… AGAIN.  It sorta freaked me out, so then I prayed.  I just prayed for sleep, rest. I know I won’t be getting much soon but all I could focus on last night was Hector’s snoring and my discomfort. So as this blog started… My Tuesday – started early.

Luckily, I had a doctor’s appointment today. I try not to get too worked up for appointments because I remember my disappointment when I would get “checked” with Evan.  I remember hearing “still closed” and “prepare yourself for induction.”  Even though my due date is tomorrow, so I’ve made it all the way, I don’t see this baby going too far past his due date and thankfully my doctor agrees.  We walked (yes walked, I’m still not quite at waddle) into the appointment light hearted and not expecting too much.  But!!! I’m 3cm dilated!  It is almost surreal, this pregnancy is just so much different than Evan’s.  He really thinks I’ll have a baby in my arms by Halloween :) – I knew stuff was happening last week but again each day, heck.. each hour is different with this one.  I’m not sure what I like better – the nothing, or the something.  I guess you just want baby at this point.

Another thing that happened today?  The flu shot.  Oh man my arm hurts.  It feels like I did a really bad tricep workout, like bad form that messed up a muscle that shouldn’t be hurt.  I also feel super sleepy and gross.  IDK.  I planned on another crazy active day but it was actually a very quiet day.  Most of the day was sitting around, just catching up with with a dear friend and her sweet baby girl and my uber cuddly Evan (I. Love. It.) – he is such a little sweetie.  There was coffee and girl time and chatting about motherhood, the good the bad and the ugly.  I’m so blessed by the people I’m surrounded by.  All my bests checked in on me today – I love them.  I’m just so lucky.  I’ve also been just cuddling and loving my no-so-little dude (who fell asleep while cuddled up next to me today):

Random picture of my cutie pie at costco.  Seriously, my heart.

Random picture of my cutie pie at costco. Seriously, my heart.

So yes, random post – but I wanted to get it out there.  How I feel, my random, tired thoughts.. my really restful day with pizza and water lots and lots of water (am I craving water?  Ice water?  hm…).   Oh and a trip to the GAP to get something for the newbs that naturally ended up being several new pairs of awesome pjs for Evan and an awesome trick or treat shirt that I think he will wear every day between now and Halloween – all sales, all additional 50% off.  *insert hear eyes emogji*  I’m feeling so blessed lately – like things are coming together.  This pregnancy has been EXTREMELY challenging, but life is what you make of it and even if the journey has rocky moments, at some point all the obstacles start to make sense and just prepare you to be a better person.  A better mother, wife, listener, friend.  Thanks be to God who has and always will be in my corner. He really has blessed us lately.