Sophie

I feel like a horrible blogger - not updating my blog with our excellent news until nearly a week after it occurred, but I've been understandably busy.


Sophie Eloise arrived last Thursday morning at 5 in the morning. We're both doing great, and we're all a little tired, but still. Great. She's a really good baby, and I am over the moon about her.

Then of course, there was Christmas and a houseful of guests.


I don't think we've ever been so blessed at Christmastime.

Gabbie is an excellent big sister, and I'm so proud of how well she's doing. There have been a few additional tantrums, and, just to make things a little more interesting, she came down with a cold on Christmas eve, so she hasn't been able to hold and play with her baby sister as much as she wants.

Thankfully, there are plenty of new toys in the house to keep her busy. Her favorites include her toy kitchen:


And chapstick:


(I'm glad she's so easy to please.)


But now, I'm going back to my favorite activity - baby cuddling.

Tantrums

Last night at bedtime we experienced the most epic 2-year-old tantrum to date. Gabbie is definitely not the kind of kid who calms down through crying; she just gets more and more upset until she's practically hyperventilating and we need to step in to calm her down. This kind of sucks because she gets the attention she wants which doesn't help to discourage the tantrums. But, she was over-tired (she has had short naps two days in a row, plus she refused to nap over the weekend), over-sugared, and over-indulged (it's hard not to give her what she wants these days because I feel guilty about how much her world is about to change without her having a choice in the matter), and she just lost it.

Also not helping the situation was the fact that Aaron and I couldn't help but laugh, something that sets her off even more because she gets embarrassed.

We finally got her calmed down and she was, of course, asleep two minutes later. Oh, Two. Two is interesting to say the least.

She's not the only one who regularly loses it these days, either. I am having a very hard time with concentration and patience, which doesn't lend itself well to finishing up tasks at home and work, or when dealing with a two-year-old. Last week I was feeling overwhelmed, over-tired (she's definitely not the only one; we're all exhausted these days), and it was my turn to lose it. Aaron laughed at me a little as I burst in to tears, exclaiming, "Everything is going to change!" (um, duh), and "How is my baby (Gabbie) going to handle it?" (As Aaron pointed out, we (both oldest children) and several million other oldest children have handled it just fine for thousands of years).

Someone else in our house, who shall not be named here, also threw a mini-fit about potato chips (or, really, the lack of) and how I need to replace what I finish off when I go shopping.

We're all clearly a little anxious. Even though I want the baby to show up now (GET OUT BABY!), I'll be fine with her coming next week, because then at least I'll be done with work (2.5 days left!) and then some of the anxiety will be alleviated. We're also reducing Gabbie's days in daycare during my leave, so hopefully that will also help her relax. I'm looking forward to a day of just the two of us together if we get it. If not, well, of course I have something else I can be excited about.

About as disjointed as I feel right now

Ever since this past summer, when I found out I was pregnant and then accepted the Big Promotion at work, my poor blog has been sadly neglected. I kind of feel bad about this, especially since my pregnancy with baby number two has not been nearly as well documented as my pregnancy with Gabbie was.

Other things have fallen by the wayside as well. Reading. Getting my hair cut (it's seriously long). Pretty much anything other than work, spending quality time with my family, and basic house keeping (just enough to keep it from getting gross).

So, needless to say, even though having a new baby is definite craziness, I'm kind of looking forward to how much my life is going to slow down any day now. (ANY DAY NOW! DUE SUNDAY! AHHH!) As Aaron and I were dragging our butts out of bed way too late again this morning, we reflected at how we've hit the point in this pregnancy where it feels ridiculous for people to expect anything from us, and yet here I am, working away, trying to get yet another annual report done, data collection instruments drafted, participating in conference calls and meetings, getting everything as complete as possible before I leave people here to fend for themselves.

Also, my house, while fairly decorated for Christmas, is a mess right now. I lack both the energy and motivation to care about it.

Yet, I have so much to do, and I feel like I'm running out of time. The best part about the baby? I'm pretty sure I won't care about those other things for a while. I can't wait to meet her, and get to know her, and hibernate with her and the rest of my family.

I know for sure it's not going to be a walk in the park, but I still can't wait!

Week 39

I cannot believe that I'm here already. There are less than two weeks until my due date and I'm sort of freaking out. Of course, the doctor told me again last week that I'll probably be late again. As a "hey, maybe this will make you feel better about that" kind of gesture, she told me that for babies born the week of Christmas there are special receiving blankets and they get Santa hats. I? Really don't care about blankets and hats. I just want to meet my baby!

I turned 31 last week, which was pretty much a non-event. Aaron and Gabbie got me a beautiful pair of diamond earrings and Gabbie also gave me her cold, which I have been battling ever since. I must note that coughing while having the entirety of a small person's weight on your bladder is not a gambling game I like to play. Also, pregnancy is super sexy. Obviously.

As a birthday present to myself, I scheduled a massage which ended up happening on Friday evening. In addition to being a fabulous way to end a long week, it alleviated the sciatic pain I had been dealing with for a couple of weeks. That itself was worth probably triple what the massage costs. I will be going back again.

This weekend we relaxed, which was sorely needed. My mom and sister stopped by and brought me some new comfy pajama pants and a robe, some completely adorable sweater/leggings sets for Gabbie, and a bunch of candy for Aaron. We got started on decorating the house for Christmas, and bought all but the last couple of things we need for the baby (we still just need burp cloths and about 12 more cloth diapers), and assembled the crib.

I rounded out the weekend by organizing my underwear/sock drawer and going through all of Gabbie's clothes to weed out those that don't fit her anymore. Can you say nesting? I also rounded out the weekend by daydreaming about hiring a housekeeper to do a top to bottom clean of the house. As I said to Aaron, that's how you know you're nesting but are also too sick to do anything that requires much energy.

Ways in Which my Weekend Sucked

  1. Experiencing pregnancy hormones that make me weepy at the drop of a hat
  2. Carrying a baby that likes to bounce on my bladder making running errands quite interesting.
  3. Wanting to eat out on Saturday night but being thwarted by the large crowds brought into town by the MSU/Purdue game (GO STATE!) causing hour plus waits at every restaurant in town.
  4. Dealing with the worst heartburn I've ever had.
  5. Aaron having an issue that makes it hard for him to move/lift things and causes him a lot of pain, but also having him not listen to me and do three hours plus of yard work that just made things worse.
  6. Gabbie not using her listening ears. At all.
  7. Burning the batch of granola I made that I had been looking forward to all week.
  8. Not having ingredients I needed to make dinner yesterday (I fudged the recipe and it still turned out pretty darn delicious)
  9. Slicing through my fingernail (near the cuticle) with a sharp serrated knife while trying to slice bread. (OUCH!)
  10. Having my back go out last night.
However, my weekend was spent hanging out with my family, engaging in lots of cuddling and smiling a lot despite all the suckage, and really, no amount of suckage outweighs those things.

Leaving babyhood behind, far too quickly for my taste

Intellectually I understand that Gabbie is not a "baby" anymore. However, every time we start to leave a babyish habit behind, I am a little bit sad. Currently she is without diapers, eats on our regular plates with our regular silverware, drinks out of a regular cup, and falls asleep by herself in her big girl bed. The only baby habit we had left was the binky, and it was far past time when the binky needed to go.

Gabbie, 5 months old, with The Bink

The Bink, as we called it, has been a fairly constant companion to Gabbie since we finally gave in and gave it to her when she was 10 weeks old (we are not planning to hold out this time). It has been easy to let her have it. We limited it to nights and naps (and in the car on long trips) only when she was about 18 months old, and that system has worked well for us, unless she's hurt and then it's hard not to give her something that helps comfort her so quickly. Sure, she got plenty of hugs and cuddles too, but The Bink has been our ace in the hole for all kinds of situations.

But she's closing in quickly on 2 1/2, and we are now fairly committed. The Bink has to go. Gabbie helped us along in this process last week at daycare. We had one Bink for daycare and one Bink for home. After her nap one day they couldn't find The Daycare Bink. Searching high and low yielded nothing, but they figured it would turn up when they cleaned the classroom at the end of the day. When it didn't, they gave her a loaner binky for nap the next day, and after nap they caught her about to put the loaner binky in the trash. When they asked if she had thrown away The Bink the day before, and she answered, "Yep!" before running off to play.

So, down to one Bink, we decided it was now or never. She didn't use The Bink for most of her naps at daycare last week, but I gave in a lot this weekend due to the whole single parenting gig while Aaron was at deer camp. Yesterday she went down for nap without The Bink with no problem, but then some noise by the school's maintenance crew woke her up and scared her, so they gave it to her. Last night, Aaron lied to her (and I told him it was all on him now if she caught him in the lie, which is something she's really good at) and told her that he left The Bink at school and so it would be a little while before he could go get it, and then he asked her to lay there and try to go to sleep in the meantime.

Five minutes later she was asleep and slept soundly all night with no Bink. Success! For one night at least.

This morning we sat her down for a little chat and told her that if she went all week without using The Bink, that the Binky Fairy would bring her a big present this weekend. She will do pretty much anything for even a little present, so we'll probably be heading out to the store soon to buy her the promised present. I'm so proud of my girl for being so big, but I'm still a little sad that yet another artifact from her babyhood is going away.

I'm also preparing for the battles that are likely to occur when or if she sees the baby using a bink.

She Sure is Cute!

I know you all know the saying, "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." Yeah. That's why you're getting these pictures today.



Updates of the Random Variety

Gabbie actually ate food last week! Real food! Without really any battles. It's amazing how much better my week goes when I don't have to fight with my child several times a day in order to get her to ingest a few calories. She even ate turkey pineapple chili and chicken spaghetti without a fight. It was amazing! Yesterday I was making pulled pork nachos for lunch (delicious!) and I knew she wouldn't eat those, but I gave her a plate with separate piles of chips, pork, cole slaw, and cheese sauce and she dug right in. There was a little bit of a battle to get her to try the cheese sauce, but once she did she loved it (who wouldn't?). Then she kept quoting Yo Gabba Gabba over and over again: "I tried it and I liked it!"

Of course, all of this eating doesn't come without consequence, and of course the pants that fit last week are flood pants this week.

As a reward for being so good last week, we took a family outing to local kids' science museum on Saturday morning, and she loved it. It was a blast, and we went early enough that we beat out the crowds, which were starting to get massive by the time we left. She, of course, loved it. (Especially the Bubble Room.)


Baby #2 provided all kinds of good news this morning at my OB appointment. My blood pressure was good, I didn't gain any weight since my last appointment (we've been eating healthy and avoiding take out as much as possible), Baby's heart rate was the same as always (it has been at 158 at every appointment), and the best news of all: she's head down! Now as long as she stays that way we're in business. I'm still not at the point where I'm uncomfortable all day (although I know that's not too far off), and I definitely have some limitations on what I can do, but I really can't complain all that much, which is awesome.

Lastly, I know it's only Monday, but I really can't wait until this weekend. Aaron is headed off to Beer Camp (aka Deer Camp, even though he doesn't hunt, he goes to hang out, eat fattening food, and drink good beer), and wanted to make sure someone was with me in case anything baby related went down, so my sister is spending the weekend with Gabbie and me. I'm especially excited, because I'm soaking in as much sister time as possible these days. Right now she lives with my parents (she works 60+ hours a week, and therefore would never see an apartment if she rented one) just 90 minutes away, but come March she's moving across the country to live with her boyfriend of five years (who is working on his PhD so is unable to move back here for another five years or so). I can't blame her, but I am going to miss her horribly. A girls' weekend with her sounds great right about now.

My Family is Nuts

This week all my whole family has wanted to do is stay in bed and cuddle all day. None of us has wanted to go to work or daycare, or spend time apart from one another.

Of course, now that the weekend is here, Aaron and I have made all kinds of plans that will keep us from doing that much, if at all. We're planning on breakfast out, a trip to a museum and local city market, a couple of shopping trips for things for the house, and various other items on our to-do list. I don't know what it is about the weekends, but we seem to fit in as much as humanly possible and then spend the days we need to be out of the house craving to do the opposite. We're obviously nuts.

Still, it has been a fantastic (if not quick enough) week, and it's nice when we're not all sick of each other. I mean, really, how could I ever be sick of spending time these two goofballs?


I can't wait until I have three of these nuts to deal with!

The Desire to Hibernate is Strong

I have to say, I am having a hard time thinking of anything to post about today. Despite two full-nights' sleep I am more tired today than normal. I blame being pregnant and the weather (it's supposed to snow tonight. Snow!). It's this time of year that I feel like doing nothing more than curling up on the couch with someone to cuddle, and alternately napping or watching a movie. Yep, that's about it.

Unfortunately I'm expected to do things, like work, parent, interact with my husband and others, cook, clean, etc. Don't people know it's hibernation time?

Fortunately I do get to hibernate for most of the winter. After the baby gets here, our only outings will likely be to daycare to drop Gabbie off or pick her up. I will be spending most of the winter cuddled up with the baby, watching movies or reading while she nurses or snoozes, and I kind of can't wait. Not kind of actually. I'm feeling ready for that to happen.

Now, off to do the million things I have to do before that happens, because, you know, feeling responsible and not wanting to leave extra work for others, and all that.

Updates On My Other Child

There are a couple of those pregnancy/baby week-by-week apps on my phone, and as of Sunday they both informed me that my baby could already be five pounds and 18 inches long. Those, my friends, are real baby kind of stats. Aaron and I both promptly freaked the heck out.

Then Monday came around, and the calendar turned to November, making us realize that next month we will have a baby! Not to mention I got to hold a newborn on Monday. It's starting to get really real up in here for us.

So. Updates.

So far we have sorted through clothes, and that's all the baby-related progress we have made. This weekend Aaron's honey-do list is very, very long. While I'm washing baby clothes, he'll be moving furniture around, assembling the crib in our room, and possibly painting the nursery (although she likely won't be in there for about 6 months after she's born, so that one isn't quite as urgent). Then he'll be hauling a few baby items out of the basement so I can clean them and store them in her room.

The nesting urge is still going strong, although I lack the energy to do most of what I want to get done, and spend the energy I do have nagging my family to clean up their stuff, or following around after them cleaning it up. Every time I get up to do something, Aaron tells me to sit down and relax, which is nice, but is not helping me accomplish anything.

Nesting extended to the outdoors this past weekend, when I woke up on Sunday morning and informed Aaron he would be taking down one of the bushes in our front yard. It was looking way too overgrown out there and there was one bush I thought was causing the majority of the overgrownedness (it is too a word). I was right, but now that it looks somewhat nicer, there's a few clumps of flowers (that I hate) whose days are numbered. Luckily for them it's getting (really, really) cold outside (it's supposed to snow this week!), and I'm kind of a wuss about the cold, so they may get a brief reprieve unless I can nag Aaron into taking them out.

It's obviously a blast to live with me these days!

In other news, I actually slept through the night in my own bed last night. This hasn't happened much lately, as the baby and I usually wake up sometime between 1 and 3 and head downstairs to the couch to watch TV since we'll both be up for a while anyway. She likes to party in the middle of the night, apparently. She is still a very kicky baby, although things have slowed just a little, probably because she's running out of room in there.



I can't figure out yet if she's head down, but hopefully the doctor will be able to tell at my next appointment. Starting Monday I go in for weekly appointments, which, while kind of an inconvenience, is also kind of awesome because I get to hear her heartbeat every week. I love hearing her heartbeat.

Finally, we have definitely settled on her name, and have even let it slip to family members. So, unless she really doesn't look like what we've picked, she has a name, and I love it! Although I keep calling her by her sister's name (already - this doesn't bode well for my children), or my sister's name. No one here or on Twitter has guessed it yet - but I can give a hint. There's a "p" somewhere in her name.

As for me, I'm physically feeling pretty good, although I do run out of breath easily, my hips ache, and sometimes her kicks actually hurt. I'm fairly comfortable most of the time, unless I do a little too much. Then I start aching all over and have had a few big contractions when I've really overdone it. It's great to be this far along, and I'm really getting impatient to meet the newest member of our family.

Some Gabbie-isms



This weekend was full of Gabbie-isms.

Gabbie-ism 1: She was mad at me on Saturday morning, so she pointed her finger at me accusingly, scowled, and declared, "You're not a princess!" I laughed which made her even more mad.

Gabbie-ism 2: Also on Saturday, I was upset in the morning. Gabbie grabbed my hand, rubbed it, and said, "It gonna be okay Mama." Cue the cute-induced melting right there.

Gabbie-ism 3: On Sunday we were lounging in bed watching a movie. Mid-movie, she looked at me and said, "I love you soooo much." And then I melted yet again.

Gabbie-ism 4: She has been asking "Why?" a lot lately, and it often gets to the point of the "because I said so" answer. We needed to clip her nails this weekend and she refused us several times (by throwing a fit). I finally asked her why she wouldn't let us cut her nails, and she answered, "Because I said so." I think that was the two-year-old version of getting lawyered.

Not quite a Gabbie-ism, but more a reminder to watch what I say: Gabbie said "Dammit" appropriately on three separate occasions this weekend. Thankfully they were all when we were alone.

Between these, the "Har Har Baby" pirating, and too many others to count, she definitely keeps us on our toes (and laughing heartily) these days.

Happy Halloween (with a side of NaBloPoMo)

Gabbie woke up at six yesterday morning, asking if it was time to go trick or treating yet. I think we may have overhyped that part of Halloween. I mean she obviously takes her candy very seriously:


And we had practiced the week before at Boo at the Zoo (which also gave us a chance for a dry run with the homemade Tinkerbell wings):


You might not be able to tell from the picture, but the wings are very sparkly. And very pink. When we walked into the zoo event, a 5 year old girl stopped in her tracks, pointed, and said, "Mom! She's beautiful!" (And then I melted.)

Since she was so anxious, we started the day off with a little playing dress-up:


Gabbie the Pirate says "Har Har, Baby!" (We tried to get her to say "Argh Matey" and this is her interpretation.)

Things geared up around 4, when we carved our pumpkins (being out of town the entire week before a holiday kind of sucks), ate dinner (Mummy dogs and sweet potato fries (because they're orange)), and then, finally, around 5:45 we got her into costume for a photoshoot on the front porch.


Soon after this she became "Winter Time Tinkerbell" with a hat and gloves (or according to Gabbie, gwubs) because it was pretty darn chilly.

We had played up trick or treating because we were worried about it scaring her a little. She is very shy these days, and we thought approaching and talking to strangers (or at least neighbors that she doesn't see regularly) might be a bit overwhelming for her. Not to worry though, she did great. She made it to eight houses nearby before coming home and refusing to go inside because seeing all the other kids in their costumes was her favorite part of the evening. She did such a great job!

(At least until this morning when she cried that she couldn't have candy for breakfast.)

We had a good turn-out of Trick or Treaters and ended the night watching Ghost Hunters Live and eating leftover candy. It was a pretty spectacular Halloween.

P.S. I decided to give myself a kick in the metaphorical blogging pants and join up to try NaBloPoMo again this year. Maybe this will be the year I make it all the way through! Although with the major case of pregnancy brain I have lately, it's likely I'll forget a day. I'm also NaBloPoMoing it over here.

Vacations

It is a little bit sad that attending a conference feels like vacation to me, but right now it does. I'm sitting in a cafe, working, drinking some coffee (decaf, sadly), and it's QUIET. And wonderful. Tonight I have a hotel room to myself, and even if I don't sleep well, I don't have to worry about disturbing anyone else while tossing and turning. I can even go to bed at eight and not feel guilty, like I should be doing something else with my family or that I'm leaving too many things for Aaron to do.

Aaron and Gabbie are also on "vacation" this week. Aaron has the house to himself, with no one else constantly messing it up. He can come and go as he pleases, and has a man-date scheduled for tonight to go out for beer and burgers. Gabbie is at my parents' house - we arrived last night and she has already been spoiled rotten. She literally pushed me out the door this morning. She wants her "Gwama" all to herself, thankyouverymuch.

It has definitely been a LONG past few months and we were all in desperate need for a break from one another. I'd like to say that things will be slowing down after this week, but I can't. I have another project ramping up at work (plus a new one we just landed that has to be fully set up and ready to go before I go on leave), and then of course finishing getting ready for the baby. I've always told Aaron that maternity leave is emphatically not a vacation, but it's kind of starting to look like one. Add in a brand new baby to snuggle all warm and cozy when it's so cold outside, and it's looking downright luxurious. I know once reality sets in those first few weeks, it will be far from the idyllic scene I imagine right now, but I'm really, really, looking forward to it.

The Weeks are Flying By

I'm pretty sure that Gabbie has noticed something is going to change in our house. It's not just that we keep telling her about the baby and talking about it with her, watching babies on TV so she knows they cry a lot, and reading books about being a big sister. She seems to sense that something is different and she's having a bit of a hard time with this feeling. She has been extra clingy, crying at daycare drop off, when usually she runs into the school and jumps up to give her teachers a hug. She has wanted to sit on my lap nearly constantly or if I'm standing, be holding on to me in some way. It's adorable, but also makes it hard to accomplish nearly anything.

So we've been paying her lots of attention, and doing lots of fun things with her. Like going to the "kids park" (she calls it a kids park, not just a park, apparently so we know which park she means?) and playing on the swings and slide:


We have a small neighborhood park right near our house, but her favorite park is a little further down the road. We went last Friday, which is apparently the time all the neighborhood moms take their two-year-olds to the park. It was a blast, and I got to talk to another mom for a while. I've been meaning to make more mom friends, so I think we're going to have to head to this park on Fridays more often.

For a while now, Gabbie has been very into singing and music. She sings fairly constantly, and no matter where we are. A couple of weeks ago she was belting out the ABCs at the grocery store and some older gentleman gave me a dirty look. I returned the look, since she could have been doing something much more annoying, and she was being fairly adorable, actually. We encourage the singing, since my side of the family is fairly musical, and every once in a while she loses her camera shyness and lets us record her (and then wants to watch it over, and over, and over again). Just last weekend, we managed to capture one of her current favorites, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star:

video

She is so fun, and beginning to stress about what having a new baby will be like for her. I'm so excited she gets to have a sister, and I know it will be awesome in the long run. I just don't want it to be too hard on her now (like that's possible, or like we have a choice - it's a little late for that). It helps a lot that she LOVES babies, or else I'd be a lot more worried.

(And yes, this was mostly an excuse to post even more evidence of how cute I think she is.)

Proud (soon-to-be) Big Sister

I was trying to take a belly shot this morning, and Gabbie decided she wanted in on the action. She's adorable, and I sometimes feel like I don't take nearly enough pictures of her, so of course I had to oblige.


(I totally flipped this around in Photoshop so her shirt would be readable. She's very excited about her "Sister Rainbow shirt!")

Unfortunately, due to Gabbie wearing black pants, it looks like she has no legs, I'm approximately 3 feet wide, adn there's a strange bump right below my actual bump (it's her knee). Still you can kind of see why, when I looked in the mirror today, I was fairly shocked at how enormous I am lately. I went to the dentist yesterday and they were all very kind, telling me I looked great for being 7 months along.

I also had a doctor's appointment this week. I'm on the every two-week schedule right now, which kind of blows my mind. In order to pass this feeling on to Aaron, I told him about the discussion I had with the doctor; how if I go in to labor after 36 weeks they most likely won't try to stop it. Then I went for it - 36 weeks is only 5 WEEKS AWAY. He had to lie down. We're also kind of drama queens/kings in our house lately, apparently. This whole already 31 weeks pregnant thing is blowing all of our minds. Well, except Gabbie's. She's just ready to have a baby of her very own living in her house.

Trying to Catch a Break

Last night after dinner I had reached my limit with Two. To be exact, it was 20 minutes after everyone but Gabbie had finished dinner and moved on to other activities, while she was still sitting there avoiding even looking at her dinner for fear that some of it might actually end up in her mouth. She was also loudly lamenting the fact that she had been left alone at the table by her horribly mean parents. My head was ready to explode, and though I'm not proud of it, I finally let her down from the table but not without yelling at her first.

It may be the hormones talking, but this kid refusing to eat is the most frustrating thing I've ever had to deal with. It's worse than potty training, because in this situation she's not even bribable. We tried the whole, if you eat your dinner we'll give you dessert thing, but then it just puts the idea of a dessert in her head and then she won't eat anything else, and would rather not eat either dinner or dessert than ingest a single morsel of chili or chicken pot pie. She must think that I'm a horrible person for trying to get her to eat such apparently abhorent meals.

Anyway, Aaron had been outside working on a flower bed, but heard my rather boisterous lecture and came in to intervene. The funny thing is that he didn't come in to save her, but rather to save me. He's worried about my stress level, especially as I get larger and closer to my due date, so he came in and sent me packing for an hour. I was instructed to do whatever I wanted, so long as it was away from the house and the two of them. The man has a point - the only time I get free, and to myself, is when I'm at work, and that's not quite the quality time he thinks I need.

So I went to Target, seeing as it's near our house and there were a couple of baby items I wanted to check out. The only thing I ended up buying were some Halloween window decals to use with Gabbie to decorate our sliding door, but it was nice to have a few moments to just breathe. Aaron told me I definitely have to get out at least once weekly until bambino numero dos makes her appearance, which is fine with me. Next time I'm hitting up the craft store.

As to how to deal with Gabbie and eating, though, I have no idea. I may have to research some ideas online or learn how to meditate. She's just lucky she's so funny and cute!

Let the Countdown Begin!

As of today, I have less than 10 weeks left until my due date. TEN WEEKS!  We are slightly freaking out about this, seeing as we have accomplished exactly nothing off of our "To Do Before the Baby Gets Here" list. TEN WEEKS! This is craziness!

Some things about this pregnancy, since I have written so very little about it as compared to when I was pregnant with the Gabbster:

  • Even though my due date is in 10 weeks, at my last OB visit the doctor told me she expects me to go about a week over-due again. Aaron would like us to avoid this, because a week overdue means we'll likely be in the hospital on Christmas. He is compiling a list of things to do to bring on labor, because he wants her out "on time!" Unfortunately none of them worked last time. However, I did run across this recipe not too long ago that supposedly does a good job of spurring labor within 48 hours. We will have to give it a shot!
  • Speaking of appointments, I have an appointment this week, then in two weeks, then I go to weekly appointments. I cannot believe how fast this is all going!
  • This baby likes to move. She likes to move all day and all night long. I am more than slightly frightened for what this means for after she's born. She will sleep sometime, right? Right?
  • Just like last time, I failed all of my 28 week blood tests. I was slightly over on my glucose screening and more than slightly under on where my iron levels should be. I also was slightly under on my platelet count. I went in last week again for the 3-hour glucose test (I officially hate that test) and more blood work, and this time everything looked good. I'm still slightly anemic, but I don't have gestational diabetes, and my platelets were back in the normal range. I'll probably have to have more bloodwork done to monitor my platelet levels, but it is such a huge relief to have the second round of tests come back so much better.
  • Following said 3-hour glucose test, I had a major sugar crash. I was hot, then cold and clammy, then nauseous, then I couldn't keep my eyes open. I took the rest of the day off (using what precious little sick time I have), and it was glorious. I napped, read, watched my favorite shows, and generally enjoyed the quiet time for the entire afternoon. Ah, the quiet time.
  • In less happy news, my first stretch marks arrived this weekend. Last time I didn't get them until I was in the final month of my pregnancy, so I was hopeful I would see a repeat of that luck, but I guess since my belly expanded a bit more rapidly this time I should still count myself lucky.
  • I took a picture of my belly the other day, but I forgot to put it here. I will have to do that tonight. We've been horrible about taking belly pictures, so I'm determined to take one now every week until the baby gets here.
  • I have had a hell of a time sleeping lately. Between heartburn, a racing brain, a full bladder, and a kicking baby, I usually wake up a few times a night and am typically up for the day around five in the morning. Last night I slept nearly all night and woke up at six. It was heaven.
  • We have a name picked out! A name Aaron and I love, and that Gabbie can say, and we've had a hard time keeping it a secret. We've told a few friends and family members, but will probably keep it a secret everywhere else until she arrives. (Guesses are welcome, of course.)

Not So Perfect Timing

On Sunday morning I woke up seriously early due to a nightmare. The nightmare was kind of silly, and brought on by someone possibly having hacked my iTunes account (which totally sucks!) - I dreamed that someone had broken into our house and only stolen our old laptop. Weird right? But disturbing enough that I was wide awake and trying to get one of my biggest fears out of my head.

Fast forward to Monday night (technically very early Tuesday morning). I had fallen asleep watching a Netflix movie on our iPad. (FYI...this post is not sponsored by Apple.) Anyway, I had the iPad propped up against an extra pillow on Aaron's side of the bed. I was half awake at around 2:30, and when I rolled over, I assumed that the lump on Aaron's side was him sleeping there. So, of course, when I heard a door shut downstairs, and then someone flush a toilet (why a robber would be using our bathroom, I have no idea), I seriously FREAKED.

Of course, the person downstairs was Aaron and the lump on his side of the bed was the pillow, which I discovered when I grabbed what was supposed to be Aaron's arm to wake him up and let him know that SOMEONE WAS USING OUR BATHROOM!

Aaron had fallen asleep on the couch, and headed up to our room following his bathroom trip. I was laughing to myself, and got him laughing too when I told him about what had happened. The timing, though, just after I had that dream, was impeccable.

Because I need to laugh

This week is eating my soul, I think. All I know is I work from sun up to sun down and then crash the second my head hits the pillow, only to wake up at about 2:30 am and unable to sleep well the rest of the night. We're headed to my parents' house this weekend and I think I will use that time to hide in the guest room with Mockingjay and frequent naps. Man, that sounds like heaven.

Anyway, here are five things that have made me laugh this week, just when I needed the laughter most.

1. Aaron was outside picking pears off of our tree, and got stung. The funny part is where he got stung - on his butt! Even he was laughing.

2. Gabbie has had a couple of potty accidents this week, but we can't get too upset about them, because most have been because she was too excited to get back to what she was doing and didn't finish going before she stood up. Oh, the things we have to learn in this life!

3. The Big Bang Theory last night. It was awesome.

4. Gabbie, though being annoying due to moving approximately the pace of molasses in January, singing "I'm a Little Teapot" and dancing to the car this morning.

5. Gabbie, again, bossing us around at dinner last night. Such authority from such a little person! She really does think she's the boss.

I thought weekends were for making you less exhausted

Oh, this past weekend is so on my list. Thank goodness it's over! It was a mix of not sleeping, toddlers refusing to eat, crabby adults, pregnancy aches, and a severe case of the pregnancy weepies. I really wish there was a do-over button, because I can think of a million ways to improve upon what just happened.

Can I rant on the toddlers refusing to eat for just a moment? We've been giving Gabbie the ability to choose what she wants to eat (within reason) for things like breakfast and weekend lunches. Yesterday we asked her what she would like to eat, and she said she wanted noodles and sauce. So we made her noodles and sauce. She ate one noodle, sans sauce, and then requested a treat. She is now grounded (what a milestone!) from treats until next Sunday, because she expects one for every piece of semi-healthy food she puts in her mouth and that's completely unacceptable. Aaron told Gabbie that she'd better eat up because I had threatened her with this and I don't make threats easily. I'm the more laid back parent, but when she does enough to make me upset? Watch out. I don't make idle threats. We even told her daycare teacher about the no sweets rule, and she totally agreed to make sure Gabbie got no treats this week. Consequences - she has to learn them, and this is the least painful way we can think of to teach that lesson.

I don't have too much to say about the pregnancy weepies other than they started out with a conversation about eclairs (seriously) and ended up with me wailing about how I can't handle a toddler that won't eat, a crabby husband (mostly about the not eating), AND a newborn, so they all have to shape up. Unreasonable, probably, but pregnancy hormones and reasonableness are not acquainted I don't think.

On Saturday we hosted my friend's husband and toddler for the day while she was in town for a couple of meetings. At the end of a (VERY LONG, mostly because it started at 4:45 am with a kicky baby) day we decided to all go out for dinner before they headed back home. That was a mistake, to say the very least. We realized at the end of the meal that the adults hadn't talked at all because we spent the entire time wrangling toddlers. Next time we're hiring a babysitter and doing an adults only dinner, because we totally deserve it.

The only redeeming thing about this weekend is that I didn't have to work and I got to spend quality time with my family. They're cute and all, so I think I'll keep them around, even if they do make me insane.

Friday Tidbits

I seem to have lost my mind (or at least my memory), so you get short bits and pieces today, because I'm afraid I'd get lost if I tried to write more than that and make a coherent point. Pregnancy brain, sleepless nights (HEARTBURN!), and finally wrapping up my huge work project are to blame, I'm sure.
  • I had an OB appointment this morning and everything looks great with both me and the baby. Her heartbeat was strong and immediately present when the doppler hit my belly. I'm measuring perfectly and had the best blood pressure reading I've ever had when attending an OB appointment. I was already in a great mood this morning, and now I can't wipe the smile off my face. Such an excellent start to the day!
  • I feel like I could do a whole, "Kids Say the Darndest Things" episode from the things Gabbie comes up with each week. She's so incredibly verbal (even if I am the only one that understands her half the time), and picks up on EVERYTHING that is said. Seriously everything. She has been sort of anti-bath lately, as she'd rather keep playing than get clean. We've tried everything to get her in there and have found that humor is our best weapon. So, when it's bath time we tell her it's time to go clean up because she has a stinky butt. Bathroom humor works with toddlers every time! Well, the other morning as I was getting ready to jump in the shower, Gabbie started softly giggling to herself. I asked her what was so funny, and she replied, "Mommy has a stinky butt!" Hilarious, Kid. Thanks.
  • Is it sad that I've been looking forward to Saturday all week because I'm making meatball subs and I can't wait to eat them? I thought maybe.
  • Also on the food related front, I think I'm giving up fast food again. I had been going strong eating at some fast food place about twice a week for the past couple months, but something happened recently that has made me cut it out cold turkey. This is really gross, so you may want to skip over this bullet if you're eating or have a weak stomach. So, at a local Mickey D's they were having problems with their frozen drink (frappe latte and smoothie) machine. It was sometimes working and sometimes not, and had been going on for a while, so finally someone decided to see what was up. Do you want to know what was up? Maggots were up. They were clogging the machine. Even worse? An employee said they were pressured to keep selling the products even though the cleanup was not successfully completed. Thankfully (very, very thankfully) this is not a branch of the establishment that I've ever visited. And now I most certainly never will. EWWWW!
  • To change topics completely: I think I may be a geek. Today I told Aaron that instead of going to work today, I would prefer to stay home and watch Ghost Hunters and Destination Truth, along with a few other of my favorite SyFy shows. In fact, most of my favorite shows air on SyFy. It's a little sad how geeky I am. If only my sorority sisters could see me now.
  • And, I'll wrap up on pregnancy related stuff too. Aren't you excited? Anyway, I haven't had too many consistent cravings during this pregnancy, just mostly fleeting, "You know what would be really excellent right now?" thoughts that I can usually ignore. Not bad, and helpful in the weight gain deparment (in the third trimester and only up 10 pounds!). However, the one thing I have been craving consistently is totally weird, because it's something I have never liked up until about 10 weeks ago. I really always want sliced black olives on everything. Pizza? Load it up. Nachos? Sounds fabulous. In fact, right now I think that some cheese fries topped with black olives would be excellent.

Big Girl Type Accomplishments

I haven't written about it much, other than to say that it might be the death of me, but we've been working hard on getting Gabbie potty trained. I really wanted a few months without diapers, and I don't want to jinx it, but it looks like we might have reached that goal! I have about three months left before our Littlest Miss gets here and Gabbie has been accident free for over a week now.


Potty training may be the hardest thing I ever did. Throw in a busy work schedule, a strong pregnancy gag reflex that caused my husband to have to be the only one who had to deal with the number two type accidents, and all kinds of evening and weekend plans, and you get one stressed out family. Gabbie was ready, though. I don't think we would be where we are without daycare, and their strong efforts in the potty training arena as well. The peer pressure from the other kids in her class, big girl underpants with "Melmo" (Elmo), "Ancy Ancy" (Fancy Nancy), and "Minnamuss" (Minnie Mouse) didn't hurt either.

I am not above bribery to get my way in certain situations, and so we bribed with treats, "big treats" (fancier candy when she did a number two), and small presents for entire days (or entire multiple days as she progressed) without accidents. Now that she has gone more than a week, I'm thinking we'll get her one more surprise and then call it quits with all the treats. We've been phasing them out anyway.

As our work stress levels have lessened a bit, we've been able to see more humor in the whole process. Aaron has taken a page out of Gabbie's book and run out of the bathroom announcing to the room, "I PEED!" (Then I about peed - he should know better than to make a pregnant lady laugh so hard.) She's so proud of herself, though, that she can't help but announce her success, and sometimes clap too, every time she goes to the potty.

The best humor came a few weeks ago when Gabbie came with me for a potty break in a fairly crowded department store restroom. As I was taking care of business, Gabbie busted out with the clapping and a "Yay Mommy" for my potty success. There was snickering from the rest of our audience in the room, and one mom reminisced with me about when she was going through the same thing. It was pretty awesome.

I'm so proud of my big girl. She is growing up so much every day, and I feel like every time I blink she's doing something new. Two may sometimes be terrible, but I have to admit I'm enjoying it quite a lot. Even more now that I don't have to change diapers!

Kids!

This one's a little photo-heavy. Sorry if it takes forever to load!

On Sunday when my parents were here, Gabbie was playing alone by herself in the family room for a short time. All of the sudden she started running back and forth between the toy box and the couch, yelling, "Yes! Yes! Yes!" I let her continue for a couple of minutes before I checked up on what she was doing (with camera in hand, of course). 


You can't really tell from the top picture as well as from this second one, so:


She was dressing up her baby with Mr. Potato Head parts. See the arms shoved in the baby's sleeves? And the nose in the baby's mouth? And my favorite, because she always tries to be just like me - the glasses shoved up on top of her head ("Glasses Hat!", or rather, "Gwasses Hat!")

I'm crying laughing right now because the whole thing was so hilarious. You may have had to be there for the full effect, but I just love how creative my girl is. She's full of imagination lately, and personality too. It's awesome.

Also awesome was getting to watch her interact with her second cousin once removed (? - Aaron's cousin's baby) a few weekends ago. I mean, I already knew she loved babies, but she was pretty darn adorable with this one.


She wanted to hold her the whole time we were there. She got to hold the baby a couple of times and was pleased as punch (until the baby pulled on her braid right after this picture was taken; then she was done).


And, just for fun, here's a picture of my other kid (!):


We have other, much better pictures of her from our most recent ultrasound experience, but our scanner isn't hooked up right now, and these were on a disc. You'll have to take my word on it, but she looks just like her sister. If this second kid is as cute, smart, and funny as Gabbie, we're in big trouble!

Feathering My Nest

I am in little doubt that the nesting phase of this pregnancy is in full swing. I didn't really go through this at all with Gabbie, so it's a new feeling to me, this wanting to have my house in perfect order, everything set up where it needs to be and ready to go for when the baby gets here. I think it might have been apartment living that squelched the nesting last time. I couldn't really do anything other than wash and fold her clothes and get them put away, and make sure we had the gear we needed. So nesting last time was more like shopping, and I wanted to do that all the time.

This time, I don't really have the urge to shop, but if I could take off work and paint the baby's room today, I would. I'd also sew or knit her up a blanket, have all of Gabbie's baby clothes sorted, washed, and put into dresser drawers, have a freezer full of meals ready to go, and have my house sparkling clean from top to bottom, end to end. This is so weird!

Another example of the weirdness? I have an overwhelming urge to clean out my refrigerator, freezer, and pantry, get them well stocked, and ready to go. I also told Aaron this morning that we're going to make a Google calendar filled up with when we need to do certain chores, when bills are due, and other goals and milestones ready to go, so we don't get too disorganized when Baby J arrives. I also put up a dry erase board on the back door so that I can make sure to look at a list and have everything I need for the day when leaving in the morning. This is not normal for me at all!

As of today, I have slightly less than 2 weeks left until I'm in the third trimester, and if I could accomplish my huge to do list before then I would.

Speaking of the huge to do list, here are the things I'd like to do before Baby J gets here in December:

1. Paint nursery
2. Get furniture assembled and in place
3. Get baby gear cleaned up and in place
4. Get clothing organized/purchased, washed, and in place
5. Buy new life insurance
6. Get those wills in order
7. Decorate my entire house
8. Freeze a bunch of meals (try to talk Aaron into buying a small deep freeze so I can freeze even more. It's a sickness.)
9. Get all Christmas Shopping done by November
10. Can a bunch of jams and other foods
11. Get Gabbie's baby book completed, order a bound book full of Gabbie's baby photos, and organize all that related stuff
12. Clean the carpets throughout the house
13. Buy some containers to properly organize pantry
14. Finish unpacking or at least put unpacked boxes on shelves so the basement is organized
15. Take a nap

I think that's everything. Probably not. I also have to fit in work and family togetherness, plus all of the baking and other holiday prep that I love to do every year. Oh, and I'm hosting Thanksgiving, less than a month before my due date. I'm clearly crazy.

A Few Moments of Gabbie-Awesomeness

This weekend was full of Gabbie-Awesomeness (as well as a few large puddles on the floor, but we'll ignore those for now. Potty training! I think it is what is going to break me!) She was mostly a happy, fun toddler, and acted adorably, even while being dragged around Ikea for nearly five hours on Sunday.

The best thing about Gabbie lately, I have to say, is all the talking and the kinds of things she tells us. At said Ikea we bought her a play tent because of how well she behaved. We set it up first thing when we got home and then let her play while we started dinner. Well, she wanted us to come play too, so she stood in the doorway to the kitchen and yelled. "Hey Guys! C'mon!" She calls us "guys" all the time lately and it's adorable.

Later that night I decided to tackle the large box of medications, dental floss, bandages, and other accoutrement that have existed under the sink since we moved. More than a year ago. So I sat on the bathroom floor and sorted. When the box was empty I had quite the mess on the floor to put away somewhere. This is when Gabbie came running around the corner, then froze in her tracks, eyes wide, paused for a second and then said, "Mama! Clean that up!" I had to go to the bathroom (like always these days) so I told her I would in a minute after I went potty. During the minute I was in there, she told me to, "Clean that up!" two more times. She's a little bossy sometimes. We say she knows what she wants and isn't afraid to let us know.

Gabbie accompanied me to the grocery store the other night and wanted to be mama's big helper, so I let her walk next to the cart, pick up the items I needed off the shelf, and put them in the cart. As she did, she's ask what each item was. "What's that, Mommy?" I'd let her know, and with each item, especially the bacon, she'd excitedly exlaim, "Ooo! I lika bacon too!" It was nice seeing all the smiles and giggles coming from the other shoppers. I was giggling along with them. She's just so cute and fun these days!

But my absolute favorite is how excited she gets when she does something for herself, which is what she tries to do all the time lately. She dresses herself, buckles herself into her car seat and booster at the table, climbs onto the couch, and on, and on. When she manages to accomplish what she's trying to do, she will typically excitingly exclaim, "I dood it!" I know it's far from proper English, but it's so cute I can't bring myself to correct her.

Bedroom Action (Not what you think)

My brain is full of all sorts of uninteresting-to-a-blog-audience types of things (Logic models! All those emails I have to deal with! Meeting agendas! Oh my!). This new job while still wrapping up my old job thing is kind of kicking my ass.

So! A couple of semi-interesting (probably to only me) things going on right now include bedrooms. Gabbie's bedroom, our bedroom, and the soon-to-be nursery, to be exact. The top floor of our house is full of change and excitement (and sleep, thankfully)!

Gabbie's room has been painted (I need to get a better picture than I've been able to capture so far) a lovely pale lilac. It took us the better part of a day, but I have to say that Aaron and I do a darn fine job painting. It looks great!

This weekend we added a new feature to her room: a big girl bed. I really don't know how she's old enough for this already, but it seems she is. Instead of anything fancy, she has a twin-sized matress on the floor. The main reason for this is that she seems to have inherited a less-than-desirable trait from me: the propensity to fall out of bed on a regular basis. We are definitely lacking in the grace department overall, but most definitely in the falling category. My mom started me out in a regular bed, but then, after a couple of black eyes from hitting the floor with a great big smack, she learned her lesson and put me on a mattress on the floor. I'm taking that lesson learned and running with it because my heart cannot take too many additional falls (like the tumble she took down the stairs, or the near-fall in the shower, or when she tried to fall backwards onto her beanbag chair but missed and smacked her head on the couch (the hard part), all of which happened in less than 24 hours between Friday night and Saturday morning). She's trying to kill me, I swear it! We need to add a few finishing touches, like something on the walls, a lamp by our reading chair, and a bedspread (not that she keeps one on her) and then her big girl room will be complete.

Our room is also set to undergo quite the transformation. We bought a bedroom set last year, but now we want to paint the walls and trim (we have the paint purchased, just have to slap it up on the walls), put in wood floors, add a sitting area (i.e. purchase some more furniture), and possibly buy and mount a small television, and we'll be all set. Aaron wants to have this all done by the time I hit my third trimester (in just under six short weeks!) so that we have a nice, relaxing retreat. He's adorable, and I think I'll keep him around.

The nursery is getting the least amount of work done - we have to paint it, reassemble the crib, and move in my old dresser and the glider. Maybe some artwork on the walls too, we'll see. We're waiting until after my ultrasound this Friday, during which we'll get a firm answer on the baby's sex (HOPEFULLY!) and then we'll finalize our paint color decision (I'm pretty sure it will be green either way).

Having a house is a lot of work. Finally getting it the way you want it is even more. And the anxiety and challenges that accompany moving a toddler to a big girl bed? May just be what pushes me over the edge. I'm knocking on wood that she stays put just like she has the past two nights. I can deal with it taking her 45 minutes to fall asleep if only she promises not to wander in the middle of the night. Seriously, I don't think my heart can handle one more fright.

This is the toughest job I've ever had, that's for sure!

Since I have the world's most OCD toddler, I should know better than to do things like leave my pajamas on the bathroom floor after a shower, or sit in the wrong chair at breakfast, or even wait longer than five minutes to throw away my popsicle stick. "Whassat, Mommy?" I hear every time something is out of place. Or, "No, Mommy! There!" when I've put something somewhere other than where it's supposed to go.

I know kids this age are very routine-driven and that the routines help them have some control over their mostly control-less world, but sometimes I don't want to get up right away because I just settled in and am finally comfortable. Sometimes I am slightly out of breath (because the baby is stealing my air, I swear it) and I want to sit down rather than bend over and pick up something I left on the floor. But if I do things my way instead of hers, I hear about it. Oh, boy, do I hear about it.

It's a hard balance, my wishes against her will. Sometimes she has to do things my way, because my way is the safe way, or the polite way, or we're finally going to get this potty training thing down, damnit (although, I know I can't force that one). Sometimes, I let things slide. I pick my battles. I may not let her play with playdoh on the carpet, but I'll let her have a cookie right before dinner. (The kid is way too skinny, so I let her get away with a lot of things food-wise. Still she picks fruits and vegetables most of the time.) I make her hold my hand when we're walking through parking lots or crossing streets, even though she hates it. If she doesn't hold my hand, we don't move. That one is slowly sinking in. However, if she insists on turning on the hallway light, because that's the one she can reach, or buckling herself into her carseat, I let her.

Two is tough. It's tough (yet kind of cute and funny) when someone is shrieking, "NO THANK YOU!" in your face because they don't want to change their diaper that you can smell from two rooms away. It's tough when she is disagreeing just for the sake of disagreeing because she wants her own way. It's tough not to tell her to shut up when she's being obnoxious. But I don't want to squash her personality, her will to fight for what she wants and speak up for her preferences. I tell her to play nice, but I don't want her to fall into that trap that many women do, where we only do the nice thing and compromise ourselves. I want her to be herself, but sometimes I just want her to do what I want her to do because I'm tired and I can't handle all the noise or run around or play on the floor like I used to. (I guess two and pregnant may be harder than just two by itself.) How do I balance my wants against her will? Raising her to be a good, polite citizen of the world without squashing her individuality?

There are many tough but important jobs out in the world, but in my opinion, being a good parent is the toughest and yet the most important. Because, maybe, if I'm good enough at my job, she'll go out there and change the world.

Lazy Weekend

Following a weekend away and a hellishly busy work week during which I worked both my former and new jobs, our house looks not unlike a small tornado had gone through. Aaron and I were both looking forward to the weekend in order to get the place back into shape.

Then Saturday morning happened, when we all lazed around in bed until a time we haven't woken up to see in quite some time, then decided to head out for a day of family fun and togetherness. Nearly ten hours later we made it back home, having eaten breakfast, seen some ballet dancers, bought paint, gone for a walk, and then out to dinner. Then we all fell into bed.

Sunday was going to be it. We were going to get things done! We made a long list of everything we needed to accomplish and set out to get it done. Gabbie I made banana muffins while Aaron did some yard work. Then Aaron came in to check out something on the computer, which turned into a quick round of our new favorite computer game (Ticket to Ride, and yes I'm aware of what huge dorks we are). While Gabbie colored and played with her babies (and may have watched a movie - mama needed a nap), Aaron and I switched off playing our game until dinner time. This is not to say that we didn't get anything done - I framed some pictures and Aaron cleaned the kitchen and, um, that might have been it. However, those were just a very few of the things on our very long to-do list.

There was one thing about this weekend that we did accomplish, though. We all spent the weekend happy, which was a distinctly different mood from how we came into the weekend - exhausted and crabby at the world. So far the happiness has held, which makes me realize that I don't care if my house is in need of a little tidying up, what matters much more to me is that I have a house full of a happy family who had a great time hanging out together all weekend. That lazy weekend was just exactly what we all needed.

Snippets of the past two plus weeks

  • On Friday the 23rd, we had our middle-of-the-pregnancy ultrasound. It went well, the baby looks healthy, but was also pretty uncooperative. We are fairly sure we're having another girl (!!!), but we will get another look to make sure (along with a better look at her heart, diaphragm, and her profile, as she was hiding these things too) on August 20th. I can't wait to get another peek in there at this little baby who insists on kicking me pretty much continuously these days! (I absolutely love that she kicks me pretty much continuously these days!)

  • Last Thursday I finally got word that I got the promotion I had applied for last month! Which is totally awesome, but also comes with a buttload more work, because I still have to keep on doing some of my former position duties. All in all though, this promotion is a great thing. I'm excited to go to work again! My days have flown by lately, and before I know it it's time to go home, and once I get home, I blink and it's time to go to bed. This is why I've sucked at blogging lately (among other lazy reasons). 

  • Aaron and I escaped for a weekend up north on Friday. We took Gabbie to my parents' house and then headed up to our favorite place in the state - Traverse City. We stayed in a really, incredibly lovely bed and breakfast, and spent the whole weekend eating and sleeping and enjoying being together. It was wonderful, and I'm really glad we took the chance to get away just the two of us. We really needed it.

  • Weird pregnancy factoid - I have never in my life liked any kind of olives. I have tried to like them, but I just can't. Until lately, that is, because now I want sliced black olives on everything. So weird!

  • Weird pregnancy factoid #2 - Not that I've tested this out *ahem*, but this pregnancy has made fantastic changes to my hair, including the ability to go at least 3 days without showering and it still looks fresh. One of those pregnancy things I wish would stay around forever.

  • I found myself wishing today that I could vote a split ticket in the state's primaries. We have crap choices for our next governor, especially on the democrat side. I care much more about which republican candidates don't make it past the primary (there are some seriously shady and way-too-conservative choices over there), but I chose the most ethical choice and stuck to the democratic candidate who has better records and policy toward women and the environment. I still wish I could have played spoiler on the republican side though. Michigan polictics are such a mess (*ahem*Kwame*ahem*)!

  • Speaking of polictics, if you made it past that last painfully boring bullet point, there's something that has been cracking me up lately. I listen to NPR in the car (another weird pregnancy thing - I have a hard time listening to music or being around loud noise, it's just too much to handle), and they are frequently interviewing republican politicians who spend the whole interview complaining about Obama and the other democrats playing politics. I'm sorry, isn't that kind of their whole job as politicians? There are quite a few lawmakers over there that need to stop whining and actually do their jobs. (Okay, I'll step off my soapbox now.)

  • Okay, I'll end with something fun. (At least it's fun for people other than me.) Lately, when Gabbie doesn't want to do something she lets us know by saying, "No thank you," which yes, is polite. Until you hear it a million times or have it screamed in your face. Then it becomes less funny and polite. My family thought it was hilarious until they heard it a million times this past weekend. A couple of weeks ago, we were home in the afternoon, and Gabbie really needed to take a nap. She had refused to clean up her toys (instead kicking them under the couch), screamed at me for a treat (she is so two these days), and was throwing a huge tantrum. So, I picked her up and took her upstairs to her crib. She spent the next 30 minutes, laying down, kicking the matress and slats, and screaming, "NO THANK YOU" at the top of her lungs. I finally couldn't take it anymore (see the above weird noise thing) and took her downstairs and plopped her in front of a movie. But, even though it's annoying, I chuckled a little bit at her using politeness during a tantrum and I'm sure we'll look back at this a few years from now and think that it was all very adorable.

Tomorrow!

At 10:00 tomorrow morning I'll be at my doctor's office hoping to God they'll let me pee a little bit before they do the ultrasound. Did those of you who haven't had kids know that they make you drink 32 oz. of water an hour before your ultrasound and you have to hold it until they're done? And it usually takes about 30 minutes for the ultrasound? All while a little person is kicking your bladder, like, "Hey! Give me some room here, Ma!" and you're hoping to all things holy you don't pee yourself? It's a good thing they let you look at the baby and will even tell you the baby's sex if possible, because otherwise that whole thing would totally not be worth it.

We have no clue what we're having. No inkling. No preference either, except for a healthy baby. We'd be heros on Aaron's side of the family if it's a boy, because this is probably the last chance to carry on the family name. My side would be happy either way, as long as they get to hold the baby as much as humanly possible once it arrives. I just can't wait to go get a peek at the baby tomorrow. I'm having trouble sitting still and am guessing I won't be able to sleep tonight. It's a good thing I took tomorrow off work, because I'm sure I'd be useless the whole day.

SO EXCITED!

So what say you? What do you out there think I'm having?

Spaghetti!

So, so two

Gabbie has been eating us out of house and home lately. She's still pretty picky, but she has been constantly requesting food. More, and more, and more food. We, of course, are thrilled that she finally seems to be subsisting on more than air and crackers, and give her dish after dish of food. She's still a skinny kid, so we were wondering where it was all going. Then I took this picture yesterday morning and realized:
  

Growth spurt! Look at how tall she is getting! Those legs look about a million miles long. (As is her hair!)

Two is pretty fun and challenging at the same time these days. There are plenty (PLENTY) of tears, but nearly as many hugs and laughs. This morning we were all sitting in bed, and out of nowhere Gabbie wagged her finger at Aaron, saying, "Stop, Daddy. Just. Stop." Aaron and I busted out laughing, so of course she continued telling each of us to, "Just stop!" (Apparently that's what she is told at school when she's crying for no reason whatsoever. Two!)

One of her new habits lately is that if she's sad she walks up to me with a pout on her face and says, "Bed." This can either mean she is ready to go to her bed or that she wants to go snuggle in my bed, and Lord help you if you pick the wrong one. Every time we go upstairs she has to climb ahead of us, up on the first stair, and turn on the hallway light. Again, if you do it for her? Hell to pay. Or, she'll turn it off and then on again. Same thing with her car seat. She MUST buckle it herself, and if you do it you will be rewarded with tears. But then there's the insisting on clinking glasses together and saying cheers before you drink. There's coloring and tickling and much, much laughter.

Gabbie likes things a certain way and isn't afraid to tell us. I hope this is something she keeps doing; it's so easy to compromise and go along with others, and that's not always bad, but she speaks up for herself and I want her to keep that trait. It's so much fun seeing the person she's growing into, and it makes me excited that we get to do this all over again, because choosing her dad and making her were the two best decisions I've ever made.

Bits and Pieces

Coming off of a weekend that nice, it's hella hard to be back at work this morning. My brain hasn't quite regained the necessary focus, so I figured I'd brain-dump here and see if that helps. We shall see.

1. The baby has a new nickname. We started out calling the baby Baby J, but now he/she is known as Kicky. I'm seventeen weeks along and I'm getting some pretty strong kicks for such a small baby. It's awesome though. Kicks are my very, very favorite part of being pregnant. Oh, there it goes again! I don't remember Gabbie moving so much - she was kind of short on space in there and was a pretty calm baby. This one? I could be in for some major movement for the next 23 weeks. (I just had to do some subtraction on a calculator to figure that out. My brain? Is gone. The "pregnesia" this time is way worse than I had with Gabbie.)

2. This weekend we started to tackle potty training at home. It went pretty well - we only had one accident and one foot-stomping, wailing tantrum after her nap when she didn't want to give up the diaper (we soon found out it was because she was about to soil it and didn't want to try doing that on the potty just yet). I'm not above bribing her on this, and getting a treat every time she went on the potty seemed to work pretty well.

3. We went to see Dispicable Me on Saturday morning, and we all really enjoyed it. The sound in the theatre was a little loud and Gabbie didn't really like that part, but she really loved the minions and the music. She got down off my lap and danced a few times during the movie. Aaron laughed like crazy and I got in a few good giggles too. Ultimately, it was very sweet and it will be joining our movie collection when it comes out on DVD.

4. Our neighbors down the street celebrated the husband's 40th birthday this weekend, and his gift was a new dog that they brought home yesterday mid-day. A cute little beagle, that they haven't named yet. Last night just as True Blood was starting, the wife knocked on our door - the dog escaped and they can't find him. Aaron headed out on his bike to circle the wooded area near our house, and I kept a look out through the back yards. Neither of us spotted the dog and they were all still out looking when I went to bed. I feel so bad for them and can't get it out of my mind. I hope they will have good news by the time we get home tonight!

5. Speaking of - for those who watch it, what did you think of True Blood last night? Aaron thought it was a little too sensationalist - especially the dripping blood at the end (that shouldn't be a spoiler). My favorite part was the preview for next week which looks like it might finally move the story along a little more. I also wish they were doing more of the Alcide story - this was one of my favorite books and I'm missing the parts they're leaving out.

6. We did a lot of baking and cooking yesterday. We had a ton of eggs we needed to use, because we get a dozen every other week right now through the CSA. With more than a dozen sitting in the fridge and another dozen arriving on Wednesday, we had to come up with something that would use up some eggs. We had a baked egg dish for breakfast, I mixed up some brioche dough from the ABin5 cookbook, and Gabbie and Aaron made banana bread (Gabbie's favorite, especially when she gets to help bake it). We also made chicken taquitos and red rice for dinner last night, which was delicious. I'm sure you'll see much more about all of these things over at my other site this week. All that cooking was totally worth the three loads of dishes we had to do yesterday.

Why do short weeks always seem so long?

I am, like most, I imagine, very incredibly gleeful that today is Friday. One would think that since I only worked three days this week (and yesterday was a short day because I left an hour early due to discomfort caused by ill-fitting pants), that I wouldn't be as eager as usual to get out of here, but I'm pretty sure I'm more eager than usual to make my escape. This week has been a long one, despite the short work-week.

Be forewarned - there is grossness ahead.

It all started last Friday night. Gabbie complained that her tummy hurt, but since she was a little, um, gassy, I figured that was it and we all sat down to eat our favorite Friday night type dinner - bowls of snacks while watching a family movie. Among those bowls of snacks were two of Gabbie's favorites, fresh strawberries and Cheetos (no judgement please). So she went to town. I tried to slow her down on the strawberries, and had to eventually take them away, because she did not need to eat an entire quart of berries on her own. Then she went to town on the Cheetos.

It was shortly after this that we realized the neighbor had his teenaged kids for the weekend. His teenaged kids who spent last weekend lighting off firecrackers at all hours of the night (including one in our mailbox, and they're lucky they were back at their mom's house when I found that). Accordingly, we hightailed it out of there 12 hours earlier than planned and headed north to my parents' house. The trip was fine apart from a few wails from the backseat due to a hurting tummy.

We should have known what was coming. (I would like to stop here, and comment on all the people who have told me they've never had to deal with a vomitting kiddo. They are lucky people and should keep their mouths shut when you're at the store buying Pedialyte pops and Saltines. Next time they get to deal with my frequent puker.)

Five minutes from my parents' house, Gabbie started crying again and then, suddenly, let loose a wave of vomit across the back seat. Strawberry, Cheeto vomit. (We aren't currently in the market for either of those two foods, thanks, and I don't think we will be for quite a while.) We pulled over, cleaned her up as best as possible, and threw her in the bath as soon as we arrived. This was followed by two more puking instances, and some really gross diapers the next day. I'm kind of glad now that we are lagging behind on our potty training plans.

Saturday afternoon she started acting like herself again, so we figured we were in the clear. Fast-forward to 12:30 AM on Monday, and you'd find me curled in a ball on my parents' couch completely understanding why Gabbie was crying about her stomach ache. I had the worst stomach cramps ever! Aaron was felled at about 4:30 AM and we both spent the day sleeping and being thankful that my parents were around to watch Gabbie, because we would have been horrible parents that day.

We finally felt that we could commit to the two hour car ride home mid-day on Tuesday, and I started feeling closer to 100% yesterday. I also would like to acknowledge here that a rumbly tummy accompanied by a kicky baby makes things twice as uncomfortable, at the very least. And tricky to judge.

This weekend? We're staying put and not committing to anything. Except maybe a trip to the pool or out to the movies. Fun things, since we missed out on all the fun last weekend.

Guessing Game

I had another prenatal appointment this morning, and I got to do one of my very favorite things in the world: hear the baby's heartbeat! It took several long seconds to find it (just like the baby's big sister was, apparently, this baby is also not a fan of being pushed on with the doppler wand and moves away as soon as the pressure starts), but then the sound of a strong, quick heartrate filled the room, and it was glorious. Can I also talk about how cool my iPhone is and that I was able to record the heartbeat and then send it to Aaron so he could listen too? SO COOL!

Anyway, this appointment being over starts the countdown to the big ultrasound, now just three short weeks away. I can't believe how fast this pregnancy is going! I'm feeling pretty good, and other than having no appetite, no brain, and the dreaded hip-spreading pain, I have no complaints. The no brain thing has led to several interesting situations, including the time I couldn't find my keys (that were in my hand), the fact that I keep forgetting to order decaf coffee at the coffee shop (which has led Aaron to decide to buy me a Keurig so that I can make my decaf at home and stop freaking him out about the whole caffeine thing, even though technically the doctor said I could have one regular sized caffeine drink a day), or the conversation I had with my mom about Aaron getting his haircut up their this weekend so we didn't have to wait for the local butcher shop to open.

The other two symptoms have also left their mark; I lost another pound between the last appointment and this one even though I have a reminder set to remind me to eat regularly (and I've been eating plenty of junk food as well as the good stuff). At this point in my pregnancy with Gabbie I think I was about 15 pounds up, so I guess I won't complain about this unless the doctor starts to worry. The hip pain is really only evident at night or if I sit in my office chair for too long, so I'm not getting as much sleep as I'd like, and I'm forced to get up and take a walk several times a day, so it's good and bad.

Anyway, enough about me - let's talk about the baby! I know I've seen this elsewhere, but it seemed like fun so I'll do it here too. With only three weeks until we know for (99%) certain about the sex of the baby, this topic keeps coming up in conversation pretty regularly. Everyone has a theory based on some old wives tale or another, so I thought I'd collect them here. Here are the old wives tales, plus the genders they predict for Baby J:

* Craving sour foods vs. sweet foods; I crave sour: boy
* Mom has acne means a girl: boy
* Carrying low vs. high (I'm carrying low, but only because it's so early): boy
* Morning sickness that lasts all day early in the pregnancy means girl: girl
* Chinese lunar calendar: girl (although some say boy, so I don't really know for sure. We'll count it as girl.)
* Dad gains weight along with mom means boy: girl (although last time he gained weight with me, and this time neither of us has gained a pound, so I'm not sure.)
* Breast size, which is bigger (sorry for TMI); right means boy: boy (although the right one is always slightly bigger, so...)
* Baby's activity level; more active means boy: boy (this one never seems to stop!)
* Craving spicy foods vs. sweet foods; I crave spicy: boy
* Hair on legs grows faster than normal means boy: boy (with Gabbie it pretty much stopped growing which was awesome!)
* Feet colder than normal means boy: boy
* Pillow faces north (boy) or south (girl): boy (but it faced north with Gabbie too, so...)
* Urine, bright yellow (boy) or dull yellow (girl): boy
* Mom's age at conception plus number of month, if even means boy: girl
* Heartbeat, faster means girl, slower means boy: girl (but my heart was pounding pretty hard too, so that could have had some effect, plus this has been proven inaccurate by several very scientific studies)
* Mom has a strong orange juice craving means girl: boy
* If mom refuses to eat the heal of a loaf of bread this means girl: boy
* If your breasts have increased a lot in size this means girl: boy (thank goodness; I really couldn't stand them being too much bigger than they already are)

So, to tally that up that's 13 that predict boy and 5 for girl. I'm not really hoping for either, so this is pretty much pure fun. Has anyone else heard of any fun legends to predict gender? (I'm so not doing the drano test!) I'll be counting down the days until we get to find out for sure!

Hacked

In a non-fun twist of events, my email has been hacked! So, if you get an email (or apparently a bunch of emails) from mrs.jessie.ca[at]gmail[dot]com, don't open it/them. I apologize if you're getting majorly spammed by account. I let Google know, so hopefully it will stop soon.

Just what I needed today. Grrr....
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