Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Eat! Eat!

Will is going through the picky toddler stage where he will eat NOTHING all day and then consume the amount of a teenaged boy in one meal the next day. Then, he will eat nothing again for a few meals. Since he is by no means underweight and I know from fellow moms that this is not unusual, I don't let it stress me too much. I offer him meals and snacks often, and if he tells me that he is hungry, I offer him healthy things. I figure it's up to him to do what he would like based on his needs.

The only problem is that, occasionally, his hunger will strike at bed or naptime. For example, this afternoon he threw his lunch to the ground. I made him help me pick it up and it was then time for a nap. He settled in easily (as usual), but fifteen minutes later, he started screaming (not usual). I went in to make sure he was okay and was welcomed by a frantic, "Eat! Eat!" This is what he says when he is hungry. I tried to soothe him, but he just got more upset and frantic. So, I took him downstairs, quickly fed him a yogurt and two graham crackers, which he gobbled up. Then he went back upstairs and took a two and a half hour nap without a squeak of protest. So, I do think he was genuinely hungry. He has done this on a couple of other occasions and responded similarly (eats with gusto and then goes to bed without protest and sleeps like a champ).

I was telling a mom friend about this, and she cautioned me against allowing him the snack, because she has found that is one of her two kids' prime ways of avoiding bedtime or going back to bed and also promotes not eating at meal times.

I have mixed feelings about this. I know when he is older, I can try to reason with him at mealtimes that he is going to be hungry later if he doesn't eat, but I just don't think he has the ability to think like that right now. And I can't, in all good conscience, let him cry it out when he is hungry. What would you do/do you do?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Moving Right Along

I had my five month OB appointment yesterday. All seems to be doing just fine with Miss Emma. She has been kicking up a storm lately, and kicked the doppler off of my belly yesterday when we were trying to get her heartbeat. I am measuring right on track (which is good, since we were a little concerned about her size a month ago) and so I am supposed to bring my daily calorie intake back to what it was before (buh-bye ice cream and Costco cinnamon rolls - which, seriously, you should try them if you haven't yet).

But as I am only up 8 pounds from pre-pregnancy weight, I am not going to be too concerned about that. I think I was about 11 pounds up at this point with Will and I ended up gaining 29 pounds altogether, so since I am about the same this time, I figure I will stay in a healthy weight range, so long as I don't go insane in these next few months. My appetite is much greater this time, but my good old friend heartburn has been rearing its ugly head these past few days. This really kept my food consumption down with Will, as eating too much after a certain time of day (5 PM) meant bad things (painful heartburn and choking on my own stomach acid, lovely).

I finally got my referral to an orthopedic surgeon, though my OB warned me that many tests and procedures would be off-limits while pregnant. I had kind of already figured that out, so I told him we could just wait on the referral until after she is born. Then, he said no, because the shoulder is a tricky joint and if it's as messed up as my PT thinks, it can cause all sorts of problems. He said that it's best to figure out what's wrong now and then put a plan together to fix it just as soon as Emma is born. It has been giving me more pain lately, so I am eager to at least find out what is wrong and know that it can be fixed, since that is the hardest part about pain to me. . . not knowing if it will end.

I was his last patient of the day again, so he gave me tons of time. We talked about my planned c-section again. I am still wavering a bit about doing that instead of trying for a VBAC. He asked what my concerns were and addressed all of them, one of the biggest being in the hospital for so long with Will at home (and currently, our hospital does not allow children under 12 to visit due to H1N1 risks). He told me that he has had patients released the day after their c-section if they are feeling well enough and request an early discharge. This is very good to know, though M felt that would be too soon. But as my doctor reminded me, a scheduled c-section is very different from an unplanned one as far as recovery. He said that based on how well I recovered last time, he thought I would be amazed how fast I recovered this time.

We reviewed her ultrasound pictures again. He told me that she is a "real cutie" which made me laugh. Of course, I agree, but I know he was just teasing! They all look like little aliens on those ultrasounds.

Who can even believe that I am just a week away from 24 weeks. . . viability. . . the Promise Land. Now, as I said to Will when he reached this very point, there is no need to test this whole viability thing and she needs to keep on baking. But it is still so exciting to be getting closer to the time when if she did come, she would be okay.

Monday, March 29, 2010

"Most"

Have you seen the movie "Most"?

It was shown in our church yesterday. Otherwise, seeing as it is a Czech independent short film, I would never have seen it. It is a story about a man who takes his young son to work, where he is a bridge operator, responsible for the lowering and raising of a train bridge over a busy waterway.

Somehow, the train comes early, while the bridge is still up and fails to stop at the signals. His son, who had been fishing, notices the off-schedule train and shouts to his dad, who doesn't hear him. So, the boy goes to try and pull the lever manually from the gears on the ground. Meanwhile, his dad has now noticed the approaching train, goes to look out the window, and is just in time to see his son fall into the gears.

Now he is faced with the most impossible choice. If he lowers the bridge to save the train, his son will certainly die. If he rescues his son, the train, with probably a hundred people on board, will crash into the river and then they will die.

I am not going to do a spoiler, but what I will say is this: I don't know how I could make that choice. Logically, I can say that the hundred lives on the train might carry weight with me, but the carnal need to protect my son might carry more. M and I had this debate on the way home from church, me feeling like the "right" thing to do would be to save the train and him feeling as if the "right" thing to do is to protect our son. Of course, we were both quite relieved that we don't have to actually make this decision, since my conclusion is that there is no easy answer.

It certainly made me hug Will a bit tighter when we got back to the nursery to pick him up after services.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday Night Leftovers


It's Friday, folks! Time for all the random thoughts in my head to get spilled into one post. Want to join the fun? Go see Danifred!

1. Thanks for "weighing in" (ha, ha) on my previous post. I agree that I am carrying the two babies very different. Will was the classic "basket ball" belly - high and out front. I felt all of his movement at the middle and top of my belly even in the very beginning. Emma is classic "watermelon," slung low against my hips. I feel all of her moves down low by my bikini line (though she is moving up a bit lately). So, from the back, I barely looked pregnant with Will at 22 weeks, but I feel like my hips, butt, and thighs are already showing the wear and tear of pregnancy this time around. And it's only gonna get worse. . . or better? I am finding myself more at ease with the changes that pregnancy is bringing to my body this time around. I think being in better shape and at a better weight prior to pregnancy has helped, as has the knowledge that my body will go back to it's pre-pregnancy weight. Now pre-pregnancy shape is another thing altogether, but I still fit pre-pregancy clothes about the same after about nine months. So, I am more relaxed, which is good, because there's not a darn thing I can do about it!

2) This week was classic Pacific Northwest early spring. We had a unbelievably gorgeous day on Wednesday with clear sunny skies and 70 degrees. Thursday, we were back in the rainy doldrums. I found the rain harder to deal with today than usual. It's kind of like when your baby starts to sleep through the night and then relapses. Just a taste of sleep or sun and it's hard to go back to sleepless nights and the drudgery of rain.

3) My hair gets really frizzy in the rain. I used to hate it when I was working outside the home and I was trying for that professional look. . . and ended up looking like an electrocuted poodle in a suit.

4) Will loves stickers. He is also quite fond of Elmo. I bought an Easter Egg decorating kit with Elmo and stickers. I had been thinking that he was too young for decorating eggs, but it was 79 cents and the combination of two of his favorite loves for a bargain price was too much to resist.

5) My parents are supposedly coming for a visit next week. I say supposedly, because it's my little brother's (though really, is "little" the appropriate word now that he is 17?) Spring Break and they were going to do a road trip to California. The weather didn't cooperate, so now they are going clamming on the coast and then "maybe" heading up here "sometime" next week. I really would like to see my parents, but this vagueness kind of bothers me. I wish they seemed more excited about seeing us. Ah, parents.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dare To Compare

After discussing my voracious appetite in my previous post, Red asked how I am measuring in comparions to Will. To be honest, I never measured my expanding self when I was pregnant - I didn't really want to know! Here are pictures from 22 weeks pregnant with Will for you to see if there is any difference.

Here I am, 22 weeks pregnant with Will (in the nice hotel we stayed in our our five year wedding anniversary):


22 weeks pregnant with Emma: Here is the bare belly view at 22 weeks with Will:

And bare belly withe Emma:

So, what do you think?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I'm Like An Animal

Kids, my appetite is outofcontrol. Seriously.

I do not have a huge appetite when I am not pregnant. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE food. You've seen my food posts, I don't cook low-fat or low-cal very often. I love all manners of foods, from breakfasts, to lunches, to desserts - and everything in between!! But I am good with portion control and I like to eat a ton of fruits and veggies, too. I would say that I crave variety rather than quantity as a non-pregnant person.

When I was pregnant with Will, I would get hungry, but I felt as if I ate pretty similarly to my non-pregnant self. I did have some cravings and occasionally, would eat more than usual, but my appetite seemed about the same.

Not so this time around.

This past Sunday, we grabbed Burger King on the way home. I usually (non-pregnant) get a Whopper Jr meal, small size, and a soda, and I rarely finish it all. As a concession to the fact that I was really hungy and I likes me some ice cream, I got a small chocolate shake instead of the soda. And I ate every. single. bite. Had we still been at the restaurant, I would have ordered another burger. This has never happened. I am not a finish my own burger kind of girl, let alone order another one! This is just an example of my appetite. There are many more.

I wake up hungry, I eat. I get hungry, I snack. I get more hungry, I have lunch. Lather, rinse, repeat, eat. All day. Hungry seems to be my middle name. KaHungryTie.
I think it's funny that my OB was concerned about weight gain last time around. I have done him proud this last month and might even get the opposite lecture at Monday's appointment.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Susie Who?

Still not really sure what this rash is/was, but the dose of Benedryl definitely calmed the itching. The rash is still there, but it hasn't spread farther, gotten more itchy or red, and I feel confident it's just one of those random pregnancy side effects. Thanks for the advice!

I bought fabric for Emma's nursery curtains today. I was having trouble finding the exact shade of raspberry that I wanted in pre-made curtains. It cost $30 in fabric, so I think that wasn't too bad of a price. I want to do a double curtain rod and do white sheers underneath. I am excited as the bits and pieces of the nursery come together.

I also bought a yard of patterned fleece to make Will a blanket. I let him pick and he chose airplanes (hardly a surprise). The blanket was super easy to make, no sewing required. I got the instructions through this video. It took me less than his nap time to make it, with plenty of breaks for a load of laundry here and a snack here.

Between a trip to the fabric store, a stop at the park to feed the ducks, and making a blanket, I am feeling all sorts of Susie Homemaker today. But my run ended with buying a Costco take n' bake pizza. A girl can only do so much!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Itches and O's

No answers on the rash yet, thanks for weighing in. My OB's office was jammed and I played phone tag with the nurse all day. She ended up referring me to my primary care physician, who is booked out a week, and I was in no mood to take my toddler to the walk in clinic with me for a two hour wait and exposure to goodness only knows only what.

She recommended a dose of Benedryl (you ladies are so smart) to see if that nips it in the bud. If not, I will tackle the walk in clinic tomorrow. Honestly, I don't think it's anything to get riled about, but she said I should get it checked out.

Will is addicted to Fruit Loops. He calls them "o's" and that's all he wants for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks in between. He wants them in a dish, with milk, and a spoon. This started after he watched M eating Fruit Loops for breakfast on Saturday morning. M has a habit of patting the cereal down so each piece is coated in milk, so now Will does the same. It's pretty cute but I wish they made Protein Loops or Veggie Loops. Hmmmmm. . . .

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Don't Be Rash

So, it started yesterday morning as a cluster of small, raised, pin-point red dots that were right under my bra line. I chalked it up to a bit of chafing or perhaps even a bit of heat rash.

By midday, it had spread to my entire abdomen and both forearms. It isn't a dark rash (most of the bumps are pale pink or even skin color). You can feel it (like sandpaper) all over my belly and arms. It doesn't look like PUPPS and it only slightly itches. I haven't changed any soaps, lotions, detergents, perfumes, etc. for myself or Will. I use Cetaphil wash and moisterizer and have since I was pregnant with Will.

Any suggestions or thoughts? I have a call into my OB but they are sometimes bad about calling back on the weekend. I am not that worried, but it's irritating and you guys have the best advice for treating the random little pregnancy side effects!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Battle Zones

I asked our pediatrician about discipline at Will's 18 month check. She encouraged me to find my own discipline style based on what feels comfortable to me and M, and then to be consistent. She also said to pick my battles and not make everything a Really Big Deal.

It got me thinking about my Battle Zones, things I am willing to go to the mat with Will on. I really don't care what he wears, whether he has a banana or apple, if he wears the same jammies to bed three nights in a row, or if he wants to wear his boots on a 60 degree, sunny day. I am willing to let him make those calls and am not going to argue with an 18 month old that easy to pull on shoes would be so much easier than those darn boots.

But I do have things that are very important to me. Meal times are an example. I know our lives will get more and more busy in the future as we start doing activities and sports, but the nights that we are all home, I want us eating dinners together. It is something that my own family did every single night and it is something that M and I have done every night since we started living together. Most nights, Will is good about sitting in his chair at the table with us. Occasionally, however, he will be "all done" long before we are (as in, before I've taken my first bite). We have had a few meals where he is basically fighting us the entire meal, alternatively saying "All done" and "Down, please" and then getting really toddlerish about it before we are finally done. M and I end up practically shouting over him to "talk" to each other and choking our dinners down quickly. As M has pointed out on nights like those (and they are rare), we might as well just let him get down and play so we can at least enjoy our meal together. I refuse to consider it. I worry that if we give in to him on the nights that he doesn't want to sit with us, then eventually, he will not ever want to sit with us and family meals will be a thing of the past. Of course, we can't expect Emma to sit at the table if Will never does. So, that's a battle zone to me. I have others, too, but I think that's the best example of something that many people might say, "Gee, Katie, let the kid play after he's done eating" and think I am being kind of silly to enforce it.

But it's my Battle Zone. I think we all have our own important things that are worth protecting, even if it means a tantrum. What are some of yours?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday Night Leftovers

Friday already? Actually, to be honest, this week has seemed kind of long to me. So I am ready for Friday. And I am always ready for Leftovers!

1. Last week, my MIL watched Will for me while I went to physical therapy. It went pretty well. She got here about five minutes before I had to leave for the appointment, and I was concerned that the quick transition might not go so well. Well, he didn't cry so much as one tear. He was thrilled to see me when I got home, but he was interacting well with her for the rest of the day. I also went to the grocery store for about an hour to give them another chance to be together. He was a little fussier about it that time, but no major meltdowns. All in all, it was a success.

2. Turns out that ordinary PT is not going to help me with my shoulder. My therapist has diagnosed me with a "mystery" shoulder separation of the AC joint. It's a mystery to both of us because usually this type of injury follows a major fall or blunt force trauma to the shoulder. I can't think of either of those things happening at any time in my life, let alone in the past two years. She has referred me to an orthopedic surgeon for a more offcial work up and diagnosis. Ugh.
3. Will threw his first public trantrum today. Fortunately, it was in a kid-friendly location. Unfortunately, it was in front of a friend who has a child Will's age who has yet to throw a tantrum. She was really nice about it, but you could see her thinking, "Glad that's not my kid!" While I am very glad he's mine, I am nervous about the Terrible Twos looming in the not-so-distant future. Oh and the reason for the tantrum? I wouldn't let him walk around with his snack. Yeah, I am a mean old mama.

4. We are going up to my MIL's tomorrow to give them more time together and the added bonus of some time off for M and me. We are going to have a picnic and see a matinee. I am almost as excited as I was for our first date. I am ready for some Mama Time!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I Regress

I think being perpetually tired is a universal sign of motherhood. Almost a badge of honor, if you will. Most playdates find me with other moms, comparing how many hours of sleep we haven't gotten since our babies were born.

I am actually fairly fortunate when it comes to Will and sleeping. He was rough on us in the beginning and, at times, I thought I would never sleep more than two consecutive hours again. Then one miracle night (at 11 weeks), he slept for seven hours straight. I woke up with rock hard boobs and yet still wanted to run around the neighborhood sans sports bra shouting with glee! Over several weeks, that miraculous seven hour stretch eventually lengethened until we were getting 8 hour stretchs consistently. He still nursed in the early morning (around 5 AM or so) until 7 months. Since then, most nights, Will gets a solid 11 - 12 hours, with nary a peep from his room.

But there nights when he doesn't sleep well. Now, they don't alarm me like they used it. I know that he can and will sleep through the night. It used to be that a string of bad nights would send me into an utter panic, straight into the evil, loving arms of Dr. Google. During those quests for information on how to get my baby to sleep, I found a few priceless resources. I have referenced this site before and I just love her no-nonsense, no-guilt approach. I first found her during Will's 4 month sleep regression. That one almost killed me, folks, because he had been sleeping so well from 11 - 16 weeks and then BAM! we were back to hourly wakeups. I always found it harder to go backwards and feel as if we are losing ground and I had never heard of these regressions, so I figuerd I had messed something up. Turns out, my kid was perfectly normal, and he hit five months and started sleeping like a champ again.

Moxie also saved my life by introducing me to the 2-3-4 schedule. I had been doing an "up two, down two" schedule, but it didn't seem to be working anymore at about five months. The 2-3-4 worked like a dream until about 14 months, when he gave up his second nap. But man, how I loved the 2-3-4 and hope it works as well with Emma.

If you read about the sleep regression business, you'll also see that it doesn't happen at four months, but also at nine and. . . yes, folks, 18 months. Which is where we are right now, smack dab in the middle of another Sleep Regression [said in a scary voice].

This regression has not been nearly as bad as the other two. First off, because of my perspective and the fact that I don't freak out when he stops sleeping. Secondly, because he usually doesn't need much, if any, help from us in getting back to sleep. He will cry for less than five minutes and just get himself back off to dreamland. As our walls are paper thin and his room his just across the hall from us, he still wakes us, but I usually don't have to get out of bed.

Last night, however, he was up too many times to count. Several of them required intervention. He has also started this rather "charming" habit of telling us that he is hungry when he wakes up. He will loudly, insistently, desperately announce, "Eat! Eat! Eat!" When your kid is telling you that he is hungry, especially when that same toddler ate only one slice of banana and a quarter of a string cheese all day, you start wondering if perhaps a midnight (or 2, 3, or 4 AM) snack isn't in order. It makes the whole crying it out thing even harder, because you wonder, "Am I starving my child?"

You might (if you are a weakling, like me) even give in and bring a packet of Ritz crackers into his room and give him one, which he didn't eat, but instead wanted to take to bed like some sort of uber-crumby-choking-hazard-transition-item (for those inquiring minds about to call CPS, no, I did not let him sleep with the cracker). In addition to multiple trips to Will's room last night, Emma has also decided that it's fun to jump on Mommy's bladder at the alternate hours that her brother doesn't wake up.

So, today, I am tired. Like stretch marks, sagging boobs, and gray hairs, it is yet another sign of motherhood. It is all so worth it, and I find that each time we come up against a new challenge, I am little more equipped to handle it. It's not that I handle it any better, per se, but I feel less defeated. I still feel exhausted, but not as if the world will end. Just like I need a nap! Hopefully, this will also apply when Emma arrives and doubles my trouble!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

This Is Why

I picked our pediatrician for the following reasons:

1) She's young (but not too young). I usually prefer younger doctors who keep themselves more up-to-date on current research. Yes, I know this is a bit of a generalization and I realize is not always the case. However, I worked with doctors extensively for six years. They are human, like everyone else, and the longer they practice, the more comfortable and routine they get. Experience is good, don't get me wrong, but I also like it when a doctor asks a colleague their opinion or researches a new approach rather than just taking the old stand by. Sometimes, the old stand bys work just fine, but it's nice to explore other options, too.

2) She's got privileges at this hospital. I hoped this would never come in handy for us, but it looks as if Will might need surgery sooner rather than later on those pesky adenoids. While it is a relatively low-risk procedure, Dr. S would like us to have a pediatric otolaryngologist and pediatric anesthesiologist, and be at a high level pediatric hospital if surgery is going to be the outcome. I cannot tell you how much I agree. As an added bonus, with her privileges, she can officially treat Will while he is at this hospital, or at least officially round on him post-surgery.

3) She is high tech. I can e-mail her with a question, check her blog, and heck, she is even following me on Twitter!

4) She is a real mom - who admits her kids don't always sleep through the night! Her boys are 23 months apart (my kids will also be 23 months apart). She was real with me at Will's one month appointment and told me the second month would be harder. It was and it made me feel a bit better to know that it was normal. She has also warned me that as wonderful as having two children will be, it will also include days of pure and utter Hell. She has also assured me that it does get easier.

So, yeah, I feel as if I made a good choice in picking our pediatrician. Also, something which cannot be discounted is that we rarely have to wait to be seen. Today, we barely sat down (I didn't even have time to count the fish in the tank or fill out the M-CHAT for Will) before we were called back (and we were 15 minutes early for the appointment).

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Quick Draw

I have found that one of the main differences in pregnancy this time around is that I am not nearly as fixated with creating the "perfect" nursery. I think it's a result of having less time to focus on baby preparation and just knowing that the cutest bedding set will not make my newborn sleep one bit better!

I also am determined to have the nursery completed long before Emma's slated arrival. I am sure I will continue to fine-tune it, but I would like to have it 'baby-ready' by May 15 (an arbitrary date, but I just felt that I needed a firm deadline).

With Will, I hemmed and hawed about colors, furniture, theme, etc. We still had the nursery done in time, but it still felt very rushed. With Emma, I am a decision-making-diva!

I have already picked the nursery bedding. I found it for $19.99 at TJ Maxx. I have already picked paint colors for the wall. We are going to be blessed by some very generous friends giving us a white crib and changing table. I have an idea for curtains and a rug.

I often wonder why I was such a dilly-dallier with Will. I think there are many reasons for this.

1) As a first-timer, I didn't know what was important and what wasn't, so everything became important. I was almost paralyzed by making the (gasp) wrong decision, so I over-researched everything.

2) I didn't want to do too much too soon and then have to come home without a RLB* and see a beautiful nursery.

3) I didn't realize what life with a newborn would be like. I thought I would have lots more time once I "wasn't working."

Now, with Emma, I have realized the following:

1) Very little about the nursery is really that important. Most of the time I am in that room, it is dark. The cute bedding, perfect paint, gorgeous crib all got puked on, pooped on, and chewed upon. And I will make plenty of wrong decisions as a parent. Painting the nursery the wrong color is a picnic compared to other parenting pitfalls.

2) Of course, bad things can happen. But procrastinating will not prevent that. And being ill-prepared caused me more stress than anything last time.**

3) Life with a newborn is hard. I had very little time that was "free" last time around and I can only assume life with a toddler plus newborn is going to leave me zilch, zippo, nada in terms of free time. If I do have any, I darn well best be sleeping.

So, I think that pretty much covers why my approach is so different this time that last time. And to be honest, this attitude has applied to more than just nursery preparation. I have also pulled the trigger on stroller purchases, names, etc., much quicker this time around. I feel more confident in myself as a mother now and don't worry as much what people will say or think about our decisions.

*RLB
** I have still made my best friend promise that if something does happen, she will collect extra newborn things, put them in the nursery, and shut and lock the door. When I am ready, she will also help to dismantle that room and repaint it. But of course, she made this promise to me, telling me that I was being "silly." Old habits die hard, I guess.

Monday, March 15, 2010

It's In the Bag

I have a confession to make: I didn't use my diaper bag past Will's third month.

I just didn't like it from a functional perspective. It was cute and I got tons of compliments on it, but it was too small, not enough pockets, no room for Will's essentials, let alone adding anything for me. After awhile, I just stopped carrying it and now, all of Will's necessities fit into a small rolling backpack that we take with us. There is no room for anything else in that bag, however, and I don't want to be packing two bags come July.

I would really like to have a diaper bag this time around that is big enough to hold what Emma and Will are going to need, plus my wallet, keys, cell phone, and maybe even a water bottle. I want pockets, perhaps even a separate changing pad/wipe holder, and it would be great if it was roomy, but I don't want it to be huge. Ideally, I would also like it to be somewhat stylish. If I found one that wasn't too "diaperbagish," I would ditch my purse and have an all-in-one for everything.

This is what I have found that I like best so far, but it's spendy and I haven't seen one in person, so I don't know if it will live up to the hype. I have always found my dear blogfriends to be so wise when it comes to knowing what the best truly is. I am willing to spend a bit extra for the "perfect" bag, and I also am good at finding internet deals.

So, tell me, what's your bag, baby?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

She's Got Moves

Oh, Miss Emma. I love the fact that you made my tummy jump tonight. Not once, but four times. I was in tears and laughing all at once.

My darling daughter, you are such a miracle. I love you and can't wait to meet you in July.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Night Leftovers


1. For some reason, this week has been a bit challenging from an emotional standpoint. Grumpy-non-filter Katie has been replaced by over-emotional-weepy Katie. It almost makes me miss the bitchy first trimester me. I was reading through some old posts (to compare pregnancy symptoms) and I hit an emotional wall about this time last pregnancy as well. I am so glad that I kept such a careful record of things last time around, so I am not as thrown by everything this time. But it is still weird to feel so off-balance, even when I know that it is (for me, anyway) part and parcel of a normal pregnancy.

2. Will is loving spending time with his Daddy lately. I am old news the minute M steps through the door after work. It is so neat to watch their relationship deepen into something so special. As I type this, they are playing with his tool set in the playroom. It is so sweet to hear them together. I tried to be all super-sly and sneak in to get some video, but apparently, super-sly is not one of my skills and the video just shows an annoyed M asking to not be videoed and Will hamming it up for the camera.

3. My neck and shoulder are feeling a lot better after just one session with my PT-Goddess, K. I have another session with her today, which I know will make me a bit sore, but it's worth it!

4. My MIL is coming to watch Will for me while I go to PT. I also plan to do some grocery shopping just to give them some more time together. There has been a bit of a disconnect with my MIL since the whole separation anxiety thing reared its ugly head this fall. I know she is disappointed that Will is not more comfortable with her, but she has been too busy to come our way at all since then. Though we have tried to be better about going up there, it isn't something that we can always do. I have encouraged her to come our way (she has several days off during the week) just to hang out and play, but it hasn't worked into her schedule so far. Fingers crossed that it goes well today so she will be more encouraged to come more often.

5. Will now says octopus. I just think that's a funny thing for an 18-month old to say. He can also tell you his name if he is asked. If you ask him how old he is, however, his answer is a definitive, "TWO." He stands by this no matter how many times you tell him he is one. The other day, when I was getting an oil change, he started flirting with a lady who then asked me what his height/weight percentiles were. I told her and she seemed surprised that he was "so small" for two. I laughed and told her that he was actually only 18 months. She thought he was quite convincing about his age.

Want to play along with FNL? Go see Danifred!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Preschool Tour

Who could even believe that this lil' monkey is ready for. . . preschool?


Well, technically, he won't be ready until after his birthday in August, but since the good co-ops fill up really fast around here, we are touring and registering for preschool today.

The great thing about this preschool is that one day a month, I will be in the classroom and another day of the month, one of my mom-friends will be in the classroom, so there will just be two days a month that he doesn't have someone there that he knows. It is just once a week, for two hours, and the whole purpose is really just socialization and fun learning. Several of my friends have participated in this same school and loved it. I also think that with Emma being a newborn next fall, it will be really good for him to get out of the house once a week for something that is just for him.

I did just have a bit of a 'mah baybeeee' moment, however, when I thought about getting him a backpack and dropping him off on the first day of "school." I truly believe it will be a good experience for him and I am going to have to start lengthening these apron strings someday, so it might just be good for me, too!

Edited: Will loved preschool. It was pajama day and they were doing a pancake breakfast. Will loves pancakes and was thrilled to be offered one. . . and then seconds which he gobbled up! They had a trampoline, sensory table, play house, a train set, other kids - he was in heaven. He didn't seem too shy and interacted with the bigger kids just fine. I think it will probably be a bit different when I leave him there, but for now, he seemed to really enjoy it. We are all registered and have paid our reservation fee. Now, I am going to try and forget that my Little Man is not so little anymore until I have to face the reality come September.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Friend In Need

Please go and give Ms. J a hug. She is experiencing some PPD issues and received an anti-adoption/anti-treatment for PPD comment on her blog today. I received an e-mail from her and she is devastated. You are all so wonderful in lifting me up on days when I need it most, please do the same for my friend.

*Also, I do not think we should even validate the nasty comment with a response directly to the poster. Just loving words for a brand-new-to-two mommy dealing with PPD would be appreciated!

Edited: My heart is just so filled with love and appreciation for those of you who have taken the time to leave comments for Ms. J or e-mailed me about this issue. I am passing all of your sentiments on to her and she is feeling much better tonight. Thank you so very much.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Bump in the Belly

My absolute favorite part about pregnancy is feeling the baby move. I have been feeling Emma since about 15 weeks, but they were flutters and taps, and more of that, "Was that the baby or just my lunch?" feelings rather than true, definitive movement.

The past week, those flutters and taps have been getting stronger. The past couple of days, it has been no doubt that it's my little girl (eeeeek, still makes me giddy to say that!!!!) causing the ruckus in the belly! I love it. It's not to the point where someone could feel her from the outside, but I have a feeling that's not very far away. M felt Will move at 24 weeks, so it should be soon. I can't wait!

She is also causing outward appearances to change. I think I am pretty much past the beer gut phase and into the belly phase. I also have gained some serious weight in the past couple of weeks and have now surpassed my prepregnancy weight. I can no longer fit into prepregnancy jeans and have gone maternity. I have missed these comfy waistbands, that's for sure!

I keep hearing people say how tiny I am. That is something that I never heard with Will. A couple of weeks ago, I thought I looked about the same. But these pictures from 20 weeks pregnant with Will have convinced me that I am carrying this baby differently. While I will agree that my belly is smaller this time around, I am noticing the dreaded "back fat" much earlier and also feel as if my hips have spread much sooner, too. I feel as if I carried Will higher up and Emma seems wider and lower. So, it's kind of a trade off. Here are the 20 week pictures with Will for your viewing/comparing pleasure.


Last night, we were at Target and I was walking next to Will in the cart while M pushed. I was absentmindedly rubbing the belly and Will reached out, patted my belly, and said, "Hi, Baby!"

So precious. Until he kind of ruined the moment by reaching out and patting M's belly and saying, "Hi, Baby!"
M is going on a diet!
Now, for some reason, it is so much easier to take belly pictures when Will is down for a nap. So I need to catch up on his belly shots. However, while I was taking these pictures, he was singing himself to sleep. You have to listen carefully and have the volume turned way up, but this will have to do instead of cute baby belly shots. . . cute baby singing video!

video

Miracle Worker

So, I got into the physical therapist for a 7 AM appointment. Have I mentioned how much I adore my PT? She is a freakin' miracle worker.

When I was 16, my dad and I were rear-ended on a freeway off ramp. We were the second car hit in a three car accident. We were at a standstill when the car, going 50 mph, smashed into the car behind us, which smashed into us. I was wearing my seat belt (fortunately) but my dad said it was like watching a floppy doll as I was thrown in my seat forwards and back.

The lady that hit us and the people in the car behind us all had to be taken away by ambulance for serious injuries. I was checked out by the EMTs at the scene, and they recommended that I visit my primary care doctor later that day. But I felt fine and my parents didn't insist.

The next morning, I could barely move. I know whiplash is a "joke" and that the minute someone gets rear ended, most people snidely remark that their neck will start hurting the morning. This was no joke, I was in serious, debilitating pain. My parents took me to the doctor, who diagnosed me with neck strain and severe whiplash. I was prescribed muscle relaxants and physical therapy. After six months of therapy, I finally was able to function somewhat normally and didn't live in horrifying day-to-day pain. I was never 100% back to normal and ever since, my neck has been my "weak spot." If I feel stressed or tired, my neck bears the brunt of it. Whenever I get a professional massage, the therapists are always stunned by my tight neck muscles and "mobile" joints. And, as I talked about last week, every once in awhile, I will have an episode which will completely immobilize me for a couple of days.

Over the past fifteen years, I have seen about six physical therapists during these episodes. They would "help" me, in that I could get over the excruciating pain, but I was never pain free. Most days, I would have a twinge or ache in my neck or shoulders. Even though it was a pain in the heck (ha, ha), I felt as if I was managing. I would have to take some muscle relaxants and stay off of my feet for a day or two, but before I had a baby, that was doable.

The stress (physical and emotional) of having a newborn took my neck into overdrive in the fall of 2008. There is no time off with a newborn to "rest" a sore neck. By Christmastime, my neck was so bad that I could barely sleep, drive, or nurse sitting up. It was BAD. I went to my primary care doctor, begging for relief and she referred me to my amazing miracle worker. . .

Seriously, I was a 10 on the pain scale the day I went to see her. I broke down crying as I explained that I didn't want to (and couldn't because I was nursing) live on pain medications, but I couldn't function on just Tylenol for much longer. She said, "Don't worry, we'll fix this."

It took a couple of sessions and some serious "homework" of exercises at home, but by about three weeks in, I was feeling better than I had in years. Years. All of those years, it felt as if someone was standing on my head, pushing my vertebrae together. After two months of therapy, I felt amazing and literally as if a weight had been lifted. I wasn't in any pain. At all. I referred one of my friends with a similar history of chronic neck and back back to her, and she also fixed him.

I couldn't tell you exactly what she does so differently, except that she did a fellowship in chiropractic work and also teaches at the University of Washington Medical School. She can just look at me and diagnose the problem. She spent a lot of time teaching me core exercises in addition to neck work, which was definitely something that hadn't been done before. She is a slave driver with exercises and will not let me slack (and somehow, can tell when I haven't been doing them as prescribed).

So, this morning, I went in, feeling like a complete mess. My shoulder and neck were killing me, so were my hips. She went to work and although I don't feel better yet, I know I will. She looked at me as she did last year and said, "Aw, honey. We'll fix it."

And I know she will.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Check One Thing Off

Ooooooh, I am so very excited!!!

I am nothing if I am not frugal. I love a good deal. I had narrowed my double stroller search down to my Top Three Strollers. Each had their good and bad sides. I then haunted craigslist looking for one of them for a good price.

And I found it!!! I found this stroller for $200 yesterday! And I was fortunate enough to contact the people first. This stroller is in beautiful, almost-new condition. I am serious, the little spikey rubber things are still on the tires and it is immaculate. It looks new. The owner still had the manual for it and everything. He even took $180 (because I always have to try and negotiate) because there were two tiny scratches on the handle.

Here's what I love about this stroller (and ultimately, why it made my Top Three List):

1) The one-handed fold. Seriously, this fold sells the stroller on it's own.

2) The individual recline seats that adjust to pretty much any position, rather than "fixed" positions.

3) The individual sun canopies that extend far down and the fact that they have little peekaboo windows in both the side and top.

4) The zippered pockets, mesh pockets, and under basket. This girl likes her storage!

5) It's a narrow profile, designed to go through any standard door.

6) The handlebar adjusts up and down, which my husband will really appreciate.

7) It is light weight and steers like a dream. Seriously, I think one finger could push this bad boy and it is lighter than my single all-terrain.

It's still kind of bulky (but aren't pretty much all double all terrain strollers?) and I will have to purchase the carseat adapter and rainguard separately, but even with those two purchases, we are still saving a lot of money!

Check item off list!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Things To Do

So, I had a list of Things To Do Before Baby Comes with Will. However, I started* it about a month before his due date and he came two weeks early. So, I only had about two weeks to do everything on my list and it didn't all get done. The bad thing about not getting something checked off of your list before a newborn arrives is that it's probably not going to get done anytime soon. By the time the dust settles and you are able to think about tackling a To Do List, it has grown by a million things to do, and with 20 minute naps (your own and baby's), it takes awhile to tackle even the smallest of tasks.

In fact, some things on this To Do List are leftover from that very list that I started with Will! In the spirit to getting everything crossed off of the list this time (and yes, I know that's most likely impossible), I am going to start earlier. A side benefit of posting it here is that you, my lovely audience, can keep me accountable for getting these things done!

List of Things To Do Before Emma Rocks Our World**
- Reorganize Will's closet
- Organize linen closent
- Clean out freezer
- Make extra meals for freezer
- Empty out nursery
- Paint nursery
- Install organizer in nursery closet
- Organize master bedroom closet
- Reorganize small closet downstairs
- Get swing and bassinet down from garage storage
- Make "Willism" book for whoever watches him (daily schedule, meals, activity ideas, etc.)
- Purchase double stroller
- Sell single strollers on craigslist
- Hang bookshelves in playroom
- Tackle bedroom "hot spot" (which is already down to a very small pile, thanks to Fly Lady)
- Paint entry way
- Reorganize bottle/glass cupboard
- Carpets cleaned

*Actually, we had a list started and worked on for many months before that, but it was a mental list and I find that writing it down really accelerates getting things crossed off.

**List not necessarily in order of most important or the order in which I will do them, it's just what came/comes to mind.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Friday Night Leftovers


1. First off, what a relief to know I am not the only one that uses parenting "crutches" every once in awhile! It's nice to know I am not alone!
2. I have an old neck injury from a car accident I was in when I was 16 that comes up every once in awhile. Right after Will was born, when I was trying out nursing positions and getting used to my hefty little boy, it acted up. The way it works is that my shoulder starts hurting, then across the top of my back, and then something small will throw out my neck and it's awful. I see a physical therapist for it, but she is extremely popular. . . and booked out a month. Well, my shoulder has been hurting since Thanksgiving, so I knew it was only a matter of time. On Wednesday morning, I was toweling my hair dry and felt my neck seize up. I'm on the wait list for my PT, so fingers crossed I get in soon, since I can't take anything more than Tylenol for the pain.
3. I "cleaned" bathrooms yesterday that didn't need cleaning. This is so not me, but I liked how it felt, as if I was channeling my inner Martha Stewart. I wouldn't really say that I cleaned them, more than just wiped up and quickly mopped using my Swiffer. Oh, and thanks to the lovely Jen, I also purchased these reusable pads for my sweeper. It will save a ton of money over buying the pads that came with it. They arrived this week and I think it does take a little extra "push" to use them, but I like that you can also flip them over and use them again before tossing them in the wash. I haven't had to refill my cleaner bottle yet, but this tutorial will come in handy when I do.

4. Will broke through two molars this week. And he has a cold. Poor little bug. He didn't eat anything for three days and then last night, he ate more than me for dinner. I don't know if I will ever get used to this toddler way of eating.

5. Did I mention that I finally quit my job? My two weeks' notice was over last Friday and my boss is still calling and e-mailing me as if I still work for them. Weird.

6. Does anyone else feel guilty taking a nap when their kid does? I wish that I could just get into bed and not feel guilty about it, but I rarely can, even if I am tired (and I am always tired lately). I end up cleaning a bathroom instead. Or blogging, but at least I am sitting down for that!

Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Want to join the Leftover Fun? Go see Danifred to check it out!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

If These Walls Could Talk

I will admit to taking the occasional. . . shortcut. . . in parenting. The easy route, you might call it.

For example:

1) I never take Will out of his stroller at the mall or other random places because I know it is virtually impossible to get him back in without a fuss. Sometimes, I feel bad, keeping him penned up. But it's so much easier.

2) I will give Will Cheerios whenever I need a few minutes to get something done. The boy loves his "o's".

3) I get impatient with stairs (we have a lot of them in our house), so a lot of the time, I pick him up rather than let him climb them himself. He loves to climb stairs, so it's really not nice of me, but when going up them for the umpteenth million time in a day, I just am over it.

4) At bedtime, if I am really tired, I will pick short stories to read to him. He likes the longer stories and I usually try to do at least one long one and two short ones. We do read a lot during the day, so I don't feel too badly about this.

These are just a few examples. What are some of your parenting shortcuts?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Boy and His Pillow

We went to Ikea yesterday, in search of shelving and the cool smock bibs they have. But of course, one never goes to Ikea "just" for what is on their list. They also go to buy some things that jump out at them as they browse through the maze (Side note: Does anyone else feel like a herded cattle when they go through Ikea?).

Of course, now that he is 18 months old, Will also sees things that he likes in stores, too. Usually, he is only temporarily interested in something and I will let him play with said object until we get to the end of our shopping trip. He isn't at the age yet where he throws a fit when we have to put it back. We just say, "Bye-bye [insert whatever thing he has been carting around]."

Well, yesterday, the thing that caught his eye was a $2 pillow.

He pointed to it with great excitement. It was very colorful, soft, and just his size. I handed it to him, thinking he would quickly bore of it and I could drop it off someplace else prior to hitting the register.

He grabbed that pillow, wrapped his arms around it, and then proceeded to hug and love on it through the rest of the store. He would lay his head down it and close his eyes. Several people stopped to ask me if he was really sleeping. He would pop up and say "hi" when they approached us, giving one lady a bit of a startle (which he thought was hilarious).

I am not sure what would have happened if I had tried to separate them. To be honest, I didn't even try. He got the pillow and hugged it all the way home. He can't quite say "pillow" - it comes out more as "pallob," but he said it quite a bit. And he slept for three hours with it during his afternoon nap.

Last night, when M put him down, he said that Will was really excited to see his pillow again and give it a hug. Has he finally found his transitional object?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Imagining

Sometimes, I really miss the babies that we never held in our arms.

I wonder what they'd be like, what personalities they would have. I wonder how they would be like their brother and how they'd be different.

I am so grateful for my son (and now, my daughter, too). I know we were meant to have him, just as he is. There is not a day that goes by that I do not thank God for all that we have been blessed with and for what we are being blessed with in the future.

But sometimes, I do think about the others. And wish we could have had them, too.

Monday, March 1, 2010

27 Flings and Other Things

I mentioned in my Friday Night Leftovers post that I had started Fly Lady. I can't remember how/where I heard about it, but it has really been helping me to change some bad habits. I know I have posted here before, but cleaning and organization are not my strong points. I like to have a clean house, desire to have those closets that anyone can open without things flying out at them, and just generally would like to have more of a sense of order.

Before Will was born, I could make the time to clean and organize. I could "stay ahead" of the mess. Even after he was born, while he was taking two naps a day, I could manage. But now, pregnant and managing a very busy, one-nap-a-day toddler, I was falling behind. We looked at several options, but couldn't afford having a cleaning service, and honestly, the cleaning isn't the problem, so much as the STUFF.

So, I started Fly Lady and it turns out I picked the perfect month. February was Declutter Month and each day, you had to toss out 27 pieces of garbage and find 27 things to give away. Every day, people. It only took about 15 - 20 minutes each day to find my 54* things. The garbage was actually really easy, as sorting my mail would usually take up most of that, taking a few things out of the refrigerator, and I counted emptying a garbage can as one thing. Finding 27 things to give away wasn't so hard, either, especially since I really needed to go through my clothes and get rid of some knick knacks. As the days wore on, however, it got more difficult to find that many things. I am an emotional packrat, keeping things because they were given to me by someone special, and also a "what if" keeper, holding on to things on the very random chance that I might need them someday. There are articles and pieces of advice directly aimed at people like me.

Now, a few words of caution if you decide to do Fly Lady:

1) You will get a ton of e-mails. Each day (M - F) you get a Flight Plan, which tells you your "chore" for the day. I like this one and read it every day and was very good about following it. You will also get a lot of testimonials. If the title grabs me, I might read these, but most of the time, I delete them. There are also some advertisements for Fly Lady cleaning products and gadgets. Some of them look really neat, but I also skip a lot of these. Signing up and participating in Fly Lady is free, but it could get spendy if you bought all of the advertised products.

2) You need to not try and skip ahead or do more than is "prescribed". If you are like me, part of the reason why you are living with clutter is that it's overwhelming to know how to fix your problem. You look around your house and thing, "Gah, where to begin?" I had a lot of hot spots in my house and I didn't honestly think that "fifteen minutes a day" and a 27 fling would really fix them. The first few days, I was tempted to do more organizing and finding other projects to do. That really defeats that purpose. The whole point of the website is to take manageable pieces of time and make them work for you. The first week, I didn't see a lot of progress. But by the second and third week, I had completely gotten rid of 2 hotspots and was working on the third. By the end of the month, I now just have two hot spots left. And this was with no major cleaning projects, just fifteen minute intervals a day.

That's it. I really like it. I don't do everything, I don't read everything, and I am still seeing a lot of progress. My goal for myself is to have an organized home and no hot spots by the time Emma is born. This is a lofty goal for someone famous for her "Closets of Death," but I feel as if I have a game plan and it's not overwhelming.

A couple of updates:

My sister sent me a text message at about 7 PM last night. It said, "Made it home safe and sound around 2. Thanks for a fun weekend." I think that she, like me, would rather remember our fun weekend and forget about how it ended. So, hopefully, that is the end of the drama for now.

I had an OB appointment on Friday. We scheduled the rest of my appointments and my c-section. Unless she decides to come a bit early on her own, her birthday will be July 19. The doctor mentioned that her abdomen was measuring a bit small on the ultrasound and her approximate weight is on the low end. On it's own, not much to be concerned with, but he wants a follow up ultrasound in a month and also wanted me to add 300 calories a day to my diet to gain a few more pounds in the meantime. He thinks the reason she is small right now is because of how much weight I lost in the beginning and that I have not gained a lot since then. So, time for a bowl of ice cream!

*Ha! Obviously, as my lovely anonymous poster pointed out, I might need remedialmathskills.net (I just made that up, but I am sure it's actually a site) next. Or that could just be my very latent desire to not give up my crap! I did actually get rid of 54 pieces, in case anyone was wondering, I just accidentally typed 52.