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Before Ryan was born I didn’t go crazy decorating the nursery. I used the same bedding and furniture as last time, only adding a new glider and rug, and since he won’t be sleeping in there exclusively for a few months, I figured I had some time to personalize it with artwork. (I want to do something with his name, but didn’t want to reveal it before he was born.) (Also, I’m lazy.)

No, what was most important to me was getting Owen settled in his Big! Boy! Room! I wanted him to have a place that was just his where he really enjoyed spending time. I wanted it to be kid-friendly, but still have enough sophistication that it could grow with him over the next few years.

I’m really happy with how it turned out. Sure, it’s no swoon-worthy Pinterest bedroom, but it makes me happy, and more importantly, Owen LOVES it. If you come over, expect him to give you a full tour of his new favorite room.

The hardest part of this room was picking the right blue for the walls. When we finally got around to painting it, I came into the room the next morning and hated it. We had spent two nights working on it while Owen slept and Michael despises painting, so I was hesitant to admit that it wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. I sat on it a day, though, and I’m glad I did, because once I put everything in the room it turned out to be exactly right.

I’m pretty sure the rug is my favorite accessory. I found it at Marshalls for $60, originally priced at $150. I love that store! I bought it long before I had anything else for the room, so it served as the main design inspiration. The bed is the top half of a bunk bed set. We plan to have the boys room together eventually, so we stored the bottom piece for now and Owen gets the feel of a big bed, with the safety of the railings. The beds can be bunked, or used as two individual twins.

Oops! This one came out blurry. I bought two sets of sheets at Target; one is plain red and the other is covered in construction equipment. Cement mixers! Bulldozers! I bet you can guess which one Owen is obsessed with. The navy quilt and pillows are from HomeGoods. They are red and white stripes, and lobsters and crabs. That black blob is a stuffed Newfoundland who Owen calls Baby Kodiak.

I really wanted an alphabet poster for his room. I had one as a kid and I remember enjoying it. I found this one on Amazon.com and while it was a little more than I wanted to spend on a poster, I just knew it was the one. The letter ‘Q’ is for quahog, (a type of clam native to Rhode Island), and it just seemed like a perfect fit. This wall/corner is the only spot that feels unfinished to me,  but I didn’t want to hang anything that could possibly fall on him while he slept (i.e. – something framed). Eventually I’ll add something else.

I already had the framed sailboat print, and the tropical fish mobile was a gift when he was born. The photo of me holding Owen the day he was born was taken by my friend.

The framed photos are of Kodiak, the three of us (well, four — I was pregnant), and Michael and Owen asleep in bed when Owen was an infant. The art table was mine as a child — a gift from my grandmother that I’m so happy to pass on — and the glider was the one Michael’s mom used when he was a baby. At some point I may add bookshelves to this wall. Currently, he has books in that basket. As for toys, our living room and family room are full of them, so I didn’t allocate space for them in the room right now, although not surprisingly, there are usually some trucks in there!

There you have it! Owen’s room.

Victory: An “easy” labor, delivery and recovery.

Defeat: Postpartum acne, what’s up?

Victory: A baby who unlike his brother, gave us good 3-4 hour sleep stretches from the beginning and is soothed by the pacifier, Moby wrap, car and occasionally the swing.

Defeat: A baby who — just like his brother — decided the hell with that this week and would rather be held exclusively, nurse constantly, cry a lot and only sleep at night if he’s latched onto my boob, wedged between me and Michael in bed. Oh, heeey, growth spurt.

Victory: Having Michael home another week.

Defeat: Still not managing to shower until 11 despite having him home. I fear for my personal hygiene starting Monday.

Victory: Seeing how well Owen has taken to being a big brother. “Love you, baby Ryan!”, kisses, hugs. My heart runneth over.

Defeat: Often failing at the logistical balance of having both a toddler and a newborn. I did manage to bathe them both back-to-back today. At least their hygiene is safe. But I have learned that often the toddler has to wait, and the baby just has to cry for a minute. Fodder for their tell-all, I’m sure.

Victory: Grocery shopping with both boys by myself.

Defeat: We may have food, but don’t ask about clean laundry. Or a vacuumed floor.

Victory: I managed to paint my nails while Owen was in the tub and Ryan was in the bouncy seat. A small luxury when I’m feeling post-baby dumpy.

Defeat: I’m in that in between clothes place where maternity is too big (and I can’t stand to look at it anymore), but my regular clothes are too short/tight/won’t pull up past my expanded hips — and when, oh, when, did those go back to normal last time? I can’t remember. Also, one of my nails already chipped.

Yes, that’s a lot of whining. But there’s also a lot of good. My god, two children! I feel like it’s been forever and just a second long at the same time. I typed the whole first half of this post with one hand while nursing Ryan, but then managed to get both children down for naps in their respective beds and for the very brief moment, am typing with BOTH HANDS. Go me! Also, don’t get me wrong. Michael has been helping me out a LOT. I’m nervous about mornings without him next week!

I have so much I want to tell you — about Ryan’s birth, and Owen. About wrapping my head around being a mother to not one, but two delicious little boys. But first I need a nap. Because until Ryan figures out that his four-hour stretch of sleep should stop happening in the middle of the day and instead go from about midnight to 4 a.m., I’m going to continue to be one tired mama.

But first I’m going to go fix my nail. Priorities.

He is here!

Ryan Mason came promptly on his due date – July 15th at 5:09 a.m. He was a munchkin compared to his brother, at just 7 lbs 7.75 oz and 20.25 inches.

The no-face policy will remain on the blog, but you can trust me that he is all sorts of adorable.

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I’m working on his birth story, so very different from Owen’s, and I hope to share that with you soon. In the meantime, I’ll tell you that in the short five days I’ve been a mother of two, I’ve learned that the heart does in fact make room for as much love as you need. My two little boys are proof of that.

Looks like I’ll probably be posting that 40-week belly picture after all. Oh, this stubborn little boy.

Yes – my due date is still two days away. He’s not late by any means. He’s just not here here yet and we want him to be.

I had an ultrasound today to do a fluid and measurement check. They guessed him to be about 7 lbs 10 oz, give or take a pound, which means he will DEFINITELY be in the eight-pound range like Owen was. At least he hasn’t spent this extra time getting massive, unlike his mother, who is a HOUSE and weighs more than I did last time around.

But even in 2D, oh…was he cute. SO cute. I wanted to nom on those full little lips and kiss those kicky toes. Oh, baby. Please come out and play.

Even though it’s Friday the 13th. You’d be such a good omen on a day filled with “doom”.

- No baby. Seems at this point I should start off with that…ha! We are at the point where I have to text, not call, my family or they automatically answer the phone with, “Baby??????” Well-meaning friends check in daily for updates too. Only, there isn’t any. He’s still in there.

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Today I’m 39 weeks 2 days, the exact day Owen was born. I thought for SURE #2 would be here by now, even if only ahead by a day. He is making it very clear that he’s going to do things his way.

We have done all the Get Out tricks short of Caster Oil (because, yuck), but I guess until he’s ready, they won’t work. That doesn’t stop me from starting each day by issuing a verbal eviction notice.

- The good thing about still being pregnant is that we have spent a lot of time as a family this past week. Michael was on vacation and our time together as three has been really special. Last night as we zipped around on the boat (hitting every wave, as requested by me!), I watched my little boy shriek with delight as he helped drive the boat and laugh into the wind and thought how lucky I am for these wonderful boys in my life.

- I cringe to say this, but I’m starting to understand the appeal of a minivan. The back of my Honda is packed solid. (Is Baby Got Back in your head now?)

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Two car seats! Eeep! (For anyone interested, that’s a Graco Snugride and a Britax Boulevard. I’m a big fan of both.)

- What can I eat for breakfast to induce labor? I’m thinking leftovers blueberry pie… (What?!)

You guys. I’m so impatient! I know. I KNOW. Babies come when they are ready to come. But the remaining 12 days till his due date seem endlessly far away.

At this point last time I was done. DONE. I had awful sciatica, everything was uncomfortable and Owen’s arrival five days before his due date was such a welcoming relief.

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38 weeks with Owen (left) vs. 38 weeks with Baby #2

Owen was born on a full moon. The theory about the moon bringing babies isn’t proven or anything, but some people say the gravitational pull does the same thing to your uterus as it does to the tides.

I don’t know if that’s true, but today is a full moon and nothing is happening. Not even a little.

I really shouldn’t complain. I’m comfortable. Seriously, aside from being a little off balance, I feel great. I have experienced prelabor, or false labor, whatever you want to call it, this time. I didn’t have that with Owen and each time I have a contraction (an hour of them the other day), I think this must be it. And then it’s not.

I should just sit back and enjoy this remaining time before being awake all night and having two in diapers. I should make the most of the 4th and the time left as our family of three.

But oh, how I’m ready. I just want him to be here! I want to hold him and smell his new baby smell and introduce him to Owen. I want my family to come and although I still don’t know if I’ll manage this labor without an epidural or not, I actually want to feel those contractions that symbolize his birth is eminent.

So I wait. Hopefully not too much longer…

As promised, I want to touch base on how it’s going using the toddler alarm clock I bought for Owen. This is a totally unsponsored, unpaid post. I bought the clock myself out of desperation and sleep deprivation!

After we transitioned Owen into his new room and big boy bed, he managed to get the sleeping all night in there part down pat quickly. But since he now could climb out of bed on his own, as soon as he opened his eyes he was doing just that, opening the door and coming into our room. Every day between 5 and 5:30 a.m…WAY too early for his tired parents.

We tried bringing him back to bed and tucking him back in: FAIL. We tried letting him cozy with us in our bed, hoping he would go back to sleep: kick you in the stomach for a half hour FAIL. We tried to let him play on his own with toys in our room while we rested: drive toy trucks on your face for 5 minutes before demanding oatmeal FAIL.

So that’s how I found myself one VERY early morning combing the internet for a solution to our sleep problem. I came across a lot of chatter about toddler alarm clocks doing the trick and figured well, it certainly couldn’t make things worse. After reading some reviews, I decided on the Onaroo OK to Wake! Alarm Clock. I ordered it from Diapers.com because the price was comparable to other places, and since I was ordering it so early in the morning, it would be delivered the very next day.

The concept is simple: you set the time you want your child to wake up. When that time arrives, rather than the clock making noise, it glows green and displays a smiley face (see photo above), indicating to your child that it’s OK to wake up.

When the box arrived, I made a big deal about opening this special gift for Owen and explaining to him what it was for. I set the clock for a few minutes from then and showed him how it glowed. “When the light is off,” I told him, “it’s still night time. We stay in our bed. But when the light turns green, it’s time to WAKE UP! And come get Mommy!” He was SUPER excited about it and started repeating, “Light turn green! Come get Mommy!” over and over. I set it for 6 a.m. and crossed my fingers.

I’ll be honest with you: it has NOT been an overnight success. Not even close. While Owen completely understands the concept of the clock, (he talks about staying in bed until the light turns green all the time), we are still not on a consistent routine with it. I don’t think this is the fault of the clock, though, rather that he’s only just two and when he wakes up, well, he wants his mom. He is slowly getting better with it, though, and after two weeks of using it we have had some really good mornings. On occasion he will wake up so close to the time, so I will go back to bed with him and we wait quietly together until it turns on. I think that has helped him understand the concept better.

I have slowly been able to push the wake time up to 6:15 and today he came RUNNING into my room at 6:17 announcing the light turned green and was SO PROUD of himself. Beaming! Kissing! Dancing!

Well, I had to get up after that. I was so proud of him too! I am optimistic about this little clock. A lot of the positive reviews are written by people with toddlers closer to three years old who seem to get it right away, so I’m not worried about having continued success with it.

Some details:

- In terms of design, I don’t find this little guy all that obnoxious looking. It comes with two interchangeable face plates; a pink flower or a green “alien” (we are using the green). When it’s in clock mode it displays a digital time reading, and when it turns on it makes a smiley face. It makes no noise.

- It is battery powered, which I suppose could be a nuisance to some, but I like that I could position it anywhere in the room and that it’s portable for travel.

- You can set the alarm to stay on for up to 2 hours, so if your toddler happens to sleep through the wake time (yay!!), it will still be on when they do wake up. This way there’s no confusion about waiting for the light.

- There are also options to use the clock as a nap timer, but I haven’t used it, as Owen naps just fine without it.

- The control buttons are hidden under a panel that is flimsy. Some reviews I read said that they were disappointed their toddler broke or damaged the clock by dropping it. I kind of want to say, “well…duh” to those people, because of course your kid is going to want to play with it. To avoid this all together, I put the clock on top of Owen’s dresser facing the bed. He hasn’t asked to play with it, so that’s that.

Overall, I am really pleased with this clock and firmly believe it will only work better for us over time. At around $30 for a clock it is a little on the pricey side, but I don’t think you can put a price on sleep!

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