Friday, October 14, 2016

Declan Stone

A little over a week ago, we welcomed a little boy into our family and this world.

Terry, Marshall, and I are so excited and proud to introduce this tiny bundle.

Declan Stone Heinrich

Born Wednesday, October 5, 12:30 am ("zero dark thirty," as Terry says)

7 pounds, 13 ounces

20.5 inches

(the same length as his big brother, and exactly one ounce bigger!)

We are settling into our new routines as a family of four. The hospital stay was much shorter than last time (hooray for no jaundice!) and allowed us to get home to focus on our little boys.

Marshall seems so excited by the arrival of his little brother. He says things like:

"Declan! Hi Declan! How are you?"

"I want to hold Declan's hand."

When Declan cries during a cold diaper change: "It's okay, Declan!" (usually yelled loudly, to make sure Declan can hear him)

"He's waking up a little bit!"

"He's SO little."

"He's SO sleepy."

Likely, the transition has been toughest on Marshall, but he is handling it well. Sweet as he is to Declan, he is also two and needs attention from both Mommy and Daddy that we are trying so hard to give him. I am still recovering physically, so Terry has, as usual, stepped up in every way to make sure we have good meals, a clean house, and a happy toddler (though the last often feels like a tall order).

Once again, I am reminded how wonderful of a man I married. He truly astonishes me as he demonstrates patience, love, kindness, and helpfulness with all of us.

I will share Declan's birth story soon, along with the first few weeks of his sweet life. For now, we are focused on snuggling this sweet, tiny (well, relatively) newborn.

Welcome, sweet Declan. We are so glad you're here (early!); thank you for giving us two extra weeks with you! We can't wait to get to know you better, and we love you beyond words already!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Happy October and Waiting for Baby

Happy Monday, and happy October! Terry and I are stoked we made it to October before getting a visit from the stork. With all the unexpected events of the last few weeks, we're just waiting to see when baby will make his or her appearance. This weekend we checked the last few things off our big to-do list, and we're ready!

The only bummer is that Marshall has come down with a second round of a cold. He had a bad cold while my parents were in town two weeks ago, and then immediately after he got better he came down with another cough. I started feeling a tickle in my throat yesterday, too, so I'm praying it doesn't develop into more than that. Coughing at this point in my pregnancy is one of my biggest fears; I get coughs that last for weeks, so I worry about coughing through labor and delivery. Also, poor Marshall coughed all through the night last night and it turned into a restless (lack of) sleep for all of us. We're praying Marshall gets well soon and that Terry and I can stay healthy!

Speaking of which, the universe works in mysterious ways. When I ended up in the hospital at 35 weeks and had to get off work a full week earlier than expected, I later learned that my boss came down with bronchitis soon after that. She's feeling better now, but I am so grateful I wasn't there to catch that!

Now that I'm past "full term" (37 weeks) and feeling ready to meet this baby, we're trying to get out of the house a little more so I don't go absolutely insane. Last week, we went out for an impromptu dinner in Westwood at one of our favorite spots, TLT.

(He loved getting to drink out of a regular cup with no straw. It's the little things.)

And on Friday, thinking it might be my only chance, I headed out for a couple of hours to get myself a manicure and pedicure! I can't remember the last time I got my nails done, and normally I don't really care about how they look, but it is nice to have them all fancy. Of course, I smudged both big toes and one finger by the end of the day, because I'm amazing.

Random photo: Marshall hit his head and asked for ice, and we walked in to find him like this on his stool. <3

On Saturday, we celebrated Jenn and Justin's little boy for his first birthday! Jenn and Justin recently bought a beautiful home, and it was so much fun to enjoy their backyard and delicious food. Marshall was a huge fan of the giant bubble rope thing.

And the boys and men all played KanJam, a Frisbee game. The two-year-olds giggled like mad watching them play!

Marshall also found a toy dumbbell, and I'm proud to say he carried it around for about half an hour.

On Sunday morning, I requested a walk around the neighborhood. I haven't been able to walk for pleasure for weeks, and it was finally cool enough (and I felt well enough) to go out. It was a lovely fall morning, even if it did get hot later. We only circled the block twice, but it felt SO great to move my legs. (I have a--likely irrational--fear that all my muscles will have atrophied by the time I go into labor from all this bed rest, and I'll be exhausted from the mere act of walking around in labor, so I'm trying to go for short walks now to at least stretch out and gear up a bit!)

Terry is still doing physical therapy for his knee, even though you'd never know he's still recovering! This guy is such a champ; he isn't limping at all and gets up and down with Marshall like the surgery never happened!
(Marshall "helped" with Terry's exercises.)

 We also took Marshall for a long-overdue haircut! Last week we brought him to our 37-week doctor's appointment so he could hear the baby's heartbeat, and he freaked out, so we had no idea what to expect here. Luckily, he was awesome! He stayed calm and kept looking in the mirror and saying, "I'm so handsome." Ha! (Also, please note the Toy Story-inspired cape...but it's not the actual characters? So weird.) Now Marshall is all ready to meet his little brother or sister!

But he's NOT super thrilled lately with Scout. Sometimes Scout will crouch down as if he's going to pounce, and lately Marshall is terrified of him! It's actually pretty hilarious; this is Marshall's position for protecting himself. Please keep in mind we have a seven-pound cat. Marshall weighed more than that when he was born!

But really, this cat is just a big snuggle bug.

Some food recently and our meal plan for the week (unless a baby has other plans!):

Homemade Lara bars (in ball form, because who has the patience to cut these into bars?)
- 1 cup cashews
- 1 cup dates
- 2/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 T (or more) water to bind everything together
Throw it all in a food processor and process until the pieces are all uniformly tiny; then roll into balls. Add more water if it's not sticking well. Store in airtight container in fridge.

I also made some nut-free ones (Marshall's school is nut-free):
- 1 cup dates
- 1/2 cup sunflower butter (I like Wild Friends because they are the only brand I've found that doesn't add sugars or palm oil; we buy it at Bristol Farms)
- 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- a tiny bit of water, if needed, but the sunflower butter should be binding enough
Same directions as above!

Homemade Chocolate Pudding from 100 Days of Real Food - a treat, but SO delicious!

And dinners this week:

Pesto Shrimp Pasta:
- 1 lb whole wheat pasta (we used shells, because it's what we had)
- 1 package frozen Red Argentinian jumbo shrimp from Trader Joe's (the only wild-caught brand available there, and delicious! Plus, the tails are removed, although it is raw so needs to be cooked prior to adding)
- 1/3 - 1/2 cup store-bought pesto (we buy a big container of Kirkland brand from Costco and freeze it until we need it)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 6-8 ounces fresh spinach

I cooked the pasta as usual, and sauteed the shrimp in butter and olive oil. Then I put the fresh spinach in a colander and strain the pasta over the spinach to wilt it quickly. Then I add the pesto, peas, pasta, and spinach back into the pasta pot and combine everything (maybe a little extra olive oil if needed). I serve it up and top it with shrimp! For Marshall, we cut his shrimp into bite-size pieces. Delicious, and it takes so little effort and is super quick! (~20 minutes!)

Carnitas tacos (but we're just using Whole Foods 365 brand salsa verde, our favorite!)

Ina's Butternut Squash soup with curried condiments - our favorite fall soup!

Greek salad with couscous - cucumbers, tomatoes, feta cheese, red onion, and couscous

And now we wait! Who knows if I'll be back again before baby arrives!