Mommy SOS | Preparing for Baby #2 UPDATE

May 31, 2011

It's been nearly two weeks since our little Elsie's grand entrance into the world (missed Elsie's Birth Story? Click here.) Who knew that a little 7 lb baby could bring such change to our home?!

Although I'm certainly not going to say we have this "Preparing for Baby #2" thing down (yet or that we'll ever have it figure out for that matter), I did want to give ya'll a quick update on this Mommy SOS | Preparing for Baby #2 post I wrote a couple of months ago.

First of all I have to say a HUGE thank you to all of you who provided such great insight (in person and on the blog) into this transition time for our family. I LOVED so many of your suggestions and will be passing on your mommy-wisdom to other friends who will go through this same transition in the future.

So here is it...the good, the bad and the ugly. :) Because that's what life is all about, right?!
  • Take out all of the baby stuff well in advance. Nora is a curious little girl....and busy. So at the beginning of May I decided to bring out the bassinet, the car seat and the bouncy seat. By doing so it gave Nora lots of opportunities to investigate (aka: jump on, climb in, etc) all of these "new" things. After a week or so she lost interest in them and has since stayed away from them (for the most part :)).
  • Read the book I'm a Big Sister by Joanna Cole. We bought this for Nora in April and she LOVED it. It was a "must-read" before every nap time and bedtime (not because we wanted to read it to her but because she wanted to read it). I do think it helped prepare her little mind and heart for Elsie's arrival.
  • Purchase a little something for the big sister/brother to receive as a gift from the new baby upon their arrival. I read a number of things about this “exchange” pre-Elsie but most noteworthy to me was that the gift didn't need to be expensive but something VERY exciting for your firstborn. In our case I actually buckled down and bought a 12″ Stuffed Barney. You see Nora LOVES the big purple guy. I had him wrapped up at the hospital for Nora and Elsie's first meeting. Let's just say Nora is just a tad obsessed with Barney...the thing goes everywhere with her the the the bath (only joking - although she has attempted this).
  • Pray for the baby with the big sister/brother. We are very intentional to pray as a family together before bedtime. For months before Elsie's arrival we prayed (with Nora) for her arrival - for her safety and for our family as we transition to being a family of 4.
  • Plan on giving lots of extra grace to yourself, your hubby and your firstborn. Let's face it...bringing a baby home is a lot of work. And it's a HUGE change. I'll be honest...Nora hasn't been the most well-behaved child over the past two weeks. But that's to be expected, right?! First of all...she's two. 'Nough said. And second of all...she is no longer the center of everyone's attention (no one likes that). It's a major kick-in-the-pants-reality-check. But through it all it's been such a great blessing to be able to step aside and trust God's provision for our family in ALL things.
  • Put together a Nursing Basket. ***Disclaimer: I have yet to actually take advantage of this because I'm waiting until my help with Nora has left.*** Christy suggested that I put together a nursing basket. For this basket you buy a number of new toys for the firstborn to play with while you're nursing the baby. I actually still had a number of Christmas toys left and so I'll be putting those in the basket along with a couple other things to keep Nora occupied while I'm nursing Elsie.
  • Stay connected with your firstborn, even during the first couple weeks. This is easier said than done. One of the things I've been thankful for the most these first couple weeks is the help with Nora I've gotten from my husband and parents. I really wanted to be sure to have this time to connect with Elsie BUT I've also tried to be sure to maintain my mommy-daughter connection with Nora by changing her diaper, helping with her bath, being with her during bedtime and prayer time, etc.
Again, I'm the first to admit that we still have a TON to learn and we haven't done everything right. But that's the sweet thing about grace.

In everything our prayer is that through the successes and failures we would learn to trust our sweet Savior all the more and entrust the care and provision of our family to HIS care above all else.

Blessings to you all!


Our Birth Story | Elsie

May 26, 2011

I'll be wasn't until a couple weeks before Elsie's birth that I had even considered the possibility that this little one could come before her due date. I know, I know... weird. But for some reason I had just expected that she'd come on her due date...not earlier...not later. It's probably just because that's how my brain operates I guess - on a calendar.

That is until a number of people mentioned that oftentimes 2nd (3rd, 4th...) babies come early. WHAT?!! Let's just say when I was faced with the reality of this possibility this mama kicked her "gotta-get-stuff-done" self into high gear. :)

Thankfully come last Wednesday night (5 days pre-due date) I was pretty much completely done with my to-do list and "ready" to have this little girl.

So here's her birth story (and all of the fun details)...

I had a OB appointment Wednesday afternoon at 3:30 pm. I had asked if there was anyway he'd be able to strip my membranes. Although there was no promise that would start labor, he agreed that if I was far enough along (3+ cm) that he'd do just that. Well thankfully I was 3 cm and 70% effaced. So strip the membranes he did!

Come 6:00 pm I was starting to have mild contractions - like the kind where you don't know if you're just having a menstrual cramp sort of thing or if you're actually having a contraction. They were at this time about 30 min apart so Alan and I were going back and forth about moving forward with our evening plans of meeting with our church small group. Thankfully we decided to stay home.

From 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm (when we went to the hospital) we did a variety of hilarious things. And by that I mean things that only I would probably do while in the middle of labor. Like for example...because I knew I needed to be on my feet to encourage labor along I decided that it would be the perfect time to make a couple sets of the DIY Monthly Development Onesies for some of my friends who are expecting later in the summer. I know... I know... I was totally ironing away in the middle of contractions. And I'm proud to say I completed two sets during this time!

And Alan was under our sink fixing a leaking faucet. Yes.. you read that right. It was probably about 9 pm and I noticed some water on the ground. I called Alan into the kitchen and asked him where it was coming from. The first thing he said... I kid you not was "Did your water break?" Hehe. And what's even funnier is that I actually checked my pants to see if it had broken. As if I wouldn't notice if my water had broken. ;)

Anyway... where was I? Ok - by 9:30 we called my sweet friend Laura to ask her to come over (as she was going to stay with Nora while we were in the hospital) and at 11:00 pm we were headed for the hospital as my contractions had gotten closer and closer together and were at that point roughly 5 min apart.

Upon check-in the triage nurse checked me and I was 4 cm. So progress...but not a lot. She suggested we walk the halls for an hour and see if things would progress. (sounds a lot like Nora's birth story, huh? Just in case you're interested you can read Our Birth Story | Nora here.) After an hour my contractions were roughly 1 min in duration and 2 minutes a part and I had progressed and was 5 cm! They were going to admit me and I could get my IV and epidural - yippee!

After getting the epidural (thank you Lordy) we rested for a couple hours. Rested = slept. It was WONDERFUL. Come 4 am the nurse checked me and I was 10 cm and ready to have little Elsie!

Dr. Dado arrived at 4:15 and got things set up. I pushed 2x and out she came - at 4:25 am - Thursday, May 19th, 2011 - all 7 lbs, 1 oz of her.

The only additional side note to this whole ordeal is that poor Alan was a little sleepy and hungry and decided that the minute Elsie was born would be a good time to pass out. Really... no joke. Thankfully he had sat down before he blacked out but the first few minutes of lil' Elsie's life are a blur to poor Alan (love you honey - you're the best daddy in the whole world).

And that's it! All 4 of us are doing well and loving our newest addition.

Here's our first family picture...

And lastly - a HUGE thank you to all of our friends and family who visited us in the hospital and have since stopped by to meet Elsie (or have sent well wishes through the phone, text, FB, mail, etc). We're all feeling very loved by the incredible people in our lives.

Here's just a little treat we had for the visitors who came to meet Elsie at the hospital.


Introducing....Elsie Grace

May 20, 2011

We're so pleased to announce the arrival of our daughter (and Nora's lil' sis) -

Elsie Grace
Born May 19, 2011
4:25 am
7 lb, 1 oz
19.5 inches

Birth story to come...


My Pregnancy #2 Tips

May 18, 2011

Nope... no baby yet! We're still patiently waiting for her arrival. :)

Rather than a baby announcement... are you interested in hearing a few things I've learned during this pregnancy?

Jump on over to Scottsdale Moms Blog today to read my "DOs and DON'Ts of Pregnancy #2" :)



May 16, 2011

Yes, yes, yes... I AM one of "those moms."

Nora came home yesterday with her very first Sunday School art project. And believe it or not - THIS mama put it directly on the fridge. (thank you very much)

Isn't it beautiful? In a child-like-faith kind of way?


And another pic of Nora...because I can...and because I'm thinking there is a good chance Nora is really hoping there will be bubbles in heaven :)

What do you think?! ;)

Happy Monday!


Start your own Local Moms Blog

May 10, 2011

Hey ladies! And actually more specifically this post is for all of you mamas and mamas-to-be out in cyber-space that read our blog.

Have you been checking out Scottsdale Moms Blog over the past year and have thought to yourself "I would LOVE to do something just like that in my town/city?!"

Well - now you can!! And we'll even help you do it.

We've (and by "we" I mean SMB co-founder, Joy and me) just recently launched the SMB Media Group. Through it we're committed to partnering with local mom bloggers around the United States. Our sister sites showcase information about what’s going on in the lives of moms who live in their respective communities. We know that it’s difficult to get out and meet other moms when naps, eating and potty-training are calling for a mom’s attention. These sites are our little attempt to make the world feel smaller and to encourage other moms that they AREN’T ALONE!

Our sister site bloggers are working moms, stay at home moms, city moms, suburban moms, and rural moms—but, most of all, they are local moms.

To see an example of what YOU could do in your area be sure to check out our very first sister site who has officially "launched" just last week - Dallas Moms Blog (so happy for you Lauren K!)

Now here’s where YOU come in!!!

If you're interested in the possibility of starting a SMB Sister site - visit our “Start a Sister Site” link. We’re currently putting together a wait list for our very first SMB Media Group Webinar (most likely early June). During this Webinar Joy and I will cover the logistics of setting up a SMB Sister Site, Content Management, Working with Local Businesses and Event Planning basics. At the end of the webinar attendee’s will have the opportunity to move forward with partnering with us as a SMB Media Group Sister Site.

Email for more details!


Steph's Pick | Cooking Club

May 6, 2011

Some of you may remember me mentioning that at the beginning of the year a couple friends and I started the Scottsdale Cooking Club. (As if I need one more random thing to be organizing... but hey - that's what born-out-of-the-womb party planners do, right?!)

Well I'm pleased to report that things are going VERY well. I've even had a couple of you mention that you've either started your own cooking clubs already or are thinking about starting a cooking club in your area. Nealy & Liz - way to go girls!

Which is actually the reason for this post...

First of all, if you're wanting to start your own cooking club be sure to head over to my post - Scottsdale Moms Blog: How to Start a Cooking Club. This post highlights all of the things you'll need to consider in getting your own cooking club started (it's really easy ladies - don't be nervous).

Secondly, if you're not quite totally interested in started your own cooking club just yet... but are wanting to get your hands on some of the recipes that we share at the SCC ... SMB guest blogger, Mandi N, has given great updates on our first few meetings (a couple recipes/post included - woot woot!). Follow the below links for these updates:

And lastly, I wanted to share a couple things I've learned from starting a cooking club. Consider it "Steph's Do's and Don'ts of Starting a Cooking Club" :)

I always have to remind my perfectionist self that with every new thing there is a bit of a learning curve. I'll admit, there are a few things I would change about what we're doing now... which is why I wanted to share them with you all so you don't make the same mistakes too :)

  • Although we LOVE our group of 18 ladies I think we all have decided the ideal group size is 10-12 people. Simply b/c the amount of food to consume is manageable and in a group of 10-12 you are generally able to chat with everyone in attendance sometime throughout the evening. (there's nothing I hate more than leaving one of our meetings and feeling like I didn't even say hi to _____ and ______ ).
  • Keep serving sizes very small. You want everyone to be able to taste everything throughout the evening and it's just too hard on the tummy when the serving sizes are too large.
  • Encourage attendee's to think outside of the box and bring a full array of items. Like appetizers, main dishes, desserts and even drinks. We learned this the hard way. :) Our first meeting was "Husband's Favorite." Now ladies... it sounds like a GREAT idea to add a number of awesome recipes to your list of things to make your hubby... and in that regard it was. BUT... my tummy has never felt so terrible in my life as after this meeting. Why? Well...of course most everyone brought a main dish that contained anywhere from 1-2 lbs of MEAT (including me)! I love me some meat peeps but I literally felt like I had a 2 lb hamburger patty sitting in my belly when I left that evening. I couldn't even sleep that night because of what I now call my "SCC Hangover." All that to say, encourage participants to sign up to bring a number of different types of items. :)
  • Hostess Note: Be sure to have plenty of serving utensils. Now we've decided to alternate who will be hosting our group each month. You could have your group at one house every time.... it's really up to you. BUT one thing I have learned from participating in 3 months of a cooking club is that the hostess needs to have a number of serving utensils. I'm talking at least 1/dish.
  • Nametags. Although they aren't as necessary now, it was super helpful to have nametags for all in attendance during the first couple meetings. **When I get a chance I'll be sure to take a pic of our nametags and maybe even upload a downloadable file (if I'm feeling super ambitious)
  • Facebook Groups are AWESOME. Like I mentioned in my "How to Start a Cooking Club" post, it's important to find some sort of communication that works best for your group. In our case starting a SCC Facebook Group has been perfect. We use the event wall to RSVP and post what everyone will be bringing. I'd totally suggest using this feature on FB! Five Stars for sure *****!!!!
And that's it!

As always, feel free to comment below with any questions you may have.

Oh - and for those interested - here's a pic of our group at our first meeting...

Happy Cooking (clubbing)!!!


Flies Girls Update

May 1, 2011

Wow! We have had quite the past 2 weeks! All fun... but BUSY! Between a number of Scottsdale Moms Blog outings, celebrating Easter and the pending arrival of Baby Girl #2 we have had a very full schedule!

Because I'm sure you like knowing what's going on with Ms. Nora and Ms. Baby #2 here are a few highlights from the past few weeks...

Splash pad.

Nora LOVES the splash pad. What adventurous kid wouldn't, right?

The above pictures were taken of a specific trip just a couple weeks ago when we met Mrs. Cherrick and Reagan at the Scottsdale Quarter Splash pad. (Best splash pad in the area - for serious)

Just a couple thoughts from this trip:
First - Nora LOVES her girlfriends, Reagan and Reagan. Yes - you read that right. She has two BFF's who are both named Reagan. (I'm secretly wondering if she thinks every little girl is named Reagan - I guess we'll see in time). But because she really only says the first syllable of every word she calls them "Rae" - as in Ray - like my father-in-law. Hehe. Too funny.

Second - Nora LOVES drinking the splash pad water. I'm not talking standing up and sticking her tongue out sort of drinking. I mean laying on the ground slurping it up type drinking. Weird.

Next up....Sesame Street Live.

We were lucky enough to be given tickets to attend Sesame Street Live at the Comerica Theater this past weekend! We attended the 10:30 am showing just yesterday and were super anxious to see how Nora would do at a LIVE show :)

Oh how I wish I would have gotten video of Ms. Nora during the production! Our little girl a)would not sit in her seat...she was far more interested in standing up and dancing and singing for the entire 1.5 hrs - b)was a little obsessed with Big Bird. I'm talking she wouldn't pay attention to the show when the Big yellow Bird wasn't on stage. And c)despite loving everything about the show decided she was "all done" about 15 minutes before the end of the production. So "all done" was she that she started waving and saying "bye-bye" in the middle of the production. Alan and I just looked at each other and said "Ok - I guess we'll go!"

Oh this girl cracks me up!


Now I'll admit - this certainly is not one of the most entertaining videos I've posted...but I figured I'd post it as I'm sure the grandparents will like it at least. :)

Nora had a great Easter. We went to church and spent the rest of the day poolside and eating yummy food at home. Oh I love April in Arizona!!

And lastly...Baby Girl #2

(I did title the post "Flies GirlS Update," right?)

Oh Baby, right?!

Here are just a couple of Baby Girl #2 thoughts....

- In case you're interested in seeing what I looked like with Nora around this time be sure to check out my Belly Project | 36 week update post to compare. Note: one thing that is funny to compare in these pictures is the amount of finger prints on the mirror behind me. Pre-Nora - not too many. Post-Nora - Holy Finger-print-mola! :)

- Mom-to-Mom advice: When packing your little one's clothing away be sure to pack the larger clothes on the bottom. I suggest this as I recently went to get out all of our 0-3 month girls clothes and had a terrible time as they were at the bottom of our 0-6 month bin! Ugh! I realize it's more work when you're putting the clothing away but believe me, that's when you'll want to put in the extra time. Not when you're getting ready for additional children :)

I'm just saying.

- Lastly - this very well may be my last Belly Project update. Honestly, I don't think I'll want any more pictures of this growing belly.

Next time you'll see a pic of me I'm hoping I'll be holding our sweet little girl :)

All for now!!!

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