Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Schwartz's vs the Last Hurrah

By this time next month (hopefully) we'll be holding Cody and adjusting to life as a family of 4.  So I really wanted to do something special with just the 3 of us one last time before EVERYTHING changes and I hole up in my house and don't come out for months while I go nuts trying to figure out how to survive life with a newborn again.  Ideally our last big outing would be closer to Cody's due date, but with Chris starting his next semester next week our time was limited with daddy.  So Chris took of last Tuesday so he could spend the day playing with Sarah and me.

We started the morning with our traditional Chris is off work breakfast treat--Cracker Barrel.  I didn't take any pictures of that because no one wants to see me chowing down, but believe me, it was good!  Then it was a quick stop at Wal-greens to pick up some Motrin (we think Sarah's two year old molars are starting to move) and off to Pump it Up for the pop in play time!

I've really been wanting to take Sarah but was apprehensive that it would be too crowded, or there would be to too many bigger kids to run over Sarah, or that she wouldn't be able to do anything and I'm not really in any condition to be climbing around on inflatables to get her if she got stuck.  So we definitely needed daddy to come and help wrangle the kid.  Of course the minute we get there I look at all the fun stuff and had to ask Chris to go buy me some socks because I didn't want to be left out of the fun!  So yes, 8 months pregnant with Sarah I went roller skating.  This time 8 months pregnant with Cody, I went giant inflatable sliding.
Me and Sarah at the top of the giant slide that I had to carry her up in order for us to go down.

She had a great time!  And it wasn't over crowded at all.  We stopped in the first play room where there was a slide, an obstacle course, some sort of jump wall thing, and an "arena" with basketball goals, joust poles, lots of balls, and oversized boxing gloves.  
Excited about going up the slide with daddy.

Daddy's turn to carry Sarah up the slide.  

At the top!  Weeeeeee!

But the slide was too dark at the top in this room so both times (Chris and I each took her once) she was fine going up until you got into the dark top.  Then she'd start crying.  Then she'd giggle the entire way down.  If you asked her if she wanted to go again she'd say "Yes!" but when you'd start climbing she'd cry "no! no! no!" So we turned our attention to the other inflatables in that room.  And of course, she fell in love with the balls.
A ball!  A ball!  A ball!

Daddy helping Sarah slam dunk.

We tried to entice her into doing the obstacle but it was really tough.  So I had the idea to have Chris go through and hand Sarah over the back wall to him where all they'd have left is the slide to go down.  But when we came up with that plan, we didn't know in order to get to the top of the slide you hand to go up a "rock wall" type back with very small foot and hand holds.  So I'm waiting at the bottom of the slide to catch Sarah for quite some time when I finally make out Chris yelling "Natalie".  I head to the back to see what's the matter and Chris explained the situation and handed her back out.  To which she ran straight over to the ball arena for another 15 minutes.  But I didn't want the ball arena to be the ONLY thing she did and we pretty much ruled out the big slide because whenever we asked she said "No!" so I thought we should try the obstacle course again.  This time the plan was for both of us to go through it having one of us climb over the obstacle and then hand her up and over.  And let me tell you it was tough!  I had to shimmy under things that an adult, never mind a pregnant one, really doesn't fit under.  But Sarah was loving it because over each big wall she got to slide down the other side after one of us handed her to the other sitting on top of the wall.  She was giggling up a storm as we crawled through the last obstacle, a tunnel, and then I saw the rock wall.  Oh my gosh!  I could barely get myself up the top on those tiny foot holds and had to perch percariously up there while I waited for Chris to hand Sarah to me.  Then we slid down together and she just squealed with delight!  It was well worth it.  After that while I was changing her diaper all she kept saying was "slide down.  Mommy down.  Daddy down.  Slide."  I'd ask her "are you having fun" and she's smile big and say "Shyesh!"  

Then we decided to check out the other play room.  It had basically the same things except the arena was a little different and the room was better lit so we tried the slide again.  She loved it!  L-O-V-E-D it!  We are talking as soon as we hit the bottom she was scrambling to get to the side to climb back up.  The girl was wearing Chris and I out!  We had to take turns on who would carry her up. Once you'd get to the top she's start pushing away from you because she wanted to go down by herself.  Until she saw some other kids using mats to go down.  Her eyes got real big; she wanted to try one of those!  And sure enough one trip down there was an empty mat at the bottom and she grabbed it up like it was gold.  
Sorry the picture is blurry but she shot down the slide like a bullet.  This is about the best one.  And can you see she's getting a little bit of air under her mat.  She's such a dare devil!

With about 30 minutes left in the play time, Chris and I are both exhausted and our little energizer bunny just wants to keep going.  So she starts trying to climb up to the top herself.  There weren't that many kids left in the playroom anymore so I didn't feel bad about her potentially holding up the line and I was too tired to go chasing after her.  So one of our awesome parent moments was born where I looked at Chris like "are you going to help her" and he said "eh" and I said "eh, if she can do let her".  And I waited (nervously) at the bottom to see if she was going to fall backwards and come tumbling down the steps.  But she made it to the top!  I was amazed.  Absolutely shocked!  I really didn't think she could do it.  And she crawled across the top and came sliding down.  However, then she figured out it's fast not to crawl across the top and began just barely turning the corner at the top and coming down on her face, crammed up against the wall where one of us would pick her up and put her on the stair side so she could start the process all over.  She was loving it!  She was so happy and giggling the whole time.  

Afterwards we had all these plans for how productive we'd be while she took a nap.  But I looked at her as we were walking out to the car and told Chris "she's not going to make it" so we went to Grandma and Grandpa Schwartz's house to feed her lunch and put her down for a nap.  After the nap we thought we'd take her out for a special treat so we went to a cupcake bar in Bartlett.  And wouldn't you know it, my child wanted NOTHING to do with her cupcake.  Wouldn't eat one bite.  Didn't want the icing.  She just wanted the marshmallows off the top.  So we wound up buying her 3 "shots" of marshmallows so she wouldn't fuss while Chris and I enjoyed our giant cupcakes.

I just kept thanking Chris the rest of the evening for taking off work to play with us.  We had such a great day and I'm glad we had the opportunity to take a moment to make one last special memory of just the 3 of us.  I'm getting a little nostalgic and weepy eyed (dumb pregnancy hormones) whenever I think that it'll never just be us and our little girl again.  But that's for another time and another post.  

I'm also planning one more adventure to Pump it Up with Sarah before Cody comes since I now know she can climb the slide by herself.  And so help me, if this baby doesn't come on time you may find me up there 40 weeks pregnant trying to bounce this boy out!  

Here's a horrible little video I took of Sarah climbing up the slide by herself.  It wasn't even worth editing to try to make it better so please forgive the bad camera work.  I was just so impressed that she was able to do this.  I think it's cute that at first she's climbing up using the handles because that's how mommy and daddy were doing it.  Then you can hear her giggling as she's coming down and when she gets to the bottom I ask something about "was it fun" and she says "I'm fun" then I ask "what'd you do" and she says "slide!"

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Schwartz's vs the 20 Month Old

Sarah, you're now 20 months old and it seems like overnight you grew taller and more talkative.  When I look at you you are starting to look less like my baby girl and more like my little girl.

* You can now climb into the bathtub on your own.  We discovered this the hard way.  Daddy was letting your bath fill up and left you watching it while he went to grab a towel.  He then heard splashing noises and hollered at you to quit playing with the water.  He thought you were just leaning over the edge.  He came back into the bathroom to find you fully dressed, shoes and all, sitting in the tub splashing and playing.  Needless to say you don't get to watch the tub fill unattended anymore.
* You still LOVE animals.  Right now, horses seem to be your favorite.  You have a little horse toy and a book about horses that you like to carry around and play with.
* The only color you know is blue, and the only numbers you know are two and three.  But you say them loud and proud.  So we like to make you seem smart when you meet new people and ask you questions like "how many hands do you have".
* You love to read books still.  Whenever we leave the house you have to take at least one book with you but generally you exclaim "two books" and go back for another one.  It's amazing when I glance a peek at you in the car.  You are looking at your books like you are seriously reading them.  When you get up from your naps I'll usually sit on the couch and read you a book.  Once we finish it you'll run off and get another and this continues until you're ready to do something else or you've brought all your books in to the living room.
* You love to be "helpful".  If mommy is sweeping you want your own broom to help.  If mommy is cooking, you want to help pour stuff in and stir.  If Sophie needs food you want to be the one to pour the food into her bowl and then go find her and tell her to "eat, kitty, eat!".  You take stuff to the trash can when asked, open the pantry, throw it away, and then close the door.
* You are such a sweet girl.  You've started giving spontaneous hugs and kisses.  I think a few times you've said "love you" when we tell you we love you but I'm not sure.  It's one of those that's still hard to understand.  I think your obsession with kisses is starting to bother your dad.  It's cute when you kiss us, and when you make your little people or stuff animals kiss, but the other day you tried to kiss a boy at the Y nursery.  I told dad and he did not look too happy!
* You have really mastered thank you recently and don't need to be prompted as much as you use to.  You're pretty consistent with saying thank you when someone gives you something.  Yesterday, when we were sitting on the couch drinking your morning milk you randomly turned to me and said "thank you mommy".  Melt my heart.
* We think your 2 year old molars are starting to move.  It'll be a while before they break through the surface.  You teeth early but it takes a while to cut.  However, with how far back you've been shoving your fingers to chew on them and how irritable you've been we're pretty sure that's what's going on.
* You've started cheering for things.  It's adorable!  I'll ask do you want to read a book and you'll say "Yea book!" and clap your hands.
* You still have no idea that next month you'll be a big sister.  We decided not to tell you.  You're not old enough to understand.  But we love you very much and am looking forward to you growing in that capacity.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Schwartz's vs the Negotiator

"I do not negotiate with terrorists" is a common thing you'll hear me say these days.  Sarah has mastered the tantrum.  She can bring on the tears in a matter of seconds and cry until she practically dry heaves.  At times like these, I hold fast and firm.  I do not negotiate with her.  I walk away.  I go sit on the couch and read a book.  I wait for her to calm down and then I ask her what she wants.  Sometimes I figure it out, sometimes I'm still trying to figure out what set her off.  Sarah has a fair number of words and does a pretty good job communicating what she wants through words and pointing but other times she just starts freaking out like she has lost her mind.  Eh, she's a toddler; what are you going to do?

But that's not the kind of negotiating I want to talk about.  Sarah has been negotiating with me to get things that she wants and while I'm sure I should squash it, sometimes it's just so darn cute and it's not hurting anything (right now) so I let it ride.  The conversations are pretty hilarious more because of her tone and facial expressions and I wish I could get one on video but except for a few rare instances she does not perform for the camera.

So here are a few stories I'd like to remember:

I think the problem started about a month ago with a conversation that went like this.  (I know a transcript doesn't do it justice for you all, but I'll remember how it sounded and it makes me smile.)
The setting: lunch time, Sarah's in her high chair, mommy is gross from the gym and wants Sarah to hurry up so she can go down for her nap so I can shower
Mommy: Sarah as soon as you're done with lunch it's time for night night.
Sarah: show?
M: night night
S: shooooooow?
M: niiiiiight, niiiiiight
S: (whispering) show?
M: (whispering) night night
S: (with a different ennuncuation) show?
M: NO (a little firmer, but not angry or anything) night night
S: No, Show.
At this point I just laughed.
M: Are you done?
S: (hands up) All Done!
M: night night
S: (pauses like she's thinking about it) night night!

The other day she was negotiating with Chris about how much lunch she had to eat before she could have more cheese and I had to turn my head and leave the kitchen I was laughing so hard.
The setting: Sunday after church, trying to feed Sarah lunch so we can put her down for a nap, change out of church clothes, and make ourselves some food
Sarah: more cheese please!
Mommy: (seeing she had barely touched her turkey) Eat some turkey first and then you can have more cheese.
S: (Sarah puts some turkey in her mouth)
M: (to Chris who is closer to Sarah.) Daddy, go ahead and give Sarah some more cheese.
Daddy: (puts some cheese on her plate)
S: (takes the partially chewed turkey out her mouth and tries to put some cheese in)
D: Hey!  No!  You put that piece back in a finish it before you get some cheese.
S: (Puts the turkey back in her mouth)
D: Open your mouth, let me see that you swallowed it.  Open up.  Say ahhhhhh.
M: (I turn my head and laugh) Chris I don't think that's necessary.
D: Apparently it is, she fooled you!  She cheeked the turkey just to get more cheese!
M: (laughing harder, has to leave the kitchen.)

I proceed to hear calls of "more cheese please" from Sarah and Chris directing her as to what she had to eat to earn the cheese from the bedroom while I changed.  I KNOW this is the type of negotiating I should nip, but at the time it was just too funny at the time to see a grown man checking the mouth of a toddler for turkey and lima beans like a loony bin patient who hides their pills.

Last night I got home from the chiropractor around 6:45 and Sarah's door was already closed.  I could hear her in there in her crib.  Chris explained that she had been super cranky and fussy the whole time I was gone, all through dinner, and at 6:30 she looked at him and said "night night" and he asked if she wanted to go to bed and she said "shyesh" (yes) so he put her down.  I could hear that she was up messing around in her crib and while we have a strict do not go in once she has been put down she and I had a tough day so I didn't want to not tell her good night and be apart of the routine.  So I went in there.  Here's how it went down:

Mommy: (Enters Sarah's room. Sarah is sitting up in her crib.)
Sarah: (Sees mommy and proceeds to stand up) Hi!
Mommy: Hi baby.  Are you going night night?
S: shyesh (put her arms up)
M: (leans down to give Sarah a hug) Do you want mommy to sing you a song?
S: (throws her arms around mommy's neck and latches on.) a book!
M: (Picks Sarah up) Oh, you'd rather mommy read you a book then sing a song. (I'm a little sad about that one)
S: Shyesh! Two books!
M: One book.
S: Twoooo books.
M: One book.  Do you want to read Brown Bear?
S: Biba! Biba! (Brown Bear) Shyesh!
So we go out to the living room to sit in the chair to read brown bear.  Sarah sees another book she loves right now Roar of a Snore.
S: Roar!  Two books.  
M: ok, two books, then night night.  Ok.
S: Shyesh.
(We finish reading Brown Bear.)
S: two books
(She's reminding me in case I forgot to what I agreed to.)
M: Ok, we'll read Roar then its time for night night.
(We finish reading Roar of a Snore.)
S: Night Night (turns around and gives me a kiss)
Daddy picks up Sarah.
S: Night Night (gives Daddy a kiss)

Looking adorable today before the gym!  But don't let that innocent face fool you.  She's mad at me in this picture.  She wants to go outside and there is a big crocodile tear on her cheek because I told her no that we needed to get ready to leave.  

See the attitude now?

Luckily she was distracted from the budding tantrum with a promise of brushing her teeth.
So what if she doesn't really do it the right way.  It makes her happy!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Schwartz's vs the Crib that Spare Change Bought

Remember how we splurged and bought beautiful nursery furniture because we were going to have kids 2-3 years apart.  (Yeah, I use to say a lot of things before I had kids. )

Then we decided to go ahead and put these two closer together than 2 years and so some major discussions had to be had about sleeping arrangements.  My wonderful husband could care less about what the decision is.  Not because he doesn't care, but more because he knows I'm the one that has to deal with it more often than he does.  And I've been lectured and chastised by many about how Sarah needs to be moved into a big girl bed before the new baby comes.  Almost to the point that I want to smack someone and tell them to back off!  

To me, the crib guarantees a nap.  Sarah is remarkably good about going down for night night and she doesn't fight being put in her crib for naps.  But she is awake in there playing for a bit before she falls asleep.  Usually after I put her down for a nap I can hear her for about 20 minutes playing with her stuffed animals and talking to herself.  She happily goes down for the night at 7:00.  But we've heard her in there talking and playing until 7:45 a couple of times just because it's not dark until after 8.  But the fact remains that because she's contained she does eventually fall asleep and I don't have to worry about what she's getting into or pulling out!  I'm worried that by giving her free access to her toys and books she'll stay up playing long after she should go to sleep.  And since she was never a baby to play herself to sleep I don't think she would actually do that.  I think she'd eventually start banging on the door and begging to be let out.  Or not get good enough rest and be a crazy cranky face.  So I'm just not ready and that's all there is to it.  And it's my perrogitive to leave her in a crib until she starts trying to climb out or it's just ridiculous to lift her up and put her in.

Since Sarah probably is old enough to transition to a big girl bed and it's my crazy that's not allowing it I just couldn't justify spending a ton of money on a new crib.  Or really even ask Chris to buy a new crib so I had to come up with a creative way to fund my crazy.  Enter the spare change jar.  We have two spare change jars: one of those big crayons for pennies, and a rubbermaid 2 qt (I think) for silver change.  And so I told Chris that I would roll all the change and I bet we had enough money to buy a crib I was looking at from Target.  It was pretty close to the right amount, then the bed went on sale and we had just enough!  Score!  (Now, in the spirit of full disclosure the change didn't cover the ridiculous shipping charge so I'm still rolling change to cover that but I went ahead and bought the crib.)  

So without further adieu, here is the crib that spare change bought:

(Thanks Grandma Schwartz for the cute bedding!)

And if you notice the crib has a bead board detail to it like the bed that Chris built.  So they look really good together in the same room.  

So two major elements of the nursery are ready to go.  And this is a huge improvement over my preparations for Sarah.  I've got 7 weeks to Cody's D-day and his crib is already assembled.  7 weeks out from Sarah's D-day I was finally ordering a crib!  Ha!  Now this isn't to imply the nursery is ready.  It's not.  I want to customize the closet with some new shelves and fabric bins instead of putting a dresser or chest of drawers in the room.  That's on Chris's to do list next weekend when I go visit my parents.  And we also need to cut the mats and frame the prints I bought a long time ago before we can unveil the theme for Cody's room.  But all and all we're on our way to getting ready for the ba-bay!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Schwartz's vs the Bed that Chris Built

So, I've been meaning to do this post for a while now because Chris actually built the bed way back in June when I went to go visit my parents for a weekend.  But I hadn't dressed the bed yet and gone in there to take pictures and so the priority level of journaling about this awesome bed Chris built by hand went down on the list of things to do.

Anyway, here's the story of the bed that Chris built.  One of my amazing friends Kayleen blogged about how she and her husband made a bed by using plans from Ana White's web site.  And it looked amazing!  It's had a real Pottery Barn look to it.  She talked about how easy it was and how much cheaper it was then buying a bed so I thought we might give that a try for converting the guest bedroom into a guest bedroom/nursery for the new guy arriving sometime in September.  I know a lot of people don't understand my obsession with guest beds but my family doesn't live in town so I feel like it's important to have a place for them to sleep when they come to visit that isn't on my couch, especially since I'm hoping mom will come and stay for a whole week when baby #2 arrives.  So I've been very reluctant to give up the guest bed even though I'm now giving up the guest bedroom.  (In my dream home, we actually have 2 master bedrooms where one is the master and one is the guest suite.)

So I scanned Ana White's website and found the plans for this bed and showed them to Chris and asked if he thought he could do it.  He said sure, and took a couple days off of work and I went to visit my parents so Sarah and I wouldn't be in the way.  I was supposed to leave the camera so he could take pictures of the various steps, but I forgot and took the camera with me to the grandparents house.  (Whoops).  But believe me, he did it all by himself, by hand.  What a man!

Of course when I got home it wasn't exactly what I had envisioned so we had him add some bead board to the head board and I think it looks fantastic.  Then with my inability to handle change and poor spacial reasoning skills I just about cried when he moved it into the guest bedroom because of how much space it took up and closed the door and ignored the room for about a month.  (I am that awesome.)

However, my mom decided to come to town to keep me company while Chris went on a manly pretend to be homeless, I mean camping weekend with his guy friends.  So I was forced to buy a mattress, put some sheets on the bed and come to terms with it and how much space it takes up.  So here's the bed all dressed up and looking pretty:
I need to get some blue fabric bins for the open areas on either side.  I'm obviously keeping the sheets for that bed on one side, and maybe books or something in the other side for Sarah.  The right closed cabinet has all my stationary supplies except for pens because Sarah has a harder time opening that side and just in case she ever succeeds I don't want her to have free access to pens.  And I haven't figured out yet what I'll keep in the left closed cabinet, probably toys.  

I asked Chris if he had a good time making the bed and I think he did.  But, I don't think he's clamoring to do another big project like that anytime soon.  However, he has agreed to make our bed for his parents lake house when the time comes.  I'm thinking about this one: Farmhouse Queen except we'll probably need a full size bed.  I don't know.  We'll see.  He says whatever it is, he'll have to build it there.  But I think he can probably build it at our house and assemble it over there since it'll probably take a couple days to build.  I'm actually really impressed with his man-craftiness.  It's neat to show someone the new nursery and point out the bed and say, "Chris built that".  And since the game plan is for it to become Sarah's big girl bed when I consolidate kids rooms it'll be nice to explain to Sarah that daddy built the bed for her.  I may even paint it pink when the time comes!  You know to make it a little more girly since she'll be moving into her brother's room technically.

So that's the story of the bed that Chris built.  I know it may not seem like much, but it's a pretty big step in getting me ready for the new baby.  If you all remember from when I was pregnant last time before I EVER did anything with Sarah's nursery, I first completely redecorated the guest bedroom.  (But I don't want to talk about that now since fat lot of good it did me when in under 2 years I'm undoing all my hard work and making it another nursery.)  

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Schwartz's vs the In Home Entertainment

Since Sarah was learning how to walk she's enjoyed walking around on our bed.  She loves to climb all over it while I'm making it and especially loves to dance on it when I'm changing the sheets.

So today while stripping the bed and getting the sheets into the wash an impromptu dance party broke out.