Sunday, October 6, 2013

I Wanted to be a Teacher

Sometimes I wonder why I am so open about what goes on in my life. As I was thinking about it tonight, I realized its because I have always wanted to be a teacher. When I first went to college, my major was going to be secondary education. I wanted to be a high school English teacher. That dream was squashed when I transferred from a junior college to a university, and the university basically told me I was going to start my education over again and would be there for 5 more years.

Even though I didn't end up being an English teacher, I ended up in a profession where I essentially teach. I even create trainings on a regular basis because it is what I like doing, and I'm good at it.

To go from teaching and writing to educating the world about the other side isn't that much of a stretch. Sometimes I think about not writing about what is going on in my life, but at the end of the day, I like to provide prospective and education to others who have no idea what it is like to experience infertility, post partum anxiety, and now a baby with plagiocephaly.

Last Wednesday, Sweet Pea got her new helmet. Over the last few days, we have slowly been breaking her into wearing it 23 hours a day. The first day she wore it for an hour, and then was free from it for an hour all day. The second day was two hours on, one hour off. The third was four hours on, one hour off and napping in it. Today was 8 hours on, napping, and finally going to bed with it on. Tomorrow starts our first 23 hour day.

I have gone back and forth on how I feel about this helmet. I know Sweet Pea needs it because her head is so stinking flat. It looks like someone shaved off the back, right side of her head. Whenever I see it, I am all for this helmet. But then when I can't snuggle my cheek up against her head as I carry her around, I hate it. When I can't easily bestow her with my million kisses every day, I hate it. I know when it starts to stink and the rubbing alcohol won't get the smell out, I will hate it.

I won't lie, I can't wait until we can be rid of this thing. I can't wait until her head is perfectly round and beautiful. I know it will be worth it. I just wish we were closer to the end of treatment than at the very beginning. This is the only time in Sweet Pea's life that I will hope she grows quickly. The faster she grows, the faster we are done with this.

Friday night Little Bean's school had a family cookout. It was Sweet Pea's first helmet debut. What better way to show it off than to a bunch of children? It was a great way to get our feet wet with the questions, comments, and stares we will encounter over the next couple months. Everyone reacted as I expected: children asked questions, everyone stared, and most adults seemed to be just a little bit nicer than normal. One old lady even came up to me and told me her son had had to wear a helmet when he was a baby too.

Saturday was our town debut. I took the girls to Tar.get to do some grocery shopping. It went just as I thought it would. Lots of stares and kids asking questions. I won't lie, I was a bit rattled. I hated everyone staring at us. I tried to ignore everyone and just get my shopping done so we could go home. When I was putting the cart away in the parking lot, a lady came up and asked, "Is that one of those helmets?" I told her it was. She asked if Sweet Pea had to wear it because she hit her head a lot. It is so hard to not be snarky. I told her Sweet Pea just had a flat spot and we were rounding out her head. Again, I totally wanted to be snarky and say, "because my husband and I are vain like that."

I hope that at some point all of this becomes normal to me. Yes I knew it was going to be like this, and I know it is all a matter of how I handle it, but its a bit unnerving. I don't like people staring at me or my baby. I guess I will just have to make sure I do my hair everyday. If I'm going to be noticed more, they might as well think I'm put together. They already notice how adorable Sweet Pea is. I do have to give props, my baby rocks that helmet! It is cuter than I thought it would be, and she makes that helmet look downright adorable. It pushes her chubby little cheeks out and shows off her sweet little eyes. The shock of hair popping out of the top is pretty cute too.

I was going to post pictures, but they are all on my phone and I'm too lazy to go get it and plug it in right now, so it will just have to wait.

Until next time!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Latest and Greatest

This past weekend I realized how much of Little Bean's life I documented during her first couple of years. This also made me realize how much of my own life I documented, postpartum and otherwise. I often find myself needing to refer back to my blog to remember what events happened when. By not blogging lately, I have been doing Sweet Pea and I a major disservice. So on that note, let's get on with th latest and greatest.

Sweet Pea is officially going through the 4-month sleep regression, and it is hell. I'm not going to lie. The little girl will get so sleepy, she will start to cry... and cry... and cry. She gets herself so wound up, she can't go to sleep. Most of the time it doesn't matter what Hubs or I do. She gets herself into a little cycle and refuses her pacifier and all comfort that would have normally lulled her to sleep. In addition to this, she wakes up multiple times a night every night. I used to go in up to three times a night, sometimes staying in there for up to half an hour at a time, but the sleep deprivation has gotten so bad, I just can't do it anymore. Hubs handles sleep deprivation better than I do, and he seems to be able to get the baby back to sleep much better than I do, so he has been an absolute savior and gets up with her every night, sometimes 6-7 times a night and for as long as an hour and a half a night. Needless to say, we are both very tired  all of the time.

Besides the sleep regression, Sweet Pea is doing really well. She is rolling over from front to back. She is starting to giggle like crazy. Today she giggled every time I kissed her cheeks. Kissing her cheeks is no rarity. I often kiss her so much my lips are chapped. I can't kiss the baby enough.

Her baby sitter puts her in a walker during the day, and the other day, Sweet Pea walked across her front room to the window, and then sat there chatting to herself for half an hour. That night, Hubs and I went to the store and bought her a walker for home. She has already been enjoying the wonders of her Jumparoo, but a walker provides mobility! It is so hilarious to watch my 4.5-month-old walk across the room!

The only bummer news (besides the sleep regression) is Sweet Pea has plagiocephaly, which is basically when the baby's head is not symmetrical and has a flat spot. I have been working with her since she was 2-months-old, trying to get her head to round out, but it just won't. She has a giant flat spot on the back right of her head, and it is also pushing her head up. We took her to a cranial center after her last checkup, and sure enough, she needs a helmet. At first I was kind of upset. I don't want people staring at my baby. I wasn't going to tell anyone, and make sure we only took pictures when her helmet was off, or only take her out without her helmet. But I've gotten used to the idea, and I'm getting over caring if people stare or make comments. I would rather have them comment on her helmet than her noticeably flat head. I'm going to teach Little Bean how to tell people to stop staring. There's nothing like being put in your place by a 4-year-old!

As for me, well, I wish I could say I was doing awesome. This is another area of my life I thought I would keep secret, but I have decided to take the Brooke Shields approach. Just as I chose to be open about my infertility, I am going to choose to be open about my postpartum anxiety. Part of this is because I need to remember that this happened, just in case we do ever get pregnant again, I will know I went through this twice before and made it out just fine, so I can do it again.

Basically my biggest symptoms are feeling completely overwhelmed to the point on full-on panic attacks. Most days I don't care if the house is a giant mess. I would rather spend time enjoying my hard-won daughters. But every now and then, I start to freak out and everything has to be cleaned up NOW. Hubs has been amazing through all of this. I really could not have a better partner by my side. He has never once gotten upset or made me feel like he has been put out by any of this. He is so supportive and helps me out however he can, even if that is just to take the girls so I can take a nap.

Some days the sleep deprivation, combined with sensory overload from the anxiety, my body literally shuts down, and its like I'm a narcoleptic. I fall asleep no matter how hard I fight it. If I don't lay down, I won't have a choice. I remember this happening with Little Bean too.

One of the worst symptoms though is the memory loss. Some days I won't remember things that happened merely hours ago. My days run together sometimes. I forget a lot of things, and it is very bothersome. Some days I forget things only to forget I forgot them and remember later that I forgot them. Confusing, right? Tell me about it! I actually broke down yesterday and ordered a paper planner. I need to have things written down where I can see them.

Well, I need to end this post here. Hubs is waiting for me to snuggle with him and watch TV. After everything he has done for me, I can't deny him a little cuddle.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Long Overdue

Yes, I realize it has been over two months since I last posted. I think this is officially my longest blogging dry spell ever. I also realize this is probably the worst time to have a dry spell, but life just kind of got in the way, and blogging was the last thing on my mind. Since I last updated we have had all new windows put in our house, had a sprinkling system put in the yard, tore out a shower and ended up doing almost a full bathroom remodel, went back to work, and much, much more.

Over the last couple of months Sweet Pea has grown in leaps and bounds. She is rolling over, giggling, loves to stand up rather than sit, and going through the 4-month regression. She still loves to be swaddled and sleeps more soundly when she is wrapped up like a burrito. She has recently found the joy of the Jumperoo, which is one of the things I have been most looking forward to. One of the cutest things she has done so far was when she discovered her hands and looked at them endlessly for days.

Little Bean still LOVES being a big sister. It warms my heart when we pick up Sweet Pea from the babysitter and Little Bean yells her name, runs to her, and gives her hugs and kisses. She loves to hold Sweet Pea, even if Sweet Pea gets fussy. She is the best big sister ever.

Of course a million photos have been taken over the past couple months, and I will have to put together a little slide show, but until I do, here are a few good ones to wet your appetite.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

2 Months Old

Sweet Pea is already two months old. She is starting to smile up a storm and talk to us. I absolutely love hearing that little baby voice. There are times I swear she is even trying to giggle. She is finally going from newborn lump to fun infant. This is what I have been looking forward to since I found out she was on her way back in September.

Her 2-month stats are: 10.14 lbs (40th percentile) and 21 inches (39th percentile).

Currently, Sweet Pea sleeps an average of 6 hours at night, waking up around 4:00 am to eat. The other night she almost made it to 5:00 am. I go back to work in 3 weeks, so I'm hoping she can stretch out to 6:00 by then.

The best part of having a baby is starting!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Birth Control? Not Necessary

My OB has asked both before and after Sweet Pea was born if we intended to go on birth control. Both times I laughed and told her it was not necessary. First, we are in the small percentage of the small percentage of people who are infertile. In other words, 1 in 8 couples is infertile; of the 1 in 8, very few fall into the category where both the male and female parties are considered infertile. Well, we fall in latter. To us, that means if we get pregnant again, well then God must really want us to have that baby, and who are we to say no.

There have been times I thought about getting an IUD because I honestly want to be done having babies for so many reasons:
  1. My last pregnancy was very uncomfortable, and I was unable to eat for the last 3 months of it, and not due to morning sickness.
  2. Childcare for three or more kids would be expensive to astronomical.
  3. Traveling with three or more kids would be difficult both financially and logistically, and we all know that this family loves to travel.
  4. Our house isn't big enough for more than two kids, and we have zero intention of moving. 
  5. I'm getting too old for this sleep deprivation crap.
  6. I'm just getting too old, period.
But as soon as I have thought about all of the above, my heart hurts a little. Its kind of a sad thought to think I am done having babies. Maybe because it makes me feel old to think we're done. Maybe because expecting a little bundle is so exciting. Maybe because my hormones still haven't finished re-regulating themselves after the birth of Sweet Pea. Maybe a combination of all of them. Whatever the reason, I always come back to the thought: If we get pregnant again, against major odds, then God must really want us to have them. I can't argue with that. 

I know that if we get another baby, we will consider it as much as miracle as we do Little Bean and Sweet Pea, and we will love it as much as we do them. A part of me even wants to tempt fate at times. You know, like in that 6 weeks postpartum where they tell you not to indulge because you are stupid fertile and will more than likely get pregnant again. Or even during this first 6 months postpartum when you are more fertile than normal. I kind of want another baby. But then I go back to asking myself why and revisit all of the "maybes".

At the end of the day, none of the above matters. If we get another baby, then we will be overjoyed that we overcame the odds that are so heavily stacked against us, and we will accept the baby with open arms. If we don't get any more babies, then we are just fine with that and travel the world with the two we already have. We're not going to try for more, but we're also not going to bother with trying to prevent. What will be, will be.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Picture Post

I don't really have much to say about the last few weeks. Sweet Pea is such a wonderful baby. She hardly ever fusses, and when she does it is usually because she is tired, has gas, or is pooping. Outside of those things, she is such a sweet, content baby. She loves to just look around and be held. She is already holding her head up really well and has for a while now. I got my first smiles almost two weeks ago, the day before she turned 5 weeks old. Today she smiled at me while she was eating her bottle. I love the feeling of euphoria that goes through me when I see those smiles.

I am so in love with this baby, that the word love doesn't seem to cut it. She has already had a couple of 5-hour stretches between feedings at night, going from 10:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. During this time she sleeps so soundly that I sometimes can't fall asleep until I hear her make a noise.

I took her to get her newborn pictures earlier this week, and you can tell she is a mama's girl because she is almost smiling in all of the pictures where I'm holding her. So for my parents, here are pictures from Sweet Pea's first photo shoot.

And even though it is a little bit late, here is her 1-month picture.

Little Bean absolutely LOVES being a big sister. I have to keep a constant eye on her to make sure she doesn't try to hold the baby while Hubs and I aren't around. There have been a couple of occasions where she has tried. She constantly wants to hold, kiss, and hug the baby. I seriously could not be happier. Little Bean loves her sister the way I hoped she would.

Other exciting things happening right now are we are having new windows installed in our 20-year-old house today. We are really excited about that. Hopefully our AC units will run much less than 20 hours a day this summer. We have 20 windows in our house, and five of those are 6' x 9', so they are rather large. In addition to that fun, we booked a trip to Disney World for later this year. Yep, I'm feeling pretty spoiled, as always.

Life is really good right now, and I am soaking up every second.

Monday, May 20, 2013

3 Weeks In

It has been 3 weeks since Sweet Pea was born, and man has a lot happened in that time. I don't even know where to begin. First of all, I have been blessed with a seriously wonderful baby. She is so chill I can hardly believe it (knock on wood). I really hope she stays this way because as of right now, I don't think word "fussy" is in her vocabulary. *PLEASE STAY THAT WAY!*

Sleep deprivation has been as brutal as I remembered, but at least this time I am making serious efforts to sleep when I can. Not many people know this, but I suffered from PPD after the birth of Little Bean. It all started with the sleep deprivation, and then an unexplainable refusal to sleep that spiraled into PPD. I know that most of time when I cry these days it is more a result of sleep deprivation than baby blues. I just do not do well on small amounts of sleep, so only getting in 2-hour stretches when I'm lucky is really hard on me. The good news in that department is Sweet Pea has finally regained her birth weight, and we've had two nights with 4-hour stretches between feedings (including last night)! Hoorah!

As for feeding, well, breast feeding kicked my trash and I am officially out. All last week I was constantly battling clogged ducts. They were pure torture and I couldn't work them out myself. I had to have Hubs keep helping me get them out. As soon as we'd conquer one, I'd get another. It was non-stop for days until I finally begged Hubs to let me throw in the towel. I tried. I gave it my all. I bought a different pump, I rented a pump, I was constantly on the phone with my lactation consultant, but in the end, I lost. It took 36 hours, 8 heads of cabbage, and a tube of Cabo Cream to get me over the engorgement hump. It was an extremely unpleasant 36 hours. Luckily I have Hubs who is seriously amazing and supportive to help me get through it. He took over all of the feedings the first night, which was really sweet because it was a Thursday night and he had to work the next day. I wish I could say it is all done, but I have a few ducts that still refuse to give up. At least I can hold my baby to me without being in pain now.

I don't even know where to start when it comes to Hubs. He has been beyond this world incredible. I can't believe how much he has taken over and never once made a deal about it. He has taken on everything with such grace and love. There is no question in my mind that this man loves me and loves me dearly. Luckily his employer thinks as highly of him as I do, so they have let him work from home to help me out since the baby was born. So in addition to working his 40+ hours a week, he takes care of Little Bean almost 100%, he takes care of me as much as I need him to, and he helps out with the baby as much as I need him to. On top of that, he takes care of all of the other things that come up around the house. I don't know how he does it, and I can't believe how graciously he handles it. I feel like there is nothing I can do to show how much I appreciate everything he has taken on. Everything seems so small in comparison. The man definitely owns the title of Super Man. I am so incredibly blessed, and I know it. Most men wouldn't do half the stuff he has been, and most of the ones who would, would complain about it, but not my man.

Little Bean did well with everything for the first little while, but the last couple of days she has really been acting out. She's been doing all kinds of things she knows she isn't supposed to do, and some of them seem downright blatant. She loves the baby, there is no question, but she has taken advantage of the fact that I am spending so much time taking care of the baby and myself, and that Hubs is operating above capacity for a normal human being. I am honestly surprised our gerbils are still in their cage with as often as she's had their door open and been playing in their cage. Her acting out makes me feel like a horrible mother because we are constantly getting after her for one thing after another. All she wants is a little more attention. I sat with her at bedtime last night and just cried. I know it will get better, but man this is hard!

When Little Bean was born, I lamented the passing of every day. I hated how time was slipping through my fingers, which is part of the reason I refused to sleep. This time, I am glad for the passing of each day because it means we are closer to getting through the difficult parts of having a newborn, and closer to being able to fully enjoy my family while not being sleep deprived. Don't get me wrong, I love having my newborn, especially since we are done having babies. I just need to get to a point where I feel like I have my feet under me again. Thank heaven I have such an amazing husband to help me get there.

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Birth of a Miracle

Exactly one week ago today I gave birth to our second miracle. Because I was high risk, we had to deliver Sweet Pea at 37 weeks to prevent contractions. By the time the day rolled around, I was more than ready to be done with pregnancy and to finally hold my little miracle in my arms, the baby we had fought so hard and long for, and that I had been through so much to bring into this world.

My c-section was scheduled for 7:30 in the morning, so we had to be to the hospital by 6:00. I don't really remember what time they rolled me down to the OR, but I cried. I always cry when I'm being wheeled down to any surgery. I cried the whole time they were putting in my spinal, and I cried for sometime afterward. I think they started before Hubs was even in the room, or at least it felt like it. It seemed like it took forever before they actually get in there and got the baby. It felt like forever before I heard the sounds of them suctioning up amniotic fluid.

The first time I heard Sweet Pea cry, I just sobbed. I could not believe she was finally here. Here, safe and sound, pink and crying. Beautiful. Perfect. Wanted more than anything.

They held her up over the curtain for me to see, and it was one of the most beautiful moments of my life.
She came in at 6 lbs 11 oz and 19.25" long.

The baby was taken off to the nursery for her first bath with daddy in tow while I was cleaned up and sewn back together. I spent a bit of time in Labor and Delivery before being wheeled to my room to hold my sweet baby.

The rest of the day is a bit of a blur. I tried to sleep while Hubs worked and I waited for the spinal to wear off.

Sometime around 5:00, Hubs went home to get my parents and Little Bean. I had been waiting for months to introduce Little Bean to her sister, and the moment had finally arrived. She was so excited, and the moment could not have been more perfect. She fell in love instantly.
Little Bean was excited to come to the hospital every day to see the baby. She still hasn't grasped the concept of a newborn and the fact that they don't giggle when tickled, smile when you say "boo", or play with a toy set of keys, but she sure does love her little sister. She tells me every day how cute Sweet Pea is and that she loves her.
The best was when my mom was holding the baby in the hospital and Sweet Pea let out a little cry. Little Bean told grandma to be careful because Sweet Pea was her baby, not grandma's. I think these two will be very close as the years go on, just as I had hoped. If Little Bean is this excited about her sister now, just wait until the baby can play and giggle.

The past week has been easier to handle than the first couple with Little Bean. This time I knew what to expect and how to combat the baby blues. In addition, and as always, Hubs has been amazing. I cannot imagine trying to do this without such a supportive, loving partner. It is because of him that I am adjusting so well and tolerating sleep in 2-hour stretches. I hope and pray it continues this way, but I also know there will be days that are rougher than others, like the ones where Hubs will have to go into work and I'll be on my own all day. But I am thankful for the days he is here with me.

I am trying to breastfeed again, and just like last time, it is my Achilles heel. I swear I can do anything in this world except for that. At just 5 days old I had to go to pumping. I would like to get back to breastfeeding soon, and I have an awesome lactation consultant, much better than the one I had with Little Bean. I know she can help get me through this and get back to nursing my baby and not milking myself every 3 hours.

Recovery from the c-section is exactly as I expected, a cake-walk. Luckily I have a high pain tolerance for surgery and always recover quickly and easily.

The best part of recovery so far is that I am already only 4.5 lbs away from my pre-pregnancy weight! I only gained 17 during the pregnancy, so I knew I would come out ahead after I delivered. I don't remember the last time my legs were so tiny. I am rather relieved that unlike last time, I won't have that pesky 10 lbs hanging around months after the baby is born.

Tonight, I am a very happy mother of two. My family is finally complete, and my journey through infertility is done. A 7-year battle is finally over. All that is left now is to enjoy my little miracle babies with the most incredible husband and loving father in the world.  I am truly blessed, and I thank God every day for my family.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

An Update for Mom

My mom called me the other day, concerned that I hadn't updated my blog in 3 weeks. I was surprised it had been that long, yet not at the same time. I've kind of been over blogging for a long time. As this pregnancy progresses, I find I want to focus more on family and less on singular activities, especially ones that take up hours of my time in one sitting. I'm sure I don't have to tell many of you out there how long it can take to write a post, and then how much time you spend reading and commenting on other blogs.

I haven't completely given up on blogging, because I like the way it has acted as a journal to building my family, but now I want to spend time with that family and building memories with them instead of writing about them from behind the keyboard. That being said, my posts will probably get fewer and farther in between.

The past three weeks have been crazy. We still don't have anything really set up for the baby yet, and for the most part, I don't worry about it. I know we have everything we need. Right now it is just a matter of getting things in place for the big day. We don't have a nursery and won't for a long time. We need to do some remodeling on our house first and we're still trying to find a contractor to do it. So the plan is that Sweet Pea will sleep with me until she and her room are ready for her to move into. As a result, we're finding ways to cope with not having a nursery. Her changing table will be in our bathroom. Her swing and bouncer downstairs. Things like that. We'll make it work, and I'm not stressing about it. Its true that you worry about these things less with the second baby. You already know everything will work out just fine.

Here is a belly picture from last week:
34 Weeks
I have only gained a pound in the last 2+ months and have only gained 17 lbs total with this pregnancy. I have to say it has been nice watching my problem fat areas slowly dissolving away. Don't worry about Sweet Pea though, she is getting everything she needs. At our growth scan a couple of weeks ago she was measuring a full week ahead in height. This baby continues to be a miracle in every respect.

The last few weeks of the pregnancy have been really difficult and uncomfortable. At my last appointment my doctor asked if I wanted to be put on bed rest. I asked to work part days from home instead. I don't want to use my maternity leave until my baby is in my arms. I will tough my way through all of the discomfort to ensure that happens unless there is a really good reason to go on bed rest. At this point, I think we're in the clear.

Working from home will only be difficult in that my temporary replacement starts tomorrow and I only have a couple of weeks to train him because we could not find talent in the area, so he will be working from a different state. Honestly, I want to have him trained by the end of the week so that I don't have to do much the second week. I don't know how well that will work, but that's the plan.

I had a few days this past week where I started to really think about the impact this baby is going to have on Little Bean and our relationship. She has put my fears at ease by constantly telling me how excited she is to be a big sister. She seems to be genuinely looking forward to it. This next week I will have her help me start getting things in place for the baby like getting the swing and bouncer put together.

Well, I think that's it for me. Time for some family time. Later!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

90% Used, 70% Really Used

Tonight I climbed up in the attic to put together all of the boxes I need Hubs to bring down before the baby is born. Inside them are things like clothes, bibs, burp rags, etc. While moving some of the boxes, I began to hear a critter chatting at me. Fantastic. I called Hubs up just in case the critter came out, and it was then he pointed out all of the critter poop scattered around the attic. Fantastic. It isn't a big problem because most of the stuff I put up there was in plastic storage bins, but some of it is in plain old repurposed diaper cardboard boxes.

One thing that was not okay is the baby bath tub. That stupid critter actually got in and chewed the foam seat of the tub. I was a little bummed, and have decided to get rid of the tub. Luckily baby tubs are rather cheap.

As I said in my last post, there are a few things I am replacing from when Little Bean was a baby, and some things I am getting because I hated what we had last time. Easily 90% of the things this baby will use or wear is used. 70% of that is really used, as in it has been used for two of my sister's babies, and by Little Bean. Sweet Pea will be the 4th baby to use the baby carrier that I bought a new cover for. The carrier looks new because of the cover, but it is far from it. Sweet Pea will use Little Bean's crib, most of her clothes, except where they are not seasonally appropriate, and all of her old toys. Bottom line, where possible, we are reusing everything from 1-3 other babies.

In baby news, I was relieved to learn she is growing right on target when I had my monthly growth scan last Monday. This was a relief because I have not gained even 1 lb in the past 4 weeks, and as of today, make that 5 weeks. I am still up only 16.5 lbs. My doctor wants me to go see a specialist now because obviously the meds she gave me did not get my stomach working. It makes me a little sad because I really want to eat more than I do. I miss eating tasty food whenever I want. But I know anything I eat after breakfast will most likely still be hanging around by bedtime.

This past week I booked tickets for my parents to fly out when the baby is born. Everyone is pretty excited about that. My parents have only been able to see one of their grand children the day they were born, so I am enjoying the fact that this will be the second time.

In Little Bean news, we are officially completely out of diapers! She has been potty trained for over a year and a half and just been using nighttime diapers. But about a month ago, we even stopped the nighttime diapers. I've been waiting to announce this for fear of jinxing us, but I think it is now safe to celebrate. I haven't bought a box of diapers in months now! (Please refrain from commenting about how I will be back in diapers soon enough. I know.)

Other than that, life in our house goes on as normal. Thanks to daylight savings time (just another way the government robs us), it is almost time to get ready for bed, so I will be signing off now. Later!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Getting Ready

I've been getting asked a lot lately if I'm ready for the baby yet. I always laugh and say not the way the expect. Usually the people who ask are pregnant with their first, weeks behind me in their pregnancies, and as nervous as I was with Little Bean.Their nurseries are already complete, but for Sweet Pea, her room is not even yet started.

The reason she doesn't have a nursery yet is because we need to move some things around in this house, including walls, doors, and people. Even though we may only have a couple months until this little one comes home outside of the package, we will still have a couple months beyond that before she needs her own room. The bottom line, I'm not sweating the big stuff yet.

I am, however, getting ready for the baby in every other aspect. Clothes have been sorted and just need to be washed. The baby carrier is ready to go. Each week I buy something I need for the baby, whether it is for the nursery, clothes, or nursing. My focus lately has been nursing. While I didn't do well with this with Little Bean, I am determined to try again and just has hard as I did the first time. I got a new, different nursing pillow, new accessories, and am going to take a class (I didn't with Little Bean, and that was a huge mistake).

Little Bean and I went shopping for a diaper bag a few weeks ago, and because I am such a sucker, I got the bag Little Bean wanted, and not the one I thought we needed. Hubs laughs at me, and has finally talked me into taking the bag back and getting the one we need. When I do, I'll start buying some swaddle pods, wash cloths, and other small things to get us farther on our way.

One of my best friends is throwing me a baby shower and she already got me a new bassinet that is amazingly versatile and I am very excited for. If that is the only thing we get from the shower, it will be enough, since this is our second. Even though it is our second, I know from the first what I did and did not like, and what did and didn't work. Plus you always have to buy some things new.

Here are a few things I have so far:
I am really looking forward to working on the nursery. The blanket is part of the theme I'm going with, and I have some pretty grand ideas. Until we can get structural engineers and contractors out here, that will just have to wait though.

One other way I am trying to get ready is for the changes this baby will bring to Little Bean's life. Sure she thinks she's excited, but she has no idea how her life is about to change. Right now she is my little buddy. We snuggle a lot and spend a lot of time together. When she sleeps with me, we fall asleep holding hands. As much as I wish that wouldn't change once the baby is here, it will. I'll make every effort to still do those things with her AND the baby, but we all know how well our hopes and dreams can turn out. (If anyone has ideas on how to prepare an only-child for a sibling, I'm all ears!)

A few years back, when Little Bean was still a baby, I bought this doll:
It was originally intended as a gift for someone else, but then I decided to hang onto it for the day when Little Bean became a big sister. I can't believe how long it has been hidden in my closet, and I am ecstatic that it will finally get loved the way I dreamed. I am going to buy it the same baby gear the new baby will have, so Little Bean can be just like mama.

Little Bean wants to name the baby Disney Princess Marie, so hopefully she will use that name for her new baby, and not feel so bad it won't be her sister's name.

Honestly, I would love to get Little Bean a real, live bunny, but I will have my hands full enough with the new baby on top of all the pets we already have, so the bunny will have to wait.

So, am  I ready for the baby? Pretty much, yes. I am definitely not worried about our state of readiness.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Scoop

The only thing I can manage to say tonight is, "Oh boy, I'm tired." I guess Sweet Pea is going through a growth spurt because it seems like all either of us want to do today is sleep, and neither of us has had much energy to do a lot of moving or shaking. Rest assured though, Sweet Pea is just fine. I got to check in on her with a sono yesterday, and Little Bean refuses to go to bed at night until she has heard Sweet Pea's heartbeat. We're both just knackered from all of her growth.

Here is this week's belly pic:
28 Weeks

Due to some unpleasantness, also known as indigestion, I have not gained even a pound in the last three weeks. I'm 28 weeks and still only up 16.5 lbs. I can't say that I mind that, but I do mind the fact that I will eat my lunch at noon, not eat again for the rest of the day, and have to force my lunch back up before bed 10 hours later to prevent choking on it when it backs up on me during the night. Basically, my stomach has just plain quit working.

Last week I went in to see my OB because I have been having some intense contractions that make me worry a little. They are really strong and really long, as in they last for minutes at a time. Because of that, I have moved to weekly checkups and sonos to ensure everything is staying tightly closed.

Between my appointment this week and last:
  • We determined my inability to breathe is due to my intense allergies. My doctor prescribed a flow meter, and when it didn't help, we knew it was allergies. 
  • I got put on a prescription to get my stomach muscles working, which I started last night. So far it seems to be working, and I couldn't be happier. I really would prefer to not have to throw up before bed every night.
  • Everything is staying nice and closed.
  • Despite my lack of weight gain, Sweet Pea is still getting all she needs.
  • Sweet Pea moved into the head down position from transverse Sunday night of last week, which explains why I slept so horribly that night.
We also moved up the date of my c-section. I had originally scheduled it for my husband's birthday, but despite the fact he kept telling me he didn't care, he made it pretty obvious he cared. I saw the expression on his face every time I told someone the baby would be born on his birthday, and then he would make comments here and there that told me he wanted to keep his birthday to himself. So I asked to have it moved, which felt really silly to me, but I would rather feel silly than face a lifetime of resentment from my husband.

He reacted exactly how I expected, which was to ask why I did that, to remind me with words that he didn't care, and then made me feel bad for doing it. In the end though, I know I made the right decision, and it honestly feels like the lesser of two evils.

As far as the baby, her movements are becoming stronger and more distinct. I love that I can put my hand on my tummy and feel her little arms and legs moving. It makes the fact that there is a baby in there so real. She's no longer this little octopus parasite, she has become a baby. The more I feel her individual limbs, the more excited I get to hold her.

I love that when I roll over at night, she will sleepily readjust in my belly. I can almost hear her say, "Come on mom, I'm trying to sleep in here!" Like me, she doesn't like getting up in the morning. Once that alarm clock starts going off, she makes slow, sleepy movements. She also lets me know she doesn't like it when she gets squished while I put on my shoes, bend over to pick up things, or do anything else that cuts into her space.

Her movements make the uncomfortableness of pregnancy worth it. If she moves while my reflux/indigestion acts up, I don't seem to notice the latter as much because I'm too busy smiling at my baby moving. I smile a lot lately.

Well, I guess that's it for now. Its time for Little Bean and I to get ready for bed. Later!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Que Pasa (What's UP)?

I guess after two weeks, its time for an update. Although I guess it has technically been over 3 since I updated on anything. So let's get into it.

Little Bean's birthday party was awesome. She had a great time, and had quite a few friends show up. Of course she got showered with some great gifts, like play dough, Princess toys, art supplies, and much more. Not surprisingly, she loves it when her birthday rolls around, and still thinks every box that shows up on our front door is for her.

The week after her birthday she and I went and got our birthday pictures taken (we are only 9 days apart). Here are a few shots from the session.

They are going to send us a CD with the photos retouched, and I am hoping they fix the fact that the colors seem so faded and washed out. If not, maybe I will make them retake the photos.

There was one picture from the session that made me cry, and it took me a few minutes to compose myself enough to be able to speak:
I have waited a long time for this picture, and I have gone through a lot to get to it. Making my little girl a big sister has been one of the primary focuses of my life since she was born. To finally see this picture was a very emotional moment for me. We took this picture along with a couple of others and had them make a compilation that I will frame for the baby's room.

Speaking of the baby, I am 27 weeks tomorrow. I can't believe it. I wish I could say that this pregnancy has been all sunshine and roses, but I am going to admit, I have been pretty stinking miserable, despite my efforts to ignore everything unpleasant and enjoy being pregnant. I definitely try to focus on the things I love, like fetal movement, but some most days I am just plain miserable.

My reflux is out of control, and the only thing that helps is to not eat, which oddly enough, exacerbates the heartburn. Zantac and Tums don't help anymore. I can't eat after 5:00 p.m. or else I end up throwing it up before bed so I don't wake up choking on it all night long. Even water gives me reflux! Its ridiculous.

My hips ache so much with this pregnancy, and its constant enough that it has started to affect my morale. I've had a couple of days where everything makes me cry because of the constant pain and discomfort in my hips.

I'm going to see my doctor tomorrow because I think I might have pregnancy-induced asthma. I will have daily bouts where I just cannot breathe. I've had to walk out of meetings at work because I don't want to sit there and pant for air in front of everyone. These bouts will last anywhere from an hour and a half to hours on end. I've noticed that at some points even my nail beds turn purple. Nothing I do helps. I just can't breathe. It could be allergy related, but the allergy pills I've been taking aren't helping at all. All I know is something has to give. I have to be able to breathe.

I am a huge klutz; I drop everything, which is super annoying when you can't simply bend over and pick it up. Retrieving dropped items takes a lot of orchestration and then readjustment of clothing when you're done. Along those same lines, my pregnancy brain is BAD. Really, really bad. I swear I'm lucky I remember my name. I almost left the house without putting in my contacts one day.

I just don't remember my first pregnancy being this miserable. One thing I do remember and that is plaguing me enough this time too that it will be brought up tomorrow is the contractions have set in. They have gotten to the point where they are so hard and long that if I am walking when they hit, I have to stop and wait for them to let up. I have even gotten really dizzy with a few of them the last couple days.

I don't mean to complain, but honestly, I am ready to meet this baby and be done being pregnant. Its not as fun as I remembered it last time. I just want to get my Sweet Pea here so I can hold her and have my complete family.

In other, happier news, my husband bought me a vacuum for my birthday. It is a rival to the, only it is the better vacuum (believe me, I did my homework before picking one). I seriously LOVE that my house gets vacuumed every day and I never have to do it again. As if that wasn't enough, it has made keeping the house clean an easier. Keeping everything off the floors is half the battle to a clean house. While you pick up stuff off the floors and put it away, you just grab everything around it and put it all away too. Our house has been constantly clean since our came home, which is awesome because we've had a lot of surprise company lately.

Other semi-noteworthy news:
  • I am interviewing candidates for my temporary replacement starting next week, which should be interesting. I've never interviewed anyone before. I've got two candidates scheduled for a phone screen, and one scheduled for an in-person interview. I am really excited to meet the latter because I think he could be what I'm looking for in my temp.
  • I joined Pintrest because my best friend kept telling me about all of these great cleaning ideas she found on there. The jury is still out as to whether I like it or not. I've tried a couple things I read, but want to try a few more.
  • We got a water softener last week, which is what inspired the cleaning spree. We have 30 days to evaluate it, and I want to give it a fair shake before saying yes or no to purchasing it. I grew up with soft water for 25 years, so I know I like it. I just want to make sure Hubs likes it, and that it really is worth the expense.
I think that's a good catch-up for now. Hopefully I won't go as long between updates, but I make no promises. ;)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Happy 4th Birthday Little Bean

Dear Little Bean,

Four years ago today, you entered mine and daddy's lives and changed them for the better in ways we could not imagine. It is sad how quickly these years have gone, and how quickly they will keep going, but I think God for every day you are in my life.

This past year you have experienced and seen more than most kids your age. You got to go to Cancun, Mexico and swim with dolphins, hang out in the pool, and experience a different culture while also practicing your Spanish.
You with Andromeda
A sombrero bigger than you
We went to grandma and grandpa's for the 4th of July and you went on your first hike in the Rocky Mountains. You loved it, and did amazingly well.
You with Uncle Bird at the zoo
You got to go to Disneyland for the first time and got to spend the entire vacation with mama's whole family (except grandpa, who sadly, had to say home), including your favorite cousin K.

And as if that weren't enough vacations for a 3-year-old in one year, you got to become an intercontinental traveler and spend Christmas and New Years in the UK!
You in Trafalgar Square
You loved chasing pigeons

You loved going to castles

In addition to all of your traveling, you grew and learned a lot. You are an intelligent girl, and there are many verbs that can be used to describe you, such as friendly, precocious, resilient, determined, loving, tender, and well-behaved. You love to share, and do so every chance you get. You are especially generous with your stickers.

The things you love the most besides mom and dad are the dogs, especially Sadie, whom you claim as your own; and your princess blankets because you like to "snuffle" the tags.

Today you are going to have a Rapunzel and Star Wars the Clone Wars birthday party. Over 25 kids were invited, both boys and girls, so we will see how many show up. No matter how many kids come, I know you will have an awesome time because you love the place we are having your party.

In a few months, you will become a big sister. People often ask me if you are excited about the baby, and you always tell me yes. You tell me about all of the things you will teach your little sister, and all of the things you will show her. You love to see her on sonograms, but you especially love to hear her heartbeat. I know without a doubt that you are going to be an awesome big sister, one who is enviable and a wonderful example. This is one thing I have always wanted for you, and I am so glad that this year you will know the joy only a sibling can bring.

This past year it has been wonderful and amazing to see how much you have grown mentally and emotionally. You are not so much a toddler anymore as you are a little girl. When I ask you why you have to get so big so fast, you always tell me it is so you can reach things that are high up. But if there is one thing I have taught you well, it is that no matter how big you get, you will always be my baby, and I love it when you tell me so.

I look forward to watching you continue to grow and experience and learn about the world around you this next year. I wish you the happiest of birthdays. Thank you for always being so strong, and being the one who made it. I love you munchkin.