Monday, April 10, 2017

Hello again!

Well, this blog has suffered over the past several months. Having a new baby and not being in front of the computer every day over the holidays turned me into a blogging slacker and then starting grad school this spring has left little free time in the schedule! I want to get back at it more regularly though!

So to catch you up on our lives....Last summer while I was pregnant with Aubrey, Jake and I started thinking about what our lives would look like with two kiddos and we thought it would be the right time for me to take on more of a part-time working role.  With my previous job being about a 40-45 minute commute each way, that just wasn't making sense to stay there if I cut back to part time.  Just with travel, it would add two more hours to the workday.  Plus, there wasn't a whole lot of opportunity for growth since it was a small business and I felt like I was ready for a change in job and a change in schedule.

Ever since I started college, I have had an interest in teaching. At first, that was more of a desire to be an adjunct professor one day.  But one day it sort of clicked for me that the things I have always wanted to do in a career (1) be creative, (2) not do the same thing over and over each day, and (3) something art related.  Well, hello! Teaching art allows me to make art every day, be creative with my lessons, and introduce new and exciting units constantly! I guess going into college for my undergrad I didn't consider art education because of the money. But, now as a wife and a mother, the salary and schedule fit our lives perfectly. I am really excited that I will be able to have all of the school breaks and holidays off with my girls.  I am excited to teach students new and interesting techniques and lessons.  I am finally feeling like I have found what I was meant to do with my life.  It has also been so enriching for me because as an artist, we tend to find what we love and stick with it.  As a student, I am learning all of these different mediums and techniques that I haven't used in years or haven't ever tried.  I'm loving it! I have a renewed love in watercolors and I am finally getting back to making art on a regular basis.  So, officially I am in the Master of Arts in Teaching program for Art (K-12).  I'm almost finished with my first semester and I have two more years to go.  I was lucky enough to receive a Graduate Associate position doing the marketing, advertising & recruitment for the College of Education Graduate programs, so that has helped with having a flexible, fun part-time job while I'm in school.

If you want to keep up with what I'm doing in the art world, follow my instagram @SMWartwork

Monday, January 30, 2017

Aubrey's Birth Story

Well, it has been quite a while.  Our family has had just a few changes since the beginning of October -- quitting my job, applying to grad school, having a baby, "maternity leave", the holidays, starting grad school, and Aubrey starting daycare! So, more on all of that another day, but I wanted to write Aubrey's birth story on here before I get too far removed from remembering the details!

So, one day shy of my due date I woke up at 6am on Saturday, October 29th to some pains.  I wasn't sure if it was Braxton Hicks, since those had been happening more lately and were getting stronger.  I turned on some TV and slept on and off for another hour and a half until Jake woke up. I told him I wasn't sure if it was anything or not, but I was having pain every 45 minutes or so and felt "off."  I knew this feeling well from when I went into labor with Ryleigh, and being so close to my due date we both figured "well, this will probably be the day!" Once Ryleigh woke up, Jake got her ready and they left the house to go help some other Kappa Sigma alums move everything out of the KS House since they were no longer at Winthrop.  It also gave me some time to rest and see what was going on. I kept monitoring the pain and the contractions started getting closer- about 20-30 minutes apart. Since it was not going away, even when I laid down and drank some water (all the tricks they tell you) I figured I needed to shower and make sure everything was packed and ready.  I texted my parents, who were designated as the ones to watch Ryleigh while we went to the hospital, and let them know what was going on. We decided they would come over to our house around 3pm.  I updated Jake on the timing and he and Ryleigh got back home around 1:15, when my contractions were now getting stronger and about 20 minutes apart.  We had been prepping Ryleigh about how mommy would need to have a sleepover at the hospital once Aubrey comes, and that she would have a sleepover with Pom-Pom and Grandpa, so we put her down for a nap and told her that it was time for that sleepover so we wouldn't be there when she woke up from nap.  I will never forget everything going through my head giving her that last hug before she went to sleep!  My parents came over a little early around 2:30, and Jake & I got on the road at 3pm to head to the hospital.  They took me in to triage to check everything, and told me I was at 4cm. My contractions were now about 4-5 minutes apart so they admitted me to a delivery room.  They started my gbs antibiotics and got all the monitors hooked up.  I had progressed to 6cm and started begging for an epidural.  A little while later,  the anesthesiologist came in to give me my epidural and then they had me lay down to monitor me and said they would be back to check on me in about an hour.  Jake left the room to go move our car out of the Delivering Mom spot, and just as everyone was clearing out of my room, I felt my water break! I told the only nurse who was still in the room and she came over to check me, to find out that yes my water had indeed broken and I was also at 10cm with Aubrey in view!  (all of this, going from 4cm-10cm happened in about an hour and a half! talk about painful....) I knew that I had progressed past 6cm when they were giving me the epidural but they wouldn't check--they learned their lesson, body just turns things into overdrive once labor starts.  I texted Jake and he ran back to our room, they did a rush page to get the doctor there and after two pushes she was out! It was different than with Ryleigh when they had me push during a contraction. I guess since Aubrey was already 100% effaced, they had me do a test push and she moved right there so they just told me to push whenever I felt I wanted to.  She was born at 6:12pm during the 3rd quarter of the UGA game (an unfortunate loss for the team..and yes it was on tv in the delivery room!) and we were in awe that the next piece of our puzzle was here!

The entire time the nurses were monitoring me before she was born, they were telling me she felt like a bigger baby and they were sure she would be at least 8lbs. One woman even asked me if I had gestational diabetes because they thought she was such a big baby! Well, I don't know what they were feeling because she came out almost the exact sizes of her big sister:  6lbs 14oz, 20.25" long.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Baby #2 Bumpdate: 36 weeks!

How far along? 36 weeks, 3 days!

Total weight gain: +28 lbs

Maternity clothes? always 

Sleep: not always great. I'm waking up a lot to use the bathroom in the middle of the night and it's not as easy to fall back asleep these days.

Best baby moment this week:  Finishing up purchasing a lot of baby stuff.  Feeling very accomplished!

Miss Anything?  Sushi

Movement: yes, and unfortunately I'm starting to feel her pushing her feet up into my ribs and diaphragm.  Not so comfortable.

Food cravings:  milk, cherry coke, ice cream

Anything making you queasy or sicknope

Gender: girl 

Wedding rings on or off? Still wearing my pearl ring 

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy and tired.

Looking forward to:  Still seeing our maternity pictures and getting the nursery finished up!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Parenting Penrose: 2nd Baby Checklist

During a pregnancy, I feel like at times it goes by slowly and at times it rushes by.  All of a sudden you get to a certain week and feel so far along.  That definitely hit me at 35 weeks this past Sunday.  Wow. 5(+/-) weeks to go. One month. Or less? Or more?

So, it's crunch time.  My baby shower came at a perfect time because it's helping my severe nesting mode to get all of these little things checked off the list:

Set up nursery furniture
Make nursery wall letters
Hang nursery wall letters & other frames
Wash pass-down & new clothing
Put clothing away in dresser & closet
Hang black-out curtain in nursery
Clear out misc. junk from nursery
Test breastpump
Wash all bottles & pump parts
Stock up on Household goods & toiletries
Clean out closets/drop off clothes at Goodwill
Wrap Ryleigh's Big Sister gifts
Pick up nursery art from printer's
Buy remaining Registry must-haves
 Buy postpartum lounge clothes
Pack Hospital bag for:  me, baby, Jake
Have carpet cleaned upstairs
Buy baby monitor with 2 cameras
Figure out how to work double stroller
Pre-Register at hospital
Pick new Pediatrician
Install Car seat bases
Tour Hospital
Set up Newborn pictures
Purchase organizer for changing table
Purchase new humidifier
Start on purchasing Christmas gifts

So, as you can see we've got most of the important items crossed off the list!  We need to hang some things in the nursery, get breastpump and bottles ready, finish packing the hospital bag (half-done)...We have to buy a new video monitor with two cameras because our model has been discontinued so there is no way to get a second camera! I'm pretty bummed about this because our monitor has been fantastic, but alas, that is how technology goes I guess...Install our carseat bases, and get a few last things for the nursery.  

Also, thanks to my hormones I've decided our carpets should be cleaned before the baby arrives.

Since I'm going to be in my "we have a newborn"/postpartum fog over the holidays, Santa has been trying to stock up on gifts for our girls ;)


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Baby #2 Bumpdate: 35 Weeks!

How far along? 35 weeks, 4 days!

Total weight gain: +27 lbs

Maternity clothes? always 

Sleep: pretty good, but starting to be uncomfortable.

Best baby moment this week:  We got to peek in on little Aubrey at my appointment yesterday with a quick ultrasound to check if she was head down (my doctor does this at the 35 week appt).  It was so neat seeing her this far along! We did not see Ryleigh after 20 weeks on ultrasound.  It's crazy how neat technology can be.  She was making the cutest little faces and looked snuggled in all comfy in there!  I'm so relieved that she is head down and in the right position, because I've been concerned she was breech from where I've felt her movements.  We are so excited to meet her in a few more weeks!

Also, my baby shower last Saturday! Everything was wonderful from the guests to the food and the decorations! We got lots of great goodies, necessities, and cute outfits :)  I'm making progress with getting the nursery all set up, if only we could get around to hanging everything on the walls!

Miss Anything?  Not having to pee every 5 minutes. 

Movement: mid-morning and bedtime are still her favorite times to party.

Food cravings:  pasta, milk, apple cider 

Anything making you queasy or sicknope

Gender: girl 

Wedding rings on or off? Still wearing my pearl ring 

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy and definitely in serious nesting mode.

Looking forward to:  Seeing our maternity pictures and getting the nursery finished up!


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Baby #2 Bumpdate: 33 Weeks!

How far along? 33 weeks, 3 days!

Total weight gain: +24 lbs

Maternity clothes? always 

Sleep: good

Best baby moment this week:  Feeling lots and lots of movement and flips.  I'm finally starting to feel like she's taking up a lot of room and not just floating around in there, haha! Also, on Saturday we got SO. MUCH. accomplished in the nursery and around the house (hanging things, moving furniture, building stuff, organizing clothes, wrapping Big Sister gifts, etc).  Nesting mode is in full swing and I feel a million times better about the state of our house haha.

Miss Anything?  I picked up some Japanese food for dinner last night and saw their sushi menu.  Why is it that sushi always sounds so amazing when you can't have it?!  At least I have crab rangoons :)

Movement: Tons!  I went to the dentist this morning and I felt like my belly must have looked like an alien was trying to escape the whole time the hygienist was cleaning my teeth.

Food cravings:  Milk, milk, milk and more milk. Also, green grapes & Nutella.

Anything making you queasy or sicknope

Gender: girl 

Wedding rings on or off? Still wearing my pearl ring 

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy and tired. Although I feel like I've been having hot flashes which make me grumpy in the moment.

Looking forward to:  a mani/pedi on Saturday and Maternity pictures on Sunday!! Let's all collectively pray that it doesn't rain during our pictures.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Baby #2 : Recent Purchases

Nesting mode kicked in so much quicker this pregnancy than before.  I feel like I'm checking things off the list a lot sooner this time around, but part of that could also be because we started out with more--re-using the nursery furniture and already having lots of baby items.  

There have been a few things that I've bought lately that we found great deals on!

I periodically check Amazon and Target to see if anything we need for the baby is on sale, and finally our double stroller hit an all-time low price so I snagged that up today!  I love the style of this tandem stroller for a toddler & baby.  This is the older model, which sells for $100 less than their new "ultralight" version and it has all of the same features but it is 7lbs heavier.  Both are light enough for me to lift with one hand so I figure this stroller was a great way to get all the features but at a lower price.  AND--today it went on sale $40 off the normal retail which is the lowest I have seen it over the last several months.
Joovy Caboose Graphite Stand-On Tandem Stroller
After reading reviews and comparisons on several tandem sit-stand strollers, this one was the winner!  We bought it in red to match our red Britax infant carrier, and because #gobulldawgs.

This one was a little switch-a-roo.  Instead of purchasing a new nursery crib mattress (the one we love that Ryleigh uses is the Lullaby Earth Healthy Support 2-in-1 Mattress) we bought a much more affordable toddler bed mattress and we will move the current mattress to the nursery.  I found this Kolcraft foam toddler mattress (fits a crib/toddler bed) with fantastic reviews and it is 40% off right now.  The only negative in the reviews was that the waterproof cover wasn't as soft/comfortable, so I bought these extras which are 50% off right now and will also be good to have on hand for the accidents that are probably in our future because of eventually #pottytraining.

I've made several purchases for my postpartum/nursing wardrobe.  I did this last pregnancy too, and I think that (1) It gives you something to look forward to in the midst of newborn craziness, and (2) buying new items that you know are going to accommodate a postpartum body help to avoid being sad that none of your pre-prego clothing fits yet.  I've got a lot of cardigans (including three of these thick sweater cardigans that feel like heaven!) so I aimed my focus at good transitional tunics and sleepwear.
Penguins // Polka Dot // Plaid 
All of these pajama sets were on sale under $15! 

Wearing nursing sleep bras like these was a necessity last time, so I bought a couple new ones...
Nursing Sleep Bras

I'm in love with these sleeveless tunics that I found on Zulily. The prints are gorgeous and can easily be dressed up or down. They are a nice shape that isn't low cut or tummy-hugging and will look great under a cardigan. They are the perfect 4-season shirt that I think I will be continuing to wear long after my postpartum months.

That's all for now! I've got some free time the next two weekends so I'm hoping to make lots of headway on the nursery :)