Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Big Blog Update: Month 13-16

"Moves, Holidays, and Toddlerhood: Months 13-16"

So probably just when you were starting to wonder whether I was ever going to update the blog, I appear, offering an insane amount of pictures to overcompensate (though I really did try capping each month as much as possible so not to completely crash your computer).  Anyways, let me cover some highlights from the last few months, and then onwards to the fun/good stuff! (I promise I won't have hurt feelings if you scroll down to the "Pictures" section just to browse through them) ;)

*So beware, there's plenty of info to read through by clicking the "Read More".  
As always, pics are at the way bottom, and Sidekick's latest developments are 
labeled accordingly in the accompanying collages.  Enjoy all 282 pics.
And don't forget to click on the pics/collages to see them full size (including the pics throughout the post)

When I post my monthly updates, I try to aim for the day of the month he was born on (the 6th), and label the header with how old he's turning.  So when I posted the 12 month update, he had just turned one a week and a half ago, but there was still plenty of his 12 month to cover - and plenty happened in November to boot:


- we traded in our 2001 Suzuki Vitarra for a 2006 Chrysler Town & Country.  It has more miles on it, but plenty of space for our growing family, and we love it!  Yay for fitting two car seats into one car ;)  

- we bought new furniture!  This might not sound like a big deal, but to be honest, everything we've ever owned has been "buy used, and save the difference".  And yet, moving into our new place, we felt that after so many years together of mismatched-used furniture, we deserved at least a living room set.  So two couches, two side tables, one coffee table, two lamps, two rugs, a small five piece set of decorative accessories, and a small blanket later - and we were set to go (don't worry, I included plenty of pics from various angles to show them off).

- Sidekick and I had moved out of the (now and forevermore known as the "bat apartment"), back in September after the third bat run in, and had been staying at my Mom's ever since.  Six weeks later, it was finally time to have HeroPapa join us (after the lease was up).  It had become a month to month in September, but we kept it since a.) it was close to HeroPapa's work, and b.) we needed to find something else first.  Moving most of Sidekick's and mine stuff into my Mom's was one thing, but adding furniture and HeroPapa's woodworking supplies was another.  Besides, according to the loft liaison, our place wouldn't finish construction until January.  So we decided to get UHAUL storage lockers, and in order to fit everything into it, it was going to cost us 450$ a month!  Blargh!  

But at least we were saving money by living at my Mom's to pay for these two moves - and with our security deposit never mind . . . Our dog peed on the carpet so much after Sidekick arrived (I'm assuming out of jealousy?), and at night, so we didn't realize how much was soaking through, that they kept the deposit (understandably), AND we had to pay them 220$ for the difference of the carpet cost :/  Well, at least we're saving several hundreds of dollars over the next two/three months never mind.  When we were filling out our lease, we were told we had to pick a move in date between the days of the 22nd and 29th of November, or we'd loose our place on the loft D:  Yup.  We moved out of the bat apartment on the 31st of October.  Paid up on the storage lockers.  And we were going to have to move again three weeks later (we picked the 22nd, to avoid Thanksgiving holidays moving).  And we had no deposit to lean on, or savings built up at this point.  Yup, again. (so basically, we spent a good 2-3k on storage lockers, and an extra move, that had been told sooner about our loft being ready earlier, we could have avoided.  Oy vey.)

- to say things were a bit uncertain was an understatement, but luckily family were able to help us move (cutting costs), we financed our car (all or previous cars were older, and paid for from the get go, so a monthly car bill is new for us - but hey, at least we have room for both babies!).  And we did finance the furniture, after a few tries at getting stuff via Craigslist (either stuff was gone by the time we got there, or they couldn't hold it for us, or worse, we bring in a musty piece of furniture that gave me an asthma attack :/).  Also, one Mom was able to loan us some money to help with the cost of moving ~ and I'm happy to report that with the tax return, we paid (among other things) off the furniture, and the Mom back, and all HeroPapa's medical bills (save for one, which costs us 21$ a month, until we get next year's tax return).  So basically, everything worked out and we still got our place - were able to cancel the storage lockers before another month got added to it, and began to settle into our brand new construction of a home . . . 

- anybody ever liver in new construction?  Yeah.  We never have.  The noise wasn't all that bad - but the things that should have been done weren't (community room, wifi, trash room - that one's a biggie! - internet, cable - just wow, a lot still needed to get done!).  In fact, we never got to see our loft, until the day we moved in.  They were still doing so much in the building, that they weren't allowed to show off anything.  So boy, moving into a place, that you've never even seen, was a bit rattling.  Luckily, our place is beyond amazing and everything is so new!  We are very fortunate and truly count our blessings with this new, safe, bat free environment (plus, the building and the grounds, are smoke free - so yeah for babies, and asthmatic me!).

- and finally, our real blessing to top of all blessings, was when we found out the sex of our baby in November.  A boy!  I was carrying so differently, we all thought for certain it was a girl, but nope, it's a boy ~ but hey, at least I'm familiar with that, so I'm more than happy :)  We have a few names picked out, but are waiting till we meet our baby to see what speaks to us <3  Here's an ultrasound photo to share!

That was just November!!


So moving onto December, I'll just say how frustrating it is to go twelve days without internet, or DVD's, or books (because boxes can't be found, and because the construction is so new that internet can't be set up, because the address isn't even registered with the postal service.  Yup, we lived in a place the government couldn't even confirm existed haha!).  But yeah - no net . . . it's not even just the entertainment aspect, but all our bills, and contacts, and emails - none of that got done during that twelve day blackout!  Sitting in silence day in and day out was really just about to drive me batty (I'm too familiar with the word to give it up now!).  And worse, the post office had to have a post master come out to assign our mailboxes so we could even change our addresses and just begin to set up utility bills, and receive our mail.  Whew, it was a tough couple of days, but we persevered.  I'm definitely grateful for the internet ;)

The rest of the month was filled with three separate Christmas', and Grandma #1, visiting us for a total of 12 days (over the course of three weeks as she visited other family as well), with Uncle #4.  I am always glad to spend time with family, but boy did our place need to be set up better - i.e. no boxes!  And I wanted my poor husband (who was beyond tired with the upheaval of all this moving and a new commute), to feel good enough to say more than just "Hi", "Bye" and "Going to bed" (of course he said more than that!  But he was very exhausted period).  


So much so, that in January he talked with his doctor, who helped him with a new medication that was supposed to work well for people with night shift work.  An extra bit of boost for night time, so he didn't feel so exhausted, and could rest easier in the day.  And I'm happy to report that it's been working great for him :D  After a few days, it was like a fog was lifted, and he smiled more, interacted more, and just in general had more energy . . . which is great, because I started feeling foggy!  

At first, I wanted to blame it all on the third trimester, but it got so bad, that even with his help, and sleeping during the day (adding my total hours up to a whopping sixteen!), I could still barely keep my eyes open just sitting on the couch.  After talking with my OB, and checking my levels, it turned out I was severely anemic (my levels were as bad as when I miscarried at the hospital after hemorrhaging a while).  Yeah, so no wonder I couldn't stay awake . . . I tried iron pills at first, but I threw up so bad, over the course of four hours, that I had busted blood vessels in my face D:  Nope, pills were out, and liquid iron was in - too bad it took me another week to get my hands on it, and that it tastes like Eau de Swampwater.  Took another week for me to feel a bit better, but by two weeks, I felt cured!  And if I drank it with a tall glass of orange juice (absorbs better with the Vitamin C anyways), via a straw, it was fine.  I might forget a day here and there (I am still pregnant, remember - I forget things easily), but by the end of the month, I was feeling good enough to get back to working on this loft!


There were about two weeks in February where we tried rearranging things, and testing out different layouts, as well as just trying to set things up period behind the scenes (what good are cabinets if they are filled with boxes of random stuff??)But with HeroPapa working nights, it still seemed impossible to get the big ticket items taken care of.  Either he'd wake up Sidekick moving things around, or have a toddler at his feet, while trying to move heavy furniture from one level to the next.  Ugh, it was starting to look like I might have to spend weekends at Mom's (so HeroPapa could work) just to get this place finished (after all, by now, we'd been here for almost three months, and couldn't use our second bedroom or bathroom because of all the stuff :S).  Keeping Sidekick in the (albeit huge) walk in closet, while we slept on the mattress in the 2nd room - without the frame - was giving me bad Mommy guilt.  Something needed to change.

But prayers don't get answered in the way that we want them.  

Poor HeroPapa came home mid-February with some sort of sinus cold.  Was sick for a week and a half, then Sidekick was sick for three days, and then I got sick!  Mine turned into a sinus infection, so I was put on antibiotics a week after I became symptomatic.  And it still took another two days before I starting feeling better.  Yup, the rest of February was filled with us all being sick - one after the other . . . so much for setting things up in the loft :/


And yet things turned around just this month!  After a very long sixteen months, HeroPapa has finally moved from the night shift, onto 2nd shift :D  He now works 2PM-10PM, with (depending on traffic) a 40min-1hour commute each way.  We'd been waiting for months for this transfer to go through, and though it's only been about two weeks, it'd been such an encouraging experience!  We get about 16 more hours of awake time with him.  More time for us, more time for family, and just more time period.  And we are finally getting things done around here :)  Just in time for this second one to make his debut in less than four weeks!! <3

So there you go, that's where we've been - what's been happening, and why I haven't posted much.  It isn't for a lack of want, or things to share.  It's just been that crazy and life changing . . . and more life changes are on the horizon :)  I'm hoping to at least make a quick birth announcement to share our latest arrival when he gets here, and any thoughts and prayers for a healthy mama, and healthy baby around April 6th, are appreciated ;) 

Until then readers - enjoy the feast of photos!

 **Rest of November till 6th of December**

Top left pic, is playtime at Oma's - before finally getting all those toys out of her house!  The pic beside it, is him yawning (I guess out of boredom?), at the acupuncturist.  The two bottom left pics - and the two middle right pics, are Sidekick's final Baby Storytime (the fall session was ending), and I really miss it!  Here's hoping we get to bring a very cute baby brother to the next session we attend ;)

The top two right pics are Sidekick posing with us, and the bottom right pic is his one year well child check up appointment, where he was still measuring tall&strong :)

Top left four pics are random shots of Sidekick just being all kinds of cute, while the bottom left pic is of him and Opa lounging in the LazyBoy.  The top right pics are HeroPapa and Sidekick lounging in the play area - and striking a devilish like grin ;)  The two bottom right pics are the play area in the car dealership while we waited for the paperwork to go through.

Top two left pics are blowing a raspberry and laughing it off.  The top middle pic is HeroPapa buried under laundry haha.  The top right pic is me at five months (what a cute little bump, right?)  The pic right underneath is the last time the play area at my Mom's was still set up (we were using up her den, so she was grateful to get the room back, I'm sure!).  The rest of the pics, are the first days at the loft!  The middle left pic is in the community room, the middle pic of the collage, is HeroPapa and Sidekick striking a pose in the hallways (which you can see even better in the pic right underneath - don't you just love the pops of colors by the door?).  The bottom right pics are the kitchen, and the view from the second story into the living room.  The bottom left pic is the living room, set up so Sidekick can play a little.

The top half of the collage were all taken at the loft, as we tried to set up an area for Sidekick, as well as keep him away from the tv (which basically involved a lot of boxes).  I didn't have shelves, so we used crates to store some toys, and a big red rug to help our little guy (who wasn't walking yet), stay warm on the polished concrete floors.  And I really like him in his jacket, smiling in the hallways ~ he's a cutie!  The bottom left side of the pics is Sidekick enjoying the car cart they had at the furniture store - and there's the furniture set we bought!  The middle bottom pic is Sidekick all smiles around Thanksgiving, where we shared gender reveal cupcakes for each side of the family <3

Top two left pics are Sidekick giving me another devilish grin ~ and the middle left pics are some tunnel play (and lounging), while the bottom left pics, are Sidekick grinning during a light dinner, and checking out the latest addition of gates to the stairs (which was much better than moving a box back and forth.every.time I wanted to do laundry!).  All the right side of pics is the initial set up we tried out for the furniture set, as well as our golden chairs finally coming out of storage.  While the other side/half was in process of becoming the play area :)

**6th December - 6th of January**

So maybe we should have prepped Sidekick for Santa better - but I had so wanted a Santa pic last Christmas (when he would have been only seven weeks), but then again, maybe we were too worried about him spitting up on the mall Santa?  Plus, you never know how it will go over, so I just didn't want to stand in line for so long, and pay for the courtesy of watching my kid scream: enter Oma!  

Her bank was hosting a free photo session and we got invited :)  We even dressed up Sidekick in his pj's to make it look like he woke up to Santa arriving Christmas morning ~ it should have been adorable - except he started crying right away!  HeroPapa had to sit between them, just so I could snap a photo (but at least HeroPapa was a good sport about it!).  One teary-eyed picture-turned-into-an-ornament later, we moved on to the side room for some cookie decorating and he really liked the ornaments on the ceiling ~ and even Uncle #3 braved the mascot to let us get one photo :) (left side of the collage, captures all this!)

Top right side, shows off Sidekick enjoying more of his new playroom - before lounging with Uncle #4 and Grandma #1 for the holidays.  While the rest of the collage is a mishmash of our apartment (newly cleaned, and decorated, and actually sort of getting there!).  Well all except the two middle pics, which show off more of the architecture of the historical building.

Top left pic is Sidekick and me chilling ;)  Right beside it, is my little big guy hugging on his favorite stuffed animal - the monkey.  The middle left are us hanging out in the mail room with our very bored baby!  And him lounging in HeroPapa's arms, about as bored as ever ;)  Right beneath it, is Sidekick playing with a wheel (he really loves wheels!), and at the very bottom, Oma's Christmas gift of a superhero cape/towel, being modeled with smiles ~ I love the finger pointing, because he looks like a little cherub statue in my mind <3

The top four pics on the right, are us getting ready for Grandma #1's family side's Christmas party - including my (if I do say so myself) awesome Christmas gift wrapping ;)  The rest of the pics on the right side, are Sidekick getting his very.first.haircut!  I honestly figured we'd let him grow his hair out, but to be honest, he's just too serious of a man for long hair.  I mean, look at the face when I asked them to make his hair a mohawk for a minute.  You can just hear him saying, "Oh mother - stop it."  He did very well, and got a sucker afterwards :)

So of course, just in time for HeroPapa to earn a little overtime for the holidays, our car was leaking a little something (so the extra money went to the car!) . . . after checking it out at Midas (all those left side top pics - except for the very left side pic which is just Sidekick all smiles in the carseat); we found out some bolts needed to get replaced to prevent transmission fluid from leaking - but otherwise our car was in great shape (yay!).  Bottom two pics are Sidekick hanging out with Uncle #4 and Grandma #1 ~ and right side of the collage, is Sidekick having a great time playing on Grandma #1's Kindle <3

Top four pics on the left, are Sidekick checking out his wheel again, and lounging in HeroPapa's lap looking oh-so-over-it, and then snuggling with Uncle #4 :)  The right side features Oma's Christmas tree, and relaxing with Uncles #1-3 to pose for pictures <3

Top three left pics are Sidekick relaxing with HeroPapa (and really concentrating on the XBOX game), and Oma's iPhone - kid loves his technology!  Middle left row are Sidekick at Oma's for Christmas and playing with his new gifts - some big ol' blocks, before letting us give him a quick change into something a bit fancier (that he also got to wear at HeroPapa's paternal side's Christmas party).  And the center pic shows Sidekick playing with one of my favorite Christmas gifts that got - his wooden stacker :)  The two right beneath it, are other grandparent gifts, including a book he really enjoys, and a VTech literature toy for learning the alphabet.  The bottom left pic, is Sidekick really enjoying his play area (as in, tearing everything down . . . so we had to downsize a bit).  The right side of the collage, is Sidekick relaxing with Uncle #2, and lounging near his changing station - and the bottom two, show my absolute favorite Christmas gift: a video monitor!  Oh my gosh, I've wanted one since Sidekick was born, and I'm so happy to have one <333

Top left pic is Sidekick posing with HeroPapa for a pic.  With the middle pic, Sidekick is at Applebee's, enjoying a New Year's toy ;)  The left middle pic is Sidekick looking a little unsure in his chair with his play horse.  While the rest of the middle pics, are Sidekick playing with Uncle #3 at the doctor's office :D  And finally, the right two pics are Sidekick enjoying those concrete floors of ours, by modeling the chalk New Year's well wishes we drew up.

 **6th of January - 6th of February**

Pretty sure all of these are self explanatory ;)  But I love the lighting on just about all of them ~ and of course, my guy in his cart, enjoying a ride around the apartment hallways :)

The top left four pics, are Sidekick at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts enjoying the family day (with the table pic showing the mobile we were making out of the craft supplies).  I was hoping he'd be interested in the art parts, but he really cared a lot more for turning over his stroller to play with the wheels - oh well!  We'll try again at another family event down the road ;)  The right middle pic, is Sidekick really enjoying wearing hats lately - even things that didn't start out as hats!  Bottom left pic, is the view from our steps, showing our upstairs laundry area (clean for the moment).  And the pic beside it, are Sidekick getting a ride on the dolly from HeroPapa.  While the pic beside that one, is Sidekick looking all cute in a cart - and finally, the pic on the bottom right, is Sidekick wearing a pretty cute outfit if I do say so myself :)

So again, most of these are pretty self explanatory - with Sidekick posing in the hallways, with me, and his monkey hat :)  I like the top right pics, of him pushing around his cart, then grabbing a random paper bag to carry into the hallway for absolutely no reason at all.  The bottom left two pics are Sidekick snuggling and being all tired - and then snuggling against HeroPapa ~ aw!

Top left pic is the other half of the artist lofts currently being worked on, with the pic beside it, being the outside seating area of the leasing office (which has been nicely decorated since this pic was taken).  The middle three pics are our gorgeous baby in perfect lighting in the community room (that blue chair highlighting his eyes pretty nicely if I do say so myself).  The left side pics are Sidekick ready to get going for a walk - and me, showcasing an eight month bump <3  

The two underneath are Sidekick making funny faces while practicing drinking from his sippy cup (with everyone constantly sick it seemed, it was hard to be consistent with the sippy cup training!).  Well that, and Sidekick finished getting his last teeth in (way early!), for a total of sixteen teeth - with the next teeth (hopefully), not showing up till those two year molars.  We.are.so.done with teething! 

The bottom three pics are Sidekick relaxing in his play area, while I try to feel better from the anemia.  And finally, the top right pics, are Sidekick checking out his play pen on its side for fun, before taking a rest on the carpet (he likes to randomly lay down for a minute, before jumping to the next thing.  That silly billy!)

This entire set/collage is Sidekick in the community room, exploring every inch of it (and relaxing at the end against the pillow).  Isn't he just adorable?  Love the lighting in the room <3

The top left two pics are Sidekick rocking his very first cloth diaper!  I can't wait to write up my cloth diapering post to share our adventures so far ;)  We just finished gathering together our entire stash and I'm excited to hopefully start our newborn in them right away!  The two pics underneath that, are fun angles of Sidekick checking out the hallway.  While the top two right pics are Sidekick rocking out my hat and shawl to pose as a little Russian boy ;)  The two pics underneath are Sidekick gnawing on an iPhone - and then having some red cheeks from teething, and trying to chew on something (but gosh help me, I can't remember what caused those purple lips :P)  And the whole bottom row is him looking all kinds of independent in his high chair (we even dared it without the bib ;D)

The top two left pics are Sidekick modeling his tractor toy, and posing as he watches some tv.  Right underneath is him slinking his way towards me, but still keeping an eye on that tv ;)  And then not too long after, pretty much taking a break on the floor!  The top middle three pics are at the play area in the mall at Southdale Center.  He moved too quick for me to get a good shot of him!  The rest of the pics are us at Ruby Tuesday with the family :D

Top left pic, is Sidekick wearing his Halo Sleepsack like a headcovering.  Not sure why, but hey, he's all smiles in it :)  Right underneath, he's looking all kinds of serious, as he also takes a ride around with his tractor toy.  And at the bottom left side, is his "Are you serious?" face, but then also all smiles, posing with his Vtech dog toy :D  Top right photos are him and me all smiles, with the next picture being him practicing his coordination-eating skills a la independence.  Middle right pic, is him lounging, and bottom right pic is him smiling in the monthly-shot-rocker we used so often for his first year pics (I should make a collage out of those pics to post, so you can see how much he's grown <3) . . . and finally:

(I just had to add the last one - 30 year record broken, up in these parts!)

But moving on forward . . . 
**6th of February - 6th of March**

Top two left pics are me capturing Sidekick reading a book - before he pulls it down to give me that, "Whatcha' looking at?" look ;)  Two pics underneath are him carrying around his basket to fill with toys, and lounging on the sofa, looking like his Opa!  And the two underneath, are him all smiles, as if he's plotting something haha.  Top two right photos show off the grill area of our building (though highly doubtful it's being used yet!).  And then there's HeroPapa and Sidekick snuggling on the couch.  Two pics underneath that, are Sidekick exploring the press-on light, and then spinning it around :)  Right underneath that, is yet another snuggle pic for HeroPapa and Sidekick - aren't they adorable?  And finally, the bottom right pics, are Sidekick modeling another cloth diaper from our first batch of arrivals :D

Top left pics are in the fitness studio of our building.  I love the yoga balls for my back!  And the bottom left pics are our new shower doors for the upstairs bathroom (which Sidekick loves just as much as we do ;D).  Top two right pics are Sidekick and Uncle #2 playing in the latest play area set up - which has changed (again!) since then - while the two pics underneath are pics of another meet up with other November babies at a mall in Mankato <3  The three pics underneath that, are him wanting to wear his sleepsack, but obviously still be mobile, so we wrapped it behind his back and away he went!  Look at those cute arms just swinging around :)  The two pics underneath that, are Sidekick lounging in his toddler rocker chair, exploring the spray bottle for the cloth wipes, and enjoying the head frame of a toddler bed gifted to us (look at that cute smirk!) :D

The top three left pics are Sidekick eating a hot dog with his fork (and sometimes the hand, too) :)  Middle towards the left, are Sidekick playing with a straw ~ and then snuggling with HeroPapa shortly after waking up <3  Bottom four left pics, are back in the fitness studio, with HeroPapa rolling Sidekick up into the mat for fun ;)  Top right pics are a cute tractor moment, with his pointy little toes - and then realizing the set up for the play area won't work, seeing as Sidekick could climb the table (and fall off!).  Middle right pics are him looking at a book - and then deciding to make it better . . . by ripping off pieces of it.  Oy.  Right underneath is the scene I walked in on when returning from the bathroom: Sidekick pulling down the chalk box from the shelf behind the rocker, standing on top of it, and aiming for HeroPapa's plants at the window - and then giving me a mischievous little grin afterwards!  Finally, the bottom right pic, shows him not feeling great, lounging his feet up on my lap, and me trying to keep him hydrated with some milk (for fluids and calories, since he pretty much only clutched food, not really eating it).

Top left pic is another shot from the video monitor - showing one of Sidekick's favorite sleeping positions: the butt in the air pose.  Pic beside it, is our temp. cloth diapering station (until his room is completely set up, this will have to do!).  The middle pics are him eating some jambalaya, and relaxing on the carpet again.  With the bottom left pic being him snuggling against me <3  The top two right pics are him not feeling well again, and that congestion/runny nose just warming up his cheeks good (but luckily, no fevers!).  Bottom four pics were a request from HeroPapa to send him "cute pics.  At least four."  So sidekick modeled some gear, and then posed with me ~ aren't we quite the pair?

^ as for the month's photos/collages ~ you can definitely tell that no one was feeling well - but especially 
Sidekick in March, since I just didn't have the heart to capture too many "Sick" pics of him. 


And that's all folks!  Whew! 
I really hope I don't let another four months go by without updates :)
And don't forget to look out for a birth announcement coming up soon!


  1. So glad you guys got moved and are settling in! I can't wait to see a birth announcement! I hope all goes well!

    1. Thanks for commenting hun :D
      I just posted the birth announcement! <3