Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday, February 24, 2013

In and out

What's the best part about literally growing up?  If you're a toddler, it's the ability to open and close doors on your own!  Just as the saying goes, who needs toys when you have boxes and doors to play with?  Certainly not this little girl!

Bye bye!!!

Back again!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Safety First (Part II)

Anna not only takes her own safety very seriously, she's also concerned that her stuffed animals remain safe during their jaunts with her in the shopping cart ... after all, she's quite the off-roader at times : )

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Baby bump: 37 weeks

I'm a little behind in getting this post up, I'm closer to 38 weeks than 37 at this point, but better late than never.  I had a routine check-up last week where it was noted that my blood pressure had started to rise, same as it did with Anna (although a little later in this pregnancy).  Because of this they ran blood work that came back showing some elevated and lowered functions across the board and I'm officially on pre-eclampsia watch, again, same as I was with Anna.  I have a check up tomorrow and will also undergo a non-stress-test to ensure this baby girl is safe and sound. The good news is that I'm full-term and it's totally safe to induce me should they feel it's necessary.  I'll make a note that the last few weeks have been mirror images of my first pregnancy ... elevated levels, pre-eclampsia watch, a NST on the last day of my 37th week of pregnancy ... you may recall after that last appointment I was told to go home, rest of the weekend and return on Monday ... and then my water broke around midnight that evening.  It will be interesting to see if we continue down the same path this time, or if I actually get to enjoy a few days of my two-week pre-maternity leave.  Feel free to leave your prediction(s) as a comment.

How Far Along: 37 weeks

Size of Baby: Approximately 6 1/2 pounds and approximately 19-20 inches long.  I'll note that Anna was exactly average weight at birth, 7lbs even, and they expect this baby to be the same, at this point the baby is gaining about 1/2 lb a week putting her around 7lbs this weekend.  

Movement:   I can definitely tell there's less room in the oven for this little girl to move around, I feel much bigger kicks and can tell she's gotten stronger; because of this I feel her activity more often and fairly regularly thorughout the day.  Over the last two weeks she's also gotten hiccups several times : )

Sleep:  Still a challenge, but it's good practice for what's to come!

Cravings:    Ethnic foods:  Mediterranean, Asian, Mexican, Italian ... and still ice cream because I swear it helps with my acid reflux overnight if eaten right before bedtime : )

Symptoms:    I'm starting to feel a lot more pressure and can tell labor will be coming sooner rather than later.  Sometimes I'm fairly certain this baby is attempting to karate chop her way out of the womb; I've got constant pressure on most of my internal organs, most specifically my bladder and lungs ... meaning lots of winded trips to the restroom : )

Best Moment This Week:  Being able to share movements with Mike and Anna and being able to decipher what they are feeling (a hand vs a foot, etc).  We'd never really held Anna's hand to my belly during kicks until this last week and now I'm fairly certain she thinks I'm harboring an alien baby.  She looked at me as though I had four heads when she felt the kicks and actually scooted away from me on the couch.  

Other notes:  Our bags are packed, I have several freezer meals prepared and most of the baby-related items have been moved from storage to the nursery or guest bedroom.  That said, I'd love to have a few days to rest and relax at home with my first love before welcoming this baby, but I also know I have very little say in this timing : )

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Letter to Anna: Month twenty-one

Dear Anna,

This is the last letter I’ll write you as an only child.  I’ve been asked by several people how long I’ll keep writing you letters on a monthly basis and the answer is that I don’t know exactly.   I love capturing memories with the letters, but also want to be fair to your sister and capture her memories as well.  I can’t commit that they’ll keep coming every month, and maybe in a few years we’ll combine to include both of my little girls milestones and memories, we’ll see. 

You are totally ready to be a grown-up at this early stage in your life and spent the past month mimicking such behaviors.  You love to shut doors and I must say the OCD in me appreciates that you’re there if the door to the pantry or powder room on the first floor happen to be open.  You love to take your own diapers and other miscellaneous items to the trash can all by yourself now and beam with pride after each instance.  Just the other day I walked into the room as your Dad picked up a call from one of your Uncles and you immediately reached for my phone on the table and started a conversation of your own.  You’ve also almost given both your Dad and I several heart attacks as you insist on trying to walk up and down the steps on your own.  If I had a dollar for each time I’ve yelled “turn around go backwards”, you wouldn’t even need a college fund.  You’re also very opinionated and love to use the word “miiiiineeeeeee” as a moniker for anything you need or want RIGHT NOW, generally expecting us to mind-read your exact demand or decipher where that teeny tiny finger is pointing. 

You’re a mini-Mommy lately and are SO ready to be a big sister.  You have two baby dolls and countless stuffed animals swaddled and ready for “night night” at any given moment.  You even started to diaper your charges over the weekend.  I was hoping that their docile nature during diaper changes would be mimicked, but it appears you still like to let it be know that you have better things to do while I wipe your rear.  You will rock your babies to sleep, gently lay them down, cover them up, and then have been known to go so far as to “shhhhhh” me when they are sleeping.  I walked into the room the other day and you were rocking your baby; as I started to talk to you I got a “shhhh, night night” from you.  It was adorable and scary all at the same time.  I can only hope that this true loves transfers over to your little sister.  Last night you were simultaneously rocking a baby and a bear, alternating giving each one kisses and I’m almost certain it was to prove to me that you can have two babies on your lap at a time.

Physically you are maturing as well; you love to jump, jump, jump, run and are generally on the move.  You can stand on one leg and you love to show us how you can walk backwards.  At school you’re a bit of a show-off and we hear that when they are going around in a circle to practice motor skills that you are often “that child” that does it for everyone else.  We’ve had a few nice days lately and your Dad has started working with you more on throwing and catching a soccer ball (pink accents of course) and I have to say that you’re pretty good!  You think it’s hilarious when Dad throws the ball way up high and catches it behind his back and we’ve already had a few talks about how balls don’t get thrown in the house (directed at your Dad, not you).  We saw your doctor this month for what turned out to be a mild eye infection and while we were there you showed off your jumping and gymnastics skills.  I write this only because he said it unprovoked, but he commented that he can’t recall seeing a toddler with your physical skill set ever and warned me that you would likely not only want to try many sports, but would likely be good at most.  I’m about as uncoordinated as they come, so I hope you continue to hone in on these motor skills and prove half of your gene pool wrong. 

You’re getting tall, sneaky, and general precarious when it comes to exploring new areas in the house.  You’re tall enough that you can reach the kitchen table and the edge of our counters with your finger tips, so we’re watching what’s up there (no knives lying around anymore!).  You’ve developed an affinity for washing your hands, but I think the use of the stool is what you enjoy the most.  Funny because the cupcake-shaped stool we bought for your use in the powder room totally freaked you out for about two weeks, but now you can barely be torn away.  You can reach doorknobs and love to shut doors and tell us “bye-bye”; this morning we played that game in your closet for about 5 minutes straight until I coerced you to eat breakfast by telling you the cats were downstairs waiting on you.

Speaking of those cats.  You guys are thick as thieves.  You have finally started to call Milo by his name, but it comes out more like “Miwo.”  You follow him around, are thrilled to see him in the morning, give him pets, kisses and hugs, and love to identify his anatomy, including “paws!”, “tail”, and “whiskeys.”  Daisy has started to get in on the action a bit more as well.  Your love of animals extends well past our pets and into the word of stuffed and those you see on TV.  You are obsessed with the movie Lady and the Tramp and any show that includes animals.  We recently saw an episode of Curious George and also have a few new books from Christmas and you insist on reading about the “money” almost daily.  You have full-on conversations with the cats and your stuffed animals / babies, I SO wish I could get into that head of yours to hear what you’re thinking. 

In short, you’re growing up and becoming more of an independent spirit each day.  Just this week I realized that the hard way.  You've become fairly attached to one of the teachers in your current room at school (just as you have with the other two rooms as well) and haven’t wanted to come for several days when we arrive to pick you up.  Those days are hard to take as your Mom.  Really hard.  Especially when you add in pregnancy hormones, lack of sleep and the fact that Dad was across the country for the week at a work conference most of this week.  I felt like the worst Mother ever when we got home and did my best to make sure you had a fun evening, a good (to you) dinner, and that there were lots of snuggles, hugs, games and love.  I called your Gigi after you went to bed on the first day it happened to me and was pretty upset, but in her infinite wisdom she reminded me that you’re developing that independent spirit that, as a parent, I’m in charge of fostering.  And that’s so true.  It’s not my daycare teacher that I called when I’m upset, it’s my Mom; and I know that if something bad happened to you in that room at daycare, you’d come running to me in an instant.  But, in the meantime, it’s healthy for you to build relationships with others, to explore situations outside of your comfort zone, and to develop into your own person. 

With the impending arrival of your little sister, we’ll all be making room in our hearts and our lives, just with all aspects of life, ours will change and morph into something even better than what we already know.  As much as I’d like to keep you my little girl forever and live in our happy kingdom as a family of three, I also CANNOT wait for you to share your life with your sister, to impart on her the wisdom you’ve learned in your short 21-months, and to bathe her with your love.  I can’t wait to take it all in, the good with the bad, knowing I had a small part in making you who you are and that come better or worse, I’m always going to hold the title and privilege of being your Mom.  I love you so much! 


Monday, February 11, 2013

Head, shoulders, knees and toes

Anna loves to show us where all of the parts of her body are located and I love to hear the names she's given each of them in her toddler dialect.  We're not sure why she does the "yeah yeah yeah" when she points to her chin, but think it's hilarious.  She's also learning that Milo (aka Miwo) has "paws" and "whiskeys", but that's a video for another day.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Walking in Mommy's shoes

Not to be outdone, Anna is an equal opportunity shoe walker.  I haven't snapped any pics, but she's pretty good in heels, too : )

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Love bug

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A cat and his girl (Part III)

If you know Milo, then you know that food is serious business to him.  He likes to be fed first thing in the morning (weekends when we "sleep in" far-rreak him out and he's in full panic mode by 7am) and by 6pm in the evenings.  (Gee, it appears even my non-biological children carry my OCD gene ...)  Given these strict parameters, I was a little worried when Anna started to literally shadow him around the house, including when he was eating.  But, just like everything related to their relationship, I was pleasantly surprised to see that he's perfectly content to eat his breakfast with the watchful eye and helping hand of his toddler BFF.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Baby bump: 35/35

Today marks the start of my 35th week of pregnancy and I'm copying from a friend's post who noted that at 35 weeks you're a mere 35 days from your due date.  It's crazy how fast time is flying!  We're feeling pretty good about being prepared; we're washing newborn clothing, thinking about packing bags and have our back-ups identified in the event that I go into labor in the middle of the night.  I have less than three weeks of work left, but have almost everything transitioned in case I go early (I know this shocks my readers).  And, for now we're trying to enjoy the last few weeks as a family of three, while mentally preparing for life as a family of four.

How Far Along: 35 weeks

Size of Baby: Approximately 5 ½ pounds, weighing as much as a honeydew melon, and approximately 18-20 inches long, at this point the baby won't grow much longer, but will keep packing on the pounds.  

Movement: This little girl is still head down, butt to the left, feet to the right, just like her sister was toward the end; I constantly have a foot lodged in one of my right ribs, feel punches around my belly button and I think she's using my bladder as a punching bag.  Still more of an afternoon and evening mover and shaker, preferring to sleep-in.  

Sleep:  I'm tired!  I go to bed early, but tend to wake up from midnight to 2am and have some quality time on the couch with my DVR or the iPad.  I'm thankful to have a husband that lets me relax in the evenings and on the weekends, I've even taken a couple of naps over the past few weeks.  

Cravings:  Ice cream in the evenings to replace a glass of wine or beer that my husband is enjoying : )  And, I'm currently doing a "tour of lunches" with my co-worker who loves food as much I do, we've got several places to squeeze in over the next 2 1/2 weeks.  

Symptoms:   Here's what I miss from life before/after pregnancy:  being able to walk up a flight of stairs without being winded, not having to pre-treat every single shirt because I can't get close enough to the table not to spill, and not feeling like I'm carrying a sack of potatoes in a Baby Bjorn when I get up from sitting for any length of time.  

Best Moment This Week:  Pulling out the bin of newborn clothing to wash and remembering just how tiny a new baby is ... it brought back a flood of memories and emotions from those first few weeks with Anna.  I can't wait to do it all over again, as crazy as it may be, as tired as I know I'll be, and as overwhelmed as I may initially feel.