He’s here! Alexander Thomas, born on Friday, February 9 at 10:22 p.m. He was 8lbs 4oz and 20 inches long at birth. He looked a lot like his big brother did when he was born, but now, at four days old, the postpartum swelling has come down a bit and his own individual features have begun to come out. He’s so adorable!
Name: Alexander was our second choice for Zachary’s name and although we had a decent list this time around, it was still the one that we solidly agreed on, the one that felt most “right.” Thomas is Jay’s paternal grandfather’s name.
Birth Story: I had assumed that Alex’s birth story would be fairly straightforward and uneventful. Thankfully, his actual birth itself was normal but man, was it an eventful few days leading up to it. I’ll break up the story by days and you can skip to Friday if you don’t want to hear about Wed. & Thurs. Hosptial part starts where it’s labeled “Hospital Time.”
Well, here I am, officially overdue. I’m uncomfortable, but it’s mainly the constant ab pain from my diastasis recti that’s making the wait so much worse. At my 40 week appointment on Monday, I was put on a waitlist to be induced at 41 weeks, 1 day on Monday, February 12. My doctor assured me that I’d make the list because surely someone would have their baby before then. This morning, I heard from their office that I was being bumped off of the Monday list and moved to Tuesday morning, February 13.
Yeah, I’m a big old baby and I totally ugly cried once I was alone, haha. I just want the discomfort radiating from above my belly button to stop. Right now, there’s no relief no matter how I stand, sit or lay. It feels like that sensitivity you get when you have a fever and it hurts to touch/be touched, only it’s ongoing, like 90% of the day. But, it’s not a pain that’s nearly as bad as a lot of people with chronic pain conditions are in, so I need to get control of myself and suck it up. I keep going back to the constant, actual pain that my grandpa was in during the last few months of his life thanks to his cancer. That had to have been about a million times worse, and if he brave it, then I can handle a little stomach pain now.
So anyways, yes, that’s where we stand right now. I reeeaalllyyyy wanted to have a baby before my birthday on Thursday, but c’est la vie. I get signs and symptoms but they just don’t last long enough to get going into anything that will get a baby out, haha. I’m pretty sure she’s swept my membranes at least twice already and there’s been nothing. I’ve tried all of the old wives tales, but they don’t even cause mild contractions. I may get a reflexology massage as a birthday present to myself because I’ve heard that there are pressure points to help jumpstart labor along, but I’m also wary of setting myself up for disappointment if nothing happens! After all, my doctor never expected me to make it past 39 weeks, let alone past 40…
My next baby update will either be my “night before induction” post or a “surprise, look who finally showed up on his own” post. I’ll plan for the former but hope for the later!
I wanted to do something sweet for Zach before the new baby is born so that he’ll always have something personal that I made to remind him how much I love him. We’ve had an extra copy of this picture laying around for ages and I found it while cleaning out the extra room that is going to be the nursery. Zachary would look at it every night at dinner (I left it on the counter for lack of anywhere better to put it). After I told him that it was the very first time that he and Mommy had ever looked at each other, he was fascinated by it. It was so adorable to see him smile as he eventually told me about the picture (“This is the first time I ever saw you, Mommy!”). So, I knew that whatever I did for him, I wanted it to involve this picture. I decided to walk around Michaels one afternoon and see if I got inspired.
For years, I have always told him, “I love you every little bit.” I got it from the book that I used to read to him as an infant. Now, whenever I ask him, “Do you know how much I love you?” He responds, “Every little bit!” Sometimes, he does it sweetly, other times he does it while rolling his eyes, haha. Either way, he freaking knows the answer. During my Michaels excursion, I found a wooden picture frame and came across a book of gold letters in the clearance section. Voila! Inspiration.
I mixed light blue paint with a touch of brown paint to make a slightly antique-y looking color and then put the lettering on. After it dried, I used matte Mod Podge to seal everything down. This is the final result, which he has in his room. We need to get something to prop it up better with, but this will do for now. I know my lettering is a bit off-center, but I still love the final product. Zachy was excited to get it and although he’s 3.5 and has no concept of sentimentality yet, haha, I am pretty sure that he loves having the picture of him and Mommy seeing each other for the very first time in his room, too. Go, me! #MomWin
P.S. Here’s a link to the book if you’re looking for a really cute, sweet baby gift for someone (or yourself). 🙂
A recent Pinterest-inspired recipe that we decided to try was a recipe for Sloppy Grilled Cheese sandwiches. We modified the recipe a bit to turn it into BBQ Sloppy Texas Toast Grilled Cheese sandwiches, haha. It was…decadent and I ate two, which, five hours later, was still one too many, haha.
Essentially, Jay made BBQ sloppy joes (we use a modified recipe that we originally got from Blue Apron last year) and I went to the store and bought American cheese and garlic Texas toast and then put them in the toaster oven, lol. This was our “quick” way of making them, but if you’re adventurous with better taste buds, then you probably want to compile them the old-fashioned way of butter on two slices of the bread and cheese of your choice and grill/press them together over the stove.
Anyways, they were pretty tasty, if not a million calories, lol. Here’s the recipe we used. Feel free to adjust the amounts to your taste/portion needs.
Toaster oven (optional)
1lb ground beef
1/4-1/2 cup of chopped onion
Butter (if grilling over stove top)
Make the sloppy joes – brown the ground beef in the skillet. Add the onions and drain the grease.
Add in the barbecue sauce. Cook low or simmer.
Make Texas toast – Butter each side of the bread and place the cheese on it.
If you’re putting it into the toaster oven, wait until it’s toasted.
If you’re grilling it in a skillet over the stove, keep an eye until the bottom sides are a golden brown.
Assemble the sandwiches; if you were cooking over the skillet, you may want to put the sloppy joes on one side while it’s in the skillet and put the other piece of bread over it and melt them together. Yummy!
Well, 39 weeks along seems like a good time to make a comeback and do a blog post about Baby Boy Glatfelter #2, haha. I guess when I talk about pregnancy and life in general on The Broadcast every week, it seems redundant to tell the stories again here. Perhaps if I moved some of those stories over here once in a while, our episodes would be much shorter, hahaha.
Anyways, here we are, at 39 weeks and 2 days. My due date is February 4, and I am ready. This pregnancy has been really different than when I was pregnant with Zachary. Yes, I’m a lot more tired, but I can deal with that. It’s the higher level of physical discomfort this time around that I wasn’t prepared for at all. Starting at around 16 or 18 weeks, I had a lot of round ligament pain in my right side and it actually sidelined me a few times because I couldn’t stand up from it. That progressed into back pain, so I bought a brace in October that really did help a lot. Sometime in mid-December, I started really having simultaneous pain and numbness in my stomach and noticed that there was a hole above my belly button. My ob-gyn confirmed that I have diastasis recti, which means my abs have split apart. It’s common, often heals within a few months of birth and is treatable with physical therapy.
But anyways, if a little bit of stomach pain is the most that I can complain about, then I recognize that I’m being a big old baby that needs to shut up because I’m lucky that’s all I have to deal with.
We’re almost done with his room. We’ve kept it fairly lowkey because the room has a wall of built-ins already as well as a wood wainscot on the other three walls. We are using Zach’s old crib and bought an IKEA dresser, a bookshelf from Amazon, and a La-Z-Boy chair. We also got a storage ottoman from Target that has toys in it. I found a lovely “We love you more” sign at Buy Buy Baby that we’re putting up on the wall. We ended up getting a La-Z-Boy because we’re anticipating long nights for the next couple of years and wanted to spend them comfortably and have something that we can use in another room once those long nights are over.
Just a tip for anyone who is looking for a La-Z-Boy: We ended up with LAB because we saw the store by us was having a factory clearance sale. The saleswoman mentioned that they price-matched, so after we ordered it, I went home and found the same chair for muuuuch cheaper on Wayfair. Jay called them the next day and not only did they match the price, but they also gave an additional 10% off of the difference. The only thing we had to pay was the delivery fee (it was free shipping on Wayfair). But for someone else to assemble it for us, it was well worth the delivery fee, haha.
Zach is doing awesome with adjusting to the idea of having a baby brother. So far, he has had no behavior issues or anxiety regarding the pending change of life as he knows it. Potty training has finally moved in a positive direction and Zach has expressed a desire to teach his baby brother how to poop on the potty, haha. We have been honest with him: that things will change and we’ll be someone else’s mommy and daddy too and that the baby will be living with us forever, not just for a little while. I think gently telling him early and reinforcing it with actions like having him talk to the baby about the things he’ll do with us when he comes out have helped. Or, maybe I just a really well-adjusted 3-year-old. Or maybe all hell will break loose a month from now when the novelty wears off, lol. I don’t think the latter will happen, though (beyond what is normal). He’s very loving to my tummy and often falls asleep hugging it or with his hand on it. He says good morning and good night and gives it kisses. This baby is super chill in the womb and does not move a whole lot, but without fail, he moves whenever Zach is touching or even just talking to him. It’s really cool and maybe I’m looking into things too deeply, but my motherly instincts can see a bond between the two of them already. I love it. <3
As pretty much anyone with a pulse knows, today was a total solar eclipse in North America. We were not in the path of totality, but we were pretty close to it at 93% here in Raleigh, NC and luckily, Jay picked us up some eclipse glasses from Lowes back in early July (not even kidding; we had ours before we even left for Comic-Con in mid-July). High five, Jay!
I had to work today, but was fortunate enough to be able to leave my office for most of the “good” parts of the eclipse. Jay and I were going to meet at the RDU Airport Observation Deck, but Jay realized late-morning that we’d have a great view of the sun from our driveway and back deck, so we changed plans at the last minute. Jay made a fun little setup with a table, chairs, and umbrellas. The action in the Raleigh area began at about 1:15 p.m. I got home around 1:30ish and settled in for the action. As you can see, Jay and I have very different methods of sitting out in the sun in general:
So, the eclipse began around 1:15 p.m. and we maxed out at 93% coverage at the 2:43-2:45 p.m. mark. It was really, really neat. I only waited for a little over an hour, it passed by really quickly – and I wasn’t really even playing on my phone during this time. Thank YOU for the natural entertainment, Mother Nature. As we approached maximum coverage, we heard the crickets start chirping like it was dusk and although the temperature on my watch never dipped more than 10 degrees over a 2-hour timespan, it did start to feel cooler once around 50-60% of the sun was covered. The other really neat thing was the way the light changed. It never got dark, but it was this odd lighting like we were outside at dusk but sitting under flood lights. Does that make sense? I left to go back to work a little bit after 3 p.m., and while I was driving back, it was eerie in that the daylight looked like it was very early morning – that still, calm, “new” light effect.
As we approached maximum coverage, we heard the crickets start chirping like it was dusk and although the temperature on my watch never dipped more than 10 degrees over a 2-hour timespan, it did start to feel cooler once around 50-60% of the sun was covered. The other really neat thing was the way the light changed. It never got dark, but it was this odd lighting like we were outside at dusk but sitting under flood lights. Does that make sense? I left to go back to work a little bit after 3 p.m., and while I was driving back, it was eerie in that the daylight looked like it was very early morning – that still, calm, “new” light effect.
I had a great time watching it. It really was such a cool phenomenon to get to witness, and I’m so happy that 1) I was able to go home and view it comfortably and 2) the weather cooperated and we didn’t have many clouds. We decided to leave Zachary in school for it because he’s adverse to wearing any kind of eyewear and in that threenager phase where he would never have cooperated anyway or even “got” what was happening.
Anyways, it took a bit trial and error and advice from a friend, but I was able to get a few decent pictures of the eclipse by holding my iPhone about an inch away from the glasses and then turning the screen brightness all of the way down. I’ve loved scrolling through Facebook and Instagram today, seeing everyone’s pictures. Here are my pictures with time stamps. Enjoy!
I am obsessed with this version of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.” This is Dolly, Miley Cyrus, and Pentatonix performing an acapella version of “Jolene” on The Voice the other night.
When we first started dating back in 2007, Jay and I used to debate whose cover of this song was better. He always insisted that the White Stripes’ version (Jolene [Live]) was the best, while I was always partial to Mindy Smith’s version (Jolene (Bonus Track)) because it was the first cover that I’d heard of it. (I’ve since changed my vote to the version that Miley did for her Backyard Sessions in 2012.) After watching this video about 29 times last night, it has become my new favorite version. If you like this one, you should also check out the single that Pentatonix released with Dolly Parton back in September (Jolene or video below the jump). Okay, I’m gonna stop now before this becomes Jolene overkill. Enjoy!
Well, here we are again. This is probably the third or fourth time in the last two years that I have done a mea culpa for disappearing and then come back, vowing to blog on the regular again. Yet, here I am. This time, it’s going to be different, dammit! I’m going to blog at least 3 times a week, Internet-distractions be damned!
Life has been all over the place since my last blog post. There’s been a bunch of bad and then worse, but I think – I hope – that as 2016 ends, I am a stronger person than I was when 2016 started. I don’t know if I’m unscathed, but within those challenges came a lot of good. I’ve done some serious soul searching over the last five or six months in order to figure out who I am and who I want to be. But hey, everyone goes through shit, so I’m not going to get into any of that now. Plus, why give away all of the goods on the first blog post back? 😉
So, back on Halloween, I was suckered into one of those Groupon deals for this “Antique Leather Brown Notebook” from Monogramhub (above). I didn’t really read the fine print or the reviews, haha. I just saw that it was a notebook for $5 + shipping, so I figured I’d get it and use it for my next Broadcast-ideas notebook. Well, shame on me, because when it arrived, it was definitely much smaller than I thought it was! It’s not a total waste, though. I am a person who is great with checklists, so I decided to use it to make a list of blog post ideas and hold myself accountable to this “more than once every six months” pattern I’ve been on lately. I’m even working on a post about the Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life episodes on Netflix, stay tuned for that coming up soon!
So on that note, I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We stayed in Raleigh this year and had a fun time at my in-laws’ house. Zachary was sick with a fever from Monday, Nov. 21 through Saturday, Nov. 26, so it was a pretty lowkey weekend/weekend in general for us. We spent a few hours at one of the only Urgent Cares that was open in the area on Thanksgiving morning because we were worried that Zach had strep. “Luckily,” it ended up just being tonsillitis. Given our track record (two sets of tubes and adenoid removal), I should open up a betting pool on how long it will take until he has to get his tonsils out, haha.
Ooookay, moving on to something more positive! On Saturday evening, Jay and I went to dinner and to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I thought it was really fun and totally recommend it to any Harry Potter fans out there. Eddie Redmayne is adorable, end of story. I didn’t see the twist coming, but to be fair, I was enjoying a beer during the movie, haha, so I was just there to sit back, relax, and enjoy a few hours away from a sick preschooler. But anyway, I want to get the screenplay of it. I saw it at Barnes and Noble last week. If anyone has it, please let me know how it is! And if you saw Fantastic Beasts, let’s talk about it in the comments below!