Monday, September 26, 2011

Barrett - 21 months

Barrett is a heart-stopping 21 months old. He's become such a little monkey and makes me laugh all the time.

He went through a trying phase a few months ago but seems to have gotten better lately.  He still gets that mischievous look in his eyes and little smirk where you know nothing good is about to take place, but he's been a lot more easygoing and less cranky these days. We are working on discipline and how we want to do it and being consistent with him.  I hate hate hate disciplining him, but I know it needs to be done, so I struggle through it. 

He understands what we're saying so often. Even though he may not speak in full conversations, I know he understands a lot.  One night on a walk Tim pointed out the moon.  A few nights later, he kept pointing at the sky and saying "moon."  The way he remembered surprised me and made me smile. And now it means his favorite book is "Goodnight Moon," so he can point out the moon on all the pages to me.  He says a million things, it seems like, and I can't even begin to list all the words he says.  He tells us he loves us,

He loves walks and gets excited to put his shoes on and head out the door.  He sits in his little red wagon and just looks all around.  He likes going to the park and has gotten so daring, I can barely keep up.  This past weekend he made me climb with him up the plastic rock wall over and over again.  That wasn't such a pretty picture, a 7+ month pregnant woman climbing up the playset and going down the slide, but it made him happy, so I'll look like the fool for him.

He has an entourage. It consists of two blankets, his bear Baby and his bear Juneau.  He insists on sitting in his chair to read books with all of his friends and it barely leaves room for me!

He knows body parts including nose, mouth, eyes (he blinks when you ask him where his eyes are), ears, hair, knees, foot, hand, chin, belly and belly button.

His favorite color is still yellow.  His new favorite animals are elephants, which he pronounces "eh-phant."  I guess he's moved on from the little ducks to the great big elephant!  We do a little dance and sing a song about elephants and sway our arms like elephant trunks, which he loves.

He is just hilarious these days and constantly cracks us up.  He will just bust out little dances, sometimes with music he gets going from his toys, sometimes without music at all.  He likes to pretend sleep in his crib when we come to get him.  He likes to put blankets over our heads and hide under there with us in the dark.  He loves being flipped upside down.  If we tickle him or make him laugh, he'll say "funny, mommy!"

He is all boy.  If there's a tiny puddle in a parking lot, you better believe that his little feet are going to find their way there to stomp in it.  He wants to be a big kid and wants to gravitate towards what the bigger kids are doing and imitate them.  He'll just sit and watch all the older kids playing with a smile on his face.

He is still incredibly stubborn and determined.  He gets so frustrated if his toys won't work the way he wants them to or he can't figure out a puzzle or something right away and flings himself on the floor crying or throws the toy.  I try not to laugh, but it's kind of funny!  I try to prompt him to ask for help, but he has yet to say the word.  I think he doesn't want to admit he needs help with anything.  Things around him must be just so.  There are little paper birds that hang from the ceiling of the daycare and one day one of the birds was missing, and he was quite perturbed by this, I was told.

He cracks us up all the time.  I don't know how we got such a fun little boy, but we lucked out.  He's just the best little thing and we have so much fun with him all the time!

Friday, September 23, 2011

This and That

Happy Friday!

I am so glad that it's Friday!  We don't have too much planned for the weekend, Tim is gone all day Saturday so we are on our own for the day.  One thing on the schedule is naps for both of us!  I also have some Gymboree credit that expires tomorrow so I may run to the mall to see if anything catches my eye.  These children do NOT need any more clothes (maybe just pjs), but who am I to turn down store credit, right?

I had to go to the mall Wednesday night this week to return a few things and found some great sale prices at Gap Maternity.  I'm so happy that our mall got a maternity section in the Gap last year.  I have found such great prices the few times I've gone!  I hate buying more clothes this late in the pregnancy, but I have been feeling so blah lately so I was excited to have a few additional tops.  Here's what I got (trust me though, I look much larger in them than the "pregnant" women below!):

some great sleeveless blouses to wear under cardigans

 this super-soft blouse
Plus another blouse and a few simple t-shirts and tank tops for wearing around the house or for layering.  I think I counted 9 pieces I picked up.  And all for the low price of $35!  Well, really it totaled $45 but I had a $10 credit so the average price for each was under $4.  Not bad!  I guess I can justify that kind of spending with only 8 weeks left. 

Yep, 8 weeks left of this pregnancy until my due date.  I had a doctor's appointment yesterday and everything  is continuing to progress nicely.  I had a very frank discussion with the doctor about my VBAC.  I think he's the most VBAC-friendly doctor in the practice of 5 and he was a little more pessimistic than I would have liked to hear.  He basically discourages going past 40 weeks because he says he believes it decreases the success rates.  I respect that, but have to consider the history of women in my family and the fact the we have late babies.  So I'm more open to going "past due" than the doctors will probably be.  He would also like internal monitoring, which I'm opposed to, but did say no IV would be fine with him, so I liked that.  He also said if I did have a repeat c/s, that we could find a way to make it more mom/baby-friendly, like placing the baby directly on me, so that I wouldn't feel so out of the process.

The funny thing he said, when I asked about anything that he's found in his experience that can help jump-start labor is castor oil!  That is the one thing I didn't try the first go-round.  He said he can't encourage it but that his wife did it and it worked.  I am hoping I don't have to resort to that, but I'll be willing to this time!

I looked at the calendar this morning and saw that it is my little boy's 21 month birthday today!  So I'll have to add a post catching up on that. 

Happy Friday to all!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Great news!

I had my follow up ultrasound today.  At my 20 week ultrasound, they saw my placenta was low-lying and needed to make sure that it moved up so that I could have a normal labor.  We scheduled it for around 32 weeks of pregnancy, which seemed eons away at the time.  Crazy that here I am, that far along now.  So the tech confirmed that yes, the placenta moved up and out of the way, which was a big relief. 

The tech also confirmed that all the dresses and tights that I've been buying over the last few months won't go to waste and that this is, indeed, a baby girl.  Woo-hoo!

Everything looked great.  She looked healthy and big!  He estimated her to be around 4lbs, 3 oz and was measuring with a November 12 due date now.  It's funny to me that she's measuring 6 days ahead when Barrett was always a couple days behind.  But I'm not surprised - I expected her to be bigger, just by the movements I feel and the size of my belly.  Her heart was beating at a healthy 125bpm.  The tech thought she might be on course to be around 7.5-8lbs at birth, depending on her due date of course and knowing these ultrasounds are estimates and can vary a lot from the actual weights.

She was lying head-down, in great position, and curled up around the left side just like her older brother always did.  He definitely carved out a little niche in my belly I think and she just snuggled right in!  And the funniest comment of all from the ultrasound tech - it looks like she has some hair!  Isn't that crazy that they can already tell that?  I now have a picture in my head of a little chubby cheeked, round-bellied girl with lots of dark hair and pink skin.

This makes me even more excited to meet her!

 ultrasound photo of the little girl!
she's facing the front, so you can see the two eyes, nose and mouth and her little right arm, up next to her face

Friday, September 16, 2011

Pregnancy - 31 weeks

Baby is measuring over 16" long and weighs about 3.3lbs.  Her arms, legs and body are starting to plump up with added fat and baby is heading into a growth spurt.  Huh, another growth spurt?  I mean, I'm glad she's getting bigger, but holy cow, am I going to be huge in 9 weeks!

How far along? 31 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: no change from last week.  no comment on overall weight gain. No just kidding, it's not that bad, it's right where it should be.
Maternity clothes? yes.  I still wear non-maternity t-shirts around the house at night and to bed but they have become cropped shirts.  Last time I had to start wearing the husband's t-shirts to bed and I think it may resort to that in the next few weeks, as mine become shorter and shorter.
Stretch marks? None
Sleep? oh, sleep, heavenly sleep!
Movement? off-and-on.  She's especially active at night, around 8pm, when I finally settle down on the couch and she becomes my little dancing queen. 
Food cravings? none
Gender? girl.  I cannot say how excited I am to be having a little girl.  I LOVE the little girl clothes, I love the little girl hairbows, I love the little girl pigtails, I love the little girl bloomers and tights and ruffles and all that comes with little baby girls.  I am so excited for a little girl addition to our family!!
Belly button in or out? totally flat
What I miss: the autumn beers.  I try sips of Tim's seasonal ales and wish I could drink a bottle, they are so good! 
What I'm looking forward to: I have an ultrasound on Monday and am excited to see baby again.
Milestones: n/a

I forgot to mention last week that I got the results of my gestational diabetes bloodwork back and it was normal.  Thank goodness!  The only thing abnormal was that I have low iron, so need to start taking supplements.  I guess I can attribute my fatigue to more than just being a full-time pregnant working mom with a toddler.

I have an ultrasound on Monday and am excited to see little baby girl again.  It's not normal to get another ultrasound at this point, but because of my low-lying placenta the doctors viewed at the 20 week u/s, we need to follow up to see if the placenta has moved up.  I am not too nervous, because in almost all cases it does, but if it doesn't, that means a c-section, so there's definitely a little bit of nervousness there.  I'm trying not to think about that right now and am just hoping for the best.

<-- Love this picture of Barrett.  It was after a long day of work for me, so I can't say I'm looking my best, but he looks too stinking adorable not to share.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

End of Summer Fun

I guess it's time to accept that summer has come to an end and I need to accept it and finally post about our Labor Day weekend.  Sadly, all good things come to an end but we have a lot to look forward to this fall, so there's lots of exciting things ahead! 

My parents came up for the long weekend and we had a great time.  We spent a lot of time at the neighborhood park, ate at our recent favorite New Orleans-style Cajun restaurant (Yum to gumbo and coconut shrimp!), and hit the local big Labor Day festival.

the "men" at the park

 Papa and his playmate
Mimi, Papa, and Barrett
Barrett at the petting zoo with what was his favorite animal, the ducks.   Now, elephants have replaced ducks as B's favorite.  he's fickle

A special little-kids bouncy house.  Boy, did he love it.  We practically had to drag him out of here, he was in here forever!
I want to pinch that dimple off his cheek and carry it around with me all day in my pocket, I love it so much 
 Musical instruments - there were dozens of all kinds of different instruments for the kids to try out
 All the bubbles a little boy could hope for. It was like a dream come true for our little bubble lover.
 Pure joy

Speaking as a totally biased parent, but isn't this the cutest baby boy ever created?  I just love him so much

We were sad to see my parents go, as usual, and wish they weren't so far away.  I think the next time we see them will be the imminent arrival of baby #2, which is crazy to think about. 


10 years ago today rocked our entire nation in a way that I pray we will never see again.

I would bet there isn't an adult alive who doesn't remember where they were that day.  I was a few months out of college and starting my first real job in Chicago.   I had moved the previous weekend, excited to start my new adult life, and lived in an apartment on the north side of the city with some girlfriends.  September 11 was my 2nd day of work at the Sears Tower.

I was riding the El downtown when the man behind me got a phone call and I overheard his conversation with someone telling him about some plane crash in NYC.  It seemed strange to me, but obviously couldn't be anything life-changing, since everyone around us was acting perfectly normal, heading off to work.  When I got into the training room in the Sears Tower, the person next to me was talking about some bombings in DC. I shared with him what I'd overheard and we started trying to find any news online that we could find.  There was so much confusion with information and mis-information and I was relieved when they made a building-wide announcement that they were evacuating the Sears Tower just a few minutes later.  I returned to the El and made my way back to my apartment.

I tried to call my mom but the phone systems were sporadic throughout the day, with what must have been an overload of phone calls but I reassured her I was okay, nothing had happened in Chicago - yet - when I was able to get through.  I spent the rest of the day glued to the television, stunned, scared, and deeply saddened.  Fighter jets circled the city the rest of the day and the next over my apartment.

Over the next few weeks, I saw tremendous changes in the security at the Sears Tower.  The way of life in the city was changing.  As part of my job I had to travel a lot.  Those first few months, I couldn't get on a plane without thinking about what had happened.  The flights and airports were empty - some flights had only a few people on them.  There were intense, manual security checks of all my bags.  And every time I drove into the city and saw the skyscrapers, I pictured planes flying into the tall buildings and it reminded me.  Sometimes I still think of it as I'm approaching the city skyline.  

In some ways it seems like that day was a million years ago and in some ways it seems like last week.  Who I was then - single, living in the city, naive and fresh out of college and eager to start my life - seems a lifetime ago from the mother and wife I am now.  At the time, I related the most for those who lost fiances, siblings, friends.  Now, I think mostly of those young mothers, especially those pregnant, and imagine the horror of losing your spouse and partner in such a horrific way, of babies growing up without knowing their fathers, and of parents losing their child.  3,000 children lost their parents in those few hours.

I sit with tears in my eyes tonight, thinking of those babies without parents and of parents who survived their kids.  I can't even imagine the pain of losing a child. 

We moved on as a nation.  Time has passed, new life has been created and we have shown how resilient we are.  I don't know how those who experienced such overwhelming loss moved on, I can't imagine the difficulty of getting up that next morning and going on as they have.  But nothing will ever be the same as it was before.  And I hope and I pray that we will never forget. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Pregnancy - 30 weeks

Baby girl weighs around 3 lbs and is about 15.7" long. Her muscles and lungs are maturing, head is growing and bones are soaking up all kinds of calcium. This trimester about 250 mg of calcium are deposited into her hardening skeleton every day.

How far along? 30 weeks (70 very short days out from due date)
Total weight gain/loss: yeah. I've been gaining. More than a little. I have really popped over the last few weeks and my waistline (or lack thereof) is showing it.
Maternity clothes? yes
Stretch marks? None
Sleep? It was bad last week - lots of waking up, from being hot and uncomfortable. But this week I've been back to some serious sleep again. The temperature has dropped and I've been a lot more tired.
Movement? A lot of movement these days, all around my belly
Food cravings? vanilla milkshake
Gender? girl
Belly button in or out? totally flat
What I miss: beer, not being out of breath, Barrett being able to sit on my lap without hurting my belly
What I'm looking forward to: seeing my sister and her family this weekend!
Milestones: I start my every-other-week doctor's appointments now. It's hard to believe I'm already at that stage!

I went to a doctor's appointment and got to hear little baby girl again yesterday. 135 bpm. I love hearing that little heartbeat!  I am measuring right on track and am a totally boring patient - perfect! I scheduled my appointments through October, when I start my weekly appointments, which is just crazy to think about. But ready or not, I am 75% done with this pregnancy (well let's face it, probably less than that, since this one is probably going to be 2 weeks overdue too).

I wonder about her a lot - what she'll look like, what she'll be like, how our family will change with the addition of a new little baby. I feel a little guilty because I know that I won't have the time and attention for Barrett that he'll want. He's definitely a momma's boy right now and I am sad to think that he'll be upset when he doesn't get all my time anymore. But I know it'll be good for him to have a sibling and so hopefully we'll all adjust easily!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Happy birthday, Payton!

So today is Payton's 4th birthday. In doggie years, that means he's the equivalent of 28 I think. Quickly approaching middle age and definitely showing it and then some, with his non-stop napping and white hair. He still has some puppy left in him though.

Pupper at 3 weeks

Pupper at 8 weeks

We are mildly obsessed with our dog. He's gotten the shaft a little bit since his baby brother was born, but we still know he's the oldest child in the family.

Payton has a zillion nicknames - Pay, Paytie-poo, Paytie-poo-poo-poo, Pupper, Pupperdog, Puppernut, Pupperoo, Puppernizel fo shizel, Peanut, Peanutter, Nutterbutt, Pean, Peaner, Peaner weiner, Peaner weiner the pumpkin peener, Pay-Pay, Pay-Pay le Poo (a french variation), Pean-doggle-dean, Pean-doggle-dean-the-crazy-machine, Captain Furry Sword, and Cowboy Cavalier.

He wasn't always the easy dog that he is now. Training him required me in my pajamas, boots and coat in the backyard with him in January at 6am every morning, standing in the snow so he could pee. He has destroyed a lot of things over the last 4 years, especially as a puppy. A brand new Kenneth Cole high heel, a few strings of Christmas lights, a plate, about 300 dog toys, a retractable leash, and a pair of lace underwear (don't ask). He has been rushed to the vet for eating dark chocolate, eating a tea bag, a cornea scratch, and developing an anal infection (the incident thereafter known as BungHole Part Deux). But he was trained pretty easily and knows lots of tricks and is a little smartie-pants...usually...

Payton has a lot of holiday spirit throughout the year.

Rocking New Year's Eve
Top of the mornin' on St Patty's Day
Pumpkin Pay on Halloween
Thanksgiving - our little turkeyHe wasn't so sure about the new addition to our family. I think he knew something was up when I was pregnant. He was especially affectionate with me. Towards the end of my pregnancy, he got very quiet and lethargic, almost depressed.

eyeing the new intruder
and deciding if he's a playmate or a snack?
isn't life demoralizing sometimes?
Sometimes he looks at me like "what in the world were you thinking bringing this kid home?" But he's the first one under the highchair when dinnertime is over so no sympathy from me. Even though sometimes his proximity means the food hits him, rather than the floor.

He is a much loved dog and has brought so much happiness and laughter into our home. I can't imagine our house without this little furball in it! We love our little Paytie-poo!