Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I Need to Catch Up!

Wow, not one blog written in the month of December until now. Crazy! I think I really need to play some catch up when I get the chance. New baby, the holidays... it's all making catch up (or any free time) nearly impossible! Promise... you'll get an update soon on all that's been going on. :)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Adjusting to the Changes

We've been home from the hospital since Wednesday afternoon and everyone seems to be adjusting really well. Hayden, especially! He's nursing great, sleeping fairly well at night, and overall comfy in his new environment. I find it amazing how noises don't disturb him (and his hearing is just fine). I know they say that babies get used to sounds in the womb, but this is just astonishing! Lauren can scream loudly, the dog can bark, Carter can bang on toys -- Hayden doesn't even flinch! But trust me... if I talk he looks for me. When Matt talks while holding him, he turns his gaze to Matt's face. He hears just fine. :)

When we left the hospital, Hayden was 8 lbs 15 oz -- losing weight is normal, esp since my milk isn't in yet (it did come in the day we left the hospital). I took him to the doctor Saturday morning for the usual first checkup and he was already back up to 9 lbs 2 oz. The goal is for him to be at birth weight by the 2-week checkup -- I think he'll make it. Especially the way he eats! :)

I am finding it easy to transition from two to three kids. Of course, I've only been home alone with all three for a couple hours so far! But overall I'm less stressed about having a new baby and I think that comes with experience. Either that, or I just don't have the time to be! :P Lauren seems so big to me now. She's communicating so much better and sleeping in a toddler bed -- it just seems like she's so much older than 18 months! I just hope that having them close together won't make me lose those little "baby" moments with her. She has stepped into the role of big sister -- looking after baby, giving him plenty of pats and kisses, and watching him while he sleeps. And she loves being Mommy's little helper.

Carter has also stepped up his role as big brother. He's fascinated with Hayden and is always asking if he can hold him. He eagerly awaits for Hayden's eyes to be open so he can talk to him, and Hayden just watches Carter when he's around. Carter not only helps with the baby, but helps a lot more with Lauren -- especially when I'm nursing!

I've got a wonderful family and feel truly blessed. I'm looking forward to all the new moments that await us, and how our lives will change with each one.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Welcome to the World, My Baby!

Hayden Thomas Wolf arrived this morning at 10:30am. He weighed 9 lbs 10 oz and was 21.5 inches long. He's got lots of dark hair and is such a blessing!

Labor was quick and without incident. I got to the hospital at 6:30am and got the paperwork filled out. Dr Stowell came in around 8am to do a check -- I was almost 5cm and he broke my water. He said he didn't know what was holding him in there! The contractions got stronger from there... I got up to walk and they got even stronger. I got back to my room and just sat and labored, no pitocin needed! In about an hour they were really strong and I thought, "Okay, maybe I can't do this." So I asked for an epidural, but then the next contraction I knew it was too late... They were hurrying to get the doctor in the room, making me breathe through them so I wouldn't push. He let me push as soon as he was ready, and Hayden was out in 3-4 contractions. Without an epidural, you have more incentive to push harder! :) All in all, 2.5 hours of labor and a healthy, beautiful boy!

We forgot the USB cable for the camera, so Matt will get some pics uploaded tonight. I'll post one here when I can. Need to get baby woken up to nurse... :)

Today's the Day...

I'm going to be leaving for the hospital in just a little bit. So exciting! I probably won't be able to post anything (unless Matt brings me his laptop in the hospital), so look for an update in a couple days when I'm home. Wish me luck! :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Another Update

Went to the dr this morning, and everything is fine. I'm dilated just a bit more than the 4 cm I was this past Monday, but no other progress. Baby is doing great -- just waiting for him to quit teasing me! He offered to let me go to the hospital today and help get things going, but I opted to let him come on his own this weekend. Dr was pretty sure that he'd come on his own over the weekend as well. If not, we're headed to the hospital on Monday morning to be induced!

I'm having a few sporadic contractions, but nothing too strong. We'll see how it progresses throughout the day. Mom did make it here, about the same time I got home from getting Carter from preschool. We're both exhausted from long nights, so looks like it will be naps for everyone this afternoon! :)

Update...

So, regular contractions have stopped. I have no idea what's going on. What's funny is we're joking he's waiting until Grandma can get here. My mom got stranded in the middle of the night on her way here in Springfield, OH, with a flat tire. Someone had stolen her spare a while ago too! Luckily, she was at a rest area. Unluckily, nothing was open to help her. My dad drove out and they had to wait until something opened this morning to get a new tire.

I'm going to call the dr's office to let them know what happened and see if I need to come in for a check. I know baby's fine, because he's actually quite active this morning (and was last night during contractions). They got stronger at the end, then just kind of stopped. I went to sleep to get some rest, fully expecing to wake up and go to the hospital.

I'll keep you updated...

Contractions!

I've been having somewhat regular contractions since around 8:30pm tonight. They were still quite far apart until 12:18am -- then they were about 10 minutes, give or take a minute or two. Still could be anytime that anything more happens though. They are getting more intense, but I know they'll be getting much worse. :) My mom is on her way, driving through the night to be here when the little guy is born. My friend Tanya is waiting the call to come be with my kids if we have to take off to the hospital soon. I'm so excited and anxious for him to arrive!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Today's Dr Appt

An exciting appt this morning! I am measuring 42 weeks (I was 37 weeks last Friday), am a full 4 cm dilated, 80% effaced, and the baby's head is at a -2 (which means he's pretty darn low and almost ready to come out!). I'm also having some contractions today -- nothing too strong or regular, but it wouldn't surprise me if he's here fairly soon. :) Dr said I made a lot of progress in one week, and also stressed that if I start regular contractions or my water breaks to get to the hospital FAST. She thinks it'll be a quick labor! For now, I've got an appt scheduled for next Monday -- then we'll set up the induction for next week (prob Tues) -- but dr said she wouldn't be surprised if he's here between now and then. Me neither!

I'll keep you updated as more happens!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

An Update...

I had a dr appt this past Monday (36 weeks) and still haven't posted about it! I was a little more than 3 cm dilated and dr was pleased with my progress. He said I basically just have to actually go into labor! Oh, but when I do... don't mess around -- just get to the hospital! I think because of the way I'm progressing now, he thinks it will be a quick labor. We'll see, as you never know. The plan is to still induce on Nov 25th, if I make it that far (and that's according to doc). This week I have been having more Braxton Hicks contractions with my stomach "balling up". I've also started losing my mucous plug, but that could be due to the dilation.

Other news from the appt... Dr doesn't think he'll be bigger than Carter, but he could be as big (9 lbs 12 oz). They don't want him to get too big, but know that I delivered Carter easily. My strep test came back negative, my blood pressure is great, and I lost 1/2 lb this week (up 27.5 lbs overall). All great news! I'll go back on Monday morning for another check.

Matt has been in California since last Saturday so it's been a little rough on me this week. Of course, this is the week that I got super uncomfortable walking, lifting, bending over... The kids and I were in Cincinnati for Amber & Eric's engagement party on Saturday, then my parents came home with me. They helped me (like crazy!) around the house Sunday-Tuesday. It was really nice having them here, and we got so much done! It all makes it very real that baby could be here anyday.

Lauren and Carter are now all moved into Lauren's room. Lauren has adjusted very well to her toddler bed -- we moved her on Nov 2nd. Carter is actually excited to sleep in the same room too! I'm still getting all the clothes and toys situated, but at least the priority stuff got done. Carter's room is set back up like a nursery and it made me a little sad that it wasn't his room anymore. But we'll have a new little guy in there, and that's exciting!

I feel like I've been doing non-stop laundry all week too. All the baby's clothes are washed and (almost) put away. I also pretty much finished buying Carter's and Lauren's winter clothes. Plus the normal laundry, towels, sheets... It never ends!

Matt will be home very early Saturday morning (closer to Friday night). It'll be nice having him home, and will let me worry less about going into labor! Luckily, I have so many great friends "on call" should something happen before he gets here. They've also been keeping me busy and company while he's away. We're headed to one's house for dinner tonight, and another's for dinner tomorrow. It's so nice having company and not having to worry about it! I think I would've gone crazy without my parents and friends this week -- thanks, everyone!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

35 Week Picture

For your viewing pleasure (HA), here is the picture of the week. I paired it next to Lauren at 35 weeks, with another comparisons below.


(35 weeks with baby boy; 35 weeks with Lauren)

(38 weeks with Lauren... a much better comparison!)

Welcome to the World, Logan Robert!

Logan Robert Crutchfield was born just after 6am this morning. He weighed 8 lbs 10 oz and was 22 inches long. He has dark hair, long fingers, and long feet! Both mom and baby are doing wonderfully after an easy delivery.

Congrats to Amanda and Tim, and to big brother Ethan! We're excited to meet the new little guy, and Carter & Lauren are excited about their new cousin. :)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Dr Appt, 35 Weeks

I had another dr appt early this afternoon. Both kids went with me, but they behaved well. Luckily, I was in and out in twenty minutes. :) The heartbeat was very strong, as always, and she mentioned how active he was. She measured my belly, but I completely forgot to ask what it was. I'm assuming it's still on track, which would put me around 39 weeks. I had to have the group B strep test as well, so she did a cervical check while I was undressed. I'm already 50% effaced and 2 cm dilated! She said that if we were to induce, my cervix would be ready. Good news to me!

Carter told her that the baby was coming on Nov 25th. She asked him what if he came early? He answered that he'd be here Nov 25th because "that's what my mom told me." ;) So, the dr is thinking he might come earlier on his own. Guess we'll wait and see! I have another appointment in a week with another check. Matt's out of town all next week so let's hope baby at least waits until after then!

(Oh, I just have to add that before leaving the room, Dr Weiler said she'd see me in a week -- unless I needed them sooner. Hopefully not... I'm not completely ready to have him yet!)

The Writer's Block

I am a guest writer on a blog my friend Mandy started. The Writer's Block is a blog by anyone, for everyone, and about anything. Whether it's on politics, entertainment, pop culture, or the economy, The Writer's Block is a forum for free expression. It just went live today, so check it out!! (Click on either blog name in this post to open.)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Minor Setbacks

Being sick just plain stinks. As a mom, I can't just stop to rest... a mom's job never stops! I did get to sleep in and rest today, thanks to my husband, but it wasn't enough. I don't like to (and can't) take a bunch of medicine being pregnant, so it's been Tylenol, hot tea, and chicken soup today. Luckily, one nostril is open so I can at least breathe now. (Thanks, Lisa, for the chicken soup. I was glad to have it already made in my fridge!)

Being sick isn't just miserable, it also set me back on all I needed and wanted to accomplish today. I was planning on getting at least Carter's old clothes put away, maybe Lauren's if time (and nap schedule) allowed. Matt did get the new license plates on, the kids' doors fixed so they latch, and figured out what was wrong with the washing machine (unfortunately, after the parts store closed!). I wanted to get the toddler bed put together and Lauren sleeping in it tonight. I figured after the long, busy day yesterday she'd be tired today. Plus, with us moving the time back an hour overnight, her schedule tomorrow wouldn't be too far off if she didn't sleep well. The one thing I did get done was to give Carter his haircut.

I just know my time is running out! I'm 35 weeks pregnant, with the baby tentatively scheduled to come earlier than that. Hopefully I can get some good sleep tonight and wake up tomorrow feeling much better. This clogged head has just gone on for too long!

Oh, and I wish a very Happy Anniversary to my parents. They celebrate 33 years of marriage today!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

34 Week Picture

Okay, so you've already heard how I'm feeling this far into my pregnancy. Today I actually had some energy, up until 4pm anyway. ;) I just wanted to share the latest picture. And yes, I know I'm huge. :)

Monday, October 27, 2008

It's taking its toll...

This really has been a great pregnancy. I've had lots of energy, hardly any sickness, low weight gain... But lately it's really starting to take its toll! My energy is winding down -- or dwindling fast when I do have it. Taking care of a house, husband, and two kids is almost getting to be too much for me. Most the time I can only look at what needs to be done, wishing I could just get up and do it. I do one task then have to sit and rest. It's so frustrating! Today is a day I have a lot to catch up on and NO energy to get it done. I keep getting short of breath and feel like I'm going to fall asleep standing up! It could partially be due to the Benadryl I took last night for my eye... Yes, that stuff really knocks me out! I'll keep going somehow, because life (and my kids) doesn't stop. :)

Major accomplishment for the day: Cutting my toenails. You know you're impressed. :P

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Baby Shower

Yesterday my wonderful friends Christan and Mandy threw me a fabulous baby shower. I know it's number three, but this was untraditional. Everyone brought a casserole for me to freeze for when after the baby is born! What a great idea! We played some great games, and each one gave me a list of names (starting with every letter of the alphabet) for ideas. Who knows... maybe the name was revealed at the shower and only those in attendance get to know. ;) I have pictures of our fun posted, so enjoy!

Thanks to all those who came and made this so much fun! Having a good meal after the baby is born is going to be so much easier now. :) We also got some adorable first outfits and diapers to start us off. You guys are great!!

Geez...

You know you're HUGE when a lot of your maternity clothes don't fit anymore, and there's still 5 weeks left! This is crazy... I feel like I'm trying to cram into regular clothes when I get dressed. I'll post a 34-week picture later so you can see. Ugh... what am I supposed to wear now?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Gotta Love Kids

I love my kids... they provide me with so much humor! Last night after dinner, Lauren was trying to get something she wasn't supposed to have. Matt smacked her hand slightly and told her no (after not listening to just no). She gets rather upset and comes running into the kitchen where I'm doing dishes. Matt tells me not to comfort her because she had gotten into trouble -- which I knew, and wasn't going to comfort her. She walks around the cabinets and starts yelling at me with her right arm held out. Then she points to it, like she's telling me that Daddy smacked her hand! She didn't want comfort... she wanted to tell on Daddy! :D

Monday, October 20, 2008

Dr Appt, 33 weeks

Okay, so I knew that I felt WAY more pregnant than I actually am. In 2 weeks, I've grown 3 cm! Being that I was already measuring 2.5 weeks ahead, I'm now measuring 3.5 weeks ahead! I was 33 weeks along last Friday and today I measured 37 weeks. Dr Weiler put it bluntly -- I'm growing a big baby! She said there's no way they'll let me go to my due date (WOO HOO!). For now, she wants me to tentatively think about inducing on either Nov 25 or 28, so I avoid Thanksgiving and can be at home for the holiday. At my upcoming appointments they'll be able to tell if it needs to be sooner or later than that, after checking my cervix and making sure I am actually ready to have the baby. They don't like to go more than 2 weeks early just to be sure the lungs are developed. Matt thinks they just have my due date wrong. :)

Everything continues to go smoothly. Baby is very active and healthy, and so am I. I've gained 21.5 lbs overall and my blood pressure is excellent. I go back in two weeks and will hopefully know more then! :) I guess we better get a move on naming him, getting baby clothes sorted through and washed, and getting the kids' bedrooms rearranged!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

33 Weeks... Really? Only that many?

I was 33 weeks along this past Friday. Hard to believe it's coming up so fast, but also hard to believe that I'm only 33 weeks! I think this pregnancy has gone by the slowest. I've still been feeling great, other than being more tired lately. I think that's to be expected though! Still working on a name for him -- I really want him to have a name by the end of this month. At least Matt and I have been talking about it more! I do think he needs to be more serious than naming pro football players. ;) It'll get done... and maybe to continue driving everyone else nuts, I won't tell! HA!

Here are some pics to compare. I know I missed last week's, but actually got bigger this past week! Surprisingly, I gained no more weight. :)

(33 weeks with baby boy; 33 weeks with Lauren)
Just for fun, here I am at 36 weeks with Lauren... two weeks ago I was measuring 3 weeks ahead. What do you think? I think it's a better comparison...
I have a dr appt on Monday morning, so look for another post then!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fast Food Reality

I got this link from a friend and had to share. It shows pictures of fast food items from their ads and in reality. There are also some reviews of some of the products at the bottom of the page. We all know that ads show the best possible picture of things, and that they never come like that, but some of these don't even look like they're the same food! Have a look for yourself: http://thewvsr.com/adsvsreality.htm.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Obsession

A couple months ago, a friend of mine got me hooked on the Twilight series of books. They're young adult books, but insanely addicting! I purchased the books as I was reading them, and now the movie for the first book is coming out next month! There's a group of us just waiting... impatiently... for it to arrive. Here's the latest trailer:

Twilight Trailer

Thursday, October 9, 2008

This Much I Know...

I read this in my Parenting magazine and wanted to post it because it sound so very similar to me...

"Okay, here's my confession: My kids eat sugar, play Wii by the hour, and say "What the..." when they deem something weird. Which means that I'm not winning Mommy of the Year from the Perfect Moms of Perfect Offspring, who ban such things from their houses. Well, dig this: Sugar and video games won't turn kids into rogues. Forbidding these things sets kids up to act a fool when you're not around, since they're held to unrealistic standards at home. I let my kids have Skittles, Wii, and the rest of it (in moderation) because they're kids and they're good, smart, caring little people. There's so much other stuff in this world that's bad -- I don't want to take away things that, in a child's world, are good."

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

NEW

As you can see, I've got a new fall background for my blog. The only thing is, once I added it I basically lost an entire column of my blog (everything but my ramblings)! So... I'll be busy adding in the things that I can remember. I'm very frustrated right now!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

31 Weeks and Dr Appt

Wow... 31 weeks! In the single digits of weeks left. :) I've still been feeling great, other than tiring out easily. My sciatic nerve/back only bothers me when I've been doing a lot of walking; now it's more the ligament pain that gives me grief. It's not all that often, though. I can tell baby is getting bigger -- sometimes it even hurts when he moves! And he moves quite often... :)

I went to the dr today for another checkup. Dr. Stowell said everything seems perfect. He thinks the baby will land somewhere in between my previous two (Lauren was 8 lbs 3 oz and Carter was 9 lbs 12 oz), although Matt teases me that he'll be even bigger than Carter. Let's hope not! He's definitely head down and has a great heartbeat. He's also gone through a growth spurt since my last appointment, as I'm now measuring 3 weeks ahead! So when will he come? Let's hope at least a little early... I don't think I can last another 8-9 weeks! As for me, my blood pressure is still great, and since I found out I was pregnant I've gained 20 lbs. :)


The first is me today... The second is with Lauren at 31 weeks (at my baby shower with Mandy, who was 26 weeks pregnant with Sam!). It's the same shirt, and no it didn't shrink! He's definitely lower and bigger!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Name Game

Okay, it's REALLY time to start talking names. And I know you all probably think we don't take any name suggestions seriously, but we do! In the end it is our decision, but we love hearing the names people like. We're kind of stuck -- so please let us know your favorite boy names! Feel free to post more than once, as you think of them. :)

30 Weeks

So, I'm not going to write much. I'm 30 weeks 4 days along now, and feeling even more so! I wanted to get the pic posted -- this time I wore the same shirt and stood the same as I did with Lauren. Better comparison... what do you think?



Okay, so I think he's bigger, and definitely sticking out more. I wasn't shaped like this for another week with Lauren! (No wonder my pants won't stay up... look how low and oval my belly is!)

I'm a Genius!

I just took this genius test for fun on facebook, thanks to an invite from a friend. What can I say, I was curious! My results were that I was "profoundly genius" -- Plato, Aristotle, and Einstein are morons compared to me! I have to admit that I giggled a little, but it was my happy thought for the day. :)

(FYI: The friend that challenged me to take it scored the same as me the first time around, then got higher after taking it twice more.)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Dr Appt, 29 Weeks

I had another doctor appointment today. Saw Dr. Greathouse again, but only because Dr. Stowell was delivering a baby. I'm scheduled with him again next time. It's been a while since I've seen him! Anyway... things are going very well. Baby is moving a lot, and seems to be moving during my exams. I measured 30 cm (30 weeks, a little ahead of where I am now), had good BP, and baby's heartbeat was excellent. Everything was normal with the glucose test last time as well.

I told the doctor about the sharp pains I've been getting. She confirmed my suspicions that they were ligament pains. I mentioned them because they're so much worse than my previous pregnancies -- so bad sometimes that I can't move! I also feel nauseous with them sometimes. She said they actually do get worse with subsequent pregnancies, which surprised me because everything's already been stretched once! They're at their worst when my uterus goes through a growth spurt. I notice them when I've been active or bending a lot. But, nothing to worry about. I go back in another two weeks!

Oh, and a milestone reached -- THIS IS MY 100th BLOG POST!! :D

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Duh...

So I was on a website and one of the ads on top read, "Wanna know how to get pregnant?" Seriously... I think we all know how that happens! I know there are some technicalities separate from the au natural way, but I wouldn't click on an ad for that.

You know, someone that found out I was pregnant with number three asked me, "You do know what causes that, don't you?" Like it was some mistake and I shouldn't be having a third. I don't know what was going on in their minds! Even if they were attempting humor, it didn't humor me at all. Rather, I found it very rude.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Rose by Any Other Name...

This was posted on Baby Gaga by the Sarcastic Journalist. It sounds like Matt and myself, except for the name choices...

One of my favorite parts about having a baby had to be picking out the names. Since I was a little girl, I would obsess over what names I wanted to give to my child. I am not sure why I did this; I guess I just like names.

My husband and I had very different ideas when it came to names. I was more “This sounds good and so does that! And that!” while he hated every name I liked.

With our daughter, I made a long list of names that I liked. He crossed out all but two: Ellie and Sophie. I picked Ellie.

With our son, we agreed on a girl’s name pretty quickly but couldn’t agree on a boy’s name to save our lives. My main choice happened to be a “color” name (Grey) while his (Ash) was after a character in a cheesy movie.

Every day, I’d bring up the topic of names and every day, we’d argue over it. I thought his name (Ash) was too out there, he thought it was cool. My names (Jonah, Henry) reminded him of someone he’d rather beat up than father.

It was an uphill battle, that’s for sure. I finally gave up my hopes of having a baby boy named Jonah or Jonas and agreed to compromise on the only name we both could like: Sam.


Be careful who you tell about your choice of names, however. I had one friend that would tell everyone she knew one of the first choices in the Great Name Search during our daughter. This name was never seriously considered for more than a few seconds, but she felt the need to tell everyone and let them give their opinions.

So, my advice is simple: Unless you really want to hear what people think, keep your mouth shut until the big day. It is much harder to insult a name if it is attached to a living baby.

29 Weeks

So I've been slacking... actually, I was out of town again. I missed another week's update, and another picture. Promise... I got one this week. :)

I've been feeling a bit sluggish lately, but we've been pretty busy. I've also been used to sleeping in and then being lazy in the mornings, and now I've got to get up, get ready, and get the kids going to get Carter to school. I know, it's still not very early... but tough when I'd just rather take it easy. :) It is getting harder to get things done -- I can only do so much before I'm tired out or get sore. I've been getting this sharp pain on either the right or left side of my lower belly. It feels a lot like ligament pain, and it usually comes when I've been exerting myself. I'll talk to the dr about it Monday just to be sure.

Baby is very active! My belly bounces around a good part of the day. Still no name for him, and not much done for his room either. Still deciding if we'll wait until he's here to transition the kids (since he'll be in our room for 2-3 months anyway), or if we'll go ahead and bunk them together beforehand. It'll definitely be a big change for all of us!

I have a doctor appointment Monday morning -- just routine. I never got a call about my glucose test, so that's good news. Hopefully there'll be nothing surprising at my appt! I'm anxious to see if he is still head down this early. I have been achey in my pelvis, but that could just be from being active and busy. Look for another update after my appt!

(29 weeks today... 29 week belly shot with Lauren. Maybe he did flip, as I am more oval than round. I was more oval with Lauren at 31 weeks.)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A New Member of the Family!

We have a new member of the family... Bella Memford Wolf! My parents' cat had seven kittens, and we welcomed one into our family. This one was nicknamed Memford, because she behaved a bit like our dog Emmy -- rolling onto her back to sleep and eat, the first one over to momma to eat, very playful... Since we can't get another puppy at this time (with the baby coming), Orion's new friend will be a kitty. They're slowly getting used to each other, mostly from a distance at this point. But neither is hostile towards the other, just very curious!

Bella is five weeks old today and has been doing very well in her new home. She's still eating the weaning milk from a syringe (she now knows me as the mommy with the milk!), as I'm still trying to get her to lap it from a bowl. She has started using her litter box, and lets us know when she has to go! Bella's bed is in the office/playroom, separate from Orion, and she lets me know when she's ready to go there. I wish babies were this easy to get on a schedule! :)

Carter and Lauren both love the little kitty. Lauren walks around meowing, starting as soon as she walks out of her door (and looking for Bella). Bella and Carter love playing with each other! Here are a few pictures, and I'm sure more will be posted.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Dr Appt, 27 Weeks

I had another prenatal checkup this morning. It was time for the oh-so-wonderful glucose screening. When I got there, they had me drink the orange glucola. Mmm... especially on an empty stomach! Then came the waiting -- they couldn't draw the blood for an hour. I saw Dr. Greathouse again, and she was much better today. Maybe because it was a little earlier in the morning and I was alone (and in a better mood!). She just seemed to be much friendlier today and talked with me more. My belly measured about 29 cm (which is 29 wks, and I'm 27 wks 3 days). Baby's heartbeat sounded perfect! She felt around my belly, and his feet are up! She giggled as she found the feet, it was so cute. I was just telling Matt that I thought he might have flipped as I've been feeling kicking where there wasn't kicking before. She said he still could move around more, as he's just enjoying all the space. I know Lauren wasn't flipped this early!

I start going every two weeks from now on. I've started making my appointments while Carter's at school, and Lauren goes to Matt's work so I can have a peaceful appointment! As for the glucose screening and other blood tests, no news is good news. I'll hear by the end of the week if more needs to be done. Otherwise things are going great -- good weight gain, great blood pressure, good fetal movement, very little swelling... :)

Friday, September 5, 2008

27 Weeks

Did you think I forgot how to blog? ;) Nope, just busy... Was out of town last weekend, so I missed the posting (and pic). Onto this week...

27 weeks... It still seems like a ways to go until you think 13 weeks or less! (Well, technically it could be up to 14 weeks, but let's hope not.) I've been really tired and feeling the strain of pregnancy lately. Baby moves A TON and I can tell he's getting bigger. Physically, it's getting hard for me to keep up with it all. Somehow I just keep going, with many little breaks in between. :) The past two weeks I've gained 3.5 lbs, but still only makes it 19 overall (and I lost 17 before I was pregnant/started gaining...).


(17 weeks now; 27 weeks with Lauren)

Here's what's going on with baby: "This week, your baby weighs almost 2 pounds (like a head of cauliflower) and is about 14 1/2 inches long with his legs extended. He's sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing his eyes, and perhaps even sucking his fingers. With more brain tissue developing, your baby's brain is very active now. While his lungs are still immature, they would be capable of functioning — with a lot of medical help — if he were to be born now. Chalk up any tiny rhythmic movements you may be feeling to a case of baby hiccups, which may be common from now on. Each episode usually lasts only a few moments, and they don't bother him, so just relax and enjoy the tickle."

And with Mommy: "The second trimester is drawing to a close, but as your body gears up for the final lap, you may start noticing some new symptoms. Along with an aching back, for example, you may find that your leg muscles cramp up now and then. They're carrying extra weight, after all, and your expanding uterus is putting pressure on the veins that return blood from your legs to your heart as well as on the nerves leading from your trunk to your legs. Unfortunately, the cramps may get worse as your pregnancy progresses. Leg cramps are more common at night but can also happen during the day. When a cramp strikes, stretching the calf muscle should give you some relief. Straighten your leg and then gently flex your toes back toward your shin. Walking for a few minutes or massaging your calf sometimes helps, too."

Last week of second trimester! I have a doctor appointment on Monday morning, where they'll do the glucose screening and some other labs to be sure things are going okay. I'll post an update then!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Kids Say The Darndest Things

Yesterday Carter and I were eating some Moose Munch from Harry & David (it's really yummy caramel corn!). I was putting some in a bowl for him and he asked for the "funny" one, meaning a big clump of it. He already had a big clump in his bowl, so I told him he already had a "funny" one. He looked right at me and said, "Does it look like I'm laughing?" I could've burst out laughing right there, but I held it in to tell him he shouldn't talk to Mommy like that. I got my laugh in when I told Matt later that night. :D

Seriously? Give me a break...

This was on MSNBC Entertainment news...

Poor Jennifer Lopez. The new mom is training for a triathlon, but everyone is too busy watching the Olympics to notice.

Lopez, who appeared on "Good Morning America" Aug. 18 to discuss her preparations for the Malibu Triathlon, was overheard saying after the segment that she “couldn’t understand why everyone is talking about that swimmer,” according to a GMA source. “She couldn’t come up with (eight-time gold-medal winner Michael) Phelps’ name, and then she yammered on about how she was the one training for a triathlon just six months after giving birth, and how that was the big story right now, not ‘the swimmer.’ ”

Lopez is planning on donating money raised for her race to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. To help drum up attention, she started a blog to share tips on training. “Touch up makeup prior to your run” hasn’t made its way into any posts, despite Lopez being spotted arriving in Central Park with her makeup artist later in the day.

“Apparently, Jenny from the Block requires a lot of powder,” says the source.

--> Seriously? It's great for her, training for a triathlon, but why does she think she needs the attention or is the "big" story? I think the Olympics are much bigger than J.Lo. Let some of that air out of your head...

Friday, August 22, 2008

25 Weeks

There are days where I don't feel too pregnant, and then others where I feel HUGE! Little boy sure adjusts himself in there! One day he'll be nice and tucked in, then the next it's like he rolls over and shoves his butt & back out. My parents have seen this phenomenon -- I was at their house this past weekend and when I got up Sunday he was pooched out. I asked them if I looked bigger (because I felt it) and my dad nodded. Baby boy has also seemed to drop a little lower -- no, not the drop, just lower than he used to be. He's also a mover, like my other two. Carter really enjoys feeling him move and watch my belly bounce. :)

Other than feeling huge some days, I'm feeling great. I've been sleeping well, eating well, and getting exercise. We just got the Wii Fit this week, and I'm able to do a lot of the "training" games on it (and even do better than Matt with my belly!). I gained 1/2 pound this week, making it 15.5 lbs overall. Not too bad for as hungry as I am!


(Today at 25 weeks; with Lauren (belly shot!) at 25 weeks. Yep... bigger!)

Here's what's going on with baby: "Head to heels, your baby now measures about 13 1/2 inches. His weight — a pound and a half — isn't much more than an average rutabaga, but he's beginning to exchange his long, lean look for some baby fat. As he does, his wrinkled skin will begin to smooth out and he'll start to look more and more like a newborn. He's also growing more hair — and if you could see it, you'd now be able to discern its color and texture."

Still working on baby names -- Matt's stuck on one, and won't branch out! Suggestions?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

24 Weeks, a little late :)

So... I was out of town from last Friday to Monday so I didn't get this blog written. As you know, it's always a catch up game for me (as most people), and I'm just now getting to it since I've been home! No pic, as my photographer (Matt) was out of town starting last Wed night. But anyway, I thought I'd let you know how things were going for this week of pregnancy.

I've been feeling great, having more energy than I ever thought! I do get tired, don't get me wrong, but it's usually after getting a crazy amount of stuff done. Which, it seems, a crazy amount of stuff has to get done in order for me to survive! ;) I gained a pound this week, for a total of 15 overall. Not too bad... Just for kicks, this is the pic of me with Lauren. It'll have to do since I didn't get one taken this time. I have been pretty close the last few weeks though...

Here's what's going on with baby: "Your baby's growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week. That puts him at just over a pound. Since he's almost a foot long (picture an ear of corn), he cuts a pretty lean figure at this point, but his body is filling out proportionally and he'll soon start to plump up. His brain is also growing quickly now, and his taste buds are continuing to develop. His lungs are developing "branches" of the respiratory "tree" as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help his air sacs inflate once he hits the outside world. His skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon."

And with me: "In the past few weeks, the top of your uterus has risen above your belly button and is now about the size of a soccer ball."

Hmm... so I have a soccer ball up my shirt. ;) Look for my next update to be posted sometime tomorrow night. Can you stand to wait that long? ;)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Imperfection

I'm not perfect, and I've never claimed to be. My house isn't spotless -- the kids and our schedule keep me too busy; I don't always make the best dinner -- I'm tired at the end of the day; I'm not always the best wife or mother. But one thing I don't need is any of this pointed out to me.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Lauren's 15 months!

Wow... 15 months already! Lauren is growing so quickly. She had her routine checkup today, and the doctor said she looks wonderful. She measured 32.25" (95th%) and 24 lbs 10 oz (75th%). She got three vaccines -- Hep A, Varivax (chicken pox), and MMR -- and did very well both during and after. Developmentally she is around 22 months. She is doing so much these days, most recently learning to climb! In the pic above, she got herself on top of the toy box. I've also walked in to find her on the coffee table, which we're trying to teach is a no-no. So hard to do while not discouraging her to do new things! Another new thing is singing -- she will sing "Row Your Boat", and now I'm working on "Twinkle Twinkle".

Lauren and Carter play so well together, for the most part. They both like to pick on each other -- especially Lauren tackling Carter. She's also become quite the talker. While she knows a lot of words, for the most part she's still just gibbering. She'll also nod her head at you, usually at appropriate times. Like at breakfast the other day I asked her if she wanted more cereal and she shook her head yes. :) Some words she knows and uses are mama, dada, Carter, Lauren, Orion, juice, wow, book, ball, this, here, up, bath, no, dog, cheese (taking picture). She also recognizes hungry, nap, change diaper, eat, drink, jump, phone, and many more.

We're in the process of learning body parts and so far she knows head/hair, ears, eyes, nose, mouth, teeth, tongue, belly, toes. I think she knows a few more, but these are the ones she's consistent with. We're also working on animals and their sounds. She knows dog, elephant, and owl. I'm hoping to start doing other things with her, like shapes and colors, now that I'll have a little more one-on-one time some mornings while Carter's at school. I have no high expectations, we just like introducing things and letting her pick them up. It was the same way with Carter, and he's doing wonderfully.

Lauren is a great eater, hardly picky at all. She eats very well with a fork, and can use a spoon for thicker foods like mashed potatoes. Her fingers are still her main "utensils", but that's to be expected. She also loves her milk! She's also become a skilled runner -- no, not walker anymore! Lauren also tries to jump while standing and will do a somersault.

Many, many teeth are on their way in! She's had her front eight teeth since nine months, and now four more front teeth (the cuspids) and one molar have already broke through. The other molars aren't much further behind! Luckily, this hasn't caused a lot of pain for her -- at least not noticeably -- thank goodness!

I could probably go on and on about what Lauren is up to these days, but that's a pretty good summary. She's just a happy little girl, always smiling or giggling. Especially when she wants your attention. ;) I'll try and blog more often about the kids so you can learn even more about what they're doing.

How does this happen?

Every time I feel like I'm catching up, so many more things pop up that need to be done (or something else that holds me back). Is it ever going to be possible to just stay in the present, or will I forever be playing catch up? Ugh...

A Busy Day!

We had a busy day around here! Carter started preschool this morning, Lauren had her 15-month checkup this afternoon, and Matt left for a hiking/camping trip in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park this evening. When I have a little more time, I'll post more detailed blogs about the first two events. :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pictures

We had some professional pictures taken this past Sunday afternoon. The photographer is a mom in my moms' group, and is in the process of building her portfolio. Because of this, we got a free session! When all the photos are ready I'll get a CD of them to share, but for now she posted a few "sneak peeks" on her blog. You can check them out here. There are also some other kids from my group on there -- Carsten, Sam, Roman & Adrian. I can't wait to see the rest!

A Child's View

This was in the "baby bloopers" section of my magazine...

"My 3-year old son, Tyler, and I were reading a book about knights and castles. The story mentioned servants, and Tyler asked me what a servant was. When I explained he said, 'Oh, like you are my servant?' "

Too funny! I wonder how the mom responded?

Expert Parenting Advice

So I was reading this article in Parents magazine that asked certain professions (doctors, babysitters, preschool teachers, etc.) what advice they would never tell a parent to their face. I loved the answer the parenting expert gave:

"Becoming a parent is like contracting a debilitating disease. Imagine a disease where you couldn't sleep, you couldn't have sex, you couldn't travel, you had aches and pains all the time. Now, this doesn't mean you don't love your kids. In fact, the more you love them, the harder it is. Nobody tells you what the pull of loving your kids will do to the rest of your life..."

You can read the entire article here.

Yay for Target

In these times where prices of everything seem to be going up (except for houses, thanks to another issue), I am so thankful that our Target has a partial grocery store in it. They sell a gallon of milk for less than $3, while everywhere else sells it for more than $4/gallon (even Walmart, at $4.04!). This is great for us, as we drink two gallons of milk in six-seven days. Now if only we could find a gas station to go against the grain... ;)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Nikki's Dr Appt

  • Appointment Time: 10:15am
  • Arrival Time: 10:15am (no, I don't get there too early... 2 kids+waiting room=not a lot of fun!)
  • Time called back to room: 11:00am
  • Time dr came into room: 11:25am

A little ridiculous? Yeah, we thought so too! I've never had to wait like this at my doctors' office! The kids were so rowdy by the time we got called back. They just got worse inside the smaller exam room, because of a lack of toys and freedom. It was seriously a five minute appt!

Anyway, I saw the newest doctor at the practice today, Dr. Greathouse. She was nice, fairly quiet, and a beanpole! I obviously hope one of the other two delivers this baby, since I've been seeing them for so long, but Dr. Greathouse seemed fine. The other two just know my name when they come in, know my kids, and get right to it.

She measured my belly but didn't say anything so it must be fine. Asked if baby was moving enough -- he definitely is! He even kicked the doppler a couple times while we listened to the heartbeat. In the doctor's words, he sounds perfect. :)

I go back in four weeks when they'll check my glucose, check cell counts again, and listen to the baby. They also usually give a rhogam shot to mothers who are Rh negative, but since Matt is also Rh negative I get to skip this. Thanks, honey... one less thing for me!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

So Close, Yet Again...

I am so tired of looking for Wii Fits! Target had them in stock a few Sundays ago. Matt gets there, and they had just sold the last one. Today Best Buy had them in stock. We're there waiting in line before they open, and they sell the last one two ahead of us. Carter was so excited all morning that we were going to get one! I was looking forward to playing it today too! All the damn people going to get one to sell on eBay, when there's those of us that really want one for ourselves. They guy at one of the stores in the mall even got rude with me this week, telling me that next time I want a game to reserve it ahead of time. I'm not paying $150 on eBay... guess we'll just keep calling all the stores until we find one in stock. :(

Saturday, August 9, 2008

23 Weeks

23 weeks doesn't seem very far along, but then it does... It's more than halfway, yet still a ways to go. Which is fine with me! I'm not uncomfortable and am feeling great. I'm in no way ready for this baby yet either! I'm excited, but there's the name debate, getting our house ready, getting what few things we might need for the baby, and me just getting some "me-time" back! Speaking of getting things for the baby... something that stinks is that I have tons of plastic bins in the attic with all of Carter's clothes. You'd think we were set. Nope... Carter was a summer baby, and this one will be a winter baby. Complete opposite seasons! Some clothes will be able to carry over, I'm sure, but for the most part this little guy will have a new wardrobe.

The baby was moving before, but he's gone from moving every once in a while to making my belly bounce! Carter watched my belly the other morning while lying in bed with me, then got to feel him move. Now he's contantly putting his hands on my belly asking me if the baby is asleep or moving. So cute! What's funny is that Matt has yet to feel him move. He quiets down when Matt puts his hand there, but kicks Carter's hand. :)

Like I said, I've been feeling great. Not too tired, and hungry all the time. Still having problems with my back, but that's about it. Some mornings I get up and can hardly walk! I try to stretch it out (and need to start my yoga again) and get pity massages from Matt at times. ;) This week it said I might be experiencing some swelling, and I haven't really noticed any. I drink TONS of water, so that helps. It also said that I might be waking up hungry at night, and boy am I! I have to get up and immediately eat! I'm kind of getting tired of snacking all day and night... This week I gained 1.5 lbs, for a total of 14 overall.


(23 weeks with baby boy; 23 weeks with Lauren)

Here's what's going on with baby: "Turn on the radio and sway to the music. With his sense of movement well developed by now, your baby can feel you dance. And now that he's more than 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound (about as much as a large mango), you may be able to see him squirm underneath your clothes. Blood vessels in his lungs are developing to prepare for breathing, and the sounds that your baby's increasingly keen ears pick up are preparing him for entry into the outside world. Loud noises that become familiar now — such as your dog barking or the roar of the vacuum cleaner — probably won't faze him when he hears them outside the womb."

I go to the doctor on Monday for a regular check, so look for another update then!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Cartoon

pregnancy cartoon

Wow

Most the time I feel I can't get anything done, but on occasion I'm amazed at what I can do. Go me. :D

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Lunchtime

Ugh... I'm kind of getting tired of dealing with lunch. It seems the kids and I eat the same things over and over again, and it's not the healthiest of meals. Not necessarily unhealthy, but they're things that are quick and easy to fix. I just don't want to have to take the time to make something more most the time because it's just the three of us. I think I'm just tired of being responsible for all the meals -- at the end of the day I just don't want to cook when I'm so tired! Just another ramble..

Friday, August 1, 2008

22 Weeks

This past week has flown by... just as most of the past 22 weeks has! Hard to believe I'm that far along, but other times I feel I should be further. I'm feeling very well physically, but having some back problems. It's usually when I do a lot during the day and aggravate my sciatic nerve, but this week I hurt a different muscle. It eventually all goes away though. Emotionally, it's always gruelling. Most days I'm super excited to be having a third, but I have my bad days. There was a mom with a son in Carter's swim class with two others. I didn't envy watching her chase two of them (with me only having to chase Lauren), but only thought that would be me next year... Don't get me wrong, I am happy about having a baby -- but it is a lot to deal with. I continually ask my mom how she managed three!

Baby boy has been moving like crazy the past couple days! This morning I felt him from both the inside and out, but most his movements aren't that strong from the outside. I'm excited for Matt and the kids to be able to feel him move. :D Pretty sure that will happen within the next week.

I did gain 3 pounds this week, my biggest gain to date. It only makes it a total of 12.5 lbs, so not bad overall. I am more than halfway done, so at this rate I'm good. You do get a picture this week, and I don't think I look bigger than the one two weeks ago. You can be the judge...


(22 weeks with baby boy; 22 weeks with Lauren -- I'd say pretty much the same!)

Here's what's going on with baby: "At 11 inches (the length of a spaghetti squash) and almost 1 pound, your baby is starting to look like a miniature newborn. His lips, eyelids, and eyebrows are becoming more distinct, and he's even developing tiny tooth buds beneath his gums. His eyes have formed, but his irises (the colored part of the eye) still lack pigment. If you could see inside your womb, you'd be able to spot the fine hair (lanugo) that covers his body and the deep wrinkles on his skin, which he'll sport until he adds a padding of fat to fill them in. Inside his belly, his pancreas — essential for the production of some important hormones — is developing steadily."

And with Mommy: "At this point, you may find your belly becoming a hand magnet. It's perfectly okay to tell folks who touch your tummy that you'd rather they didn't. And if people are telling you that you look smaller or bigger than you should at this point, remember that each woman grows — and shows — at her own rate. What's important is that you see your practitioner for regular visits so she can make sure your baby's growth is on track."

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Adjustments & Understanding

Since Emmy passed, it's been quite different around here. Although I didn't want her to relieve me of this burden, I haven't had to sweep the floors nearly as often (though we'll have Emmy hair around for quite some time!). We have only lived in this house for only two months without her, so it's very strange not having her here anymore. Carter has also asked everyday this week where Emmy is. He got treats out yesterday and after giving Orion one, he searched the entire house for Emmy. I've tried explaining it to him in many different ways, but I think he finally gets it. He thought he was just at her doctor for a while. Yesterday I swore I heard her panting, and I still expect to see her lying in her usual spots in the house. When I get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night I still look so I don't step on her (Matt does too). Her dishes have been cleaned and moved to the laundry room, but I still can't bring myself to put her bed away. And it's a little sad when I do sweep or vacuum the little bits of Emmy-hair still lying around, or that find their way out from hiding. It's just going to take a while...

Orion still seems very lost. He always waited for Emmy to go outside, so now I have to escort him out there. He's not eating regularly, and just seems to pout and mope about. I give him even more attention than he got before (and trust me, he was never neglected!), but it doesn't seem to help any. I feel bad when we leave the house because now he really is alone. He's never been alone...

Thank you to everyone for all the cards and thoughts. Thank you to Christan and Todd, who made a donation to the Monroe County Humane Association in memory of Emmy. She is truly missed, but her memory lives on.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Another Birthday!

Today is Matt's 29th birthday, which we also celebrated this past Saturday. It's nice having his and Carter's birthdays close together so we can have one big celebration. I'm sure the family likes one less trip to take to Bloomington. ;) Happy Birthday, honey... I hope it's a good one!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Carter Turned Four!

Wow, I have a four year old... Talk about the time flying! Today is Carter's birthday, and he's been counting down the days to it for a while now. In fact, he's already talking about when he turns five! We had a nice (but warm) party at Bryan Park with friends and family this past Saturday. When I get the pics uploaded, I'll post a link to them. Thanks to everyone who made this day very special for Carter!

Friday, July 25, 2008

21 Weeks

21 weeks into this pregnancy, and it seems like it's flying by! I've been feeling very well and very hungry! I only gained one pound this week, though, so I must be doing okay. :) Baby's been moving more and more, but still not as much as my other two. Of course, I do mostly remember the movement at the end of the pregnancies! Sorry, you get no picture this week as we were busy with company and Carter's party. When the pics for his party are posted, you'll see the belly. :) (Coincidently, this was also a week I missed taking a pic with Lauren!)

Here's what's going on with baby: "Your baby now weighs about three-quarters of a pound and is approximately 10 1/2 inches long — the length of a carrot. You may soon feel like he's practicing martial arts as his initial fluttering movements turn into full-fledged kicks and nudges. You may also discover a pattern to his activity as you get to know him better. In other developments, your baby's eyebrows and lids are present now."

And with Mommy: "You're probably feeling pretty comfortable these days. You're not too big yet, and the usual discomforts associated with early pregnancy are, for the most part, gone. If you're feeling good, relax and enjoy it while you can — the third trimester may bring with it a new crop of complaints."

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Can you read?

Before I could get my drivers' license, I had to pass two written tests (and the driving portion, of course). One of these written tests was only signs. It was way before this, though, that I could recognize a stop sign. Geez, even Carter knows what a stop sign is! But I still find it odd that there are some people in this world who still don't quite get what a stop sign stands for. Can you read? S-T-O-P. It says it right on the sign! Last weekend I was walking through a parking lot, crossing at a crosswalk with a stop sign for cars. The car wasn't going to stop! I'm pregnant and was carrying Lauren, yet it still didn't want to heed -- or follow the law for that matter. This morning I almost t-boned a bright red jaguar. (I'll bet the lady would've been awfully upset to have this happen to her car, but I'm sure she could've afforded both our bills.) I'm driving up our street to leave the neighborhood and there's a stop sign at the last street. Most people use this as a "yield" sign rather than the stop sign that it is and that's bad enough. This lady didn't try to stop at all... Instead, she started turning left, which was into my direction. She sees me, stops suddenly (and I was paying attention, luckily) and mouths "sorry". I told her to get off her phone and pay more attention! Now, I know these stupid people aren't going to read this, but I needed to get this out. STOP SIGNS ARE NOT OPTIONAL! If they're in neighborhoods or parking lots, they still mean the same thing.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Milestones

We pass many milestones in our lifetime, but today is a very special day. Eight years ago, Matt and I got married! We've seen a lot in those eight years (well, ten years) -- the most significant being the birth of our two children, and one on the way! We'll pass through many more highs and lows together, but today we can pause and celebrate us. Happy Anniversary, Matt... I love you forever!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Goodbye, Dear Emmy


Miss Emmy Lou
February 13, 2000-July 21, 2008
Beloved Pet, Great Companion... You will be missed!

Our beloved black lab, Emmy, died very early this morning. She's had it rough the past year or so, especially the past few months. As is common with labs, she had hip problems, and since she was a bigger lab it affected her greatly. The past five days were the worst, as she refused to eat (even treats, eventually) and finally shut down. I was with her when it happened, and while it was one of the hardest things I've been through, it was nice to finally see her at peace. She was a huge part of this family, and was one of our "kids" before there really were kids!

Emmy was always happy, and usually had a smile on her face. Yes, she smiled... :) You'd walk in the door and she'd jump up and give you a gentle kiss on your lips. It was always the highlight of coming home from work, and I missed it when she was unable to jump like that anymore. She loved to swim, roll in the grass, and make snow angels. Emmy was just a great dog and friend, and will be extremely missed, just as she was loved.

This is so much harder than I ever thought it would be...

Friday, July 18, 2008

20 Weeks -- Halfway There!

Wow... halfway done already! Sometimes it feels like it's been a long twenty weeks; others it seems it can't be halfway over yet! And you never know... I could be closer than that, depending on if baby wants to make an early arrival! :) Let's hope he's not late... Yes, baby is now referred to as "he", as we learned earlier this week (just in case you didn't catch that blog). We're very excited, and have begun talking about names. Nothing too intense yet -- just throwing names out there. Please suggest some on my name blog!

I've been feeling wonderful. I've had lots of energy, my appetite has drastically increased, been sleeping okay, and have only gained 8.5 lbs. Trust me, I'm eating. I'm not trying to not gain weight! See, honey, those extra snacks and ice cream are just fine. ;) I've been walking on the trail once a week with my moms group, anywhere from 3-5 miles. I also stay busy with the kids (bet you didn't think that!) and am constantly moving. Baby has been moving more and more as well, but isn't as active as the other two were. Or maybe just not yet...


(20 weeks now; 20 weeks with Lauren. Doesn't seem too much different... and definitely not ready to pop!)

Here's what's going on with baby: "Your baby weighs about 10 1/2 ounces now. He's also around 6 1/2 inches long from head to bottom and about 10 inches from head to heel — the length of a banana. He's swallowing more these days, which is good practice for his digestive system. He's also producing meconium, a black, sticky by-product of digestion." [Side note: The ultrasound showed he weighed about 12 ounces already!]

And with Mommy: "Congratulations! You've hit the halfway mark in your pregnancy. The top of your uterus is about level with your belly button, and you've likely gained around 10 pounds. Expect to gain another pound or so each week from now on. Make sure you're getting enough iron, a mineral that's used primarily to make hemoglobin (the part of your red blood cells that carries oxygen). During pregnancy, your body needs more iron to keep up with your expanding blood volume, as well as for your growing baby and the placenta. Red meat is one of the best sources of iron for pregnant women. Poultry (especially the dark meat) and shellfish also contain iron. Some common non-meat sources of iron include legumes, soy-based products, spinach, prune juice, raisins, and iron-fortified cereals."

Lauren's a Baby Boomlet!

Baby Boomlet Sets Yearly Birth Record

WASHINGTON -- More babies were born in the United States last year than ever before, according to preliminary data, but it's not another baby boom just yet.

About 4,315,000 children were born in 2007, about 15,000 more births than the peak time of the baby boom in 1957, said Stephanie Ventura, a demographer at the National Center for Health Statistics, which compiled the data from provisional birth certificate registrations at state health departments.

"According to our provisional data, we had the highest number of births ever reported in 2007," she said.

But this doesn't mean there's a baby boom under way. In the mid-'50s about as many babies were being born from a lot fewer women.

"What this really reflects is that the population has grown so much in the United States, so you naturally expect more births," Ventura said. "It's hard to call this a baby boom at this point."

Years leading up to 2007 showed slight increases in the number of births, not the substantial growth of the baby boom years, which were 1946 through 1964, Ventura said.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Everything is Going to be Okay

My day today has been much better. Days like yesterday are just the pits! I was much calmer about things today, and just sort of let things sink in. Sometimes it's still just hard to believe that baby #3 is on his way! We went to the pool with my moms' group today, and I think talking to them about the baby (and them being excited for me) made me feel better about it all. Also venting to Mandy yesterday helped a TON, as well as getting it out in a blog. I've learned not to keep things bottled in or I just feel worse.

Still making decisions about the bedroom situation, but I started thinking about how much fun it will be to redecorate two bedrooms for the kids! I've already got some images in my head as to how they will be. Now the problem will be finding things to make these images reality! :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sometimes It's All Too Much...

So I consider myself a pretty sane person. One who maintains control most the time, mostly because I like things planned out and organized. But right now I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed by everything. These times I'm just not really myself -- so out of control, start crying without reason, get freaked out by little things. I was so overjoyed yesterday to discover that we're having another boy. It's what I wanted! But he was a little unexpected -- and out of my plans. This was supposed to be happening next year after we tried selling the house again (and hopefully moved!). But, my plans aren't what matters. Everything is in God's hands... He has a plan, and only He knows it. That doesn't mean I have a hard time accepting that sometimes! Maybe if I was just a little filled in...

Anyway, at the moment I'm trying to figure out the bedroom situation. I know I've got time, it's just my incessant need to have things planned and organized. I think we have decided on putting both Lauren and Carter into Carter's current room. We'll have to get a loft or bunk beds, as his full size bed and her toddler bed just won't fit with much play room. There's plenty of room in the closet for both clothes (I hope so, anyway -- they have more clothes than I do!), and they can share a dresser since I hang most things up. The problem is... I'm having a hard time thinking about "taking" Lauren's room away from her. The fun part will be redecorating at least. :) But are they really ready to share a room? It just feels so forced and out of place... And it's so much change all at once for Lauren -- new baby, new room, new bed. I guess one at a time, since baby will be in our room for a few months after he's born anyway.

I just feel like I can't keep up with it all anymore. Trying to be involved with my moms group (of which I'm stepping down as organizer next month), trying to be the best mom, wife, and housekeeper... It just can't be done while maintaining my sanity! It also allows me no "me time", of which I desperately need! There's just so much to get done, and while I'm continually working on everything it seems nothing gets done! Instead, more things get added to my to-do list. I don't need things perfect, and I know I'm far from it, but I am a perfectionist. This is not good when you have two kids and two dogs!

Speaking of dogs... I did take Emmy to the vet a couple weeks ago. The vet said labs should live to at least ten years, but I can tell you that Emmy is not doing well at almost 8.5 years old. She just acts much older... She's got a few fatty lipomas that have gotten bigger, has had hip problems since she was probably around five years old, struggles to get up from sitting or laying, and now has a corneal abrasion from an eyelid that rolls in. We treated the eye with antibiotic gel and it's much better. The vet was very confused as to why her eyelid is rolling inwards, as dogs are always born with it rather than it developing. For now, we're treating Emmy with some thyroid medication (she's borderline hypo-thyroidism) to see if she can lose a little weight and help her hips, and also some aspirin. I'm doing it for a month to see if she improves. If not, we'll discuss having to put her down. I honestly love Emmy more than I could ever say, but I can't stand to see her this way. Plus, the amount of time and energy it takes to take care of an aging, large-breed dog is getting to be too much for me. And believe me, I feel guilty for thinking that! If you could only see her hobble and hear her whine!

Anyway, true ramblings of my mind. I guess I'm just tired of the day-to-day. Keeping up with housework, making every meal, etc. I just need a little break. And how will it work with three kids? I guess I just feel a little like a dog chasing its tail -- always moving, always working, yet never reaching the end goal...

Monday, July 14, 2008

Baby Appointment

Probably the most anxious day for me... I'd never be able to wait until I actually had the baby to find out! :P And isn't it just as much of a surprise halfway through as it is at the end? I think so anyway! So we went in for the ultrasound. The sonographer asked if we had any idea what it was, and I told her Carter's been telling everyone he's going to have a baby brother. She thought it was maybe because he already had a baby sister, but he actually told people Lauren was going to be a sister! She asked Carter if he had magical powers and he said yes! I actually thought boy on Saturday, girl yesterday, and boy today. For other people, I'm usually 100% sure... not so for me. If anyone wants to know what they're having, just ask Carter. IT'S A BOY! [He can also draw the date you'll have the baby out of a hat -- he won two baby pools last year! Maybe he does have magical powers... :)]

Everything looked great on the ultrasound. He's measuring 20 wks 2 days (I'm 19 wks 3 days today) and had a heartrate of 133 bpm. My quad screening also came up negative -- the chance of having Downs Syndrome is 1/10,000, so looks very positive for everything being normal. I've posted the three best ultrasound pics. He had his head turned, but we got a pretty good profile shot. He definitely wasn't shy about showing he was a boy though! :) Now it's on to discussing names...

Lauren's First Trip to the Dentist

Lauren went to the dentist for the first time today. I know, a lot of you are saying, "Already?!?" Yep... they actually recommend going at one year, or when they have their first teeth (if that's later). Since Lauren's teeth popped through pretty early, I'd rather be sure to have great dental care and monitoring. She now has 10 teeth! Her top cuspids (on either side of top four teeth) have popped through, and at least three of her molars are on the cusp! It doesn't look like her bottom cuspids are far behind either... :) She does have a hematoma by her top left molar, which is just some bleeding in the tooth sac under the gums. The dentist said it's nothing to worry about though. It just makes it look blue! He said everything looks great, and Lauren already likes brushing her teeth. A benefit of starting early! We have been brushing her teeth for some time. :)

Today

So today is the day... maybe. What if the baby doesn't let us see? Or we do decide not to find out? Regardless, please don't bombard me with phone calls! I promise to get around to everyone in time. I do have two kids that I need to get home afterwards, and get Lauren down for a nap. Be patient with me! :) There will be a post later today all about the appointment. We do discuss things other than the gender. ;)

Oh, and just in case the poll disappears, the tally as of right now is 8 boy, 9 girl, and 6 surprise. Pretty even!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Difference

So, here is a picture of me now, at 19 weeks, and a picture of me the night before Lauren was born. See the difference? So why are people asking me if I'm about to pop?!?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Seriously? Give me a break...

"Are you due anytime now?" This is the question asked to me this afternoon by the cashier at Lowe's. The look on her face when I told her I was due in December was priceless! I told her it was number three, which most women understand that you get bigger sooner with subsequent pregnancies. I guess she's never had a baby, because she thought I meant I was having three! Okay, so I know I'm big... but not that big! Next time I'm following Matt's advice and telling them I'm not pregnant. I wonder what kind of look I'll get then... ;)

Friday, July 11, 2008

19 Weeks and Counting!

I'm now 19 weeks along, but feeling (and looking) much, much further ahead. I still get blank looks when people hear my due date. Yes, I'm sure that's correct. Of course, come Monday this baby may show us all just how big s/he is! It might have been a mistake changing my due date nine days later in the beginning... Or, much to my surprise, the baby could be right on and I'm just huge. Let's hope it's the former! :) (Or as Matt says, it's not really a baby but all the donuts I've been eating, HA!) Despite my size, I have only gained a total of 8.5 pounds, and have not been eating donuts! :)

I've been feeling pretty good lately. Really tired, but I've also been really busy. Still having trouble with my sciatic nerve and its associated pain. I also don't sleep very well, despite figuring out how to somewhat sleep on my belly. But, it all comes with the territory.

I think Carter's starting to really know what's going on. We do talk quite a bit about the baby, and Mandy even asks him for name suggestions. But he has been showing more interest lately. Lauren also pats my belly (and says belly), but she's too young to really know. It will be very interesting when #3 gets here!


(19 weeks today; 19 weeks with Lauren. It just doesn't seem right...)

Here's what's going on with baby: "Your baby's sensory development is exploding! Her brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch. Some research suggests that she may be able to hear your voice now, so don't be shy about reading aloud, taking to her, or singing a happy tune if the mood strikes you. Your baby weighs about 8 1/2 ounces and measures 6 inches, head to bottom —about the size of a large heirloom tomato. Her arms and legs are in the right proportions to each other and the rest of her body now. Her kidneys continue to make urine and the hair on her scalp is sprouting. A waxy protective coating called the vernix caseosa is forming on her skin to prevent it from pickling in the amniotic fluid."

What's going on with Mommy? "Think you're big now? You'll start growing even more rapidly in the weeks to come." Yeah, great, thanks.

Only three more days! I'm so looking forward to Monday afternoon and the ultrasound. I go back and forth on what I think I'm having. So far, I'm one for two -- Amanda found out today that she is having a boy. :) Congratulations!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Our Zoo Trip

Today we went to the Indianapolis Zoo. My nephew, Theoren, has been staying with us all week, so we wanted to do something fun! We had a good time, although I will say that I'm a bit disappointed in this zoo. It was much smaller than I thought, and the exhibits weren't all that big (or had that many animals). In the Ft. Wayne zoo, our most frequented, you see animals as you walk along. Indianapolis had paths all over and you only saw animals once you were at the exhibits. Even then, there were only one or two in each habitat, and they weren't very active -- it was a little hot today though. But, overall we did have fun. We saw an elephant show that was neat. We liked seeing them do their tricks!

One of their popular exhibits is the koala bears. They were fun to see -- one was sleeping, but the other showed off for the onlookers. I got him once he curled up, but also stretching out and saying hi.Another one of the boys' favorite animals was the bald eagle. At first we only saw the turkey vulture (and the dead chicks strewn on a branch for it!) and the ravens. As we were walking away, we looked up and saw the magnificent eagle. It's HUGE up close!
We also saw the dolphin show. The pictures didn't turn out great, but it was fun to watch. I think it was even more fun to watch Carter watch the show! :) All in all, a great day. It was nice being outside and watching the kids get so excited to see everything. Lauren did great all day, and conked out as soon as the car started moving (seriously, not even out of the parking lot and she was asleep!). At least she doesn't get cranky if she misses a nap... You can see all of our pictures here.