Tuesday, May 31, 2016

edith at 19 months

Edith is now 19 months old - closer to 2 than 1 - and I wanted to do a little post to document what she's been up to.
Edith's favorite things in the world are: Elden, cats, dogs, and babies. She is certain to perk up at the sight of any of these things. She scrambles to keep up with and do exactly as her beloved brother is doing. This includes running, screaming, jumping, and making silly faces. Edith is in a toddler bed and does really well with it, and we also recently weaned her off her bottle. We still have to take away her pacifier but we are waiting until after our vacation in June to do so. When it comes to eating, Edith is definitely finicky. She does not enjoy peanut butter or other typical childhood favorites, but she will devour cucumber salad (cucumber, dill, salt, red wine vinegar, and olive oil) and goat cheese. Edith loves her dad a whole lot, but when I am home she is usually attached to me in some capacity. Leaving for work is always challenging because she gets very upset. We recently discovered that she does not appreciate it when I hold any child that is not her. It is least severe with Elden but she absolutely puts on quite the production when it's with someone unrelated to her. Edith is now talking a lot and speaks in sentences occasionally ("I want it" is her most used phrase). Discipline is difficult with her since she is too little to understand most options and she enjoys time out so much that she often puts herself there during the day. Edith has been testing us more lately but also has her super sweet moments. She LOVES matching pajamas and new clothes and will run straight to the full-length mirror in our closet to see herself (she often exclaims, "cute!" when she does) when she dons them. Edith is definitely a spitfire and more independent than Elden was at this age and it is so fun to see her personality and how she differs from her brother.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

best buddies

These two. They are at an age where they regularly play together now and it makes me so happy. Elden is constantly yelling for Edith to join him in whatever activity he's enthralled with and she is definitely a willing participant. 

That's not to say it's all rainbows and butterflies. Elden's favorite toy is whatever toy Edith happens to be playing with at that moment. Edith has a really hard time sharing my affection with Elden. Given their ages, they are pretty decent at sharing, but it's not without its share of theatrics (both), temper tantrums (Edith), and fake crying (Elden). 

But when they do play together well, they play together so well. If Elden gets hurt, Edith is right there rubbing his back in an attempt to console him. If Edith is doing something she shouldn't be and we raise our voice at her, Elden defiantly tells us, "don't yell at my sister!"

One thing I've done (at the advice of another blogger) is I always tell the kids that they are each other's best friend. The goal is that if I say it enough they will believe it to be so and act accordingly. So far it's either dumb luck or it's working. Plus, part of the reason I wanted to try to have our kids closer in age was because I wanted them to be playmates.I know age doesn't guarantee that and I am so glad our kids love each other so well. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

baby turkey: second trimester

This pregnancy has not been kind to me.

Around week 9 I finally caved and started taking Diclegis. I had put it off because it is basically just Unisom/B6 combined, which is what they told me to take with Elden and it didn't work for me at all. I figured why medicate myself for no reason? Plus, I was at week 9! Surely the morning sickness would start getting better soon, right??


And it mostly worked! The first two and a half days I had some less than pleasant GI-related side effects, but on the third day I skipped it not wanting to deal with the GI stuff and I thought I might actually die. So back on it I went!

And I am so glad.

It wasn't a cure-all. By about 3 pm every day I was back to cursing all things food-related, but I was at least able to eat breakfast and usually lunch. Today I am 14 weeks + 2 days and it seems as though the second trimester has brought some nausea relief! I am currently knocking on all the things as I thought this was true around 12 weeks.. but then I reached a new low for about a week and a half. Here's to hoping it sticks this time. I even skipped the diclegis last night to see how I would be today and so far so good.

As for other symptoms, my sleep has actually been awesome. I attribute this to the fact that I am so exhausted. I can still fit into a few pairs of my regular jeans assuming I use a hair tie to keep them closed (haha). This is largely attributed to the fact that as of my last prenatal checkup I was still down 6 pounds from where I was when I got pregnant (which was more than what I wanted to be anyway). My complexion isn't bad. Pregnancy brain is real. I asked a coworker the other day if sunflower seeds grow on trees. Spoiler alert! They grow on sunflowers.

As for the baby's sex, I am still 100% clueless. Jon thinks it's a girl. We still don't have name contenders. It's hopeless. Send help.

Monday, May 9, 2016

mother's day and threes

They say bad things come in threes. This Mother's Day weekend, this held true for us.

On Friday evening, I was walking out to check the mail with Edith on my hip when I heard Elden come running out of the house after us. Within four seconds, I heard the telltale thump of skull meeting concrete. If you've been unfortunate enough to experience this personally or through a loved one, you know the terrified sinking feeling you get as you turn to assess the situation.

By the time I had turned Elden was rolling to his back onto the grass, right next to our driveway. He was letting out such an intense cry-scream that no sound actually left his lips. Luckily for me, the front door hadn't closed all the way behind him so I screamed for Jon, who was outside quickly. We went inside to determine how bad it was--he had managed to skin one of his toes, his knee, and he had a scrape under his right eye. It wasn't until a few minutes later (when Elden is hurt he refuses to answer any questions we have) that Jon swept back his bangs and saw this sucker:
On the bright side (look at me being all glass half full), Elden has had his fair share of head injuries in his short three and a half years, so we are quite familiar with concussion protocol. No loss of consciousness, the bump extended away from his head instead of being indented, he wasn't sleepy, his pupils responded normally to light, and his refusal to spell his name (see: does not answer questions when hurt) meant we were safe to watch and wait. I was actually most concerned about his knee because he refused to put any weight on it the first hour or so after it happened and the one time he did stand up he was immediately brought to tears. In an effort to determine if we needed to get his knee checked out, I took him to the mall for ice cream and to run around in the play area. It took about five minutes in the play area and some coaxing but he was quickly bolting around and playing. That night we woke him up around 10 pm to make sure he stirred relatively easily (he did). Elden ended up sleeping past 7 am the next day which is really uncharacteristic of him, but when I went in to check on him he was playful and himself. 

Later on Saturday, Jon went out on the deck while the kids were in the living room. Edith wanted to go outside too, so she opened the back door. Elden--being the little dad he constantly is to her--immediately told her no and shut the door. Unfortunately for all of us, Edith's fingers were in the way. Fortunately, Elden apparently didn't slam it with enough fury to break the skin or cause bruising, but Edith was screaming and in my frantic effort to get him to release the door (since he couldn't get it to shut he was holding it closed) I ran in from the kitchen screaming, "let go! let go! let go!" (yes, I see how that may not have clearly conveyed the action my toddler needed to take now... I do really well under pressure) so we ended up with two very upset children for about ten minutes. 

Suffice to say, I braced myself HARD on Sunday. I actually assumed the 'three' was the two hours I spent camped out next to the toilet Saturday night, convinced I had a stomach ulcer or just needed to vomit lots and lots of vomit, but alas...while playing in the backyard Sunday evening Elden nailed me with a plastic t-ball line drive to the forehead. It definitely stung, but I am thankful it was merely a plastic ball.

And that is the story of how our family miraculously avoided an emergency room on Mother's Day weekend 2016.


Other than the series of unfortunate injuries, we had a lovely Mother's Day. Jon made me chocolate pancakes for breakfast, the kids woke me up with a gift bag filled with stuff for a movie night in, I went grocery shopping AND prepped slow cooker minestrone for the week/beef kebabs without anyone else present and I gotta say...I forgot what that was like. Usually when I am home Edith is attached to my person in some capacity and generally unhappy (or Jon gives me 'tips' on how to do things in the kitchen more efficiently or just different flavors to try... I'm sure you can guess my enthusiasm about this) so to be able to work in the kitchen without distraction was a serious gift. Jon worked on migrating stored boxes from the chaos in our basement to our new ceiling-mounted storage rack in the garage--something that is high on our 'to do' list pre-baby. Dinner (kebabs and grilled corn on the cob) was probably the first meal I've been able to thoroughly enjoy for the past ten weeks and we rounded the evening out with Sweet Frog frozen yogurt--where mine was free. When we got home we were able to play outside for a decent amount of time while running in and out to watch the Cavs win (barely). It was a blissfully restful day. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

ways we save money

Since we are soon to be a family of 5 on just one income, we try to pinch pennies where ever possible. I have discovered a few apps lately that have made this even easier for us, so I thought I would share what we do:

1. Paribus: This is an app that you link up to your email account. Whenever you shop online at a retailer that has a price match money back guarantee, Paribus tracks those purchases (by scanning the receipts you are emailed from said retailers) for the eligibility period. If the price decreases during the eligibility period, Paribus will file a claim with the retailer automatically on your behalf. Each month, Paribus then takes a commission of the refunds you make. You start off at a 25% commission, but with each referral you get that decreases by 5% until you ultimately don't pay them any commission. I have been using it for two weeks and I have already been refunded $10 by Target for three different items. If you're like me, you never really tracked this stuff anyway, so even if they take 25% that is still 75% back in your pocket. I love that I literally do nothing (except shop) and get paid for it!

2. Ibotta: Ibotta is an app that you download on your phone that essentially acts as a coupon clipper. Before you shop at a qualified retailer (think Target, Costco, etc.) you can search the app for any coupons they have. When I signed up they had a $5 off Luvs diapers coupon that we used twice before it disappeared. The coupons range from beauty products to groceries to baby items. Some of the coupons are generic ($0.50 back for any gallon of milk, eggs, bread, etc.) while some are specific. You add the coupons to your dashboard, shop, then upload a picture of your receipt to get account credit. In the case of some stores with rewards cards (our grocery store Giant Eagle has that), you don't even need to upload a receipt because if you link your Ibotta account to your rewards card the info transfers automatically. We LOVE this app because of the range of coupons--when we used apps like Checkout 51 (see below) most of the items were brand name groceries that we just never really bought. Since Ibotta covers things like diapers we get a huge value from it. If you sign up using my referral link you will get $10 automatically credited to your account with your first verified purchase. We have so far earned $27 back using Ibotta (and I've only been using it about a month).

3. Checkout 51: This is an app similar to Ibotta, although in our experience it isn't as great as Ibotta. This is mostly due to the fact that it is primarily groceries and we mostly shop at Aldi for groceries, so we just don't buy the stuff you get rebates for. It's worth checking out, though, as each week you can get $0.25 back for miscellaneous produce. It took us about a year of only semi-committed use to earn $20 back.

4. ThredUp: I've talked about ThredUp before, but it is an online consignment retailer. You can buy name brand, like new clothing from ThredUp for a fraction of the price you'd pay retail. We get a lot of the kids' clothes from here and I've also purchased maternity items. One way you can make money on it is to send them a clean out bag for free with clothes you (or your children who grow like weeds) don't want or need anymore. You can either cash out or use it as an account credit to turn around and buy more clothes. If you use my referral link you automatically get $10 to spend at ThredUp to try it out.

These are just little things that we do, but it definitely has added up already. I definitely recommend checking them out!