Creating a Monster (of a Big Brother)

Tonight we pulled out some totes of Darius' old clothes, toys and the infant carseat to get things ready for Miss K.  We knew we had some clothes and PJ's that would work for her and I wanted to get the adorable cover Pam got us for the carseat put on it.

So we're going through the totes and picking out things that might work and D starts bouncing off the walls.  He was SO excited it was hilarious.  I was torn between laughing at him as he bounced around and remembering how tiny he once was and how cute he was in this outfit or that outfit.  Then he finds a pair of shoes and since he knew we were going through them looking for things that would work for K, he totally holds them up to my belly and goes "Do they fit?"  Yeah... my heart melted.

It was hell getting him settled down for bedtime but it was so fun seeing him so excited.  We'll see what he thinks when she's actually here, as I know nothing is for sure until she's here, but I think he's going to be a fantastic big brother.

As for Cody and I, I think we're ready.  We're probably going to end up going for an induction again, though part of me really doesn't want to, but at the same time I really want my moms to be here.  (Uh, to clarify by "moms" I mean my mom and my mom in law, not that there's anything wrong with having two but it's not the actual case here but my mom in law is a friend and someone I know I can confide in just as my mother is)  But we'll see if Miss K has something different in mind before then and honestly, considering how cramped her quarters feel to me, I wouldn't be surprised if she was like "eff this, I'm out" earlier than her brother.

The last couple days have been rough, my hips and back are pissed and she's pushing on ribs, hips and a lovely little nerve that sends a shooting pain down in the inside of my leg that brings me to tears.  I remember Darius being all about shoving his toes in my ribs but I don't remember him ever pushing on my hips like K is doing!  It's definitely funny and interesting how different things have been this time around. ^_^

Busy Busy!

Well it's definitely been busy around our house lately as we work on getting ready for little Miss K to arrive which will now be within the next 3 weeks.  Darius seems to be getting excited about it again, but maybe that's because we've been loading up on clothes and supplies finally and he's getting to pick out some stuff for her.

So much tiny adorable pinkness.

Her side of the closet is filling up with all sorts of pink, haha.  D doesn't mind sharing the closet with it all but I think Dad is a little freaked out by just how much pink there is coming into the house. I love that D likes picking things out for her though, we'll see if he's as excited when she's finally here.

Evidence Dad is warming up to all the pink clothes... he picked these out.

Scarer in Training

Miss K isn't the only one getting all the stuff, though.  Darius is all sorts of excited about the new sheets he got to pick out.  Mike (Monster's Inc.) is his favorite movie so he was really excited when we found these.  Plus they match the beanie baby that Dad got him while he was on a business trip in January (that would be the little Mike under the Mike on his pillow, lol).  I love that Mike is his favorite, not Sully.  He's like that with Despicable Me, too.  It's not about any of the girls or Gru, it's the minions.

He also loves brushing his teeth which is so weird to me, fantastic, but still so weird.  LOL

There's been lots of clothes in it for D, too.  Including new PJ's because most of what he had looked like he was ready for a flood.  >.<  Of course, he's our little nerd and picked himself out some sweet Darth Vadar PJ's.  He's also obsessed with the Vadar's Little Princess book of comics we got, even though it's not really something to read to someone, I've been reading it every nap and bedtime since we bought it, all at his request.

Yep, still being that secretive preggo. 
Because I can, damn it.

I also posted this on instagram, twitter and facebook as a hint to the next letter in Miss K's name and the guessing has begun, haha.  Some people have been surprisingly SUPER close but still not telling until she's here!

Takara enjoys the shade from the bump.

I really haven't taken many bump photos this time around.  Just been busy and forgetful.  I was forgetful last time, too but this round has been really bad.  Most have actually been from this angle, though, which is really cracking me up this pregnancy for some reason.  Except when in the kitchen walking with a knife and Takara wandering underfoot wanting milk.  She doesn't get that I can no longer see this little routine anymore. -_-

Last, but not least, I leave you with this little gem of Cody and D watching the Daytona 500 on Sunday.  At this moment D was yelling "Go, Junior, go!!"  Which was super adorable and must have been pretty dang effective because he won!!  Darius even got to stay up late to watch the end, plus by his normal bedtime Jr. was in the lead and we knew if he won we couldn't contain ourselves well enough to not wake him up. XD

So there's a little peek into what we've been up to lately.  Have my hospital bag all packed (it's weirding me out that this will be my first night away from D) and I'm working on making my own nursing tank tops (I might post a tutorial here later on) plus just our regular day to day fun, which currently includes a lot of cabin fever thanks to a bitter cold winter.  Speaking of the cabin fever, what are your favorite cabin fever boredom busters?

Ahhhh Parenting Advice...

No this is not a post of my advice for parenting.  This post about is about advice that we parents (or is it just us moms that open this kind of stuff on the regular?  Ya know, since we're gluttons for punishment.) get bombarded with on a daily basis.  This also has nothing to do with our family in particular and may come off as a bit of a rant so if that's not why you're following our little slice of interwebz feel free to skip it.

The other day on fb I posted this status:

Lots of my lovely family and friends jumped to my defense but I wasn't so much posting it in the heat of one of these feelings caused by a parenting article but it was something I had been thinking about.  Often these articles are helpful to a point but so many I've seen lately is just a long list of do's and don'ts often aimed at a certain gender or whatnot- in fact one of the more recent ones was a rather dick-ish one aimed at dads of little girls that I refuse to look for to link to.  One of the things that I think most made me feel like the status I posted, though, wasn't so much an article but a single quote:

Also I just searched for this to share it and the ones I'd seen didn't have who said this quote.  
Now I have a name to who I want to punch. XD

Thanks, guys Peggy, because there's not already enough pressure on parents to try to not only make sure your child(ren) have all they need and are happy and healthy but to make sure they don't become one of the crazies we all want to protect them from but now I feel like any little thing I say is going to ruin them for life.  Then as I thought on it some more I realized it's only partially true, though I understand why she says this and the point she's trying to make.  There is so much more that shapes a person than how their parents talk to them or even how they're raised to be honest.  I'm not saying a parent's words don't have a huge impact but it's not everything and if anything a statement like this only turns a parent into a total basket case that second guesses their parenting at every turn.  Honestly I think that's when a parent really has a problem when they're too paralyzed by doing or saying something wrong and don't do or say anything.  These are the kids who beat their parents that you see on Maury for crying out loud.
No, I'm not proud I know the kind of crap that takes place on Maury but there was a time I watched it a lot when there was nothing else to do.

I'm not saying all advice is bad either, but as a friend said it all need to be taken with a grain of salt.  As well as go with what works for you and your family.  Something that works for us with D may not work for the gal down the street and her son that's the same age.  Though I did find this article, 17 Things Boys Need From Their Moms, that I really loved and want to share with this little rant or whatever you want to call it, haha.

I'm not really writing this for anyone in particular, either, just kind of spit-balling and ranting as I don't think I'm qualified to give parenting advice and honestly are any of us? Anyway, I did find this blog post, The (Not So) Pretty Pictures, via Pinterest the other night and I have to share it.  With all the parenting advice floating around and even the supermom blogs making so many feel inadequate and like they're messing everything up, I felt like this post was SUCH a breath of fresh air.  As is connecting with fellow mommies on the interwebz in places such as instagram where we can say things like "OMG you're avoiding cleaning crushed up chips, I've been avoiding the crushed up animal crackers for the last 3 days." or something along those lines.  Anyway just some food for thought and note:  I'm not mad at or attacking anyone who likes or has shared the quote above.  If you love it, good for you, I just find it too be a little intense and that it could be more hurtful to some in the way of advice.

Big News from Darius!

Surviving a Con with Little Kids

On June 1, 2013 we went to Comic Con with Darius' Godmama.  This was Darius' 3rd convention but the first that he was required to have a badge (photo later in the post).  We're a geeky family so conventions like Denver Comic Con and Nan Desu Kan are a must for us.  Ok since this was our first DCC I'm not sure I can say it is a must but I'm definitely down for going next year too, if we can.  Anyway, we've been through this enough I wanted to write a post about surviving a Convention with little ones.  D was just over 3 months when he was at his first one, which was Nan Desu Kan, and though I forgot a huge helper when we went to DCC (hey we had just came home from a week long vacation, cut me some slack, k? K.) luckily his Godmama was a savior and came armed with her kindle.  So without further ado rambling on my part, here is our list of essentials for surviving a convention.  Categories with * are something that may or may not work or may not even jive with your parenting ethics, lol.

Snacks and Drinks
This one may seem like a total "duh" but really make sure you're prepared enough.  I like to support the food vendors available but holy hell unless you have a huge budget for food, pack heavy to keep not only the  kiddo(s) but yourself ready to survive a long day or days.  So far we've never *knocks on wood like the superstitious nut I am* had an issue with having packed some stuff in my purse/diaper bag.  Really anyone who pitches a fit obviously doesn't have kids.  Haha.

Tablet/Phone with Kids Mode/Kindle, etc.
LIFESAVER.  I'll say this again...
Our little tablet junkie.

Seriously, y'all.  I know that we should limit how much our kids are on touch screen devices and whatnot but I can not stress enough how often this has saved us from a screaming child whether at a Con, long car ride or "mommy just needs to cook without you trying to help."  Haha.  The more games, videos, etc the better because there's more to choose from.  We personally have an Android tablet with the free version of Zoodles Kids Mode which I highly recommend.  You can get it on Android and Apple tablets, computers and phones, but it's a lot less secure on our phones than it is on the tablet in our experience.  Most of the time if they click on an in-game ad or something it won't leave the app (there have been certain games that somehow D has weasled out of the app but after removing the permission for that app we were good to go again).  Zoodles also recommends a free app weekly, and you can add and remove what is accessible through the app.  Want Angry Birds available?  Add it.  Don't want them playing a violent game you have on your tablet for you?  Well you shouldn't have to do anything because it probably won't add it without your permission.  It's awesome.  Better with an internet connection because it has several videos and games available with the connection but still great without one.

Also you can see what your child is up to on your various devices on the Zoodles website as well as add email addresses so they can send video messages to family.

This one is more if you're staying for an entire weekend like we do for Nan Desu Kan.  This way you have somewhere to go back to for naps, a break from the crowds, somewhere for the kids to run around, snack breaks and a bathroom without a line of questionably wet toilet seats.  Seriously ladies, the hovering has got to stop.  It's a lifesaver for us and at NDK the Con is held in a hotel which is nice, though we may be doing things a little differently this year.

Moby/Wrap/Sling/Baby Carriers
Darius and I hanging out outside at his first NDK in 2011.

I used one when D went to his first con and he was just over 3 months.  It was so nice.  He could nap that way and I could still check out panels, artist alley and the dealers room.  It was awesome and we didn't have to deal with the stroller since most people don't look down and trip over it, but more on that in a tic.  He really enjoyed it because he was up high enough he could see all the fun art, plushes, and activities as I could.  Also I think some carriers work for kids all the way up to 35 lbs.  I wish I'd had one for DCC!  Would have made things much, MUCH nicer.

Chilling in the stroller after getting his first con badge at DCC '13.
 It totally has a dalek on it. Win.

Strollers have pros and cons. (hahaha cons at a Con)  Really it's depends on your kiddo.  D was never really a fan of the stroller and once he was out (like if we got him out while waiting in a line or something so he could play) he didn't want to get back into it, plus you better keep moving or he gets mad.  Also people don't look down so if you're baby loves the stroller you might consider adding some flags to the front or something.  They can be good and horrible in busy areas.  You can force a path, or just end up accidentally running over toes.  I have mixed feelings about them.

Baby/Toddler Leash*
Okay I used to be one of those people that thought these were horrible... until I had a kid that could walk.  Then I secretly wanted one and when I saw a friend and her daughter with one (that had bat wings on the harness it was beyond adorable) I was sold.  I've been wanting to make one but need to get some material and the snaps to make the harness but by the time I get that done he'll probably be too old, lol.  But seriously my friend's daughter loved it because she got freedom but my friend still got piece of mind that her daughter wouldn't run off into a crowd and that's really one of the more stressful things for me when D is out of the stroller or wrap- plus the fact that cons are far from baby proofed!

Lastly- not really a necessity but may help them feel included or just be fun in general...

Darius as Jax Teller from Sons of Anarchy for DCC '13.

Seriously I swear kids are a hundred times more adorable once in cosplay.  Plus it might help them feel more included or in D's case, give him a chance to flirt.  LOL.

Child's Lovey/Blankie, etc.
Your child's lovey or blankie or whatnot might not be a bad idea either if you have a way to keep track of it as I can see it being easily lost in such crowds.  D has never developed an attachment to any one toy or anything so that's why it's kind of an afterthought in this list. :)

Also something Denver Comic Con has going for it is that they have a kids area where kids can make crafts (shields, buttons, posters, etc), learn to draw from artists, and even get their own autographed kid's comic books.

Do you take young kids to conventions with you?  What are your must have items?