Wednesday, May 27, 2015

My 2 Year Old

My baby girl is 2.  She turned 2 on Sunday.  As usual, I am behind.  But, better late than never!

We didn't do anything big for her birthday.  It was just me and Jeremy and Lynnaea.  We went to church in the morning.  We took a nap right afterward.  And then we let her open presents and decorate her own cupcakes.  She loved that.  Especially after Jeremy showed her that the stuff squirting out of the frosting cans was not only edible, but loaded with sugar. 

She was one happy little girl.  And she totally blew out the candles before I could get a picture of her doing it.  She already knows what to do with candles!  So I mostly just want to post pictures of her birthday.  But I also want to say a couple things about my precious girl. 

She is so tender-hearted.  And she is already a nurturer.  When she thinks Jeremy or I are upset or not feeling well (like when Jeremy has his eyes closed and looks like he's sleeping during church), she will come over to us and lay her head on us somewhere and rub our back.  She did it to me the other day when I was in serious pain from pulling a muscle and started crying because I felt like a terrible mother to her at that moment.  She did it to Jeremy this past Sunday at church.  He told me afterward -- asked if I'd seen how she'd gone over and snuggled him.  I had.  I know it made him all gooey inside to have her go over and "nurture" him.  She will give kisses to any and all "owies."  Including her own ;). 

She loves to help.  Whether it's to help Jeremy make bread (and maybe this is because she likes to dig her fingers into the bread dough and eat it?) or to run to the potty and lift the lid every time I say "Mommy needs to go pee pee" (which, let's face it folks, is around 10 to 15 times a day these days) or to help turn on the dryer or washer or hand me clothes to fold...  Or getting my glasses and phone off my night-stand every morning (obviously she has learned my routine ;)).  And, most recently, to help unfasten her diapers (!)...  She just wants to help.  It has been such a joy to watch her grow and learn and be able to help.  And she is always so excited when she does.  I love her.

She is so smart.  I know that sounds so braggy.  I'm not saying she's a genius.  But I think she is smart.  She can count to 12 now and say most of her alphabet (sometimes she needs a little help).  She can identify a lot of her letters.  And her vocabulary is growing so fast!  I can't even list all the words she knows -- and she'll probably know more tomorrow!  She is quite observant.  Today, as we were out running errands, she kept asking about airplanes.  When the weather is nice here, as it was today, we often hear airplanes more.  Well, I kept telling her I didn't know if there were any airplanes in the sky at that moment (at least where we are).  But then, she actually spotted one!  And pointed it out to me!  And it was quite a ways off, too.

She knows lots of animals and the sounds they make.

She still loves to have books read to her.  We read every night.
We got her some flamingo footie pajamas that aren't fleece.  And are size 3T so she can grow into them (but she still wears them now ;)).
We also got her a play-doh "baking" set.  She got some home-made play-doh from her grandma and so I figured she'd have fun cutting out shapes, etc.
I got her a couple books a while back.  This one has a "magic pen" that will buzz (when you get it wrong) or make a happy beepy sound when you get it right.  It's to help her learn her colors and shapes better.  She likes pressing the pen to everything.  I love her facial expression in this picture.
We changed her clothes and laid out a tarp and brown paper for the cupcake decorating.  She actually got a little mini bear cake.  Here is where Jeremy was showing her how to squeeze out the frosting.  A few moments later, she learned it was edible and sweet.  And then she started just scraping the frosting off her cake and eating it ;).
Annoying that that came in sideways, but whatever.  I just put her name and "2" on the cupcakes.  Then we sang to her.
Not sure why, but she acted shy when we sang to her.  It was pretty cute, honestly.  She would smile and giggle and cover her little face a bit. 
Here was right after she blew out the candles.  I just wasn't fast enough to catch her mid-blow!
Yep, there she is eating frosting ;).
And here I am with my girl.  She really is a joy.  And so happy!  We are having some rough nights lately.  I think it may be due to her 2-year molars coming in (I discovered that 2 have erupted on Sunday night).  She wakes up crying and wants one of us in her room before she'll go back to sleep.  But she is still a happy girl.  She teaches me so much.  And, though I can remember what life was like before her, I can't imagine life now without her.  She is a miracle and a blessing beyond measure.  She is my joy.  How grateful I am to be her mommy.  I often feel inadequate.  But I am so grateful she is mine.

And, in other news...  Baby still hanging in there.  Went to the doctor today, but opted out of getting checked.  If I'm still pregnant on Tuesday (at 39 weeks) when I go for my next appointment, I'll go ahead and get checked just to see if there's been more progress.  In the mean-time, here's my 38-week shot:
And here's another of me and Lynnaea from today (she loves taking pictures):
This picture was right before afternoon nap.  For both of us.  Don't I look like I need one ;)?

And here are my sausage feet.  Seriously.  They are ugly.  This picture doesn't do it justice.  My blood pressure is awesome, though.  I think it's just the extra weight, the me constantly on my feet, and now the ridiculous heat.  BLAH!  They feel like ugly sausage feet as well as look it!  I don't hate being pregnant, but I will be happy to get my body back soon :).  (Go ahead and remind me I said that on the sleepless nights ;)).  I mentioned it to the doctor today and she said it's just a normal thing at this point -- especially during the summer.  So I'm not too worried.  They just look ugly and feel weird. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A Tale of Two Pregnancies

Well, my time is running out.  I am 37 weeks today.  And because my doctor decided she doesn't want surprises (apparently she got called in on a delivery this morning for a vaginal breach birth and it was a high-stress time), she decided to check me and see how things are progressing.  Generally, getting checked is not my most favorite time.  But I sign up for this when I decide to have a baby.  The thrills of motherhood ;).  Anyway, I am full term today and already 1 1/2 centimeters dilated and 60% effaced.  Baby is head-down (this was what the doctor wanted to check the most) and in position.  So it's only a matter of time.  Kinda freaky!  I have the hospital bag mostly packed.  Mostly just lack hygiene items at this point.

On the way out of the exam room, the doctor said, "See you in a week, if not sooner."  So I guess that means this baby really could come sooner than June 9th.  Crazy!  I'm hoping I have at least one week left.  After all, Lynnaea's birthday is Sunday.  And I haven't made the time to make my 10 freezer/jar meals for our adjustment period after the baby is born.  So, seriously kiddo...  Hang out in there a little longer and do some more baking!

So a tale of two pregnancies.  Just for record's sake.
This picture will prove to you the awesome mom I am...  Lynnaea was mesmerized by the tablet.  She doesn't get the tablet often, but I take it with me to the doctor's appointments so she will be entertained while I am on the table.  And then I used it to encourage her to stay awake in the van on the way home.  So I could get lunch into her before a nap.  And so I could nap at the same time.  It worked.  And so I let her finish her Elmo video while I made lunch.  But that's me today at 37 weeks.

Okay, so this pregnancy has  been different from my pregnancy with Lynnaea.  I am sure it is due in part to a few things.  One:  this is a different baby.  Two:  I am older.  (In fact, if we have any other babies, I will fall into the high-risk category simply due to my old age, since I'll be over 35 at that point!).  Three:  I'm chasing after a toddler.

So one major difference has been the physical impact of the pregnancy on my body.  I did not have aches and pains with Lynnaea.  But then, I wasn't lifting a 30 pound toddler back then.  And I could sleep whenever I felt the need.  Or just lay down and read or watch a movie or something if I needed to rest.  Having a 2 year old doesn't really lend itself to those things.  She is very active and energetic.  She loves attention, and wants to be played with and entertained.  These are not bad things, so don't think I'm saying they are.  They are typical toddler things.  And I love my typical toddler ;).  It just means that I cannot do the amount of resting I could do when I was pregnant with her.  It means I have to keep going.  Or put on Elmo so I can lay on the couch and rest ;).  And that happens nearly daily now.  Unless Jeremy is home, because then he takes over so I can lay down.  And you know what?  I've decided I'm okay with that.  If my kiddo gets more than the recommended amount of screen time right now, that's just life.  I need to take care of my body so I can take care of my little girl and the baby growing inside of me.  I definitely feel more tired, but I think that is because I can't rest quite like before.  So before I didn't notice the tiredness as much.  I take a nap pretty much every day, even if I lay down and rest in the morning.  When Lynnaea naps, more often than not, I nap too.  Sometimes for 2 hours...  Which means I accomplish very little, since her nap-time used to be my most productive time.  But it's what my body needs now.  I do remember napping every day at this point when I was pregnant with Lynnaea.  I can remember just laying on the couch and falling asleep.  So that is definitely the same.  Just now, I have to do it on her schedule ;).  Hence the encouragement (or bribe) of the tablet to not fall asleep in the car.  Haha.  Also along the physical lines...  I have pulled my muscles a lot in the last month.  I can recall pulling my muscles with Lynnaea maybe once or twice.  With this pregnancy, it's been more than I can count.  And sometimes it hurts for hours and I cannot relieve it.  Costco shopping trips seem to be a common thread for getting these pulled muscles.  Or grocery stores.  And so I started thinking today (as I was slowly waddling through Costco to avoid more excruciating pain) that maybe it is associated with lifting a 30 pound toddler into the cart.  Maybe I am twisting in some way that is not boding well with my ever-burgeoning belly.  This muscle pulling pain is something I will not miss.  Like at all.  It is the main reason I have actually started to welcome the idea of giving birth (even though I am terrified again!).  With this pregnancy, I now understand the women who are so done with it and ready to have the baby.  I didn't quite understand that feeling with Lynnaea, because the pregnancy was easier.  But now I get it.

Another difference, which could probably fall under the physical aspect, is my experience in the first trimester with this baby.  Every afternoon, I felt like utter garbage.  Food was unappealing in the afternoon.  I wanted to just lay down and sleep.  I was beyond exhausted, but I also just felt nauseated.  I never threw up.  I just felt icky yuck.  That feeling hung around for about 6 or 7 weeks of the first trimester.  I was glad when it was gone.  And I was especially glad it went away before our Alabama trip!  But again, this was different from my first pregnancy.  I had nothing like that with Lynnaea.  I mean, I was tired at the end of every day.  I zonked out at night.  But I was not miserable with yucky feelings.  So this was new to me.

I also had bleeding gums in the second trimester.  I had read that this was a symptom some women have.  I didn't have it the first time around.  But I did this time.

And my ankles are swelling more.  But my blood pressure is awesome, so no concerns about toxemia or any of that.  Oh, and also my eyes are drying out more.  Which makes wearing contacts annoying, because I can't read small print without it being right in front of my face.  But as soon as I put my glasses back on, everything's fine.  

Those all seem to be less desirable differences, I know ;).  But they are some of what I deal with.  Some of the good differences?

Well, this baby has been much more active!  Lynnaea moved, of course, in utero.  But she was mainly a wiggler.  I could watch my belly move with her wiggles.  But it was here and there and nothing super strong.  This baby, though.  Phew!  Some nights I lay there and feel my whole stomach jolt in another direction with a strong kick!  Haha...  And this baby has been that active for a long time.  I can always tell where this baby is laying, and this baby will respond quite quickly to any attempts I make to "make" the baby move (if ever I get concerned about not having felt the baby for a while).

So those are some of the highlights of the differences I've experienced in my two pregnancies which have reached this point.  Nothing earth-shattering.  Just different ;).  I am still guessing this one is a boy.  But yep, we'll know for sure when Baby makes a debut! 

And just to post a couple more pictures...  Saturday, my mom, Lynnaea, and I went to the Armed Forces Day Parade here.  I don't mind doing things like this, but since Lynnaea and I slept until almost 9 on Saturday (due to a terrible night's sleep for her, I ended up in her room with her on an air mattress) and Jeremy had left for work early that morning (like 5:30ish) and wasn't around to wake us up...  Well, we were rushing to get ready!  So that took some of the fun out of it at first.  But we got there and just hung out at the very beginning of the parade, because we went just to see Saria who was playing the marching band for her middle school.  So that was neat and we saw and heard lots of cool things until we left, right after Saria's band went by.  Lynnaea loved the parade, though.  She sat in her stroller quite contentedly for most of the time we were there.
There she is enjoying her snackies during the parade.
Not the most flattering picture of me, but hey...  I'm 9 months pregnant.  I think the fact I get out of bed every day is pretty phenomenal these days ;).  Haha.  And Lynnaea was wearing a monkey backpack someone got her as a gift (really a gift for me, since the monkey tail acts like a leash so I can keep tabs on my toddler while dealing with an infant!).  Lynnaea loves the backpack and wanted to wear it -- in the stroller.
Saria with her trombone, just a few minutes before they started marching!
Here they are marching.  She's the furthest one in the left row.
And this is when they stopped and marched in place for a few minutes right near us.  She's the one with the ponytail.  I'm really glad I got to go see her march.  I try to go to her concerts and such, but haven't been able to go to one since the beginning of the school year.  And being that her end-of-year concert is on my due date...  well...  Not sure I'll make that one either! 

Well, it's after 10, and I turn into a big ol' fat pumpkin soon ;).  So I better get to bed. 

Oh, P.S...  We did some rearranging in our house because we got a recliner on Saturday afternoon!  Woohoo!  Now I have somewhere to sleep on those sleepless nights when I'm up feeding a baby!  It's an awesome recliner.  It's a rocker/swivel/recliner.  Jeremy found it on Craigslist and we got a great deal.  It's big and comfy.  And just plain awesome.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Baby Shower Pictures

So thanks to ever-dwindling time, I'm going to just post some pictures and leave it mostly at that.  I seriously need to blog "A Tale of Two Pregnancies" to chronicle all the differences between this pregnancy and Lynnaea's.  Because there are a lot of differences!  And I want to remember.  Or maybe I don't!  So I'm hoping to manage to get that crammed in before it's too late and this baby is born!  (I only have 4 weeks left!)

But it's not going to happen tonight.  I'm already sensing that Mr. Sandman is on his way to sprinkle sleepy sand in my eyes.  Or whatever it is that he does.

So, baby shower pictures:
The table-scape before all the food was out (and eaten!)
Just a cute little gender-neutral theme -- since we don't find out before the baby is born ;).

My sweet friends who threw the shower (they are mother and daughter, if you can't tell by resemblance ;)).

And now for some gift opening pictures:
I got a ton of diapers and wipes!  Which is so awesome!  It's really what we need the most of.  Call me an anti-tree-hugger if you will.  But seriously.  Disposable diapers are the best.
This was a cute little gag gift.  Tuxedo onesie plus a mustache pacifier.  In case we're getting a boy ;).  Which we think we are...  But there's always room for surprise! 

That evening, we saw Christina and the girls for a bit, since they dropped by to pick up the extra crib.
Probably the last time we'll take a preggo picture together.  We both had less than 5 weeks to go (since she is officially scheduled for her c-section 2 days after my due date!  Meaning she could have a baby sooner than I do!).  Yeah, I'm like twice her size.  I've never been the small one in our family...
This was last night.  Basically, yesterday, while out shopping, I pulled a muscle or something.  Which happens frequently this pregnancy (more details will end up in the "Tale of Two Pregnancies" post I hope to write one day soon.  I hurt so bad.  And now things look a little different.  And some of my friends say I look like I've dropped (or that the baby has).  Which supposedly doesn't happen with pregnancies after #1 until you're actually in labor.  But who knows anyway.  But basically, the baby dropping is a sign of things nearing the end.  And so I was thinking -- based on my inability to get relief from the pain of the muscle thing (which usually doesn't happen, usually it hurts a bit and then I change positions or whatever and the pain eases.  But yesterday...  Well, I wanted to die a little bit.), maybe the baby dropped and that's why I'm having such a huge discomfort?  Again, who knows.  But do I look different in that picture?  Or rather, does the position of my belly?  That's 36 weeks.
And my sweet girl.  Who had croup over the weekend.  She sounded like a barking seal.  We had many, many sleepless nights of she and I trying to sleep on an air mattress.  Fun stuff.  She slept.  Me?  Not so much.  Thankfully that is past now.  It was not fun!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

About Those Last 2 Weeks...

I can't believe it's been 2 weeks.  The time is flying.  I'm 35+ weeks pregnant (yep, the baby's still in there.  Here's a picture to prove it!)
That's tonight.  I'm huge.  And I feel it.  There's nothing quite like having your belly precede you everywhere you go...

It's been busy lately.  Last week I went to a THRIVE Life event called Power Up!  It was fun to go with my friend Rebekah and try new recipes (we got to make several of them right at the table in like 10 minutes!) and just learn and such.
Last Saturday, it was a beautiful day, so we went to another local state park.  We paid for that Discover Pass to be able to park in the State Parks, so I figure we better use that thing!  Fortunately there are a lot of State Parks around here.  And the one we went to Saturday happens to be close to my in-laws' (or at least semi-close), so after we ate a picnic lunch there and let Lynnaea experience the creek and look at creek creatures (pictures to follow below), we headed out to visit the farm.  Lynnaea has a love/hate relationship with their cows.  She loves the idea of them.  But as soon as we go see them and she's close and they moo (they are fenced, of course), she freaks out.
This was after she tried dipping her feet in the creek.  It was cold (she told Jeremy "cold") and she didn't like it so much.  So we put her shoes back on.  But just seeing this picture made me realize how big my little girl has gotten!  Look at those long legs!!!  She's getting tall.  Sigh.  My baby is growing up.
Getting her feet dried off to put her shoes back on.  What a sweet girl :).
And here she is checking out the creek critters her daddy caught for her. She loved this!  She would see it swimming around in his hand and say "There it are!"  Haha.  Okay, so her grammar is still needing a bit of work ;).  But she's definitely communicating a lot more!  And the grammar will come in time. 
Just one of our selfies...  We hadn't done one in a while. 
And this little gem is from yesterday.  When we were supposed to be leaving for a play date.  See, little miss here has woken up before 6 for the last two mornings.  And so she crashes.  Bless her little heart.  This mama isn't a fan of such early mornings either.  But the last two days were busy days, so I had to just keep plugging through while she grabbed a catnap ;).  Tomorrow, though, if she does it again...  Well, it's not going to be a busy day, so maybe I'll have to get some extra sleep too! 

We did a THRIVE Jar Meal party Tuesday night here at the apartment.  It seems no matter how much I try to prepare, it's still chaotic!  But they are pretty popular, so we keep doing them.  Then today I did a THRIVE Party at lunch time for someone.  So yeah... Busy busy.  I'm looking forward to having a little respite tomorrow!  And then I have a my baby shower on Saturday.  I'll work hard at getting pictures posted from that in a more timely manner ;).  Especially considering we're getting to that point where I could have a new baby any day!