Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Grandpa

I've been meaning to write a post about my girls and how much I love them and how much they love each other. That will have to wait for another day.

I just learned that my Grandpa's cancer is back. He has a spot on his lung and his neck. We felt the spot on his neck at Thanksgiving and just hoped it was an infection.

I guess the chemo is a one-time thing; so he can't do that again. He just finished a round of radiation for a spot near his stomach, and that took so much out of him. But radiation is what they're talking about doing again.

I'm scared. I don't want to lose my Grandpa.

He just called me this past weekend and left a voicemail saying how good he felt, that he hadn't felt this good in 2 years. Hearing that made my heart soar.

And now this. I feel like the rug has been pulled out from under me.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Smiley



Genevieve is the most smiley baby I've ever seen.



Monday, October 25, 2010

I love you too, Boo

Today was a special day. A day I've waited for for over 2 years. I told Annabella I loved her. And she said it back. I couldn't tell what she was saying, but Jason heard it and he was right. I said, "I love you" and she said "I uv oo". I still wasn't sure; so I said "I love Annabella, and I love Dadda", and she said "I uv Dadda".

So awesome.

Now I can't wait to hear it again.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Whoa baby!

The numbers are in, and Genevieve is officially huge. She weighed in today at 11 lbs 10 oz (97th percentile), and she was 22 inches long (85th percentile). She's averaging a gain of over 1 oz per day! Oh, and while we're on the subject of impressive numbers, I should mention that Genevieve slept for 7.5 hours straight last night. So we think everything is going really well with her, and the doctor agreed with us today at her 1 month checkup.

Annabella's 2 year checkup was Tuesday, and she's doing great as well. She's still a peanut, but she's staying on her growth curve and the doctor says she's fine. She's graduated to getting weighed with clothes and using the manual scale. So with that, she weighed just under 23 lbs. And she was 32 inches tall. The pediatrician seems to be especially skilled with kids her age, and he had her pretty well entertained through most of the appointment...at least until the shots, which she did not care for at all.

Jason and I are doing okay as well. We're both pretty exhausted. You'd think that with our little one sleeping for 7.5 hours straight we'd be doing better, but Annabella is still waking us up at night. I can't really blame her for having a hard time sleeping right now. With a new baby sister, a new class at daycare, and her 2-year molars pushing through, she's got plenty of reasons to not be able to stay asleep the whole night through. Jason wants to sleep train her again in a couple of months. I'm really hoping she'll just work through all this and start sleeping better on her own by then. I hate hearing my baby yelling at night and not going to her, and I think we've had mixed success with it before.

Baby's stirring. I'll try to post pictures soon, but I gotta run now!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

19 days out

Sorry for the long delay in updates.

Being a Mommy to 2 beautiful girls is wonderful and exhausting, all at once. I'm finding myself feeling surprisingly content, just happy to be experiencing all of this. And my confidence is much higher the second time around. I feel like I know what I'm doing, and I'm not afraid to be alone with Genevieve (unlike with Annabella, where I was terrified to be alone with her, not sure I'd be able to handle it.) It helps that Genevieve is a ridiculously easy baby. She's a great sleeper, eats well, is awake, happy, and smiley for long periods of time, and she's growing well. I thought at the time that Annabella was an easy baby because she was a happy baby. I still don't think Annabella was a hard baby exactly, but Genevieve is much easier.

Another difference the second time around is how much I let Genevieve cry. With Annabella I would jump to run towards her at the first little whimper. With Genevieve, I don't feel like her crying is an emergency. I think this is both good and bad. It means that I'm calmer and not as stressed out, which I think keeps Genevieve calm overall. But it also means that I'm not responding to her needs as quickly, and I don't like that. Plus, with Annabella, her cry would cause a painful physical reaction in my body, and that just doesn't really happen with Genevieve, at least not to the same extent. So my Mommy guilt is all flared up over that.

I still don't have my energy back though, and I'm easily tired. A trip to the park today with my Mom and both my girls left me so tired I had to nap. And while I was out with Jason on a short walk last night I got so tired I had to sit down for awhile just to get the strength up to walk home. But each day is getting better.

Unfortunately, I think the lack of energy has had a detrimental effect on my bonding with Genevieve. I remember wanting nothing more than to just hold Annabella while I was in the hospital, and with Genevieve, I was too weak and shaky. I loved her and wanted to want to hold her, but I was afraid I would drop her. Even when I did hold her, I wanted Jason or somebody else close by in case I got shaky. And now that I'm home, I have to spend so much time resting and taking care of Annabella that I just don't get as much snuggle time in as I'd like.

All of this is making me consider extending my maternity leave, to give me more time to recover and also to spend with just her, when I have more energy to really appreciate her. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I don't love her fiercely, because I do. But maybe a little more time would be good. I still have 3 weeks left of standard maternity leave though; so I still have lots of snuggle time ahead of me. Plus, even after those 3 weeks, I'm not planning to go back full time for a little while longer. So right now I'm just playing it by ear.

In other news, we went to the pediatric cardiologist this past Monday. Genevieve's heart murmur is caused by a ventricular septal defect, which the cardiologist assured us was really no big deal at all. The defect is basically a small hole (about 2mm wide) in the wall between the 2 ventricles, and will most likely close up as she grows older. The doc said that even if it doesn't close up on its own, the VSD shouldn't cause her any long term problems. He said that she could be a champion athlete even if the hole doesn't close up. He also said that VSDs are very common in babies, happening in about 1 out of every 200 births. So no big deal. And we most likely will not even need to take her back to the cardiologist. The doc said that if the pediatrician still hears the murmur after her 6 month check, then the pediatrician might decide to send us back, but we don't need a follow-up until at least then.

Annabella is still adjusting to her new baby sister, and also to her transition to the 2s room at daycare. I see signs of stress with her here and there (like crying before bedtime and laying down at odd times at daycare), but in general she's doing really well. Jason and I both strive to spend time with her and to really focus on her when we're with her, and I think that's helping. I expected it to be a lot worse than it is, honestly, but I still worry about her. I think having grandparents around to help has been good for her too. She seems to like the extra attention.

OK. It's late, and I'm rambling. I can't promise I'll post again soon as it's taken more energy than I expected just to get this up, and I don't think it's all that coherent. But I'll try :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

2 years!

Annabella,

Two years ago today, I first held you in my arms. I kissed the top of your head, and fell in love with you instantly. You were my girl, and I was your Mommy. Just like that.

Those first few weeks with you were some of the hardest, and sweetest, times of my life. I remember being at the hospital, and just needing to hold you. You were such a noisy little sleeper, but I couldn't stand to have you away from me. And oh how you liked to be held. Nothing made you happier, it seemed. I remember lamenting to the pediatrician how you would wake up as soon as we laid you down, and I remember being aggravated when he remarked how that was a good thing, having a sure fire way to wake you up. I remember learning to nurse you, and watching the clock to make sure you were nursing enough, carefully documenting how much you ate and when. I remember delighting in dressing you in your little outfits, and seeing how cute you looked in each and every one of them. I remember being so sleepy that I fell asleep, for an instant, standing up while holding you. I remember forcing myself to stop staring at your eye lashes in the middle of the night and instead watch the TV, because I was so afraid to fall asleep holding you, and while your eye lashes were in fact enchanting, the TV would do a better job keeping me awake.

Over the next few months you morphed from newborn to infant, and soon you were rolling over, sitting up, and playing. We would sit you up and put your giant Winnie the Pooh behind you, so that you would land on it when you would inevitably tip over. It seemed that no matter the number of pillows we propped up, you would find a hard place to land. I think those thunks have stayed with me longer than they've stayed with you. Soon we bought squishy mats to put down, and you played on those for awhile. But you started to be able to get around, in a weird kind of scoot. You seemed unwilling to do anything that would get you into a crawl-like position, because you couldn't yet get back to a sitting position. But you would stretch out and go back to sitting, and somehow you would make progress across the room in this way.

Then came the crawling (soon after you learned how to sit from a laying down position.) For awhile, we thought you would just skip crawling. But then when you started crawling, you had a perfect little textbook crawl. I would sit back a few feet from you, and you would slowly crawl towards me, and my heart would swell. Soon you were a champion crawler, you'd move so fast. We have many pictures of you crawling towards us, with your hands moving up towards the camera, only inches away.

And soon you were walking. A few steps here and there(Dada got to see the first ones, of course). You had a push-toy, and you loved that thing. You weren't the best at steering it at first, but you would get behind it and go go go. And about a month later, on Halloween, Daddy and I were sitting about 5 feet from each other, and you would walk between us. Five feet was a bit much for you, and we were so proud when you'd make the distance. After making it a few times, you seemed to realize there was nothing stopping you, and you started to curve around in order to go farther. That night, you truly started walking. You went from something like 7 consecutive steps to 28 in one night. By the end of the weekend, we'd quit counting. I think we got to 63 before we decided that you were basically unstoppable.

Then came the talking. Watching you learn to talk has been so much fun. I love hearing you say new words. Yes, sometimes being Mommy to a toddler can be super frustrating. And now that you have words, you are always trying to exert your independence. So we battle over putting your toothbrush away or taking off your PJs or sitting while you eat or any number of other things. And while there are days that I just want to shake you and say that Mommy is trying really hard to do what you want if you could just figure out what it is that you want, I have to say that part of me loves the battles. I love seeing you express yourself, and say what you want. And the times I'm most frustrated are the times I see you struggle because you just don't know what it is that you want. (And no, you do not always get what you want... But those times are still easier than when you just can't decide.)

Now you are running, and learning to jump, and trying to skip, and climbing all over the furniture, and making me proud every day. I love you so much, and I'm so happy to be your Mommy.

And today, even though it was your birthday, I think you gave us the better present. Before today, you would sing along to a song, but only for one word (such as "ashes" in Ring Around the Rosie, or "Row" in Row Row Row Your Boat). You could express which song you wanted, but only because we have our language. Today you sang Happy Birthday, and it was awesome. You sang it to yourself, and you sang it to each of us.

You are my perfect little girl, and I love you so much my heart swells just thinking about you.

Love today and always,
Mommy

video

Friday, September 24, 2010

My week so far

Sorry I haven't been updating or returning phone calls and such. This week has been both really good and really hard. Giving birth to Genevieve has ravaged my body, and the subsequent blood loss has zapped all my reserves of strength. I appreciate all the good wishes people have been sending my way, but I really haven't had the energy to respond.

Genevieve is a great baby. And so far, it seems that she is a much better sleeper than Annabella was. She has so many periods of extended wakefulness, and she's so aware through them. She's also so strong. She lifts her head and moves it around and just looks around, taking it all in. She seems a couple weeks older than she is. Maybe this is because she spent an extra week baking inside Momma.

Annabella is quickly turning into a great big sister. I still see flashes of panic/stress/unhappiness, but all in all, she's taking having a new little sister in stride. The first night was admittedly rough, and she had a couple meltdowns. But at the end of the night she blew Genevieve a kiss and said "Bye bye baby". Jason and I almost cried, the moment was so sweet. Since then, she's given the baby kisses and petted her head and been really pretty great. Annabella's also poked at her eyes, elbowed her head, and tossed her leg over Genevieve's neck. All of these were unintentional or at least without malice, and she looks troubled when she realizes she's upset the baby. So I'm hoping that things continue to get better, and that Annabella gets more and more comfortable realizing that Mommy or Daddy can't always hold her, and that sometimes we have to spend time with the baby. Annabella also lights up with excitement whenever she first sees or hears the baby when she gets home from daycare. I'm sure this will not continue forever, but it's sweet to see.

I will probably post a birth story at some point in the future, but the summary is that it was pretty uneventful overall. I was given pitocin to start labor, made pretty good progress through the night, opted for an epidural at some point, had my water manually broken, labored for a few hours longer, then had the baby. Pretty standard stuff, labor-wise. The scariest parts were at the end, when Genevieve was showing some signs of being unhappy. I'm somewhat afraid that I might have made her stay in longer than I should have, because at one point I wanted to be checked, but my water had already been broken. After your water breaks, they don't like to check you very often because it increases the risks of infection. I had a feeling I'd made progress and was feeling urges to push (and in fact was sort of pushing with each contraction, just a little). But the time before I'd been checked I hadn't made progress when I thought I had; so I decided to ride it out for awhile. When I finally decided it was time to be checked, the nurse gave a look of surprise when she realized I was fully good to go. She let me labor without pushing for just a couple minutes longer (letting my body do some work without too much effort thanks to the powers of the epidural), but soon came in and said it looked like Genevieve wanted to come out already (meaning her heart rate monitor was showing more signs of unhappiness.) So my fear is that I should have persisted in being checked the hour or so before, and that poor Genevieve was struggling inside me. Of course, I could have been checked and found that once again I'd made no progress, but I doubt it. I think I knew magic was happening, but was a little afraid in case I was wrong. That I regret.

When Genevieve was actually born, she was pretty blue and silent. She had to be rubbed down with towels for several minutes before she would pink up and start crying. Her 1-minute Apgar was a 6, and she only got up to an 8 at the 5-minute mark. I had assumed that since she was such a big, active baby that she would come out strong and screaming. I think we were all a little panicked for a few minutes there, at least I was. I just wanted to hold my baby, but every nurse and doctor around was rubbing her down vigorously. Once she finally did cry, it was pretty relieving. The doctor assured us that she was fine, and that some babies just take a little longer to recover from being born. The cord was wrapped once around her body, and apparently it was a short cord; so my guess is that she didn't get the happy amount of oxygen for a few minutes. Knowing that, and knowing that some responsibility for that might lie with me is pretty hard. I also have a bit of a hard time knowing that my one baby had a cord that was too skinny, and my other had a cord that was too short. I feel a little defective when I think about it.

After delivery, I was really weak and light-headed. Some of this is normal. But I didn't feel like I was recovering as I expected to. They took my blood pressure, and it was fine. Looking back, I remember thinking that maybe I was losing blood somewhere that they didn't know. And apparently, that is exactly what was happening. My uterus was filling with blood clots. Finally, about 6 hours after labor, the blood clots were so big that the contractions caused by nursing Genevieve forced some of them out. What happened next I can best describe as an avalanche of blood, or at least that's my perception. They massaged my uterus externally, and blood started pouring from my body. It was honestly a little terrifying. (The details for how they stopped the blood flow are not fun. Let's just say it was stopped.)

Hmm, I don't know that there's much left to write, birth-story wise. So that might be all you get.

In other scary news (if you made it this far), we learned today that Genevieve has a heart murmur. Right now we don't have any reason to believe that we should be scared, but that doesn't stop me (or Jason). We have a follow-up with a pediatric cardiologist on the 4th. (I hate that what feels like an emergency to me is like standard practice for them, and that the wait is so terribly long.) For now, we're holding our breath, hoping to learn that our perfect Genevieve is perfect inside as well as outside.

I knew that this pregnancy had gone too smoothly, that things had been too easy. I'm sad and terrified that I was right. But everything ended up great with Annabella, and I'm trying to believe that it will with Genevieve as well. It's hard to love somebody so much so quickly and then be so terrified in an instant. I guess that's just a part of parenthood. And we've really been blessed. We have 2 beautiful, perfect little girls. Who could ask for more?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Genevieve Claire

Wanted to update everyone with the name.  She still an aggressive feeder and doing really well.

We're back at home now and Amber has even more energy than yesterday.  I'll let her post later with details about how Annabella and Genevieve are getting along and maybe a couple more pictures.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Update and Pictures

So far this baby has been very different personality wise than Annabella.  She doesn't really want to sleep at all and has instead been constantly feeding.  She is very awake and aware, lifting and moving her head around and searching for nipples.

Yesterday afternoon amber had postpartum hemorrhaging and lost around a liter of blood.  They have given her some meds and the bleeding seems to be under control now.  Her blood cell count is a bit low, but borderline for needing a transfusion so the docs have so far decided against it.  Besides feeling tired and occasionally lightheaded she is doing really well.

As promised, here are some pictures of our beautiful new daughter from yesterday.

Monday, September 20, 2010

She's here!

Our second baby girl made her grand entrance today at 11:28am. She weighed in at 9 lb 1 oz, and she is 20 inches long.

We're all doing well, but we're all very tired.

I will try to post pictures in a few days.

We still don't have a name :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Checked in to the hospital

We're at the hospital for the induction tonight. If you don't want any of the possibly gross details, stop here. :)

I was just checked, and my body has finally made some progress on its own. I'm 50% effaced, my cervix is dilated to 2 or 3 cm, and I'm at station -2. (Effaced has to do with how thinned out or soft everything is. Station deals with position of baby.)

This is awesome news, as it means I do not need the Foley bulb (or any other kind of cervix ripening)! They just started me on pitocin (at 10:20).

So I'm anticipating virtually no sleep tonight, but I'm still going to try while I'm sleepy.

Hopefully my next update will be with news of a healthy baby.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Still no baby

I'm still hoping to go into labor naturally, but I'm excited that I'll get to meet my new little girl in the next few days either way.

I don't remember what I've told people or what I've posted where, but I'm pretty certain that I actually have not dropped. I think I was just using really wishful thinking when I posted that. The baby's butt felt a little lower to me, but she's moved several times since that day that made me think I was completely wrong, and the doctors never said anything about her being lower.

Also, Friday's appointment made it clear that the doctor on Tuesday had been generous when he said I was dilated 1cm, which makes sense in retrospect. He was alluding to something like that with his comments, but I didn't catch on because I didn't know what 1cm should be like. The doctor Friday said I'm not dilated at all.

So that's all there is. I have to run. Bedtime routine calls for my big girl.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A trying night

Annabella didn't sleep all that well last night. Then she woke up earlier than normal and took a shorter nap at daycare. Maybe this is why she was a royal pain tonight. I don't know. I think she also got over-hungry at one point, which certainly contributed. But tonight was a "no" night. We finally just now got her to bed, after a lot of continuous screaming.

I'm wondering if she's sensing the change that's about to happen. Besides being in an altogether terrible mood all evening long, she's flip flopped from being in a Daddy phase to suddenly being in a complete Mommy phase. She screams when I put her down, when I can't carry her, when I have to leave her for even a couple minutes. She screams even when Jason is there to play with or hold her. It's tough for both of us, I'm sure.

I've long known that the terrible twos could bring lots of temper tantrums and such, but I didn't realize how heart-breaking those tantrums would be. Often times we just have to let her work through them. Sure we can comfort her, but that doesn't mean that it's suddenly okay for her to run into the street or not brush her teeth or any number of things. So there's only so much we can do to help her through it, really. And that is hard for me. I hate to hear my baby scream and struggle with her emotions. I know it's part of growing up, and she has to learn to control her feelings. But I wish it were easier for her.

I'm really nervous about my stay in the hospital, and a huge amount of this anxiety stems from me never having spent the night away from Annabella before. I don't know how she'll take having me gone for 3 nights in a row, and maybe more. Especially since Jason will also be gone part of those nights. And if I do go into labor at this point, I'm worried about being away from her all day long over the weekend. So while I'd love to go into labor naturally, part of me just wants to be induced Sunday night so that at least Annabella will have a substantial part of her normal routine in place (daycare) through the week while I'm at the hospital.

In other news, if it wasn't completely obvious, I'm still pregnant.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

No change

Jason told me that a few weeks ago he looked at me and thought "wow, she's huge". He said he'd never seen me bigger, that with Annabella's pregnancy I carried differently and this time my stomach just looks bigger. (I actually weighed more when I was pregnant with Annabella. But he's right, my stomach is huge this time.) He said yesterday he was blown away by how much huger I look now compared with just a few weeks back.

I'm big enough now that it's physically uncomfortable to have Annabella leaning back against me. The pressure from the outside combines with the internal pressure and is just too much.

I'm so ready to meet this little girl and get my body back. I don't know how women who carry twins do it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A discouraging visit with the doctor

I had my OB appointment today. I am only 1 cm dilated, although my cervix is soft. When the doctor was checking me out, he said that it seemed like my uterus just didn't want to give up the baby yet. (He explained something about the positioning of the cervix and such to explain this.)

My induction is scheduled for this Sunday at 8pm. We'll be starting at night because my cervix will have to be ripened, unless my body makes some progress between now and then. I had to start my induction with Annabella the same way; so at least I know what to expect.

At this point I'm relatively resigned to the idea of induction. A few months ago I would have said that I'd like to wait until the last possible day to induce, but now I'm happy with being induced this Sunday. Besides being the best scenario for Annabella (because she'll be at during the daycare for the duration of my stay at the hospital), I just don't really care to be pregnant anymore. My midsection feels stretched to capacity, and I fear this baby is huge.

Annabella actually went to this appointment with me. She threw up yesterday and acted really sick for all of 2 or 3 hours. Then she was back to her normal chipper self. But the throwing up keeps her out of daycare for 24 hours; so we spent the day together. She was pretty cute during the appointment, very protective of me. She didn't like it at all when the nurse took my blood pressure for instance. I had to keep reassuring her that they weren't hurting me.

I have one more appointment scheduled before Sunday. They will do a non-stress test of the baby, to make sure it's safe to wait till Sunday for the induction. I think they will check my cervix again to verify that the ripening is necessary. This appointment is Friday; so I'll try to update the blog again when it's over.

So the countdown starts again. 120 hours until my induction starts, unless magic happens first.

Monday, September 13, 2010

My Family of Three

We spent a lot of the weekend doing things Annabella likes to do.

Saturday morning we went to a park we hadn't been to before. They had little cars and a tricycle there, as well as a big sand box are and some slides and such. The weather was great, and Annabella loved it.

After a super long nap (over 2 hours!) we took her out to the lake with the ducks. It's been too hot and I've been too pregnant to attempt this lake for awhile, but we found out about a back entrance that dumps you right by where all the ducks gather. Since Saturday was the first not-oppressively-hot day we've had in awhile, we couldn't resist taking her out to see the ducks again. We were a little afraid they'd be gone for the season, but there were probably 30 or so ducks, and Annabella loved it! She was laughing as she was throwing her bread to the ducks. So much fun.

Jason took Annabella to our local park Sunday morning while I slept; so it was a good morning for all. Then after a super short nap (~45 minutes, she has an average to maintain afterall...) Annabella headed out to meet Dada, Uncle Jacob, and Aunt Lynn at a local bar to watch some of the Browns game. The bar was great. Since NC passed the law to prevent smoking in public restaurants, we haven't had to worry about places like that being smoke pits. The food was good, the restaurant was clean, and we had a great view for the game. Plus, everybody there was super welcoming to Annabella (and it was less than 1 mile from home in case she got fussy.)

After the game was over, we took Annabella to the "Big Pool" (as opposed to the little baby pool we keep out back.) We hadn't been to the big pool in 2 weeks, but I was surprised at the drastic difference. Two weeks ago it was packed, with kids everywhere. Yesterday it was empty. And even though the temperature was mid 80s, the water was a little too cold for the Boo and she was quickly shivering. We asked if she wanted to go home and she said no through her shivers. After trying the kiddie pool and splash areas and being cold through all of them, we called it a day even though Annabella did not want to give up the good fight.

I love my little family of three. I know I'm going to miss it once we're a family of four. I just hope that we're still able to give Annabella the love and attention she craves and deserves, even with the competing needs of the little one.

It was a nice weekend. A good last weekend spent with just our Boo, that is if her sister starts cooperating and makes her grand entrance.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ahh, deeper breaths

I seem to have dropped a little bit. For those of you who haven't had babies, this means that it appears and feels like the baby is sitting a little lower in my midsection.

This is a good sign that labor will come, at some point. Unfortunately, there's no rule about when babies drop. Sometimes it's weeks in advance. Sometimes babies stay up high until you are well into labor.

I'm afraid that I might be making this up, because I can't really feel where the baby's head is. But I can feel her butt, and it seems lower. Plus, breathing feels a little easier, which hopefully indicates that my lungs have more room for air.

If she is lower, then I'm hoping she's low enough to have her head by my cervix. The Foley Bulb imitates the baby's head resting on your cervix; so if she's sitting there already, there should be no need for cervix ripening, even if I am induced. So hopefully my cervix will get the message and do its thing.

I'm trying (and failing) to not get overly excited by this new development. But every little thing I feel makes me wonder if it is something labor related, when in reality, it's most likely just her moving around.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

FAQ

I've been getting asked a lot of the same questions lately...

1) Still pregnant? Yep.

2) How are you feeling? (This is usually a thinly masked question meaning do I feel any labor symptoms...) I feel like I'd like to have this baby already. But I also have no reason to believe that she's coming anytime particularly soon. I have been cramping and having some Braxton Hicks contractions for weeks, but if anything, I think those have slowed down the past few days. Hopefully all that cramping has started my cervix dilating, but I haven't been checked yet; so I don't know.

3) When are you due again? Sunday. As in 3 days from now (or approximately 62 hours from now...)

4) So what happens then? Well, if she still refuses to make her grand entrance, I continue to wait. The doctors won't let me go past 42 weeks as the health of the baby tends to decline after 42 weeks. So if I'm still pregnant at 41 weeks, I will most likely be induced that Monday or Tuesday (the 20th or 21st). My next OB appointment is Tuesday, and I will schedule an induction date then. I will also have my cervix checked at this appointment. If I am dilated enough, then my induction will be scheduled for the morning. If not, then I will need to go the the hospital the previous night so that my cervix can be ripened with a Foley Bulb. I'm still really hoping to just go into labor naturally though.

5) How big is that baby? The doctor estimated she weighed 8 or 8.5 pounds this past Tuesday.

6) How's Annabella going to take having a new baby sister? My guess is not well. Jason and I have a babydoll to give her (from the baby) when she meets her sister at the hospital. We're hoping that Annabella will take care of her baby while Mommy takes care of her new sister. We're also planning to get as much help from Annabella as possible so that she feels involved, and we're going to make sure to spend alone time with her each day. We're going to continue to send her to daycare because we want to keep as much of her routine in place as possible to make this easier for her. Plus she's likely to get bored at home since we won't be able to spend as much time taking her to parks or playing with her.

7) Have you guys chosen a name yet? Nope. But we packed our baby names book in the hospital bag.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Still pregnant

I owe a bunch of people phone calls. I'm sure some of them are thinking I've gone into labor. If only... I really just need to do a better job of returning phone calls.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

September is finally here!

Some of you know that my being pregnant through the heat of summer wasn't unintentional. When Jason and I were discussing when we wanted to try for number 2, we decided that we'd work around the cutoff date for entering kindergarten, figuring that we'd rather our child be the oldest in the class than the youngest. In North Carolina, a child has to turn 5 on or by August 31st to enter kindergarten; so we decided aiming for another September baby would be a good way to go. Plus, we thought it might take a few months of trying this time around, and then our child would be in the middle of the class as far as age is concerned.

Of course it didn't take multiple months. And this baby's due date is September 12. So while I've been complaining that I'm ready for this baby to come, I've also been counting down the hours until September, sweating bullets that this baby would be born in August and I'd be mad that I'd been pregnant all summer long for nothing. (If I'd been smarter, we would have waited 1 more month before trying so that I wouldn't have been worried about that. Oh well.) And I've been superstitious about saying that on the blog, thinking it would basically cement an August birthday. Now that September is here, I can breathe easy.

But after literally counting down the hours till September (at least for the past 10 days or so...), I'm feeling a little bit of let down now that September is here. I've been so stoked to get here, thinking, she can come anytime now. And of course, she will still take her time, coming when she's ready. So while I feel like I'm ready to jet off to the hospital and meet this baby, she seems perfectly content to stay where she is.

So now I'm counting down the hours till my due date. This countdown just doesn't feel as exciting though, and I'm not sure I'll even stick with it.

I was a little bit embarrassed to admit to Jason that I was counting down hours until September 1st. But he wasn't the least bit surprised and just made some comment about my OCD. So I guess I should be a little embarrassed to admit it on the blog, but I've already confessed my OCD. So I guess I'm just providing a little more evidence :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

I feel like I'm going to pop.

I'm due in 16 days. I don't remember being this physically miserable at the end of my pregnancy with Annabella, but maybe that's because Annabella was so small.

I feel a little guilty for it, since I know a lot of people have trouble getting pregnant and would love to trade places with me, but I really don't like being pregnant. There are some nice things about it, but I'm so ready to just meet this baby already. Or soon, at least.

I finally have my hospital bag mostly packed. The house is basically ready. We still need to clean out the cars and install the infant carseats.

I'm still terrified over how Annabella will handle the change. I hope she will love her sister, at least in time. I hope that she will be happy to have a little playmate. I hope that she will whisper secrets to her sister and hold her hand when she cries and give her tons of kisses. But right now I would settle for Annabella just not hating her sister.

Jason and I are going to go on one last date tonight while we still can, before we are overwhelmed by babyhood again. I'm looking forward to it, but I'm a little afraid that I'm going to end up sleeping through the movie. Putting me in a dark room with comfy seats and expecting me to stay awake might not be smart.

I think all of us are just really tired. Annabella's been cranky, and she's been waking up here and there at night. She'll put herself back to sleep most times, but she's making enough noise to wake the rest of us. And then Jason and I are both having troubles falling back asleep. I think the anxiety level is just up for all of us. I know I'm having a hard time shutting down my thoughts at night, and I don't think I'm alone in that.

That feels like enough rambling for today :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

23 days!

My due date is rapidly approaching. I can't wait!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

24 more days

Lest you think I've forgotten my countdown...

I can't believe I'm going to meet my daughter soon. I can't wait! I just hope Annabella forgives me for giving her a sister :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Can we just pretend today never happened?

Traffic was TERRIBLE this morning. Really bad. So bad that it caused me to be 30 minutes late for my OB appointment. (Note, I was 35 minutes late. I'll accept blame for 5 though.)

I pull into the parking lot, just in time for some truck to back into my car. I maybe could have backed out of the way, but I didn't have time to look behind me and didn't want to hit somebody else. So I laid on my horn instead. I don't know if he tried to stop or not, but he backed into my front bumper. I was pretty much directly behind him, and he claimed I was in his blind spot. He must have a pretty big blind spot... No real damage to the car though, and I'm fine, save for a minute or 2 where my neck felt a little tight.

I go in for my appointment, and because I'm so late, I have to wait forever to be seen. Argh.

When I'm finally seen, the doctor decides that I need to have a 20 minute non-stress test at the clinic, and if that turns out ok, then I need to be monitored for 4 additional hours at labor and delivery. Just to be safe. Just in case my placenta is pulling away due to the fender bender.

The 20-minute stress test takes close to an hour. It's fine.

I go to the hospital. Jason and I grab food before heading over to L&D (they said no rush because the non-stress test was fine.) We go up to L&D. They put us in a room where I have a bed and a TV. I get to watch close to an hour of Grey's Anatomy reruns. This is honestly the highlight of my day. Getting to relax and watch TV in the middle of the day almost never happens. I was a little sad when the nurse came back and said that the doctor decided that I didn't need to stay all that long since the accident was pretty low impact, with it being in a parking lot and all they figured the truck wasn't going all that fast. Everything looked good though, and that's the important part.

But they let me out just in time to make it reasonable for me to go to work. I get to work and deal with some problems that have nothing to do with my team, but keep getting the runaround from the team who should be looking into it. After getting multiple people mad at me (and each other), the other team's manager finally takes it over and figures out the problem. I was talking to the person that should have figured it out pretty much from the start, but instead of actually looking at what I was sending him, he just kept sending me back to my team, trying to blame us for stuff that isn't even close to our area. Nice.

I call home. By this time Jason's picked up Annabella and they should be there. When Jas answers, I can hear her screaming in the background. Apparently nothing will make her happy today. She has a bit of a cold, and really wants us to know how very not happy she is.

I still have a few hours before I can go home because I'm signed up for a preggo water aerobics class. I need to go to it as it's the only thing that's really keeping my back loose. An hour there and my back feels better for a couple days.

But all I want to do is go home to hold Annabella, and to forget the rest of the day away...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Close call

2 posts in one day! Crazy, I know.

So I almost got hit by a truck this weekend. It was a little bit terrifying, and also rage-inducing.

I was walking out of a store in a parking lot. A truck was driving up his lane, and I was in the fire lane. The fire lane at this store is pretty big, giving shoppers lots of room to walk and such. I wasn't paying super close attention to him and kept walking, staying in the fire lane but walking towards his lane. I had no indication anything was wrong until Jason yelled "Amber". I stopped moving and looked back at him to see what the problem was. He said something about the truck and I turned back in time to see his wheel come within a few inches of my foot. He would have hit me if Jason hadn't seen that he was cutting over and yelled for me to stop.

I wish I would have had more nerve at the time to say something to him. He jumped out of his truck and nonchalantly went up to the Redbox, completely oblivious that he'd put me in danger. But I was too shaken at the time, of course blaming myself.

Looking back though, I really don't think this was my fault, even if my head was in the clouds. I mean
  1. I was in a parking lot for crying out loud.
  2. I was there at a peak time for customers, and there were people everywhere.
  3. Pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way (a lesson I somewhat painfully learned while taking my first driving test...)
  4. I was in fire lane, one that he really had no business driving in in the first place.
  5. I was not moving quickly. In face, I was very slowly waddling along.
  6. I'm pretty easy to see. After all, an 8 months pregnant woman slowly shuffling along is hard to miss.
So after I got home and was still pretty shaken up, I wished that I'd at least yelled at him a little. Told him to watch where he was going or something. Stood up for myself in some way. But I didn't. I don't know that it would have helped, but maybe I wouldn't still be a little freaked out if I had.

The experiment...

We had 2 sets of friends over this weekend, each with a baby.

On Saturday, the baby (Blake) was 9 months old. He was crawling and standing and playing with toys. Annabella could have been nicer to him and showed some signs of jealousy, but it wasn't really too bad. She would take her toys and walk away with them whenever Blake showed a little interest (even if she hadn't cared about that toy in a really long time), but when coaxed, she even handed him a ball to play with. So really, Saturday went pretty well.

On Sunday, the baby (Lydia) was 4 months old. And Annabella was NOT happy, not happy at all. She started out pretty uncertain, and showed a lot of signs of just not knowing what to do. At one point Jason was holding Lydia, and Annabella was running at him full force and sort of hit Lydia in the process. Annabella didn't hit her hard, and I don't think she meant to hit her, but Annabella fell apart when Lydia started crying and she saw the look Jason gave her. After that, Annabella needed a lot of comfort and was almost afraid of the baby. She wouldn't even come up and sit next to me while I was holding Lydia. And then when I handed Lydia off, Annabella was firmly planted in my lap needing lots of snuggles.

Lessons learned: Annabella freaks out over other babies crying. Annabella is really not okay with Mommy or Daddy holding other babies. Annabella needed more attention than normal after the babies went away.

And the big takeaway lesson is: We're in for a heap of trouble.

I'm really really worried for Annabella now. Before this weekend, I was convinced that she'd have a hard time losing out on attention and go through some jealousy issues, but I didn't imagine she'd have negative feelings for the baby outside of those. Seeing her so insecure was really tough, and I'm not sure how we'll combat that.

Annabella is the most important person in the world to me, and I'm feeling really pretty darn guilty for putting her through this right now. I hope it doesn't turn out to be a bad decision for her.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Updates

I know it's been forever since I posted. Sorry!

I now have 37 days until my due date. It's starting to feel really close now, which is super exciting. I had a doctor's appointment earlier this week, and he said that if I went into labor now, they wouldn't stop it. Apparently 34 weeks is a magic number for them. He said that there's nothing they couldn't provide outside the body that my body is now providing; so if my body does go into labor, they take the approach that my body knows something they don't and let my body do its thing.

Annabella is doing great. Being her Mommy is really a whole lot of fun. This morning she refused to let me help her put her shorts on. She managed to get her legs into the holes and pull them part way up. I had to help her get them over her butt, at least partly because they were on backwards. She was angry that I helped her even that much!

She's also refusing to sit in her booster seat at most meals these days, instead opting to sit/kneel on the chairs. For the most part she does a good job with this. She's really too short to be good with it for foods like cereal, where she needs to dip her spoon into the bowl and such, but that doesn't stop her from trying. The whole ordeal can be pretty aggravating though because she's also free to move at will. So a birdie on the wall would be apt to hear things like "Annabella, sit on your chair!" or "We don't climb on tables!" or "No, you cannot climb on top of Mommy and eat dinner there!" When she refuses to sit on her chair, I'll tell her that she's telling me she's all done by not sitting on her chair and I'll move her to the floor. A lot of times this works and she'll climb back up onto her chair and sit to eat. But she's learned to be a bit sneaky about it and will sometimes climb up just high enough to grab something and shove it in her mouth.

Jason and I try really hard to sit at the table while we're eating (as long as she's in sight) so that she won't have a reason to believe that it's ok to wander while you eat, but I think we probably need to step up our efforts here even more. We can't really expect her to follow rules she sees us breaking, at least not when it comes to things like this. I know a lot of people just let their kids wander and eat at will, but I don't know how they do it. Annabella is usually covered in food when she eats, and the idea of having peanut butter smeared all throughout the house (and the ensuing bugs that would come) is enough to convince me that this is a rule we need to keep, at least until she's old enough to not make such a mess. Plus, it's really nice to eat together at the table as a family.

I think Annabella is still be behind in her spoken language. She says a lot of words, but they're not very clear. And I don't know that she's using any real phrases yet. I try not to let this bother me, but it does. From what I understand, this is an area that tends to have more variation between kids, but sometimes when I go into daycare I get a little blown away by what her friends are saying. I think some of this is personality (she tends to be quiet in general), and I think some of it is that she's more interested in tuning her fine and gross motor movements, but part of my worries that there might be a legitimate delay there. I guess it's just my job as a Mom to always be worried. If it weren't this, I'm sure it would be something else (not that I don't worry about a whole list of other things too!) Her daycare teachers assure me she's fine, and that they'd only be worried about it if her receptive language wasn't as good as it is. And her pediatrician also said she was fine at her 1.5 year appointment. I guess I'll just make sure to grill him about it again at her 2 year checkup.

I know there's a lot more that I've been wanting to say, but this is getting long enough as it is. Plus, my memory is shot these days. Baby brain for the win!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

So it turns out I wasn't just sleepy

I understand why I couldn't keep my eyes open on Monday now. Annabella gave me her stomach bug. Yucko. After lots of sleep, and some grossness you don't want to hear about, I'm feeling much better. It's a good thing she's so cute :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

I'm sleepy

After a nice weekend, you'd think I'd be refreshed. But my girls just couldn't have that. The little one decided to have a dance party in my tummy that kept me awake starting around 3:30, and then the big one decided that she needed Mommy at about 4:50. Yawn.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

60 days and counting


My due date is 60 days away. The closer it gets, the further it seems to stretch in front of me. I know the time will pass by and Awesome Pants will be here and it will have felt like the time flew by. But right now, I just want to meet her, to smell the top of her little head, to introduce her to Annabella, to feel my world shift again. She needs to bake awhile longer though; so I guess I'll just have to try to be patient.

In other news, I got an email yesterday about Annabella's transition at daycare. They want to move her up to the two's room starting on her birthday. I'm really nervous about this. She'll be the only toddler from her current room to move up to that room, at least for a couple weeks. The 2 toddlers who are slightly older than her are going to a different room. She might recognize some friends from the other toddler room, but they are quite a bit older than she is. The daycare person tried to alleviate my concerns, but I think she was feeding me a few lines of BS, honestly. "Oh, Annabella plays with Rylee all the time on the playground. And she likes to play with Tatum too." Funny that those are names I never hear when her teachers tell me who she's playing with. And it seems like the original biter (if I narrowed it down correctly) will be following her into her new room. With 3 or 4 biters in her current room and some next door as well, I can't honestly expect Annabella to be isolated from all of them when she moves up to her next room, but a Momma can hope, right? Even with all that, normally I would understand. She is turning 2 after all, and she will need to move up. The resources in the next room will better match her development, and she'll probably have more room to run. But the thing that still really troubles me about this transition is that it will be so darn close to an even bigger transition for her. I'm supposed to pop around 16 days before her birthday. I was thinking our one saving grace would be that her daycare routine would stay stable and help Annabella deal with having a new baby sister. Annabella transitioned from the infant to toddler room sometime in November last year; so I just wasn't expecting for them to want to move her in September. Argh! I've voiced some of these concerns to the admin staff; so we'll see if they give us another option. (I'm further frustrated because we had the option of accepting or declining last year's transition, depending on whether we thought Annabella was ready. This year we've been offered no such option. Grr. And don't even get me started on some of my other daycare admin gripes!)

Whew! I guess I can rant on and on when my Mother Bear comes out.

I don't think there's much more to update about, really. Annabella is continuing to assert her independence. She's choosing to sit at her big girl table rather than on her booster seat, which is a little sad for me because I miss having her at our height at the dinner table. She's screaming her head off before sleep, whether it be naptime or bedtime. She's pointing to let us know where she wants to go at any given time. She's talking more and more, and she gets so excited when she sees a duck or water. She's my little angel, and I couldn't love her more.

I'm updating over my lunch break at work; so I don't have any pictures from home to share. So I'm going to cheat again and give you some more from daycare (again with comments from her teacher):

This morning when we went outside, we saw a praying mantis! Annabella tried so hard to pet him, but he kept crawling away. When he would start to climb up higher, Annabella said "bye!" and waved.

After playing with the bug, Annabella wanted to play in the bushes with her friend Hannah (not pictured, because I feel weird having other kids' pictures up on the blog). They sat together and Annabella and Hannah "talked" to each other like they were having the best conversation! What a great way to learn social skills with others!

I think that last picture is kind of funny, because it shows Annabella's personality. She's obviously hot. You only have to look at her red little cheeks to see that. But I'd bet dollars to donuts that you'd have to drag her inside. After all, she's at her favorite place to be, "ahtsi" (aka, outside).

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Vacation

We just got back from visiting friends in a cute little town in upstate New York. We had so much fun, and it was hard to come back to face the daily grind. I think Annabella had the best time out of all of us though, as JJ and Seda spoiled her rotten. Her days were filled with special sweet surprises, trips to the park, and dips in the kiddie pool.

Some of my favorite memories from the trip:
  • Annabella shared a room with us, and I got to roll over and watch my baby sleeping over and over again. There was just something so sweet about seeing her perfect little body curled up with her butt in the air for sleep. And I never knew she sleeps with her ankles crossed. So cute!
  • Watching my baby discover smores. We couldn't get Annabella to eat a marshmallow to save our lives, but melt it and smash it between chocolate and graham cracker and it was an instant hit. She might not have known what it was, but she liked it.
  • Visiting with some dearly-missed friends. Good friends are hard to come by. And Seda and JJ aren't just good friends, they're cream-of-the-crop friends.
  • Swapping pregnancy stories. Seda is 8 weeks behind me in her pregnancy, and it was fun to have another expectant mommy around.
  • All the good food. Seda is an AMAZING cook. Everything she makes is just so good. And JJ's not too shabby either :) I think Annabella heartily agreed as she ate more food over this vacation than any other 3 day period in her life. It was crazy to see how much food she downed and how distended her little belly was.
  • Seeing Annabella wake up in the morning to discover that she was still in the place of awesome fun.
  • Watching my friends spoil my child. The were pretty obviously enamored with her. I remember reading somewhere that showing my child love is showing me love, and it's true. I was so touched they spent so much time playing with her and suffering through the heat of the sun so she could be outside (her favorite place in the world).
  • The local fair... There's no way I could explain it in such a way to do it justice, but I've never seen so many back-woodsy people congregated in one place before in my life. Plus it featured my first demolition derby, Annabella's first sno-cone, and a child who appeared to have bleeding chicken pox who stood in line just behind us. I didn't understand why Seda was asking which childhood diseases we were supposed to avoid during pregnancy until I caught a good look at this girl, and then I decided it was time for both of us to leave. But it was still fun.
And because I've bored you with vacation stories, I'll include the pictures Annabella's daycare teacher emailed us today (along with the teacher's comments):

First Annabella quickly found the teeter totter and bounced on it with her friend.
Then, Annabella found a quiet spot away from her friends to dig in the sand. She used a shovel to scoop sand into a small container. What a fun way to show off her hand-eye coordination.

When she was done with her digging, Annabella went to play on the slide. She stood at the top of the slide and said "hi!" to all her friends before she slid down. What fun!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ultrasound

I had my ultrasound for Awesome Pants today. Everything looks great! And she's not huge! She's in the 51st percentile for weight, which is pretty much perfect. Her estimated weight right now is 3lb 6oz. So she just feels huge to me because she's so much bigger than her sister was, but she's actually normal. Once again, I can't believe how normal this pregnancy has been. Jason and I both keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, and we're just so happy that so far, everything has been great!

Here are some pictures:
I believe her eyes are actually open here (according to our sonographer).

Look at those little toes!

Obligatory profile shot.

The funny stuff in front of her face in this last one is actually the umbilical cord.

Friday, June 25, 2010

New pictures up

I posted some pictured from June here: http://annabellag.shutterfly.com/

I'm having issues getting blogger to upload pictures; so for now, this is all you get:

I'm pretty sure she's so happy because we keep stopping her from shoving crepe myrtle buds into her mouth, which is great fun.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

OCD

At times, I can be a little obsessed with numbers. I prefer even numbers, meaning I'd rather eat 2 cherries than 3, and sometimes I touch something an extra time just to make sure I've touched it an even number of times. Powers of 2 are especially pleasing, especially if the power is also even. So while 8 is a good number, it's not nearly as good as 16. It gets a little weirder when I'm tapping out rhythms. I prefer 3 identical short strokes, 2 identical longer strokes, and 1 even longer stroke, if that makes sense. So I guess what I'm saying is that I'm a little OCD about some things, but just a little.

Another way my OCD comes out is when it comes to dates. I seem to run through a little routine in my head every morning where I run through the months until I figure out what month it is. Then I figure out the day. Sometimes I actually add up how many days into the year we are, and figure out what percentage of the year that is. (Hey, I've gotta have something mind-numbing to think about in the shower. I'm guessing this is how I accidentally wash my hair twice at times though.)

All of this is why I'm strangely excited that as of today, I have 80 days left until my due date and this is the 200th day of my pregnancy. (Every time I think about this my heart jumps to think I get to meet my baby in 80 days. Then I have to stop and remember that Awesome Pants might come early or late and that a due date is really not a reliable indicator for when this baby will arrive, which totally messes with my OCD.)

It's not that far away, but my next milestone to be irrationally excited about is in 10 days, at which point I will have completed 75% of this pregnancy (yes again, till my due date, meaning my milestones are oh so arbitrary).

I'm guessing all of this makes me a little weird, but I like to pretend that everybody plays these little mind games with themselves.

Regardless, today is a good day. 200 days down is exciting, no matter how you look at it.

Oh, and I really do want to post more pictures. We have some on our camera that I think are pretty cute, but I keep posting over random breaks at work, and I just don't have the pictures here. So I will try to post more from home.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

More rambling from me

Jason was watching Annabella before I got home from work yesterday. After snack time, Annabella grabbed her fork and took it to the dishwasher and tried to open the door. The door was latched though, because the dishes inside were still clean. So Jason explained this to her and went out of the room to do more cleaning. He heard her drop the fork from the other room, but wasn't sure where she dropped it. He looked, but didn't see it. Then, when she wanted to eat again, he went to go get a new fork from the drawer, there her dirty fork was! I know it's such a small thing, but I'm just amazed that she knows where the fork drawer is. She's not tall enough to see in, and it just blows my mind that she thought to put her dirty fork in that specific drawer when the dishwasher wasn't an option. She surprises me constantly by how smart she is.

In other news, I think potty training time is upon us. Annabella goes potty virtually every time we let her sit on her big girl potty. And yesterday she decided to unstrap her diaper and step out of it. So I think potty training time might be upon us, whether we like it or not. (Anybody have any potty training advice? I'm all ears.)

Awesome Pants seems to be growing nicely. My next ultrasound is 1 week from tomorrow, and I'm really excited to see her and hear how big she's gotten. As of Sunday I have officially entered the third trimester of this pregnancy, at least based on all the internet sites I used to look this up. I don't know why there's so much variation in when different people declare the trimester change, but none of the sites I found start the third trimester later than 28 weeks. So yay!

I'm really getting excited to meet Awesome Pants. She's moving and kicking around inside of me all the time, and I'm falling in love with her already. I hope she and Annabella will be the best of friends.

I know there's more I wanted to post, but baby brain has once again triumphed and I can't remember anything else I wanted to say.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Cancer Free!

Grandpa's PET scan results came back today, and the scan shows no cancer!!! Woohoo!

He'll still have to finish the next 2 rounds of chemo, and they'll still monitor him pretty carefully, but if everything continues to look good, then these next 2 rounds of chemo will be his last!

He got his results over the phone today, and he meets with his doctor tomorrow...so there might be more details then.

Woohoo!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Peanut Butter

Growing up, my Grandma always made me open-faced peanut butter and banana on toast. I think this is one of my favorite memories from childhood. So of course, PB and banana is one of my favorite things to feed Annabella in the mornings. I'd be surprised if a time has gone by that I haven't thought of my Grandma while feeding her this, and it always makes me smile. Plus, PB and banana is still one of my favorite treats.

The only problem with this whole situation is that Annabella rubs peanut butter all over herself while she eats. Her face, hair, belly, arms, and legs are usually coated in the brown goo before she's finished. And no matter how well I try to clean her, I'm always worried that her friend Ava, who is severely allergic to nuts, will somehow pick up some peanut residue off of her little body. Which would of course be absolutely terrible.

This morning, our routine was a little out of whack. Annabella was a grumpy bear because she woke up a little earlier than normal, and it always takes her a little bit to wake up and be her cheerful self. She takes after her momma this way. I didn't have time to get her milk ready first because she was clinging to me, and instead I made her PB and banana first. When she saw the food, she finally let me strap her little body into her booster seat. Then I went to get her milk. By the time I got back, she was absolutely covered in peanut butter. I think she must have rubbed the bread all over her face. Seriously, getting this messy takes talent. And it was all up in her hair and everything.

I took one look at her and realized that normal cleaning techniques would not suffice. So this morning, Annabella took her first morning shower with Mommy. She's taken a couple with Daddy before, but he's braver than I am. And he was always just in there to clean her off, not to actually get clean himself. So I was a little nervous about the logistics and such. To my surprise, she LOVED her shower. We have one of those shower heads that are on a tube and can hang down, and she loved playing with it. She didn't love putting her face in the water, but she didn't mind it as much as what I normally have to do to get her face clean. And she let me have the shower head back when I needed it. So it worked out really well, until it was time to get out, at which point she screamed and lunged towards the shower and repeated "mine" longingly over and over. I promised her she could shower with Mama again tomorrow, but I'm thinking that it will probably just become part of our routine for the next little bit. I don't see a way around it. Showering while she screams is just not good for my nerves. And even though I love the few minutes of solitude a shower usually gives me, having her entertained and safe during these moments is more important. Plus, I'm next to positive we're not going to accidentally kill Ava today, which counts for a lot.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Some pictures

I'm taking a photography class, and I need to practice. So I'm going to try really extra hard to post pictures. Hopefully you'll see improvements in them over time.

Here are a few from this past weekend:

Mommy, can I pleeeeeze watch some Baby Einstein?


My pool is awesome!

Why hello, belly! I can't help but notice how you've grown.

What Mommy? You mean I can't take these home?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Punishment

When Annabella misbehaves, she goes to baby jail for 45 seconds. We swing a baby gate around so that she's essentially trapped in a little hallway area and let her scream her head off about it. (I say essentially trapped because she could crawl under the gate if she really wanted to.) She mainly gets punished for climbing onto tables, standing on chairs repeatedly, or biting/hitting.

While I hate hate hate baby jail, it's been really very effective for us. And it's hard to feel too bad about it since she gets locked up for all of 45 seconds. (Soon enough, we want to move towards a non-gated timeout, but we just couldn't make that work the last time we tried.) Plus, we almost never have to punish her (not including the first weekend we put her in baby jail, as it took her a little bit to learn, and she was being STUBBORN). So all in all, it's been a good thing for us.

I feel like this punishment is in line with what the pediatrician has told us, which was basically that we should ignore behavior we don't like as long as it's not dangerous or aggressive (like biting). For behavior we see as being dangerous or overly aggressive, he said to pick her up, put her in a corner, say no sternly, and walk away, ignoring her. He gave us this advice awhile back though, and she seemed to have outgrown it. Which is why we had to implement baby jail at all. (During her weekend of constant climbing, we couldn't ignore her long enough to be effective as she'd be making a beeline right back up on the table. It was ridiculous.)

So that's the background. Now here's my question: at what age do we start punishing behavior that's not dangerous, but still undesirable?

For instance, I can tell Annabella to come to me a billion times when I want to put sunscreen on her, but she runs and runs. I know that she knows what I'm asking for, she just doesn't want to do it. So every morning, after asking her repeatedly to come to me, I end up chasing her around and pinning her into corners to lather her up.

Is she old enough that she should be punished for this? I just don't know. Baby jail seems extreme for this, but at the same point, running from me when I'm calling her to come to me could be potentially dangerous in other situations. I could try the route where I just ignore her until she comes to me, but I just don't have the time for that in the morning. And I'm honestly not even sure she'd remember what it was that I wanted by the time she figured out I was ignoring her.

So those of you with older kids, what did you do?

Monday, June 7, 2010

26 weeks

Yesterday I finally made it to 26 weeks! Which for me, means I can breathe a little easier. 26 weeks is an arbitrary milestone, I know, but last pregnancy I read a book that said the survival rate for a baby born at 26 weeks was something like 60%, which feels like a fighting chance to me. I think the medicine must have improved, because today I found this chart (on about.com, but about.com credits March of Dimes with the chart.)

Length of Pregnancy

Likelihood of Survival

23 weeks

17%

24 weeks

39%

25 weeks

50%

26 weeks

80%

27 weeks

90%

28-31 weeks

90-95%

32-33 weeks

95%

34+ weeks

Almost as likely as a full-term baby

Sources: March of Dimes, Quint Boenker Preemie Survival Foundation


So if something were to happen and I had to deliver today, BG2 would have an 80% likelihood of survival. So whew. I feel like I've made it. Every day from here just makes her stronger. So while I really would like for her to wait 13 weeks or so before she makes her appearance, I'm pretty relieved that she now has a chance outside of my body, should the worst happen.

I know I said that I would call her BG2 on the blog, and I have been. But Jason and I have been calling her Awesome Pants, which is currently our frontrunner of a name for her. Which tells you we need to sit down and seriously talk names. For realz.

I also remember awhile back lamenting how I just wasn't able to focus on this pregnancy as much as I could with Annabella's, and how it didn't feel fair. Awesome Pants has made me sit up and pay attention. She kicks and rolls and lets me know she's there. Her little jabs feel so much stronger than Annabella's were, at least for how far into this pregnancy I am. And I think she's just outright more active than Annabella was. I remember needing to concentrate to count the kicks with Annabella to make sure she was moving enough. I never feel that way with Awesome Pants. She's like a little boxer when she gets going. Boom boom boom. Kick kick kick. Roll roll roll. Repeat.

I'm sure some of the difference here between the 2 sisters has a lot to do with size. Annabella was and is tiny. She could have been kicking me as hard as her little legs permitted and it just wouldn't feel as hard as a normally sized baby could kick. And I think Awesome Pants is actually on the large size. My uterus measured a week or so ahead of schedule at my last appointment. I have another ultrasound at the end of the month which should estimate her size, but she just feels big to me. Granted, a baby who was in the 25th percentile would probably feel huge to me; so we'll see.

On a completely unrelated note, Annabella has now gone pee pee in the potty 4 times in the last 2 days. One of the times she even pointed to the bathroom to indicate she wanted to go sit on the potty. I don't think we're quite ready for potty training yet, but I am so completely proud of my little girl.