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:

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.
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